By Ashli Findley 

Facial: LeBliss Salon & Spa
Expert: Corie Clingerman, LeBliss Salon & Spa
What It Is: The Hydrate Facial does just that: it promotes hydration in the face. It includes a light exfoliation, some extraction for deep cleansing, hydrating products with hyaluronic acid to penetrate the first layer of skin, a firming moisturizer mask, and very soothing massages in the face, neck, and shoulder areas.

Preparations: No preparations needed. Even if you walk into your appointment with makeup on, the aesthetician will cleanse it off.

Cost: $89

Results: Immediate. My face felt phenomenally cleansed and moisturized afterwards.

Time commitment: One-hour

Frequency: Recommended once every four to six weeks

Experience: The hydrate facial is not at all an abrasive treatment, which is what I was concerned about. I’m very particular about what I put on and in my body. In my 27 years of living, I’ve never received a facial. I truly am a low-maintenance woman, and I have very sensitive skin. Typical beauty products for many women can easily break out my face, so I had some reservations. During the treatment, I appreciated how Corie described to me the dehydrated areas of my face and recommended a specific brand of night cream for me to use to help my skin repair itself during the night. The extraction phase was the only time where I felt some heavy pressure, but overall it was a pretty relaxing experience.

Fingernails/Pedicures: LeBliss Salon & Spa
Expert: Cortney Barber, LeBliss Salon & Spa
What It Is: Signature Manicure and Signature Pedicure. These are the middle-of-the-road manicure and pedicure options on LeBliss’ menu offerings. The manicure includes a massage, nail shaping, and polish. The pedicure is similar. It covers the tops and bottoms of the feet, including the ankle area, a scrub, massage, nail shaping, and polish.

Preparations: None

Cost: $36 for manicure, $57 for pedicure

Results: Immediate. You walk out of the salon feeling like a diva.

Time Commitment: One hour each for manicure and pedicure

Frequency of Touch-ups: Recommended once every month for the Signature Manicure with a buff and polish in-between every two to three weeks, depending on whether or not you like keeping polish on your nails or are opting for a more natural buff. Recommended once every two months for the Signature Pedicure with the Express Pedicure done in-between every four to six weeks.

Experience: As someone who gets a manicure and pedicure maybe once a year, I’m always most nervous for how painful the nail filing process on my toenails is. Funny I’m sure, but I cringe just thinking of it. A second nerve-wracking concern is, again, how dry and sensitive my skin is. My experience at LeBliss turned out great, though. Informing Cortney about my dry and sensitive skin put me at ease, and she took amazing care of me.

Chemical Peel: Bella Pelle Dermatology
Expert: Dr. Natalie Daniels, a board certified dermatologist and the owner of Bella Pelle Dermatology.
What It Is: The chemical peel is a liquid solution painted onto the skin of the face. With somewhat acidic properties, the solution provides a process that: exfoliates and brightens the skin, evens the skin tone, and stimulates the collagen (protein found in skin). The process also helps with issues related to sun damage, acne, and more. Most clinics offer two types of chemical peels, based on the level of penetration into the skin. For low-maintenance women, the superficial peel is a better fit. The 15-minute process looks like this: the nurse will clean the face and put on a pre-peel cleanser; then mask a little Vaseline in the corners of the eyes, lips, and nose so fluid doesn’t run into those areas; then paint the solution on the face and let it sit for six to 10 minutes. Next comes the neutralizing agent as either water or glycolic acid, which acts like a baking soda solution; and, lastly, an application of moisturizer or sunscreen. The client’s skin will peel microscopically, but not outwardly. Medium-depth peels, on the other hand, get deeper into the skin, sometimes causing redness and swelling as the skin peels outwardly.

Preparations: Hold off on using anything on the skin that is abrasive. Only use a gentle soap and moisturizer.

Cost: $150 for the superficial peel

Results: Immediate

Time commitment: 15 minutes per appointment. It is recommended to complete a series of four to six superficial peels spaced out two to three weeks apart, depending on what the issue is (i.e. acne, discoloration).

Frequency of Touch-ups: Most patients do once every two months. “Everybody is always hesitant with any cosmetic procedure,” says Dr. Daniels. “People think it will automatically make them red and scabby, but that’s not the case with the superficial peel.”

Fillers vs botox: Bella Pelle Dermatology
Dermatology Expert: Dr. Natalie Daniels, a board certified dermatologist and the owner of Bella Pelle Dermatology.
What It Is: Botox is a neurotoxin, a purified protein. In powder form mixed with salt water, it becomes a liquid that is injected into muscle groups. It acts like a muscle relaxer. Because the muscles in the face break down throughout the aging process, etchings in the skin like wrinkles become prevalent. Botox fades away or softens that muscle as it relaxes it, smoothing out the skin. The process is relatively simple: the nurse wipes the skin with alcohol and injects the liquid. Fillers, on the other hand, are opposite. They are used when volume loss has occurred. A filler is a gel injected into the subcutaneous tissue layer of skin on various areas of the face to plump it up. It fills in a dip and restores volume. The process can slightly hurt, so the patient will use a numbing cream one hour before the fillers are injected. With each injection, a massage is given. Afterwards, ice is applied to the face.

Preparations: None

Cost: Three forms of Botox range from $350-750. Fillers range from $600-800 per syringe (the more deep a patient’s facial lines, the more syringes needed), and most people need two syringes per appointment.

Results: Results of Botox are fully seen at two weeks, while fillers are seen at two to four weeks

Time Commitment: 10-minute process for Botox, 20-minute process for fillers.

Frequency of Touch-ups: Every three to four months for Botox and anywhere from six months to two years for fillers, depending on the type.

Permanent Makeup: Faceworks
Expert: Robin Masters, registered nurse
What It Is: Faceworks offers three permanent cosmetic procedures: eyebrows, eyeliners, and lip liners. Clients are offered either a verbal or in-person consultation before scheduling an appointment for the procedure of their choice. At the appointment, an anesthetic is applied 30 minutes before the procedure to numb the area. Much of the procedure for the eyebrows is alignment – aligning from the inner corner of eye to outer corner of eye with the arch being aligned on the forehead from the outer corner of the pupil. The procedure for the eyeliner includes applying liner to the top or bottom, or sometimes both, parts of the eye. The liner will begin thin and run from where the eyelash starts to where the eyelash ends. Throughout the three procedures, topical anesthetic may be reapplied if clients are experiencing discomfort. Typically, the client feels a vibration sensation, but no pain. The lips procedure includes a lip liner with a shading to make the liner have a natural look. It may result in some swelling. Clients are advised to apply bacitracin ointment three times a day for four days after the appointment to help with the moisture, color, and warding off infections as the skin will naturally exfoliate.

Preparations: Clients are asked to abstain from ingesting vitamin E or fish oil for one week before the scheduled appointment, as these are blood thinners and aren’t good to be susceptible to for the procedure.

Cost: Eyebrows are typically $450. The cost can go up to $550 depending on how much work is done. Eyeliner is $450 and the cost can go up to $600 for thicker, glamour-style eyeliner. Lip liners start at $350, but can go up to $500 for a full lip with shading.

Results: Clients see the results immediately. Five to six days after the appointment, after the skin has exfoliated, the results are more pronounced.

Time Commitment: All three procedures include a numbing ointment that is applied 30 minutes before the procedure. After that, each of the three procedures take about 1 ½ hours.

Frequency of Touch-ups: Included in the cost of these procedures is the benefit for clients to come back to Faceworks in 30 days to get the procedure done again, based on how the client’s skin may be accepting the ink, how the shaping looks, etc. For regular touch-ups, clients usually come back once within the first year. “For low-maintenance women, we always do minimal,” Robin says. “We make sure that they look great. Even for the minimalist type of person, they sometimes surprise us and want more (work done).”

Photo by Melissa Donald