By Brigid Morrissey
There are so many treatments that I could do, but the options can be overwhelming. As someone new to the process of aesthetic consciousness, I needed some guidance on where to start. Thanks to a number of these local businesses, I have made small yet significant changes that any low maintenance woman could consider.
Laser Vein Treatment
Ultimate Vein Care
Expert: Denise Searcy
What It Is: Light from a handheld laser is sent through the skin to essentially collapse the damaged vein. The heat breaks down the vein wall and the remnants are broken down and absorbed by the body. Ultimate Vein Care performs other procedures, like Endovenous Laser Ablation to treat reflux, Sclerotherapy, and Laser Hair Removal.
Preparations: It is best to wear bottoms that can be pulled up or expose the legs.You are given a pair of glasses to protect your eyes. Most instructions follow the treatment, however. Avoid the sun for about two months, or lather on the SPF 50, and, depending on the number and sizes of the veins, you may be instructed to avoid heavy exercise.
Cost: $400 for 30-minute and $250 for 20-minute. laser vein treatment, but varies depending on the amount of time.
Results: Small veins can disappear immediately, while larger veins may take a week or two to disappear. The treated region could be tender and swollen, and red marks can persist for a few weeks. Time Commitment: The amount of time depends on the number and size of your veins. Treatment can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes.
Frequency of Touch-Ups: Treated veins can be diminished or completely disappear. Sometimes, follow-up appointments are needed for more stubborn veins, and the treatment does not prevent new veins from developing.
Experience: Everyone has veins. Some just have more visible ones than others. You can blame your dad for that. Or your kids. Spider veins can be hereditary, occur during pregnancy, or even develop from sitting or standing the majority of the day. I knew that spider veins could be a problem, but I didn’t know they could be treated. “I’ve heard it hurts” has been the most common statement after mentioning the laser procedure. Not having known anyone who’s undergone the treatment, I was also worried that it might not be effective on my legs. But I was greeted in the lobby with warm smiles and the assurance that I would notice a physical difference. Even for someone as low-maintenance as me, a physical change can give the mental boost I need to feel confident and secure. After a quick consultation and a scan up and down my legs, the main site of the problem area, I was told to have a seat. I hopped up onto a soft table with the crunchy paper, just like you’d see at the doctor’s office. Then I was handed some goofy glasses. All I had to do was hike my workout pants as high as they would go. And make small talk, but the technician was pretty good at it. Because there’s a small amount of pain, kind of like a bee sting, when the laser hits, the machine operator is trained in the art of distraction. The good news is, I expected the appointment to last over an hour, but it didn’t last long at all. I was walking through the automatic doors and into the sunshine just 30 minutes later, contemplating what shorts to wear later that day.
Eyebrow Tint and Wax
Body & Brow Boutique
Expert: Kate Ashton
What It Is: Waxing removes hair follicles that grow on the outliers above and below the optimum brow shape, and in between the two brows. Tinting unifies the color of your brows to accentuate previously unseen light or blonde follicles, which creates a look of fullness.
Preparations: They ask questions about current medications and sun exposure to understand your skin needs, but pretty much anything goes.
Cost: $20 for brow waxing, $15 for brow tinting
How Quick Are Results: Immediate
Time Commitment: You’ll walk in and out in 15-20 minutes.
Frequency of Touch-Ups: For best results, resist the temptation to tweeze stray hairs for up to four weeks. That allows the follicles to get on the same growth cycle. The tint lasts two to four weeks depending on the amount of perspiration and product exposure.
Experience:I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s had nightmares of brow waxing gone bad. I did have concerns of my brow shape going from somewhat normal to a consistent look of surprise for the next month, and I had to take into account that numerous things could go wrong in the process. I would be trusting a stranger to dangle a hot liquid-y substance over my eyeballs. Would I get burned, or would some of my skin get ripped off? With sensitive skin, I can always count myself in for redness, swelling, and irritation. And who can forget about the pain of it all? All negative thoughts were vanquished after my Body & Brow treatment. As I laid on the squishy table face up, Kate measured and penciled markings across my quizzical brow, then handed me a mirror. With patience, she guided me through a tutorial of how a brow should be shaped – which part of the brow should be the lowest point, the highest point, where the arch should begin, the length, and thickness. After the explanation, she tinted my brows a couple of shades darker than the hair on my crown. Unbeknownst to me, my brow line contained several blonde hairs that, after tinting, gave my face a completely different look. Then I got waxed. Kate has four different kinds to use according to skin type, any medication you take, and different facial treatments you’ve had previously. She pulled while carrying on small talk to create a distraction (which worked – I hardly felt anything!) and tweezed anything the wax didn’t catch. Then she did something I wasn’t expecting. Kate applied a concealer containing aloe – a product that belongs to a line she developed herself – onto my bare skin to hide the redness. I could be seen in public immediately after, so I took advantage.
Joan Brashear Associates (located inside Cassis Dermatology)
Expert: Joan Brashear
What It Is: Mechanical manipulation of connected tissue which is basically a massage with a handheld tool. It’s cellulite removal, but it has many other benefits for circulation, digestions, soreness. Originally created to treat scar tissue, the machine is equipped for many different programs. Eighty to 85 percent of clients come for aesthetic purposes like cellulite treatment, but there are also sport and therapeutic treatments.
Preparations: There is no before prep, but in the midst of treatment, it is imperative to drink plenty of water. “It helps release toxins and breaks up the fatty tissue. I can tell early in the session how hydrated my clients are.”
Cost: $140 for individual sessions. $2,240 for a package of 18. You’re essentially getting a free session by purchasing packages.
How Quick Are Results: Typically, it takes six to 10 treatments to see external results. When it comes to circulation, digestion, soreness, and other systematic benefits, results are immediate.
Time Commitment: Sessions last about 45 minutes.
Frequency of Touch-Ups: For the first three weeks of treatment, scheduling two sessions each week is mandatory. For faster results, continuing with treatments twice a week is recommended, but once a week is acceptable until the client reaches her plateau, which can mean that the individual is not improving anymore or is satisfied with the results. Count on at least 18 treatments and maintenance after the initial treatment.
Experience:I had no idea what I would be walking into. Before meeting Joan Brashear, I was unaware of Endermologie® treatment as an option, let alone what it was and how it’s done. Joan was happy to answer all of my questions. “If my clients talk, I’ll talk with them. If they want to stay silent and relax, I stay quiet, too.” First I replaced my outfit with a full body stocking. Very flattering. The rest of the time I was in heaven. The main body of the machine stood about five and a half feet tall and was pushed against the back wall of the room. Joan held the tool extending from it in her hand. As I laid on my back, she touched the handheld to my leg, and I could hear the mechanical push/pull as the device massaged my tissue. “There shouldn’t be any pain – this should be an enjoyable experience.” OK, Joan, you got it. I closed my eyes as over and over the machine rolled over my glutes, thighs, and hips. When my 45 minutes were up, I wanted to rewind time. The physical feeling was incredible and calming, but that was not what I was most impressed with. According to Joan, the total body benefits are endless. Enjoying the treatment is just an added bonus. High or low maintenance, everyone deserves to treat his or her body to this healthy option.
Expert: Erica McDowell
What It Is: A series of creams, exfoliation, lotions, masks, steam, and other treatments applied to the face, neck, and chest, coupled with a massage. Facials are beneficial to skin of any age, but it is particularly advantageous for middle-aged women. This relaxing set of techniques cleans out pores, treats acne and stubborn blackheads, treats fine lines and wrinkles, and restores a healthy glow.
Preparations: “Let us do the work,” recommended Erica, who owns the clinical day spa. It’s best to stay out of the sun, avoid prior chemical treatment, and remove makeup before your appointment, although none of these will impede the process. Your outfit doesn’t matter, either, because you will remove clothing on the upper body and lie under a comfy bed sheet.
Cost: $115 for Signature Facial (10 percent off for purchasing a package of five treatments), $95 for Derma Planing (exfoliates and removes hair).
How Quick Are Results: Immediate. Dead skin and blocked pores are removed, resulting in a visible glow. Once the pathway is cleared, the treated area can absorb products easier, so you will see the best results when applied, and the treatment lasts about four to six weeks.
Time Commitment: Block out at least an hour of your time, but trust me, it’ll be the most relaxing hour of your day.
Frequency of Touch-Ups: Results are long lasting, but the treatment requires maintenance. For a consistent upkeep, treatment once a month will keep your skin at its finest.
Experience: I usually feel out of place in spas. As a woman with an active lifestyle, I put my skin through a lot, whether I’m playing in the dirt with my niece and nephews or slathering on SPF 50 before navigating the hiking trails in my favorite park. Knowing the fact that I often neglect proper skincare, I felt intimidated walking into spa. My Nike yoga pants and sneakers didn’t exactly say, “I’m ready to kick back and treat myself,” but the soothing tones and welcoming nature of the employees at Skyn Lounge gave me permission to relax. First I was instructed to lay face up on the massage table. Then they put the “treat”in treatment. For an hour, my face, neck, and chest were massaged, steamed with hot towels, and layered with countless lotions and medicines. Every facial is catered to the individual. Each new mask that was rubbed into my skin was specific to my needs. When my sensitive skin exposed its irritation through a light red tint, the therapist knew exactly how to proceed and which products to use. After the treatment, when I could properly inspect myself up close in my bathroom mirror, I was completely satisfied with the results. I’m not much for makeup, but now I can go natural with complete confidence. It doesn’t matter how low maintenance you are – everyone can use this type of pampering.