Confessions of a Wax-Fearing Drama Queen

Alright, I admit it. Getting waxed is not my strongest suit. On my life skills list, it falls somewhere in between reaching things on the top shelf and trigonometry. It’s not something I’m proud of. I will say, I am half Mexican, first generation, so those roots run pretty deep (puns always intended). The struggle is real for me – every new esthetician that I see asks me what my ethnic background is, because I look like your average white girl until you’re up close and personal.

Is this too much information for you already? If so, I suggest you stop reading now, because it’s about to get even realer.

My first waxing experience happened on a table in my friend’s dorm room, featuring sugar wax, someone who may not have been licensed, and a bucket to catch my tears. Needless to say, I hobbled away bruised to high heaven with a patchy bikini line and a waxing phobia to haunt me for all eternity.

I am so not one of those women who scoffs at waxes, saying “I don’t even feel it anymore”. I don’t think I will ever be such a seasoned veteran, though I envy the lack of nerve endings that must make this sensation possible. Not gonna lie, it hurts, every single time. I get nervous like I’m about to sing the National Anthem at the Superbowl before I go in, and I start sweating through my shirt as soon as I get on the table.

BUT I have learned some tricks along the way that have taken me from trembling baby chihuahua on the waxing table to wincing wonder with a wax in the books every 5 weeks, and they’re coming at you live:


1. EXHALE

The power of breathing is a wonderful thing. It works in daily aggravations, child delivery, meditation, etc etc. Not so long ago, I learned this trick that has actually changed my hairless life: When the esthetician is applying the wax, deeply inhale. Right before the strip is pulled, begin a long, steady exhale that continues until the strip is gone. Focus on the breathing and find your om. It really is amazing. I’m not saying “you don’t even feel anything!”, but it’s certainly the closest I’ve ever come to it.


2. PREPARE

Help yourself out with some ibuprofen or a shot of tequila. It definitely works, no matter what the haters say.


3. IN N OUT

No, not the burger place (not that I’d disagree with treating yourself after a little wax). The greatest gift an esthetician can give, in my humble opinion, is a quickie wax. I was in a bind last week in desperate need of some hair removal. I booked a Lotus Wax with our very own Chrissy Dress, esthetician extraordinaire and fitness guru on the side. I kid you not, this woman had me in and out of her room in 7 minutes flat. That’s including dressing, undressing, cleanup, and coaching/entertaining me through it all (her stories can actually distract you from the fact that hair is being ripped out of your tender little body). She was professional, hilarious, and lightening fast, which you know I appreciate most of all.

4. EXFOLIATE
My Mexicanness is real, especially in the ingrown hair department. I’ve tried all the serums, creams and sticks that my bank account can support, and here’s what I’ve found. You need a one-two punch if you really want to nix the ingrowns for good – exfoliation and prevention (see next). First, grab yourself an exfoliating glove or towel for the shower. If you’ve got a serious situation downstairs, start by using it daily with your body wash all over. Later on, you can switch to using it twice a week. It’s amazing for getting rid of dead skin cells that are trapping the ingrown hairs, leaving you buffed and beautiful. Your ingrowns will start to expose themselves, not to mention the rest of your body will feel like a baby’s bottom. Throw it in the laundry with your towels on hot weekly to make sure it’s nice and clean.

5. PREVENT
Even though you feel like you’re the ingrown exterminator come shower time (just me?), exfoliating is not enough. You need to fortify your efforts with some product to leave on the skin throughout the day or night. I recommend the PFB Vanish, a roll-on gel (no cleanup) that specifically targets screw-shaped hair that winds itself into the skin. Apply twice a day if you’re in cleanup mode, or once a day if you’re merely trying to prevent ingrowns. This stuff works fast (within 48 hrs) – a trait that I’m into when it comes to body hair maintenance if you can’t tell. This also works wonders on the beard area, so le boyfriend can use it too!

6. HELP YOURSELF OUT

  • Shower. Come in nice and clean. It helps the wax stick in all the right places, prevents bacteria from entering hair follicles, and keeps our estheticians keep doing what they’re doing and not switching careers.
  • Wait until your hair is at least 1/2 inch long (aka a pinky nail’s length) to get waxed, otherwise you’ll go through all the drama of a wax and walk out still hairy. Wax needs substantial hair to attach to, so grow it a little. If you’re a first timer with a hippie situation going on, give the whole region a trim down to 1/2 inch, trust me.
  • Don’t even think about shaving in between!! Put down the razor. Gone are the days of stubble in your nether regions – your hair will grow in slower, finer, and less aggressively all around. The first wax is always the most painful, because the hair is coarse and the roots are deep. As soon as you shave in between waxes, you basically start over. Give yourself (and your water bill) a break and stop shaving!
  • If you’re using feminine washes (which I do not recommend for a host of reasons), beware. They cause the wax to adhere to your skin, not your hair, so be sure to stop the feminine washes at least 2 days before the wax.
  • Try to get your bikini area waxed in the middle of your cycle. The closer you are to that magical time of month, the more painful it will probably be. If you’re in a bind and need that last minute wax before vacation, mentally prepare.

Let me know if you have any additional questions, concerns, fears, or even your own horror stories. I’m always here to talk at lauren@rescuespa.net!

xo Lauren

What’s the deal with Biolift?

Biolift is essentially one giant upgrade to your traditional classic facial here at Rescue, and here’s why: electricity!! In the City of Brotherly Love, where our own Ben Franklin first harnessed the electric power of lightening, we here at Rescue are doing essentially the same for your face.

Sound a little intense for you? I thought so too. So I booked myself a Biolift with our very own esthetician Joanna Kula (Ben Franklin was booked for the day) to test it out – her credentials are pretty stacked, so I knew I was in good hands.

We started with a little Lait U cleanse, which for the record feels 1000 times better when a professional applies it. Joanna followed with the Valmont Face Scrub, full of tiny exfoliating granules that left my face feeling buffed clean and new, not to mention it smells like a dream. Of course, the ever-renowned P50 1970 followed. Joanna basically gave my face a bath in this toner, pressing the drenched cotton round into my skin to really deliver the product (a technique I’ve been trying to replicate). I can’t actually afford to spread that much P50 on myself every day, nor does Joanna recommend it, but for the occasional facials, the P50 party on my face felt phenomenal.

Then for the big shebang: the Biolift!!!

The electric current is delivered through two sponges that Joanna keeps in constant motion on the face. In areas that could use a little extra love, like the eyes, frown lines, jawline or the brow, she plumps the skin by using a pumping motion to really activate the muscles. That’s the sweet thing about Biolift – the electric current activates muscles in the face, penetrating the layers of the skin. Joanna explained it like this: Biolift is like going to the gym. If you work your muscles at the gym one time, you aren’t going to see lasting results. But if you go all the time, your muscles will build. And when its muscles on your face you’re beefing up, that means bye bye sagging skin, hello cheekbones!

And if you’re closer to my age and don’t quite have wrinkles that need filling or a jawline that needs tightening, fear not!! Biolift is still an amazing service for you. Not only will those few stress lines be filled for your big event – like seriously by permanent brow furrow was erased – but you will walk out of there with glowing, radiant skin. My face felt baby soft (it still does, a week later), fuller in all the right places, and finally hydrated possibly for the first time in my life. And it’s all thanks to the fact that Biolift’s electric currents send the products already on the skin even deeper into the epidermis – more so than a normal facial could. And who couldn’t benefit from that?

I cannot stress how beneficial Biolift is for younger women, as well as women with more mature skin. If you don’t believe me, take it from Joanna, who says “It is a great preventative treatment, especially for those who want to avoid plastic surgery later on. It helps to combat not only the effects of gravity on the face, but also helps stimulate collagen production, which is the reason why skin becomes saggy in the first place. Women start to lose collagen very rapidly in their 30s and it just goes downhill from there, which is why prevention is the so important early on.”

Boom.

After the Biolift treatment, she spread Oligo-Proteines Marines Serum over my skin (amazing for dark circles), followed by Vip O2 Creme (light and oxygenating), finished with Serum Fluide VIP O2 for that million dollar glow.

 

If you’ve got a big night out on the horizon, I cannot recommend this service more. It’s the perfect quick lift for any special occasion that will have people begging you for your skincare regimen. In the wise words of that guy from Men’ Warehouse, “You’re gonna like the way you look. I guarantee it.”

 

Feel free to reach out to me directly with any inquires at lauren@rescuespa.net

xo Lauren

CellTeint: the unicorn of tinted moisturizers

I’ll be honest with you, I’ve never met a tinted moisturizer I like. They’re either all moisture and no tint, or they provide some strange form of streaky coverage that never quite sits right on my skin. I always have the distinct feeling while I’m applying tinted moisturizers (or any foundation for that matter) that I’m just reversing the skincare efforts I work so hard to maintain. But a girl needs coverage, plain and simple.

Is there no hope for the makeup-wearing, skin-conscious women of the world??

Fear not, because I’ve found the solution: CellTeint by Cellcosmet. Thank the powers that be for Swiss research, because they’ve produced the happiest medium I didn’t think was possible.

I used shade 01 Opal #palegirlproblems

CellTeint is awesome because it’s more than your wannabe tinted moisturizers. It’s ultra hydrating while it actively revitalizes the skin with bio-integral cells that fire all day long. That’s Swiss skincare jargon for anti-aging to the max – it actually plumps and firms the skin. How amazing is that?

Much to my surprise, this tinted moisturizer applies beautifully and evenly, and it self-adjusts to your specific skin tone. CellTeint is strong enough to provide buildable coverage for those areas that need a little extra help (we’ve all got em). And it leaves the skin with a healthy, hydrated glow — so much so that Danuta complimented my skin. That’s like Anna Wintour telling you “Cute shoes”. When she says it, you know it’s real.

What’s even better is that it feels fantastic when you apply. CellTeint left my skin tingling for about an hour after I applied it, almost like P50 does. Not in an uncomfortable way, just a nice little reminder that my skin was alive, awake and working – and for me to feel any of those things before 8am is nothing short of a small miracle. That’s the bio-cells working for ya.

It stayed on evenly all day long and never settled into my pores or fine lines, unlike most foundations I’ve ever tried. And I didn’t feel like I was clogging up my skin with makeup because CellTeint has active minerals that nourish and hydrate the skin, while making it look flawless.

Can you tell I’m a fan?

One caveat I will say is that Cellcosmet is a line generally geared towards more mature skin than mine. As a 23 year old saying this, that’s a huge margin, so don’t let that make you feel bad. CellTeint is keratinizing, which is great for skin that could use more plumping and firming. Unfortunately for me, the formula was a little too rich for me to use this product every day, but it is perfect for skin a bit more mature than mine so don’t let that dissuade you! I would bathe in this stuff every day if I could.

So come on in and see what all the hype is about, or just visit our online store at shoprescuespa.com, conveniently open 24hrs a day at your fingertips 🙂

 

xo Lauren

 

Photography: Lauren McGrath, all rights reserved

New Blood

Newest member of Beauty Aficionado

Hi readers!

My name is Lauren McGrath, and I’m a new contributing blogger here at Beauty Aficionado.

I recently joined the Rescue family, and I’m excited for my new role as guinea pig for all things Rescue: from aromatherapy to zapping cellulite and everything in between. I am here to review the products and services Rescue Spa has to offer for your reading pleasure, and I promise, you can expect full disclosure from me.

I am a photographer and a makeup girl through and through, so I know a thing or two about the beauty industry. But BioLift? E-matrix? Konjac Sponges? Oxygenation? P50? VelaShape? It’s all sounding more Star Wars than Sephora to me, and suddenly I
feel like I don’t know so much…

So I formally invite you to join me here in my exploration of the multitude of services and products that Rescue has to offer. My Notre Dame degree is holding up less and less – this right here is going to be an education.

Again, I promise total honesty in my reviews, and I hope that you’ll leave comments about what you’d like me to cover as well!

That’s not just fluff, I mean that. I mean it so much that I’m making this second promise to you: anything you ask me to review here at Rescue, I will do. Especially the services that may have scared you away in the past. That’s giving you a whooole lot of power there, faithful reader, so use it wisely. I am #1 baby when it comes to pain tolerance, (just ask my mom) so you know I’ll keep it real in my feedback. That’s right, whatever you are wondering about, I promise to try.

Even the infamous upper lip threading.

Even micro puncture needles to the face.

Even pedicures…(I hate people touching my feet)

I sincerely hope you’ll benefit from some of my posts and, if I do my job right, maybe get inspired to come in and try something new!

You know where to find us

 

xo Lauren

 

Photographer: Victoria Roggio

Beat the heat & humidity!

With the temperatures heating up and the sun shining long into the evening, it’s safe to say that summer is upon us.  If you feel like you’ve been stuck in a rut take the opportunity to embrace summer as the perfect time to revisit your beauty & skincare routines.  The heat & humidity may bring seemingly endless beauty challenges but don’t fret, we’ll keep you looking cool and collected all summer long. First things first, we all know how important it is to wear broad spectrum sun protection.  Hopefully by now you don’t even think twice about wearing a daily sunscreen on your face and anywhere that your body is exposed to direct sunlight.  But did you know that SPF has an expiration?  If you planned on using the same sunscreens you used last season  I strongly recommend you throw them away and start fresh.  Often times these products sit in your beach bag and endure temperatures and light exposure that are not conducive to normal shelf life. It’s just not worth the risk.  After all using an SPF that is expired defeats the purpose since we can no longer depend on it to protect us from the sun’s harmful rays. While we’re on the topic I know there are those of you who feel as though you’ve sacrificed an enviable golden glow in the name of remaining sun savvy and skin cancer free.  Believe it or not there are a number of ways to achieve that sun kissed glow without the harmful effects of nasty UVA/B’s.  Institut Esthederm’s line of sun care (Adaptasun) is a special patented formula that protects the skin from harmful rays yet allows you to get a bit of color. It’s not your traditional sunblock. Adaptasun actually teaches your skin cells to rev up melanin production hence you obtain a bit of color and utilize your skin’s natural defenses. It’s been a favorite in France for many years and now we’re lucky enough to have it stateside! If you are like me you are already in the habit of dodging the sun so you are porcelain white year round. Yet you’d like a bit of color for summer and those orange spray tans just won’t do. At Rescue we offer a treatment that requires absolutely no work for you other than scheduling a “bronze & buff” appointment! Leave it to our estheticians to scrub & buff your entire body before evenly applying a light, natural looking self tanner that is never streaky. **A very popular treatment for summer brides! The most common question I receive this time of year is “What moisturizer should I be using?” It is a personal preference yet the best rule of thumb is to use something lighter than you used during the winter. I prefer moisturizers with a gel consistency like Biologique Recherche’s ADN Silkgen and Institut Esthederm’s Cellular Water Gel. These are both great for all skin types, hydrate beautifully, yet they do not leave the skin slick or greasy. If your skin is oily and the sweat and humidity are making it seem impossible to stay matte then you’ll want to try switching cleansers to something gentle yet effective such as Sebuwash and incorporating Shine Control Fluid. You may also find that in the summer less is more and all you really need is a multi-tasking serum such as Cellular Concentrate. Wearing this beneath an SPF during the day is a smart way to maintain healthy skin all summer long. If you aren’t diligent about applying a daily SPF and/or you find that they make you breakout try switching to UV incellium spray. It has the equivalent of an SPF 8+ and doesn’t add an extra layer of goop to your face! A great alternative for anyone who is blackhead/breakout prone. Wearing makeup can be pretty tricky in the summer but there are some little tricks that keep it simple.

  1. Switch foundations for tinted moisturizers. My favorite is a multitasking tinted moisturizer by Dr. Dennis Gross that is available for all skin tones and even incorporates an SPF. It honestly doesn’t get any easier than this!
  2. Better than waterproof mascara and eyeliner, switch yours to Blinc. They simply do not run and better yet they are very easy to remove.
  3. Bronzers can be intimidating at first but with the guidance of our makeup artist Maria Gulraiz you can highlight your best facial features, look naturally sun kissed, and define your cheekbones in minutes. (Schedule a consultation: 215.772.2766)
  4. Keep blotting tissues in your handbag. These will come in handy when you feel a bit oily or begin to sweat.
  5. Find a new summer palette to keep your look fresh. This season I’m loving Chantecaille’s Coral Reefs Palette.

Last but certainly not least is the most important beauty trick of all. Drink plenty of water. Hydrate often, stay cool, stay sun savvy, and have a happy summer! Esthetician and Owner of Rescue Rittenhouse Spa, Danuta Mieloch

Philadelphia Magazine’s 50 Best Gifts in Philly: #4. Rescue Spa Gift Certificate!

Philadelphia Magazine “The List Issue”: 50 Best Gifts in Philly

#4. Rescue Spa Gift Certificate

“She’ll get: three hours at the spa (a facial, massage, mani/pedi).  You’ll get: three hours of anything you want to watch on TV. (Warning: The gift card is refillable.) Weekend Escape Package, $250 at Rescue Spa, 1601 Walnut Street, Third Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102, 215.772.2766, www.rescuespa.net