5 Things I Learned From My Frist Facial

Getting my first facial was a big deal. A lot of my friends are talking about getting Botox and I’m not at that stage yet. So, I’m opting for preventative care – eating right, working out, and having a good skincare routine.

Going to the spa has always seemed like something for the rich and famous, not the young and entrepreneurial.

But according to experts, one of those self-care things we should be doing is going to the spa for a facial.

“Going to the spa is like going to the dentist,” said my esthetician from Bluemercury.

I got my first facial at Bluemercury’s new store at 1153 N. State Street in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood.

And, I want to share with you what it was like to get my first facial

It’s so Comfortable.

The first thing many people will tell you about going to the spa is that you usually have to wear spa attire – a robe and slippers. While I was nervous, it’s quite the luxury to wear the robe and then slip into the warm blankets while you get a facial. Plus, when you wear a robe, it makes it easier for the esthetician to give you a shoulder robe and neck massage during the facial. Ahh, relaxation!

You Should Have Four Facials a Year.

As my esthetician said, going to the spa is like going to the dentist. While it’s important to practice at home care, you also need a professional to unclog your pores and bring back that healthy glow.

My esthetician recommended that men and women (yes, men too!) with healthy skin need to get a facial about four times a year with every change in season. 

Lauren Conrad, one of my favorite lifestyle bloggers and designer, shared that she gets facials every other month and in between does DIY masks.

In an In Style magazine interview, a skin care expert from The Body Shop shares that one a month is the magic number for getting a facial, but with diet and exercise, you can take fewer trips to the spa.

So, basically, find what is right for your budget and for your skin. I would say start with a facial in your late twenties, invest in a good skincare regimen (even if that starts with making sure you take your makeup off at night) and treat yourself to one or two every year.

Facials and Skin Care Routines Are Important.

What you eat and what you do at home matter. This is true for the doctor. It’s true for the dentist. And it’s true for the spa.

Unless you’re smearing pizza grease on your face, your diet will not completely change your face the esthetician told me. I just did the Whole30, a new 30 day cleanse, and by eating my vegetables and drinking lots of water, my skin was more hydrated and therefore clearer.

Diet and exercise are so important to being healthy. But, genetics play a big role in your skin conditions, and ladies, so do hormones! I asked my esthetician why I was breaking out on my neck and she said that’s because of hormones.

I’ve developed a nighttime skincare regimen. Consistency and using the right products have helped clear up my blackheads and protect my skin.

There’s five steps to a skin care regimen:

  • Cleanser
  • Exfoliate
  • Toner
  • Serum
  • Moisturizer

I was excited to try some new Bluemercury skincare products. I was using an eye cream from Arbonne, but I learned from my esthetician that you need to combine an eye serum with an eye cream for maximum results. I love Bluemercury’s Hydraboost Eye Serum, it has 4.5 out of 5 stars on their website.

I’ve also started using the Hydraboost Serum 2.0 to my face after washing it. It also has 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Bluemercury website. I like the lightweight formula with ingredients like Peptides and Glycolic Acid that help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. The natural tamarind and vitamin B5 also help plump and hydrate your skin!

Chemical Peels Are Amazing.

Not all treatments are the same. At Bluemercury they offer a few different types of facials that you can combine with eye zone treatments or chemical peels.

I got the most popular facial treatment blend, the modern facial + glycolic peel + vitamin oxygen blast. I added the eye zone treatment for the bags under my eyes.

I had seen another fashion blogger have a chemical peel and she said it wasn’t as scary as it sounded.

I had the glycolic peel – a gentler peel – and didn’t have a bad reaction to it – usually your skin tingles. But I will say to hydrate the day of your facial! When your skin is hydrated, it won’t be as sensitive. So products won’t burn or tingle as much.

It Takes a Minute.

Just like with a healthy diet and exercise, you aren’t fit after one gym session, the same is true for skincare products and facials.

When getting your first facial, don’t be like me and go on a trip the next day. You don’t know how your skin is going to react to the treatment.

Below is a picture of my face immediately after the facial. Warning: my face is so red! I was smiling because I was so relaxed and my esthetician was so nice!

My second photo was taken a few days later, and almost all my redness was gone.

Not all facials are the same. Sometimes you have chemical peels, which literally can cause your skin to peel a few days after the facial. I was lucky and didn’t have any issues. I wore an invisible skincare mask from Bluemercury the first two days after the facial – which meant no make-up. Good thing I was on a roadtrip!

Conclusion:

I hope my first facial experience has helped you learn more about skincare and taking care of yourself.

A few takeaways about my first facial is that the process takes about an hour, your face might tingle at some point, and it’s best to have at least one day or an afternoon off right after the facial in case you have a reaction.

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Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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3 Easy Ways For Entrepreneurs to Get Self-Care Every Day

As most of you know, Windy City Cosmo embraces the hustle and self-care. As a female making their way and building their career in the entrepreneurial world—I have to! From frequently attending networking events to appearing on the radio, the freelance life can definitely take its toll.

In today’s fast-paced lifestyle, it’s easy to neglect taking care of yourself. Every now and then, we have to pick our heads up from the daily grind and spend some time on ourselves. Over the past few years of living and learning as an entrepreneur in the city of Chicago, I’ve developed a few healthy habits of my own. Call it self-care or a healthy lifestyle. There are a lot of things that you can do for self-care like take a bubble bath or get your nails done or take a walk with a friend but I’ve found through looking at other entrepreneurial sites like Thrive Global and Shopify, that there are some easy ways to incorporate self-care every day that won’t get you out of your workflow – rather improve it. In order to help out those of you who are just starting out or may be struggling to make it to the next level, here are my top 3 health tips.

1. Have a bedtime routine. I set my phone so it tells me when I should go to bed to get 8 hours of sleep. I’ve had issues falling asleep and having a routine has helped me to make bedtime something I look forward to. I usually do a little cleaning, take a hot shower, do my face wash routine and then make hot tea, stretch and heat up my sleeping mask (yes you heard that right!). If I’m still not tired, I try to catch up on articles or read a book in bed.

2. Work out. I’m not saying to work out to lose weight, work out to become mentally strong. When you dedicate time to challenge yourself and commit to moving your body, your whole day is changed. I’ve had many issues with working out. I’ve tripped over the concrete while running at night. I’ve missed waking up early for a spin class, and I’ve forgotten to repack my gym bag. If you have an hour lunch, I suggest working out for lunch.

It helps in four ways

A) it helps you move your body and feel refreshed after sitting

B) it helps you bring your lunch instead of wasting money on eating out

C) it helps relieve stress

D ) it helps you stay focused. When you only have 30 minutes you work out and give it your all.

3. This may sound silly, but make sure you smile every day. It changes everything. I got a positivity journal and it takes 5 minutes to fill out. In the morning you write down what will make today great and at night you reflect. Practicing gratitude and thinking positively is so important. Don’t neglect your thoughts and how you’re feeling. Spending time turning negative thoughts into positive is life-changing. This is one of my personal favorite tips, and it even caught the attention of others as it was included in an infographic (see below) by Elysium Health.

Self-Care for Entrepreneurs

As you can see, there’s more than one way to work some type of wellness routine into your daily life. Also, everyone is different so something that works for me might not work for you. You can check out the infographic to see even more advice from others as well as some science-backed advice from Elysium. For those of you looking to dive even deeper into the more scientific aspects of healthy living, you can check out this resource on NAD+ and how it’s connected to our health.

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Move Over Vanilla: You Can Now Literally Smell Like Mimosas

Nothing gets you out of bed quite like Sunday brunch. I’m pretty sure that was the logic behind the latest trend – turning brunch into a fragrance. I know – there’s a line of brunch scented deodorants that launched this summer.  But it just might be the best smelling deodorant.

We’re not talking about avocado toast scents; we’re talking the best part of breakfast, and that is brunch cocktails. Yes, I thought smelling like alcohol was a bad thing, but now it seems that people are lining up and trading lavender or cucumber scents for mimosa antiperspirant.

And because it’s trendy yet could be categorized as hipster, this new brunch scented line of deodorant from Native, is also all natural and aluminum-free.

Using essential oils, Native creates what might be the best smelling deodorant – boozy scents which include the ever so popular, Rosé,  along with the standard Mimosa, and more of a later brunch crowd favorite, Sangria.

So, now whether you can afford a $50 brunch at SoHo House or the cinnamon rolls at Ann Sather’s, you can always make it smell like your favorite part of the week. With a slogan like “Invest in Yourself” maybe it’s better to do that than invest in another cocktail when you’re still working on your summer body goals. 

Bottoms up, or should I say arms?

 

 

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The Perfect Chicago Summer Week

There is no place like Chicago in the summertime (when it’s actually warm, that is).

With at least one festival in most Chicago neighborhoods, five beach hot spots (North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach, Edgewater Beach, Foster Beach and Montrose Beach), and destination rooftops, Chicago summers are a time to explore, get cultured, and maybe get a tan to pair with your white pants.

Relax, explore, move, and enjoy your perfect Chicago summer week.

Sunday: Brunch + BEACH

Enjoy brunch with friends and then go to the beach. Take one of your summer reading books, and if you dare, take a dip in Lake Michigan. If you feel like playing more than lounging, join the fun with beach volleyball (new season starts in August 2015) at North Avenue Beach, tennis at various tennis courts (but I suggest 3700 N. Recreation Drive, right off the Lakefront), or basketball overlooking Foster Beach.

Monday: POETRY

Don’t let a day back to work take away from Chicago’s summer sun. Weeds (1555 N Dayton St.) has an open poetry mic night every Monday. Participate or listen starting at 10 pm.

Tuesday: ART + VOLUNTEER

Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Illinois residents enjoy free admission and longer museum hours on Tuesday (year round). During summer, enjoy live jazz music and a picnic in the sculpture garden. There are a la carte options, including adult beverages and a full buffet. In the art museum, stand in a hot air balloon and wait in line to see what is at the end of a dark, winding hall. You can only enter one at a time and experience it in person. Then reflect on what you just saw by sitting on the most comfortable red couch. Feel the shock of one artist’s, Faheem Majeed, use of particle boards to make political and social statements about one of the poorer Chicago neighborhoods, South Shore.

If you feel like being more active in your community, join Open Gov Hack Nights at 1871. Learn about civic issues in Chicago, come up with ideas to make changes, and actually be part of the change.

Wednesday: BEACH REGGAE

Life is a beach. Move from your work day flow to the sounds of reggae. Surround yourself with positive vibes on Montrose Beach at The Dock. Live music starts at 7 pm and it gets happening right before 9 pm. It will start to feel like a club as three lines form and beach goers wait 20 minutes to get in. But, no worries, pack a picnic and just lie on the beach and watch the sunset. You will be able to hear the live band behind you.

Thursday: MUSEUM AFTER DARK

On the third Thursday of every month Adler Planetarium has Adler After Dark. The party at the museum goes from 6:30 to 10:30 pm.  Look at the night sky inside the dome and find your favorite constellations. Then, go to the Doane Observatory and see them for yourself. Enjoy live music as you explore all of the museum exhibits and galleries. Today, July 16, 2015,  Adler Planetarium is having a special After Dark series due to the newly released photos of Pluto.  For tickets and more information, click here. P.S. Tickets go on sale on the first of the month.

On your average Thursday, go to the iconic, voted #1 art museum in the world, Art Institute. There is free admission for Illinois residents on Thursdays with extended hours (open till 8 pm). Grab an espresso or a bite to eat al fresco in the gardens or experience one of the best Chicago rooftops, Terzo Piano, located in the modern wing of the museum.

Friday: CHICAGO FESTIVAL

Pick a festival and explore a new neighborhood to start your summer weekend. The full list of Chicago summer festivals is available here.

My favorites include Taste of Randolph, Taste of Chicago, Italian Street Festa Italiana, and Taste of Greektown. Basically, Chicago festivals are a great way to experience the food truck lifestyle or dine at one of the nearby restaurants. And, yes, at Taste of Greektown 2013, they did bring a camel for you to ride —in the middle of downtown.

Saturday: YOGA + TIKI

Start your day off with a fun, free fitness class in Millennium Park. McDonald’s sponsors four classes including:

  • Tai Chi: 7 a.m.
  • Yoga: 8 a.m.
  • Pilates: 9 a.m.
  • Zumba: 10 a.m.

Rather than going on vacation, escape to the tropical beats at the speakeasy, Three Dots and a Dash. You will feel like you are on a cruise ship that landed at an exotic island. If your drink comes with a dolphin shaped banana, take it with you and make a new friend on Hubbard Street as you wait in line for Howl at the Moon or Social 25.

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.

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