A special note from Kim Taylor, owner

The holidays are coming, and they are closing in fast! Some of you are busy preparing, and some of you are about to become very busy, in a frantic sort of way. As much as I love the holidays, I never seem to pull it together early. I always fall into the frantically busy category. When things are hectic it is easy to become irritated, making the celebration of the blessings in our lives seem a bit like a chore. As we struggle with shopping lists and party invites, compounded by winter’s cold weather, it is important to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.

If you find yourself struggling in the final weeks before Christmas, perhaps you should stop by Essence and enjoy a complimentary cup of hot tea. In addition to our full menu of services, our winter features begin on December 2, offering wonderful winter themed services to help restore your sanity. To sweeten the pot, we have plenty of great gift ideas and stocking stuffers to round off your holiday shopping while you relax.

Gift Ideas

Nothing beats the gift of beauty and relaxation and we have many options for you to choose from:

  • Signature Spa Four Pack- $277

Choose any combination of four signature facials and therapeutic massages.

  • Specialty Spa Four Pack- $317

Choose any combination of four specialty facials and deep tissue massages.

  • Classic Massage Package

Purchase 6 services and receive the 7th free of charge.

  • Classic Facial Package

Purchase 6 services and receive the 7th free of charge.

  • Gift Cards

Available in any amount for every occasion.

In addition to our usual boutique items, beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, we will have a great selection of stocking stuffers, candles, jewelry, cozy scarves, hats and mittens, great hand bags and wallets, gourmet tea and tea cups, and artwork; the list goes on and on. You simply must come in and see for yourself.

One final gift suggestion….

To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

— Oren Arnold

What a beautiful thought: the world we would live in if every person made an effort to fulfill this list at Christmas, and year-round. It is fun and easy to give gifts to those we love, but there is therapeutic value in blessing each other with intangible gifts from the heart.

Charity

Sadly, need knows no season. Several years back, I discovered an organization that I believe does the work of angels. Mountain Peace Shelter provides a safe haven for folks in our mountain communities that are affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other relationship violence. Each year my mom and I make Christmas stockings and sell them in the salon for a donation (they are really cute!). Every penny goes to MPS- we don’t even pay ourselves back for the fabric we use. We also collect items from their “Top 10 Most Needed” list: toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, Clorox wipes, laundry soap, dishwasher detergent, trash bags, diapers (size 3-5 and pull ups), coffee/ creamer, and pet supplies. So, whether you need a cute stocking or just feel compelled to drop off a supply or two it will be greatly appreciated.

In addition to the feel good that comes with doing good, we will be giving away a basket of salon goodies to one lucky kind-hearted person. Here’s how it works: Purchase a stocking and/or donate something from the “Top 10 Most Needed” list to have your name entered into the drawing. We will be collecting donations through December and will draw our winner on Monday, December 30.

Gratitude

Being a small local business in a smallish community can be challenging at times. Essence has been so very blessed this year (and every year) with great staff and amazing clients. Thanks to all of you who walked through our doors and allowed us to care for you, it is truly our pleasure and we look forward to doing it for years to come!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and an extraordinarily Happy New Year!

Warmly,

Kim Taylor

Out with the Cold!

By Kim Taylor, owner & stylist at Essence

At long last, “spring” has arrived and I am READY! I am done with boots and heavy coats. I NEED skirts and sandals. I know we still have a few cold spells and gray days to muddle through, but I just can’t wait any longer- winter must end.

There are countless things that I love about this time of year, warm weather topping the list, of course. Today though, I am focusing attention on my top five frivolous, fabulous, favorite ‘out with the cold’ indulgences.

  1. The pop of lighter, brighter hair color.

I absolutely love the way transitioning to warmer weather entices us to lighten and brighten our hair. “Naturally sun kissed” highlights, a pop of color that peeks out from beneath a rich darker color, or a balayage of blonde tones with a shadowy root; lighter colors embody the carefree airiness of spring and summer. It just feels right after the long winter. Protect the integrity of your hair by having your stylist add Olaplex to your lightener or color; this is a game changer in the world of blondes.

May/ June gratis- receive a sampler of Olaplex #3 home treatment when you add Olaplex to your hair service. One per client, please.

  • The glow of a beautifully fresh face.

After a long and cold winter, our skin can be look dull and feel dry. This is a perfect time to exfoliate and resurface with dermaplane or microderm. Both of these treatments brighten skin, smooth fine lines, and leave your skin feeling silky soft. Paired with a 30- minute facial, this is a wonderfully relaxing and effective way to spend an hour of your precious time.

May/ June gratis- come in for a dermaplane or microderm facial and receive a complimentary Image travel/trial kit. One per client, please.

  • An exfoliated, hydrated body.

There is not much in this world that I enjoy more than a relaxing and hydrating massage.  This time of year, we feature one of my very favorites- our sweet lemon renewal massage. A blend of essential lemon and vanilla oil create a sensory experience to brighten any day. Your choice of a foot or scalp treatment is included in this massage. Add a sweet citrus body scrub and the icing is on the cake! There is something about silky smooth skin, a relaxed body, and a refreshed state of mind that feels blissful.

May/ June gratis- Indulge in a sweet lemon renewal massage or sweet citrus body scrub and receive a complimentary U.S. Apothecary bath bomb. One per client, please.

  • The warm, healthy look of a great spray tan.

I am a true believer that people look healthier and are happier with a little color added to their skin. Over the years, I have tried every type of self-tanner imaginable. After all my experience with sunless tanning, I am absolutely sold on Norvell’s technician applied spray tan. The DHA in the tanning solution reacts with your own body chemistry, leaving your skin a very natural and believable color that looks right on you.

Preparation is a huge part of sunless tanning. With the Norvell Ex-mitt, you can exfoliate and balance the Ph of your skin immediately before your tanning session.

Ex-mitts are available for $6.00- just ask your tanning technician to grab one for you pre-tan!

  • Soft heels and happy toes!

This time of year, the yearning for short sleeves, bare legs, and sandals becomes overwhelming. If you are like me, you pulled out your sandals and capris a month ago, happily freezing your toes off every morning in hopes of warm afternoons and mild evenings. If you are really like me, you have somehow justified sporting your winter toes and heels with those sandals! Well, it’s time- those feet need some TLC!

We offer an express pedicure for those who just need a little maintenance as well as a full-blown pedicure for those needing a bit more time and attention.

Add paraffin to your full pedicure for only $6 more- you’re worth it!

Living in Colorado has taught me that every season holds its own allure; I try to embrace each one knowing that it is fleeting. Soon enough I will be tuning my skis in preparation for another great winter on the slopes, but in this moment, I am grateful for the long warm days. I look forward to seeing you in the salon and on the trails!

Lash Savvy

By Kim Taylor

Of all the services available in the world of beauty, the ones that render immediate results are the favorites. In October 2018, we added eye lash extensions to our service offerings and clients are loving it! In fact, we spend a good amount of time describing and explaining the process, so I decided to write about it this month. If you have ever been curious about having amazing lashes without the daily chore of strip lashes and/or mascara, the following may be of interest to you…

What are lash extensions?

Lash extensions are single strands of synthetic eyelashes that are curved to replicate a natural eyelash. They are applied individually to each natural lash to lengthen and thicken your own lashes creating a beautiful lash line that allows you to go mascara-free. Extensions are great for everyday wear, vacations, and special occasions because they can be customized in length and thickness to achieve just about any desired look. A classic look is achieved by adhering one synthetic lash to each natural lash while a full and voluminous look is achieved by adhering a ‘fan’ of three synthetic lashes to each natural lash. Understated and natural or full and flirty- you choose. Perhaps you normally prefer your lashes to look very natural but desire a more glamorous look for an upcoming event? Not to worry; a different look can easily be achieved with each touch up because of the way your own natural lashes grow and shed.

What is the process?

The first application process for lash extensions takes 2-3 hours depending on the look you desire. You will relax comfortably on a facial table with your eyes closed. Your lashes will be cleaned and primed to ensure a strong bond, and extensions will then be applied to each individual eyelash on a hair by hair basisuntil the desired look is achieved. With proper application, the look and feel of lash extensions can be weightless, natural, and completely believable.

How long do they last?

Applied correctly and cared for properly, your new lashes will last the length of your natural lash growth cycle. Each client’s experience will differ based on how the lashes are cared for and a few lifestyle factors. Maintenance should be scheduled every 1-3 weeks. These appointments take about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how long it’s been since your last visit and how diligent you are with homecare. On average, a person loses around 20 natural lashes per week that are replaced with the growth of a new lash. Varying growth patterns keep lashes from shedding all at once. The lash extension is adhered to the natural lash, lasting until the natural lash sheds. Maintenance pushed out to four weeks and beyond is not considered ‘maintenance’ and a full set will be scheduled.

Am I a good candidate?

Lash extensions require a simple daily maintenance commitment that consists of cleansing with oil-free cleanser and brushing to keep them looking and feeling good. Added to your daily skin care regimen, this should be a breeze.

There are many reasons why people choose to get lash extensions, and just about anyone can be a good candidate for them. If you have light colored, thinning, or short lashes extensions may be a great option for you! Many women who don’t wear makeup due to allergy or sensitivity issues find that they can in fact wear lash extensions. If you have allergies or known sensitivities, a patch test must be done before committing. This is done at a complimentary consultation prior to scheduling your lash extension appointment.  

I personally enjoy the freedom from wearing mascara as it always transfers to under my eyes. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, so I prefer a very natural, classic lash look. I feel my eyes look bigger and brighter and less tired with extensions. I schedule my maintenance appointments every two weeks, and I am absolutely hooked!

How do I prepare for my first appointment?

Arrive to your appointment with clean, dry lashes and makeup free eyes. Do not use waterproof mascara for at least 3 – 4 days before your appointment as it leaves a film on your lashes and prevents the extensions from adhering properly.

About our lash specialist-

Lindsey Loya joined Essence in September, 2018. She holds her certification in lash extensions through Lash Savvy. Prior to joining our team, she worked as a lash specialist in California. Her calm demeanor and meticulous nature make her an excellent choice for your lash extensions.

In addition to her amazing work as a lash specialist, Lindsey has been a licensed cosmetologist since 2016. She spent 6 months working and learning with our veteran hair stylists to hone her skills. In February, 2019, she completed her in house training and transitioned to a Rising Star hair stylist position at Essence.

Lindsey’s passion for hair and all things beauty combined with her ability to master new trends and techniques quickly sets her apart from others with similar experience. She loves bright edgy colors and styles, yet also appreciates the beauty of classic natural looks.

A native of Southern California, Lindsey recently made her lifelong dream of living in Colorado a reality. While she is new to the Rockies, she is no stranger to the mountains and snow! She loves being outdoors and finds joy and inspiration both personally and professionally through nature.

How much are lash extensions?

Full Set

Classic Lash Set (2 hours) ~ $180

Classic/ Volume Lash Set (2.5 hours) ~ $200

Volume Lash Set (3 hours) ~ $225

Maintenance Pricing

1 week (45 minutes) ~ $45-$55

2 weeks (60 minutes) ~ $65-$75

3 weeks (75 minutes) ~ $85-$95

So, what are you waiting for? Call today to schedule your lash extension consultation and/or appointment with Lindsey Loya! We look forward to being part of what makes you look and feel beautiful.

Après Ski Massage

By Kim Taylor, Owner of Essence

Welcome Colorado winter! Ski and riding season are in full swing, and we have had some pretty impressive early season ski conditions. While there are a lot of different types of ski and snow boarders out there, one thing we all have in common are tight, sore muscles after a great day on the slopes. More than a few people (myself included) have mentioned that they are a bit stiff or sore from another awesome weekend on the slopes.  Perhaps the stiffness was from the long drive home on I-70? Regardless of the reason, recovering from sore muscles is a buzz kill; thankfully, steps can be taken to alleviate discomfort and feel your best fast.

First things first, stretch before you hit it hard. It sounds silly, stretching on the slopes, but if you warm your legs up with one easy cruiser and then take 3-5 minutes to stretch your legs you will release most of the built-up tension from sitting in the car which will help you to ski better all day and be less sore after last chair. Alas, there is still the dreaded drive home….

Once you are safely home, relax. Take a hot shower, sit in the hot tub, have a glass of wine- whatever takes the edge off for you. Now that you are in your happy place, let’s talk about massage. Post ski or boarding massage is a great way to loosen up the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles while you are out abusing your body in the name of fun.

 There are many different types of massage to choose from, and it is not always easy to know which type you need.  As a general rule, if you are getting a massage after snow sports or any other strenuous activity, you will benefit most from deep tissue, sports, or integrated massage.  A well-trained massage therapist will communicate with you before, during (if necessary), and after your massage to make sure that you are receiving the best type of massage for your needs.

At Essence, we offer several massage modalities, all of which fall into one of two categories: Signature and Specialty.

SIGNATURE massage focuses on relaxation of the body and mind. Sometimes you really do just want to be pampered, and while all of our modalities are designed to have calming effects, signature massage is less physically intense. Signature pricing: $45/ 30 min, $77/ 60 min, $105/ 90 min

Back, Neck and Shoulder massage is aptly named for its focus on the back, neck, and shoulders. While it can be very effective for pain relief, it falls into our signature category due to its abbreviated 30-minute treatment time.

Swedish massage consists of long slow strokes.  The pressure is light and while very relaxing and calming to the mind and body, this type of massage is generally not considered to be a very effective massage for physical pain relief. Swedish massage is offered as a 60- or 90- minute treatment.

SPECIALTY massage refers to all modalities that involve specific technique, pressure, and focus.

Specialty pricing: $88/ 60 min, $116+/ 90 min

Deep Tissue is the technique of penetrating the tissues as deeply as they will allow.  Although this requires a firm touch it should never go past that “hurts so good” feeling. This type of massage is quite effective for physical pain relief and is offered as a 60- or 90- minute treatment.

Sports massage involves active stretching of the muscles along with lengthening and flushing muscle groups.  Whether you are training for the Ironman or are a weekend warrior this type of massage can help to prevent injury and is a great addition to your training regimen. Sports massage is offered as a 60- or 90- minute treatment.

Lymphatic Drainage massage increases lymph flow which boosts immune function. This type of massage is very helpful to breast cancer survivors as well as those suffering from water retention issues such as swollen ankles or bloating.  Lymphatic drainage helps the body rid itself of extra fluids. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Gigi Worley. Lymphatic massage is offered as a 60- minute treatment.

Craniosacral massage uses agentle touch to address the head, spinal column, and pelvic bones to improve functioning of the central nervous system. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Kevin Padgett. Craniosacral massage is offered as 90- minute treatment.

Integrated massage is the most requested, most needed, and most effective type of massage you can get. After assessing your muscles and talking with you about what you are trying to accomplish through massage, your therapist will combine any or all specialty techniques to customize a personal massage to meet your needs.  Integrated massage is offered as a 60- or 90- minute treatment.

There’s almost never a bad time to get a massage, however, the best time to book a massage after hitting the slopes is one to two days after you ski or board. Although this article is geared toward folks with post ski aches and pains, you don’t have to be a snow sport fanatic to reap the benefits of massage.

To sweeten the pot, we have designed packages meant to encourage regular self-care and save you money.

Signature four pack- $277

Choose any combination of four signature massages and/or facials.

Specialty Spa Four Pack- $317

Choose any combination of four specialty massages and/or facials.

Classic Massage Package-

Purchase a package of six massages and get the seventh free of charge.

The healing hands at Essence belong to Gigi Worley and Kevin Padgett. You cannot go wrong with these two. Both are experienced, professional, and fully committed to providing the best treatment experience possible.

Gigi Worley has practiced massage for over ten years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Prior to working at Essence, she has worked in many arenas of massage including holistic health, chiropractic and private practice. This experience allows her to craft a personal massage that fits your special needs. Whether it is pain relief, relaxation, sports massage, or immune boosting through lymphatic drainage she will create a pleasant and healthful experience for you.

Kevin Padgett began practicing massage therapy in 2012. He appreciates that no two people are the same and customizes every massage to meet the specific needs of each client. He is passionate about his work and driven by a deep desire to help others feel better. He offers a fresh approach to healing through massage by continually learning and integrating new modalities and techniques into his treatments.

Soon enough the temperature will rise, the snow will melt and we will be on to different activities. Go out and play hard, enjoy every minute; and when you are done, remember that we are here to help you relax and recover.

Fall Transitions- From Hot Weather to Hotter Style

By Kim Taylor

Farewell summer; autumn is waiting in the wings, and if history proves right, the need for change and reinvention is also on the horizon for many of us.

This is a perfect time of year to try something new and exciting with your look.

Warm, luscious hair color immediately comes to mind. Fall is a time to revel in warm, vibrant color. Some skin tones look great with fiery red hair, while others call for more subtle warmth. Even small adjustments can update your color for the new season. Something as simple as a few lowlights incorporated into a summer blonde can add the perfect amount of depth and warmth for the changing season. Warm tones are universally flattering when used appropriately. A great colorist will take the time to give you a complimentary color consultation. Never feel obligated to move forward if you are uncomfortable with their vision or lack confidence that they can pull it off.

A fresh spin on your hair style can be liberating. A few suggestions are to add or change up layers, cut slightly messy long bangs, and add lots of pieced out texture to create plenty of movement. Several variations of bobs and pixies are popular right now. Sometimes the simplicity of changing where you part your hair, or whether you wear it straight or wavy can provide the variety you seek. It is always a good idea to bring a picture of what you like- or several pictures and point out what it is about each one that appeals to you. This opens the lines of communication, providing a visual aid that your stylist can use to show you what will work best for your hair and why. If you are planning on a big change, please let the receptionist know when you book your appointment to be sure your stylist has plenty of time to make you happy.

Are you looking to make a BIG impression with a small commitment as you segue into fall?  Hair extensions can completely change your look! You can add fun pops of color without sacrificing the integrity of your own hair or add length and thickness to your existing hair without the painstakingly lengthy process of growing it out. Hair extensions come in many different types. We have found the most popular applications to be thermal bonded, tape in, and halo hair. A complimentary extension consultation will show you the difference between them and help you decide what is best for your lifestyle.

This is also a great time to accentuate your transformation by warming up your makeup palette. The purpose of makeup is to enhance natural beauty. Wearing the correct foundation for your skin type and tone is first and foremost. The right base should make your skin look flawless & fresh. Once you have the basics dialed in, have fun mixing up your color palette to compliment your current style. Again, small adjustments can make a big impression. Switching to a slightly darker lip color, adding a warm accent color to your eye shadow palette, even changing from black to brown mascara can be as much change as you need to look and feel amazing.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. We each have our own unique and beautiful features to consider when reinventing our style. I invite you to call Essence and schedule an appointment with our esthetician and makeup artist, Serissa as well as one of our seasoned hairstylists, Dang, Mackenzie, Kristen, or Emily to discuss the possibilities. Introductory bios for all of our staff can be found on our website: www.essencehairandbodyretreat.com. We look forward to caring for you soon!

The Skinny on Spray Tans

By Kim Taylor

 

I gave up UV tanning beds a long time ago, even before I started worrying about skin cancer. I always burned, and my skin was ALWAYS itchy and dry. I’ve tried every type of self-tanner you can imagine; cheap brands from Wal-Mart and not-so-cheap brands from makeup counters at department stores. I’ve even ordered “miracle” tanners from midnight infomercials. I’ve carefully followed the most ridiculous instructions you can imagine (sleeping naked on a beach towel with a fan blowing on me all night, for starters). I have stood in spray booths that turned me into a streaky mess and I have been airbrushed the most beautiful shades of orange imaginable.

Even with my personal sunless tanning experience, there was plenty to learn when I began researching a sunless system for Essence. Without getting too detailed and boring, I’d like to explain how a spray tan works, what to expect before, during, and after your appointment, and why it is a great alternative to UV tanning.

 

 Art

The beauty of a spray tan is that the product reacts in accordance with each client’s skin, making every application unique. Tanning solutions can be formulated for desired darkness, but keep in mind that a healthy natural glow always looks best during every phase of the spray tan’s life.

Once the client is properly prepped, the artistry begins. The tanning solution contains a cosmetic bronzer that can be seen immediately but will wash off in the shower. This bronzer is used as a color guide for the technician to ensure even coverage. Because we come in all different beautiful shapes and sizes, there is quite a bit of thought and effort that goes into giving every client their best possible tan. Each certified technician has a foundation of training combined with their own experience, both spraying and being sprayed.

Science

The active ingredient in self-tanners is a natural DHA which reacts with amino acids found in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum. Simply put, this reaction turns the acids a slightly rusty brown color that continues to darken over the next 16-18 hours.

Preferred Product

At Essence, we use Norvell sunless products for two reasons- training and results. All of our spray tan technicians have been trained and are certified by the company. Norvell tanning solutions are fast drying, non-sticky and streak-free. You may not realize how important these three things are until you try a product that doesn’t have them. Norvell Sunless provides the color of a natural suntan without harming delicate skin cells.

Preparation

Properly preparing your skin is key in achieving optimal results. The tan develops on the outermost layer of skin, so exfoliating, shaving, and waxing 24 hours prior to application is crucial. The body naturally exfoliates its outermost layer every 4-6 days, therefore exfoliating before a tanning session will ensure that the newest skin possible is being sprayed for a long lasting, even result. Scrubs used for pre-tan exfoliation must be oil free. However, loofahs and body scrubbing mitts are even better tools for the job.

Do not wear body lotion, deodorant, perfume, or makeup during your appointment. These products create a barrier that the tanning solution may not fully penetrate which may lead to uneven results.

During

Your technician will help you get situated and answer any questions before excusing herself while you change. Most women tan nude. However, you should undress to your comfort level. If you choose to wear something during your tan it should be similar to or smaller than your swim suit as you will have tan lines. Men must wear underwear or swim bottoms.

You will be given sticky feet to protect the soles of your feet from being tanned as well as a clip and/or shower cap for your hair as necessary. Your technician will go through a preparation process to ensure the best results possible. This includes barrier cream and pH balancing spray and may vary client to client, visit to visit depending on your skin. You will be directed on how to position your body for optimal results and may use warm air from the tanning machine to dry your skin as she works, and again when she is finished spraying you.

After

Your new tan needs time and space to dry and process. Once you feel dry, change into loose clothing and sandals. Wait 12-24 hours before showering or participating in activities that cause perspiration. When it is time to shower, use warm water and mild soap. From this point forward, you’ll want to moisturize your skin liberally.

Spray tans are water resistant, but exposure to abrasive soap and products that contain alcohol is discouraged. It is also a good idea to avoid chlorine for at least 48 hours. Healthy hydrated skin does not self-exfoliate as quickly, thus keeping the skin moisturized is a major factor in the longevity of a spray tan.

Spray Tan v. Sun Tan

The sad truth is there is no such thing as a “safe suntan”, whether it’s from the actual sun or an indoor tanning bed. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified tanning beds as “’Group One’, which identifies the most harmful forms of radiation, those that are ‘carcinogenic [cancer-causing] to humans’”. At this time, spray tans are the safest alternative if you want to be “tan”.

Last but Not Least

There is no such thing as a “base tan” that will protect you from the sun. Some people may be more genetically fortunate than others in their skin’s ability to handle sun damage. However, just because your skin is not visibly burning does not mean that you are safe from the potentially harmful effects of the sun.

There is a common misconception that spray tans protect you from sunburn and UV damage. This is simply not true. To be clear, spray tans DO NOT contain sunscreen and cannot protect you from the sun; you should ALWAYS wear sunscreen outdoors.

In Conclusion

Done well, a spray tan is a very natural and believable. If you are attending an event, we recommend getting sprayed 24-72 hours beforehand. While many people like to get sprayed for special occasions and vacations, we have plenty of clients that come in regularly, year-round to maintain a natural, healthy glow. A single session is $33. If you plan to come in regularly, we offer a four-pack for only $112. Many clients come in for a single session and love it so much they end up purchasing a package.

At Essence, the intention in all that we do is to help you look and feel beautiful. If you have any further questions regarding spray tanning or any of the other great services we offer, please do not hesitate to contact our front desk to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our service professionals.

The Value of Massage

By Kim Taylor, Owner of Essence

Massage is often thought of as a special treat, something we reward ourselves with after a rough spell or when we are on vacation. Massage can feel luxurious, but most importantly, it offers a wide range of benefits such as boosting the immune system, weight loss, stress reduction, and so much more.

Essentially every illness a person can suffer is exacerbated by stress. Regular massage can play a significant role in reducing your stress level, which in turn leads to a stronger, healthier immune system. High blood pressure, diabetes, and migraine headaches have all been shown to react positively to the healing touch of massage.

How can something so simple do all that? One word; circulation. Massage in any form increases blood flow to the muscles. Muscles are made up of fibrils, threads if you will. Fibrils are bundled together by connective tissue. These bundles make up muscles. When a cell in the fibril becomes stressed, it is unable to exchange oxygen and nutrient rich blood the way it normally would. Soon there is a buildup of waste product that can’t get out of the cell. The stressed cell affects its neighbor and soon it is performing the same way.  This goes on until the whole muscle is affected resulting in the dreaded “sore spot”.

Massage increases the circulation of blood to the area.  This flushes out the built up cellular waste promoting healthy muscle tissues that are able to exchange oxygen and nutrient rich blood the way they are meant to.  By releasing the stress from the muscles, your body is able to perform in a more productive and healthy way. Stress hormones are reduced and the immune system can function more effectively. The result?  You feel better!

There are many different types of massage to choose from, and it is not always easy to know which type you need.  As a general rule, if you are getting a massage after sports or any other strenuous activity, you will benefit most from deep tissue and/or sports massage.  A well-trained massage therapist will communicate with you before, during (as necessary), and after your massage to make sure that you are receiving the best type of massage for your needs.  Some of the most requested types of massage are as follows:

Deep tissue-True deep tissue is the technique of penetrating the tissues as deeply as they will allow.  Although this requires a firm touch it should never go past that “hurts so good” feeling. This type of massage is effective for physical pain relief.

Sports– Involves active stretching of the muscles along with lengthening and flushing muscle groups.  Whether you are training for the Ironman or are a weekend warrior this type of massage can help to prevent injury and is a great addition to your training regimen.

Integrated – This is probably the most requested, most needed, and most effective type of massage you can get. After assessing your muscles and talking with you about what you are trying to accomplish through massage, your therapist will combine any or all of these techniques to customize a personal massage to meet your needs.

Lymphatic Drainage– Increases lymph flow which boosts immune function. This type of massage is very helpful to breast cancer survivors as well as those suffering from water retention issues such as swollen ankles or bloating.  Lymphatic drainage helps the body rid itself of extra fluids. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Gigi Worley.

Craniosacral– A gentle touch is used to address the head, spinal column, and pelvic bones to improve functioning of the central nervous system. The goal is to release compression in those areas which alleviates stress and pain. This modality requires specific advanced training and is offered exclusively by Kevin Padgett.

Sometimes you really do just want to be pampered, and although you will still be receiving the health benefits of massage and body work, some of the more “indulgent” services that we offer include;

Swedish– Consists of long slow strokes.  The pressure is light and while very relaxing and calming to the mind and body, this type of massage is not overly effective for physical pain relief.

Sugar Body Scrub– Exfoliates and rejuvenates your skin while leaving it dewy soft.

Salt Glow Body Scrub– Draws out toxins while exfoliating, polishing, and nourishing your skin. While still enjoyable, this treatment is more aggressive than a sugar scrub.

Dry brushing –Involves gently brushing your skin with body brushes. It feels fabulous while boosting lymph flow.

All of our exfoliating body services are provided by Gigi Worley and are paired with your choice of a 30 or 60-minute body massage.

The healing hands at Essence belong to Gigi Worley and Kevin Padgett. Both are experienced, professional, and committed to providing the best treatment experience possible.

Gigi Worley has practiced massage for over ten years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Prior to working at Essence, she has worked in many arenas of massage including holistic health, chiropractic and private practice. This experience allows her to craft a personal massage that fits your special needs. Whether it is pain relief, relaxation, sports massage, or immune boosting through lymphatic drainage she will create a pleasant and healthful experience for you.

Kevin Padgett began practicing massage therapy in 2012. He appreciates that no two people are the same and customizes every massage to meet the specific needs of each client. He is passionate about his work and driven by a deep desire to help others feel better. He offers a fresh approach to healing through massage by continually learning and integrating new modalities and techniques into his treatments.

This world we live in doesn’t show any signs of slowing down; it is up to us to take the time and nurture ourselves physically and mentally. Whether you are in need of relaxation, preventative care, or therapeutic healing we are here and eager to help.

Getting What You Want

By Kim Taylor

It’s happened to all of us at one time or another. We state what we want in a way that seems very clear to us, but we get something different than what we are absolutely sure we asked for. This happens all the time in our everyday lives; asking for no onions on your burger only to end up with double onions, requesting fifty single one-dollar bills at the bank and receiving one single fifty-dollar bill instead, texting your spouse to pick up the kids from soccer by 6:00 and getting a call at 6:15 from the coach asking where you are. All of these scenarios can be infuriating (some more than others), but none are uncommon.

As someone who seems to have an inordinate number of miscommunications in my everyday life, I could talk all day long on this subject, but I digress. Right now, I’d like to focus on communication in the salon and spa and how to increase your chances of getting what you ask for.

The Confession

I have had [and heard] countless conversations at the beginning of a hair appointment where a client states that they left their previous hairstylist (who they absolutely adored), because they felt that they could not get what they were asking for. It would be presumptuous of me to assume that none of my previous clients have ever had that same conversation with another stylist about me. In fact, I recently had a client “break up” with me for that very reason. I get it, I really do. After 23 years in this industry, several salon management courses, becoming a salon and spa owner, and trying so very hard to be introspective and honest about where success and failure happen in this industry, I still fall short at times. No one is perfect, but we try to be better Every. Single. Day.

The Truth

Being a provider of services is not always easy. The majority of professionals who choose to work in the salon and spa industry are people pleasers by nature. For most of us, there is an innate desire to boost confidence and make people feel great. When a client is in our care, our strongest desire is to provide exactly what they want and need. Incidentally, this is not always the same, which is one of the reasons it’s not always easy.

Being a client can be equally as difficult. I am not always a service provider; I too am a client from time to time. I love salon and spa services, yet even with my firsthand knowledge of what it is to be a service provider, I still find it challenging to convey my expectations at times.

The Question

We all agree that the end goal is to make each client happy, so how do we make the consultation process as foolproof as possible? How do we lay the proper groundwork for success?

The Answer

Good communication. This begins with a thorough consultation at the start of your appointment. Sometimes, when you are in search of a big change, or are not certain of what you want, a pre-appointment consultation is necessary. This is a 15-minute (give or take) appointment that helps us know how much time we need for the desired result and book accordingly. Having enough time to perform a service correctly is very important.

Professional Responsibility. It is the service providers responsibility to ask a series of questions in order to deliver the best result possible.

Some questions that might be asked include:

Hair

What do you like and/or dislike about your hair? How often do you shampoo, and what is your styling routine? What types of products and tools do you use for washing, conditioning, and styling? How much time are you able/willing to commit to styling? How often are you planning to come in for trims, color touch-ups, etc.? Do you have any known sensitivities?

Skincare

What are you hoping to accomplish in this appointment? What is your routine at home- how often to you cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize, mask, etc. What are you currently using and are you happy with the results? How often are you able to come in for skincare treatments? Do you have any known sensitivities?

Waxing

Are you using any acne or anti-aging products? Have you have been sensitive to waxing services in the past, are you recovering from a recent sunburn or any type of skin resurfacing treatment?

For most clients, waxing is a great way to remove unwanted hair. However, these questions are very important as some skincare ingredients are contraindicated for waxing and could lead to burning or removing skin. Honesty is imperative, and your privacy is guaranteed.

All of these questions are deliberate. They are part of an investigation, so that your provider can make realistic suggestions of what might work well for you. For instance, if you are only willing/able to come in 2-3 times a year, there are many colors and techniques as well as precision-based haircuts that will not look great for that duration. The same holds true for skincare- big, lasting changes cannot be expected without regular, routine care both at home and in the spa.

Client Responsibility. It is the clients’ responsibility to be honest in their answers. Be as descriptive and clear as possible when explaining and describing your expectations. Pictures of styles and colors you like, as well as those you do not like are helpful- even if there is one element of a picture that you don’t like, it will help your stylist to understand you better. A great example of this is they way we see different types of blonde.  What do caramel highlights look like to you? How light would you like your blonde to be? Do you prefer a blended, natural highlight or a more dramatic placement of color? Also, bringing in some of the products you are currently using might be helpful- particularly for skincare services.

The Bottom Line

It is understandable to be disappointed when your stylist or esthetician tells you that what you want is unrealistic. It’s a bummer for us too. Remember, we want you to be satisfied. As professionals it is our responsibility to steer you in the direction we believe is going to yield the best result for you.

Ultimately, this is your world and we want to make you happy. If you have your heart set on having a certain service done a certain way, we will do our best to oblige. We do however have a responsibility and obligation to decline services that we deem unsafe based on professional knowledge, experience, and consultation.

At Essence, we pride ourselves on being thorough so you leave feeling great. Nothing is more gratifying to us than a satisfied client and we are committed to always doing our very best to make that happen.

Healthy Skin is Not Seasonal

by Kim Taylor

Just like that, 2017 is over. Welcome, 2018, I can hardly wait to see what you have in store! At home (my home), there is a frenzy of organizing and goal setting that keeps me busy. At work it’s business as usual, which is anything but “usual” for myself and the staff at Essence. Regardless of time of year, we always strive to make every client experience exceptional. We understand that time spent on oneself can be fleeting; our goal is to make sure the time you spend with us is worth every second you devote to self-care.

With that in mind, I’d like to talk about what makes visiting our skincare specialists worthwhile.

Results and Relaxation

Essence has two amazing estheticians on staff. Both are incredibly skilled and passionate about helping you achieve your best skin.  We offer a full menu of skincare services designed with that goal in mind.

While some people are blessed with beautiful skin that requires very little maintenance or intervention, most of us get by with a little help from our [skincare] friends.

The first step to great skin is homecare, and we all do it to some extent. A basic routine includes cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreen. Ideally, it also includes regular exfoliation and masking. When dealing with specific issues and as our skin matures we may need to add a few specialty products into our arsenal. The best way to develop an effective regimen at home is to come in for a complimentary skincare consultation. One of our estheticians will look closely at your skin, ask you several questions regarding your current skincare routine, and address concerns you may have. She will then make suggestions for developing a skincare plan that will include both homecare and in-spa treatment recommendations. Of course, there is no obligation to purchase anything or schedule services. Consultations are about education. Knowledge is power in every aspect of our lives and skincare is no exception.

There is no one-size fits all in skincare. However, there are many options for in-spa treatments that will supercharge your results at home. One of the most fabulous things I can share with you about the estheticians at Essence is that every treatment is carefully customized to fit the needs of each client. This ensures you always get the facial treatment your skin craves.

Sometimes a relaxing hydration facial is exactly what you need. Seemingly simple, this type of treatment can feel like a miracle in our dry climate. Other times, you may need a little more exfoliation in order for your skin to absorb all of the nutrients that are packed into your homecare products.

Over time our skin changes- and so do our skincare needs. This happens for many reasons such as environmental exposure, changes in nutrition, the aging process, trauma, the list goes on. There are times when your skin needs even more than what a signature or specialty facial can provide. That’s when a more powerful treatment should be incorporated into your skincare regimen.

Microdermabrasion is a physical exfoliating technique that helps to minimize fine lines, correct sun damage, and even out skin tone. Microderm sloughs off the dead and dull surface layers of the skin, stimulating an increase in collagen production.

Dermaplaning is a physical exfoliating technique that uses a small, sterile blade in gentle upward motions to remove dead skin cells, smooth fine lines, brighten skin, and remove vellus hair. This leaves the skin looking and feeling silky soft.

Peels are a chemical exfoliating and resurfacing treatment. Used to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, neck or hands, a chemical solution is applied to the skin causing it to exfoliate and eventually peel off. The new, regenerated skin is usually smoother and less wrinkled than the old skin.

Most of these treatments fall into the category of results oriented relaxation with the exception of some of our more powerful chemical peels (those can be a bit uncomfortable, but quite effective).

It’s important to find someone you trust to help you with your skin. In addition to being passionate, the estheticians at Essence are are trained and certified in the services they offer.

Lindsey Sloan has been a licensed esthetician for over 14 years. She is very passionate and is deeply committed to achieving the best results possible. Lindsey loves to learn and grow. She regularly attends advanced education classes and offers purposeful, effective treatments. Well-rounded and skillful, Lindsey offers a full menu of skincare services. Her specialties include anti -aging treatments, dermaplaning, and all types of waxing. She holds a degree in Psychology and enjoys assisting others in their journey to wellness and wholeness.

Serissa Asta received her training at the Aveda Academy in downtown Denver in 2006, and continued her education at the Denver School of Aesthetics receiving certification in chemical peels and microdermabrasion. Serissa is talented in the art of eyebrow shaping and is experienced in body waxing. She thrives in situations that enable her to use her vibrancy and creativity, especially in the realm of makeup application. A former freelance makeup artist for MAC, Serissa thoroughly enjoys walking alongside her clients in mutual pursuit of renewal and reinvention. She values the process of skin care and strives to meet the unique requests that each client brings to the table.

If healthy, beautiful skin is part of your plan for 2018, call today to schedule your complimentary skincare consultation at Essence. We look forward to caring for you.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

By Kim Taylor

It’s official. The holidays are coming and they are closing in fast! Some of you are already busy preparing, and some of you are about to become very busy, in a frantic sort of way. As much as I love the holidays, I never seem to pull it together early. I always tend to fall into the frantically busy category. When things are hectic it is easy to become irritated, making the celebration of the blessings in our lives seem a bit like a chore. As we struggle with shopping lists and party invites, compounded by December’s cold weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.

If you find yourself struggling in the final weeks before Christmas, perhaps you should stop by Essence and enjoy a complimentary cup of hot tea. We have some amazingly relaxing services available to help restore your sanity, along with plenty of great gift ideas and stocking stuffers to help with your holiday shopping.

Gift Ideas

Nothing beats the gift of beauty and relaxation and we have several options for you to choose from:

  • Signature Spa Four Pack- $277

Choose any combination of four signature facials and therapeutic massages.

  • Specialty Spa Four Pack- $317

Choose any combination of four specialty facials and deep tissue massages.

  • Classic Massage Package

Purchase 6 services and receive the 7th free of charge.

  • Classic Facial Package

Purchase 6 services and receive the 7th free of charge.

  • Gift Cards

Available in any amount for every occasion.

In addition to our usual boutique items, beginning the Monday after Thanksgiving, we will have a great selection of stocking stuffers, candles, jewelry, cozy scarves, hats and mittens, great hand bags and wallets, gourmet tea and tea cups, and artwork; the list goes on and on. You simply must come in and see for yourself.

And one final gift suggestion….

To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

— Oren Arnold

What a beautiful thought: the world we would live in if every person made an effort to fulfill this list at Christmas, and year-round. It is fun and easy to give gifts to those we love, but there is therapeutic value in blessing each other with intangible gifts from the heart.

Charity

Which brings me to charity. Sadly, need knows no season. A few years ago, I found an organization that I believe does the work of angels. Mountain Peace Shelter provides a safe haven for individuals in our mountain communities that are affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and other relationship violence. Each year, my neighbor, my mom, and I make Christmas stockings and sell them in the salon for a donation (they are really cute!). Every penny goes to MPS- we don’t even pay ourselves back for the fabric we use. This year, we are also collecting items from their “Top 10 Most Needed” list: Feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, Clorox wipes, laundry soap, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, trash bags, and coffee. So, whether you need a cute stocking or just feel compelled to drop off a supply or two from the most needed list it will be greatly appreciated.

As an added bonus, this year we are giving away a basket of salon goodies to one lucky kind-hearted person. Here’s how it works: Purchase a stocking and/or donate something from the “Top 10 Most Needed” list to have your name entered into the drawing. We will be collecting donations through December and will draw our winner on Saturday, December 30.

Gratitude

Being a small local business in a smallish community can be challenging at times. Essence has been so very blessed this year (and every year) with great staff and amazing clients. Thanks to all of you who walked through our doors and allowed us to care for you, it is truly our pleasure and we look forward to doing it for years to come!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and an extraordinarily Happy New Year!