Staff Picks: Masques

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Wednesday August 28th, 2013

Skin care has evolved through the years and the “one type” of masque for all skin types is now a thing of the past~ thank goodness!

Today we can use a masque that is specifically formulated to do different things for the skin.

Masques have a very high concentration of active ingredients and therefore they deliver an immediate result.

Clay masques are suggested for oily and acneic skin types. This type of masque will soak up the excess oil and decongest the pores leaving the skin less shiny and the pores diminished. This type of masque should not be used on all skin types, though!

Another type of masque that is available is one that would focus on hydrating the skin, leaving it soft and smooth.

There are masques especially formulated for sensitive skins and will help to calm the sensitivity making the skin less irritated.

More mature skins thrive on lifting and firming masques.

The last type of masque is one that is full of antioxidants for helping the skin fight free radicals and address aging of the skin.

When choosing a masque, ask yourself “What do I want to achieve for my skin?” and get the one that is going to give you the most results.


GM Collin Phyto Stem Cell+ Masque


Shirley’s favourite masque is the GM Collin Phyto Stem Cell+ Masque. This masque promotes the vitality of the skin, softens, hydrates, and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It contains the green apple stem cells which work to slow down the aging of each skin cell. Shirley uses it twice a week and once a month she leaves it on all night to give her an extra boost of hydration, especially in the winter when the indoor heating depletes the moisture in her skin!

Find it here!






Vivierskin Replenishing Ultra Rejuvenating Masque



Rebekah’s favourite masque is the Vivierskin Replenishing Ultra Rejuvenating Masque. It is a hydrating, nourishing masque that leaves her skin bright, hydrates, and radiant. Leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing off excess.

Find it here!






Yonka Masque No1


Sashalina’s favourite masque is the Yonka Masque No 1. This thirst quenching bandaid is in her 911 Kit for Skin Hydration. It gives her intense repair action when addressing dry, flaking, dehydrated skin. It leaves her skin soft, supple, and bursting with moisture. leave on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse off.

Find it here!






GM Collin PurActive Masque


Corrie’s favourite masque is the GM Collin PurActive Masque which is an oil-absorbing masque especially good for oily and acneic skins. It detoxifies the skin, purifies the pores, and prevents the accumulation of acne causing bacteria. It will also hydrate the skin rather than leaving it dry! She recommends using it once to twice a week to help control oil and prevent bacteria. Apply an even layer to face, avoiding eye area, leave on for 15-20 minutes and then rinse off thoroughly.

Find it here!




Two more favourites are the Guinot Energizing Lifting Masque and the Phytomer Douceur Marine Soothing Cocoon Masque.



Guinot Energizing Lifting Masque



The Guinot Energizing Lifting Masque is a fabulous masque full of vitamin C which helps firm and tighten the facial contours while smoothing and relaxing lines and increasing hydration. Apply generously and leave on for 15 minutes, rinse off well.

Find it here!






Phytomer Douceur Marine Soothing Cocoon Masque


The Phytomer Douceur Marine Soothing Cocoon Masque is wonderful after a sunburn, wind burn, or general sensitivity. The skin will feel intense comfort from the rich, soothing marine ingredients. This masque reduces redness and calms the burning sensation sensitive skins can feel. Apply evenly to skin and wait 10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water.

Find it here!





If you need any help finding the appropriate masque for your skin type and conditions, you can email us at or if you live in the Vancouver area, feel free to come to our South Granville store located at 2997 Granville Street where our knowledgeable estheticians can help you find the right masque for your concerns.

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Posted in Acne, Beauty Tips, Behind Beauty, Dry Skin, Ingredients, Mature Skin, Miscellaneous Skincare, Oily Skin, Reviews and Product Features, Sensitive Skin, Skincare

Staff Picks: Exfoliants

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Sunday August 18th, 2013

Incorporating an exfoliant into your skin care routine is key to your skin’s health. It removes the layers of dead skin that accumulate over time – in a 40 minute period 1000 new cells are made. Exfoliation will help to speed up the cell renewal, allowing the new cells to come to the surface quicker. This will help to fade sun damage (dark spots, hyperpigmentation) and encourage collagen production to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Regular exfoliation will smooth out the skin’s texture and remove any dry patches.

Exfoliation allows the pores to remain unclogged, preventing sebum build up. The reduction of break-outs and blackheads is vastly improved as well as a minimized pore size. All skin types can use an exfoliant as there are many different types of exfoliants to choose from. Many exfoliants are formulated specifically for very sensitive and Rosacea prone skin.

Scrubs are one type of exfoliant. A scrub is designed for thicker, oily skins. Be sure to check that your scrub doesn’t contain apricot kernel as it’s main ingredient as the pieces have sharp edges and can microscopically cut the skin, allowing bacteria in. They can also be very abrasive. Look for one with rounded polyurethane beads, oat, corn, and rice which are excellent manual exfoliants to scrub off the dead skin without damaging it.

There are also exfoliants known as gommages. These usually are made from plant extracts and seaweed. The product is allowed to dry slightly and then you roll the exfoliant off the skin removing the loosened dead cells.

Exfoliants also come in the form of an AHA where the acids from fruit are used to soften the “glue” that holds the dead skin cells together, allowing the dead skin to be gently sloughed off when rinsing. Glycolic acid made from sugar cane is a form of AHA exfoliant that gives a deep exfoliation leaving the skin deep cleaned, smooth, and brighter looking. Lactic acid from dairy is also another gentle way to exfoliate and many exfoliants use this form in conjunction with other exfoliating ingredients to get wonderful results.

Enzymatic exfoliation is always suggested for sensitized, Rosacea prone skin as there is no “scrubbing”. It is left on the skin for 10-15 minutes and then rinsed off. The enzymes eat at the glue that holds the dead cells together like a “pac-man” and you are left with smooth skin that has not been aggravated in any way.

GM Collin Intensive Exfoliating Gel

GM Collin Intensive Exfoliating Gel



Shirley’s favourite exfoliant is the GM Collin Intensive Exfoliating Gel. It can be used on any skin type including sensitive, Rosacea prone skin. This product is lactic-acid based in conjunction with AHA from grapefruit, lime, and lemon. It also contains lavender flower extract which helps to calm and soothe sensitized skin. This product eliminates dead skin cells, brightens the complexion, and refines the texture leaving the skin hydrated, fresh, and luminous. Suggested use is 2-3 times a week.

Find it here!




Guinot Biological Peeling Radiance Gel

Guinot Biological Peeling Radiance Gel



Corrie’s favourite exfoliant is the Guinot Biological Peeling Radiance Gel which is safe to use for all skin types, including sensitive. This gentle enzymatic exfoliant uses AHA from orange, lemon as well as glycolic acid. To use, you must apply to dry face and neck and then lightly massage in circular motions until the gel has liquefied. When this happens, the enzymes have finished breaking down the dead cells. You can then rinse thoroughly off. This will help to brighten the complexion, increase cell regeneration, and hydrate the skin and impart anti-oxidants with green tea. Suggested use is 1-2 times a week.

Find it here!




Jan Marini Skin Zyme Papaya Mask

Jan Marini Skin Zyme Papaya Mask



Sashalina’s favourite exfoliant is the Jan Marini Skin Zyme Papaya Mask. This mask is great for sensitive skin, acneic skin, and pigmented skin. All you need is 20 minutes for this exfoliating mask. The enzymatic pacman effect will munch away the dead skin cells and bacteria, leaving your skin healthy and radiant. It’s great to incorporate into your skin care regime as a weekly treatment. The papaya enzymes are gentle enough for sensitive skins and since there is no “scrubbing” action it works well for acneic skin to gently but effectively remove the layers of dead skin build up.

Find it here! 





B.Kamins AHA + BHA Daily Peel Pads

B.Kamins AHA + BHA Daily Peel Pads



Rebekah’s favourite exfoliant is the B.Kamins AHA and BHA Daily Peel Pads. The disposable pads make this exfoliant quick and easy to use. Simply sweep over cleansed skin until pad is dry, wait about 5 minutes before using the neutralizing pad and swiping it over face and neck. Slight tingling sensation will let you know this exfoliant is working. Perfect for first time peel users and a simple way to brighten, remove dead cells, and increase the cell turnover.

Find it here!



After any exfoliation, the skin is more susceptible to sun damage. Make sure you are properly protecting your skin by applying an SPF before you leave your home and then reapplying every 2 hours (which is the amount of time it takes for the skin to break down an SPF). If you’re concerned about reapplying, it’s always a good idea to look into mineral make up and how it can make a difference in your sun protection routine.

If you need any help finding the right exfoliant for your regime or your skin type, feel free to find us in store at 2997 Granville Street where our estheticians are always ready to help. We’d be happy to help you through email correspondence as well.

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Posted in Acne, Beauty Tips, Behind Beauty, Dry Skin, Ingredients, Mature Skin, Miscellaneous Skincare, Natural & Organic, Oily Skin, Reviews and Product Features, Sensitive Skin, Skincare

All You Need To Know About Aria Beauty Hair Tools!

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Wednesday August 14th, 2013

A girl could spend all day trying to fight for healthy hair! With chemical processing, the environment and product buildup all working against us, we find ourselves relying on hot tools to smooth out the damage- and creating a vicious cycle. Most conventional styling tools have metal plates, which greatly stress the hair, causing frizz and breakage galore.

Introducing Aria Beauty: a line of 100% ceramic, far infrared styling tools that come in luxury, gift-box style packaging. The colours range from soft and pretty to utterly wild animal prints, and there are even a few all-in-one kits offering straighteners, curlers and mini blowdriers WITH accessories like clips, combs, and diffusers.


(We use the 100% Ceramic Pro Styler featured here in our How To Curl and How To Straighten!)

Aria Beauty tools never apply direct heat to hair and help to preserve the vitality, shine and strength of hair during styling! These ceramic straighteners and curling wands combine the use of negative ions with far infrared heat to draw hair’s natural oils outwards to sit on the surface of the hair, creating maximum shine and humidity resistance. At the same time, water from the air is drawn inside the hair shaft and locked in, keeping each strand plump and moist from root to tip while you style. One thing you’ll notice when you use Aria tools is a light steam rising from the hair- that’s the effect you want. The steam is excess water in the air that’s not being drawn into the hair being released.

One of the biggest benefits of Aria tools is their long-lasting results. Whether you go straight, curly or wavy, the style will hold for up to three days, even without product. The tools are suitable for any hair type and come in a range of sizes for all hair lengths!


(We used the 25MM Clipless COUGAR Curler featured here in our How To Curl!)

Here are a few tips for getting the best results with your Aria tool:

  • Tools work best on clean, dry hair that is free from product.
  • Use small sections of hair and move the straightener over hair slowly- you’ll only need to go over each section once, reducing the time hair is exposed to heat.
  • Press plates together gently- the ceramic plates are “floating” which means they will flex with the hair and don’t require a lot of pressure.
  • You can travel anywhere in the world with your Aria tool- they’re all dual voltage! Just remember to pack your adaptor.

Spa Boutique offers a huge range of Aria Beauty tools, which are available in store (2997 Granville Street, Vancouver) as the perfect gift year round.

Check out these quick photo tutorials on how to curl and straighten with some of the Aria Beauty hair tools!






The Truth About Vitamin C Serums

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Saturday August 10th, 2013


Vitamin C used topically will encourage the production of collagen and fight free radicals to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin C also helps to prevent the damage that UVA and UVB rays cause like hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C will also  prevent the sagging of the skin due to the increased collagen as the collagen helps to strengthen the fibers of the skin. The regular use of topical vitamin C products will give a brighter, firmer, healthier skin as Vitamin C is a very potent anti-oxidant.

The vitamin C that we get from food only maintains our internal organs and therefore we have to apply vitamin C topically to the skin to get its benefits.

To be able to penetrate the skin, the vitamin C needs to be stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid. This form of vitamin C is found predominantly in professional skin care brands such as Obagi, Jane Marini, Cellex-C, Vivierskin, Di Morelli,  Luzern and Rejudicare.. These products are either in a serum or a lotion form depending on the brand.

Vitamin C products will be very active on the skin and at the beginning one will feel a slight tingle. This is not an allergic reaction but a good tingle that means the vitamin C is working. After using for a few days you will not feel this tingle as the skin has acclimatized to the active ingredient.

The best way to use a vitamin C product is to apply it after cleansing and toning in the morning before your moisturizer.

Be aware that not all brands of vitamin C are equal. The best absorption is from professional skin care brands as mentioned earlier. There are many drugstore and department store brands that have Vitamin C products that do not have a stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid and therefore the benefits from these are very minimal.





Obagi has a professional vitamin C serum in a dropper bottle with strengths starting at 5% for the eyes and moving from 10%, 15%, and 20% for the face. Obagi also has a skin care system including cleanser, serum, day and night creams which all contain the stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid. This is called the C-Sytem.

Find it here!






Jan Marini is a professional skin care brand that also has a skin care regime of cleanser, serum, day lotion and eye care formulated with the stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid.

Find it here!






Vivierskin has their Kine-C Serum, C+E +Peptide Ultimate Balancing Serum, C+E Repairing Serum, as well as Rejuvenating Serums 10 and 20 which all have stabilized L-Ascorbic Acd as their main ingredient.

Find it here!






Di Morelli has a vitamin C serum for face and eyes that has a 25% concentration of L-ascorbic acid and matrixyl as well, which is an ingredient that helps to combat the signs of aging.

Find it here!






Luzern has a vitamin C serum called Serum Absolut V12 which also contains Vitamin B3 and Peptides.

Find it here!








Rejudicare has a serum called  2CRM Vitamin C and E with Peptides which will help to address the signs of aging.

Find it here!







Finally, the original topical vitamin C brand, Cellex-C has two serums containing high potency stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid in a traditional dropper bottles. Cellex-C has creams and eye serums containing their patented stabilized Vitamin C complex as well.

Find it here!




If you have any questions or if you would like a personalized recommendation feel free to email us at or come visit our estheticians in person at our store located at 2997 Granville Street.




As always, just for being a follower of our blog, enter coupon code BLOG10 for 10% off your next purchase!

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Posted in Beauty Tips, Behind Beauty, Dry Skin, Ingredients, Mature Skin, Miscellaneous Skincare, Natural & Organic, Oily Skin, Sensitive Skin, Skincare

Staff Picks: Toner

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Tuesday August 6th, 2013

Toners are really misunderstood and many skin care users leave this important step out of their daily cleansing routine. They bring the pH of the skin back to where it should be after cleansing. They are formulated to hydrate the skin, soothe irritated and sensitized skin, or inhibit bacterial growth on an acneic skin.

Toners prepare the skin to accept the serum, moisturizer, or night cream you wish to apply.



Shirley’s favorite toner is the GM Collin Puractive Plus Treating Lotion. It leaves her oily skin feeling refreshed, hydrated, and leaves a protective film on the skin that prevents bacteria growth and this prevents any breakout. Find it HERE!









Rebekah’s favorite toner is the Yonka Lotion for dry and sensitive skin. It smells beautiful and refreshing. Ideal for a dry skin and it can be used to set your mineral make up.

Find it HERE!








Corrie’s favorite toner is the Cellex-C Betaplex Fresh Complexion Mist. It’s good for all skin types (except for those severely sensitized or with open acneic lesions), but it feels


especially nice on her normal skin. There is a 3% fruit acid complex that will cause a tingle and dissipate in a minute or two, but the refreshing and toning properties last all day. Apply with a cotton ball, gently patting in.

 Find it HERE!







Sashalina’s favorite toner is the Stone Crop Hydrating Mist from Eminence Organics. This bad boy is her SOS that she stashes in her purse. She beats the heat with this hydration treat. The stone crop plant calms her burns, cold sores, sets her mineral powder and keeps her skin feeling fresh t e407_250
throughout the day.

Find it HERE!








If you have any questions or if you would like a personalized recommendation feel free to email us at or come visit our estheticians in person at our store located at 2997 Granville Street.



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