You’ve started on your resolutions for the New Year. Now it’s time to take stock of the things that really matter. Like your eyebrow. That’s right, they’ve fused into one. And those saddle bags that just won’t go away? Why fight them in the gym when you can zap them at the spa? With these get-pretty (or handsome) innovations, it’s easier—and more enjoyable than ever—to fight your beauty battles.
OUT WITH THE OLD: BODY WORK
IN WITH THE NEW: ENERGY WORK
Sometimes, even the strongest hands can’t work out the kinks. That’s when Nell Rueckl, the proprietress of Spot Spa in Minneapolis and one of the Cities’ most sought-after massage therapists, recommends energy work. “If a client isn’t responding to massage, they need another key to help them heal,” she says. Often referred to as Reiki or Shambhala, energy work is an all-encompassing term for any holistic therapy in which the practitioner tries to eliminate energy blockages in the body, a process that can help heal everything from illness and injury to deep-seated emotional distress. Since it’s not something you can see or always feel, energy work is an exercise in letting go—and trusting the possibility that our bodies have the power to repair themselves.
Who it’s for: Anyone who is open to nontraditional options. If energy work sounds like a bunch of hoo-ha, then it’s not for you.
What to expect: Physical vibrations—from soft to powerful—often occur when blockages are released.
Book it: Spot Spa, 401 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-331-4182, spotspas.com
Cost: $65 per hour
OUT WITH THE OLD: MASCARA AND FALSIES
IN WITH THE NEW: EYELASH EXTENSIONS
Each year, the average woman spends the equivalent of five whole days standing in front of a mirror, according to a recent survey by QVC. We’re willing to bet that at least one of those days is dedicated to applying mascara or false eyelashes. It doesn’t have to be that way! With eyelash extensions, individual lashes are affixed to your natural lashes using a steady hand and nontoxic glue. Depending on your budget—and how Bambi you want to go—options for lashes range from synthetic fibers to silk to mink fur. With each option, you’ll wake up every day with a fan-like fringe of glossy lashes—no curling, crimping, or mascara-swiping required.
Maintenance: A quick comb-through each morning, plus monthly fills.
Staying power: With proper care (no oil-based products, limited eye-rubbing) the extensions will last two to eight weeks.
Book it: Certified eyelash-extension artist Amy Presson recently opened Jett Makeup, the Cities’ first eyelash bar, 3940 W. 50th St., Edina, 651-373-1702, jettmakeup.com
Cost: $150 and up
OUT WITH THE OLD: MANICURE
IN WITH THE NEW: SHELLAC
The average manicure lasts about a week—and that’s pushing it. But there’s a new manicure in town called Shellac, and it lasts two weeks. That’s 14 days of impossibly glossy, pristine nails with nary a chip or scratch in sight. The secret to this high-tech nail system? A UV3 light that cures each layer of lacquer, leaving it completely dry in seconds. The gel polish, from cult-favorite Creative Nail Design, comes in 12 pretty shades that stay smooth and flawless no matter how hard you are on your nails. We’re willing to bet that once you try Shellac, you’ll never go back.
Ideal for: Anyone who gets regular manicures and can appreciate making fewer trips to the salon. Shellac is also great when you really need your manicure to last.
Fine print: Not all gel manicures are created equal. Other systems, like Axxium from OPI, require the nails to be scuffed prior to application, which leaves them damaged and brittle.
Book it: A handful of local spas offer Shellac, but no one nails it like Rhonda Hansford at Jason Deavalon Salon, 1517 W. Lake St., Mpls, 612-824-8939, jasondeavalon.com.
OUT WITH THE OLD: EUROPEAN FACIAL
IN WITH THE NEW: HIGH-TECH FACIAL
For decades, the classic European facial has been the gold standard of skin services. It usually goes something like this: cleanse, exfoliate, steam, extract, mask, massage, tone, moisturize—give or take, depending on your skin situation. As technology has advanced, so have the tools of the facial trade. During an oxygen facial, for example, oxygen molecules are sprayed onto the skin to rapidly speed up new cell growth. The result: improved skin tone, elasticity, and overall radiance. Other devices, like ultrasonic exfoliators and microcurrent wands, help products better penetrate the skin for increased effectiveness.
Who can benefit: Anyone with acne, dull skin, scars, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, or loss of firmness.
Great expectations: After one treatment, skin will be brighter, smoother, and more even-toned. After several treatments, benefits may include softer fine lines, firmer skin, diminished discoloration, and fewer blemishes.
Book it: Sara Mattson Skin Therapy, 6420 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-922-1511, saraskin.com
Cost: $90 and up
OUT WITH THE OLD: FACELIFT
IN WITH THE NEW: FACIAL REJUVENATION ACUPUNCTURE
If the thought of going under the knife for a facelift makes your skin crawl, you have two options: Give in to gravity or consider a noninvasive alternative. Although Botox and Juvederm can do wonders for frown lines and crow’s feet, your best defense against sagging skin might be facial rejuvenation acupuncture. This holistic practice, rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, promotes the circulation of chi, or energy, in your face. During the half-hour session, tiny needles are inserted into your skin anywhere you have fine lines or lax skin. Over the course of 10 sessions (you should start seeing a difference after two), collagen production improves, increasing muscle tone and elasticity. The result: firmer skin and fewer wrinkles—without a scalpel or syringe.
Pain factor: None. Acupuncture needles are wisp-thin and feel like a tiny pinprick when inserted into the skin. Most people report a sense of peace and relaxation.
Book it: Fusion LifeSpa, 18142 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven, 952-345-3335, fusionlifespa.com
Cost: $95 per session
OUT WITH THE OLD: LIPOSUCTION
IN WITH THE NEW: COOLSCULPTING
Fat freezing. It sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie. It also sounds too good to be true. But according to the group of Harvard Medical School dermatologists who discovered the technique, CoolSculpting is an effective way to battle the bulge. This noninvasive alternative to liposuction uses controlled cooling panels to target and freeze fat cells. Your skin will feel numb during the one- to two-hour treatment, but it won’t be perforated at any point. Over then next several months, the crystallized lipids break down and are flushed out of the body through its natural metabolic process. But while CoolSculpting can result in significant fat loss, patients still have to make some changes: Without a healthy lifestyle, they’ll put those pounds right back on.
Downtime: Minimal. Some patients, however, do experience temporary redness or minor bruising.
Book it: Crutchfield Dermatology, 1185 Town Centre Dr., Suite 101, Eagan, 651-209-3600, crutchfielddermatology.com; Zel Skin and Laser Specialists, 4100 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-929-8888, zelskin.com
Cost: $550 to $2,000 per site, per treatment
OUT WITH THE OLD: DETOX DIET
IN WITH THE NEW: INFRARED SAUNA
Who needs the Lemonade Diet when you could lose weight lolling about in a sauna? Ever since Dr. Oz demonstrated an infrared sauna on Oprah, it’s been gaining, um, steam as a healthy way to detox. Unlike traditional saunas, which heat the air, infrared saunas use natural radiant energy to directly heat the body and penetrate tissues more deeply—allowing for more effective detoxification. The profuse sweating that ensues cleanses pores and releases toxins. Infrared saunas have also been found to improve flexibility, increase circulation, lower blood pressure, and relieve pain. And here’s the real burn: up to 600 calories in one 30-minute session.
Heat index: Similar to lying in the sun on a hot day. While traditional saunas reach up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, infrared heat stays at 100 degrees to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
Smooth moves: When fat, water, and waste products get trapped below the skin due to poor circulation, cellulite forms. Infrared saunas clear the body of those unwanted toxins—and the dimples.
Book it: Kasia Organic Salon, 822 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-824-7611, kasiaorganicsalon.com
Cost: $40 per 30-minute session
OUT WITH THE OLD: MAKEOVERS
IN WITH THE NEW: MANKOVERS
Jungle Red Salon offers uni-brow reductions and boyzillians (if you have to ask, you don’t want to know). And ReVamp! SalonSpa recently launched the Mankover. “We’ve always had a consistent men’s clientele but never really separated men’s services until now,” says ReVamp’s Christopher Hopkins. The package includes a consultation, brow grooming, mancial, haircut, and deep-conditioning treatment. There’s also an a la carte menu of other men-specific services. Why should girls have all the fun?
Fun fact: “Mankover” appears in the Urban Dictionary.
Man up: ReVamp! hosts men’s night events to familiarize clients with treatments and educate them on how to prevent balding and premature aging.
Book it: For a Mankover, visit ReVamp! Salonspa, 2910 Hennepin Ave. S., Mpls., 612-341-0404, revampsalonspa.com. Other men’s services available at Jungle Red Salon, 1362 LaSalle Ave., Mpls., 612-870-0653, jungleredsalon.com; and Winston’s Barbershop, two metro locations, premiersalons.com
Cost: From $5 for a unibrow reduction to $129 for a full Mankover
OUT WITH THE OLD: WAXING
IN WITH THE NEW: THREADING
While it’s actually been around for centuries, threading has (finally) found its way to the Twin Cities. Depending on whom you ask, this ancient method of body hair removal can be traced back to India, Iran or Asia. But no matter where it’s claimed to hail from, the method remains the same: a thin cotton thread is rolled over unwanted hairs to rapidly remove them in neat rows. Unlike waxing, threading grabs hair at the root without lifting the skin. This practically guarantees less redness and fewer post-treatment bumps—perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. More important, threading is virtually painless.
Areas served: Brows, upper lip, chin, and cheeks.
Ideal for: Anyone with sensitive skin or who has used chemical exfoliators, such as Accutane and Retin-A, which thin the skin and make it more susceptible to damage during waxing.
Book it: For perfectly shaped brows in a posh setting, visit professionally-certified threader Christina Snead at Blink Studios, 700 Washington Ave. N., Suite 215, Mpls., 612-338-5211, blinkforbeauty.com
Cost: $30 and up
OUT WITH THE OLD: RELAXERS
IN WITH THE NEW: BODY WAVES
Smooth and sleek has been replaced by big and bouncy. To help clients get the look, stylists are turning to body waves. Unlike the spiral styles of yesteryear, modern perm techniques boost body and add texture to fine, flat hair. “Just the way nature intended,” quips Tusi Tuaolo, a senior stylist at Spalon Montage. She’s a master at keeping curls loose and luxurious—not crimped and frizzy. The trick? Using the right-sized rollers for your hair type and forgoing the neutralizer. Please, don’t try this at home.
Best for: Chin-length hair or longer that’s straight or slightly wavy.
Tools of the trade: Plan on getting to know your blow dryer and round brush to achieve that bombshell effect. For free-flowing waves, just wash and go.
Book it: Tusi Tuaolo at Spalon Montage, 3909 W. 49 1/2 St., Edina, 952-915-2900, spalon.com
Cost: $100 and up
* Read “Treatments for Two” to make the most of this Valentine’s Day.
Minneapolis-based writer Elizabeth Dehn is the founder of BeautyBets.com and a former Minnesota Monthly style editor.