Archive | March, 2011

My First Botox

22 Mar

Botox.  You can’t avoid hearing about it; it seems to be everywhere.  And you’re curious, because honestly, who wouldn’t be.  So what’s it really like?

Well my first Botox experience was priceless, and that’s because I can be a bit of a spaz, especially when I think something is going to hurt.

So, as per requirements, I fill out a health history form and Botox consent sheet.  The Doctor (actually a Dentist) looks them over and begins the consultation.  We talk about my areas of concern (forehead) and I’m asked to make a lot of funny faces so that she can see the wrinkles.  Once we’ve decided on the areas to treat she goes over price to make sure I understand.  I my case we would be doing thirty-five units, and Botox is billed per unit (usually between $8 and $12 per unit).  So I’m pretty excited about it, but when she asks me to lie down I start to get a little nervous, well actually, I start to get a lot nervous.  She wipes my forehead down with some alcohol and then freezes it with a little ice.

At this point I am white as a sheet and sweating profusely and we haven’t even stuck a needle in yet.  Next thing you know I’m pretty much unconscious and a friend is trying to feed me juice that really just runs down my chin…HOW EMBARASSING!!! Especially, since we haven’t even started.  I have a tendency to psych myself out.

So I come to and feel a bit better and am ready to do this.  She asks me to wrinkle my forehead and begins the injections.  You know what? It actually doesn’t hurt.  And now I’m even more embarrassed.

Five little needles are used across my forehead and three more in between my eyebrows and in literally five minutes I’m done.  The whole process, consultation and all, took less time than getting a manicure.  The only thing at this point that I noticed is a few little dots on my forehead where the injections were made.  These disappear quickly.  It was that simple for me…save the fainting and the drooling of course.

So what happens next?

Before you leave the Doctor will go over some post care…AKA face exercises.  For the next few hours you are asked to wrinkle the face as much as possible to spread the Botox, welcome to looking ridiculous!  Other than that there is really no post care, just avoid massaging the area but nothing special you need to do.

About five days later the effects really start to become apparent.  For me, I felt like I could lift my eyebrows but when I did there were no wrinkles.  I was ecstatic; I loved and still love the results.  And now I do semi-regular touch ups every 3-4 months.  Only difference is no fainting.

Even though for me Botox is easy and quick we still need to remember that it is a prescription and with all prescriptions there are risks and possible complications.  Make sure you read the Botox consent form and make sure you only see someone you trust because things can go wrong.  For information on Botox you can always check out Health Canada’s article on injectable cosmetics.

Spas and the Daily Deal

16 Mar

“Daily deal” sites have become a great way to experience spa services at extremely discounted prices. In fact, this is my addiction in life; I can’t get enough of these spa packages.

 

Not familiar with “daily deal” sites? A deal goes for a short period of time, usually 24hrs.  During that period you can purchase the deal but when the time expires, the deal goes away.  On average you have between 6-12 months to use your purchase.  Then let me give you an example: A deal I have yet to use is one I bought from DealFind for $49. This package includes a body scrub, mud wrap, 30 minute massage and diamond microdermabrasion at a spa called Heavenly Soul—a package worth $296. Sound too good to be true? It’s actually not. Generally these packages are exactly what they say they are, but I have noticed that some spas take shortcuts I’d like to point out.

 

My first spa deal let-down happened when I bought a spa package for a wrap, massage and facial. I called the spa to see if I could add a scrub to the package and was told that they always welcome add-ons. What I didn’t know is that these appointments are booked in two-hour slots, and that you only get what can be done in that time frame, add-on or not. This meant my hour-long massage got cut down to 20 minutes. Needless to say, I was not impressed. So, if you are adding something to your package, it’s a good idea to ask and make sure that you will still get the full time for everything advertised.

 

My next disappointment came from purchasing facials. Many spas have taken to advertising discounted facials, but they are not full facials. More like express facials. These express facials have no extractions, and consist of a cleanse, mask and quick massage. Now I have no problem purchasing an express facial if that is what is being advertised, but when I see “facial” I would expect there to be an extraction. The answer… when purchasing a facial, make sure to read the fine print. When in doubt, call the spa and ask exactly what is included.

 

Another thing I have come across is shortened services, especially in dealing with medi-spas. This happened to me when I purchased cellulite treatments. The deal was advertised as “$69 for 3 Sixty Minute Ultrasound Cellulite Reduction Treatments, 3 Twenty Minute Lymphatic Body Massages and 3 Fifteen Minute Body Exfoliations ($447 Value.)”  In reality, each visit was a combined 60 minutes of treatment, if that. I got only 22 minutes of Ultrasound Cellulite Reduction treatment each time, 11 minutes each leg, as per the timer on the machine. During my visits I was informed that if I wished to purchase more treatments, not at the deal price, then they would be full length, but the “deal” treatments are shortened. So, watch out… sometimes the spa, or medi-spa, is not giving you what they advertise. I now like to call and confirm the length of the actual appointment to ensure I am getting EXACTLY what they are advertising.

 

If you do your research, make a call or two before you buy, then you can avoid these mini disappointments and get right to the enjoyment of hugely discounted spa services.

 

 

Eurowave and the Flabby Belly

10 Mar

Flabby belly? I think we can all agree that this is a common problem. I think we can also agree that the key to getting rid of it is healthy diet and exercise. But, if you’re like me, even with all that work, you still can’t seem to get the stomach you want. If you’re looking for a miracle, or if you think you can get perfect abs without work, you can keep dreaming. There really is no quick fix, but the good news is that there is a way to help get you to that next step and help get you motivated.

Eurowave uses faradic current to involuntarily contract your muscles. It’s the same technology that they use in many physiotherapy clinics for atrophied muscles. Treatments are 18 minutes long and painless. Despite being pain free, you can actually feel your muscles move, almost like you’re doing crunches that you can’t control.

The first time I had this done, I was not a fan— it can be a strange sensation for people.  But by my second session I LOVED it! I love being able to feel and see the muscles contracting, ensuring me that I am getting a workout.

What to expect: on your first visit the technician will take measurements and some may take photos for comparisons. You then will lie down and expose the area that you are having treated. For example, if you are doing your abs, you will raise your shirt up to your ribcage and lower your pants down to your hipbones. Bands are wrapped snugly around your stomach, and the technician will place damp sponges with metal plates on selected areas. Now here comes the “Frankenstein” part: each one of those sponges gets hooked up to the Eurowave machine.

That's Me!

Once you’re all hooked up, the Eurowave treatment begins. For two minutes you will do a “warm up” and, at most, you’ll feel a tingling sensation. Once you get into the “work out” part of the treatment the intensity gradually increases. Your technician will make sure you are comfortable, and will ask permission before increasing the intensity. Each time the intensity is increased on the Eurowave it will feel quite strong for a few seconds, but your body will quickly adjust to the new level. You should always feel like you’re getting a workout, because, in essence, you are! Treatments are done two to three times per week, and at least 10 sessions are required before you should be able to notice any changes.

Standard pricing for Eurowave treatments is $50 per treatment; however, almost every place will have promotions. Generally, the more you buy, the cheaper they will be. Treatments can be done on nearly any muscle group, such as abs, thighs, butt, and even arms.

I have had Eurowave treatments done in the past, and am currently in the middle of an 11 treatment pack at Fabufit in Yaletown (Vancouver). $400 gets you 10 treatments, and the first is free, for a total of 11. Alex, the owner and technician at Fabufit, is a personal trainer and Spa Therapist. She is extremely knowledgeable, and will walk you through the treatment step by step. She is very clear and realistic about the results you can expect, which makes Fabufit a place I would definitely recommend for Eurowave treatments.

I’m certainly a fan of Eurowave, and I find the treatments to be very convenient. Since they’re only 18 minutes long, they can easily be done during a lunch break. And, unless you are having treatments on your bum or thighs, you don’t need to take anything off! Eurowave is not a replacement for exercise, but is a great treatment option to assist you in reaching your goals, and is something I like to do before bikini season.

Daring To Try A New Salon

3 Mar

So you’ve decided to try a new salon! Maybe it was based on a recommendation or maybe you bought a daily deal from one of those websites. No matter what the reason, you are now contemplating putting yourself in a new stylist’s hands. But how do you know if they’re someone you can trust.

Firstly, do your research! We live in the age of the internet, so get on it and search. But remember, no one stylist can make every client happy and everyone gets a bad review now and again. Not to mention the fact that an unhappy client is way more likely to write a review than a happy client. Still if all the reviews are telling you to stay away…you should probably do that.

Research shouldn’t just include reading reviews, you need to learn about the stylist and often the salon website is the best place to do this. Make sure the stylist is staying current with their education. Education is ONGOING and classes should be taken on a regular basis. Feel free to ask them about this, it should be their pleasure to show off how educated they are.

Many talent driven stylists will even have portfolios so that you can take a look at their work; just ask, they may have a hard copy or point you in the direction of their Facebook or Twitter account…a proud stylist will be displaying their work for the world to see.

By educating yourself you can help limit the chance of a total hair disaster; remember that this responsibility lies in your hands. Yes, hair eventually grown back, but if you’ve ever had a bad cut you know that a bit of time educating yourself is well worth it.

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