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Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in News, Product Reviews | 0 comments

Exuviance AGE REVERSE Total Correct + Sculpt Serum: Anti-Aging Superpower

Exuviance AGE REVERSE Total Correct + Sculpt Serum: Anti-Aging Superpower

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Total Correct + Sculpt Serum

Though I sometimes get tired of all the steps it takes to keep aging skin from looking, well, aged, I don’t underestimate the need for a good serum.

A good moisturizer can do a lot to keep skin hydrated, but I have seen for myself that aging skin needs a serum to provide other benefits. I recently read an explanation of why this is so, given by Barbara Green,  Vice President of Clinical Affairs, NeoStrata Company, Inc. She said: “While moisturizers are composed of larger molecules that form an emollient layer that sits on the surface of skin, serums have an aqueous (water-loving)  base that allows the benefit ingredients to absorb into skin, depositing nutrients and hyper-targeting concerns like pigmentation, dullness and laxity.”

That makes perfect sense. I’ve been using serums for years, seeing the benefits. When I was offered a sample of Exuviance AGE REVERSE Total Correct + Sculpt Serum, I welcomed the opportunity to try out a product that was described as a “major multi-tasker” and a “serum superpower.”

The ingredients were impressive. There was NeoGlucosamine® to exfoliate and stimulate cell turnover  and to smooth skin texture and visibly reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Next, the Vitamin C Antioxidant would help diminish dark spots for a more even skin tone. And finally, there was AminoFil® to promote collagen which would help restore firmness and build natural volume.

So–after using the serum for more than a month, I’ve seen the following results: my cheeks are smoother and plumper and the lines above my lips, the telltale signs of a former smoker, are somewhat fainter. Not bad for a month’s use, so I will continue to use the Exuviance serum and look for further improvement.

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Posted by on Nov 6, 2015 in News, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

Autumn-Inspired Treatments at Top U.S. Spas

Autumn-Inspired Treatments at Top U.S. Spas

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Autumn-Inspired Treatments at Top U.S. Spas; Unleashing the scents and tastes of autumn, these award winning spas have embraced the season’s best ingredients to create treatments with wellness benefits.

Recognizing pumpkin’s full potential for the skin, SiSpa, the award-winning luxury waterfront spa at two of Florida’s top resorts, Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa and Fort Lauderdale Marriott Pompano Beach Resort & Spa, is offering a Muddy Pumpkin Wrap and Muddy Pumpkin Mani Pedi ($99 each).

o   Drenching skin from head-to-toe in pumpkin goodness, the Muddy Pumpkin Wrap (50 minutes) begins with a full-body exfoliation using a nutrient-rich Pumpkin Splendid Dirt that helps to even out skin tone. Next up is a Bourbon Bubbler Kentucky Whiskey Scrub to get skin primed for moisturizer while guests enjoy a soothing scalp and foot massage. After a warm, luxurious shower, guests are bathed in the scents of cinnamon with a hydrating “Red Hot” oil application, leaving the skin re-energized and re-hydrated.

o   The Muddy Pumpkin Mani Pedi (100 min) unleashes the unforgettable scents of fall. The treatment includes a Bourbon Bubbler Kentucky Whiskey Scrub, a Pumpkin Splendid Dirt mask, and a massage with “Red Hot” oil and warm stones. Nails on the hands and feet will also be groomed and polished.

Tucked away in the High Peaks of Lake Placid, The Spa at the AAA Four Diamond Whiteface Lodge (the area’s only resort spa), is offering treatments bursting with the flavors of fall paired with a complimentary glass of hot cider (valid Sunday-Thursday through November 2015).

o   Re-hydrate the skin from head to toe with an Apple Cider Masque and Massage (80 minutes, $150). This exquisite treatment contains mineral clays from the Canadian seas, iced cider and apple vinegar. Guests will enjoy a rebalancing scalp and full body massage with ultra-nourishing body crème containing apple extracts.

o   Designed to clarify and re-balance the skin, the Pumpkin Enzyme Peel Facial (50 minutes, $125) is ideal for dull, congested skin. The clarifying mask exfoliates with pumpkin enzymes to promote a clear and radiant complexion. This treatment is jam-packed with Beta Carotene and antioxidants and will leave skin hydrated, revitalized and ready to face the elements.

 Mirbeau Inn & Spa, the idyllic, Monet-inspired retreat located in the storybook Finger Lakes town of Skaneateles, N.Y. is offering two off-menu treatments this fall from the natural skincare company Farmhouse Fresh, including a Pumpkin Latte Body Treatment and a Honey-Butterscotch Rum & Relax Manicure and Pedicure.

o   The Pumpkin Latte Body Treatment begins with an invigorating caffeine-infused Whipped Caramel Body Polish that increases circulation and buffs away dull skin. It is followed by an Organic Pumpkin Puree Mud Mask to deep clean, and a soothing massage using Sweet Cream Body Milk Lotion completes the indulgent treatment. The 50-minute version is priced at $130 Monday-Thursday, and $140 Friday-Sunday. The 100-minute version includes a Butter Brulee Whole Milk Bath Soak and is priced at $230 Monday-Thursday, and $255 Friday-Sunday.

o   The Honey-Butterscotch Rum & Relax Manicure and Pedicure starts with a Warm Nectar Whole Milk and Chicory Root soaking bath before hands and feet are exfoliated with a combination of butterscotch rum, brown sugar and bran rice oil to soften skin. A Warm Honey Glaze with papaya, pineapple fruit cells, aloe and Vitamin E is then painted over legs and feet, or arms and hands before a dollop of Ginger Sorbet Body Milk Lotion is applied to the skin through a soothing massage. Nails are groomed and polished upon completion of the massage. The 50-minute manicure is priced at $65 Monday-Thursday, and $70 Friday-Sunday. The 50-minute pedicure is priced at $75 Monday-Thursday, and $80 Friday-Sunday.

  • The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, N.C.), the elegant AAA Five Diamond, Forbes Five Star retreat known for its serene woodland setting, offers the splurge-worthy Flower Hammam Ritual. With alluring aromas from the fall quince fruit (a relative of the rose) and spicy notes of cardamom, the treatment is filled with restorative autumn ingredients.

Utilizing rich essential oils, the ritual begins with an exfoliation of Lemon Coffee Blossom Scrub. The body is then cocooned in warm white clay, which cleanses and detoxifies the skin. Rich aromas of Moroccan Mint Tea and Orange Quince Mist abound, this ritual concludes with a relaxing application of Cardamom Amber Oil used to warm and relax the body ($145, 75 min; $190, 90 min).

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Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Bargains, News | 0 comments

25th Annual ISPA Conference & Expo Wrap-Up

25th Annual ISPA Conference & Expo Wrap-Up

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ISPA Attendees

ISPA Attendees

The International SPA Association (ISPA) hosted spa industry leaders from around the world at the 25th annual ISPA Conference & Expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nev. from October 19-21, 2015.

The annual event headlined a mix of inspiring keynotes, professional development offerings and an expo floor featuring the newest spa products.

“This milestone year was made even sweeter by having many of the individuals who founded ISPA 25 years ago attend the anniversary event,” said ISPA President Lynne McNees. “ISPA remains the most recognized voice in the industry and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the dedication of our members and the unwavering support of our generous sponsors and exhibitors.”

A few interesting facts and figures from the ISPA Conference & Expo:

4 days

41 countries represented

43 speakers

243 sponsoring and exhibiting companies

281 ISPA Foundation live and silent auction items

2,500 children received a year of education through the Esperos bags that were provided to attendees.

6,000 bags of product gifts dropped in attendees’ hotel rooms

10,000 dollars in scholarships awarded

A new workshop entitled “Ruth Stricker’s Wise Voices” kicked off the event on Sunday with a presentation from Gladys Taylor McGarey, M.D., M.D. (H), author, family physician and co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Foundation.

In line with the year’s theme of “Explore” attendees experienced keynote presentations from Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media; Amy Purdy, American actress, model, world-class snowboarder and 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist; and Scott Harrison, a former club promoter who founded and is the current CEO of the non-profit, charity: water.

Additionally, attendees heard from award recipients Boldijarre Koronczay, president of Éminence Organic Skin Care, 2015 ISPA Visionary Award; Sharilyn Abbajay, senior vice president of operations, brand development and retail concepts for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, 2015 ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award; and Alice Waters, chef, author, and the proprietor of Chez Panisse, 2015 Alex Szekely ISPA Humanitarian Award. These awards were presented along with the two 2015 Mary Tabacchi Scholarships to Taylor Toreno and Anne-Liise Verpson.

The opening keynote speaker for the 2016 ISPA Conference & Expo was also announced. Brene Brown, research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, New York Times bestselling author, and CEO and chief learning officer of The Daring Way will open the 26th annual ISPA Conference & Expo from September 13 – 15, 2016 at The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nev.

More information can be found on the website.

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2015 in Health and Wellness, News, Tips | 0 comments

Fitness Trends: The Last 15 Years

Fitness Trends: The Last 15 Years

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The last decade and a half have brought some of the most unique fitness trends to hit the world. Along with weird sports superstitions there are plenty of weird health superstitions and the two feed each- other as athletes are always looking to give the self a better edge. Many of these fads and practices started with athletes and then moved to the mainstream later.

Technology has made a lot of changes to the way we work out and even eat. Here are some of the top fitness fads from the last 15 years:

 

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  1. Low Carb Diets

Carbs got a really bad rap in the 1990s when the Atkins Diet got really popular, but in the 2000s we began taking a more critical look at what actually constituted bad carbs (refined sugar) and good carbs (whole grains, fruit,and vegetables). Now we aren’t kicking carbs to the curb so much as limiting the amounts and where they come from.

 

 

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  1. Exercise Games

Whether it’s Dance Dance Revolution or Wii Fit, the video gaming world has gotten a lot more physical. You can now burn calories while still trying to beat your high score. In the last 15 years, gamers have definitely gotten off the couch.

 

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  1. Fitness Technology

Along with exercise gaming has a new level of tech in the fitness world. Heart rate monitors and pedometers have gotten a huge upgrade with the introduction of devices that track everything from calories burned to sleep cycles. Fitness apps are also all the rage, as simple as interval timers to full-on GPS tracking. As fitness apps and fitness trackers have continued to increase in popularity so have new supplements. Pre-workout supplements are a recent occurrence in the fitness industry, with some of the best pre-workout supplements starting to surface in recent years.

 

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  1. Dancing

The last 15 years have been all about dancing. Dance Dance Revolution is probably one of the most popular fitness games ever created. However, the rise of Zumba can’t be ignored. Seems like everyone was headed to the gym for their Zumba class after work. Dancing with the Stars has also sold their share of fitness DVDs since the show first aired in 2005.

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  1. HIIT

High Intensity Interval Training is incredibly popular, though it often is disguised in fancy workout brands like Beach Body in the Insanity and P90X series. HIIT seems pretty effective and easy to adapt to many ability levels.

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  1. YouTube Fitness Channels

Do the names Cassie Ho, Jessica Smith, or Adrienne Mishler ring any bells? They are some of the hottest YouTube fitness stars of the generation. Amazing to live in an age where you can get famous, make money, and help people achieve their goals, simply by uploading a video of you exercising. It doesn’t matter if you love yoga, aerobics, pilates, or any combination of exercises. There is a fitness channel for you.

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  1. Evolving Fitness Shoes

Remember when the basic tennis shoe was just about your only option? Yeah I don’t either. In the last 15 years, we have seen at least two big trends in fitness footwear. Toning shoes were claimed to give you a work out just by wearing them. They activate more muscles than regular shoes. Now we are all about the barefoot shoes. Some of our fitness shoes today provide little more than a barrier between rocks and your foot while others provide some support but maintain plenty of flexibility.

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  1. Healthy Living

Most of us have memberships to some kind of food/exercise tracking website. We count calories. We know how much carb/protein/fat is in most of what we eat. We can estimate calories burned in most of our workouts. We read food labels. While all of this isn’t paying off in ridding us of the obesity epidemic, at least we are more aware of it now.

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  1. Functional Training

There are plenty of fitness gurus who have started touting the advantages of functional training. The idea here is that training specific muscles isn’t really useful for everyday situations. It is better to train for things you will actually do. If you are a functional trainer, you are more likely to go to the gym to play a game of basketball than to get on the elliptical for an hour.

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  1. Extreme Weight Loss

Reality shows like The Biggest Loser have fueled this fad. People are resorting to extreme diet and fitness programs to get the fat off fast. Crossfit is a favorite exercise class for these individuals as are diets than involve more air and water than actual food. It’s not the safest way to lose weight, but it is certainly popular.

Fads may come and go, but the underlying reason behind these is people just want to look and feel good. There is some definite science behind what we find attractive, and most of it has to do with body shape. Maintaining a good body shape ultimately sends the message of being healthy. And healthy is attractive and ironically…healthy. So whatever fad you choose remember to stick with it and be healthy.

 

About the Author

Paisley Hansen is a part-time freelance writer and a full-time mother.  She specializes in writing on home improvement blogs and when she isn’t writing she loves spending time with the family.  Check her out on Twitter.

 

 

 

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Posted by on Sep 26, 2015 in Health and Wellness, News, Product Reviews | 0 comments

Envisage Renew: Natural Facial Toning

Envisage Renew: Natural Facial Toning

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Envisage Renew

Envisage Rene Envisage Renew: A Natural Toning Device

 

Until recently, I believed that the only way to stimulate collagen was to cause injury to the epidermis. But when I was presented with a sample of the envisage device, I learned that it could stimulate collagen by exercising the facial muscles, just as I would (theoretically) exercise abdominal muscles in the gym. (I say theoretically because it has been a long time since I hit any gym.)

I have tried some invasive and somewhat-invasive anti-aging options: various forms of dermabrasion, acupuncture and filler injections So I was  eager to experience any non-invasive method that promised to work six key areas of the face: forehead lines, saggy eyelids, smile lines, double chin and saggy outer jaw line and neck.

I didn’t have major problems in all these areas, but I was interested in perking up the eyelids and smoothing out the smile lines and those between the brows (the  so-called “Number 11s”). However, since there was bound to be some synergy in the results, I decided I would do all the exercises.

As explained in the instructions and the online videos, the exercises were fairly straightforward. With a commitment of five minutes twice a day I could expect results in about four weeks; with five minutes once a day, results would show in six or eight weeks.  (envisage actually gives a three-month guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the results, the company will refund your money, minus any shipping charges.)

As I knew I would not sit still to work my face out twice a day, I made a mental commitment to one time.

Unlike the many devices that use micro-currents to stimulate muscles, envisage doesn’t require the use of creams or gels. The battery is quickly and easily rechargeable and the two pads on the device need to be replaced every eight to twelve months.

According to the instructions (there’s also a video on the website), I only needed to spend five minutes doing the exercises. If I did them twice a day, I could expect results in about four weeks. (Envisage offers an impressive three-month trial!)

My commitment was to once a day. So on day one, I began with the Cheek Lifter.  I would have to work this area to see results as the cheek muscles are somewhat weak. As instructed, I squinted, felt the muscle, then tipped the envisage and placed the pads on the cheekbone just below the eyes, pressed the pads into my cheeks and down toward my chin. I pressed the vibration button, raised my cheeks up by squinting my eyes and maintained pressure for 10-15 seconds. I did this 15 times. (As always, the recommendation is for 10-15 times or until muscle fatigue occurs.)

Next, Droop Defeater had me working on my forehead. This had me placing the pads above my eyes over the outside edge of my browline – then pulling my forehead muscles up, as if I had been surprised. Again, as with all the exercises, I held for 10-15 seconds, repeating 10 times. I could really feel the vibration on the first round on this exercise.

For the Jowl Lifter, the pads went below my mouth, on either side of the lip area. For the exercise, I had to lift my lower lip up, toward the tip of my nose. This was easily accomplished by imagining I was sliding my lower up over my upper lip. I found this difficult to repeat for the requisite 15, so I stopped after nine.

There’s a second, similar but more intense, Jowl Lifter for more tightening around the jaw, but as this was not an area of concern, I skipped it.

For the Chin Smoother, I placed the pads under my chin at the bend of my jaw, pressed the vibrator button, opened my mouth and pressed my jaw back against the pads. I definitely felt the muscles tensing around my jaw and neck. First time out, I was only able to do this 10 times.

There were a couple of complementary exercises – for the lips and eyes– that didn’t require the envisage. These were simple, so I did them when I had time.

First time out, it took me considerably longer than five minutes to do the requisite exercises, mainly because it took time to place the envisage correctly. When I became more adept at getting started, I usually finished in under 10 minutes.

I started to see some results after about three weeks. By six weeks, my facial lines had definitely smoothed out considerably and my eyes seemed to open wider. I thought these were great results for something that was non-invasive, chemical free – and which felt so “healthy” to do.

The challenge now is to keep up maintenance faithfully, just as I would at a (theoretical) gym. As the envisage does not require any travel, I’m confident I’ll be able to do it.

Envisage is priced at just under $150, though Amazon often runs special promotions that offer considerable savings. For more information, check the website or call  855-924-4343

 

Before using Envisage

Before using Envisage

 

After using Envisage

After using Envisage

 

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Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Health and Wellness, News, Resort and Hotel Spas, Tips | 0 comments

Yoga with a View

Yoga with a View

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Yoga with a iew; Celebrate National Yoga Month in September

While there is no shortage of great yoga studios where you can celebrate National Yoga Month, there aren’t many where you can do your poses while enjoying gorgeous views.

Yoga aboard the Spirit of New York

Yoga aboard the Spirit of New York

I love the idea of sun salutations at sea, especially around the island of Manhattan. Spirit of New York’s Yoga on the Water Cruise will keep New Yorkers in a Namaste state-of-mind. Classes are taught by Rae Broderick from NYC’s prominent Strala yoga studio founded by Tara Stiles, and Athleta provides yoga mats and special gift bags. After everyone perfects their downward dog on the outdoor deck, attendees can enjoy a light meal and a chance to take in views of the Manhattan skyline.

The W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island located eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, recently launched ENERGIZE by Tara Stiles. Offering exclusive access to a three- or five-day customized escape, the retreat features onsite experiences by renowned influencer, Tara Stiles and/or trained Strala Guides, twice daily yoga sessions on Paradise Edge cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at sunrise and sunset, nature escapes, made-to-order spa treatments and cooking classes.

Sandos Caracol Eco Experience Resort, in Riviera Maya, Mexico, welcomes guests to let the beauty of nature awaken their senses while practicing yoga in a harmonious setting within the Mayan Jungle. The classes are included in the property’s all-inclusive experience and take place on a natural wooden deck surrounded by the jungle and crystal-clear cenotes.

Hilton Hawaiian Village, Waikiki’s only beachfront resort, features a multitude of outdoor yoga activities. Offering views of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head Crater, guests can try their hand at SUP (stand-up paddle board) yoga at the world-famous Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon. The five-acre lagoon is named after Hawaii’s legendary Ambassador of Aloha, surfer and Olympic swimming champion Duke Kahanamoku.

Offered by The Finger Lakes Cider House once per season, farmscape yoga presents the opportunity to experience an organic farm and cidery in the heart of the Finger Lakes. The workshop explores the connection between the body-mind and farm’s ecology.

At five-star Acqualina Resort & Spa in Miami, YOGiiZa’s team of seasoned yoginis and wellness gurus provide a wide array of personalized health and fitness programs, including yoga sessions and health and wellness coaching against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean.

The waterfront oasis that is Montauk Yacht Club Resort & Marina offers beachside yoga with breathtaking marina views. Guests with advanced yoga skills are welcome to take their practice to the water while beginners receive instruction on land. Yoga mats, props and a complimentary Zico Coconut Water are provided to all participants.

 

 

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