Best Face Forward

by Kim Taylor

Wow! Is it spring already? It seems like just yesterday I was muddling through winter and now all of a sudden I have this burst of energy and motivation to clean and organize EVERYTHING! Unfortunately, even with the longer days I still can’t find time to do it all. I’ve learned over the years that I can’t tackle everything at once; I have to break tasks down into small projects or nothing will ever get finished. The other piece to that puzzle for me is trying to throw in a fun project here and there to keep me motivated.

A favorite spring project of mine is going through my makeup, purging and replacing the old while adding a few fun new items to update my look. This task feels especially significant to me this year as I am turning forty in April. I believe forty is just a doorway for all of the amazing things yet to come, but I still want to walk through that door looking twenty-five (ok, I’ll settle for early thirties).

First of all, I know that it doesn’t matter how great my makeup arsenal is if I don’t take good care of my skin. I own a salon and spa for goodness sakes, doesn’t that mean I know everything? HA- NOT EVEN CLOSE. However, I am a pretty smart cookie and I’ve staffed my spa with professionals who know a whole lot more than I do about skincare and makeup.

Before I get too excited about freshening up my makeup, let’s chat a bit about skincare. I am a true believer in professional skincare at home and in the spa. I use a combination of Sanitas and Image products and I love both equally. I never get rid of skincare products that are working for me- although I do have to replace empties and add new products that address my skin in a different way. I make sure to book skincare appointments regularly, (about every 6 weeks) so that I stay on top of changes in my skin. I’ve noticed in the last few years that I need and prefer a slightly more aggressive approach in the treatment room. In our dry climate, and maybe because I am no longer a spring chicken, I benefit greatly from resurfacing treatments such as microderm and dermaplane. They help my skin absorb all of the nutrients that are packed into my homecare products. 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 individual needs of each client. This ensures you always get the facial your skin craves.

Skin that is well cared for is easier to apply makeup to and will yield a more natural and even result. My first choice in makeup is Glo Minerals. One of the qualities that makes Glo a standout makeup line is that they use pharmaceutical grade ingredients. They infuse their formulations with Vitamins A, C, E, and Green Tea Extract, a powerful antioxidant blend vital to maintaining and protecting healthy skin. I’ve been using Glo since we began carrying it in 2013. The line is complete; everything you need from foundation and concealers to eyes, lips, and cheeks. I truly appreciate the beauty and artistry that goes into a great smoky eye, a perfectly contoured jawline, and lips that pout but not overly so. However, I am more of a “fresh face” kind of gal. Their primer, sheer tint foundation, and blush are easy to use and feel amazing on my skin. Complement those staples with a couple of fun eyeshadows and lip colors and whatever else Glo is cooking up this season I am fresh and ready for spring (and the big 4-0)!

In anticipation of a beautiful spring, Essence has put together a week-long skincare and makeup event April 3-8. Our skincare specialists, Serissa Asta and Lindsey Sloan will be offering skincare and makeup consultations as well as specially priced makeup services. (details below)

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.

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, customizing every service to meet the needs of each client. 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.

If you are looking for a fun, feel good spring project- consider adding some fun new skincare and makeup goodies to update your collection. We are excited to help you put your best face forward this spring!

Best Face Forward Event

When: All week Monday 4/3- Saturday 4/8

Where: Essence hair, skin, and body 1422 Bergen Parkway, Evergreen

  • Complimentary skin analysis, foundation matching, and makeup consultations by appointment.
  • Makeup application/lesson $45 by appointment (regularly $55- $65).
  • 15% off all Glo, Image, Sanitas, and in stock Clarisonic products.
  • Enter to win a sixty-minute customized facial with $50 makeup and/or skincare product purchase.

To book a consultation or makeup application/lesson, call 303-670-0777


While you are thinking about it, go to our website to see the great packages and seasonal offerings we have designed with YOU in mind. Happy spring- we’ll see you soon!

The Essence of Beauty is the Beauty of Essence

By Kim Taylor

Hi there, my name is Kim Taylor and I am the owner and a stylist at Essence Hair, Skin, and Body. We opened our doors on May 2, 2011 with one goal in mind; providing excellent beauty and wellness services to the community in a relaxing and unpretentious environment. Becoming a part of the Evergreen community has been an incredible experience, and we have truly been blessed.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I knew that we had some important decisions to make. While we had experienced success and steady growth at our Hilltop location we felt that it was time for our next step towards solidifying the business. We knew we needed a more visibility, but there was no way we could stomach another buildout if we didn’t own the space. In May of 2015 we found what we were looking for, a single story building in Bergen Park. Better visibility, easy access, great parking, surrounded by open space- PERFECT. Okay, almost perfect. The building needed to be rezoned and completely gutted after being a veterinarian’s office for thirty years. Anyone who knows us knows that we have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew every chance we get. It’s been a blessing and a curse over the years, but hey- we’re still standing, right? VERY long story short, we spent 7 months rezoning and financing the building and another 6 months pouring ourselves into a really challenging renovation. The result? A beautiful, relaxing, unpretentious new location designed to better care for our clients!

I believe that our most significant responsibility in life is to be good to each other. This is the true “essence” of this retreat style salon and spa– meeting the beauty and wellness needs of our clients while synchronously going beyond the surface to touch their lives. Sometimes an hour or two away from our hectic lives is all we need to feel rejuvenated and ready to continue giving our best to those we love.

The staff at Essence is committed to staying current in education and trends. It is our mission to provide exceptional service with beautiful results. We offer complete head to toe care: hair, nails, skincare, massage, and spray tanning are all provided by trained and talented professionals.  The result is an unforgettable experience that will nourish both the body and the soul.

Our hair studio offers a wealth of services: beautiful dimensional color, maintenance (gray coverage), customized cutting and styling, conditioning and smoothing treatments, and hair extensions for starters. We have a creative team of stylists that come to work each day eager to surpass expectations. Emily Passaloukas (Walter), who has been with us since the beginning is a beautifully free spirit and a true creative. Mackenzie Morrison is well rounded, consistent, detail oriented, and patient. She is also our in-house hair extension specialist. In September, after working closely with me for the better part of a year, Kelly Wiggins began building her own clientele. Kelly has blossomed into a great stylist- she is quiet and kind, don’t be surprised if she is more interested in learning about you than talking about herself. In October, we welcomed Kristen Sherman to our styling team. A recent transplant from the east coast, Kristen brings over fourteen years of experience with her. She is hard working, fun, and full of energy.

Our spa offers a complete menu of skincare services including facials, peels, dermaplaning, microdermabrasion, and more. Lindsey Sloan and Serissa Asta customize every service to accommodate the unique needs of each client. In addition to improving the quality of your skin, we also offer brow shaping, face and full body waxing, brow and lash tinting, and makeup. Our “healing hands” belong to Gigi Worley who has spent years honing her skills in massage therapy. Our most requested types of massage are therapeutic and deep tissue; however, we also offer prenatal, hot stone, and lymphatic massage to help strengthen the immune system. Our sole manicurist, Penny Sutter has years of experience in manicures, pedicures, and acrylic nails.

I am personally very proud of our team. All of these ladies are unbelievably talented and amazing to work with.

To get 2017 started off right, we have put together some great seasonal offerings:

Instant Luminosity Facial

Specialty facial that includes a lactic acid peel for deeper results without the downtime usually associated with peels. Great for aging, hyper-pigmented, normal and combination skin.

60 minutes/ $100

Cranberry Massage

Relax and unwind with the power of cranberry to help smooth and soften skin. This treatment incorporates the warmth and comfort of hot stones to aid in relaxing tight muscles for a more effective treatment.

60 minutes/ $88                 90 minutes/ $116

  • Ask about pairing a brown sugar scrub with your cranberry massage!

Awaken Scalp Treatment

Soothe and invigorate dry winter scalp. Increase blood circulation to promote healthy cell turnover and reduce flaky scalp and itching.

45 minutes/ $45                 Add to any hair service/ $15

  • Please ask for this treatment when booking your service as it will add approximately 15 minutes to your appointment.


For a full menu of our services please visit our website: To receive emails about our seasonal and special offerings, contact us through the website or call the salon- we’re happy to add you to our mailing list.

Finally, for those of you who are already loyal clients, thank you for your support- it helped strengthen my resolve through a challenging yet very rewarding 2016.

And as a note to future clients; walk-ins and same day appointments are always welcome upon availability- and we ALWAYS try to accommodate. So, if you haven’t been in yet, call or stop by, we look forward to meeting you!

Hair Extensions – Friend or Foe?

By Mackenzie Morrison, stylist at Essence

Let’s face it, we all know someone who knows someone who’s had a negative experience with hair extensions. Damaged hair, a painful and lengthy application process, a ridiculously high cost; the list goes on. Most of the bad rap that hair extensions receive is due to people with little or no experience trying to make a “quick buck” by offering a service they are not qualified to provide. Unfortunately, this deters many women who could be looking and feeling amazing in longer, thicker, beautiful hair [extensions]. The first and most important step on the path to great hair extensions is finding an experienced stylist who knows what they are doing.

I have been applying hair extensions for the better part of a decade. My goal is to arm you with enough information to decide if you are truly interested in extensions and help you become comfortable enough to ask the right questions.

Types of Extensions 

There are four basic types of hair extensions and each type has slight variations available. The most basic are Weave-in hair extensions. The back and sides of your hair are braided into small rows and long wefts of hair are sewn onto the braids (YIKES- these are not for the tender headed!) They are very tight at first, but they do loosen and are usually worn for 3 -4 weeks. Weave-in hair extensions take about two hours to put in and are ideal for creating dramatic length for special occasions.

The second type of extension is a Tape-in extension. These are small wefts of hair (about an inch wide) that are sticky on one side. Two wefts are sandwiched together with a small amount of your hair in between them. Tape-in extensions take about two hours to apply and last 1-2 months.

Next, are Clamp-in extensions. These are small bundles of hair that have been bonded together at the tip. They are paired with a small amount of your own hair and clamped in with a small metal bead and pliers. They take anywhere from 1.5-3 hours to apply and because they are not actually bonded to your hair the metal bead starts to slip after several weeks. They usually need to be reapplied every 4-6 weeks.

Last, (but definitely not least) are Bond-in hair extensions. These are very small bundles of hair that have a keratin tip. The tip is heat bonded to your hair close to the scalp using a special heated tong. These are the most labor intensive and also the most versatile and believable extensions available. They can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to apply (longer in some situations) and last 4-6 months (YES- half a year!)

Why Extensions? 

The first and most obvious reason to get hair extensions is length. Good quality hair extensions come in lengths measuring 10 to 22 inches- you can have hair so long you can sit on it! Another great benefit of hair extensions is thickness and volume. One of my favorite reasons to use extensions is to fill in thin spots in my client’s hair or give them a little “oomph” if their hair is getting thin. Have you ever seen a dramatic asymmetrical cut that you love but your hair isn’t quite long enough to pull it off? Applying extensions to one side provides the drama you want now- without the painfully long growing out process. Think about all the fun and funky colors that are popular now; you can achieve those extreme colors without fading (EVER!) and you don’t have to damage your hair with bleach or color. On that same note, non-chemical highlighting or ombre effects are a great option with extensions. You can pick the lightest blonde without worries of chemical breakage, fading, or brassiness. There really are countless ways to use extensions to achieve your desired look!

The Cost Factor 

Many celebrities spend thousands of dollars a month on their hair. Unless you want your extensions reapplied weekly, you will not spend anywhere near that amount. The key factors that determine the cost of each extension service are desired length, thickness, and the effect that we are working to achieve.

Unless you are only going to wear extensions for a few days it is imperative that high quality, 100% human hair is used. Human hair extensions are not cheap, but they can be washed, dried, and styled the same way as your own hair. Lesser quality hair may have been processed carelessly, poorly sorted and bundled, or blended with synthetics or animal hair, yielding a less expensive product that doesn’t hold up to every day maintenance and wear. Worse yet, low quality hair can get matted and tangled into your own hair creating a mess of damage that will result in having your own awful experience to share with all of your friends.

The cost of hair extensions is derived from a combination of the cost of the hair and the time it takes to apply the hair and shape it into the desired result. A very dramatic transformation will generally require more hair and time, thus being more expensive. Adding a bit of thickness or a splash of color takes less hair and time and is quite affordable. Consider what you spend regularly on Starbucks or lunches out; wouldn’t you rather have long thick beautiful hair?

Why Essence? 

At Essence, we offer only high quality, 100% human hair extensions. All of our hair is purchased through reputable vendors that guarantee the quality of their product. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to care for them- extensions do require home maintenance if you want them to last and look good as long as they should.

Extension Consultations are always complimentary at Essence. In your consultation we discuss which type of extensions make the most sense for your type of hair, desired result, and budget. If you decide you want to move forward, we determine the length, color, and amount of hair to order. At that time you will be given a total for the cost of your hair. Once paid for, we place the order and set up an appointment for you to come in and have your extensions put in. The cost of having them put in is due upon completion of your appointment. It really is that simple- and for many clients it is a complete game changer. If you would you like to find out how extensions could work for you personally, call the salon and set up a consultation with Mackenzie. I look forward to meeting you!

Fall Favorites

By Kim Taylor

Hello Fall- my old good friend. I love you for many reasons; changing leaves, crisp air, warm jackets and cozy nights perfect for cuddling.

Fall appeals to all of my senses but I am most affected by the comforting flavors and scents associated with this incredible time of year. The sweet and spicy scents of autumn relax my mind, taking me to a place where nothing feels as pressing and critical as it is in “real” life.

With that in mind, the team and I worked closely together to design some really incredible experiences intended to take you to that same place of calm relaxation.  Each service is customizable, and all are therapeutic for the body and soul.

Immune Boosting Pumpkin Butter Massage

We could all benefit from a bit of immune boosting as we come into fall and winter. This treatment begins with thirty minutes of immune boosting lymphatic massage, transitioning to a customized therapeutic massage with soothing, ultra-hydrating pumpkin body butter.

60 min/ $80 or 90 min/ $105

Pumpkin & Brown Sugar Body Scrub and massage 

This luxurious body scrub has sugar, spice and everything nice.  A blend of pumpkin butter & brown sugar exfoliates and moisturizes; gently polishing away dull skin to reveal radiance underneath.  This treatment is paired with your choice of a thirty or sixty minute massage.

 60min/ $95 or 90min/ $130 

Add six hot stones to any body treatment for $15

Now that your body is relaxed and healthy, let’s talk about skincare. Summer is an amazing time of year, but can be brutal to our skin- especially areas that are always exposed.  In addition to the great skincare treatments we provide year round, we have two really amazing fall themed facials on the menu through November. Equal in price, both are deliciously enjoyable and effective. A complimentary skincare analysis at the beginning of your appointment will determine which facial suites your skin best.

Spiced Cider Facial

This aromatic facial will delight the senses as well as the skin. Two masks are used in this fall favorite; apple orchard enzyme and an autumn spice. You will enjoy a relaxing massage of the face, neck, and shoulders as well as a complimentary eye treatment.  This treatment is packed with antioxidants as well as anti-aging ingredients and is great for most skin types.

Pumpkin Facial

After a thorough cleansing, a pumpkin enzyme mask is applied, followed by a relaxing massage of the face, neck, and shoulders. Next, a goji berry anti- aging mask is used to enhance skin firmness while relaxing fine lines and wrinkles. This amazing facial includes a complimentary eye treatment and is finished with a custom blended moisturizer.


At Essence we firmly believe in nourishing and protecting your hair year round and after a summer of hard core sun exposure, it’s time for some much needed TLC. Hair that is properly conditioned and cared for regularly is shiny and beautiful and will hold color truer and longer. We offer several types of conditioning and repair treatments, but we do have two recommended favorites this fall.

Born Again Treatment by Kevin Murphy 

This is a unique reparative treatment that contains ingredients that are so small in their molecular size and weight they can pass into the cortex of the hair instantly. Essential oils are the force that brings this product to life. They are heat and light sensitive; once you open them to the air and light they become energized: moisturizing, repairing, and regenerating.

Young Again Masque by Kevin Murphy

This is a deep conditioning restorative masque with a complex of 20 Amino Acids, Quinoa and Rice Proteins, Immortelle, Lotus Flower and Baobab Seed oils to renew youthful luster to dry, damaged or brittle hair.

*Both treatments begin with a gentle exfoliating cleanse of the hair, removing environmental and product buildup and are finished with a blow-dry style. Book a Born Again or Young Again treatment now through November, and receive a complimentary travel size of the treatment for follow up use at home.

45min/ $50

Add to a color or cut service $20

As the weather changes, there is a small window between basking in the summer sun and the hustle and bustle of a joyful holiday season. Embrace it! Relax. Enjoy. Take a deep breath and take in the abundance of life.

Wax On, Wax Off

By Kim Taylor

Now that summer is in full swing, I thought some of you out there might appreciate a little FYI about waxing. Hair removal is a funny subject; people tend to talk about it quietly, if at all. But in a society where no one wants hair anywhere except on their heads waxing has become a very popular option.

Below, I have addressed some of the most commonly asked questions about waxing. At Essence, we strive to offer exceptional service to each client. Our service providers are happy to walk you through your service before beginning, answering any questions you may have as candidly as possible. So without further ado…


How long does the hair need to be before I can get waxed?

Let the hair grow for at least seven days after shaving. For you shavers this may be even more painful than getting the wax itself. Ideally, the hair should be 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch long. If you feel the hair is too long, don’t fret- your technician will trim it to the appropriate length.

How long until the hair grows back?

This is a tricky question because when it comes to the hair re-growth cycle we are not all created equal. Some clients come in every six weeks and have hardly any hair at all (no fair!) while others have to come in every three weeks. The most popular length of time between waxes is four weeks.

Will my hair grow back darker and/ or thicker?

No. waxing pulls the hair from the follicle weakening the root. So if anything, it will grow back weaker, more sparse, and easier to remove next time.

Will my hair ever stop growing back?

No, but it will become more sparse and finer in texture if you wax regularly.

Will medication affect my waxing?

It certainly can! Retinol and Retin-A taken orally or used topically will postpone your ability to wax. You need to be off of these medications for a minimum of 2-3 weeks before your waxing session. Blood thinners and some other medications and products thin out the skin making it more likely for

you to peel or burn during your waxing session. If you are unsure about any of the

Medications you are taking ask your doctor before you come in.

Can I tan before or after my wax?

Plan on waiting at least 24 hours after your wax to tan, and DO NOT come in right after a fresh spray tan as the wax will take it off.

I have a special occasion coming up and have never been waxed. Are there any special instructions?

Whether you want a premarital wax or just a vacation ready bikini line, we recommend you plan to have at least two waxes prior to the event. This will ensure you do not have any reactions to the wax before the big day.

It also gets the first wax- which is the most uncomfortable out of the way. The second wax will provide a much smoother, cleaner result with less post-wax tenderness. If you don’t have time to squeeze in two waxing sessions then make your appointment for at least three to four days before your special occasion.

How do I know what type of bikini wax to ask for?

(The following are names and descriptions of the bikini waxes offered at Essence.)

The Conservative– The name says it all. Basically, any hair that could play peek-a-boo outside the swimsuit line is removed. No more, no less.

The Risqué– Not too much, not too little. Just right for those of you who are feeling a little flirty! A step above the Conservative but not quite a Full Brazilian, this wax comes with the option to have the hair removed from your tush.

The Brazilian All hair is removed from front to back. Your choice of removing everything or leaving a “landing strip”.

What is Double Dipping?

Double Dipping is when the technician dips the wax applicator stick back into the wax vat after using it on you or someone else- possibly allowing the spread of bacteria. Each wax applicator stick should be dipped into the wax only once, and then disposed of so that the wax being applied is always sterile.

Make sure when you are getting your wax, there is no double dipping and steer clear of those hairy scary spas!

How do I prevent ingrown hairs?

The best way to prevent ingrown hairs is to exfoliate gently in the shower 2-3 times a week. Exfoliating helps thin hairs that are not strong enough to push through the skin to surface, preventing inflammation.

The Art and Science of a Spray Tan

By Kim Taylor

I gave up UV tanning beds a long time ago. Even before I got older and started worrying about skin cancer. I always burned, and my skin was ALWAYS itchy and dry. The problem is that I am a true believer that people look healthier and are actually happier with a little color to their skin. And so my search for a healthy alternative began.

I have tried every type of self tanner you can imagine. I have tried 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. I have stood in spray booths that turned me the color of Magda from Something about Mary and I have been airbrushed the most beautiful color of orange you can imagine- IF I WAS A PUMPKIN!

Even with my experience with sunless tanning, there was plenty to learn when I began shopping for a sunless system for my salon. Without getting too detailed and boring, I’d like to explain how a spray tan works, and why it is a great alternative to UV tanning.

The Art

The beauty of a spray tan is that the solution reacts with each individual’s skin, making each application unique. Solutions can be adjusted 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 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.

The Science

The active ingredient in self tanners is a food grade product called DHA. It is a simple carbohydrate that is derived from plants sources such as sugar beets and cane. There are no known toxins or allergens in DHA.

DHA reacts solely with the stratum corneum-the outermost layer of woven connective tissue. The stratum corneum houses the body’s acid mantle, or natural protective barrier. The acid mantle stores natural body oils and DHA reacts with the free aminos found within those oils. This reaction turns the acids a slightly rusty brown color that continues to darken over the next 16-18 hours.

The key to a good result is in the preparation and in the post care of the skin. Because the tan is developing on the outermost layer of skin, exfoliating the skin prior to application is crucial. The body naturally exfoliates that outermost layer every 4-6 days, so exfoliating before a tanning session will ensure that the newest skin possible is being sprayed for a long lasting, even result.

Spray tans are water resistant, but exposure to abrasive soaps and detergents are discouraged. It is also a good idea to avoid chlorine for at least 48 hours. Keeping the skin hydrated is a major factor in the longevity of a spray tan.

The Preferred Product

At Essence, we use Norvell sunless products for two reasons- training and results. Norvell Sunless Spray Systems provides the color of a natural suntan without harming delicate skin cells. For any occasion- or just because, Norvell Spray Tanning is the quick, safe way to go golden.

Lymphatic Massage

By Kim Taylor

We all know that taking care of ourselves is important. Eating healthy, exercising, and getting proper sleep are key to keeping your immune system strong. One of the most enjoyable measures that you can take to boost your immune system is to get a massage. While all massage can be beneficial, there is a specific type of massage that will help to insure that your lymphatic system is working properly.

The Lymphatic System

If you’ve been pretty healthy your whole life (how fortunate!), it is likely you have not had to stop and consider how complex the inner workings of our body are. Most of us don’t know that there is a complex system of vessels working diligently throughout our bodies. Vessels that remove bacteria, viruses, excess fluid and cell waste from around the cells all the while filtering and cleaning them.

Similar to a system of tree roots, the vessels start small and grow larger and larger so they can carry the fluids back to the blood stream. This structure is the cornerstone of our immune system, working constantly to keep our body in healthy working order. Along the way the vessels have checkpoints known as lymph nodes that are responsible for destroying viruses, bacteria and abnormal cells.

Lymphatic Massage

This specialized form of massage therapy can greatly improve the immune system’s ability to fight off illness. A gentler form of bodywork, lymphatic massage and lymphatic drainage can help remove toxins and waste that our bodies build up over time, resulting in a compromised immune system. Most of our lymph vessels are just below the skin; gentle stimulation of these vessels make the lymphatic system work more effectively. This helps the body rid itself of waste and toxins. BIG BONUS: a reduction in swelling, bloating, and puffiness!

Should YOU Get It?

Nearly anybody can receive this type of massage and benefit from it. If you’re sluggish, tired, or feel like your body is trying to fight against something, lymphatic massage could be a good option for you. It is great for those dealing with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or injuries. Lymphatic drainage is also really great as a preventative treatment; regular lymphatic massage when you’re healthy greatly boosts your immune system. Imagine the possibility of having an uneventful cold and flu season. A combination of lymphatic massage, healthy eating and getting enough sleep could make this your reality this season!

Massage therapists that are properly trained in lymphatic drainage can identify the rhythm, direction and quality of the lymphatic flow and remap drainage pathways. Estheticians use a specific form of lymphatic massage to improve lymph flow throughout the face. When lymph is moving freely through the face, clearer, healthier skin is the result. The same is true for the body, when lymph is moving freely throughout the body the result is a stronger, healthier body.

Gigi Worley is a licensed massage therapist. She has practiced for over 10 years, doing well over 8,000 massages. Gigi is certified in lymphatic drainage massage, which is an advanced application that exceeds the scope of basic massage therapy. She offers several types of massage and customizes her services to meet the needs of her clients.

Happy Summer Toes

By Kim Taylor

There is nothing like a little sunshine and warmth to wake a little town like Evergreen up! Trails are full of hikers and bikers, ball fields are busy, parks are loaded with little ones running and jumping, swinging and sliding. The days are long, and not one second of sunshine is wasted. I love Evergreen year round, but spring and summer always remind me how blessed I am to live here.

This time of year, the yearning for short sleeves, bare legs, and sandals becomes overwhelming. If you are like me, you probably jumped the gun and 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 with those sandals! Well, it’s time to come to Jesus baby- those toes need some TLC!

In a perfect world I would get a pedicure at least once a month and God bless those of you who make me look bad by finding time to take care of your feet year round- I am truly in awe. Unfortunately my slightly less than perfect, totally crazy world keeps me running constantly, and when my toes are out of sight I tend to put them out of my mind also. The fact that I own a salon with a full service nail studio makes this especially shameful, I know.

Now that I have confessed my toe sins, I want you to know that I have repented and committed myself to regular pedicures from this day on! AND, just like any truly repentant sinner I will try my hardest to bring as many other lost sheep AKA fellow toe sinners into the fold with me.

Essence has a beautiful nail studio, offering a full menu of hand and foot services to accommodate just about any need. We pride ourselves on cleanliness, disinfecting everything that is re-usable and disposing of what is not after each client. Our pedicure tubs are not plumbed, and there is a great reason for this. Pedicure tubs with jets and running water can be very hard to clean properly, making them a perfect environment for potential bacteria that can cause infection. We use a single use liner in our foot baths for each pedicure service eliminating this concern. Our tubs heat and vibrate, so they are very relaxing and enjoyable. Our pedicure chairs are also very comfortable and have a massage feature built into them with a remote control that is controlled by the client.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention our manicuring services. Our shellac manicure is very popular. A hybrid of traditional nail polish and gel nails, it lends strength to the natural nails, allowing them to grow while staying shiny and chip free for two weeks at a time. This is a great alternative for those of us who don’t do well with artificial nails. For those who prefer acrylic nails, we offer those too!

We have a fantastic manicurist, both talented and very experienced that would love to add you to her client list! And as a special incentive, she is offering a summer pedicure package- buy four pedicures and receivean express mani/pedi FREE! This offer ends August 15,, 2015 so call now to reserve your little slice of heaven on earth!

A Bit about Blonde

By Kim Taylor, owner and stylist at Essence

I believe I speak for just about everyone when I say that we are all ready to feel the warmth of the summer sun! Winter took her sweet time wrapping up and spring barely even popped in on us. Alas, we are headed for warmer days, and I am ecstatic!

Summer in Evergreen always delivers; long, warm, sun-filled days and comfortably cool star-filled nights. Who could ask for more?

The lightheartedness of summer takes its effect in many ways. In the salon, requests for lighter hair increase drastically when the weather shifts; making this a perfect time to address some of the questions we hear most frequently when discussing going blonde.


One of the most important things I want to address is compromised hair. This is hair that has been over processed; whether it is controlled over processing to get to the desired lightness or hair that has been taken from dark to light and back again several times. Neither scenario is unusual; people want what they want and change their minds regularly. As stylists, we adapt and do our best to meet the challenge. In walks Olaplex, a product that every type of color client can benefit from, but particularly blondes. Hair bonds are broken during thermal, mechanical and chemical services. The more chemically processed hair becomes, the more susceptible it is to every other type of damage. Olaplex is a product that is added to bleach or color when mixing. It reconnects broken disulfide sulfur bonds in the hair during processing. This is an amazing product that has allowed stylists to push further in terms of lightening the hair, but it has also provided us with a powerful tool for color correction and rebuilding hair that is in the most desperate condition.

In twenty years of hair styling, I have never seen a reparative product of this caliber. It can also be used in the salon as a restructuring treatment as well as a take home product that helps to ensure the longevity of the service between appointments. If you want to know more about Olaplex ask your stylist, it is worth its weight in gold.

Color vs. Bleach

This is a debate I hear a lot in the salon. Clients are concerned that their hair will be more damaged by bleach than by high lift color. First things first- lighter blondes (think Taylor Swift, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jennifer Aniston) could not be achieved without bleach. Most likely they have a combination of bleach, high lift color, and darker blonde in their hair.

The fundamental difference between bleach and color is that bleach lifts pigment (natural AND artificial hair color) out of the hair but it does not add anything back in. Color is designed to lift natural pigment (color cannot break through artificial color) from the hair while simultaneously depositing artificial color into the hair. A common misconception is that high lift color isn’t as powerful as bleach and therefore must not be as damaging as bleach. The simple truth is that bleach’s strength is determined by the volume of developer used, while high lift blonde colors can only lift as much as they do because they are loaded with extra ammonia and a higher volume of peroxide. This is not to say that high lift blondes are worse than bleach. They are different animals, but they are comparable in terms of chemical and strength. The bottom line here is that your stylist’s intention is to please you. A good stylist will choose the least damaging path to the desired result.

To Tone or Not to Tone

A toner’s job is to add tonal value to bleached hair (highlights or full head). Remember, bleach lifts color out of the hair, without adding anything back in. A toner can take a bleached blonde from raw to refined in twenty minutes or less. Not all bleach blondes require a toner; often times bleached hair looks beautiful in its raw form. This is highly dependent on where the bleaching process starts, for example how dark the beginning color is, how damaged the hair is, etc.

There are also shampoos and conditioners on the market designed to be used as weekly toners at home. They are usually purple or blue and are great for blondes who tend to evolve to more brassy/ golden tones between appointments. This happens a lot to swimmers and people who have well water. At Essence, we use and recommend a really nice purple shampoo called “Violights” by Framesi.

Base Bump

Base bumping is a quick color process that lightens the base color around the hairline and in the crown area just enough to subdue the harsh difference between the natural hair color and the lightness of the highlights. It is great for clients who like their hair to be very blonde and heavily highlighted but do not want to take the next step into being a solid blonde. It takes the edge off of their base color which gives an overall softer, lighter appearance.

Base bumping can be done on the same day as a highlight service, right after the highlights are rinsed. Base bumps can also be done in between highlight appointments to keep color looking fresh.

Maintain and Protect

Finally, blonde hair requires maintenance and upkeep. Most blondes need to be maintained every 5-8 weeks depending on how light the hair is and how fast it grows. In addition to regular salon visits, blonde hair needs to be cared for at home. Gentle shampoos, hydrating conditioners, and repairing masks are a good place to start. Additionally, thermal protectants, argan or bassu oil, and protein spray will go a long way in protecting the integrity of the hair between appointments. There is no shortage of products on the market that claim to protect and feed the hair. We are a bit picky and recommend a selection of tried and true products by Olaplex, Surface, Moroccan oil, and Kevin Murphy. At Essence consultations are always complimentary, and our staff is happy to help you decide which product is right for your hair.

3-5-10 Minute Makeup Routine

By Kandyce Braband, Esthetician

When it comes to makeup, the best approach is a no fuss routine for every day, coupled with a “bag of tricks (and techniques)” for special occasions. In general, women like to look fresh and natural; not overdone. This is the general consensus among our everyday beauties as well as our brides. Of course there are times when we are compelled to further enhance our natural appearance. Most days though, simplicity speaks. Here are a few tips to get you out the door with the simplest of efforts.


Choosing the right foundation is paramount; it will make or break your entire makeup application. Knowing your skin type is an important first challenge. Picking the wrong foundation for your skin type may cause your face to feel too dry or oily, resulting in blemishes or a “caked on” texture that looks anything but fresh and flawless.

Most foundations list what type of coverage they are designed to provide. Liquids are the most commonly found and used. They are formulated to work well on combination, balanced, and dry skin. Also popular are powder formulas which are best suited for those with balanced, combination, or oily skin. Cream is another option for dry skin, offering a smooth and velvety full coverage.

The next challenge is color matching a foundation to your skin. The easiest way to do this is to enlist the help of a makeup artist. Identifying one’s skin level and tone, and translating that information into a great foundation match takes training and practice. In most cases, even diligent sunscreen wearers need to be re-matched seasonally. Switching foundation brands or formulas also merits re-matching. The goal: foundation that blends seamlessly into your skin with minimal effort. At Essence, color matching is ALWAYS complimentary.


This is your bare-bones, “I needed to leave 5 minutes ago” routine. Quick, simple, fresh.

BASE – First, use a primer; if you have any skin texture issues or large pores this is very important. Apply with a brush or clean fingers. Next, apply foundation or tinted SPF all over with a foundation brush, blending well at the hair and jawline. Note: Tinted SPF, BB, and CC creams offer very similar coverage.

LASHES – Mascara is the easiest way to “wake up” your eyes. Use a lash curler and give lashes 2-3 pumps per eye, followed by mascara. It’s worth noting that lengthening mascara will always be less clumpy than volumizing mascara. If you don’t care for mascara, consider lash tinting or lash extensions (Essence offers both) and you’ll go from 3 to 2 minute makeup! Tip: Replace mascara every 3 months and always twirl the wand in the tube (pumping dries it out faster).

Finish this easy look with a light, translucent powder and you’re ready to go!


For days when you are not in a time crunch yet opt for simple and fresh.

BASE- see above.

CONCEALER -Using concealer under the eyes and over any blemishes will pull your look together even more by creating a more finished appearance. Using concealer after you’ve applied foundation will help you not to use too much. A good camouflage brush will also help your application.

BRONZER/BLUSH -Choose one or the other or both! Bronzer is great for contouring with a powder or fan brush – use sparingly on the temples, hollows of the cheeks, and jawline to create a more slender face. Blush should be applied from the ear toward the nose to accent the cheeks.

LASHES- see above.

Finish with a light, translucent powder and once again you’re ready to go!


For days when you have a little bit of time to spare and want to get a little “dolled up”.


EYESHADOW – Apply a basic neutral color over the entire lid, adding a lighter color onto the brow bone to brighten the eyes. There are many different things you can do with eyeshadow to enhance your eyes and overall look. Tip: Try an eyeshadow crayon! They are fast and easy- just make sure you find one that’s long-wearing.

EYELINER – The easiest type of eyeliner to apply is a creamy style liner. These can easily be smudged along the lash line, creating a natural look. If your favorite eyeliner doesn’t have a smudge brush on it, buy one! Tip: An imperfect eyeliner application can be salvaged with a smudge brush.

MASCARA- see above.

LIPSTICK/GLOSS – Complete your look with a swipe of your favorite lipstick. Right now matte, colorful, and long-wearing lipsticks are in – think bold reds, plums, and bright pinks! If bright is not your style, neutrals and glosses are a great classic choice. Most importantly, choose something that you feel confident in- you are beautiful!

Always finish with a light translucent powder and you’re ready to go!