Experience: super affordable facial and massage at NIC Spa in Vancouver

Last week, I was invited to experience the ultra affordable NIC Spa in Vancouver. NIC Spa is a spa that was opened by New Image College, a training institution located in Downtown Vancouver for those aspiring makeup artists, aestheticians, and more. The people who work at the NIC Spa are fully accredited grads from New Image College, with the purpose of providing them additional experience and opportunities to grow in their careers. The NIC Spa is located on the premises of New Image College, conveniently located on Granville between Smithe and Nelson, just a few minutes from several skytrain stops.

The menu at NIC Spa is super simple. It offers facials, massages, and manicure and pedicures. The price point? $20 for each type of service. Yes you read that right, TWENTY friggin DOLLARS! I was invited to try out a facial and massage. My entire service lasted just under 2 hours, and it would have cost me around $200-300 at another spa, but at NIC Spa it would only be $40 (plus tax and tip, of course).

The treatment rooms are essentially the treatment rooms used for classroom teaching, and there are a number of beds in one room, with curtains dividing each bed. When I was there, there was no one else but me in the entire room, so it was quiet and private. The multi-bed rooms actually make it perfect for when you and your friends want to indulge in a spa party. While at most other spas, this wouldn’t be possible because there’s at most 2 beds in a room, you can seriously have a great time, perhaps for your friend’s bachelorette party?

My aesthetician was Doris. She started me face down for my massage first. I opted for an aromatherapy Swedish massage. Doris’s pressure was firm, and I could feel the stress relieved through my body. She definitely used copious amounts of oil to make sure that the strokes were smooth and easy on my body.

After she cleansed my skin and removed my makeup, she did a skin analysis to help identify the state of my skin and the type of treatment I needed. She and I both concluded that I have dry skin (surprise, surprise), and that I needed some extra hydration. In addition to an exfoliating mask, she also used a moisturizing mask, plus plenty of facial, neck, head, and shoulder massage. While I felt like she was a tiny bit rough compared to other facial experiences I had, I was still pretty happy with it just because of the affordability, and also my skin felt pretty damn nice after I left. The most important part of a facial is how effective it is, isn’t that right?

While I wouldn’t say it was the most luxurious or relaxing spa experience, it was seriously a fantastic value for just $20 for each service. I can opt to have an entire spa day, pampering my body, face, fingers, and toes, for under $100, and that’s amazing in a city where it’s becoming harder and  harder to afford anything but the necessities. I’ve recommended this spa to a number of my friends, and I can see myself gathering friends to come here for spa parties as well.

I highly recommend checking out NIC Spa, located at:
987 Granville St
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1L3
(604) 685 8842

Book online here: http://www.nicspa.ca/book-online-2/

Services received complimentary of NIC Spa for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

First time getting lash extensions from Prép Beauty Parlour!

I’ve always wanted to try out lash extensions, but I never made the jump because I wasn’t sure what it would entail. Luckily, a few weeks ago, I was contacted by Prép Beauty Parlour to try out their full set of extensions. At the time, I was preparing for a work trip to Toronto, so I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to try.



Prép Beauty Parlour is the cutest beauty salon nestled on Hornby in Downtown Vancouver. It’s a two-storey salon, with the nail services done downstairs, and the lash services upstairs. The salon is beautifully decorated with mirrors and other pretty trinkets, allowing it to look bright and cheery. My lash appointment was upstairs, where there were four beds side by side each other so they can have four lash appointments at the same time. The environment was very clean.


My appointment was with Christin, Eyelash Extension Master. She explained to me how the process worked – the extensions would be wrapped around my existing lashes to lift them up – and she also asked me for the type of look I wanted to achieve. She was very patient in answering all of my questions, explaining each step of the procedure as she performed them, also ensured that my eyes were very comfortable the entire time.

I prefer a more doe-eyed look, so I asked for longer lashes around the centre of the eye. I also want something that’s extra curled, since my lashes were very stick straight, and I didn’t want something too long, since I wear glasses and I don’t want the lashes to touch my glasses when I blink.


After an hour, my lashes were done! I was super impressed with the way I looked when I left, and due to the thickness, it also felt like I had liner on all the time, which accentuated the look of my eyes. I did have some reservations though. I felt like my right eye wasn’t as voluminous as my left eye, and the lashes on my right eye also started to fall off pretty quickly after the application. That same night, I had 3 lashes fall off my right eye, and none from my left. Due to the number of extensions in total, even though a few fell off, my eyes still looked very wide, with that doe-eyed effect.


About three weeks after getting the extensions, about half of them had fallen off. The result was a wispy, wide eyed look that still looked good. My boyfriend complimented on them often! My biggest complaint at the 2-3 week mark was that because the glue was starting to get loose on a lot of them, even if I brushed them out regularly, they would still get a bit tangled, and then some of them would stab me in the eye. It was pretty uncomfortable.

The other thing was, and this is a personal preference, I generally wash my face with oil-based cleansers, whether it is my oil cleanser to remove makeup, or my Bella Aura or Tata Harper cleansers that contain natural oils in them. You’re not supposed to wash your face with oil products if you have lash extensions, because the oil will dissolve the glue, so I felt like this is a bit of an inconvenience. The other thing is, I generally like to wash my face in the shower with a full blast of water, but again with lash extensions, you can’t do that because the pressure will make the extensions fall off. After all that, I would generally say that I am not the best candidate for lash extensions.

That being said, though, lash extensions are pretty awesome for when you’re going on vacation and you don’t want to put the extra effort in every day to doll yourself up. My lash extensions definitely make my eyes look bigger, wider, and it generally looks nicer on photos. Lash extensions generally last around 4 weeks with proper care (they recommend fillers at the 2-3 week mark for maintenance, when there is around 50% of the lashes still intact), so they would be perfect right before your vacation.


Would I recommend lash extensions? I would say no, just because most people I know wouldn’t be able to handle the upkeep. If you do want to get them, Prép Beauty Parlour is an excellent choice for salon!

Prép Beauty Parlour

1054 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC

Monday – Tuesday: 10 – 7:30
Wednesday – Friday: 9 – 8
Saturday: 9:30 – 6
Sunday: 11 – 6
E: info@prepbeautyparlour.com

Tel: 604.764.6452

I received the lash extensions complimentary from Prép Beauty Parlour; all opinions are my own.

Experience: Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie, at the Shangri-La Toronto

If you’ve been following along with me on Instagram, you’d notice that I was in Toronto a few weeks ago. I took the opportunity to visit the famed Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie, located at the beautiful Shangri-La Toronto. I received the 30 minute Hammam and Gommage treatment, which claims:

This steam & body exfoliation is part of the authentic traditions of the Middle East. De-stress between a private high intensity & low mist steam chamber, the Hammam will cleanse your body while stimulating your senses and imagination. Lay relaxed on Jerusalem gold marble as you experience an invigorating full body Gommage (exfoliation) using eucalyptus infused black Moroccan soap. This experience is considered to be the ultimate detoxification treatment. Our Spa Concierge will be happy to assist you with your personalized groups of 2 or more people. Please refer to our Voyages & Retreats.


It was my first time getting the Hammam and Gommage treatment. The treatment itself was fantastic, the 10-15 minute steam room treatment (the Hammam) was the most relaxing part of the experience, as I got to lie back, breathe, and relax after a very hectic week of travelling and working. The steam room was very hot, humid, but not at all stuffy, which I find is the case with most other steam rooms. I was left alone in the room, and I could have completely stripped down, but I had a sarong covering me which was more comfortable. I would have loved to stay in the steam room for longer, to detox my body of the stress and pollution during my trip to Toronto, but since I was having such a good time in the steam room, it just felt really short.

The Gommage part of the treatment was also nice, but not as relaxing. I lay down pretty much completely naked (I had a disponsable thong on) on top of my sarong, while the esthetician exfoliated every inch of my body with the black Moroccan soap. My body was thoroughly exfoliated, the esthetician focused on parts of my body that I often forget to exfoliate, such as my tummy area, back of my arms, my hands, and the tops of my feet. The black Moroccan soap contained natural oils which left my body feeling smooth and hydrated.


After being rinsed off and allowed to dry, I was led to the relaxation room where I was given some grapes, a pastry, and unlimited refills of chai tea. The relaxation room was very nice, dimly lit, and quiet. I would have liked to stay longer but there was a couple in the room who arrived later and who were talking in the room, and it ended up being less serene.


My biggest dislike, and why this experience wasn’t as relaxing as it could have been, was that I felt like this experience was very rushed. I was rushed into the change room, rushed out, rushed into the steam room, and even the exfoliation process felt rushed. It was my first time getting this treatment, but I felt like the front staff didn’t explain what the treatment would entail. This would give me a head’s up about the different steps, and what I can expect. I feel like the Hammam and Gommage treatment would have been a great add-on to another treatment, such as a massage or facial, so it doesn’t feel like you spend so little time in the spa itself.

That being said, the Miraj Hammam Spa is extremely clean, and well stocked with all the Caudalie products you can use. I had completely removed my makeup and skincare before going into the steam room, so my skin was feeling a bit naked. I topped up my skin with Caudalie products for the face, and also smothered my body in the body lotion.

For the price, I don’t know if I would go back. It was a good treatment, I wasn’t blown away by my experience. If you know me, you know that I have no problem splurging for good experiences, but this one was just okay and didn’t show me enough value in terms of the level of service for me to return.

Hammam & Gommage – 30MINS
MondayFriday (excluding holidays)
Saturday, Sunday and Holidays

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie
188 University Ave, Toronto, ON M5H 0A3
Phone: (647) 253-5770

The treatment provided was complimentary of Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie; all opinions are my own.

Experience: Tata Harper Brightening Facial at Collective Skin Care


Tata Harper is one of my favourite natural skincare brands – their cleansers are just out-of-this-world amazing. Tata’s journey started when her father was diagnosed with cancer. The doctor stated that the chemicals present in every day life played a big part in this, thus Tata set out to research and create skincare products that were natural and non-toxic. Tata Harper products are created in a vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution plant located in Vermont, which also houses a farm where much of the ingredients are grown. Her products are certified organic, all natural, and most of the products are vegan, with the exception of certain products that contain beeswax and honey, and also cruelty-free.


As my biggest skin concerns are hyperpigmentation and dehydration. I received the brightening facial at Collective Skin Care. My facial started with the incredibly luxurious Nourishing Oil Cleanser, this is one of the richest oil cleansers I’ve ever used, and it’s also extremely hydrating and nourishing. It contains Beta Carotene, Vitamins A, C, E, Lycopene and Omega 3 to soften and improve skin texture. It removed all of my makeup, and prepped my skin for the Purifying Cleanser, a cleanser containing enzymes, designed to gently loosen dead skin cells, deep cleanse the pores, and release toxins and pollutants from the skin. Next came exfoliation using Tata Harper’s award winning Regenerating Cleanser, which also happens to be my favourite Tata Harper product. I’ve reviewed the Regenerating Cleanser extensively here, so check it out. One interesting thing to note was that all three cleansers were applied to dry skin, which allowed maximum product penetration and efficacy since the skin is not shielded by water. I felt that using the Regenerating Cleanser dry felt a bit rough on the skin, but I didn’t notice any long term sensitivity.

After triple cleansing and exfoliating, I got to try out the new Purifying Mask. This clay-based mask was designed to deep cleanse the skin and extract any toxins that were buried deep within the pores. It is also filled with natural pressed oils to help hydrate and nourish the skin. Clay is generally a very drying skincare ingredient, but when mixed with plant extracts and oils, it will replenish any dryness with moisture. After removing the mask, it was followed by a face, neck, and decollete massage with their Beautifying Facial Oil.

The oil was removed with the Refreshing Cleanser, which contains pomegranate enzymes, grapefruit and bergamot, french pink clay, and willow bark, which come together to gently cleanse the skin. The Resurfacing Mask, one of Tata Harper’s most popular products, was layered directly on top of the cleanser to create a concentrated enzyme mask, with double the brightening and exfoliating powers. I have the Resurfacing Mask and I’m kind of on the fence about it, which is why I haven’t done a review of it yet. I just felt like it hasn’t done much to my skin on its own, but together with the Refreshing Cleanser, there is mild stinging which feels like the enzymes are doing their jobs.


The key to this brightening facial was the incorporation of the Concentrated Brightening Essence, applied to the face blended with the Concentrated Brightening Serum. It is rare for a natural skincare line to have brightening products because most products on the market contain chemicals to reduce hyperpigmentation and even out the skintone. However, Tata Harper’s brightening products include ingredients such as sea kelp, milk thistle, enzymes, and willow bark extract to gently yet effectively exfoliate the skin, reduce the look of spots, and also prevent new spots from producing.

My facial finished off with a generous dose of the Repairative Moisturizer. This moisturizer, designed for dry or mature skin types, contains mango seed butter, jojoba seed oil, and raw honey sourced from a neighbouring farm in Vermont. I actually love this moisturizer so much that I went and bought a full sized version – I’m completely in love with honey in my skincare right now, so just the mention of that made me jump on it.

After my facial, I’ve noticed that my skin texture has improved significantly – it is definitely brighter, more refined, smoother, and much softer than it was before. My pores have been deep cleansed, and much of my blackheads have disappeared.

The only downside I can think of is that Tata Harper doesn’t have any products that contain sunscreen, so when I left the facial, I was walking outside on a sunny day with no sunscreen on.

Collective Skin Care in Yaletown offers Tata Harper facials, and while the prices are a bit higher than what I’ve been used to for facials, you will arrive and leave with confidence that the products being used are the very best of the best. I highly recommend the Brightening Facial, especially if your skin is going through a change of season, or if you are preparing for a special event that requires you to look your best. This is a great way to give yourself a skin “reset,” even if you are already using Tata Harper products in your regular routine.

Now here’s a photo with me post-facial with no makeup on. What do you think?


Experience: Dermalogica IonActive Power Treatment Facial


A few weeks ago, I was invited to experience the new Dermalogica IonActive Power Treatment Facial at the International Dermal Institute in Vancouver. My treatment was handled by Cory, Senior Dermalogica Trainer, who is extremely knowledgeable about skin treatment, as well as Dermalogica products.

The new IonActive Power Treatment is a 45 minute professional treatment that is designed to treat skin conditions such as acne, dehydration, hyper pigmentation, sensitivity, and aging. The key parts to the IonActive Power Treatment are the IonActive serums and the Gelloid masks. There are four IonActive serums specifically designed for treating particular skin concerns, and they are used in conjunction with a tool that delivers microcurrents into the skin, which allows for deeper penetration of the serum ingredients.

  • Retinol 1% IonActive – for treating aging skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid IonActive – for treating dehydration and sensitivity
  • Oligopeptide IonActive – for treating hyperpigmentation
  • Niacinamide IonActive – for treating adult acne

There are also two types of Gelloid masks. These masks are used both as a massage cream, as well as a face mask. The facial massage was specifically designed to help push the IonActive serums further into the skin for better penetration and efficacy of the serum ingredients.

  • ExoThermal Gelloid – a self-heating massage mask that is ideal for stressed, dehydrated, or aging skin
  • EndoThermal Gelloid – a cooling massage mask that is perfect for soothing sensitivity, reducing inflammation and suppressing acne.

Based on your Face Mapping analysis, as well as your own description of your top skin concerns, you were prescribed a treatment. My main skin concerns are hyper pigmentation and dehydration, and Cory agreed based on an analysis of my skin. As such, he recommended the Oligopeptide IonActive in conjunction with the ExoThermal Gelloid.

He started the treatment with a deep cleanse of my skin using the Pre-Cleanse, an oil cleanser and one of my favourite products from Dermalogica. He then double cleansed with the Ultra Calming Cleanser, a gel-based cleanser that’s very soothing, gentle, yet effective. The cleanser was immediately followed a deep yet gentle exfoliation using the Daily Microfoliant. After what was pretty much a triple cleanse, Cory walked me through the different types of IonActive serums, and we both agreed that the Oligopeptide serum was the best for me as I wanted to focus on reducing my hyperpigmentation. The Oligopeptide IonActive serum was applied generously over my face with a spatula. The serum was left to set for a minute, and then the Gelloid mask was applied. I have stressed and dehydrated skin so the ExoThermal Gelloid was used for the facial massage. The facial massage was extremely relaxing, and probably my favourite portion of the facial.

After 10 minutes, the mask was removed using a warm towel, and the facial ended with a quick spritz of the Multi-Active Toner, and a generous application of the Pure Light Day Cream, which contains SPF 50, to get me ready for the rest of my day.

My skin, upon leaving the IonActive Power Facial was extremely supple, hydrated, and brightened. Of course it was just one treatment so I didn’t see any huge improvements (it’s just a facial, not magic). For maximum benefits, Dermalogica recommends a series of three to six treatments initially (every two to four weeks), and then followed by maintenance treatments twice a year.

The Dermalogica IonActive Power Treatment Facial is available now at select skincare centres and spas across Canada for a suggested price of $120 per session (varied by skincare centre).

Experience: Babor Facial Treatment at Beauty Court

beautycourt 2

I was invited by local Vancouver beauty boutique Beauty Court to experience a Babor express beauty treatment during their recent Babor beauty event. I have a long history with Beauty Court, first shopping with them at the young age of just 15. I purchased my first ever Anna Sui products from them, which also ignited my love for the brand. Thus when they wanted to collaborate with me, I was simply over the moon!

Beauty Court specializes in specialty luxury skincare, importing high end skin care brands such as Valmont, Guinot, Cellcosmet, Babor (one of their more recent additions to the brand roster), and are the exclusive B.C. seller of Swiss skincare brand, Swiss Line. Beauty Court also carries luxury beauty brands such as Guerlain, Cle de Peau, Shiseido, Dermalogica, Clarins, Anna Sui and Paul & Joe. They are family-owned and operated, and are equally passionate about beauty products are they are their customers.

Beauty Court has a spa section for doing facials, massages, and other treatments on their customers. This spa side is simply gorgeous – probably one of the cleanest and most serene spa spaces I’ve ever been in. My treatment room was a good size, not claustrophobic like other treatment rooms I’ve been in, and there is a spacious bathroom (with shower) connected to the treatment room so I can use it at my leisure without walking around and seeing other customers – the perfect design to create the ultimate relaxation experience. They use the luxury skincare products available on their retail side for their spa services.

I had previously written about Babor, but just as a refresher, Babor is a Germany innovative skincare brand with a strong focus on research and development. Founded exactly 60 years ago in 1956, they were the inventor of the ampoule, a concentrate skin treatment serum encased in individual-use glass vials for the freshest, most hygenic product.

My esthetician first removed my makeup, then deep cleansed with a mixture of the HY-OL with the Phytoactive Combination. The HY-OL is a cleansing oil that contains soybean, sesame and peanut oils, as well as quillaja extract, and the Phytoactive Combination is an herbal cleansing extract for use with the HY-OL, which contains the detoxifying extract of Agrimonia eupatoria, which has an astringent effect, as well as the essences of sage, witch hazel and azulene to refine and balance the skin. The cleansing portion was so relaxing and I felt like my skin was deep cleansed, refreshed, but still hydrated at the same time. My esthetician then designed a routine with other Babor products that suited my skin, which included a serum, a 5 minute facial massage, a 10 minute face mask (with neck and shoulder massage), eye cream, face cream, and ultimately sun screen, which a lot of facial places forget to apply.

I’m not new to facials as I’ve reviewed a number of them on the blog, but this was the first time I’ve ever gotten an Asian-style facial. What’s the difference, you ask? Asian-style facials focus a lot more on massaging the different pressure points on your skin to help revitalize your skin through increased blood flow, and also lift up the skin. My facial was an express 45 minute one, whereas the normal facials are 1.5-2 hours long, which means there is a lot of massage time in there. Not only did my esthetician massage my face, but also focused on my neck, shoulder and upper arms. I left feeling super recharged and relaxed, which was exactly what I needed after a long week of work.

Last thing I want to mention is that I left Beauty Court with exactly the right amount of product, i.e., moisturized and sunscreen, on my skin, which has almost never happened to me before after a facial. There were times where I left facials with too much cream or sunscreen on my face that it was sticky, heavy, and just felt bad. There were other times where not enough cream was applied so I left the facial feeling drier than before I had gotten the facial. By contrast, my skin felt very hydrated, plumped, brightened, and comfortable after my session with Beauty Court. Because of this, as well as the quality of the service and amenities, I have to say this is one of the best facials I’ve ever gotten in my life.

I received a few Babor products to try at home, so I’ll be reporting back on those in a few weeks. I do have to say that I woke up the day after my facial with incredibly soft, supple and bouncy skin, so I look forward to seeing what long term use of Babor products will do to help with my skin!

Make sure to check out Beauty Court if you’re in the area, they also offer online shopping at beauty-court.com.

Beauty Court Premier
Unit 2610-2630, Aberdeen Centre 4151 Hazelbridge Way V6X 4J7 Richmond, BC Canada
Phone: (604) 232-1010
Email: info@beauty-court.com


Fantastic brow threading and tinting experience at Indian Brow & Henna Boutique!

I was recently invited by Hema, co-owner of Indian Brow & Henna Boutique on Broadway in Vancouver to experience a brow service at her boutique. I had previously done brow threading at other places and I wasn’t very happy with it because I felt like I didn’t get much input in terms of how I wanted my brows to look, and I walked away with too-thin brows. However after reading so many positive reviews of Indian Brow & Henna Boutique, I was very happy to try out threading again.

Booking my appointment was very fast and easy, and Hema was very flexible in accommodating my hectic schedule. The location of the boutique is very conveniently located on Broadway and Spruce (one block west of Oak), and the storefront was very bright and easy to find. My initial impressions of this boutique were all extremely positive.


When I arrived at Indian Brow & Henna Boutique, I was immediately greeted by Hema who offered to take my coat and also offered tea or water. I was also given an info sheet to fill out with my  information. The boutique is very spacious on the inside, with plenty of room and light, with big mirrors on the wall. There’s also a divider between the front reception area and the back service area, so clients can have some privacy when getting their services done.

Very quickly after I arrived, I was brought to my chair for my service. Hema looked at my brows and assessed that they were a bit sparse towards the front and end, and they could also be darker, so I received a quick brow tint as well. I’ve never had my brow tinted and I never thought that it was necessary because my hair was already so dark, but Hema assured me that the tint would bring out the colour of my brows even more and that my brows would look bolder, if that’s the look I prefer (and yes it was).


(Before / during brow tinting)

After brow tinting, Hema worked with me step by step to determine how I wanted my brows shaped. I like my brows to be relatively thick with a small arch, so Hema made sure just to clean up any stray hairs without removing too much of the thickness. I also asked for a bit more shape so she gave me a slightly archier look. Overall I’m extremely happy with the shape.


(During shaping / after threading)

Of course, no Indian threading session is complete without a brow and head massage, so Hema gave me a very relaxing and skin-soothing massage using Indian rose gel (which smells AMAZING!!!). She also used their boutique’s house-brand brow makeup on me to create a finished look. I’m super happy with everything from start to finish, and after reading so many positive reviews on Yelp, I know that my experience will be replicated with every client.

In terms of prices, a brow tint is $21 and brow threading is $22. These prices are extremely reasonable, and because Hema did such a good job shaping them, I’m very confident that I’ll be promoting this service to everyone I know! You can book your appointment online here.

Indian Brow and Henna Boutique
1104 West Broadway
Vancouver B.C.
V6H 1G5
Ph: 604 733 4242
E: info@indianbrowandhenna.com
Mon-Sat: 10-7
Sunday: 12-5

Experience: peroxide-free teeth whitening at ST Medi Spa

st medi spa vancouver review

Recently, I was invited to ST Medi Spa in Vancouver to experience their “organic teeth whitening service,” with no peroxide. I’ve never had my teeth professionally (or at-home) whitened before because my gums are sensitive, but because they claim that this process is a lot gentler than other teeth whitening processes that use peroxide, I was intrigued. I drink a lot of coffee and tea every day and my teeth definitely reflect that.

st medi spa vancouver review
st medi spa vancouver review

The entire process was extremely painless and took less than an hour. The attendant coated my teeth with a special whitening gel, and shined a blue laser light on it. After 20 minutes, she applied another coat of the whitening gel, and repeated this process for another 20 minutes, for a total of 40 minutes. Afterwards, my teeth looked significantly whiter and brighter. I also felt no gum discomfort during the entire treatment, which is something rare for me because my gums historically have been quite sensitive to these types of treatments.

I had to lay off coffee and tea for a week though, which was extremely difficult. I think my teeth ended up darkening a tad after the first day, but it was still brighter than what I had originally going into the treatment. I’m super happy with this treatment

Before and after photos – my teeth had lightened six shades!

st medi spa vancouver review
st medi spa vancouver review

My one main caveat is that they market this is “organic” teeth whitening but I asked for a list of ingredients in the whitening gel and not all of them are organic in the sense that we’d interpret it to be on a day-to-day basis. There are chemicals in this, and it’s not all natural, plant-based ingredients. I’m happy to see that there are plant-based extracts in the list though, which is probably what makes it gentler on the teeth and gums. The top ingredient is glycerin, which is a humectant, and the second incredient is baking soda. There is also potassium sorbate in the list, which is an acid which performs similar functions as peroxide. The company claims that this treatment is 95% organic though, which is enough to get it certified organic in Canada. Since I’m not a scientist, I will take their word (with a grain of salt) for it. If you are more particular about the ingredients/chemicals used in your products, then it’d be a good idea to do your own homework.

Ingredients of the whitening gel: Glycerin-1, Sodium Bicarbonate-2, Carbomer-4, Polysorbate 20-4, Triethanolamine-4, Potassium Sorbate-4, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice-6, Punica Granatum  (Pomegranate) Seed Extract-6, Chamomila Recutita(Chamomile) Flower Extract-6, Flavour-4.

Overall I think if you are looking for a gentler, but still effective teeth whitening service then this peroxide-free teeth whitening offered by ST Medi Spa is a great alternative to whatever is being offered at your dentist’s office. If you are truly looking for an all-natural, chemical-free teeth whitening service then I’m not sure this is the one for you. I’m not too picky about my all-natural product so I’m just happy this was effective on my teeth and gentle on my gums. I would definitely go back for seconds and thirds!

ST Medi Spa

920 Seymour Street Vancouver BC, V6B 3L9 Canada
Phone: +1.604.336.6769
fax: +1.604.336.3837
Email: info@stmedispa.com

Business hours:
Monday – Saturday | 10AM – 6:30PM
Sunday | By Appointment Only

st medi spa vancouver review

st medi spa vancouver review

Experience: Hair cut & dye with Carver at Artel Salon

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hello! Today I want to talk to you guys about hair. The reason I do a lot of hair product/gadget reviews here at Maddy Loves is because I lost the genetic hair lottery, big time. Not only do I have fine, flat, difficult-to-style hair, it is also naturally a mousy grey color and it refuses to grow much past my shoulders without breaking off at the ends. I typically wear sewn-in human hair extensions (which is a painful and lengthy process) and I am notoriously mistrusting of hair stylists due to a plethora of bad experiences in the past. My relationship with my hair ranges from full-blown resentment on bad days, to mild annoyance on good days, thus I am always on the look-out for the next best thing that could help me feel beautiful.

I wear my extensions pretty much all-year round, with the exception of the short week-long windows of time where I need to get the wefts re-installed. So when Carver (of www.hairbycarver.com) offered me a service in exchange for a review of his work, I was both pressed for time and hesitant due to bad salon experiences in the past. However, after snooping through his Instagram portfolio (https://instagram.com/hairbycarver/) my fears were alleviated when I realized Carver was incredibly skilled, and not only that, but he was fantastically accommodating with fitting me in for a service before I had to get my extensions re-installed.

Now, to be fair, my morning with Carver started with me running late. I was on my morning bus, texting Carver about running behind, and his response was to brew me a cup of fresh-ground coffee to greet me with upon my tardy arrival!  Immediately, I knew I was in good hands.

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Carver is currently operating out of the Artel Salon located at 3588 Fraser St, in Vancouver, BC. Artel is a brand-new salon that features a spacious, modern look with a somewhat rustic feel. Carver’s chair was conveniently located right next to a sunny window, giving me the best look at exactly what my hair looked like in natural daylight.

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Lately, my hair has been looking a little drab, and a little too yellow-toned for my liking. Despite rigorous use of purple-shampoo I have trouble keeping the golden tones at bay. I was looking for a subtle change to a cooler toned blonde, in addition to breaking up my root line with some softer lowlights. As a full-time student, I do not have the time or the energy to invest in my hair during the fall semester, so I needed something that could help transition me into the fall and not require constant upkeep.

Carver listened to all of my concerns and assured me that beautiful, voluminous hair was not just a far-off dream.  I felt like he truly understood my hair concerns and suggested a course of action that we were both happy with. The whole service (lowlights, highlights, balayage, toning, head-massage and styling) took us a little under three hours, and I was constantly entertained with pleasant conversation and fresh coffee the entire time. During my appointment I learned that Carver’s specialty is his color work, and his biggest strengths are balayage and ombrés, as well as some of the best head-massages around! Additionally, you can make a booking with Carver through his website, which is a great relief for those of us who don’t particularly enjoy making phone calls (such as myself…). Also, it might interest some of you to know that Carver isn’t shy about sharing the secrets of his trade, and he has recently launched a youtube channel where he helps the hair-challenged amongst us with styling tutorials!

Now, I can sing Carver praises until I am blue in the face, and I can tell you at great length all about how much confidence and joy I derive from my new, fresh color and style, but I believe it would be best to simply show you some photos and let Carver’s work speak for itself. So, let’s take a look at my before and afters:

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review
Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

As you can tell, my hair is pretty flat and pretty drab, with evident copper undertones.

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hello volume!! Also, notice the cooler toned blonde and the much softer transition between my roots and ends. I felt like a million bucks!

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

So, if you are in the Vancouver area and are looking to reinvigorate your look with a new color or style, consider giving Carver a call. You can take a look at his portfolio, as well as find links to his Instagram and YouTube channel by visiting his website at www.hairbycarver.com . More information about service pricing, as well as his extremely easy online booking system can be found there as well!

Hair By Carver @ Artel Salon
3588 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC
Book here

This post was written by Liza

Fast and (relatively) painless Brazilly wax from The Ten Spot!

Exterior Shot

Beloved Toronto beauty bar The Ten Spot recently opened up its first shop in Vancouver in the trendy neighbourhood of Yaletown. I was invited in to experience their signature Brazilly wax, which is taking everything off down there (or can leave a landing strip if you’re not as adventurous).

Exterior 2

I love the atmosphere of The Ten Spot – it’s super lively and feels very social, and a great environment for days out with the sister or a girls night out with the BFFs. Unlike spas, The Ten Spot plays more upbeat, happy music so that you can enjoy your service and leave in a good mood. The decor is modern, minimalist, and functional. There are several pedicure and manicure stations all in the front room, which is great if you want to go with a big of girlfriends. There’s enough space to mingle and chill out while you wait for each other to get services. In the back, there are two open facial areas for getting Dermalogica facials. I really like this open concept type of design, but I especially appreciate that the facial area is in the back because I’ve been to places where the facial area is in the front and it can make people feel self conscious.

skin bar

The Ten Spot Yaletown also features three wax rooms, each equipped with a TV and Netflix so that you can be entertained while you get your wax done, not that you really need it because I spent most of the time chatting with my esthetician, Samantha. She has over 7 years of experience waxing and was super good at helping me ease my way into my first Brazilian wax. The entire experience was smooth (ha ha!) and relatively painless. The Ten Spot uses lavender wax as its “regular” wax, which contains lavender oils for soothing irritation. For the more sensitive areas, hard wax is used because it sticks to hairs rather than to the skin around it so that it’s less painful. For your Brazilly at The Ten Spot, you can choose to take it all off, or another “style,” such as a landing strip, if you’re not ready to go hairless.

waxing room

The absolutely best part of my wax was the post-wax experience. Normally my skin gets itchy and irritated in the areas that’s been waxed – every single time I’ve had a bikini wax, this has been the case – but to my pleasant surprise, I have felt zero discomfort or irritation after the Brazilly at The Ten Spot. I purchased a bikini-area exfoliator “wand” to help keep ingrowns at bay, and so far I’ve been using it a lot on my underarm area and its also worked great.

I can’t rave about this place enough, the entire experience was great from start to finish. I didn’t feel pressured into buying anything, and the reception and esthetician was knowledgeable and made me feel welcome before and during my wax. Located conveniently near the Yaletown-Roundhouse skytrain station, I’d definitely come back to bb in the future.

The Ten Spot – Yaletown
1006 Mainland Street
(778) 379-5959

Brazilly Wall
Pedi2 Polish wall retail wall2

Thank you Patricia at The Ten Spot for the photos.