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Beauty

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After family health scares inspired one local lady to go organic, she found a company that helped her take it to another level. Read on for all the details.

 

Organic, holistic health and natural beauty are just some of the many phrases Neal’s Yard Remedies (NYR) stands by.

Gina Jonson, team leader of NYR, started as a consultant in August 2016 and has loved what she does ever since. While NYR started in Covent Garden in central London, England, it has made its way to over 20 different countries, including the U.S.

While having an all organic and natural beauty product is inviting enough, Jonson says there are many other unique prospects. “Certified by USDA for Organic products,” Jonson explains. “But even more impressive, is the certification by the Soil Association- which has much stricter guidelines. They are also UK’s first certified organic health and beauty company, the first main street retailer to sell certified organic essential oils, the world’s first health and beauty brand to be awarded 100 out of 100 for ethics in an independent audit by The Ethical Company Organization and the world’s first company to produce Soil Association makeup.”

Gina Johnson of NYR Organic

NYR stores aren’t currently in the U.S., but if you are planning any future travels, England, Japan and Dubai have brick-and-mortar stores. “We have independent sales consultants here in the U.S., who share the products with their customers either in home, one-on-one, online, or through various events, Jonson explains. “We do have certified holistic practitioners, massage therapists, aroma therapists, doctors, chiropractic doctors, yoga studios and many more associated with NYR Organic as well. They have joined as consultants and share the products with their clients. Some join just for the high quality organic essential oils and others want to embrace the entire line and offer their customers a head-to-toe experience, like I do.”

While Jonson says there is a lot to love about NYR, she has a few reasons why these products are the first products she will go for. “NYR Organic has done all of the research for me,” Jonson says. “I know when I use the products, they are certified and trusted. I know I’m using products that carry the Soil Association’s stamp of approval, and that NYR Organic had to meet all of their criteria before receiving. I trust and know that my products carry the cruelty free bunny logo, so no animals have ever been tested on or used in research, ever. I am proud to put my name behind a company with such accomplishments as NYR Organic. Receiving award after award for their brand and specific products, the list truly is endless. I only have to turn my catalog over to the back page to see just some of those prestigious awards; it makes my heart smile.”

Jonson will be at the Hanover Winery May 26-28 hosting an event for NYR, and says she hopes to work with Cincy Chic for upcoming events. “I always offer one-on-one consultations, business and office lunch N’ learns, personal health seminars for staff and clients, in-home wellness, aromatherapy parties and of course, all of our products are available on my website every day.”

Jonson says the month of May NYR is running a special. When you purchase one of the diffusers, you will receive one of NYR’s new essential oils, citronella. “Perfect for summer parties, get together’s and outdoor events. Plus it’s an energizing oil too with a clean, great scent.” Jonson explains.

To find out more about NYR or to purchase their products, you can visit their website here.

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A quickly growing company, focused on non-toxic products for the body and home, is opening a new headquarters in Cincinnati. Learn about their upcoming events to celebrate.

 

Jessica Hodson is a Columbus-based consultant for Pure Haven Essentials.

“What we put on our body is as important, or more important, as what we put in our body.” That’s what brought Jessica Hodson to Pure Haven Essentials as a Columbus-based independent consultant.

She’s since worked her way up through the company, which started as a mom-and-pop small business in Rhode Island, focusing on toxin-free products for the body and home. Today, it boasts hundreds of consultants throughout the United States, but Hodson says they’re preparing for even more growth by strategically opening a headquarters in Cincinnati.

“It has grown so much, and we were able to transition into what we like to call a ‘legit business,’” Hodson explains. “We have so much space to add people, and there are whole states where we don’t have leadership or consultants yet.”

Hodson says many factors weighed into the new Cincinnati headquarters. “We chose Cincinnati because we have a lot of consultants in Columbus, and that’s one of the places we have a lot of leaders,” she explains. “There are three of us, who are top leaders in the company, who aren’t even on the same team, but are really passionate about the health message. So, we decided to partner together and come down to Cincinnati, and start sharing about our company, products, and business opportunity.”

Hodson, Christy Pence and Miranda Inglis of Pure Haven Essentials – all currently based in Columbus — are making their way to the Greater Cincinnati area to set up their new headquarters, which will house their corporate staff. “We’re going to open up a second home office in Cincinnati because it’s booming here, and so much is developing,” Hodson says. “The new home office is going to be opening in September, in the Liberty Township area. It’s really exciting because it’s going to offer a new space for the Pure Haven community to come together and educate on non-toxic living.”

While the new office doesn’t make their grand opening debut until September, they are scheduling events in May and June to connect with the community and spread the message. “We really want to rally the community together,” says Hodson. “We’re coming down on Friday nights and Saturday mornings, and offer a Friday night food for thought, where we just talk, engage with the community, and talk about what it means to be toxic free.”

The events feature complimentary refreshments and learning experiences. “On Saturdays, it’s more of a formal gathering, where we bring gifts for everyone, offer food and beverages, and share our toxic free message,” Hodson explains. “We also talk about how to read labels, and just connect with the community.”

On Saturday May 6, at 9:30 a.m. Hodson, Pence and Inglis will host an event at Essencha Tea House and Fine Teas in Oakley Cincinnati, on Madison Rd. to talk about how to live toxic free, how to make your own essential oil blend, and talk about health information. “May 19 and 20 we will be back in Cincinnati for another event, and again on June 16 and 17,” Hodson says. “They will be on Fridays 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday mornings 9:30 a.m. and the meetings usually last about an hour and a half to two hours. Both events will be gathering events where we connect with the community more, and educate everyone on why it’s important.”

To learn more about Pure Haven Essentials, click here.

 

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Microblading is taking the nation - and Tri-State - by storm. Learn about the local expert providing services to Dayton and Cincinnati’s northern neighborhoods.

 

Erica Kidder at Dayton Microblading offers microblading services for your eyebrows.

Erica Kidder, who has worked in the beauty industry since 2008, has focused on hair, waxing, and event style hair do’s. But now, Kidder is shifting her focus, and is making women all over the Tri-State feel beautiful and empowered.

Kidder started in 2008 at Square One Salon and Spa, in Centerville, Ohio, and has since expanded her horizons. Keeping up with all the new beauty trends, Kidder has decided to open a salon of her own, that holds a focus on microblading as early as May 2. “After five years, I left to explore a career as a small business owner- the past three years I’ve worked within Salon Lofts. Last year, my passion for the industry expanded into permanent makeup, and with the addition of microblading, I quickly outgrew my loft. I made the decision to focus almost exclusively on microblading and I am now leaving Salon Lofts and opening my first salon.”

Microblading is a newer concept, which is rapidly making its debut to the greater Cincinnati area. “When I discovered microblading, it was only popular in bigger cities,” explains Kidder. “I knew it was only a matter of time before it reached the Midwest. The service fascinated me. I love that there is an alternative to traditional permanent makeup, that typically leaves clients with a solid filled in eyebrow. Microblading offers the most natural result.”

Erica Kidder of Dayton Microblading

When someone talks about microblading, it can come off as a foreign concept. Microblading in short, is a non-permanent tattoo that fills and adds shape to one’s eyebrow, and Kidder understands just how important eyebrows are to women. “This luxury of a permanent makeup service replicates hair strokes in the eyebrow, creating fullness, definition and balance,” explains Kidder. “While microblading is deemed ‘semi-permanent,’ it is still in the ‘tattoo’ family. Due to the pigment being placed under the skin more superficially than a traditional tattoo, naturally it fades faster. Fading is considered a positive characteristic in microblading, as it allows for updates in shape, color and provides the ability to work with changes in aging skin.”

During a microblading appointment, Kidder says, you can expect to spend up to three hours at your initial appointment. During the first part of this session, she collaborates on a shape that is perfect for you. “We will take time to choose the appropriate pigment color based on your skin tone, and existing brow hair,” she says. “Once you approve your template, we will outline the brow and then provide anesthetics for comfort.”

The microblading is done with a small hand tool with sterile, disposable needles to implant pigment into the skin. The second appointment, which is included in the package price, will take place no sooner than four weeks of your initial appointment, and no later than 12 weeks after. “This is a touch up appointment and is absolutely imperative to your results,” Kidder says. “Without it, your results will not be optimal, as the service is only half done. The touch up corrects any irregularities in the microbladed hair strokes and it finishes the process.”

Since this new concept can generate many questions for the client, Kidder offers one-on-one consultations for $25. “During a consultation, I will cover every question a guest has, but most importantly I address expectations,” says Kidder. “We will talk shape, color, healing, pre-and post care, etc.”

Since microblading isn’t a permanent tattoo, it does require regular touch ups, fill ins, and a bit of TLC from the client after the session is finished. “For a tattoo,” says Kidder. “A machine is used to implant the pigment deep into the skin, versus microblading, a disposable manual hand tool with sterile one-time use needles is used to deposit pigment into the upper dermal layer of the skin. This superficial placement allows for natural fading with the exfoliation of skin.”

Depending on skin type, lifestyle, aftercare, and environmental factors, every guest will retain pigment differently, according to Kidder. For example, she says, if you have oily skin, you are a smoker, or you swim, or tan regularly, you will require more touch ups. “Some guests however will require more sessions without any of these factors applying to them,” she adds. “If you want to maintain your brow, you must touch them up. They are designed to fade. Yearly touch ups are typical, and are $250. I offer a ‘perfecting session’ for guests who want to supplement their initial two appointments for $150. If you don’t need a third visit, a yearly touch up is sufficient.”

Kidder has an appreciation for microblading for many reasons, but her favorite is the empowerment the women have when they leave her salon. “Having the power to improve someone’s self-confidence is by far the most rewarding part of microblading,” says Kidder. “At the end of every service when I show my guest their new brows, I feel overwhelmed with the same amount of joy that they do. It’s truly incredible to see someone smile ear to ear because of something you did. Last October, breast cancer awareness month, I had a very eye opening experience. I chose to do a giveaway on social media for breast cancer survivors who lost their brow hair due to treatment. I chose four winners during the month. The time I was able to spend with each survivor was incredible, and it proved to me that microblading is so much more than aesthetic. It’s life changing. To give back a part of someone’s womanhood is truly a humbling experience. To this day, I still think about how thankful I am to be able to add to their stories.”

Kidder says she is thankful for her business growing quicker than she can keep up with, as she is booking clients into August. “I’m happy to see this service is gaining exposure.” says Kidder. Currently, Kidder is with Salon Lofts in Washington Park Plaza, and her microblading sessions are $500. Her first available opening is at the end of July.

To find out more about Kidder, or to book an appointment, click here.

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Looking for a little somethin’ somethin’ to perk up your skincare routine? Learn about the local expert who can get you glowing.

 

Embody Skin Care offers facials, waxes, microdermabrasion, and many other skin care services.

From facials and waxes, to microdermabrasion and dermaplaning, Embody Skin Care, located at 228 Mill Street in Milford, has something refreshing and rejuvenating for all skin types.

Heather Buckles, an Advanced Esthetician, opened her spa in March 2017, and says she uses a method unique to her by working with her clients one-on-one, to get a feel for their skincare needs and concerns, and to find a facial that will work best for them. “In order to solve someone’s skin challenges, it’s necessary to take the time to delve deep into what the root cause of the problem is,” explains Buckles. “I only learn that root cause- which changes- by doing a thorough consultation every time I work with them. It’s necessary for me to ask them the tough questions about their lifestyle, diet, stress levels and degree of commitment to home care skin routines. In order to get people to open up to me about what really concerns them about their skin, or many times what embarrasses them about their skin, I have to build a certain level of trust. That trust comes from taking the time to really listen to my clients and provide education.”

With being in the skincare business, Buckles says she sees a lot of different skin problems, each of which are personal to the client. While it’s not just anti-aging serums, or calming facials Buckles works with, she says the most common skin care concerns are hyper-pigmentation from sun damage, acne, and dehydrated skin.

“Out of the three skin challenges,” says Buckles. “Sun damage is the number one offender. Clients with mature skin often ask me what the one ‘miracle’ product is that I would recommend for them to invest in. My answer is always the same, the daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen, with a minimum of SPF 30. The sun’s UV rays- even when it’s cloudy- account for 80 percent of skin’s wrinkles and aging. If a client tells me they don’t have the time, or can’t afford an involved at home skin care routine, I suggest one product – sun screen. It’s well worth the investment and will save them time and money in the long run. It’s much easier and cost effective to prevent sun damage than it is to correct it.”

Since Buckles works with her clients to target their personal skin care needs, she offers a complimentary 15-minute skin analysis to every client to see what they are concerned about, what they want to fix, and she can give them suggestions on how to do so. “My consultation begins with me filling out a complete medical history with each client,” says Buckles. “It’s important for me to have a complete medical history because there are so many conditions, medications, and allergies that on the surface, don’t seem like they would affect the skin or treatment, but in fact do. I also talk to them about their skin concerns, and what they hope to accomplish long and short term.”

Buckles says she likes to find out what their current skin care routine is, and what they are willing to commit to at home. “Some clients enjoy the ritual of a skin care routine with many steps others tell me it’s hard for them to get themselves to take their makeup off at night. I appreciate their honesty because the last thing I want to do is send a client home with five products that never get used,” she laughs.

The second part of Buckles’ consultation begins with an initial examination of the skin using a magnifying lamp. “I then use a Woods Lamp for further examination of the skin. A Wood’s Lamp shines ultraviolet light onto the skin. Skin conditions, and some skin diseases, will fluoresce a specific color,” she explains. “For example, light purple signifies dehydration, while orange signifies oily skin. It can also show bacterial and fungal infections. I discuss my findings with my client, and if the treatment we previously agreed on still makes sense based on my findings, we will proceed with the treatment. If it doesn’t, I will make recommendations based on the client’s needs.”

Sometimes, clients know what they are looking for from Buckles when they walk into Embody. When this happens, a skin analysis isn’t necessary, and Buckles can get right into working with the client for a facial, microdermabrasion, or dermaplaning. “I perform Diamond Tip Microdermabrasion, which is when dead skin cells are exfoliated and vacuumed off the face with a machine that uses tips that are covered in diamonds,” explains Buckles. “The diamond tips and the strong suction, make it possible to achieve a deep exfoliation.

By using different suction levels, it also increases blood flow to the skin, and helps produce collagen. It is an excellent treatment for wrinkles, fine lines, acne and acne scars, uneven skin tone, and hyper-pigmentation. Best results are seen when this treatment is performed in a series, and is suitable for most skin types.”

While Microdermabrasion sounds like a one-stop shop for any skincare needs, Buckles also offers dermaplaning, which is another deep exfoliation treatment. “Dermaplaning is a controlled scraping of the skin using a sterile, surgical blade to remove keratinized cells, and villus-fine- hair,” says Buckles. “It is also highly effective in minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and acne scars, while leaving the skin soft, supple and vibrant. One of my client’s favorite benefit of this treatment is how beautiful their makeup looks after removing all the fine hair. My clients claim this treatment is “highly addictive.”

Even with all the deep exfoliating packages Buckles offers, she says most of her clients stick to what they know, and book an anti-aging facial. “The most popular service that new clients schedule is the Anti-Aging Facial,” says Buckles. “Once we discuss what they want to accomplish in their initial consultation, often they choose a different treatment such as dermaplaning, chemical peel, or microdermabrasion. It really depends on what the client is looking for – relaxation, dramatic results, or both.”

Until April 30, Buckles is offering Microdermabrasion for $50, a 50 percent discount, to get clients familiar with it, and what it does for the skin. Buckles is also offering dermaplanning at a discount for $35, which originally runs for &75. If you’re looking for a full facial, Buckles offers her most popular Anti-Aging facial for $85, as well as her acne facial for $85.

To learn more about Embody Skin Care, or to book an appointment with Buckles, visit http://embodyskincare.com/.

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Still trying to find the perfect brow, or make your lashes longer and darker? Kristen Money of Salon Lofts is giving clients some eye-opening results. Read on for more!

 

Kristen Money offers waxing, skincare, lash lifts & extensions, and microblading.

Microblading, waxing, skincare, lash lifts and extensions… oh my! If you’re looking for a way to perk up your peepers, Kristen Money is the person to see.

Based in she West Chester Salon Lofts location, Money says she started her business in January 2016, and has loved what she does ever since. “This is where I was able to really study what exactly women want when it comes to beauty. What I realized, is that women aren’t as concerned with facial treatments, due to there being several amazing skincare lines available today. They are more interested in how they can improve their appearance instantly, achieve a more youthful look, and benefit from less maintenance in today’s buy world,” says Money. “This is also where I began my trainings of advanced education as an Esthetician, and was able to offer more than the norm in the world of beauty. I am a certified trainer for two companies now, and I love being able to help women learn new treatments, and grow their business. I will never stop taking advanced education and training- I have a thirst for knowledge and love learning about new products and treatments.”

Money’s salon offers many specialties, such as lash lifts, and brow waxing, but says microblading is the most popular. “I became certified in microblading in July 2016. I had been offering Sleek Brows to my clients for well over a year at this point, and my clients were wanting something longer lasting. I decide to get my tattoo/permanent makeup license, and train in microblading, to be able to offer an eyebrow treatment that can last 12-24 months,” explains Money. “This is a form of permanent makeup, but if done correctly, will not penetrate as deep as a tattoo. I am amazed at how many clients I have already seen for microblading since July, and how much they love not having to fill their brows in any longer. It really is amazing and looks super natural.”

Other than offering many ways to achieve the perfect brow, Money offers three different specials for lashes- lash extensions, lash lifts, and a lash tint. A lash lift, according to Money, is for those who want to have longer, darker lashes, but are sensitive to false lashes, or extensions. A lash lift, combined with or without a tiny, gives a natural curl to the lash, making it appear longer, thicker, and darker.

“Lash lifts are a newer concept to the eyelash world, and give amazing results to the natural lash giving the look of length and fullness, with results lasting 6-8 weeks,” says Money. “This service gives clients a much less maintenance routine, at an affordable price.”

When it comes to lash extensions, it can be a tricky, but rewarding process, Money says. Lash Extensions are when lashes are applied one-by-one, by a technician, who glues the lashes to your real ones, for a fuller look. “Lash extensions look gorgeous after a full set is applied,” Money explains. “They will usually last about 2-3 weeks before needing a fill-in. I usually tell my lash extension clients to remove their extensions every six months, and give their natural lashes a few months to recover. At this time, most of my clients will use a lash serum to help with growth and condition their lashes. I retail GrandeLash MD, and see amazing results with this product. It retails for only $65, and lasts three months. This can also be used while extensions are on, but only 24 after hours a new set or fill-in.”

While the eyelashes, and permanent brows seem tempting, Money says some of her other services are now in higher demand. “The number one thing clients come in for, is a simple eyebrow wax,” says Money. “They get an immediate result- most say an instant eye lift. I use a very gentle hard wax that leaves the skin feeling comfortable during, and after their waxing service. The next would be a tie between microblading and lash lifts – I do so many of these.”

Money says even though she is a one women show, she can accommodate small groups of her friends, or a mother-daughter service. “I have recently taken on the Jane Iredale Cosmetic Line after years of using these products for my bridal makeup. I will now be able to offer bridal makeup at my loft, and will be able to accommodate small groups.” says Money.

Her most popular services are by appointment only, and all have special pricing. Microblading is $495, and can last up to two years. “A lash lift is $95, and a lash lift with lash tint is only $120,” explains Money. “Lash extensions range $200-$300 for a full set, with fill-ins at $60-$75, being needed every 2-3 weeks. Eyebrow shape and wax is $23.”

Money’s Salon Loft studio is located at 7750/52 Dudley Dr. in West Chester, Loft #8. To learn more, click here.

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Celebrating 34 years in business this year, a staple to the downtown beauty scene found a new street-level home. Keep reading for all the exciting details.

 

Paragon Salon recently opened its new street-level space. Customers can now visit for a one-stop salon shop.

Looking for a one-stop shop when it comes to pampering yourself? Paragon Salon, located on 5th Street near fountain square in downtown Cincinnati, will have you covered from head-to-toe, offering salon and spa services to both men and women.

Salon owner, Debbie Celek, says the street level relocation of Paragon is about 6000 square feet, and split half-and-half between the salon and spa. “It’s split half-and-half, maybe a little more hair,” explains Celek. “The spa is rather large, with four treatment rooms, a men and women’s locker room, a pedicure room with four chairs in it, and a beautiful relaxation room with a fireplace. We have four nail stations, 16 hair stations, and a huge makeup counter where we have Bare Minerals makeup.”

Even though there was a waiting room at the old location, Celek says Paragon’s new studio has a relaxation room where men and women who are waiting for spa treatments, can come, and unwind before their session. “Everything is very warm, and a little more inviting,” says Celek. “The relaxation room is by itself, that way people aren’t walking through it. We have relaxing, organic type, spa music playing, it’s very tranquil, and the colors are very soothing. We have two leather chase chairs that contour to your body, and we serve hot tea.

The men and woman that come in for any type of spa treatment will slip into a robe, and relax in the spa room until their session is ready. I always tell clients to get here about a half hour early so they can experience the relaxation room.”

Celek says everything that was offered at the old location, is still offered at the new location, such as facials, massages, men and women’s hair-cuts, manicures and pedicures, and makeup sessions. “We changed just a couple things, like adding in a party suite, where a whole bridal party can come in and hang their dresses, bring in food, and get ready for the wedding day, or a big group of people for a celebration.”

While this is a salon and spa where you can pamper yourself with many services, Celek says their salon is the most popular. “Hair, we do more than anything because I have more hair dressers,” explains Celek. “I have 100 employees, 50 are hair dressers, and 18 are spa technicians. We do a ton of color, we do everything. We do ombre, we do all over color, we do block color, and we do balayage. We also have a huge male cliental.”

Paragon Salon offers single session services such as a manicure or facial, but they also offer packages for those who want to get more than one service in one visit.

“We offer packages as well,” says Celek. “A client can get a facial, massage, and a manicure, or another popular one which is our Enhanced Bridal package, which includes a European facial, full body massage, a practice formal finish, intense hand treatment, and a spa pedicure. Then on the wedding day, the brides can come back in for a formal finish, and a full-face makeup by Bare Minerals.”

Whether you’re looking to get a single service, or a package, prices vary. A spa pedicure is $60, a manicure is $25, full body massages are $85, and the signature facials are $75.

To learn more about Paragon Salon, or to book an appointment, click here.

 

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Renowned Cincinnati-based makeup artist Rachel Lisa recently announced the opening of her new downtown studio. Keep reading for all the details.

 

Rachel Lisa opened a new studio in downtown Cincinnati.

Rachel Lisa, a Cincinnati-based makeup artist, has worked with some of today’s hottest celebrities, such as Kesha, Rachel Zoe, and Katy Perry.

Lisa started right out of high school working for Prescriptives in 1996, and has since launched her own makeup application business and cosmetics line, and just announced her new studio storefront, located downtown at 1115 Pendleton Street. From this studio, Lisa offers makeup lessons, event makeup for weddings, commercial events, senior portraits, maternity shoots, headshots, and boudoir shoots.

“I love my new studio- it has loads of natural light,” says Lisa. “And, I’m now directly next door to the Bell Event Center, where a lot of people get married.” Lisa says she plans to continue her on-location services for weddings, and other events, but will have her new studio space as a home base for her other services.

By appointment only, women can take a class with Lisa, to learn her makeup tricks. “I have a few different classes I offer like a quick everyday look, the elusive smoky eye look, and highlighting and contouring,” Lisa explains. “But, I can customize any class for what someone wants to learn.”

Other than the natural light in her newfound studio, Lisa says she is most excited for her décor options, and working with clients in a fun filled work environment. “Two words: glitter wall,” Lisa laughs. “A glitter wall, is a wall painted with glitter. Mine will be done with black glitter, on top of black paint, I’m so excited for that part.”

Lisa has her own makeup line called Rachel Lisa, and sells it in her studio, as well as online. Lisa says while she uses her own line on her clients, and in her classes, she incorporates other makeup brands as well. “I use lots of brands besides mine, like Mac, Nars, and, IT Cosmetics,” Lisa explains.

“I love that my job is different every day, and filled with different people,” Lisa says. “It might be a commercial, a film with celebrities, or a wedding party that I’m working with. I love meeting new people, and seeing their expressions when they see how much makeup can change them. Sometimes you’ll have a really meaningful connection with a client, maybe someone that has lost their lashes, and brows due to chemo, or they’re just not feeling pretty, and when they see themselves looking beautiful, there’s literally no better feeling.”

Lisa offers makeup classes at her studio for $150 per person, and a 25 percent off deal on her makeup line, when you sign up for one. The prices vary for her on-location events, depending on what the event is.

To find out more about Rachel Lisa, and her new studio, click here.

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Learn about the recently revamped downtown spa that takes an all organic, vegan and holistic approach to nutrition and stress release.

Ray Guzman is the owner of Inner Peace Organic Spa.

Inner Peace Organic Spa takes a pure organic, and holistic approach to nutrition and stress release, allowing their guests to unwind from the day. Whether you’re in the mood to Salsa dance, or relax with a massage and a glass of wine, this spa is ready to fit your needs.

The new owner, Sebastian Rey Guzman, bought the downtown Cincinnati spa in October 2016, and has since has added in some brand-new amenities. According to Rey Guzman, he has a keen interest in organic, vegan friendly, and cruelty free products, and has brought that to Inner Peace. “I have a 100 percent organic skincare line that is local,” says Rey Guzman. “That I have combined with another organic skincare line that I use, to get maximum results on facials, and the overall health.”

This 811 Race St. spa is split into multiple sections – massages, waxing, facials, and a nutritional guide – to compliment every aspect of the clients physical and mental health.

Inner Peace offers more than one type of massage, and for different reasons. “The most frequently purchased massage is the Swedish massage, which is the gentlest,” says Rey Guzman. “It is possible that this is because it is the lowest price, however, the one that we see with the most rewarding and satisfying experience would be the customized massage. The custom massage is tailored to the individual. It is a Swedish massage, so it is very gentle, but then they get to focus on one specific area with a deep tissue massage.”

Group and couple massages are also offered, and can be scheduled accordingly. “I have a group of seven women coming on Saturday, and three people will be able to receive a massage at once,” noted Rey Guzman. “While three of them are enjoying their 30-minute massage, the others are enjoying tea, coffee, a glass of wine; we even order pizza. We do have the availability to do wedding parties, as well.”

Rey Guzman says they also excel in their facials, from full, mini, and back facials, they have a wide variety of options. In fact, he says, a therapist takes time to learn about each client’s unique skincare concerns, and then expertly picks out which cruelty free, organic products would fit best with their skin.

“We also offer a sugar scrub,” says Rey Guzman. “When a client comes in and asks for a sugar scrub on their face or back to remove dead skin, or any harsh chemicals they encounter during the day. We use 100 percent real sugar, then wipe it off with oil, and continue with the facial, or massage.” Or, he adds, there’s a package deal for a facial and a massage. “This is both new, and very popular right now,” Rey Guzman says. “You can do it as a couple, or as one person.”

“We have a new detox program,” explains Rey Guzman. “It includes a 30-minute massage, an infrared sauna, and an ionic foot bath, where you can actually see the toxins come out from the sweat glands in your feet, and you can watch the water change colors.”

In addition to the spa, Inner Peace offers a nutritional side of mental health by creating a detox guide that is fully vegan, contains Omega three, and herbs. If you’re searching for something a little more hands-on for mental health and a piece of mind, there are yoga sessions, meditation classes, salsa dance classes, and life coaching classes.

“Anyone can make an appointment and attend for free, or at a low cost of $5-$15, depending on what class, and who might come in as a guest speaker.” says Rey Guzman, who adds that Salsa dancing harbors two elements in improving ones mental and physical health. “The music and rhythm is good for the mind, and when you’re dancing, you’re burning calories, which is good for the mind and body. There is also room for people to make new connections. If someone is lonely, they can come here and dance, and feel closer to people.”

And community is what it’s all about for Rey Guzman. ”We’re really trying to provide the community with as much information, awareness, and opportunities for them to grow holistic, and to grow in different fascists in humanity; for the body, the mind, and whatever spirituality they choose,” he adds. “Anything that inspires them to be better human beings, and healthier people, is the service we like to provide.”

To learn more about Inner Peace Organic Spa, visit https://www.innerpeacecenter.net/.

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A local photographer is empowering women one shoot at a time, through boudoir and wedding shots. Read on for all the picture perfect details.

Casey Burns and Sharon Snow own Sincerely Seven, a boutique-style photography business.

Casey Burns started working with photography six years ago, as a self-taught photographer, and has recently opened her own boutique photography company, Sincerely Seven, in November 2016. Burns says, “This way I could devote more time to my clients, while having a better work-life balance since I am also a mom.”

Sharon Snow, partner to Burns, also shares the same passion for photography. The two worked together previously in the industry, sharing the same dream of opening a boutique styled photography business.

Snow and Burns have been photographing weddings, events, beauty shots, boudoir, and commercial shots. “We have done just about every type of shoot, and are happy to, as long as it falls in line with our style.” Says Burns.

For Burns, it’s about more than just a bride-to-groom shot, a wedding, or a lingerie filled photo. It’s about the vulnerabilities that flourish during the shoot, and the empowerment women feel afterwards, she says.

“The most fun and encouraging part about these sessions is watching the transformation of the girls. I’m not talking outside, I mean inside. From beginning to end, by the time they get their pictures back, you can see this immensely different perspective of confidence they have,” Burns says. “That is what makes these sessions so important to me. It’s all about the experience, and building strong relationships, and trust with your clients. I truly care about each-and-every girl that I have the opportunity to photograph.”

While these shots are beautiful, fun, and even empowering, there is no doubt Burns runs into a few challenges with these types of shoots.

“I think the most challenging part of these shoots is the client themselves. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean that in an honest way. We are always our own worst critics. When you are doing a shoot that leaves you so vulnerable, I think it’s hard to not let insecurities set in and be nervous,” Says Burns. “That is why my main goal through the session is to work through those insecurities, build the confidence, and by the end, allow them to see what everyone else sees- to embrace your beauty for just who you are – not trying to be someone else.”

Burns and Snow work mainly as on location photographers, but rent a private loft for those women that are looking to get out of the house. While they are currently on the hunt for a more, readily available studio to work out of, they are empowering each woman they come across, no matter the setting.

“Empowerment is the driving force behind these sessions. I say it every time- it is just as much a gift for her, as it is for him. These photos give the ability to see women through someone else’s eyes in all their beauty,” Explains Burns. “It empowers them to know that they are beautiful and to embrace that. If you can do a shoot like this, you can do just about anything in my opinion. It takes a lot of courage to get in front of someone you don’t know and be vulnerable. These girls should be very proud of themselves, I know I am.”

Package pricing varies with specific sessions. A mini photo session starts at $250. The price does vary depending on what the session is, and where.

To learn more about Sincerely Seven, or to book a session, click here.

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Two gurus teamed up to offer the Tri-State a comprehensive, head-to-toe service for all of your beauty and photography needs. Read on for more.

Ashley Olivia and Rebecca Lariccia, Owners of Glam Squad Studio.

Glam Squad Studio is an all-inclusive professional makeup and photography studio located in Ft. Thomas, Ky.

Owners Rebecca Lariccia, and Ashley Olivia, are professional makeup artists who made their way back to the Tri-State from Los Angeles and Manhattan, to teach women how to wear makeup for specific occasions, and even different times of the day.

“There is a dire need for real artistry here, which is what we are bringing to Cincinnati from places like Los Angeles and New York,” says Olivia. “We want to bring that level of experience to Cincinnati.”

Lariccia and Olivia stay up-to-date in the social media world- specifically Instagram- to learn about what makeup is on trend, and what everyone is wanting to try next.

Lariccia and Olivia offer Master Class services at their studio or on-location by appointment. Their Master Class service teaches women how to perfect different types of makeup- whether it be a day or night look- as well as how to apply everyday techniques in makeup, such as false eyelashes, and eyeliner.

Glam Squad Studio also offers a photography session that can be combined with any makeup service. Lariccia and Olivia both are professionally trained photographers, with an up-to-date studio.

“We do anything from headshots to boudoir pictures,” says Lariccia. “We’ve even done senior portraits, but not in the normal, posed, way. We put a spin on it that captures the woman’s personality.”

Lariccia and Olivia say women are welcome to come in for a shoot camera-ready, or they can come in as a blank slate for hair, makeup, and even a spray tan. “We definitely ensure the women that come to us look and feel as beautiful as they really are,” says Lariccia.

Packages for a makeup or photography session starts at $250, and the package for a combo makeup and photography session starts at $500. To learn more about Glam Squad Studio, follow along on Facebook.