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The Capital Region is full of great places to experience ultimate pampering. 

Below we feature some of the latest beauty trends that will leave you feeling relaxed and rested. What are you waiting for? Schedule your appointments today!

Eyebrow Threading
Jean Paul Spa and Salon, Albany

Eyebrow Threading is an ancient form of hair removal that originated in India and the mid-east and is becoming increasingly popular here in the United States. I’ve always had my eyebrows waxed, but was eager to give threading a try. I headed to Jean Paul Salon and Spa in Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, where Threading Specialist Puja Gupta has 25 years of experience.

Using only a piece of cotton thread, Puja rolled it along my eyebrow area to shape the brows and remove excess hair. Eyebrow threading removes one clean line of hair all at once, making it much quicker and easier to shape the brows. Unlike waxing, this technique is chemical-free and pain-free with no irritation or redness to the skin, a great alternative for those people with sensitive skin. Threading is primarily used on facial hair, eyebrow and lip areas and the process only takes about 10 minutes. You don’"t have to let your brows grow out as much as you do for waxing, because the technique is so precise. My eyebrows have never looked better! Cost is only $18 and results last 4-5 weeks.

– T. Frazer

Lomi Lomi Massage
Complexions, Albany

Massage has long been a powerful form of healing used by ancient civilizations and the term Lomi Lomi means massage. So it is easy to understand why this ancient massage is making its’ way to the Capital Region.

Aleeta Sutter performed the Lomi Lomi on me at Complexions on Wolf Road in Albany and I absolutely loved it. It involves a gentle rocking motion in concert with music (in this case it was Indian chants) and makes for a wonderfully relaxing massage. It left me with a feeling of peace much like a child must feel when being rocked.

The rocking is gentle, and as a vertigo sufferer it did not create anything queasy or unsettling to me as motion often does. This is a long gentle stroke massage with gentle swaying. It is a quiet and holistic massage that treats the mind, soul and body.

Aleeta explained that the rhythm of the massage is coming from the music that flows through her, so it is very important for the therapist to find the right music that works for him or her. The massage has been described as gentle waves moving over the body and I would agree with that description.

This is not a deep tissue massage; you certainly feel the strength, but in a more gentle and relaxing way. I can see why it has been so popular on the west coast and certainly expect it to surge in popularity here. It creates a perfect calming state that we all need whatever coast you are on.

The cost was $65, not including tip. An appointment needs to be set and be prepared to linger in the wonderful steam, sauna, and relaxing room after.

Microdermabrasion
Aesthetic Science Institute, Latham

Taking care of your skin and keeping yourself looking youthful is on everyone’s mind. An affordable, easy way to keep your skin looking healthy is by indulging in regular facials, something I have done for years. Recently, I decided to take it one step further and have microdermabrasion, something I have known about for years, but never experienced. Now that I have, I am hooked and plan to have regular treatments. 

A great place to have top-notch facials, wraps and waxing at a reduced rate is the Aesthetic Science Institute, which is a school for esthetics located on Route 7 in Latham. All services are performed by supervised students that have a minimum of 150 hours of schooling. 

Upon entering, I was greeted by friendly and professional staff at the front desk, and was quickly introduced to Natalie, who would be performing the treatment. After changing, I followed Natalie to the table, where I proceeded to lie down so that the microdermabrasion could begin. She showed me the tool being used – a diamontone suction (yes, there are real diamonds on it) and told me that she would be removing 30 to 50 percent of my stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the skin. I had to admit – hearing that made me very nervous and I had visions of leaving there raw and red. But, I tried to relax and believe her when she told me that wouldn’t be the case.

The suction itself was painless – it felt like a mini-vacuum running along my face. Natalie began on my forehead and proceeded to my cheeks. What surprised me the most was how quickly it ended – it took only about 15 minutes and the result was impressive. 

My skin was extremely soft and dewy-looking and best of all, I didn’t have any redness. I was advised to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day, but Natalie did apply sunscreen just in case.

Microdermabrasion is a great alternative to laser treatments and is designed to really make a dramatic difference with pigmentation, uneven skin tone or texture and scaring. It keeps skin fresh and smooth and increases product-absorption.

Treatments are sold individually for $50 or in a series of six for $250 to be completed 7-10 days apart, for optimum results. Many people opt to have a facial immediately following treatments. If you were to go to a spa, the cost for a single microdermabrasion ranges from $100-$150.

Laser Genesis
Circadia Complete, Latham

I was in for a treat when I decided to have my first ever Laser Genesis treatment. I have heard great things about it over the last few years and was quite curious. I found it very reassuring when Circadia Complete owner Randy Brenner and esthetician Deanna Beave sat down with me to explain the benefits of the services I was about to have and to answer any questions. After filling out a questionnaire and signing a consent form, it was off to the treatment room. 

Laser Genesis is a procedure that utilizes non-invasive laser technology to safely and effectively treat fine-line wrinkles, diffuse any excessive redness and help manage large pores, uneven skin texture and scars. Results are subtle, yet consistent, and can be noticed after each treatment. There are no unwanted side effects, such as burning or irritation. The laser works by gently heating the upper dermis well below your skin’s surface, stimulating collagen re-growth. Additional heat is generated in dilated capillaries to reduce redness. It is recommended that you have four to six treatments to achieve optimal results. 

Before Deanna performed the treatment I had a cleansing facial followed by a recommended Crystal Free Microdermabrasion. After putting on protective eyewear, it was time for the laser, which is performed in three different sections on the face – first the right side, then the left, then the forehead. As intense as the heat was, it was quite soothing. In fact, it was so relaxing that I almost dozed off. After the sides of my face were completed, it was onto my forehead. I’ll admit – I was wide awake now. Because the area doesn’t have the cushion that my cheeks do, I was more aware of the laser, but it wasn’t painful. In fact, I was still in a relaxed state. 

I did experience some redness during the treatment which quickly turned to pink and within a half-hour there were no signs of any irritation. After a moisturizer was applied I was ready to leave. The entire visit, including paperwork, explanations, cleansing, microdermabrasion and laser took under two hours.

Checking the rearview mirror on the drive home, I must say what I saw and felt was skin that was smooth and glowy. A much-appreciated courtesy call was received the following day from Deanna to ask how I was and if I had any concerns. I did, in fact. It was how quickly could I book treatment number two? 

Pricing for Laser Micro-Genesis: Full Face $175, Face and Neck $225, Crystal Free  Microdermabrasion $100

– L. Gemlick

Change your look with Top Secret Haircessory

Are you one of 30 million women experiencing thinning hair? Or, are you in the "in-between" stage of trying to grow out a short hairstyle? Perhaps you’re just in the mood for a new look? 

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, there’s a hot new product that will help solve your hair dilemmas. Top Secret Haircessory is a four-clip hair system made of 100 percent human hair that is hand-tied to a micro mesh base, for a comfortable, ventilated fit. It was developed by Hollywood stylist Denise Rossouw to meet the rigorous demands of those in the entertainment industry – actors, actresses, models and rock stars – whose job is to look good all the time. 

Now, you can experience the same instant transformation that celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Janet Jackson have right here in the Capital Region at Allusions Hair Salon on Route 9 in Latham, one of only two salons in the area that carry the product.

Owner Kathy Freeman first learned about Haircessory at a seminar a few years ago. 

"It’s a great alternative to adding to your hair if you have fine texture hair," she said.

Haircessory is available in 23 colors, including highlights and can be custom-matched to your color. It can be shaped to your hairstyle or added in to create layers.

The advantages of this product versus a wig it that it is much lighter and doesn’t feel heavy on the hair. It’s usually shaped into your hairstyle, can be curled or permed and shampooed and dried. It is so comfortable that you can even go swimming with it.

For those people with hair loss due to a medical reason, you only need two inches of hair to work with. Many of Freeman’s clients are those suffering from thinning hair, like Betsy Epstein of the Berkshires. She has used powders and sprays in the past, but found them messy and annoying. When a friend told her about the product being sold at Allusions, she made the trip and is now a satisfied client.

"I love the hair piece and I can wash and dry it myself," she said. "I am very pleased and may get another one next year with a little longer hair."

The cost ranges between $400-$800 and the product will last between three and four years, depending on the care.

Interested clients meet with Freeman for a private consult, where you get to try several different ones on and are shown a video on how to care for them. 

Haircessory is a great alternative to pricey extensions, which are sewn, glued or fused in and have to be removed professionally.

"This is also an extension, but the difference is that the client has the option to take it on or off," said Freeman.

– MB Galarneau

For more information about Top Secret Haircessory call Allusions Salon at 786.8286.

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