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I've got a secret
Local beauty pros reveal their tips, tricks and advice to look and feel great in 2012

By LISA JONES TOWNSEL

 

Ever wonder how salon professionals maintain that crisp, not-a-hair-outta-place look day in and day out? (It must be more than hair spray.) Want to try that new laser treatment, deep-tissue massage or chemical peel but havenít a clue where to begin? We asked area experts to share their secret tricks and tips about current beauty trends, beauty regimens, and well, just beauty in general. Read further to begin your transformation into a more confident, better-looking you.

Hand Therapy

Once you have dishwater hands are you cursed with them for life?

Youíd think the answer might be yes, but Neroli Salon & Spa nail therapist Kanin Price says "absolutely not." Dunk your hands in sudsy water for dishes or even a bath. It is more important what you do afterward. You can slather on the cheap (brands of lotions and creams) all day, but at nighttime, reach for the good stuff. "You want the really thick hand cream when you go to bed, like Aveda Hand Relief," he suggests. "It has a sugar extract that exfoliates, moisturizes and sloughs off surface skin cells."

At home, mix granulated sugar with equal parts extra virgin olive oil and rub over hands. "My mom swears by it," says Price.

Just Relax

Can you pinpoint four fab stress busters?

1. Get a massage. "Massage is a great stress reliever," says Melissa Claas, a massage therapist at Spargo Salon & Spa in Pewaukee. Custom massages range from $40 to $100.

2. Do yoga, walk or work out. "That endorphin adrenalin rush is a great tension reliever," Claas says.

3. Refresh with a body scrub. "The skin gets so dry all winter and needs to be revived," she says. An hour-long body scrub with a wrap is a relaxing option.

4. Enjoy alone time and take advantage of complimentary spa amenities, like the steam room and shower at Spargo. "A lot of people donít book time to relax," she says.

Skin Savers

What are the best over-the-counter products to counter dry skin?

"Your skin maintains its smooth, soft appearance due to the water content of the outer layer cells," explains Dr. Michelle Cihla of Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin. "These cells are like sponges and can hold a lot of water. The first thing to do for dry skin is to establish a good oil layer."

To trap the water absorbed in showers and baths, Cihla says apply oil (such as Alpha Keri Oil), occlusive cream (like Aveeno Cream) or emollient lotion (like Cetaphil Lotion) while skin is damp.

Other defenses: Bathe in lukewarm water; use as little soap as possible; and apply moisturizers immediately after each bath or shower.

Calm Down

How do we allay doctorís office jitters before undergoing a procedure like Botox?

"This begs a lot of discussion. One thing is knowing that you can get the Botox without discomfort. My philosophy has always been you can relatively have a pain-free experience," insists Dr. Anthony Krausen of The Skin Center of Wisconsin.

Everybody who gets the Botox service (an injection to lessen crowís feet, brow wrinkles and frown lines), he says, first has a topical cream applied that "takes the edge off." Additionally, ice is applied, the injection is done with a small needle and thereís a full consultation.

"The first time I see somebody, they deserve to have their hand held ó literally and verbally," he adds.

Still a little nervous? Speak with past clients.

Treatment Time

Are there telltale signs that it is time for a clinically based treatment?

By the time most women reach age 30, telltale signs are starting to show, says Dawn Sagrillo, clinical director at ReFresh Aesthetic Center in Whitefish Bay. Thatís the time, she says, to "look a little more seriously at clinical skin care with a licensed aesthetician."

At ReFresh, she focuses on using "aesthetic injectables," such as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin that relax muscles and address dynamic lines. "You wonít have a frozen look. We customize doses to quiet muscles and reduce overactive lines," she says.

Clinical treatments range from light skin peels to light-based treatments that can remove sun spots. "Iíve done Botox since my early 30s, fillers as I was approaching 39 and skin care since my late 20s," says Sagrillo, "all nonsurgical."

The Right Knife

What is the best way to find a plastic surgeon?

Shop around. "Find someone else who has had a procedure done and had a great result," says facial plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Campbell of Quintessa Medical Spa in Mequon and Sheboygan.

Be an informed consumer. "Ask yourself before you arrive, ĎWhat do I really want? How much do I want to spend? Am I OK with surgical procedures and the downtime?í" he says.

Go with experience. "We have the best devices and can tell people very honestly about various options and details of the result and down time," Campbell says.

Lip Service

How can we plump our pucker and avoid chapped-lipped kisses?

Work with the right equipment says aesthetician Jennifer Kessler of Blush Beauty (with locations in the Third Ward and Mequon).

Plump your pucker with Laura Mercier Lip Silk. "Itís a phenomenal, miniature exfoliant made with hyaluronic acid," says Kessler. "Itís a great night treatment." Another is O-Plump by Smashbox.

Bow to the Brow

How can we get more out of a brow wax?

Do not pluck between appointments. "Hair grows out on a three week cycle," says Kessler. "Itís good to just come in every three to four weeks."

In the interim, try Blinc Eyebrow Mousse, a "mascara for your brows."

Pump It Up

What are the best ways add volume to thinning hair?

Try teasing, but do not overdo it, states Katie Bohn, a hairstylist at Bella Lei (which has locations in Mequon, Cedarburg and Port Washington).

Add texture. Textured styles look thicker than a slick, straighter style. Use curling irons or Velcro rollers to create.

Cut strategically. A blunt cut gives thinner hair a thicker appearance, Bohn adds.

Love Your Locks

How can we perk up our hairstyle for spring?

Expect hair trends to range from braids and blow outs to beachy waves and warm hair colors, notes Kitty Tierney, owner of Mequonís Impressions Day Spa. Spring runways, she says, showed that nothing was "too perfect or impeccable. Deconstructed waves and undone knots and twists proved that having a bit of an edge is as chic as ever."

Her favorite supplies? "For my hair, I use MoroccanOil Oil Treatment as a wonderful conditioner. I also use a flat iron to create a slight wave," she says.

Hair Musts

What are the top three hair-care products that you could not live without?

Alex Ollman, a hairstylist for Erik of Norway Salon Spa (with locations in Mequon and downtown Milwaukee) highlights her must-have arsenal:

1. Kerastase Elixir "provides moisture and adds shine" without being too oily.

2. Mousse Substantive "gives hold and volume" and if there is hair loss, it "brings hair back to a healthier state."

3. Aveda Control Force Hairspray has "a very strong aerosol hold" but can be "brushed out without leaving flakiness."

Look Younger

Whatís the best serious product or treatment to fight aging skin?

The best ingredients to defend against aging skin are antioxidants, Vitamin C and Vitamin A, says Gail Coleman, owner of Estetika Skin and Laser Specialists in Delafield and Mequon. "Weíre a medical cosmetic spa, so we carry prescription-strength products," Coleman says of the items that range from $75 to $125 an ounce.

In-office treatment options are many. A chemical peel, she says, is appropriate for all skin types and skin problems. A peel can range from $55 to $300, depending on the depth of treatment. The peel, which is done one at a time, she says, is "very corrective."

Estetikaís new Delafield location includes an on-site JOULE platform, which offers a precision peel of all depths. "Itís very exciting," says Coleman. "Itís for major resurfacing."

Full Force

How can women keep their hair looking lustrous from winter to spring?

Stay away from shampoos with high alkalinity, advises Steven Edwards of the Steven Edwards Color Group in New Berlin. They may seem like a bargain, but "theyíll clean your hair too much."

Add color to "put more richness, pigment and depth in the hair."

Donít fret hats. "Hats are not the problem," he says of winter hair damage. Larger issues stem from "tight ponytails, brushing out hairspray and brushing when hair is wet."

His favorite product is Moroccanoil Oil Treatment, a winner in Behindthechair.comís 2011 Stylist Choice Awards. "It gives shines, protects from heat, helps with frizz and makes your hair feel great," Edwards says.

Beauty To-Dos

Even when budgets are tight, what beauty rituals are not worth sacrificing?

"My simple answer is a haircut," says Greg Rushing, a master stylist at Vici Capilli Salons & Spa in Greenfield.

Donít skimp on the cut. "It sets your tone for the day," he says. "When you get up in the morning, if your hair looks bad, you feel bad."

Deep condition on the cheap. "Put on some of your daily conditioner and wrap your hair in a towel for 45 minutes. Then rinse. Your hair will feel brand new. This is especially good for highlighted hair."

(Also, regular customers are invited to come in for periodical bang trims ó for free.)

Wrinkle Reducer

Are there really ways to avoid or lessen wrinkles?

Connie Laux, a medical aesthetician for Milwaukee Vein & Laser Center, believes so. But donít wait until there is a problem. "A lot of people say, ĎIím going to wait until (wrinkles) are really deep,í but itís not that easy," she says.

Before enjoying the benefits of Retinoids, laser treatments, Botox and other in-office remedies, Laux says you have to do some work at home, like: drink water; take fish oil and Vitamin B supplements to hydrate and lubricate from within; exercise to increase blood flow to the skin; apply sunscreen; get antioxidants; quit smoking (as it decreases oxygen to the skin) and quit tanning (which she says damages the DNA in the skin).

Massage Time

Whatís the best time to get a massage? Is there anything one can do to prepare for it?

Elizabeth Walsh, director of WELL Spa + Janice Salon at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, says everyone needs a massage "to help reduce stress, which is a contributor to disease."

To get the most out of yours, Walsh says:

1. Mentally leave your work.

2. Trust your therapist, no matter his or her size. "Power comes from the body. Someone who is small can give an incredibly deep tissue massage."

3. Throw your body inhibitions to the wind. "Massage therapists love to work on anybody."

Also, a lot of men come in "kicking and screaming," says Walsh. "They donít ask a lot of questions or know what to expect. But all leave saying, ĎI canít believe that I didnít do this years ago.í"

Men of Style

Must men live with stubble or a comb over?

"Hair grows," says Theri DeJoode, who co-owns Groom with Erica Grabczyk, of stubble. "You can soften it by using shave oils but itís impossible to truly get rid of it."

The best thing DeJoode says is to go to professionals who specialize in face and hair care.

The same thing goes for male hair thinning. While the salon offers all sorts of treatments, including laser therapy, DeJoode says men need to learn to work with nature. In other words, comb-overs shouldnít be. "We encourage them to take it off," she says of men who insist on combing longer strands across bald spots. "Weíd love to encourage them to be natural and deal with the growth and development that we all have with aging."

Itís Go-Time

When should you fire your hairstylist?

"It is clearly time if your stylist hasnít offered you something different to update your look," says Nova, the one-named owner-stylist of Salon Nova on the East Side. "Salons should be doing education. New things pop up all the time. A good stylist stays on top of that."

If you have the same hairstyle you did 10 years ago, Nova says prepare to jump ship. But it may not be easy. "Finding a hairstylist is like finding a life partner," says Nova, who will open up a new space in Brookfield next month. "You have to date a lot."

When itís time to snip ties, he says first find someone else you do like. If itís the stylist in the next booth, go for it. "People bounce back and forth all the time," he says. M.