THE FIFTEEN BIGGEST SUNSCREEN MISTAKES – PART 3

OK…we’ve finally reached the third and final installment of our sunscreen mistakes series.  Here’s the last few!

11. You chose an SPF that’s too low – Yes, tanning oil with SPF 8 technically is sunscreen, but it’s just not enough protection.  The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15.  But should you go higher?  Some say the often-pricier high-SPF sunscreens are a waste of money, since they don’t provide much more protection—SPF 30 blocks 97% of rays, while SPF 50 blocks just 1% more. However, they do have some benefit in the sense that they absorb more free radical producing energy.  However, before you reach for the SPF 100 consider this – the super-high SPFs can provide a false sense of security, like you’re protected for longer but, remember, you need to reapply just as often as you would an SPF 30.

12. You don’t reapply often enough – It may feel like you did your due diligence by applying sunscreen once, but it’s not a day-long cloak of immunity. Reapplying it just as important as putting it on in the first place. So, how often should it be reapplied?  Every 80 minutes, even if it’s water-resistant – no exceptions.

13. You use an old bottle – If you’re using enough sunscreen when applying—remember that shot glass-worth, or those two coats of spray?—then having bottles leftover from years past shouldn’t be much of an issue. But if you happen to have sunscreen that’s been lingering for two years or more, chuck it – it can lose its effectiveness over time.

14. You skip it if you’re going to be in the shade – Seeking solace under a beach umbrella or an awning near the pool doesn’t mean you’re getting adequate protection from the sun.  Why?  Because sand and water both reflect damaging rays, and 34% of UV radiation gets through when you’re under a beach umbrella, which means that you’ll still have to apply sunscreen if you’re sitting under cover because, even if you don’t get a sunburn, you’re still getting UV exposure.

15. You don’t protect your eyes – Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement—they’re critical to keeping your eyes safe from UV rays. Make sure your sunglasses offer UV protection, because some inexpensive styles don’t have the protective coating.  Without it, the dark lenses actually allow your pupils to dilate, allowing even more UV rays in, which can play a big role in cataract development.  The upside here is this…now you got a GREAT health reason to buy a pair of nice shades!

source: healthyliving.msn.com

THE 15 BIGGEST SUNSCREEN MISTAKES – PART 2

Are YOU making any of these VERY common sunscreen mistakes?  See for yourself – here’s mistakes 6-10  (See mistakes 1-5 here), as well as some pointers on how to do it right!

6. You use a body formula on your face - It’s not just a marketing gimmick: There is a difference between face- and body-specific sunscreens.  Facial skin is generally more sensitive to irritation than body skin, so face formulations have been tested to cause less irritation and not trigger acne.  So, if you’re acne-prone or sensitive, avoid the body versions for your face, especially the dry-touch sprays—they’re absolutely full of alcohol, which is very drying and irritating for facial skin.

7. You only use it when it’s nice out - No, no no!!! It may seem counterintuitive to slather on sunscreen on a gray or drizzly day, but you can get UV exposure without ever seeing the sun in the sky.  In fact, eighty percent of UV rays still come through on cloudy days, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, so don’t let the weather dictate your sunscreen use.

8. You don’t use enough – Have you ever heard that old rule about using a “shot glass worth of sunscreen” (approx 1.5 ounces) every time you apply?  Well, turns out that’s pretty much right on the mark!  However, now that more of us are opting for continuous spray formulas, it can be hard to tell if we’re really getting enough coverage. To make sure you’re using sprays correctly, hold the can six inches from skin and spray nonstop until you can see the moisture covering the entire area.  Then rub it in—even if the bottle says you don’t have to—so you don’t miss spots, and then repeat the spray a second time.

9. You think you’re safe indoors or in cars - Unless you choose to spend your time in a windowless bunker, you’re not protected from UV rays when you’re inside.  Driving can be a major source of incidental exposure – the windows and windshield block UVB rays so you don’t see a sunburn, but those sneaky UVA seeps right on in, and that’s the spectrum that causes most skin aging and skin cancer.  Your best bet is to apply sunscreen every morning, then feel free to sit by a window or take a drive! At the very least, try a moisturizer with SPF so you’re not adding a step to your daily routine.

10. You don’t use a broad-spectrum formula - It used to be that many sunscreens only blocked UVB rays, which are the high-energy kind responsible for sunburns. But shielding against UVA rays is just as important because they penetrate the skin more deeply, are constant throughout the year, and cause premature aging.  Umm, yeah…no thanks! To be fully covered, look for sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum,” which means they thwart both types of rays. And, good news: these formulas are increasingly becoming the norm.

Make sure to be on the lookout for part 3 – it’ll contain mistakes 11-15 along with – you guessed it – more ways on how to do it right!

 

source: healthyliving.msn.com

The 15 Biggest Sunscreen Mistakes – Part 1

We all know that wearing sunscreen is what we’re supposed to do but…

…ARE YOU DOING IT RIGHT???

In case you weren’t aware, there is more to it – that being the science of sunscreen application – than gracefully avoiding the spraying of it into your mouth and/or eyes…again.

We’ve got 15 tips and tricks for you – here’s the first five!

1. You wait until you’re outside to apply sunscreen – How many people have you seen get to the beach, spread out their blankets, strip down to their swimsuits, and then start slathering away?  What should they/you be doing instead?  Applying your sunscreen 30 minutes prior to exposure – that way, it has time to get absorbed and start working…and so you don’t get UV exposure for those first few minutes when your skin is vulnerable.

2. You apply sunscreen around your clothes – Skin cancer can strike anywhere, so it’s best to apply sunscreen when you’re buck naked. Otherwise, if you already have a swimsuit or clothing on, you’ll be much more likely to apply it gingerly so you don’t get it on your clothes which, in turn, makes it all that much easier to miss a spot or not apply liberally enough.  So, strip down in front of a full-length mirror and slather away – this will help ensure that you get all those tricky sports, like the middle of your back and the backs of your legs.

3. You don’t protect your lips – Just like the rest of your skin, your lips are vulnerable to UV rays, too, so it’s extremely important to use sunscreen on your mouth. But, don’t use the same stuff you use on the rest of your body – it tastes weird and won’t last that long on your lips anyway.  Instead, try a lip balm with SPF, which is thicker and stays on longer.  Reapply often, since talking, eating, and drinking removes the balm.

4. You miss other key spots – Think you can smear sunscreen on your nose like a 1950′s lifeguard and be covered? Unfortunately, there are lot of less-obvious areas people tend to forget – and they’re just as important to protect.  The most commonly missed areas are toes and feet, including the bottoms of your feet; underarms; back of the neck under the hairline; ears, especially the tops and back of your ears; eyelids; and inner upper arms.  Put that stuff everywhere.

5. You sweat (or rinse) it all off – The small print on your sunscreen label matters, so make sure you’re choosing the right sunscreen for your activity, especially if that activity involves sweat, a pool, or the ocean.  A water-resistant formulation for swimming or activities where you’ll perspire is a must, because non-water-resistant formulas will just slide right off.  Plus, non-water-resistant formulas tend to migrate into eyes and sting, whereas water-resistant ones won’t.

Stay tuned for our next post – we’ll have five more of the most common sunscreen mistakes, as well as how to make it right!

 

 source: healthyliving.msn.com

Get Your Skin Ready for Summer!

After being covered up ALL.WINTER.LONG. our skin sometimes needs a little “boost” to get whipped into shape for the summer months.  Here’s a few of people’s biggest woes, along with some quick tips on how to get your summer glow on.

 

Dull, Scaly Skin – If you neglected to moisturize and exfoliate regularly over the course of the cold, dry winter, you may find yourself with parched, lackluster skin come spring.  To tackle this problem, use a sugar scrub two to three times a week to gently exfoliate.  Then, lightly towel dry and apply a moisturizing lotion or cream, which will penetrate your skin better after you’ve sloughed off that flaky, dead layer.

Wondering what to do about breakouts on your chest and back? Well, first know that it happens when your clothing traps sweat and oil — because you were working out or bundled up in layers — it can mix with dead skin and bacteria in your pores to form pimples. Use a body wash with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to kill bacteria and unclog pores and consider applying an alphahydroxy peel three nights a week, which helps get rid of any lingering redness once the pimples are gone.

To wrap things up for today, let’s tackle rough feet and cracked heels.  After a season of stomping around in boots and skimping on pedicures, your soles may be a little worse for wear, with dry, dead layers of skin that not only look bad but can be quite painful as well.  To rid yourself of this woe, apply a lightweight foot lotion in the morning to soften the skin, and then soak feet in Epsom salts for 10 minutes in the evening. Then rub them with a grainy scrub, slather with a thick cream, and cover with socks.

Now that you know the tricks, you’ll have summer ready skin and feet all year long!

 

source: lhj.com

Not Sure What to Wear to That Wedding on Saturday? Read This First!

When it comes to dressing for a wedding, don’t be afraid to show your personal style, just be mindful that in addition to the wedding being a party, it is a significant ceremony and right of passage. So, keep these simple tips below in mind, and you will have no problem dressing to impress!

1. Avoid wearing white: Unless you are invited to a white-themed wedding, don’t take attention away from the bride by showing up in a white gown. Trust us, people will talk!

2. Don’t wear anything too short or too low-cut: Even worse, don’t wear something that is both too short and too low-cut. We’ve all seen those guests who spend the entire night tugging their dresses down and then adjusting them back up only to have to repeat the process over and over again. Again, trust us…other guests will notice.

3. Ladies, wear appropriate undergarments: In other words, please wear underwear, or Spanx, or something under your dress. This is especially important if you decide to wear something short. (see item number two above). There’s been too many ladies out on the dance floor showing off WAAAAYYYY more than they intended. Or at least we hope that’s the case.

4. Take cues from the wedding invitation about the formality of the event: Is the invitation itself formal or casual? Does the wedding take place after six o’clock or during the day? Is the ceremony in a house of worship or an outdoor setting? These are all indicators of how you should dress. Formal invitation equals formal attire. After six usually means to dress more formally than during the day. Churches, synagogues and even hotel ballrooms tend to be more formal than a park, garden or a beach. If you absolutely cannot figure out how to dress by looking at the invitation, don’t be shy. It’s better to ask the bride, groom or their families than show up in something that sticks out like a sore thumb.

5. Don’t wear casual clothes to a formal wedding: It’s so awkward to be dressed for a sporting event while everyone else is dressed in cocktail attire. End of discussion.

6. Don’t wear formal clothes to a casual wedding: Being overdressed for a wedding is just as uncomfortable as being underdressed. You may also inadvertently detract from the wedding party if you are dressier than they are.

7. Wear appropriate shoes: It never fails that many ladies will show up at beach or garden weddings in stiletto-heeled shoes. Walking through the sand or sinking into the lawn is horribly uncomfortable and makes you look like a fool. If you want to wear those stylish heels, bring an extra pair of flats to make sure that you can glide through the grass.

Have fun at the wedding…and have a slice of cake for us!

 

source: huffingtonpost.com

Mother’s Day Is On Its Way!!!

What’s even better than getting this…

…inked on your body in an attempt to show “MOM” just how much you love her???

A UTOPIA GIFT CERTIFICATE, OF COURSE!!!

Why?

Well, because she can use for SO.MANY.THINGS!!!

From mani’s and pedi’s to facials, massages, and all day “Spa Days”, Utopia gift cards are the PERFECT solution to your Mother’s Day gifting woes.

So, stop in TODAY to pick up your gift certificate…and make your mom the happiest mom in the whole world!

Keep Your Color Rich and Vibrant

Want to keep your fresh-from-the-salon-color looking ah-mazing? Here’s a few quick tips to keep that color looking rich and vibrant!

1. Sulfate-free shampoo is a great way to deal with fading hair color without having to give up your habits so go through your favorite brands and choose a sulfate-free shampoo to replace your regular one with. These shampoos can be used on daily basis and will remove excess sebum and impurities without removing the color as well although you might want to throw in a clarifying shampoo once in a while, just to make sure the product build-up is removed as well.

2. Alcohol based products can speed up the fading process as well so it’s best not to use them in summer when you know that your hair will be exposed to direct sunlight. The upside to this is that there are many wonderful alcohol-free products available nowadays which means that you won’t have to give up your favorite up-dos and hairstyles.

3. Color depositing products such as shampoos and conditioners are also one of many good ways to keep your hair color from fading and make sure it stays vibrant until the next coloring. Many tests conducted in this area have proved these products quite effective and the best thing is that you don’t have to spend big bucks to own a color depositing shampoo, conditioner or both!

4. Protecting your hair while you’re chilling on the beach, getting your tan on in a tanning bed or chilling by the pool is a must-do in case you want to avoid fading hair color! Use a high SPF conditioner to protect your strands against those dangerous, harmful UV rays when on the beach or tanning salon and prevent them from soaking up a lot of chlorine (when taking a dip in the pool) by saturating your hair with a conditioner and clean water before you jump in.

5. Damaged and dry hair won’t be able to retain added hair color and if you’ve ever tried to go from bleached blonde to pretty much any other color you know how hard that is! Yup, if your hair is a mess, the color will simply bleed out! The solution? Hair care! Meticulous, constant, aggressive hair care! Why? Because healthy hair retains more of the original color enabling you to look great with less touch-ups!

Follow these steps and you’re sure to have amazing color all year long!

 

tips provided by allwomenstalk.com

Hair Brushes – More than Meets the Eye

Have you ever wondered why you can never seem to quite recreate the style that you walked out of the salon with once you’re at home? We all know that our stylists are artists who can often times coax our hair into doing things we would never dream possible. They have years of training and experience on their side and we have…well…for some of us, all we’ve got is a hair dryer and a Goody comb/pick combo that was purchased sometime back in the ‘90’s.

However, our hairstyling pros also have tools – and not just any tools, either…they have the right tools to make our hair do exactly what they want it to do and, sometimes (actually, LOTS of times), those tools boil down to nothing more than a brush or comb. But, let’s be clear – it’s not just any brush or comb…it’s the RIGHT one for YOUR hair.

That’s right, there’s more than one type out there. We’ll give you a minute to digest that little nugget of information.

 

…{waiting}…

 

Whether you have long, short, straight, curly, unruly, or flat hair, there’s a brush (yep, we’re just going to focus on brushes today) specifically designed to help you achieve the look you’re after. So, for the time being, step away from the curling irons and straighteners and see what you’re able to achieve with a new brush!

Here’s a handy “brush guide” to help you with the rest of this post!

Looking to flip your ends? Try out a brush like #1 in the photo, which has a ceramic, hourglass shaped barrel. The ceramic nature of the barrel traps heat in order to drastically cut down on drying time (thereby causing less damage to your hair) and the shape contours to your head to both add volume at the roots and curl the ends.

Got normal to thin hair? Try a brush like #2! The ventilated barrel distributes heat evenly and speeds up drying time, while the nylon bristles help create the much sought after volume that we crave.

If you’re dealing with uber thick hair, look for a brush like #3. It has a mixture of nylon and boar bristles to help tame your unruly strands. Also, we’re not going to lie – some of these brushes are extremely expensive, with price tags exceeding $150. However, your stylist should be able to help you find a pocketbook friendly solution.

For layers and bangs, try a boar bristle brush like #4. The flexibility of the boar hair allows for multiple styling techniques and, when drying, the brush will evenly distribute the moisture in your hair to prevent over drying. And, since this particular brush is smaller in size, it’s great for using on shorter layers and bangs.

Trying to go green in all aspects of your life? Opt for a brush made from bamboo, like #5.

If it’s a quick(er) blow dry that you’re in search of, a thermal round brush (#6) is what you need – the ceramic barrel and nylon bristles drastically cut down on dry time and also help to bring out your hair’s natural shine. It’s also wise to opt for a comfy, non-slip grip – there’s no reason your hands should suffer any more than they have to.

For those of you with medium to thick hair who are looking for a straight, smooth finish with just the right amount of volume, then brush #7 is for you! A brush like this with nylon bristles helps to get good hold of your hair AND control the shape as you dry. Using one with high quality boar bristles will also add shine and close the hair cuticle, yielding an amazingly straight finish.

If shine in your hair is as elusive as a three dollar bill, try a finishing brush like #8. The boar bristles in a finishing brush should easily brush through all hair types and will make those tresses shine!

Added life can be achieved via a brush similar to that of #9. The ceramic barrel traps heat to set your hair and add lift at the roots.

And, let’s not forget about static – there’s nothing worse than static-y, stand on hair during the cold winter months. So, when you need a quick brush through during the day, try a brush like #10, that comes with negatively charged ionic bristles that work to smooth without adding a bit of static.

So, there ‘ya have it – Brushes 101. However, be forewarned – if you haven’t noticed already, a lot of these brushes look quite similar but come complete with variances in shape, barrel type, and bristles so, once you read through the above and know what it is that you’re looking for, you can go brush shopping with the knowledge and confidence to get the job done right.

The Best Brows for YOU

Just like a haircut, eyebrows are NOT one size fits all! Your perfect brow depends on your face shape and dimensions, meaning that thin, high-arched brows aren’t for all.  The symmetry of your brow can do everything from elongate the appearance of a round face to help balance out features associated with heart shaped faces.  So, to help you find the best brow shape for YOUR face, here’s a few quick tips:

If you have a round face like Mindy Kaling, a slightly fuller brow combined with a gentle, medium arch should be the shape you’re aiming for.

To keep all those heart-shaped faces out there looking as young and polished as Reese, opt for a low arched, slightly rounded brow.

Have a longer, oval shaped faced like Liv Tyler? If so, go for a flat, straight eyebrow shape – doing so will soften and shorten longer facial features.

Balance out the strong jawline associated with square faces (think Jennifer Garner or Demi Moore) by going with a slightly thicker, gently arched brow. The curves of the brow shape will help soften the angular features of your face.

Those with oval faces like Megan Fox are actually considered to have the “ideal face” (you lucky dogs, you!) which means they can rock a variety of looks. Soft, rounded eyebrows of medium thickness combined with a slightly higher arch are just one of the many looks you oval faced peeps can pull off!

One final note – your eyebrows are not meant to be mirror images of each other – think of them as super close sisters as opposed to identical twins and you’ll be well on your way towards brow greatdom!

A High Brow Affair

Hi! My name is April K. and I’m your guest blogger for today!

What’s the topic for the day? Eyebrows!!!

I’ve heard it said a gazillion times that, “the eyes are the window to the soul”.  And I’m totally not disagreeing. However, if the eyes are the window to one’s soul, what does that make the eyebrows?

The window jamb?

The awning??

The insect screen???

While all of the aforementioned terms may, in fact, be accurate in relation to that of an actual window…well…let’s just say that “insect screen” really isn’t the first good thing that comes to mind when I think of eyebrows – mine or anyone else’s.

What does come to mind, however, is the following:

*People who over pluck/wax their brows in an apparent attempt to mimic Charlize Theron’s awesomely creepy look from the movie “Monster”.

*People who do absolutely nothing to their brows which, in turn, creates a startling scary resemblance to Richard Groucho Marx.

*People (cough, cough…me) who have accidentally had a small portion of their {right} eyebrow removed by an overzealous 11 year old who’s trying to “clean up” the back of his hair with a pair of clippers and, without much regard to those around him, whacks his mother (again…cough, cough…me) in the face with said clippers and removes a chunk of said {right} eyebrow.

It should be noted that this particular maiming occurred while I was attempting to supervise and provide sound advice.  Instead, I just wound up looking like Vanilla Ice.

Did I take a picture of myself after the “incident” occurred?  The answer to that would be a resounding, “HELL TO THE NO”.

What I did do was freak out.  And then spent roughly 20 minutes trying to figure out how to wear my hair directly over my afflicted brow so as to not reveal what had happened.  Short of physically adhering my hair to my face with hairspray OR donning an eye patch (which I didn’t have) it soon became {readily} apparent that a quick, at-home fix just wasn’t gonna happen.

So, off I went to my trusty CVS.  Is this a plug for CVS?  No.  Would I have {potentially} gone somewhere else had the time of day – that being 5:30 am the next morning (I had to get something to fix the freakish atrocity that had become my upper face prior to gracing the halls of my place of employment) – warranted it?

Maybe.

Actually, no.  No, I would not have.

There was no way I was going to let the folks roaming the aisles of Sephora see me in such a state of disrepair.  Hence my trek to CVS (the anonymity of being in such a big box store was oddly reassuring) and subsequent purchase of three eye patches and a bottle of tequilla approximately $20 worth of eyebrow powder and a combo pencil/mascara-like gel thingy.

I got to work just under an hour early, figuring that that should give me plenty of time to fix the afflicted brow and do the rest of my makeup.  I tried the powder first with not much success – it was just too…powdery. So, I busted out the pencil/gel combo thing and went to town.  I took care of the bald spot with the pencil (my hair is a darker shade of brown, so I opted for a pencil that was a bit lighter than that) and then decided to take the pencil and basically scribble “fill in” the remainder of both brows, just for good measure.  Then I capped it all off with the brow gel, brushing and shaping to my hearts’ content.

I finished putting on the rest of my makeup and tentatively went to my morning meeting – my brows looked OK to me, but I had absolutely no idea if that was just because I’d been staring at them for so long that my vision had gone blurry or if they did, in fact, look OK.  I didn’t notice anyone starring, pointing, or whispering, so I figured all was good.

After my meeting, I went for coffee with a  friend who proceeded to tell me that I “looked amazing”, that my “eyes look super sparkly”, and wanted to know if I’d “changed eye shadows or something”.  Since she was one of my best friends and I knew I could trust her, I filled her in on all the gory details of my previous 24 hours of eyebrow hell.

She then proceeded to laugh hysterically.

And then she told me that she totally couldn’t tell that I’d used a brow pencil but that my brows did look really good which, in turn, made my eyes “pop” and “sparkle” and that my new and improved eyebrows “framed my face really well” and made me look “refreshed and more awake”.

**please excuse me for a moment while I do a little happy dance**

It’s been a few weeks now since the “the great brow debacle of twenty fourteen” and, while everything has grown back and is as it shoud be, I’m still using that brow pencil pretty religiously.  And, to top it all off, I’m still getting the random compliment from time to time.

So, what’s the take away from all this (aside from the fact that you should never stand close to an 11 year old wielding clippers)?  Your brows clearly do great things for you, so why not make sure that you’re doing great things for your brows???

 

**Please note, writer was not solicited to review  - or received any form of compensation for the mention or usage of – any brands referred to within this post.

Perfect Hair for Your Perfect Day

When it comes to planning your big day, what tops your list of beauty “must haves”?  Clearly, the dress is right up there (right?!?)! What’s next on your list to stress about obsessively and single-mindedly to the point of needing therapy plan and perfect? Hair!!! And not just your hair, either, but also your bridesmaids hair, your flower girls hair…and so on and so forth. So, to help keep that stressing to a minimum, here’s our tips for picking out your perfect style.

Your dress will {probably} play a pretty big role in what type of hair style you choose, simply because the dress demands it.  Some will tell you that it’s all about the neckline (well, not ALL, but you know what we mean) and, to a certain extent, that’s true. For instance, strapless dresses look great with a multitude of styles – up, down, or somewhere in-between. If you’ve picked a dress with an asymmetrical neckline or with only one shoulder strap, sweeping your hair to the lower/shoulder-less side would be both gorgeous and dramatic. And, dresses with high collars look killer (in a good way!) with a great updo.

You’ll also need to take into consideration the type of headpiece that you’ll be wearing.  Be it a veil, flowers, birdcage, headband, or something else that you’ve dreamed up, your hair will need to work both with it and around it.

Once you’ve decided on a dress, head piece, and hair style, we STRONGLY recommend a trial run. Or ten.  Seriously.  While you may have the best hairdresser in all the land, the hairstyle of your dreams that just happened to be featured in one of the seven hundred two or three wedding magazines that you’ve purchased since your engagement may not wind up looking quite the way you’d envisioned…your hair may be finer/shorter/longer/not as full (due to extensions) than that of the model in question, so, be flexible. If you’ve got a professional working on your hair, they’ll be able to suggest and try lots of different looks on you!!!

Finally…AND most importantly- be yourself! Your wedding day is a day where you get to dress up and look amazing, but you don’t want to get totally lost in the look.  You also don’t want to be totally unhappy and fidgety on your big day because you’re not comfortable in your own skin (or, in this case, hair).  Honestly, the best brides out there are the ones who stay true to who they really are – that way, we all get to see the beauty on the inside…which makes all that beauty on the outside shine just a little bit more!

What NOT To Do on Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

If you weren’t aware of that monumental fact, consider yourself informed.

However, we’re not really sure how you COULDN’T know about it, what with all the reminders on TV, radio Facebook, Twitter…even MSN had a segment today about how the Duggars keep that special spark alive in their marriage.

Really, the list just goes on and on.

Since you’re presently being hit from every angle with what TO DO for the love of your life beginning at midnight tonight, we thought we we’d give you a few handy dandy pointers on WHAT NOT TO DO in an attempt that special someone in your life.

1.  Save fashion experimentation for another time. We recently read in a magazine that to “dress like Beyonce” on the cheap, you could pair up a cute top with some pleather (or polyurethane) pants. While we L-O-V-E the look, we maybe-kinda-sorta think that Valentine’s Day isn’t the best time to try them out for the first time – with nerves and sweating and what not, it could wind up being a VERY bad situation. Remember when Ross (from Friends) opted to try leather pants to look “cool” on a date?  Yeah…we really DON’T want that to happen to you.

rbZVlKKd7I8 (click to watch)

2.  Unless you are one heck of a chef, save putting yourself out there by whipping up new things for a less iconic day than V-Day. Seriously. You SO don’t want to wind up like Rachel (again, from Friends) when she made the “Traditional English Trifle” that Ross quipped, “tastes like feet.” Granted, that was because she accidentally combined the recipes for an English Trifle and Shepherd’s Pie to create a concoction that only Joey would eat. Now, if you’re dating Joey then, by all means, go for it because, in his words, “What’s not to like? Custard? Good. Jam? Good. Meat? Good!” Otherwise, maybe…uh…stick with your tried and true recipes…or go out!

Mx5Wpqf4-OM (click to watch)

3.  Don’t say ( or do!) something to land you on the “Worst Date Ever!” section of ANY of the vast assortment of periodicals out there.  Don’t believe us?  Here’s proof…from the most recent edition of Cosmo magazine:

Really…what DO you do with that???

So, there ‘ya have it. Now you can start and end your Valentine’s Day on a great note!

Just Say “NO!” to Winter Skin Woes!

The winter months can really do a number on your skin, making you dry and chapped from pretty much head to toe! So, to help ease those {dry} winter blues, here’s some easy tips to help you keep your skin nice and soft…no matter what the temperature!

Skin dryness can usually be combatted with diligent daily maintenance. A swoop of lotion or body butter a couple times throughout the day will make a world of difference. In the winter, use a lotion that has more of an oil base – if you skin needs that extra moisture, it will suck it right in!

Sun screen in the winter is great as well as summer and spring. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the sun can’t do damage to your skin. Think of it this way – you wear your sunglasses in the winter, right? Then apply that same logic – and SPF! – and use it to protect your skin as well.

Thinking about staying in on a Friday night and doing facials with a few friends? Sounds fantastic! Just make sure to get a mask that do not consist of  heavy treatments. Try using more minimal creams that don’t contain a lot of alcohol – all that alcohol will dry your face more than the wind and cold!

If you’re really struggling with cracked heels and feet, try this: before bed, slather your tootsies with some Vaseline, slip on some soft socks…and go to sleep.  You’ll be amazed at how soft they are in the morning!

Remember, though, hydration should be done in moderation, so don’t go overboard!  It’s kind of like when you’re in a bath – one minute you’re doing great and the next thing you know…you’re a prune!  And, the same holds true with moisturizing – too much can totally do a number on your skin.

If you need a little extra help and your home remedies are not doing what you what them to be doing.  Stop in today and let one of our professionals guide in you in the right direction!

At Home Pedicure Tips

In a perfect world, we’d all be able to hit the salon every few weeks to have the pros whip our tips and toes into shape. However, somet

imes life likes to interfere with our schedule, making those routine (and relaxing!) trips a little more difficult to get to meaning that, for things like mani’s and pedi’s, we sometimes have to take things into our own hands. So, without further adieu, we give you Cosmo’s top 10 tips to a great at-home pedicure.

1.  Buff feet when dry, not wet. Use a sturdy foot file and focus on your heels, balls of feet, and edges of toes.

2.  Fill a large bowl (or your tub) with warm water, add a reviving foot soak (which will help strengthen and whiten nails), and soak for 10 minutes. If you happen to have some marbles lying around, toss them in, too, and roll your feet back and forth over them for a blissful DIY massage!

3.  Massage feet briskly with a foot scrub to get rid of the last vestiges of dead skin, then rinse and pat dry.

4.  After your feet are dry, gently ease back your cuticles with a cuticle stick and trim any excess with cuticle clippers.

5.  Trim your nails straight across with nail clippers, and then gently file to smooth the nail line and round the edges.

6.  To paint, apply a basecoat, followed by two layers of polish and finish with a high shine topcoat.

There ya have it!  Now you, too, can have pretty toes even when you can’t get to the salon!

 

Source: cosmo.com

Resolutions Galore!

According to statisticbrain.com, the top 10 New Year’s resolutions for 2014 are as follows:

1.   Lose Weight
2.   Getting Organized
3.   Spend Less, Save More
4.   Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5.   Staying Fit and Healthy
6.   Learn Something Exciting
7.   Quit Smoking
8.    Help Others in Their Dreams
9.    Fall in Love
10. Spend More Time with Family

And, while it’s estimated that approximately 45% of Americans generally make resolutions, only about 8% are fully successful in achieving their goals.  However, regardless of your resolution – be it big or small or somewhere in between – there are some things you can do to make your rate of success skyrocket, like breaking down that one big goal into smaller, more manageable pieces.  Here are some tips on how to transform those good intentions into something more!

If losing weight tops your “get ‘er done” list, don’t just say you want to “lose weight”. Instead, be specific – how much weight do you want to lose? What’s your time frame for achieving your goal? How are you going to adjust your diet and exercise plan to make this plan a reality?  Mapping out a plan will take you a long way down the road to success…assuming you follow that map!

Planning on working out/going to the gym (ie, staying fit and healthy) more this year? Make this goal a reality by formulating concrete decisions about what and how you’re going to achieve your goal (are you starting to notice a theme here?!?).  And, no, an expensive gym membership isn’t a requirement – implementing small items such as taking the stairs at work, or deciding that you’re going to go out walking 3 miles a day on M/W/F goes a long way.

For those wanting to save more money, create a budget and {gulp!} stick to it. Having those monetary goals down on paper and in a visible place (like how much you’re going to put into savings each month, etc) can do a LOT for helping your spend less AND stick to your goals…even in the face of Jimmy Choo!

So, write those goals down…share them with friends and family (knowing that others will hold you accountable helps a ton)…and believe in yourself! We know you can do it and you should, too!!!

50 Shades of…Hazel

Hazel eyes are, by far, some of the most unique eyes in the world. Aside from being mindblowingly beautiful, they also have the ability to rock so.many.different.colors! But, for whatever reason, finding makeup combinations that work for all those with hazel hues tends to be an issue. So, let’s take a few minutes to explore the wonderful world of makeup tips and tricks that will have all you hazels out there ringing in the New Year in some serious style!

Downtown Brown – If you really want to bring out the brown in your multi-hued gorgeousness, opt for some brown shadow, liner and mascara as well.  The world is your oyster here – you can choose light brown, a dramatic dark brown, or anything in between – they’ll all work on you.

Go for the Gold – You can play up the gold and/or green flecks in your eyes by just adding a bit of gold and shimmer to your shadow – toss in some gold liner for a stunning 24 karat look!

Just Say NO –To blue, that is, by avoiding tons of blue-hued shadows. While navy blues and baby blues look great on, you don’t want to put too many blue colors together, especially if your hazel eyes are more brown or more green than anything.

Plum Passion – Want to add some drama to date night? Go for a lavender or plum color! These colors work some serious magic with a LBD, and do just as much for a night on the town. Hidden bonus? Plums and lavenders will REALLY bring out the green in your hazel.

Caramel-icious – Purples aren’t the only colors that bring out the green in your eyes – caramel and beige hues work magic with green tones, too. Be it with a caramel shadow or a beige liner (or vice versa), we promise you’ll  see a huge difference in your eye color!

Soft and Sweet – If you’re looking to soften up your hazel eyes, opt for soft pinks and mauves. These colors will dial up the romance factor, too!

Those are our best bets for hazel eyes. Have fun trying out all your new looks!

How ’bout Those Browns!

For the brown-eyed gals out there, there are so many choices when it comes down to creating the perfect eye makeup look, because just about any eye makeup color will pair well with brown eyes. Depending on your shade of brown, there are certain colors that will complement your look better than others.

Since most eye shadow colors work well with brown eyes, one of the most important steps when following eye makeup tips for brown eyes is to determine what shade of brown you have. If you have deep brown eyes that can pass for black, ideally you want to go for eye makeup colors in the medium to dark range of colors. Medium brown eyes look good with just about any color, especially green, while light brown eyes look good with colors such as light yellow that bring out the golden flecks. For dark brown eyes, medium to dark eye shadow shades will work well with your color. Plum, dark green and rich grays are all great color choices.

For dark brown eyes, eyeliner colors that really define and accentuate the eyes are the darker browns and mauve’s. For a more dramatic look that adds a bit of color, you can go for a solid gold or bronze eyeliner. For medium eyes, purple and green liners can prove to be a lot of fun. If you really want to amp up your look for the evening, experiment with metallic eyeliner in either copper or bronze. For lighter brown eyes, you should skip the black eyeliner and go for a dark brown instead.

Follow these steps for applying your eye makeup: First apply lighter eye shadow from your lash to your brow. Then apply medium eye shadow in your crease and blend upwards. Dark shadow should be applied only on the other corner of your eyelid. Another one of the important eye makeup tips for brown eyes is to apply shimmer eye shadow on the inner corners of your eyes for a brightening effect. Also…always start lighter! It’s much easier to layer color and apply more than it is to remove excess eye shadow. Avoid applying deeper colors to your brow bone area unless you are looking for an extra dramatic look. You can, however, apply more neutral colors to the brow bone for a lighter day look.

When it comes to mascara, pick brown if you’re going for a more natural look. If drama is what you crave, try either black or navy blue mascara. Another special tip is to lightly dip a powder puff into translucent powder and gently press around the eyelid area. This will help seal in your eyeliner and prevent it from running. Be sure to follow these effortless and easy to follow eye makeup tips for brown eyes that will stun everyone, including your self!

Source: www.totalbeauty.com

Those Gorgeous Greens

We all know how much fun it is to buy makeup, especially for those of us who are really IN to makeup. We also know just how frustrating it can be from time to time – especially when we’re breaking out of our every day comfort zone in an attempt to try something new, like choosing just the right lipstick…or trying to find an eye shadow that has the ability to turn pretty eyes into AMA-Z-ING ones.  Last week we totally talked up the baby blues, which means that this week we’re going to spend a bit of time focusing on all those gorgeous green eyes out there.  Take a peek (pun totally intended) at the following “For Green Eyes Only” tips to make your emerald peepers S-H-I-N-E.

Purple Play – Purple and green go together like…well…purple and green. Honestly, purples are an oft looked over shade simply because of their purple-ness.  However, because purple is on the opposite side of the color wheel from green, it’s an unexpectedly amazing choice for green-eyed gals.  To widen the appearance of close set eyes, apply a lighter shade of purple towards the inner eye and gradually blend into a deep plum on the outer edges.  If your eyelids tend to droop a bit, simply flip-flop the colors – dark on the inside fading to light on the outer corners.  When choosing colors, take care to avoid those with blue undertones (as well as blue shadow and liner) and, if deep shades are a bit much for you, try easing into the look with a greyish-lavender shadow.

Other Colors of the Rainbow – The great thing about green eyes is that they can accommodate – and be accented by - a LOT of colors. Aside from the purples that have already been discussed (including, but not limited to, lavender, plum, and lilac), other colors such as earthy browns or dark greens that have been flecked with gold are also terrific choices!

Heavy Metals - Want to experiment with metallics? Go for it – just avoid silver shades. However, bronze, copper and gold look absolutely fabulous with green eyes – especially when going for a glammed up evening look.

What About the Liner? – We know, we know – everyone loves black eyeliner; however, black liners (and mascaras, for that matter) tend to not play very nicely with green eyes because the end result is, more often than not, harsh and overpowering. A good rule of thumb for greens is to choose warm shades meaning that, for everyday wear, you should try a chocolate brown or espresso shade. Looking to spice things up a bit? Go for plum or gold. And, for those out there who absolutely can NOT give up the black, try a charcoal liner instead to cut down on the harshness just a bit (but, trust us…brown will look MUCH better!).

Ready to go get your beautiful on? OK…GO!!!

Bring Out Those Baby Blues

Got blue eyes? Wanna learn the best tips and tricks to making them as gorgeous as humanly possible? Well, then…it’s your lucky day! Read on for some helpful pointers: 

1. AVOID BLUE SHADOWS…SOMETIMES!!! We’ve all heard that people with blue eyes shouldn’t wear blue eyes shadow. In fact, with the way some people pile it on, often times it should just be avoided all together. The rationale behind not wearing this hue is that blue shadow + blue eyes = LOTS of blue…so much so that your eyes may very well get lost in all that…blueness.  However, there is one caveat to this rule, that being that if the shade of shadow is a completely different color of blue than that of your eyes you may just be able to pull it off. For instance, if you eyes are a light, baby blue, try a navy or denim shade on for size. Just don’t layer on blue after blue after blue…you get our drift, right?

2. SAY YES TO NAVY EYELINER! Amazingly enough, the shadow rule does NOT apply to liner. Try ditching your black or brown liner and give a deep blue a try – the overall effect is, honestly, pretty stunning!

3. WARM IT UP! Blue is such a cool {sometimes downright icy} and calming color AND one of the greatest things you can do to enhance that color is to paint on some warm hues. Browns, earthy tones, varying shades of taupe, and copper all look A-M-A-Z-I-N-G when paired up with your baby blues.

4. SHEER SHADOWS – For a lighter look, try sheer shadows. Sometimes all it takes to make those eyes shine is a bit of sheer color to pave the way.

5. MATTE SHADOWS – Not sure about sheer? Go matte! Matte is a great for the office – all the colors you need to create a tied together look without any shimmer. However, if you’re thinking of going out for a night on the town, a little bit of shimmer can be a fun touch!

6. OVERLAPPING COLORS – Believe it or not, but blue eyes lend themselves to lots of layering opportunities. Not sure about the whole “overlapping” thing? Start out with a few sheer shades and see what you think – a light brown on the lid paired with a copper tone in the crease would look stunning! And, since they’re both sheer and light, there won’t be much of a chance for them to overpower you.

7. BLUE SHADOW MAY NOT BE FOR YOU, BUT PURPLE IS! – Weird, huh?!? Well, weird or not, it’s totally true – purple shadows (think light, sheer lilac) is a fantastic way to highlight those amazing peepers you’re sporting.

 Hopefully these tips will get you on the way towards blue eye gorgeousness!

 P.S. Don’t worry you brown/green/hazel eyed peeps – in the upcoming weeks we’ll have some great tips for you, too!

What Will YOU Be For Halloween This Year?

We all know how tough it is for kids to decide what they’re going to be for the candy coma event of the year…but what about us adults that want to revel in the sugary extravaganza as well?  Seriously…we agonize over these major, life changing decisions as well!!! So, here’s OUR suggestions to make this Halloween one to remember!

Barbie…in a box – Thinking about going for the oh-so-cliché sexy witch/pirate/nurse/maid/etc. again this year? Well, think again! Why bother with lots of different costumes when you can fashion yourself an all-purpose one that manages to encompass virtually every trite, “sexy” cliché known to mankind into one nice, little package.  The costume even comes with its own box – built in rain gear…score!

 

Roller{coaster} Derby – Got a bunch of friends who don’t mind sticking with you for the whole.entire.night? If the answer is a resounding “yes sir!” then go the roller coaster route! All you’ll need is some “seats” fashioned out of cardboard boxes, as well as any old costumes you can drum up to stuff and attach to said seats. Cut a hole for your head, pop your faces in, and you’re ready to go. Just make sure you’re all going to the same place…

 

Hannibal Lecter – We know, we know…seems a bit gruesome, right? Well, maybe. BUT…Halloween DOES fall on a weekday this year and, if you really want to go out but just don’t have the energy to take one.more.step, then this costume may be THE ONE for you! Seriously, just toss on an orange jumpsuit and straight-jacket (because everyone has those lying around, right?!?) and then have someone strap you to a dolly. Now you’re not only in a sweet costume, but you’ve also made it so you don’t have to do a thing except hang on for the ride!

Got some more suggestions for one-of-a-kind costume awesomeness? Let us know…we’re always looking for something new!!!

Doing Your Eye Makeup Like a Pro

According to the peeps who run the Makeup Forever Academy (sounds like the Mecca of all things beauty related, doesn’t it?) there are three things you can do to really make your eyes P-O-P:

1. For maximum lining impact, make sure to get your liner right on the root of your lashes. And, move your pencil back and forth as you go to ensure that all gaps are filled in.

2. Don’t (did you hear that? It was the word DON’T) apply your eyeliner all the way to your inner corners because it tends to make eyes look smaller. However, if you trace along just the outer 2/3rds of your eye (well, eyes…maybe make sure to do both!) you’ll wind up with a gorgeous, elongated shape. And, finally,

3. Instead of applying your mascara with the wand it came with, try using a fan brush to cover the base of your lashes. Because, the more definition achieved at the lash line, the more your eyes will stand out.

There ‘ya go! Now, go forth and get beautiful!

BEAUTY TIPS FOR EVERY AGE – PART 4

This is our last stop in the beauty tips for every age series and has some great tips for those in their 50’s and beyond, allowing for individuals of every age to get their beauty on!

Due to the fluctuation of hormones that tend to occur during this stage of life, skin tends to be dry and thin.  Now, if you’ve been paying attention to your skin care routine throughout the years you’re definitely going to notice it now.  Make sure to keep (or start!) exfoliating and try to use products that contain retinoids, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid. Also, opt for creams (as opposed to lotions) because they provide a more intense level of moisturizing.

In regards to makeup, full coverage foundation (and concealer) may be needed to even out skin tone; however, be sure to use a light hand during application and, as always, moisturize, moisturize, MOISTURIZE!  Steer clear from piling on the eye makeup, too – as we age the skin around our eyes tends to sag just a bit, causing pigment to settle unevenly, which can add years to your age.  Fine lines around the mouth can cause lipstick to stray beyond its intended boundaries, so try to choose slightly lighter shades AND think about using a liner as well.

When it comes to hair, know that only a handful of people can truly pull off the “completely grey” look.  However, just because you’re in your 50’s doesn’t mean that you can’t go to a hip salon!  Just make sure your stylist is up on the latest trends and techniques – you’ll benefit the most from a well thought out cut and color.  Also – there’s absolutely no reason to fall prey to the notion that your hair should get shorter and shorter as you age, but know that excessively long hair will age you as well.  The rule of thumb tends to be to keep the hair above the shoulders, allowing you to look every day chic while also being able to take advantage of a gorgeous up-do when needed.

In terms of style, find a style icon and use them as your inspiration as you choose your outfits (think Katharine Hepburn or Isabella Rossellini).  At this point in your life your closet should reflect quality over quantity, thereby allowing you to select tastefully stylish ensembles that reflect YOU.  Try to avoid clingy fabrics and don’t go overboard on passing trends – instead, sample one simple trend at a time and always keep the word “minimal” in the front of your mind.  Remember, in a pinch you can never go wrong with a tailored oxford!

BEAUTY TIPS FOR EVERY AGE – PART 3

What comes after your 20’s and 30’s? Well, if we’re going with the natural progression of things the obvious answer would be…YOUR 40’S!!! Don’t fret, though – we’ve got lots of tips to keep you looking great no matter what your age!

If you overlooked skin care in your 20′s and 30′s, know that you will start seeing the results in your 40s, which means now is the time to break out the big guns. And, if you were diligent in your earlier years, your skin will show its appreciation in your fourth decade. Regardless of your previous upkeep, remember that cell turnover and collagen production have significantly slowed down at this point in your life, making continued exfoliation and moisturizing even more important. Also, try to look for skin care products that contain peptides (these tiny molecules allow products to penetrate deeper into skin) to help increase skin firmness and reduce the look of wrinkles. They can be beneficial at any age, but are also more expensive so most women don’t start using them until their 40′s.

Avoid excessively dry hair in your 40′s by using a deep conditioning treatment (either in a salon or at home) at least once a month because, just like wrinkles, brittle hair can definitely add years to your age. And, contrary to popular belief, you don’t HAVE to go short as you move into your 40′s. Just make sure to opt for a classic cut that complements your personality, and select a hair color that livens up your face. Remember – limp hair can always be plumped up with layers, and nothing brightens dull hair more than some strategically placed highlights.

By the time you hit this stage of your life, you KNOW what looks best on you and what you like when it comes to attire. You know by now that trends are merely suggestions AND you know that there’s absolutely no reason to try each and every one. Embrace the confidence that you’ve earned and stick with classic silhouettes that both flatter your shape and work with your body type. The challenge now is to keep your closet streamlined and avoid accumulating clothes that simply don’t “work”. Focus on investing in quality fabrics that will stand the test of time – you can keep things fresh and new by adding fun accessories and shoes to your wardrobe. Another strategy is to wear light layers, which allows you to infuse some color into your outfits.

Regardless of if you’re already in your 40’s or if that decade of your life is quickly approaching, keep these tips handy so you’ll be able to slip both in – and out – of your 40’s looking A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

BEAUTY TIPS FOR EVERY AGE – PART 2

Once you hit your 30’s you will, unfortunately, begin to see the signs of all the damage that was inflicted upon your skin in earlier decades. Fine lines, sunspots, and wrinkles begin to surface, causing many a 30 year old to make a panicked mad dash to their dermatologist in search of a solution.  While it should be noted that you can’t turn back the hands of time, you can start doing things like regular exfoliation, which helps to promote faster cell turnover and a smoother, more even skin tone. It also helps to incorporate products that contain antioxidants and, if you aren’t using a good moisturizer and eye cream…now is the time to start!

When it comes to makeup, your 30’s is definitely the time to find a concealer that works with your skin type – but, beware, you’ll want to make sure to use it sparingly to avoid the “cake makeup” effect. To lighten the application, mix it with a dab of foundation or moisturizer and pat it on needed areas with the pad of your ring finger. There’s also some really good de-puffing AND concealing rollerballs combos out there that do an amazing job of nixing under eye puffiness and dark circles. Now, let’s talk color – what makeup colors worked best for you in your 20’s? If you stick with these hues you can also work in some of the more seasonal trends like a bit of sparkle or bronzer. And, if you’re using a more heavily pigmented lipstick, make sure to apply some clear gloss for a bit of shine.

For many of us, things tend to get a bit more hectic in our 30’s as we expand our roles and work to balance families and careers and, unless you want to be fighting it day in and day out, your hair really needs to work with your lifestyle. Make sure to take into consideration how long it will take to style your hair each day when deciding on a cut, as well as the time, effort, and cost associated with a given style. Never fear – it is possible to be practical and realistic while still being sexy BUT you’ll need to talk through things with your stylist and plan accordingly to get the most bang for your buck. You may start to see a few grey hairs popping up here and there as well – how you choose to handle those pesky little suckers (as in, to color or not to color) is entirely up to you. But, just know that a full head of grey hair at the age of 32 can definitely age you.

In regards to style in your 30’s, the world is (nearly) your oyster. Youthful fashions comingle nicely with more professional looks, creating a style that’s all YOU. However, do your best not to fall into the mom-style-rut during this decade of your life. You can avoid this oft seen issue by striving to pull your outfit together every day and, YES, you can be easy going and polished all at the same time.  Pay close attention to accessories and make sure to wear clothes that flatter your shape –there’s no reason to walk around looking like your swimming in pools of excess fabric. In regards to professional attire, mini skirts aren’t really appropriate at this age. Unless, of course, you’re Heidi Klum – then you can wear all the short shorts and skirts Michael Kors can throw at you. For the rest us, though, at the knee or just above the knee skirts work best – and you can always toss in a pair of fun tights to mix your look up a bit.

In short, while our 30’s aren’t (typically) as wild and crazy as our 20’s, we can still have fun and look just as amazing as our younger counterparts…but we might need to work just a wee bit more for it.

Beauty Tips for EVERY Age – Part 1

Aging.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Wait…you mean  ”amazing” isn’t the word YOU’D use to describe our passage from one decade to the next?

That’s OK…some of us feel the exact.same.way.

However, just like everything else in life, aging happens. In fact, some cultures view it as a privileged rite of passage that brings honor and respect. Now, while we may not be there yet, we can do our best to look and feel fantastic no matter how old we are. So, let’s start with our 20’s.

The decade immediately following our teen years tend to be full of excitement, spontainaity and zeal.

Like being able to live for an entire summer in a tent. On the beach.

Or spending every day wearing a super hero t-shirt and not have anyone think anything of it. Which, honestly, may or may not have something to do with the fact that everyone around you is wearing the same thing but, hey…whatev.

To keep our youthfulness…well…youthful, here’s some skin, makeup and fashion tips to keep you looking your best.

Skin – According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with ultraviolet (UV) exposure from the sun, while 90% of the visible changes commonly associated to aging are also cause by sun exposure. In our 20’s the effects of UV exposure aren’t yet visible due to our cells still turning over at a relatively high rate. This often leads to a false sense of security – if you can’t see it then it must not be there, right??? However, tanning beds, a lack of sunscreen and a rather lackadaisical approach to sun habits in general all contribute to long-term aging. Therefore, the best strategy in your 20’s is to wear sunscreen, avoid long-term sun exposure, AND to start a solid cleansing and moisturizing routine.

Makeup – This is your time to shine! Experiment and have fun with color and makeup trends!!! For many of us, our skin will never look better than it does in our 20’s, meaning that there’s not much need for tons of concealer and foundation. Bronzers and tinted moisturizers are amazing tools that provide just enough shimmer and coverage while still letting your natural glow shine right on through. Combine that with a neutral lipgloss – to help keep the focus on your skin – and you’ll be good to go!

Hair – In your 20’s your hair – not unlike your skin – is probably at its most healthy. This is a phenomenal time to experiment with your color and cut BUT remember – throughout it all keep your professional and personal goals in mind. Therefore, if you’ve always wanted to chop it all and go with a platinum pixie, then this may very well be the time to do it!

Style – While your 20’s may represent a bridge between your youth and adult life, try to resist the urge to hang on to your teeny bopper style. You CAN still pull off mini versions of shorts and skirts, but do make sure to choose appropriately. If you decide to go short, opt for frills as opposed to skin tight, which can turn what could be an inappropriate choice into a fun and stylish one instead. You can also get away with showing a bit more skin in the form of asymmetric necklines and tank tops as well.

So, there ‘ya have it. Stay tuned for part two of this four part series – it will touch on all these same topics but relating to those of us in our 30’s instead.

 

How to Ace the Nude {Makeup} Look

Subtle Eyes: Looking to create a subtle, yet sultry, eye? Then try what we like to refer to as “The Natalie Portman” – there’s no doubt that {in this photo} Natalie is wearing eye makeup BUT, the subtle blend of a neutral, not over-the-top color palate suit her to a “T”. To get this look you’ll need to make sure that your brows are well groomed – if needed, fill them in sparingly with a brow pencil. Then, use soft browns and bronzes on the lid – this adds definition without making you look too heavily made up. The brown shadows work to create depth, and the bronze intensifies the effect. Lashes should be curled – to open up the eye – and one to two coats of lengthening mascara applied. Working a bit of black liner right into the lash line will do wonders in regards to making your lashes look instantly thicker. Finally, finish with a touch of pearl-colored highlighter to the inside corner of the eye, as well as some on the lid, directly over the pupil – this will add just the right amount of brightness and sparkle to your amazing new look.

Peachy Lips: If a neutral {not to be confused with bland} lip is what you’re looking for, take a cue from Michelle Williams’ perfectly pretty peachy pout. All you’ll need for this is a sheer peach lipstick or gloss – it’s the perfect compliment to a neutral makeup look. Plus, it’s flattering on virtually every skin tone, providing lips with just the right amount of definition as to look gorgeously NOT over made up. A peach hue not only warms up the skin, but it also looks fresh and youthful. So, go out, find a tube you love, and never leave home without it!

Glowing Skin:  Jessica Alba always looks stunning {seriously, has the girl ever had a bad hair day?!?} in part because she’s always got that perfect, glowy skin thing going on, allowing her complexion to take center stage. To achieve an Alba-esque glow, you’ll need to start with a tinted moisturizer – apply it to your entire face and only use concealer (around the sides of your nose, the outer corners of your eyes, under eyes and on blemishes) when absolutely necessary. Then, use a cream blush – it will blend nicely with the moisturizer and add to the dewy look. Finish with a light dusting of translucent powder which will help keep everything “in place” without making you look too “done up”. If, after powdering, you discover that you’ve managed to over powder, rub just a smidge of light moisturizer between your palms and then lightly press onto your cheeks – this will bring a bit of “life” back into your skin.

So, there you have it. Three easy ways to look fantastically gorgeous without looking like you were attacked by a rabid make-up counter sales person.

What To Do, What To Do…

Curious about what really irks your hair peep while you’re in his/her chair? Here’s some of the top complaints from stylists around the country regarding what does and does not bug the living daylights out of them in regards to their clients’ chair time habits.

1. Doing Too Much – In this particular age of iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc people just do too dang much in the stylist’s chair. Now, you may think that you’re just totally rockin’ the multi-tasking vibe BUT not paying attention to your stylist because you’re too busy hunched over your cell phone playing Candy Crush or Words with Friends won’t win you ANY points with the powers that be (in this case, that would be the individual(s) wielding the sharp, pointy scissors). To get the best cut (and attention) possible your body needs to be in the correct position, which is sitting up and facing forward (unless your stylist asks you to do something different, of course).

2. Watch the Clock – aka, BE ON TIME! Your appointment time isn’t a suggestion. It’s the physical time that you’re due to arrive for services rendered. Peroid. End of discussion.

3. Hack Away – somewhere else, that is. We know that appointments are highly coveted; however, if you’re so sick that you can’t stand up straight, puh-leese don’t come into the salon. Trust us, we KNOW how important those highlights are to you BUT, if you make your stylist (and, potentially, everyone else in the salon) deathly ill…well,  just remember about karma and all her less-than-friendly friends.

4. Not Talking – is TOTALLY fine. Stylists completely understand that lots of peeps just want to chill and get pampered without any small talk.  And, you know, should you happen to doze off during your pedicure or coloring, then so be it…no judging here.

5. Kids, Kids, Kids – Coming in for a quick and desperately needed postpartum trim with your newest addition? That’s A-OK in most stylist’s opinions – seriously, who doesn’t love a sweet little bundle of joy hanging around for just a bit. However, if you’re planning on a 2.5 hour mega session with that same little bundle of joy OR are contemplating bringing the entire Duggar clan along with you (no matter how short your appointment may be), you might want to think again. 19 and Counting might be great for a reality TV show, but doesn’t work so well when gathered around a work station. Just some food for thought.

Now, obviously none of these issues pertain to any of our customers because you all are A-MAZE-ING! But, ‘ya know, should you want to pass this on to some of your less informed friends…well, as “they” always say, knowledge is power.

BB verses CC

…verses AA and DD?

No, wait.

Those second two are bra sizes.

The first two, however – that being BB and CC – are (and have been) all the rage amongst the beauty world for the last year or so. Most of us have at least seen products sporting BB on the label – and, while trepidation may have set in in regards to actually purchasing and using said product, the commercials and row after row of BB creams/foundations/potions as seen in stores and on TV are pretty hard to miss.  And, just as we’ve begun to acclimate to all the BB rage, now there’s this new, super cool, CC thingy on the horizon.

So, what’s all the hype?  And, for that matter, what do they even do???

Let’s start with BB creams. BB stands for “beauty balm” or “blemish balm” and, even though it’s typically marketed as a moisturizer, it does so.much.more than just hydrate. Honestly, the benefits of BB cream are…well…amazing. BB’s not only moisturize, but also prep your skin for makeup (not unlike a primer), cover minor imperfections, and work to reduce shine. As of late, BB’s are being “supped up” to provide additional benefits, such as the addition of SPF and anti-aging components. So, if you’re looking to make more room in your beauty bag, a BB cream might just be your answer.

Now, on to the new and somewhat elusive CC creams. CC stands for “color correcting” or “complexion correcting” and these creams contain all the benefits of BB creams…and more.  CC creams take things to a whole new level by not only offering more coverage (meaning that if you need something that will mimic foundation this will do the trick) but also do just what their name implies – correct your complexion.  If contending with acne, dark spots, or general “blah-ness” of the skin always seems to be an issue for you, a CC cream might be right up your alley because CC’s help to even our your skin tone. Oh yean, and they brighten it along the way, too.

So, which one is best for you?  Well, if you’ve got fairly normal skin, then a BB cream is probably your best bet. Alternately if you’re looking for a bit of complexion correction and a tad more coverage, then opt for a CC cream.

Either way, they’ll make the perfectness that is YOU shine just a little more.

Don’t Forget About Dad!

This Sunday is Father’s Day and, while you may already have that perfect wrench set, steak branding iron, or tie all picked out and packaged up, don’t forget that dad’s need a little TLC, too.  And, while that special father in your life may not readily admit it, he probably really does like to be pampered now and again. So, while he may not be ready for a mani/pedi, we’re pretty sure he’d love a massage (because, seriously, who doesn’t?!?).

If you’re thinking that that’s something right up your dad’s alley, give us a call, go online, or stop on by to pick up a gift certificate for any of our services.

Not sure exactly what it is that he’d like? No problem!

We have gift certificates ranging from $25-$100 allowing you (and him) to mix-and-match to both your hearts’ content!

Sounds like a win-win situation for everyone, now doesn’t it?

 

That Awkward Moment…When You Don’t Know How Much to Tip

The relationships forged within the confines of a salon can sometimes be the most intimate of your life. Seriously – who else but your hairdresser can examine your damaged or graying hair with such practical indifference??? And, while your bikini waxer may not be your best friend s/he is…well…your bikini waxer – it just doesn’t get much more up close and personal than that, now does it?

Clearly, you trust these people with your life because, they are, of course, the ones that help your amazingness shine.

At some point, though, the end of your appointment arrives and, just when you thought you were out of the awkwardness woods (because, let’s face it – there are some REALLY  interesting options when it comes to waxing and what not these days) you’re left wondering if you tipped enough for your seriously sweet new cut, color, highlights or, you know, “that”.

Therefore, to assist with any compensatory anxiety that you may experience, we’ve put together some tips on tipping to help you out.

As a general rule, 20% seems to be the tipping norm; however, even that varies a bit depending on what area of the country you’re in. Above all, remember this – your stylist is providing you a serious service. They’ve gone to school to learn all the tricks of the trade and are doing something that, let’s face it, you just can’t do at home…by yourself…in your bathroom. They work really hard at making you happy – why not do the same for them? Also, if you’ve got multiple individuals working on you, go ahead and tip each individually.

Obviously, what you ultimately decided to tip is totally up to you. But, be forewarned – under-tipping the person who does your eyebrows (or, for that matter, your Brazilian) could lead to some seriously interesting scenarios at future appointments. (Just Kidding!)

The Big Bang Theory

Looking to change your {hair}style up a bit by adding some bangs, but not sure what to ask for – aside from just “bangs” – so that you don’t wind up looking like a crazed, scissor wielding toddler attacked you in the middle of the night? Never fear, because it totally doesn’t have to be that way – take a peek at our suggestions below on how to choose the RIGHT bangs for your particular face shape.

Bangs can be a great addition to almost any style  as long as they’re the right bangs for you and your beautiful face. For instance, if you have a square face (think Demi Moore or Sandra Bullock) you’ll want to aim for layered bangs that fall at or below your eyebrows – these are super flattering, especially if they are swept off to the side. Another option would be fringy, wispy bangs since they’ll soften the edges of your face. Cuts to avoid would be blunt bangs or “airy” bangs that come to your jawline (common with chin length bobs) since they tend to make your face look sharp – and not necessarily in a good way.

Now, if you have a round face (a la Kristin Dunst or Kelly Clarkson) you’ll want to make sure that you’re starting with an overall haircut that flatters your face shape and then move on to the “fringe benefits”. In terms of bangs, your end goal should be long, side-swept bangs or wispy fringes. Both aide in taking attention away from the sides of your face by creating an “arch”, which will help elongate your face. Make sure to stay away from super choppy bangs or short layers – all either of these will do is add volume to the sides of your face.

Those with long/oval shaped faces (like Sarah Jessica Parker) are lucky because they have the option of experimenting with several different cuts. For instance, longer bangs that fall just a bit below the eyebrows look great! If you’ve got thick hair, try a blunt-cut short bang; alternately, if your hair’s a bit on the thinner side, a billowy fringe or long wisps will look fantastic! The goal here is to add some width and fullness to the sides to add just a smidge more symmetry. Avoid creating too much volume to the top, as it will only make your face look too drawn out and oblong.

Last but not least, let’s talk about bangs for heart shaped faces (such as Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson) – this face shape is well suited for a variety of bangs since the wearers’ forehead is often quite high. Side-swept and longer, off-center bangs work wonderfully for drawing attention to the eyes and cheekbones and away from a sharp chin. Short, wispy bangs and fringe will also work well with this face shape, depending on hair thickness. Steer clear of blunt bangs if your face is very wide by the eyes and then very narrow down below as they will only make your face look longer.

Google searches such as “bangs for a round face” will yield lots of photos, allowing you to pick, print, and present exactly what it is that you’re looking for to your stylist.

All in all that wasn’t too painful, now was it? Now, go forth and get beautiful!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Looking for an extra special gift to pamper an extra special mom? Why not get her a Utopia gift card? We have gift cards ranging from $25 to $100 and LOTS of fantastic ways for her to spend them. From facials and massages to manicures and pedicures…we’ve got it all! Spa packages can also be purchased. Give us a call or stop in for more information and to purchase your gift certificate today!

Fake Lash Friday

That’s right.

FAKE LASH FRIDAY.

Why, you ask?

Because it’s all about the lashes, baby.

We (that being women everywhere) want the lashes that mascara ads promise to deliver – long, lush and seemingly mascara free – as opposed to what we typically wind up with…that being lashes that are clumpy, spiky, and all around Tammy Faye Baker-ish.

Therefore, myself, along with some office cohorts, decided to take the fake lash challenge.

You see, two of the girls in my company (which is comprised of five females and one, solitary male) are currently in wedding countdown mode and, because they want to be ready for eyelash amazingness when their big day arrives, have been experimenting with fake lashes for a while now. And, since, well, girls will be girls, the rest of us decided to join in on the fun.

The brides-to-be definitely had a leg up on the competition since they’d been practicing longer; however, being the dedicated workers that we are, we all stepped up to the challenge and, BAM! just like that, fake lash mania was in full swing. Everyone practiced like crazy for about 10 days, wearing lashes to the office, while we were out and about, and even going above and beyond the call of duty and staying up extra late at night (while our significant others slumbered in blissful ignorance) attempting to perfect our gluing and application technique.

Because, regardless of what Oprah’s little six step routine may have you believe, it’s just not that easy. Maybe if we’d each had a professional make-up artist en-suite we’d all feel a little differently but, as it was, some of us (translation: me) had a tough enough time trying to not glue our fingers to the little bottle of adhesive, much less “get it right” on the very first try.

So, we worked on our own for those 10 or so days and then all came together for one very fun afternoon of lash-application awesomeness. And, yes, a camera was involved to document the affair. As was some wine. Somehow it’s just easier to blame the fact that you’ve glued your fingers to the bottle of adhesive {ahem} again or, better yet, glued your eyelid to itself, on the ingestion of liquor. Even if said liquor wasn’t consumed until after all of the adhesive unfortunateness had occurred.

Moving on…

The first thing I think we can all attest to is that there is no one right way to make fake eyelash magic happen. After seeing all the product we had amassed, it was clear that we each had wildly different likes and dislikes when it came to types of lashes, brands of adhesive, how eyeliner and mascara were used and when, and so on and so forth.

For instance, I used just a bit of liquid liner and mascara before my lashes went on. Then, after the adhesive had dried, I touched up the liner with both the liquid AND a gel-liner stick, and then applied a bit more mascara, just so that everything was evenly coated. I also discovered via trial and error that I CANNOT make uber-dramatic lashes work with my eyes (both Lacy and Christina can and I am quite envious of them for it). I don’t know if it’s due to my eyebrows being ill-placed on my head or what the deal is but, whenever I applied the mega-long lashes they would inevitable get caught in my eyebrows, making a demure batting of the eyelashes turn into a somewhat seizure-esque looking activity. So, I stuck to the tamer strips of “mini-lashes” – ones that concentrate more on the outer edges of the eye and don’t go the full length of the lash line – and let the other girls revel in their mega-lash glory.

Here are some of the tricks that we’ve learned thus far:

  1. If you’ve never tried fake lashes before, you’re gonna have to buy a variety to see what works best for you.
  2. Hold the fake lashes up to your real lashes to see how they’ll fit and if they need to be trimmed. Depending on the “drama factor” of the lashes and the size of your eyes, you may need to trim off either the inner edge or the outer edge – otherwise they’ll wind up being glued to the inside of your nose or your cheek. Neither of which looks natural. At all.
  3. Cutting the strips in two and placing each half on separately did nothing but confuse those of us who tried. Sorry, Oprah.
  4. Some brands of adhesive turns BRIGHT BLUE when applied to black lashes (and shows up as bright blue on top of black eyeliner as well…see below) – I assume this is so the wearer can more easily see where the adhesive is as they’re trying to apply the lashes. DON’T WORRY…the adhesive dries clear.
  5. Most of us wound up lining our eyes first with a bit of liquid liner – this seemed to provide a landing strip of sorts in terms of lash placement. We also each applied a light coat of mascara prior to putting our lashes on.
  6. Using more liner – and mascara – after lash application is totally a personal preference.
  7. Carmindy’s tip about coming in from up above – as opposed to head on – with the lashes seemed to be spot on.
  8. Either soak your lashes like crazy before removing OR invest in a little tube of lash adhesive remover – the brand I purchased (Revlon) was less than $5 and was totally worth the money. Whatever you do, DON’T just rip/peel the lashes off your eyelids…ouch!

I think it’s safe to say that, for most of us, wading into the world of fake lashes is definitely uncharted territory. BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it…quite the opposite, in fact! Wearing the lashes is a ton of fun and, I’m not gonna lie…they do TOTALLY make you feel more glamorous.

For your viewing pleasure, here’s some before, during, and after shots of our quest for lash perfection. Enjoy!

 

**Please note, neither writer or participants were solicited to review  - or received any form of compensation for the usage of – any products mentioned or imaged within this post.

Falsies…yea or nay? And, if so, is it as easy as they say?

False eyelashes are EVERYWHERE these days. Maybe it’s due to Real Housewives. Maybe it’s due to Mad Men. Maybe it’s due to all of those totally cool eyeshadow/liner photos populating all our Pinterest pages as of late.

Regardless of the reason behind the resurgence, falsies are back.

BIG TIME.

And, because we’re always up for everyone looking their absolute best, we decided to scope out some of the more popular online tutorials to see what advice the professionals had to offer. Then, we rounded up some willing participants and sent them on their way.

Now, if you Google “How to apply false eyelashes”, you will be presented with approximately 1.4 MILLION links on the subject. Of course, Oprah, the queen of false lashes, is the leader of the pack, offering up a six step tutorial using none other than her good friend Gayle as the subject. Gayle is skeptical (or so sayeth the commentary) BUT, after just a single try, manages to apply them perfectly.  It should be noted, however, that Gayle also has uber-famous makeup artist, Carmindy, at her disposal – in person – to instruct her every.single.step. of the way down the road to eyelash gorgeousness.

The down and dirty version of this particular tutorial is as follows:

 

  1. Get some lashes, lash adhesive, and liquid liner.
  2. Trim the lashes OR cut the strip in half to make it easier to handle.
  3. Squeeze some lash glue on the back of your non-dominate hand and run the seam of the lashes through the adhesive.
  4. Wait “a beat” to allow the adhesive to get a little tacky and then position the seam as close to your lash line as possible (lining up with the outside corner of your eye) with the “trick” being to drop the false lashes onto your real lashes from above, as opposed to approaching your eye head on. According to Carmindy, no pressing is needed – once you drop those lashes, the “glue will do the rest”. (If you’ve cut your lash strip in half and intend on using both halves on one eye, repeat step #4 on the inner portion of the same eye, with the two pieces overlapping just a bit in the center.)
  5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 on your other eye.
  6. Once you’ve done both eyes, gently run a liquid liner over the lash line of your upper lashes to conceal the seam of the strips.

Annnddd…that’s apparently it.

Now, maybe all y’all are more coordinate than our false lash recruits (and, for the sake of your company softball team, we sure hope that’s the case) BUT they weren’t quite as successful on their first (or, for some of them{ahem}, their fourth) at-home try as was Gayle. However, they also didn’t have a professional makeup artist at their beck and call.

Our five recruits have been practicing (and chatting about practicing…lots, and lots of chatting) for a few weeks now and feel as though they’ve finally got the process down. Mind you, this was after quite a few hours of practice (many of which were spent commiserating and/or laughing hysterically) AND their single-handed attempt to bolster the false eyelash market by collectively purchasing several hundred dollars worth of product. We’re not kidding. The photo below was just one of the purchases made by a recruit after she’d joined the project (hey, either go big or go home, right?!?).

Make sure to check back in a couple of weeks when we share their real-world experiences, trials and travails, and tips on how they learned to apply false eyelashes like a pro.

Decoding Your Massage

Massages are supposed to be relaxing, right? However, sometimes trying to figure out exactly what a particular massage is simply by looking at a price list can be more than a little maddening. Lots of people get a wee bit lost when it comes to massage terminology meaning that, often times, just the process of trying to figure out “what’s what” is enough to send some of us into a brief case of hysterics.

Now, we know everyone always says there’s no such thing as a dumb question but, let’s face it – none of us ever wants to be that person that stands at the reception desk with a befuddled look upon our face as we ask for a detailed (preferably with bullet points) explanation of every.single.thing. listed on the “menu”.

So, here’s a brief run down of some of the more common types of massages:

  1. Deep Tissue Massage – Deep tissue massage targets the deeper (hence the name) layers of muscle and connective tissue and is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, posture problems, or to aide in recovery from injury.  The massage therapist accomplishes this via the use of slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle. Often times people feel a bit sore for a day or two after a deep tissue massage.
  2. Hot Stone Massage – Hot stone massage utilizes smooth, heated stones that are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles (some feel that it aides in the balancing of energy centers of the body as well). During this particular type of massage, the masseuse may also hold the stones and apply gentle pressure with them. The warmth is very comforting! This is a great option for people who have muscle tension but prefer a lighter overall massage.
  3. Swedish Massage – This is the most common type of massage therapy in the United States and involves long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the superficial muscle layers. This type of massage can be very gentle and relaxing and, if you’ve never had a massage before, is a good option to try first.
  4. Reflexology – Although reflexology is sometimes referred to as “just” a foot massage, it really is so much more than that! Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems all throughout your body. This is very relaxing as well, and is a great choice for people who are on their feet all day long.
  5. Sports Massage – This type of massage is specifically designed for those who are involved in physical activities (such as sports). These types of massages are utilized not only by athletes, but also by individuals who are active and work out often. The focus of this particular massage technique isn’t relaxation, per se, but on preventing and treating injuries and enhancing athletic performance.

There ya have it! Now you, too, can make an informed, relaxed decision about your next massage – hopefully it’ll be soon, right?!?

Our Trip to Disney World

Congratulations again to the winners of the Utopia Staff Incentive Trip to Disney World: Terri Knopik, Kendra Mace, Bethany Stritt, Rachel Hoover, Sandi Irving-Dinger, Beth Peterson, and Ryanna Rogers. They, along with owners Kevin & Sherry, Salon Manager Deidra, and receptionist, Lindsay Filipi – We had such a great time! You gals deserved it!

Summer Hair Care Tips

The advent of warmer weather tends to bring aspirations of hair-related grandeur along with it.  While visions of sugarplums may keep us merry in the winter, it’s sun-kissed highlights, long, {perfectly} windblown hair, and beachy waves that we’re lusting after as spring fades into the long, languid days of summer.

The reality, though, is that summer sun, combined with sweltering heat and through-the-roof humidity can damage the cuticle of your hair, resulting in dry, split, brittle tresses and some seriously ragged ends. In fact, sun exposure can be just as damaging to unprotected hair as a super hot blow dryer.

Read on to see what you can do to keep your hair in tip-top shape during these upcoming summer months…

1.  Try a {mini} vacation…from shampoo

We’ve all heard that lathering up less often allows your hair to absorb its natural oils. However, if the mere thought of not starting out each day with squeaky clean strands makes you cringe, try switching to a slightly gentler cleansing method, like diluted shampoo or conditioner-only washes. When possible, finish with a cool to cold rinse to seal the hair cuticle and impart some natural shimmer.

2.  Go au-natural

During the summer months when hair tends to be moisture deprived to begin with, do your best to limit the use of harsh chemicals – such as colorants and relaxers – as much as possible. Depending on your hair type, texture and its current condition, you may want to seriously consider staying away from certain products that contain ingredients (think: alcohol) which could sap even more precious moisture from your hair.

3.  Back away from the heat styling tools

If you normally use things like blow dryers, flat irons or curlers to create your signature style, consider taking a break from them to give your hair an extra bit of R&R during the summer months. Air dry whenever possible or loosely braid damp tresses to create natural waves as your hair dries. Play with half up/half down styles or some easy-going side braids. If, however, you’re totally attached to your blow dryer and just can’t give it up, consider using a leave-in conditioner that’s specifically designed to protect your hair against dryer heat.

4.  Schedule deep conditioning treatments

Sun drenched hair needs regular deep conditioning treatments and moisture replenishment to stay healthy. To add a bit of extra oomph! to you conditioning regimen, apply deep conditioner to tresses (damp or dry) then wrap in plastic wrap or a shower cap. Allow conditioner to soak in to particularly dry and brittle sections for an extended period of time – or even overnight – for extra repair and re-moisturizing benefits. Keep in mind that some hair care products designed to add shine do just that – add shine only. Make sure to do your homework by reading all ingredients and directions on the label to understand exactly what benefits the product in your hand is designed to provide to your strands.

5.  Treat fragile ends with some extra TLC

Jojoba oil applied to the ends of your tresses can make for some super soft tips and it works wonders on frizzy hair as well.  It can also be used as a pre-shampoo treatment or applied to dry strands for added protection throughout the day. A word of caution, though – unless your theme for the summer is “swarthy”, apply sparingly. A liberal application of oil won’t heal your hair any faster…but it will make you look like a mid-70’s Elvis impersonator (powder blue jumpsuit optional).

So, there ya have it. Keep that hair healthy!

 

Eye Shadow Colors for your Eye Color

These days when looking through Pinterest or various blogs and video tutorials it may seem that anything goes. It also may seem overwhelming with evening/day looks, natural/dramatic or whether to match my outfit or not. We are all for experimenting and having fun with make up but also want to provide some guidelines to steer you in the right direction.

Brown eyes are the easiest since most anything will go with brown eyes. Green really makes brown eyes stand out. Blue can also add to the depth brown eyes have. If you are lucky enough to have gold flecks in your eyes experiment with bringing that out with a golden highlight color.

Green eye color really pops with purple hues. These purples can vary in darkness depending if you want a light airy look for day and easily can add a darker anchor color with more bold eyeliner for night. You can even have fun with the colored eyeliners! Green eyes also look really nice with natural warm earth tones.

Blue eyes are very striking in and of themselves so stay away from more blue shadow. Your eye color should stand-alone and not compete with your shadow. While lighter eyes look good in earth tones and purples as well try branching out to slates and grays. If you can master the all coveted “smoky eye” you will be the envy of your friends and gazed upon by many.

As with all makeup, it is there to enhance your natural beauty not to hide behind. Have fun!

Valentine’s Day Pampering!

Valentine’s Day…Singles Awareness Day…whatever you prefer to call it, its right around the corner and that means you need to stop into Utopia for a little pampering! If you think about it, there really isn’t a reason to NOT pamper yourself for Valentine’s Day. Think of the different scenarios:

1. You have a hot date. You will want to look and feel your best, right? How do you achieve that? Getting pampered!

2. You are single and you’re fine with that. Great! You clearly respect yourself enough to know exactly what is best for you, which means you know that you deserve to be…yep, you guessed it. Pampered!

3. You are single and plan to hit the town with all of your single girl friends. Guess what? All the single guys have the same plan! So, the chances of you running into one of said single guys are pretty huge!

Now, how exactly can we accomplish this day of pampering that you now believe is truly essential? Let us count the ways! You’ll want to first relax with a massage and a session in the Swiss shower. Once you’re nice and calm, its time to head in for a facial. Then we’re off to get an awesome mani/pedi (maybe even a Valentine’s Day theme!). Now that we’ve been through all of the above, you are ready for a new cut and color!

Perfect! Now you are looking your best and ready to tackle this wonderful holiday!

Most Requested Celebrity Hairstyles in 2012

2012 brought a lot of typical things from celebrities, including social media screw ups, meltdowns, break ups, confessions, etc. We can always count on the rich and famous to keep us entertained…and to always keep us lusting after their hairstyles! Allure Magazine put together the most requested celebrity cuts from coast to coast in 2012 and we wanted to share a few of our favorites with you!

Nicole Richie, Utopia Salon, Favorite Requested Celebrity Hairstyles 2012 BlogIn New York, the most requested style was Nicole Richie’s bob. This style is always a great way to have a manageable hairstyle while still looking adorable!

Adriana Lima, Utopia Lincoln, Favorite Popular Celebrity Hairstyles BlogCloser to our region, the most requested style in Chicago was Adriana Lima’s waves. We personally don’t think this look could ever go out of style!

Rihanna, Utopia Lincoln, Favorite Popular Celebrity Hairstyles BlogThose in Washington D.C. must be a little more daring, as the most requested cut there was that of Rihanna’s! This is always a favorite look for bold women!
Jennifer Aniston, Utopia Lincoln, Favorite Popular Celebrity Hairstyles BlogIn Philadelphia, the ladies were all after the shiny tresses of Jennifer Aniston. Like Nicole Richie’s bob, Jen’s shag is simple but still makes a statement!

Who wants to make bets on the best hairstyles for 2013??

See Also: Top 7 Hairstyles of 2011 and Sunglasses-Trends for 2012

4 Reasons that Short Cuts Rock!

You’ve been thinking about it off and on for awhile now…you plan to do it, maybe even made an appointment…but you back out last minute. Sound familiar when you’re thinking about a brand new, short, bold haircut? We’ve all been there, so to help with the motivation to take the plunge and get yourself a new, sexy style, we’ve put together a list of reasons why a short hair cut is awesome!

1) The most obvious reason that you should rock that short cut you’ve been dreaming of is convenience! Short cuts are so easy to maintain and take much less time than styling long hair.

2) A short cut is so bold! If you’re looking to make a statement, this is a good place to start!

3) It’s versatile. You can gel it for a spiky, edgy look or you could curl the ends for a soft look.

4) It’s a great way to show off your beautiful face! A beautiful face could get lost in long hair, but with short hair, it will be so much more noticeable!

If we haven’t convinced you that a short style is the way to go, that’s ok, we love long styles too! But if you are ready to make the cut, call us today!

Our New Year’s Resolutions!

Last week we shared our grown up wishlists with you, so of course we now have to let you know what our New Year’s Resolutions are! We are hoping that if we put them out there for everyone to see that we will be more likely to stick to them. We’ll see how that goes!

 

 

 

 

Kevin (Co-Owner):
1) Keep up on my diet
2) To have a great time in Disney!

Sherry (Co-Owner):
1) To finally start using my elliptical machine on a regular basis
2) Try to jump to conclusions!

Kelli (Esthetician):
1) To get back involved in belly dancing
2) Work on client building

Beth (Massage Therapist):
1) To save money
2) Be more healthy

Ryana (Massage Therapist):
1) To be a better person
2) Live a healthier lifestyle

Abbie (Cosmetologist):
1) To devote as much time as possible with my baby girl Ella!
2) Enhance my cooking skills

Bethany (Cosmetologist/Esthetician/Barber):
1) Make more time for family, friends, and my husband
2) Finish the deck on our house

Kendra (Cosmetologist):
1) Grow…in height
2) Obtain favorite aunt status with my niece & nephews

Rachel (Cosmetologist):
1) Lose 10 pounds
2) Get a year gym membership and not use it!

Terri (Cosmetologist):
1) Exercise more
2) Eat healthier

Tara (Receptionist):
1) Eat more healthy and get in shape
2) Donate monthly to a worthy charity

There you have it! Our resolutions for 2013…feel free to check on us in a few months to make sure we are all keeping up!

Our Grown Up Wish Lists!

utopia Christmas Wish ListAll of us here at Utopia have decided that you’re never too old for a wish list to Santa, so we have put together a grown up wish list of things we want for Christmas!

Kevin (Co-Owner):
1) My daughter, Kate, to come home safe from school
2) To have a great, but calm Christmas!

Sherry (Co-Owner):
1) Storage cupboard for my office
2) Hair stylists!

Kelli (Esthetician):
1) Leather Rock band
2) Vacuum Cleaner

Beth (Massage Therapist):
1) A new king size bed
2) Lottery (win!!) :)

Ryana (Massage Therapist):
1) A car
2) Money for vacation

Abbie (Cosmetologist):
1) Wedding planner
2) A camera

Bethany (Cosmetologist/Esthetician/Barber):
1) New pair of boots
2) Bread machine

Kendra (Cosmetologist):
1) Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred Shot Range Model Air rifle
2) Future Mr. Mace
**now accepting applications!**

Rachel (Cosmetologist):
1) My two front teeth!
2) A trip to The Price is Right!

Terri (Cosmetologist):
1) Perfume
2) Money

Tara (Receptionist):
1) Two tickets & an all expense paid trip to Augusta, Georgia to see the Master’s Golf Tournament for my dad & I.
2) Two tickets & an all expense paid trip to WRESTLEMANIA to see John Cena & Randy Orton!

 

The Gift of a Little R&R!

We know that the holiday season is extremely hectic and we could all use a little rest and relaxation…as well as some gift ideas! Luckily, a gift card from Utopia Salon and Day Spa offers a solution to all three of those problems!

Gift cards are available at $25 increments up to $100 per card and you can order them right here on our website, on the Gift Cards page. What’s better yet, is that the gift card will be shipped right to your house (or the recipient’s if you are buying from afar). The gift cards can be used on any service in the salon, but are not valid for stylists in the private suites.

The gift idea of course takes care of YOUR needs and your friends or family will be the lucky ones to receive the rest and relaxation part of it, but they are sure to remember your thoughtfulness and return the favor next year!

 

 

Extreme Hairstyles- Love Them or Hate Them?

In our salon, we see a lot of people bring in ideas for hairstyles that they have found on the internet, especially through Pinterest. Now, we haven’t seen anything as crazy as what we will show you here in this blog, but with the idea generating help from social media platforms, people are getting a lot more creative with their hairstyles. This has inspired us to find some of the most extreme hairstyles out there. Would you wear any of these styles? Let us know in the comments below!

This style is intended to resemble a disco ball. While it is a subtle form of extreme, it is still an edgy look that might turn a few heads. Love it or hate it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki Minaj is known for her crazy fashion sense…but is this half and half dye job a little too extreme? Love it or hate it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we discussed in our “1980s Trends – Should they stay or should they go?“, animal prints are a trend that we love…but not for your hairstyle. We’re not fond of this leopard print do, but what do you think? Love it or hate it?

 

 

 

 

We’ve seen a lot of really cute styles on Pinterest featuring a hair bow (you can find a few that we like on our Hairstyles That We Love board). But typically, they are on the back of your head, opposed to the front like this one. We prefer the style with the bow in the back because it has a better flow. Love it or hate it?

Utopia Salon & Day Spa is only in Lincoln!

It has come to our attention that there is a Utopia Massage & Spa that has recently opened in Omaha. We would like to clarify that we are not associated with this new Utopia. Sorry for any confusion!

Our Favorite Vintage Hair Accessories

Vintage trends have been sneaking back into our lives for the last several months and we have to say that we hope they are here to stay! We love the soft and classic look of the vintage style, so we wanted to put together a little collection of our favorite hair accessories to go along with it.

This bright colored flower adds a bold look to a soft vintage style!
Nothing says vintage like lace and this beautiful lace flower clip will instantly create a vintage look for any hairstyle.

 

Feathers create a look just like a 1920′s flapper and we absolutely love them!
These beaded barrettes create a classy and elegant version of a vintage look.

 

For a few ideas on vintage hairstyles to go along with these accessories, see our blog, Vintage Hair Styles Back In!

SCARY Fashion Trends..That We Hope Don’t Haunt Us Again!

To get into the spooky spirit of Halloween, we wanted to visit our ghosts of fashion past and pick some of the scariest trends ever to be seen! We know we’ve all had our moments in which we have surrendered to following these trends, we just hope they are part of our past and will not be haunting us in the future. Enjoy!

1. Overalls with one strap off. Not sure how this trend was started or WHY anyone ever thought it looked so cool, but we hope this interesting trend of the 90s will stay buried and never make it’s return!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
2. Fanny packs. Oh dear, sweet fanny packs! There are still a few of these lurking around and we understand that there is an element of practicality that came along with this invention, but we believe they should have at least tried to incorporate a little fashion sense too! (notice that he’s also rocking Umbro shorts…those deserve a bad trends blog of their own!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Butterfly Hair clips. This trend gives us goosebumps. The frightening kind. We still believe these are ok for children, but definitely no one over the age of 10!

 

4. Big Bangs. Now we know we already mentioned this in our blog about 80s trends, but they are so bad that we had to include it again. Even the men got sucked into big bangs and we’re so happy this trend has flown away on a broomstick.

 

 

 

 

 

We hope that all of you out there will join us in the fight to keep these frightening trends buried in the fashion graveyard!

Braids, Braids and More Braids!

Braids are a fun go-to hair style that can work for almost any occasion. You can use a braid to style your hair for a day at the beach, a day in the office, a night on the town or even a wedding. We love how creative you can get with braids and we wanted to share with you a few of our favorite styles!

 

Many variations of a French braid work perfect for the beach or for a casual look.

 

We love how these simple braids add a fun and youthful look to a bridal up-do!

 

The waterfall braid works wonderful for a business look, a night out or it could even be a casual look for a bridesmaid.

 

A simple braid that ties into a bun is such a great way to dress up  a simple, quick hair style.

We love to see new and unique hairstyles, so please share your favorites with us!

DIY Halloween Costumes 2012

Halloween is the favorite holiday for many, whether its because they love fall, they love candy or they just love to be creative and design their own costumes. Since we can’t give you any candy through our blog, we’ve decided to feed your crafty minds with a few DIY costume ideas! You can see more ideas in the first round of this blog from last year.

1. Pirate- This costume may not be the most original, but its fun and easy to put together yourself! All you need is a black skirt that you can chop up the hem to look tattered (try Goodwill for a cheap one!) and  a black and red or white and red striped shirt to pair with it. Finish the costume off with a sword, an eye patch and red fishnets!

 

2. Rainbow- You can take the group approach to this like in the picture or you can make yourself into a rainbow. Just find yourself a white shirt and pants, paint some ROYGBIV lines on and you are a now a rainbow! Quick and easy idea for a last minute costume.

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pin Up Girl- This is a great costume that you can customize to your personality. Whether you’re going for cute or sexy, all you need for this is the right dress or skirt/shirt combo, fishnets, a pair of high heels and some great hair and makeup! (we know an awesome salon that can help you with that last part!)

 

4. Peacock- This is probably one of the cutest and easiest do it yourself costumes! All you need is a blue or green dress and a few feathers to place on your back to transition into this elegant wildlife!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed round 2 of DIY Halloween costume ideas! Please comment with some of your favorite DIY costumes!

Get Rid of Those Raccoon Eyes!

We all have those times when we are busy with school or work or just life in general and sleep is hard to come by. Not only does a lack of sleep cause for a cranky girl but it also creates those awful dark circles under our eyes. Luckily, there are a few treatments that will help you look less “raccoon” and more ravishing!

Preparation H – As odd as it may sound, the anti-inflammatory power of Preparation H will take away the swelling and puffiness from under your eyes.

Cold Spoons – If you place a couple spoons in the fridge for 30-45 minutes and then place them curve side down on your closed eyes for about 10 minutes, it will be soothing and effective.

Cucumbers? Nope, Potatoes! – Potato slices are actually a better veggie to use as an eye treatment than cucumbers. The starch in the potatoes will aid in the swelling and the discoloration.

And Our Personal Favorite: Utopia Salon – If you prefer to relax your dark circles away, Utopia offers several spa and esthetic services that will have you soon forgetting about the stress that caused them in the first place!

Preparing Your Skin For Winter

We know it’s not quite wintertime yet, but we thought that since stores are already selling Christmas merchandise, it is about that time to start preparing your skin for the “most wonderful time of the year.” The cold, brisk air of Nebraska winters causes your skin to become dried out and though it is inevitable to suffer from a little dry skin, there are things you can do to prevent it from being intolerable.

One way to keep your skin hydrated is by drinking water. You should consume at least 8-10 glasses, or 64-80 ounces, a day. Along with drinking the right amount of water, you should lower your caffeine intake, as caffeine strips moisture from your skin.

Another solution to avoid itchy, irritated skin is to take shorter showers. The hot water in a shower breaks up natural body oils, causing your skin to dry out quicker. After your shower, you should lather up with cream instead of lotion, because they typically have a stronger barrier to keep water in.

Our final way to prevent dry skin this winter is an intense hydration collagen facial from Utopia.  To learn more about a collagen facial, see our blog Benefits of a Collagen Facial!

12 Months of Nail Art!

Manicures and pedicures are one of the many services offered by Utopia. Our cosmetologists are always looking for fun new nail designs to do, so we decided to make a collaboration of 12 months of nail art! Enjoy!

January:
Who doesn’t love a cute little snowman?

 

February:
Celebrate the month of love with hot pink nails and a little Valentine’s day design!

 

March:
Luck o’ the Irish right there on your fingernails!

 

April:
Robin’s egg design to celebrate spring!

 

May:
Nothing says excitement for the kickoff of summer like some bright colors!

 

June:
The only way that bees look cute is while fluttering across your summer nails!

 

July:
Show your patriotism and celebrate your country with USA inspired nail art.

 

August:
A little ombre style with a bright color is the best way to wrap up the summer.
September:
Welcome fall with rustic, fall trees!

 

October:
Rocking the orange and black for Halloween!

 

November:
Who says the turkey is just for eating!?

 

December:
A simple, festive and adorable way to celebrate the month of Christmas!

 

Visit our Nails page for information about our services and pricing! We hope to see you at Utopia for your 12 months of nail art!

Esthetic Services by Utopia

Utopia Salon and Day Spa offers a variety of services and in this blog we would like to highlight our esthetic services. Estheticians are trained to do many types of specialty facials, chemical peels, and all types of body waxing for women and men. After a detailed consultation, services will be performed according to each clients individual needs.

We have many different esthetic services available, including collagen facials, purifying pore treatment and anti-aging treatments. Our licensed esthetician also does waxing, whether it be eyebrows, bikini, arms or legs. For a full list of our esthetic services available and for pricing please see our services page. See additional information on esthetic services in our blog:

All About Waxing!

Benefits of a Collagen Facial

DIY Products

A lot of people are pinching pennies these days and looking towards home recipes for some everyday items that have gotten out of control expensive at the store. Here, we list a few of our favorites along with the recipes for each. Enjoy!

Leg Scrub:

In order to get silky soft and smooth legs, you can make this scrub at home and use it after you shave! Just mix together 2.5 cups of sugar, 1 cup of oil (you could use canola, vegetable, olive or any fragranced body oil) and 5 tablespoons of a citrus juice, preferably fresh squeezed. Applying this scrub after you shave will remove any dead skin and leave your gams looking and feeling great!

 

Shaving Cream:

This recipe for homemade shaving cream is extremely easy and you will have most of the ingredients already at home! All you will need is 1 cup of each of shampoo and conditioner and 5 tablespoons each of baby oil and your favorite lotion. Mix these four things together and let sit for one hour and voila! You now have shaving cream!

 

Hand Sanitizer:

It won’t be long until cold and flu season is here and this homemade hand sanitizer will really come in handy!  In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel with no color, 2/3 cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol and 8-10 drops of essential oil (use any scent that you like). Stir the ingredients together and pour into an empty soap bottle. Put the lid on the bottle, shake it up and apply!

 

For more at home remedies, see our Whiten Your Teeth Naturally and Kitchen Spa blogs!

1980s Trends – Should they stay or should they go?

The 1980s was a great decade and there are a lot of things that came from the 80s that we are thankful for. Movies and music, for example. Who doesn’t love Sixteen Candles and Dirty Dancing? Could we even live without great hits, such as Celebration by Kool & The Gang or Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield?

As far as fashion, there are a couple of iconic 80s trends that we enjoyed…and also a few that we wish we could forget.  Here are a few that we are happy about making a comeback:

Animal prints make great accent pieces. They are one of our favorites and have been very “in” for the last few years!

 

 

 

 

Colored jeans are slowly but surely making their way back onto department store shelves. This look may not be for everyone, but if you pair them with a simple top and the right accessories, it could work for you!

 

 

 

Whether you wear your leggings with your favorite long sweater or a skirt, it is a look that we always love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here a few that we hope NEVER EVER EVER come back:

We will just say that the ONLY time it’s ok to wear a scrunchie is if you’re 10 years old or younger, in a time machine on your way back to the 80s or an Olympic gymnast! (see our blog about Olympic gymnast style trends)

 

 

 

Full leotards…especially the ones that snap like a onesie. They weren’t comfortable, they’re unattractive and they should only be allowed for ballet dancers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE 80s HAIR! If you know of anyone who’s still rockin the big bangs and feathered up hair, please send them to Utopia, ASAP!! Because let’s face it, no one can look as beautiful with an 80s do as Morgan Fairchild!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ombres by Utopia

One of the latest crazes in hair trends has been the ombre color. An ombre consists of having darker, natural looking roots that gradually turn into lighter hues towards the ends of the hair. This style is great and not only because it looks good. Your natural roots are already blended, so you don’t have to constantly get them touched up. Here are a couple examples of ombre colors done at Utopia! See more of our photos on our Facebook and Flickr pages!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style Trends of the Olympic Gymnasts

 

The Olympics are reaching a close for 2012 and aside from enjoying the incredible athletic talent in competition over the last couple of weeks, we’ve also enjoyed the style trends of the Olympic gymnasts. From eyeshadow to hair accessories, they sure never fail to dress to impress! Or at least leave some sort of impression…anyways, let’s take a look at some of these trends!
It’s all about the eyeshadow! Daniele Hypolito from Brazil shows some very colorful (and patriotic) makeup trends for her run in the Olympics. However, this patriotism did not boost her performance in her fourth Olympic appearance, scoring just an 11.9 on her floor routine.

 

 

 

 

Totally opposite of Daniele’s makeup style, McKayla Maroney from the United States team went for the smoky eye. The only explanation for this dramatic evening look is that she possibly had a date after her performance on the vault?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrunchies, scrunchies and more scrunchies! While most of us left these behind in grade school (or in the 90′s in general) they are still a big hit for gymnasts. And don’t forget about the barrettes and ALL that hairspray!! I guess having their hair under wraps was helpful to the USA women’s team as they received the gold medal in team competition!

 

 

 

We hope you enjoyed the gymnast style trends! Enjoy the rest of the 2012 Summer Olympics!

Why Manicures?

To some, a manicure may be an afterthought to a day at the spa. Just that finishing touch after you’ve already been pampered with a massage, pedicure and facial. But manicures hold much more importance that just a finishing touch. Here are a few reasons why you should get manicures.

First of all, have you ever had a manicure and not felt wonderful about the way that your neatly polished fingers look? NO! A manicure is a simple way to boost your self esteem.  Plus, the 30 or so minutes that it takes to get your manicure is time that you can just relax and let someone pay all of his or her attention to you and your hands.

In addition to feeling good about yourself, manicures benefit the health of your skin and nails. The creams and oils that your manicurist may rub on your hands and into your cuticles helps to condition and keep your skin from cracking in dry weather. Better yet, the polished finish on your nails will help to keep them from chipping and breaking, helping you to grow strong and healthy nails.

Check out our services page for pricing information and stop into Utopia Salon and Day Spa for a manicure today!

Benefits of a Steam Shower

One of our most popular services that we have here at Utopia is our steam shower. It has proven to be a customer favorite over time and does so much more than just provide you with a good dose of relaxation. A steam shower is also known to clear skin, increase circulation and assist with weight management.

The heat of a steam shower causes increased perspiration, which can push trapped dirt and dead skin cells out from your pores. In time, this will help to improve clarity of your skin. In addition to this increase in perspiration, your circulation will also increase naturally. This brings more oxygen to cells and decreases the risk of hypertension and hardened arteries. Another benefit of the increase in blood flow is that it speeds up your metabolism. When this happens, your body burns more calories.

Whether you are interested in a steam shower for your skin, circulation, metabolism or that wonderful “R” word (relax!!) contact us at Utopia or see our rates at our services page!

Sunglasses – Trends for 2012

With Vintage Hairstyles back in, it’s no surprise that other current trends might be a blast from the past as well. Take this summer’s sunglasses trend, for example. Many of the newer trends are going retro.

 

Bold Colors

Katy Perry is known for her bold statements and these sunglasses are no exception. But it looks like Katy’s bold style is all the rage when it comes to sunglasses this summer. From bright red to the 80′s neon, bold colors are in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round Frames

Now, we can’t deny that Orlando Bloom would look good in anything, but he’s definitely rocking these round frames he’s wearing. And Orlando’s not the only one! This style, slightly modified from the round 60′s sunglasses, is also in this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aviators

Let’s face it, we’re not sure if Aviators ever really go OUT of style, but Jennifer Aniston definitely gives these sunglasses, originally popular on men, a certain sex appeal that proves, once again, that they look just as great on women.

Fun Fact: Aviators were originally created by Ray Ban.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat Eyes

Jennifer Lopez rocks this style, originally popular in the 50′s and 60′s. Cat eye glasses haven’t been a trend in a while, but they are making their comeback this summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Bans

She’s got her Ray Bans on and she’s feeling hella cool tonight! There’s no doubt that Rihanna rocks these sunglasses and her song couldn’t have hurt their popularity, but Ray Bans were originally popular back in the 50′s, then again in the 80′s and have come back again for the 2010′s!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it! 2012 trends in the world of sunglasses and the celebs!

 

Benefits of Massage

Getting a massage is quite possibly one of the most relaxing things that you can experience. It also is an activity that you can reap many benefits from. While there are the obvious perks, such as easing pain and relaxation, the benefits of a rub down actually go far beyond the surface.

According to the article “5 Surprising Benefits of Massage”, studies have shown that receiving a massage can greatly decrease your levels of the hormone cortisol, which is produced when you are stressed. The reduction of cortisol is beneficial not only in the sense that it relaxes you, but it can also soothe anxiety and depression. In addition to feeling happier and relaxed, you may also build immunity to colds or other illnesses. Cortisol kills cells that are important for immunity, so when massage reduces your levels of the stress hormone, these immunity cells have a better chance for survival.

If what we’ve already told you isn’t enough of a reason to be rushing into Utopia for a massage, you must also know that massages are linked to improving sleep, beating some PMS symptoms and fighting off headaches. Let us help you relax at Utopia Salon & Day Spa not only with our excellent massages, but our spa and steam room services as well. Check out our full packages for the full spa experience!

Preventing Sun Damage to Your Hair

While skin is the most common thing to worry about while soaking up the sun, it isn’t the only thing that is threatened by damage from the sun’s rays. Your hair can also sustain damage if it is exposed to UV rays for a prolonged amount of time.

A few signs of sun damage to your hair can include faded hair color, dry and brittle hair, broken or split ends, frizzy hair and/or weakened and thinning hair. Fortunately, there are a couple ways to ensure that your locks are protected:

1. Wear a Hat!

Wearing a hat is the best way to protect your hair from the sun’s rays, because it blocks the exposure completely-and it’s a cute accessory, of course! Not a hat person? Try wrapping a scarf around your head instead! Click here to see different ways to wear scarves!

 

2. Home Remedy

Another way to prevent damage is by making your own mixture of sunblock and water that you can spray on your hair. This works just like sunblock does on your skin! And don’t forget to apply sunblock directly to the part in your hair so that your scalp is also protected!

3. Utopia Hair Care

For already sun-damaged and dry hair, we have just the remedy! The Utopia Designer Series includes a deep conditioning hair product, Quench, that can help restore the moisture to your sun-dried locks! For every day maintenance, we also have Apple a Day shampoo and Purify shampoo and conditioner.

Enjoy the sun this summer but don’t forget to protect your natural beauty with hair and skin treatments from Utopia Salon & Day Spa!

Protecting Your Hair from Chlorine Damage

Swimming is one of our favorite summer activities, but unfortunately, exposure to too much chlorine can cause your hair to seriously dry out. Luckily, there are ways to prevent too much damage to your hair.

Chlorine is added to swimming pools to keep it clean from bacteria and algae. Because of the chemicals in chlorine, it will also strip your hair of natural oils. Regular exposure to chlorinated swimming pools can cause significant damage to your hair from the stripping of these oils, causing over drying and increased porosity.

In order to prevent damage to your hair, there are few steps you can take, such as saturating your hair with clean tap water before getting into the pool. When your hair is already wet, it will not absorb very much of the chlorinated water. You also should rinse your hair thoroughly once you are done swimming, flushing the chlorine and chemicals out as soon as possible. Once you have removed the chlorine, remember to replace the moisture by conditioning your hair. You can even use a leave-in protein conditioner to soothe your dry hair. If you are looking to avoid chlorine damage at all costs, try a swim cap! This is especially helpful if you are facing a lot of chlorine exposure.

See also: Preventing Sun Damage to Your Hair

Hairstyles for All Types of Hair

It seems like every person wants a different type of hair than what they have. If it’s thick, they want thin. If it’s wavy, they want straight. But with these hairstyle tips for each different type of hair, you will learn to love your hair just the way it is!

Wavy- A lot of people concerning naturally curly hair to be a nuisance, but really it’s a coveted feature. You literally don’t have to do anything with it in the morning, just get up and go! And you always have the option to straighten it out. But if you are truly sick of the same old look, there are a couple of different hairstyles to try.

Taylor Swift turns her curls into a faux bob.

Carrie Underwood sweeps her curls to the side for a simple, yet elegant look.

Straight- Most people with straight hair envy those that have the body and bounce of curly hair. However, there are plenty of hairstyles that work well with straight hair.

Straight hair looks great in a sleek ponytail, like Kristen Bell wears here. Add accessories to dress up or customize your look.

Heidi Klum and Jenny McCarthy can make everyone jealous of straight hair when they cut it into a cute bob like this.

Thick- People who have thick hair know that it can truly be a pain sometimes. It tends to be very heavy and harder to put a brush through. But anyone with thin hair is always wishing for thicker hair and there is good reasoning to that. Thick hair has the body to hold multiple types of hairstyles.

Half up, half down is our favorite hairstyle for thick hair. Pulling half of your hair up, gives instant dimension and volume to your look.

Long layers, like Jessica Simpson’s, work exceptionally well for thick hair, giving it a nice textured look and a thinner feeling, making it easier to style.

Thin- Thin hair can be easily manageable, but leave someone begging for more volume and body. Luckily, there are hairstyles to accomplish this for you!

Cameron Diaz adds loose curls to make her hair look fuller.

You just can’t go wrong with a cute bob! Kiera Knightley makes her thin hair look instantly fuller by cutting it into a bob with soft layers.

See also: Hairstyles for Your Face Shape

Locks of Love

Locks of Love is a non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children in the United States and Canada suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. Here at Utopia, we have recently had a few donations for Locks of Love and we would like to extend a special thanks to those who participated. Pictured below are Addison Ehlers, Lizzie Ehlers and Megan Pieper with their donations. If you would like to donate to Locks of Love, you just need to have 10 inches of hair measured tip to tip. It can be colored or permed, just not bleached. Contact us at Utopia if you have any questions about donating or are interested in donating! Thanks again to Addison, Lizzie, Megan and all others who have donated to Locks of Love!

All About Waxing!

Summer months are here and along with warm weather comes swimsuits, tank tops, shorts, skirts and cute dresses. The attire for this season is one of many reasons that you should consider waxing – whether for your bikini line, face, arms or legs. In this blog, we are going to tell you all about waxing, including the myths about waxing and why it is better than shaving.

The most obvious reason to choose waxing over shaving is because it lasts so much longer! This means less time maintaining your look and more time showing off your smooth skin at the beach! Another less known perk of waxing is that the hair will grow back softer, finer and thinner once waxed.

We all know that waxing has a stigma of pain but this is not necessarily true. While it can be uncomfortable your first time around, waxing is generally not painful. Also, it is said that waxing can discolor your skin, but since the pigmentation of your skin is genetically determined, waxing will not affect it.

If you need any waxing service, please contact Utopia and make an appointment with Bethany or Kelli, our licensed estheticians!

 

Top 5 Summer Hair Accessories

With Memorial Day just around the corner, we have reached the gateway from spring to summer, meaning that we are all geared up for the beach, weddings, picnics and more fun in the sun! The only downfall to the best season of the year is that heat and humidity tend to do really awful things to our hair. We’ve all dealt with the frizz and “extra body” that we gain in the summer months. Luckily, there are accessories that help to maintain a cute look, even when your hair is misbehaving. Here are our five favorite summer hair accessories!

1) Headbands-  Not only are they functional for keeping your hair out your eyes, you can also dress up any outfit as much or little as you want!

2) Cute hair clips-  Same as headbands, functional and cute! Dress it up, keep it simple, the possibilities are endless!

3) Ponytail holders- While you can get cute ponytail holders (just be careful, Scrunchies are NOT back in style), we like them purely for their functionality. Sometimes, you just want that hair completely out of your way when the heat is really scorching.

4) Caps and Hats- While keeping the sun out of your eyes, hats also keep your hair under control and give you a cute casual feel to your look. And now days, you can get hats that are nice enough to wear out for a night on the town!

5) Head Scarves- A great way to define your look and keep your hair under control. Scarves can be worn many different ways, making them suitable for many different functions.

Wear Sunscreen!

We know that everyone feels best when they’re rockin a nice tan and because of this, a lot us skip the sunscreen in order to obtain that beloved sun-kissed glow. Now we are here to tell you: Wear sunscreen!

It is essential to wear sunscreen while out in the sun for any amount of time. Without it, you have zero protection from the suns rays. Studies have shown that the #1 cause of damage and aging to the skin is sun exposure. Lengthy exposure to the sun can cause wrinkling and a leathery skin appearance. In order to decrease this long-term damage to your skin, make sure you get sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. SPF is the universal measurement of protection against UV rays and the higher the number, the better.

You may miss out on your bronzed skin now, but you will thank us for this lecture later! Now go have some SAFE fun in the sun!

See Also: Preventing Sun Damage to Your Hair and Beauty Tips to Beat the Heat

 

A Mother’s Day Poem from Utopia Salon

Your hands have been neglected
from all the years that you
used them for me only
to hold me and guide me, too.

Your feet are sore and calloused
from going on before
clearing the path for me
so I could do much more.

And oh, your poor back
how it must hurt you so
from carrying the weight
of all my burdens and woes.

You have put yourself aside
and it’s time for me to say,
“Thank you for everything!
and Happy Mother’s Day!”

 

See Also: Top 5 Reasons Your Mother Deserves a Day at the Spa

Creative Ways to Organize Your Beauty Products

It’s time for some spring cleaning and you have a wide assortment of beauty products that just seem to be cluttered in your linen closet and vanity. No worries, we have wonderful, do-it-yourself ways to solve the problem.  There are some things you would never even think of to use as organizational tools, but they are actually just perfect!

First off, coffee beans! Yes, we know you’re wondering what purpose coffee beans serve for your beauty supplies. It’s simple: coffee beans in a small container makes the perfect holder for your makeup brushes. Another fun aspect of this trick is that you can use flavored coffee beans and you will not only create a conventional use of space but also will add a wonderful aroma to your bathroom!
Second, a plate rack or spice rack. This kitchen item serves as a wonderful holder for all of your perfume bottles. Just find one that will fit your space and paint it to match your décor and voila, new perfume holder!

 

Our third trick is probably the most odd one of all- a cheese grater! As strange as it sounds, a cheese grater makes a wonderful earring holder. Paint your grater a fun color and you have an instant organizational tool for your earrings.

 

Now that we have your creative wheels turning, it’s time to take on some projects and finally get that bathroom organized!

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Mother Deserves a Day at the Spa for Mother’s Day

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, we thought we would compile a list of the reasons why your Mom deserves a day at the spa (besides the fact that she’s so beautiful and you just love her so much)! Here it is!

 

5. Her hands have been neglected over the years while she used them only to hold you, guide you and hug you.

4. Her feet have been worn from the years of her walking ahead to clear the path for you.

3. Those lovely wrinkles on her face are from the years of worrying about you.

2. Her back is sore from years of holding you up until you had wings to fly on your own.

1. Although, you were perfect and none of those gray hairs are due to stress you caused, she did have to put up with your siblings as well.

And we’re sure you can think of many more reasons, with a Mother as special as yours! Stop in to Utopia for a gift certificate so Mom can indulge in a little pampering this Mother’s Day!

See Also: A Mother’s Day Poem!

Spice up your toes for spring!

It’s a beautiful day. You’re at the beach, enjoying a day of fun in the sun with friends and family and all of a sudden, you see it. It’s like a nightmare – something you never hoped to have to experience. You hear the music start playing in your head just like on the movie… duh da… duh da… duh da duh da duh da… Then someone screams “AHHHHH!! Look at your feet!”

We know, winter is barely over and those little piggies have been in hiding for several cold, dry months. But it’s time to whip them back into shape for spring! Think of all the special events you have coming up! Backyard barbecues, weddings, dates…you name it! No one wants to see calloused feet and unpolished toes.

Luckily, Utopia can provide you with a refreshing pedicure that is not only going to make your feet looking fresh and fabulous, but will also provide you with some relaxation! We all know how hectic our schedules can get. Especially during these summer months when you’re trying to cram in as much fun with friends and family on top of all the work and social commitments that come this time of year, but it’s ok to take out a little “me” time every once in awhile. Go ahead, treat yourself – you know you want to (and we don’t blame you)!

 

The Kitchen Spa

While regular visits to the spa to receive a professional facial are recommended, there are also some remedies you can whip up at home to keep your skin moisturized and exfoliated on a daily basis.  These remedies involve just a few foods that you are sure to have right at hand in your kitchen and they may just surprise you.

 

Avocadoes are loaded with vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as potassium and fat, making it the perfect moisturizer. In order to prevent your skin from becoming dry, cracked and irritated, just take a spent avocado peel and use gentle upward strokes to lightly massage your face. You may leave the moisture-locking oil on as a nighttime moisturizer or to wash your face with in the morning.

 

Peaches are rich sources of skin-renewing alpha-hydroxy fruit acids, which get rid of dead cells, and vitamins A and C to nourish new ones. For a simple solution to unblock pores, fight blemishes and tone your skin, just cut a slice of a peach and massage the flesh on your face. Leave the juice on for 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

 

In our Whiten Your Teeth Naturally blog, we explained to you how strawberries act as a teeth whitener. They also act as an exfoliator, with their heavy dose of Vitamin C and alpha-hydroxy acids. Mash 8-9 strawberries into a paste and add three tablespoons of honey. Apply mask directly to your skin, let sit for a few minutes and rinse off to improve texture, minimize greasiness and encourage a healthly, radiant complexion.

These at home remedies help to maintain beautiful skin through everyday life, but don’t forget, professional services are still important to keep your skin healthy. Contact us at Utopia to see what we can do for your skin!

See Also: DIY Products and DIY Face Wash

Beauty Tips to Beat the Heat

 

With summer rapidly approaching, we could all use a few tips to keep ourselves looking beautiful even within the heat of the summer. Here, we will help you through some of the battles we all face in the hottest months of the year.

Sweat beads on your face can cause an unpleasant shine. In order to help eliminate this pesky problem, replace your rich cleanser and face cream with a foaming gel and an oil-free daily lotion that has a minimum SPF 15. Also, carry a compact for midday touch-ups.

To avoid unattractive smudges from your eye makeup, try waterproof eyeliner, shadow, mascara and undereye concealer. To give a little extra protection on top of these waterproof products, try using color on the top lids only and dust translucent powder along your lower lash line.

In order to keep your makeup looking light, fresh and flattering in the summer sun, skip foundations and cream lipsticks. Instead, use makeup with a lighter texture such as tinted moisturizer, cheek stain and lip gloss. In addition, use bronzer to create a warm skin tone.

Don’t forget, if the summer sun has got the best of you, stop in to Utopia for a refreshing facial to help keep your skin looking younger longer!

See Also: Wear Sunscreen and Protect Your Hair from Sun Damage

 

Beach Friendly Hairstyles

With the crazy warm weather we’ve been having this spring, we couldn’t help but jump ahead to summer and start thinking about hairstyles suitable for a day at the beach or the lake. There are multiple ways to keep a simple, easily manageable hairstyle and still look beautiful. The beach is the one place your hair can look a little messy and you can get away with it and if you still want to dress your look up a bit, you can add accents such as a braid, flower or headband that can add a special touch to a simple look. Here are a few examples of beach dos that we enjoy:

1. A simple braid can add a little personality to an easy, beach-ready hairstyle such as Rashida Jones wears here. To create this braid, side part your hair, braid into a French braid on one side and pin it back. Simple as that!

 

2. Solange Knowles looks beautiful in loose curls and so can you! This style works best if you have naturally wavy hair, but if you’re hair is straight you can always use a large curling iron to create beautiful waves!

 

3. Pigtails add a youthful touch to any hairstyle as Rosie Huntington-Whitley displays here.

 

4. Adding a flower is a quick way to dress up a simple beach hairstyle, as you see here on Audrina Patridge.

 

5. Sarah Hyland opts to maintain her locks in a cute, low bun. To mock this look, just part your hair in your favorite style, gather your hair at the nape of the neck and secure with a hairtie. This is also a fun look to add a flower to!

 

6. A satiny headband adds a sophisticated touch to beach attire as Rachel Zoe shows here.

 

We hope you enjoyed our favorite beach friendly hairstyles! Don’t forget, if you need any services to get you ready for the summer, contact us here at Utopia!

Bridesmaid Hairstyle Trends for 2012

As a spinoff of last week’s blog and with wedding season rapidly approaching, we decided to share with you some trends in bridesmaid’s hairstyles for 2012. The main trend for wedding season of 2012 is going to be putting a classical touch to new bridesmaids hairstyles.  Whether it be adding a braid to create a more feminine look, using larger curls to create a softer look or adding a headpiece to suit a specific theme, these trends are sure to please.

 

1. Swept to the side
Taylor Swift, as pictured here, uses larger curls and often a side partition to create a beautiful, elegant style that can be switched up just slightly on each bridesmaid. For a spring or summer effect, you can always add a flower as well. (See trend 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Vintage Do’s
Kate Bosworth, as pictured here, looks classically gorgeous with her 30’s inspired look. As we said in our blog about vintage styles, this is a very in look right now and we plan to see a lot of these looks this wedding season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Braids
Jessica Alba, as pictured here, puts a feminine touch on this traditional hairstyle with a simple braid, another very “in trend” at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Accessories
Adding a jewel, flower or headband can help to create a connection with the theme of the wedding. Jewels will reinforce the traditional elegance, a flower will keep with a soft and beautiful theme and a headband can create a casual feel for an outdoor wedding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See Also: Wedding Trends

Wedding Beauty

Pedicures, manicures, hair, makeup and of course a massage to de-stress… So much to do to get ready for the big day and several girls that need it done!

Our recommendation:

Step 1:
Bring the gals in for a girls afternoon a couple of days before the wedding to get those nails, toes, massages and facials. You’ve worked so hard over the past few months getting everything ready. You deserve an afternoon to just relax with the girls and enjoy the moment. You’re getting married! This is supposed to be the happiest time of your life!

Step 2:
Bring the gals in the day of the wedding for our beautiful formal styles that will be the perfect fit for your wedding! Let us help you get in style for the big day and again, enjoy! It’s your day!

Call today for a consultation on what we can do for your big day!

Utopia… Not just for Women

Sometimes men are hesitant to go to a “salon and spa” but at Utopia Salon & Spa, we cater to men as well. In addition to our two staff members who are certified in barber services, we also cater most of our spa treatments to men as well.

We know that facials might sound something that women do, but they have the same great benefits for men as well. Pedicures and manicures can be very relaxing as well as healthy for your hands and feet. And don’t get us started on massages.

So, next time your man is talking about needing to get his hair cut, or needing a shave or wanting to relax, send him our way!

Vintage Hair Styles Back In!

Some of the styles we have been seeing becoming more and more popular are vintage hairstyles. Today, we’re going to take a look at three general concepts of these hairstyles.

 

1. Soft Waves

Kate Bosworth, pictured below, shows off her soft 30′s wave. This style is not based on a spiral curl, but more of a loose wave. This look can give a fun, yet sophisticated look to any hair color and is great for formal events, date night or a night out with the girls. Speak with your stylist at Utopia Salon & Day Spa about how you can best achieve this look.

 

2. Curls

Taylor Swift, as pictured below, sports her elegant soft curls. This look can range from a formal and elegant look with soft curls as pictured here, or can be more fun and flirty with curls that begin a little higher and are a little tighter to give you more of a Marilyn Monroe look. This style also works with any color of hair. Although, if you want a true Marilyn Monroe look, you’ll have to go blonde. Speak with your stylist at Utopia Salon & Day Spa about how you can best achieve this look.

 

3. Up-Do

Tyra Banks, pictured below, presents one of the many ways to sport a vintage up-do. With her soft wave in the bank and her hair pinned in back, her up-do is very elegant for a formal night or even a wedding up-do. Speak with your stylist at Utopia Salon & Day Spa about how you can best achieve this look.

See Also: Wedding Beauty and Bridesmaid Trends

The Importance of Well Groomed Eyebrows

Eyebrows… They are something many of us let go too long. We don’t view them as a very important part of our beauty. I mean… Come on! Why do we even have them?

We took some of the current hot stars and Photoshopped their eyebrows to demonstrate just how important eyebrows actually are to your look.

 

Unruly Eyebrows demonstrated on Lindsay Lohan:

 

 

Uneven Eyebrows demonstrated on Katy Perry:

 

 

NO EYEBROWS demonstrated on Kim Kardashian:

 

 

Scary… Right? So, have you scheduled your latest eyebrow waxing lately!? (Sorry… We won’t make you look like this last picture even if you beg.)

See Also: Esthetic Services by Utopia

The Business Woman can Still have Trendy Hair

It’s a dilemma many working women find themselves in. They love the new and trendy styles they’ve been seeing lately, but they work in an office setting, so they are not sure the style is appropriate for that. Well, good news ladies! Many of these styles, when you see them in a magazine, or on your favorite star, are styled for “out and about”, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same haircut can’t “tamed down” for the office setting.

Now, while we can’t dye your hair pink and show you how to wear it to work so that it looks like a natural color, we can do different cuts and colors and work with you on different ways to style them depending on if you’re going out or going to the office. And unless your boss hired you for your hair alone, we can always find great compromises for cuts so they can be work-appropriate, but with a touch of edge.

Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to take a little bit of a risk! Go for that trendy style you’ve been wanting, but too afraid to get. Our stylists are happy to work with you to help you find that happy medium you’re looking for!

Why Our Employees Love YOU!

Our employees at Utopia Salon and Day Spa would like to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day! We all love what we do, and love you for allowing us to do it!

Abbie says: “I’m truly lucky to be able to do something that I love to do everyday.”

Beth says: “I enjoy giving my clients the chance to relax. I hope they leave feeling like a brand new person!”

Bethany says: “I love getting the chance to meet new people and build relationships with my clients.”

Craig says: “I am dedicated to making you look and feel like a million bucks!”

Deidra says: “I’ve been blessed to be part of this family, working alongside some of the most talented & caring people I’ve ever met.”

Jessica says: “I love that my clients get to leave with younger-looking skin and feeling their best!”

Kendra says: “I love continuing to learn. I love my regulars, but truly enjoy seeing new clients as well.”

Kevin says: “I would like to personally invite you to try Utopia Salon & Day Spa. We work very hard to make every visit to our salon the very best.”

Kimberly says: “I love all the services I provide! But I especially enjoy deep tissue and hot stone massages.”

Rachel says: “I love learning from my peers and building my clientele.”

Sandi says: “I love to make people feel better, whether they have an injury or just need some much-deserved ‘me time’.”

Sarah says: “My motto is: ‘Let peace be a part of  you.’ I enjoy giving my clients that opportunity.”

Sherry says: “I’m blessed to have such a great staff!”

Terri says: “I love everyone I get to meet at the salon!”

Wedding Hair Style Trends

It used to be that you had 2 choices: 1. Long hair up on top of your head with a big puffy veil. 2. Medium length hair down with a big puffy veil. Or… If you wanted to get really crazy: Hair half up with a big puffy veil. Now, as weddings have come into modern day in many ways, you have options. It’s no longer about the length of your hair and it’s certainly not about the big puffy veil. (Unless that’s your preference.) We would like to share with you some trends we’ve seen in recent wedding seasons as well as many that we’ve done personally.

Trend 1: Short Hair
I remember so many girls saying, “I need to grow my hair out for my wedding.” That’s not the case anymore, though. Short hair can be accessorized in many ways to make appear special for your special day. No growing techniques needed!

Trend 2: The Blusher Veil

Trend 3: The Low Veil
Veils don’t need to be displayed high upon your head. There are very elegant ways to have a veil incorporated an up-do, lower on the head, such as this one:

Trend 4: The Flower
In all honesty, some women are getting away from veils altogether.

Trend 5: Accessories
Some women are choosing elegant hair accessories or tiaras in place of a veil.

Trend 6: Traditional
And, of course, some women are choosing to stick with tradition with a veil. Veils come in many lengths and many volumes these days and many women embrace this tradition.

So, there you have it: Up, down, veil or not; you have choices and we are here to help! Call us to schedule your trial run today!

See Also: Wedding Beauty, Vintage Hairstyles and Bridesmaids Trends

Don’t Go Breaking Her Heart

Valentine’s Day Scenario 1:

So… You didn’t pay any attention to her hints (or ours for that matter) during the Holiday season? This is your last chance!!

She smiled and thanked you when you gave her the pretty sweater, but she’s been acting strange ever since, hasn’t she? We’re going to spell it out for you: YOU DIDN’T GET HER WHAT SHE WANTED. Nothing says “I love you” like a day at the spa.

 

Valentine’s Day Scenario 2:

You’ve been dating for a while, and you want to take that next step and show her you really care. Well, boys, no girl can so no to “Be my Valentine” when you give her a day at the spa! Give her the chance to relax. After all, doesn’t she deserve it?

 

Valentine’s Day Scenario 3:

You got her something really great for Christmas. She loved it! But you’ve screwed up again already! If you want a lovey-dovey Valentine’s Day, give her a chance to relax and get over it with a day at the spa!

 

See? No matter what the situation, there’s only one way to go this Valentine’s Day: A gift card from Utopia Salon & Day Spa!

See Also: Why Our Employee’s Love YOU!

Salon & Spa

At Utopia Salon & Spa, you get the full experience! From hair and nails, to a massage and facial, to a session in our sauna, when you get the full treatment, you will leave feeling beautiful and relaxed, which is why we want to remind you of the full packages we offer!

Our staff love to make you look and feel amazing, and we would love the chance to do just that! So visit our Packages page or stop in to talk to us more about all of our services! We are happy to answer and questions or concerns you might have!

Cute Purse! Does it Hold Everything You Need?

So, you’ve got the cute purse, but does it hold everything you need? From make-up emergencies, to real emergencies, there are some things that every woman should carry with her at all times.

 

1. Baby Wipes

Whether you’re in a sticky situation or needing to wipe down a nasty public restroom before using it, these are a very handy thing to have!

 

2. Mints or Gum

Because you never know when you’ll meet a cute guy or called into the boss’ office, it’s not a bad idea to carry something with your to freshen your breath. Just in case.

 

3. Phone with a Full Charge

So, you just saw the cutest guy and you like tot [totally] have to text your bff [best friend forever] and tell her the deats [details]. Alright, even if you’re not a text-craved teenager, a cell is a great thing to have in case you break down on the side of the road, have a strange person following you or need your friend to bring you a piece of gum.

 

4. Nail File

Even if you’re not worried about what they look like, chipped nails can be painful or sharp and it’s good to have a file on hand in these situations.

 

5. Tampons/Pads

Even if you don’t need them at the time, one of your friends might. (They just might pay you back if you’re ever have a similar emergency.)

 

6. Cash

I know, I know. We are all electronic now. However, if you need to pay a friend for your half of lunch, if your check didn’t deposit as fast as you thought it would or if you happen to be somewhere where they don’t take credit cards, it’s good to have cash, as a back-up.

 

7. Writing Utensil

In case you have get that tot cute boy’s digits! We all know… There are many situations in which one of these handy little gadgets come in handy, whether it be for fun or for an emergency situation (writing down a license plate, etc.)

 

8. Band Aids

From cuts and boo-boos, to blisters from those new heels, let’s face it. They’re nice to have.

 

9. Asprin

Or any other pain killer of choice.

 

10. Mini Sewing Kit

Especially for those of us who are extra clumsy. It’s embarrassing to go to an office meeting with a tear somewhere in your outfit.

Top 7 Hairstyles of 2011

Happy New Year Utopia Fans and Clients! We thought that there was no better way than to ring in the New Year than to review some of the styles that made our 2011 beautiful! Today, we bring you the top 7 searched hairstyles of 2011.

 

7. Meagan Good

This fun and edgy cut put Meagan Good at #7 on the countdown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Dorothy Hamill

This fun and shaggy bob was the 6th most searched hair style of 2011. You’ve still got it, Dorothy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Kate Winslet

Kate’s wavy, shoulder-length do lands her at #5 on the countdown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Kim Kardashian

Although Kim Tweeted that she had gotten a dramatic new haircut, she still has the same long waves that put her at #4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Jennifer Anniston

When Jennifer chopped her hair into this cute, shoulder-length bob, she landed herself #3 on the most search hairstyles of 2011!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Emma Watson

Emma rocks this dramatically short cut, perfect for her face shape (See: Your Face Shape vs Your Hairstyle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Justin Bieber

Surprised? We’re not. Justin’s hair has become the sensation of younger men/teens throughout the nation!

 

Again, Happy New Year! We look forward to all the new styles we will get to see in 2012!

Also see: Bridesmaid Hairstyle Trends for 2012 and Hairstyles for all Types of Hair

 

 

Now… What to Do with All those Christmas Scarves?

If you’re anything like me, you get 1 or 2 scarves every year for the Holidays. They are pretty, so you don’t put them in a bag to give to Goodwill, but you’re never quite sure what to do with them, either.

 

Well, here are some ideas on what you can do with all those scarves:

 

1. Wear them around your neck/body

Whether you wear it traditionally around your neck or find a new trendy way to wear it, this is what scarves were made for!

2. Wear it around your head

For those making a fashion statement, or for those who just haven’t gotten in to Utopia to get their hair done lately, wearing it around  your head is another great option.

3. Cover a throw pillow

If you have some old throw pillows that could stand to be dressed up a little, scarves make for great throw pillow covers. If you know how to sew at all, it’s not too difficult.

4. Use it as a rag

If you have a couple you don’t really care for, you can always use them as rags. Old wool scarves work really well for this.

5. Make a Table Runner

Even if you don’t know how to sew, you can usually do this without any trouble. Just lay the scarf down the center of the table, and you’ve got a great decoration.

6. Window Drapery

Drape over your window for a trendy look to spruce up any room.

7. Make a quilt

If you have enough and if you or someone you know sews, you can have them make a quilt out of all your old scarves.

No matter what you got, we hope that you had a Happy Holiday. Call today for an appointment to look your best as you bring in the new year!

Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

What goes better with a the smooth and healthy skin you have after a facial than white and healthy teeth? Try these natural (and inexpensive) teeth whiteners we found to enhance your smile!

1. Many know that lemons are a natural teeth whitener. I even had a few friends in college who would suck on a lemon slice every day to whiten their teeth. (I could never stand the taste.) But did you know that there are other fruits proven to be natural teeth whiteners as well? Rubbing orange peels on your teeth has proven to have a whitening effect and strawberries are also a natural teeth whitener. (Please note that after using any of these techniques you should brush your teeth, as the acid in lemons and oranges, especially, can hurt your teeth in the long run if not used properly.)

2. Before toothpaste existed, people would use table salt mixed with water. Although this did not effectively fight cavities, it did have a whitening effect, making people think that their teeth were getting clean.  You can also add salt to the fruit you are using to whiten your teeth!  (Just be sure you remember to brush your teeth afterwards!)

Now, smile! You have smooth skin AND white teeth!

See also: The Kitchen Spa and DIY Products

It’s the Most Wonderfully Hectic Time of Year!

You’ve got the shopping, the Holiday plays, the cooking, the cleaning, the decorating ,the running around, [deep breath] the family, the caroling, the wrapping, the giving, the work load, the traffic… It’s called the most wonderful time of the year. So, why is it so stressful?

Well, we can’t eliminate all of your stressful moments. But we can help to relieve your stress. Massage Therapy has been proven to relieve stress, encourage relaxation, improve circulation, lower blood pressure, relieve headaches and strengthen the immune system. All very important to this time of year!

In addition, there is one more thing on this list we can help you with. We don’t cook or clean your house. We can’t magically clear traffic. We aren’t going to ward off your family or go to Holiday plays for you, but we CAN help you check some of those people you need to shop for off your list. Whether it’s your boss who you wish would chill out, your sister who deserves a day off or your best friend who you love dearly, we have the perfect gift for them… A gift card to Utopia Salon & Day Spa. Our gift cards are available in $25 increments (up to $100) and are redeemable for any of our services. (Plus, they’re easy to wrap!)

Click here to go to our Gift Card page for more information. You can order online, over the phone or grab a few while you’re in for that message.

Feel better? Now you can say “Happy Holidays!” and really mean it.

The Difference Between Looking Beautiful and Looking Touched Up

At Utopia Salon & Day Spa, we want our clients looking and feeling great. And there are many ways we are able to help them with that. We don’t, however, wanting them to think they are not as beautiful as some of the super stars out there, because believe us, you are! We’re about ready to prove it.

Everyone knows that when you see stars in magazines that they’ve been touched up. But how far to they go? (Click on any of the following pictures to make them larger.)

 

Britney Spears has been an icon of beauty for a couple of decades now. (Minus her little head-shaving episode.) You don’t really think she stays looking that young though, do you?

Britney Spears

 

 

Kelly Clarkson is a beautiful young woman. There is no doubt about that, but even she gets touched up to make her look skinnier.

  

 

 

We asked our graphic designer to give us a couple samples as well, to show how easy it is. She used herself as the first example, to show just how much you can do.

(Lines around the mouth are gone. Bags under her eyes are gone. Hair is a different color. Shirt is a different color. Skin is smoothed out. Name tag is gone. Teeth are whitened. Lips are thickened.)

   

 

 

Now here’s our very own Deidra Slinde. The first picture is before. The second picture is after being touched up. (Skin smoothed out. Hair darkened. Teeth Whitened. Color of eyes intensified. Eyelashes added.) The third picture is what she really looks like after services provided at our salon (no touch up necessary, thank you very much!)

      

 

You are beautiful. All we do is help you take care of and maintain that beauty, and we are happy to do it!

Reuse your Old Lipstick

We all have old lipstick that looks like this. And to make matters worse, you open every single cap before you find the one you’re looking for. Well, here’s a way to make it easier:

You will need an empty makeup compact, dental floss, the end of a toothbrush, Vaseline, a lipstick brush (or something that could pass as one-thin, soft paintbrushes do work) and of course, you will need your old lipsticks.

1. Use the dental floss to cut off the tops for your old lipsticks, and put each one into a different compartment of your empty (and clean) makeup compact.

2. Use the end of your toothbrush (the side you don’t brush with) to mash up each lipstick in it’s new compartment. Then clean around the edges so it’s not just a big mess.

3. Add a bit of vaseline to one of the compartments to brush over your applied lipstick for extra shine.

Ta Da! You have yourself a lipstick pallet just like the professionals use!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See Also: What to Do With All Those Christmas Scarves

Benefits of a Collagen Facial

What is Collagen?

Collagen is a type of protein naturally produced in our skin.

 

What does Collagen do for my skin?

It keeps the skin firm with it’s natural shape.

 

So, if my skin naturally produces this, why do I need a facial?

As we age, the Collagen breaks down, resulting in saggy and wrinkled skin.

 

Tell me more!

A Collagen mask delivers a boost of vitamins and minerals the skin is lacking. It helps the existing collagen and elastin in our skin.

A Collagen mask helps exfoliate dead skin cells, lightens and reduces hyper-pigmentation, restores moisture and leaves you feeling refreshed.

A Collagen mask is made up of acids, vitamins and minerals specifically for our sensitive skin.

 

A Utopia Collagen Facial:

Our Collagen facial is relaxing and includes several cleanses, exfoliators and a detoxing mask to help prepare the skin. While this great, anti-aging mask works on your skin, you will receive a scalp, shoulder and hand massage. You will leave feeling younger and refreshed.

 

Schedule an appointment today for your first Collagen Facial!

See Also: Esthetic Services by Utopia

 

Your Face Shape vs Your Hairstyle

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about getting a new hairstyle and we touched on how not every hairstyle will look good on ever person. One major reason for this is face shape. Unless you were blessed with a perfectly proportioned face (Darn you, if you’re one of those lucky women!), then there are features you need to consider before getting a new hairstyle.

 

Round Face1. Round Face

A round face, such as Kirsten Dunst’s, is one where the length nearly equals the the width with a soft curve.

With a round face, it’s best to avoid adding much volume around your cheeks, as this can exaggerate the roundness and can even make your face look a little chunky. Instead, try hairstyles that have most of their volume on top. Longer styles tend to work best with round faces, as they create the illusion of a longer face.

 

 

Oval Face2. Oval Face

An oval face, such as Jennifer Aniston’s, is usually at least twice as long as it is wide and has a very soft curve to the forehead and chin.

With an oval face, you are blessed. You can wear almost any hairstyle. Try to stay away from hairstyles that fall in your face, as it may end up creating the illusion of a different face shape and let’s face it, you’re blessed with this one!

 

 

Square Face3. Square Face

A square face, such as Jessica Simpson’s, is one where you have a wide forehead and a wide jaw with less of a curve.

With a square face, Jessica is actually not wearing the best hairstyle in this picture. Stylists suggest hairstyles that fall closer to your face as well as side-sweeping bangs. Like the round face, it’s best to try to keep the body of your hairstyle towards the top to add  the illusion of length.

 

 

 

Heart Face4. Heart Face

A heart face, such as Reese Witherspoon’s is sometimes considered a triangular face, which features a wider forehead  and cheek bones and an angular jaw.

With a heart face, whispy layers will pull the attention to your beautifully angled jaw and away from your wide forehead. Try not to give your hair too much body, and straight, sleek look will give your face more length.

 

 

 

Long Face5. Long Face

A long face, like Sarah Jessica Parker’s, is a longer version of an oval, usually with a longer forehead.

With a long face, you want to do just the opposite of a round face. Give yourself body around your cheeks to make your cheeks seem rounder. Straight across bangs will shorten your forehead and medium length cuts create the illusion of a shorter face. Avoid styles with no bangs.

 

 

Now that you know the perfect cut for your face shape, call today for an appointment!

 

See Also: Hairstyles for All Types of Hair

2 Fool Proof Gifts for Women

It’s that time of year again. You’re significant other has been dropping you hints. (We know, you’re a man and you haven’t noticed.) Last year, you got her a vacuum for Christmas, and that didn’t go over so well. So, this year, take our advice.

Here at Utopia Salon we only know of two full proof gifts you can get her this Holiday Season that will get you out of the doghouse for not only last year’s gift, but next year’s gift as well.

2. Jewelry (Sorry, we can’t help you here.)

1. A Day at the Spa

 

Guess what, boys, you’re in luck!  We just so happen to have gift certificates for $25, $50, $75 and $100. See our Services page for all the relaxing treatments we offer, including full packages that will have your significant so thrilled, she won’t even remember last year’s gift!

If you really want to get out of the doghouse, give her the gift of relaxation! She deserves it!

 

Note to the Ladies: Share this with your significant other. They’re not good at subtle hints. Cut them some slack.

I want a new hairstyle!

Great! Cosmetologists love this. This is what they went to school for, and the reason they are in the industry.

However, so many girls go into a salon picturing what they want and come out disappointed because they don’t look like the celebrity they saw the style on. Today, we’re going to give you insight on how to avoid this disappointment and how communicate with your stylist so he/she can start to see the same vision you are having.

 

DOs and DON’Ts:

-DO bring a picture if you can.

-But DON’T expect to look exactly like the woman in that picture when you leave, unless it’s your twin. The beauty of being an individual is that you are exactly that. You have a different face shape, skin tone, texture of hair, color of hair, and thickness of hair as the woman in the picture. The hairstyle, quite simply, may not look exactly the same on you as it does on her.

-DO ask your stylist. They have a pretty good eye for whether the style will look alright with your face and hair.

-DON’T freak out. The stylists at Utopia know what they are doing. Trust them.

-If you don’t have a picture, DO describe what you want in your own words. Be specific, and if you’re not a risk taker, maybe try implementing the change gradually so there is less of a chance of surprise.

-DON’T get discouraged when trying to style it. It’s new. It will take some getting used to.

-DO let them know next time you come in what you liked and what you had problems with when styling it. They can help you with that.

-DON’T tell them you love it if you don’t. It’s your hair. They want you to be happy.

-DO tell them how many compliments you got. Go ahead, boost their ego!

Fun and Creative DIY Halloween Costumes

With October 31 right around the corner, many of us procrastinators still have one looming question… What should I be for Halloween? Well, we at Utopia Salon & Day Spa have come up with a couple of fun, easy, and inexpensive do-it-yourself options that we think will blow last year’s costume out of the water!

 

Next Day Bridesmaid1. The Walk of Shame Bridesmaid

We all have old bridesmaid and/or prom dresses laying around, never to be worn again. If you don’t mind messing one of them up a little, tear a piece off, create some fake dirt with makeup. Then, mess up your hair and make up, and WHALA! You are the Walk of Shame Bridesmaid!

(Don’t have any old dresses laying around? You can simply do the College Student Walk of Shame… Same concept, just with regular clothes.)

 

2. Prom Queen Barbie

So, you have an old dress, but you’d rather not mess it up. You can be Prom Queen Barbie! Dress, bleach blonde wig, fake crown, cheap flower bouquet, and you’re set!

 

Horror Film3. Horror Film Survivor

Grab some old clothes you don’t mind ruining, use fake blood, catchup, or anything else red that could pass as blood that you have laying around the house, and you’ve got yourself a pretty impressive, not to mention cheap and easy, costume! Mess up your hair and make up a little as well to make it even more believable.

 

 

 

 

 

Lindsay Lohan4. Lindsay Lohan

Last, but certainly not least… Lindsay Lohan… Key element in this costume… Anything you can find that could pass as an ankle monitor. Other than that, just look like a complete mess.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have any other ideas you came up with? Share them! Otherwise, we hope our 2011 Halloween ideas were of help. Happy Haunting!

See Also: DIY Halloween Costumes 2012 and DIY Products

DIY Face Wash

 

Try this mixture for a cleansing face wash that you would spend buco bucks for in a department store.

 

Start with 1 part Honey.

Benefits of Honey on skin:

-Is an antioxidant

-Kills bacteria, clearing up acne

-Absorbs and retains moisture, leaving your skin fresh and younger looking (That’s right, ladies! Honey is used in many of those expensive anti-aging lotions you buy.)

 

Add 1 part Lemon Juice.

Benefits of Lemon Juice on skin:

-Source of vitamin C, great for skin

-Contains Citric Acid, exfoliates skin

-Reduces red spots

Lastly, Add 3 parts Oatmeal.

Benefits of Oatmeal on skin:

-Locks in moisture, helping to moisturize skin

-Contains proteins, creating a natural barrier for the skin

-Cleanses pores and fights acne

-Great for sunburns or other skin ailments

See Also: DIY Products and The Kitchen Spa


Vaseline… Not just for chapped lips!

Of course we all know that vaseline can be used for chapped lips, but did you know that there are many other wonderful things vaseline can do to beautify your body? Try these fun little tips for different ways to use your big jar of vaseline:

Eye makeup remover. That’s right! Vaseline is actually one of the best eye makeup removers you can get. It removes even the toughest mascara and sooths your lids as well.

Shaving cream. Don’t have time for a shower, but need to shave your legs? Use vaseline! (Just use a light coat, though!) It will moisturize at the same time. No need to lotion when you’re done.

Exfoliating Scrub. Nothing will be as great as spa quality, but for those in-between times, add some sea salt to your vaseline and it can substitute for a nice exfoliation.

Deep Moisturizer. You know how your elbows get so dry? Put some vaseline on them to smooth them out.

 

There you have it! Vaseline isn’t just for your chapped lips anymore!

See Also: DIY Products and Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

How to Fight the Eyeliner Clumps

If the tip of your eyeliner pencil crumbles and smears on your lids, store the liner in the freezer for 15 minutes before use so the tip is firm and goes across your skin smoothly.

Thanks for Your Support Through Our Changes!

As you know, we here at Utopia Salon & Day Spa have made a couple changes to our online image lately. We got a brand new Facebook Fan Page as well as a whole new look to our website. We just want to thank all of our customers for supporting us through these changes. We hope you like them and that they make using our online resources easy and aesthetically pleasing for you!