Monday, March 17, 2014

Skincare Trend - Konjac Sponge

It's weird how once you hear or learn about something you suddenly see and hear it popping up everywhere...that's what's been happening w/ me lately w/ Konjac Sponges!  I learned about these awesome little skincare tools last year and now they're all over the place!

So fast forward to now when Canadian/Toronto based company Natural Konjac Sponge offered to send me a couple of their sponges for review I was more than willing to do so!

So a quick little info session for those of you that are scratching your heads and saying "Konjac What?"...

Konjac Sponges are made from Konjac, a plant native to Asia - primarily Japan, Korea, China and parts of Southeast Asia.  It's a highly fibrous plant packed w/ vitamins and minerals.  Konjac sponges are a great natural, soft and gentle skincare tool that can be used by anyone - even those w/ very sensitive skin.  When dry the sponge is hard but once water is added to it the sponge softens right up and an aqueous layer forms which creates a barrier between your skin and the sponge.  This also minimizes the risk or irritation to the skin and over exfoliation.  Also, this aqueous layer is slightly alkaline which balances our skins pH level and effectively helps cleanse away oil, dirt, blackheads even without soap or cleanser!

All the sponges at Natural Konjac Sponge are handmade in Japan using 100% natural glucomannan fibers extracted from the Konjac plant.

Here's some key information and benefits taken directly from the Natural Konjac Sponge website!

Key Benefits of Natural Konjac Sponges

  • Genuine Japanese Handmade Product
  • 100% Natural
  • 100% Biodegradable
  • Suitable for ALL Skin Types
  • Suitable for ALL ages
  • Fragrance Free
  • Suitable for Daily Use
  • Contains Natural Anti-Oxidants and Minerals which are beneficial for the skin
  • NO Artificial Colouring, Preservatives or Harmful & Toxic Chemical
  • Cruelty-Free
  • GMO-Free
Key Benefits to Your Skin:
  • Deeply Cleanses Skin Pores to Remove Excess Oil, Blackheads, Dead Skin Cells and Dir
  • Gently and Effectively Exfoliates Skin resulting in Smoother and Softer Skin Textures
  • Nourishes and Hydrates Skin
  • Balances pH Level of Skin (important in keeping skin blemish-free!)
So yeah given all these great benefits of course I liked the sponges!  Plus Natural Konjac Sponge does FREE Worldwide Shipping on order of $20 or more!  They also have several different types of sponges to try out including Natural, Charcoal (for acne/oily prone skin), Citrus (dry skin)...and several others.  Plus they also have a larger size for the body.

So this is definitely one trend I hope sticks around at transitions to a staple in everyone's skincare regime!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Viora Reaction & Infusion - Tag Team Treatments To Fight Cellulite & Tighten Skin!

A little over a week ago I got to try out two treatments from Viora that promise to help fight cellulite and also firm, tone and tighten the skin.  Both of these treatments have been around for years in Europe and the US but are just now coming to Canada so in the very popular world of Medi Spas this is pretty exciting news!

Now I don't know about you guys but I like pretty much EVERY woman I know has my "problem areas" - mainly my thighs and hips so of course when I was offered the chance to get a free treatment w/ this new technology I jumped at the opportunity!

My therapist for the treatments was named Gail and not only was she a pleasure to converse w/ during the treatments but she was very knowledgeable about the treatments, products and pretty much anything medi spa related since she's been in the business for so many years...and she's obviously doing a good job on her own treatments b/c when she told me she had a son that was my age I was surprised to say the least lol!

After looking at my body...mainly my lower half Gail agreed w/ my own personal assessment - my thighs (particularly the back) are my main "problem area".  The entire treatment lasted between 45-60 mins and was broken up into separate treatments - Reaction & Infusion.  Both can be done on their own or combined for optimal results!

The first treatment was Reaction.  I'm going to try and describe how this treatment works the best I can in the easiest way possible lol.  It's a combination of RF energy heat and vacuum massage therapy over the treated area.  Basically heating the area increases blood circulation and along w/ the vacuum massage, strengthens the dermis and reduces the cell size.  So having both the heat and vacuum working together creates an even stronger and more effective treatment then just each on their own.

Now I'm not going to lie this wasn't "painless"...was it unbearable - No but I definitely wouldn't call it painless lol.  Apparently there's less pain w/ every treatment and it has to do w/ the fact that the treatment is trying to breakdown rigid layers under the skin that are helping to create it was explained to me much more eloquently and scientifically during the treatment but that's how I remember it between the discomfort lol!  This treatment lasted about 20 mins per leg and it really was the beginning part (like 3-5 mins in) for each leg that was the worst but totally bearable after all no pain, no gain right ;)

The next treatment was Infusion which is a great treatment to get after Reaction b/c it felt like a soothing light massage over the skin...definitely glad it came second lol!  It's a electro-mesotherapy treatment that is a pain-free (this one actually is), needle-free alternative to traditional mesotherapy. Now I've had traditional mesotherapy before and I can tell you it is NOT pain-free.  In fact I found certain areas VERY painful.  So much so that before my treatments I use to apply a numbing cream to my skin just to be able to take it...and just so you don't think I'm a wuss I actually have a pretty good pain tolerance - I'm currently doing laser tattoo removal treatment and I can get through that just fine.  Plus traditional mesotheraphy left my thighs bruised BAD for at least a wk after each treatment!  I did have a little bruising after these two treatments (I think Reaction caused it) but nothing that bad and it did go away after a couple of days, also my thighs were a little sore after the treatment and the next day but it pretty much just felt like I had a good workout or something.

So of course being that I only had the 1 treatment it's not like I can have a really good analysis on results from a personal perspective but I can show you a Before & After treatment pic Gail took of my thigh and butt's not a lot but considering it was only 1 treatment I actually think the result is pretty impressive!  Btw I can't believe I'm actually posting a pic of my butt...good thing I wore nice undies lol!

So if you're really concerned about cellulite or sagging skin these treatments definitely might be something you'd be interested in.  Do your research of course and see if it's right for you and of course go talk to a medi spa professional if you have any questions or concerns!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

After The Rain

It's seems like forever since I've posted some creative work I've done on here so I'm so excited to share w/ you a new beauty story I did back in Jan that is currently featured in Tantalum Magazine! It's really cool too b/c there is a lot of really good work featured in the magazine...always nice to be surrounded by other awesome artists and work!  Also awesome is that the magazine is available in online and in print!

For this look I really wanted to work w/ the idea of wet or glistening skin and wet strands of hair in the face.  I'm not going to lie it's not as easy as it looks to make it work and in fact in the beg. of the shoot I thought we were going to have to scrap the whole concept b/c it just wasn't meshing the way we (as a team) had envisioned.  It finally started to come together though when we realized it looked better if the hair was wet but being blown over the face gently using a bit of fan action versus being placed and stuck to the face.

It's always important to remember to not be afraid to make mistakes or try new things out as artists...sometimes what you originally had in mind isn't going to work but sometimes something even better comes out of it!

For the makeup I wanted the skin to being dewey and glistening and I used a lot of baby oil gel, clear lip gloss and MAC strobe cream for that.  The problem when doing any sort of "wet" look though is the up looks awesome but only for about 5 mins so you gotta work quick to get that shot lol!  I also wanted to get back into using some colour w/ Spring (hopefully) around the corner lol!  A lot of the products used were from Yaby Cosmetics, Face Atelier, OCC and MUFE...great shoot to pull out my flash palette and OCC pigments!

After The Rain
Photographer Ruo Bing Li
Model Julee (Elite)