Testing Out Summer Beauty Trends
Perfect skin, flirty lashes, and as close to blond Hollywood curls I’m gonna get ... all thanks to some beauty mavens here in Memphis
I am shameless about my fashion addiction. Notorious, in fact. A walk in my closet will show decades of collecting artifacts that I hold near and dear ... but while those close to me admire my style loot, they are always lamenting about my severe lack of beauty practices. My own mother, being South American, has hers that rival only her Catolica zeal. And, her mother, living in Chile in the 1940s, used to travel to Venezuela to get her fix. Faced with this generational pressure, I only recently got on board with regimens pertaining to skin, hair, and now lashes. For years, I used Cetaphil or a bar of soap to wash my face complemented with the occasional facial, or used Pantene from Kroger to wash my hair ... and lash care — WHUT is THAHHHT? So, I was the proverbial guinea pig recently when I tried out a few very hot, very NOW, very fun trends that help keep Memphis on the map in the World of Beauty.
I completely abused my skin at the beach this summer. I normally tan very easily and so do my children. Out of courtesy, we all slather on SPF30 but it gets a little uncomfortable to our pinkish-skinned friends beaching with us when they burn and we get golden brown. I paid the price this year though as my face is finally showing signs of sun damage. Heather Balkunas, owner of Heather Boutique & Spa, has brought the ECHO2 Plus Oxygen Treatment Sytem facial to Memphis and let me be one of the first to try it out. Marianne Morgan, Director of Aesthetics, worked her magic on me in one of the most luscious facials I have ever received. This multi-step procedure includes: Exfoliation — removing the gross dead skin that was basically left over from my awesome tan; Cleansing — which uses an exclusive solution to condition and tone the newer-surfaced skin on my face; Hydration — a unique process known as Osmotic Hydration (huh?) using enzymes and amino acids to draw moisture from the air and beneath the layers of my skin and targeting critical skin cells. Marianne used a delish tropical vitamin mask during this phase and also employed a face massage that nearly drifted me to sleep; O2xygenation — this is the fun part ... pure oxygen along with highly concentrated Vitamins A, C, and E plus 87 other land minerals are gently blasted thru a wand that feels very cool to the touch. All of this goodness is shot deep into the lower layer of the skin where it adheres to the red blood cells and the collagen and elastin fibers. Most of this sounds like high school chemistry class, so natch, I get bored ... what keeps me hooked is how lovely and relaxing this is and how beautiful my recovered skin looks. Glowing, Smooth, Even ... I’m going back for more.
Something completely out of norm for me is lash care. I didn’t even know it existed. I won’t name names but you have surely seen many of my gorgeous girlfriends flashing their baby blues around town with the most Stunning Eyelashes You Have Ever Seen. I mean, these things will hypnotize you while staring at them. They are the most natural yet otherworldly female attribute I have ever been in the presence of and I had to have them. Brandi Hardin, owner of Esthetiques Skin Spa & Wrap Shop, hooked me up yet again (she performed an Intraceuticals Facial for me a few months back). Brittney Herron is the Lash Queen who had been (not so) secretly applying these exquisite lashes to throngs of ladies here in Memphis. The treatment is known as “Extreme Lash Extensions” and is sold as the service for “the lady who wants to feel a breeze as she bats her eyes.” TRUTH. These lashes are 100% silk synthetic mink and they are gorj. I chose super long and flirty but you can have eyelashes that add fullness and curl if that’s what your heart desires. The lashes are glued individually by Brittney onto existing lashes with a sensitive glue developed by an ophthalmologist. These lashes went into the Gulf of Mexico with me — paddle boarding, kayaking, playing soccer and throwing a football with my boys in the salty water and air and they held up. Alas, Brittney is heading to Houston for Big Love so her highly qualified sister, Lexis, will be handling my lash needs. Again, I’m going back for more.
My final destination on my Summer Beauty Trend Tour was at Mary McNair’s Secret Services Salon. I sat in Lucy Hadskey’s chair for hours while she took care of my mane. I have the absolute most stubborn icy white grey hair so she had to tackle that before transforming my hair with a wild combo of two raging hair obsessions — balayage and ombre highlights. Balayage is French for “sweeping” because Lucy literally swept color onto my hair and the ombre highlights made my hair go from my natural dark to the coolest looking fade all the way down to the ends. After the grey was taken care of, Lucy worked my hair and applied the ombre effect thru a teasing method which creates softer lines for a sexy/glossy/glam appearance. The balayage is applied on strands a few inches away from my scalp for a grown-out yet sun-kissed look. She put it on with a paddle then gently wrapped the painted hair in plastic until it was time to wash everything out and see the results. Honestly, I felt like summer had finally happened in my hair. Again, I’m going back for more.
These ladies are Ultimate Beauty Experts and have unleashed in me the Beast for Beauty. Mil gracias, amigas ... my mom loved the nueva me and surely my grandmother would approve too.