Category Archives: Entertainment

Nailed It: Fall Nail Tutorial

By Nailed It
Explore the manicures and tutorials attached with them by clicking on the images below! If you try it out, let me know, I’d love to see your recreations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

Visit Lulus.com or my post for the tutorial

 

 

 

 

This post was featured on GoingOutChic.com’s Haute Finds and How-Tos section here!

 

 

 

 

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ComfortSoul

Green Revolution

By Heather Mikesell via American Spa Magazine

Learn how today’s spas are making a difference and saving money with a variety of innovative environmental initiatives.

modern_spa

Spas are in the business of helping people live healthier lives. It stands to reason then that adopting eco-friendly strategies for your spa is yet another way to practice what you preach. While that should be motive enough, there are also the added cost-cutting benefits that come from employing energy-efficient features, water-recycling systems, and more. Whatever the reasoning—health or wealth—there has never been a better time to go green. While spas built from the ground up to be LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) do have an advantage, there are plenty of other ways you can make your spa a healthier place while also cutting costs and reducing waste. In fact, many spas are doing so in ways that are truly groundbreaking, so learn from their successes on how easy and rewarding it is to be green.

Conserve Resources

Modest green measures can make a big difference to your bottom line, especially as it relates to energy and water conservation. According to Travis Anderson, spa director at Lantana Spa at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort (TX), the simple act of reviewing treatment protocols and decreasing the number of towels used in some services reduced the spa’s laundry costs by thousands of dollars. Kayantá Spa at The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun (Mexico) relies on eco-friendly bamboo linens, which require less water to wash.

Maggie Wagner, senior director of spas at Travaasa Experiential Resorts (Austin, TX and Maui, HI), encourages staff members to conserve energy by unplugging hot stone heaters, lamps, and coffee makers at the end of the day. Energy efficiency is also a priority at Hyatt at Olive 8’s LEED-certified Elaia Spa (Seattle), which features LED lights throughout the facility. The efficient lighting, however, doesn’t keep the staff from finding additional ways to reduce energy usage. “We have a one-hour period each day in which the lights are turned off in our 24-hour fitness facility, and the natural light coming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows allows our guests to work out,” says spa director Adam Estrella.

Reducing its carbon footprint has always been a priority at Complexions Spa for Beauty & Wellness (Albany, NY). In fact, the spa was the first in the country to receive Gold LEED certification for new construction in 2009. According to owner Denise Dubois, the spa saves more than $10,600 annually on its utility bills, thanks to a variety of energy-efficient measures, such as using motion-controlled light sensors to automatically turn off lights when a room is not in use. “The greenhouse gas savings is estimated to be 56 tons annually—the equivalent of the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of nearly seven homes for one year,” says Dubois.

Choose Eco-Friendly Products

More than just a passing trend, the green movement has had a profound impact on the development of spa products. “The best practice we have for our spa is utilizing only organic or natural product lines for all of our spa treatments,” says Estrella. “Not only does it offer better benefits for our guests and therapists, but also the everlasting effect on the land from the agricultural process used is truly the ultimate win.” Eco-focused brands continually strive to reduce their impact on the environment by relying on sustainable farming and green practices.

Sage Springs Club & Spa at Sunriver Resort (OR) is also dedicated to purchasing organic and locally made products to further reduce its carbon footprint. “Roughly 90 percent of our products are handcrafted and locally farmed, which means no shipping footprint,” says spa operations manager Tifany LeGuyonne. According to her, the spa’s choice of skincare line has had the greatest impact on its bottom line. “Our ability to source a line that is not only organic but also affordable with no shipping costs means we can maintain our profit margins while supporting local farmers,” she says.

Not limited to health and beauty lines, green manufacturing practices can also apply to any items your spa retails. Hotel Terra’s Chill Spa (Jackson Hole, WY), for example, looks to partner with an array of vendors that share its green philosophy, such as Alō Yoga clothing, which features a solar-powered design house. “By supporting vendors who have the same passion and drive for green initiatives, we can make a difference,” says spa manager Sara Dolentz.

Product packaging is another area in which your spa can make a change for the better by  teaming up with product companies that use recycled and eco-friendly packing materials. “Even though we recycle most of the packaging the products arrive in, it remains too high,” says Estrella. That’s one of the reasons St. Julien Hotel & Spa (Boulder, CO) created a hotel-wide initiative to reduce and eliminate package waste by using only compostable or recyclable packaging.

According to Roberto Arjona, chief executive of Rancho La Puerta (Tecate, Mexico) and president of the Green Spa Network, there is much room for improvement in terms of product packaging, working with local green companies, incorporating more organic and biodegradable products, and relying on more recycled and repurposed materials. “Across the industry, I think the area in which spas have the hardest time transitioning to truly green practices is the packaging of the products we use,” says LeGuyone. “I think the next step is transitioning to biodegradable packaging across the board.”

Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

When The Spa at Laguna Cliffs at Marriott Resort & Spa (Dana Point, CA) needed a bit of an update, it was deemed the perfect time for a “green-ovation.” “We saw an opportunity to update the brand and look of the spa, but we didn’t necessarily need a top-to-bottom renovation,” says spa director Jessica Timberlake. “After several hours of meetings with designers, we selected a design partner with a great vision for repurposing our existing elements.” Instead of purchasing 70 new lockers, the spa opted to relaminate its current lockers. Existing glass display shelves were frosted to create a new look without producing waste. The spa also incorporated some upcycled art pieces, installations of reclaimed wood to add texture and warmth. “Design bids are a spa director’s best friend when presenting ideas to ownership,” says Timberlake. “Because we selected to work with a creative designer, we shaved 30 percent off the renovation cost, which was less expensive than if we were to purchase all new items.”

Ongoing recycling efforts are another way to reduce waste. “We have always had a paper and cardboard recycling program, but last year, we partnered with a local charity that collects recyclable plastic containers,” says Anderson. “I am amazed by how much plastic we no longer throw away.” At Sage Springs Club & Spa, old linens are upcycled into cleaning rags or donated to local animal shelters. The opportunities to do good are endless.

One of the most innovative initiatives launched at Rancho La Puerta involved replacing garbage bags with reusable containers throughout the property. The spa now reuses buckets originally utilized for food delivery. The spa also offers an employee-based recycling program in which staff members bring their recycling to work. When looking for ways to reduce waste, remember that involving your staff and clientele has the added benefit of raising awareness and instilling a positive feeling about your spa and its green philosophy.

Give Back

While there are many ways to make your spa more sustainable, you needn’t stop there. The folks at Calistoga Ranch (CA) certainly didn’t when they came up with the idea of helping to rebuild the honey bee population in Napa Valley and educate guests about the benefits of bees and their honey. “The comprehensive ‘Bee Well’ program not only includes eco-luxe honey-infused spa treatments but also a mobile observation beehive that is showcased when prearranged for guests to enjoy during weekly tours,” says general manager Coni Thornburg. “The bee population at Calistoga Ranch has now grown to five hives, with up to 30,000 bees per hive.” Other spas and product companies give back by planting trees and donating to green causes.

Just know that whatever your spa is able to do to make strides along the path to sustainability is definitely a step in the right direction. “Maintaining a green business is a journey not a destination, and there will continually be areas where newer practices can be taken into consideration,” says Dubois. The key is to keep looking for ways in which to green your spa. “What we have found at Chill Spa is that green is not a trend, it is a growing awareness,” says Dolentz. “By making eco-conscious decisions in purchasing, collaborating with green vendors, and continuing with energy-efficient systems, we are making a statement to our spa guests that we have a moral investment in the environment.”

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ComfortSoul

What Is Cupping & Will You Love It?

By Jennifer Dubowsky  via MindBodyGreen.com

 

Cupping

Celebrities like Gwenyth Paltrow, her husband Chris Martin, Jennifer Aniston, and Victoria Beckham are all fans of cupping. This ancient technique is becoming trendy, and while I’m not usually a follow-the-crowd kind of girl, I do appreciate good publicity for Chinese Medicine.

Cupping is an effective remedy commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and the more people who know about it and appreciate the benefits, the better. The earliest written documentation of Chinese cupping dates back three thousand years, when it was recommended for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Cupping is not exclusive to Chinese Medicine. Similar treatments have been used by ancient Egyptians, North American Indians, early Greeks, and in other Asian and European countries.

Cupping uses suction applied to glass, plastic or bamboo cups (they often look like glass jelly jars) to pull up the tissue in an affected area . The suction causes a negative pressure, and the underlying skin is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup. You’ll usually feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup, and that often feels very good. Cups are left in place for 5-20 minutes, and sometimes the cups are moved around on your back in a gliding motion. Cupping relaxes your muscles, stimulates blood flow, lymph, and Qi to the affected area and throughout your body.

One important thing to know about cupping is that although it is an effective, safe technique, you will probably be bruised afterwards. The cups leave distinctive pink, red or purple circles or streaks where they are placed. The skin discoloration may last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. Generally, the bruises don’t hurt, though occasionally they may be a little sore. I always recommend that my patients drink plenty of water and take an Epsom salts bath after a cupping treatment because the salts are anti-inflammatory and can help prevent or relieve soreness. Cupping can be repeated once the marks have cleared up.

Cupping is often combined with an acupuncture treatment, but can also be used alone. It’s wonderful for treating many conditions, including stress, pain relief, allergies, flu, colds, back pain, anxiety, muscle aches, red itchy skin conditions (cups are not placed on areas of the skin that are inflamed), and fevers. Cupping also enhances circulation and pull toxins from your body’s tissues.

To some people, this may sound like an unusual treatment, but once you try it, you’ll understand why cupping is winning fans among athletes, celebrities, and all the rest of us who want to remain active and feel great.

 

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ComfortSoul

5 Vital Reasons You Should Get Massages Regularly

By Melanie Bolen

massage-300x300

Listen: I know how difficult it can be to make time for a massage. I typically treat myself only once a month or so. As I’m booking my session, I question whether or not I really need it, could I be spending that money on something else, etc. And you know the horrible thing about this? I’m a massage therapist myself.

So I get why you might not get massaged as often as you should. But the thing is, I never regret it afterwards, and consider it money well spent. There’s a new study coming out every few weeks or months now it seems, scientifically confirming what we’ve known intuitively for literally hundreds of years: Massage shouldn’t be treated so much as a luxury, but as a part of one’s wellness plan, right alongside exercise and proper nutrition.

With that said, here’s five vital reasons you should book your next bodywork session in the near future:

1. Massage Reduces Anxiety and Stress

It’s said that the vast majority of diseases and their complications are brought on by anxiety and stress. Massage has been proven to lower cortisol levels in the body while increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, thus helping to alleviate the stress we suffer from day to day, and promoting perspective and clarity.

2. Massage Addresses Low Back Pain

Massage addresses a number of musculoskeletal issues, but let’s single out the leading cause of disability in the U.S. (according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010). Thirty-one million Americans are suffering low back pain at any given time, with over $50 million dollars spent every year spent on traditional medical treatment, worker’s compensation, and lost time from work. A 2011 study found that regular massage to the lower back can help alleviate pain, and it didn’t even matter whether it was deep tissue or lighter Swedish massage – bodywork in general to the low back is helpful.

3. Massage Enhances Immunity

Swedish and deep tissue massage promotes the movement of lymph, the body’s natural defense system.

4. Massage Reduces the Effects of Long Hours of Desk-Sitting and Driving

The most common responses I get when I ask clients what causes them the most pain are these two things. The average American worker sits 8-9 hour a day either at a computer or behind the wheel, causing shoulders to become pulled forward and rounded, upper and lower back muscles to become overstretched and weak, and that’s just what happens to the upper half of your body. Coupled with a regular exercise routine, massage can help alleviate pain, and keep those postural deviations in check.

5. Massage Helps Athletes Prepare and Recover from Events

Many of us aren’t just exercising regularly these days, but challenging ourselves with athletic events such as marathons and Iron Man competitions, and events like Tough Mudder. Massage to help recover from these events is great, but even better is incorporating it into your wellness program leading up to the big event. It will help reduce muscle soreness and tightness, and keep joints mobile and flexible.

Bonus Item!

6. Giving Massage Can Provide Just as Much Benefit and Receiving It

While I certainly do like job security, I also hate to hear when a client comes to me (and it’s almost always a female in this scenario) and complains that her spouse or boyfriend won’t give her a massage, or if he will, it’s a half-hearted five-minute one at best. Aside from the chance of bonding it provides for a couple, giving massage has been proven to lower cortisol and raise serotonin and dopamine levels in the giver as well. The most frequent excuse I hear when the guy is called out right in front of me (and yes, that happens more often than you might think) is “I’m horrible at it”. You’re probably not as horrible as you think. And if you really want some bonus points, there are a number of classes offered showing couples how to give the gift of massage to each other.

But you know, you should still make time to see your massage professional.

 

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ComfortSoul

Summer Spa Treatments

Via CosMedix 

Summer-relaxing

Great Ways to Treat Yourself and Tune Up Your Skin

With its sunny weather, carefree attitude and bright, bare-all wardrobe, summer truly is the season to be seen. No more hiding beneath layers of winter wear; now is the time to flaunt your skin and put your best face forward. And what better way to show off your skin than with a rejuvenating a trip to the spa?

Two of the first things that come to mind when we think of summer are beaches and bikinis. Images of lounging under the sun with toes buried in the sand, however, are often met with the anxiety that our skin still hasn’t come out of its winter hibernation. Fortunately, many spas offer special body treatments designed to fast-track your way to that beach bod.

Body Wraps

Seaweed and mud body wraps are a great way to target built-up toxins in the skin and, some claim, to even trim a few inches off your waistline. Also known as body cocoons, body wraps usually begin with light exfoliation. Next, detoxifying seaweed, algae, mud or clay is applied to the skin and the entire body is wrapped in special plastic, mylar or cloth sheets to trap the ingredients against the skin and help contour the body. Body wraps affect change through vasodilation, or expanding the blood vessels to increase blood flow, specifically to the skin. This helps expel heat, excess water (bloating) and toxins from the body, leaving it supple, smoother and slimmer looking.

Sunless Tanning

No one wants to hit the beach looking like a ghost, but before you sign up for that salon multi-session, consider a professional spray-on tan. Considerably safer than its harmful UV-bathing cousin, a pro glow can better pass for the real thing, mimicking your skin’s natural, sun-kissed tone (no ‘fake bake’ orange tint) and providing more even coverage than an electric bed (no pale ‘side lines’). Sunless tanning works by creating a darkening chemical reaction with dead cells on the skin’s surface. Depending on how quickly your skin renews itself, the effect can last anywhere from three to ten days. In addition to achieving a more natural looking, UV-free glow, some sunless bronzers also infuse the skin with essential vitamins, nutrients and anti-aging ingredients.

Masks and Facials

Because of the heat, humidity and sun, chemical peels and deep exfoliation are not recommended during the summer months. You can, however, refresh and rejuvenate your complexion with any number of lightly exfoliating masks and facial procedures. While not as dramatic as a peel, masks and facials can liven up dull, winter-weary skin and help soften the look of surface lines with dewy hydration.

And don’t be fooled into thinking a facial is just for the face. Many spas offer full body ‘facials,’ designed to exfoliate from head to toe, as well as targeted treatments for breakout-prone areas such as the back.

Pedicures

Sandals were made for summer. Whether laced-up, braided, closed or open-toed, these strappy accessories are meant to do one thing and one thing alone: show off your feet. Unless you’ve been pampering your pieds throughout the year, odds are your feet could use some refreshment. In answer to this ten-digit dilemma, most spas offer comprehensive pedicure or mani/pedi packages, designed to soften, smooth and give a splash of color to feet and toes that are just now seeing the light of day. While regular scrubbing and softening is a great way to get in shape for sandal weather, limit the amount of nail painting to once a month and opt for lighter shades, which won’t stain nails yellow like their darker-hued counterparts.

 

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ComfortSoul

Don’t Forget the Sunscreen

Written By Jessica Chitrabhiboolya

Sunscreen Women

Sunscreen should be one of the most important items in your skincare regimen. As the earth’s ozone layer is depleting and skin cancer rates on the rise and sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer. It is essential took in the fight against skin cancer with its UV blocking abilities can help keep skin safe from harmful sun rays. Ultraviolet rays such as UVA and UVB are the most harmful to the skin. Be sure to apply at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and don’t forget to reapply ever hour to maintain coverage. Ladies, try to find a foundation, powder or BB cream with added sunscreen to lessen the products in your makeup bag. The sun’s rays are able to penetrate through to your skin even when the sun isn’t even out. Here are some tips for using sunscreen:

–          Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher with UVA and UVB protection

–          Apply evenly to avoid certain areas from getting burnt or blotchy

–          Wearing sunscreen helps prevent wrinkles and brown spots

–          Avoid tanning parlors and artificial tanning devices

–          Where hats and protective clothing when possible

–          Do not used expired sunscreens as ingredients begin to degrade over time

Your skin is the most important part of your body; let’s make sure we take care of it!

 

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ComfortSoul

DIY Body Toning Cream

Revised from Turnberry Isle Miami’s DIY Toning Body Cream by Jackie Burns Brisman for SpaFinder

Between short-shorts and bikini bottoms we’re showing a lot more skin in the summertime and for some of us it’s not exactly comfortable territory thanks to the dreaded appearance of cellulite. In fact many of us, if not most of us, regardless of our body-type can be plagued with cellulite and while there’s no be-all-end-all cure for these not-so-cute derriere dimples there are measures you can take to decrease the appearance. Thanks to the Turnberry Isle Miami and its Forbes-Rated Four Star Spa & Fitness Center we’re sharing a great DIY recipe for toning and tightening your skin and getting it ready for whatever itsy-bitsy item of clothing you want to throw on! This easy to make and easy to use booster helps to activate circulation while ridding the appearance of cellulite and removing dead skin cells – try to use it AM and PM just like you would use a store-bought cellulite-fighting cream.

Coffee & Coconut Oil Booster
½ cup of coffee powder
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (olive oil can be substituted)

1. Mix the coffee powder and oil in a bowl.
2. Use hands to massage mixture in a circular motion.

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ComfortSoul

Meditation as Therapy

Meditation is an art that requires one to focus 100% of their attention inwards clearing the conscious mind. Though, the history of meditation is intimately bound to religious elements, the practice has been researched at many accredited institution with positive results in health and mental health including improved concentration, reduced anxiety and a general well-being.

At glance meditation may seems easy, but many beginners fail to continue the practice long term. This is because large percentage don’t start with the mindset needed to continue the practice. Just sitting in silence seems easy, but the mind and body will wander. The practice of meditation is an active process that requires constant engagement with one’s own mind.

Both meditation and massage have been found to produce therapeutic effects. Offering a meditation class before massage sessions can enhance the spa experience and attract more customers. Hiring a meditation teacher can be a good option but because the practice is so unregulated you should make sure to do research on the individual to be hired. Other options could be going back to the religious elements and take a few free meditation classes at a local temple to gain insight to the practice.

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ComfortSoul