Making the most of the fall season change with Ortanic airbrush tanning in Chicago!

Tips for Making the Most of the Fall Season Change

When we think of fall, some of the first things that come to mind are yummy comfort foods, brisk air, pumpkin spice everything and Halloween & Thanksgiving, which will both be here before we know it! Here are a few tips we pulled together to help you make the most of the fall season.

Healthy skin is always in.

There are lots of ways to keep your skin looking healthy in the fall. One easy way is to consume the very same ingredients that you will find featured in some of the great seasonal products that you can apply topically. For example, the enzymes and vitamins found in pumpkins, apples, and beets are used frequently in topical creams, lotions and more, but are also great for you from the inside, too. Here’s how to incorporate both!

  • Start out your morning with a pumpkin facial cleanser.
  • Grab an apple to eat on your way to work.
  • Enjoy a roasted beet salad for lunch with a cup of pumpkin soup.
  • End the evening with a glass of your favorite regular or hard cider.

*Fun fact: did you know one of the key ingredients in Ortanic’s airbrush formula comes from sugar beets? It’s called Dihydroxyacetone (aka DHA) which is a colorless non-toxic sugar that reacts with the outermost layer of skin’s amino acid proteins to naturally produce a beautiful golden hue, minus the harmful rays of the sun!

Keeping it classy on Halloween.

Sure you might find a great deal online, but there’s a way to look cute AND be creative without going the “sexy meter maid” route. Here are a few costume ideas that are both smart and sassy.

Rosie The Riveter: Something about a festive bandana, showing off your “guns” and wearing a chambray shirt screams “We can do it!”

Flapper: This is a classic costume for any lady and can be made to be as flirty or “conservative” as you desire!

Mother Nature: You can cover as much or as little as you want with greenery like leaves and flowers. Celebrate our planet earth looking feminine and strong – as you know, no one messes with Mother Nature!

Get outside for the health of it.

Most people turn up the heat and stay indoors once the weather dips and it starts getting darker earlier. It’s fun to cuddle up by the fireplace but don’t forget fall is a wonderful time to soak up some afternoon vitamin D – take your latte outside and enjoy a few deep breaths. You’re bound to find yourself with more energy, not to mention, get a better night’s sleep!

However you decide to embrace the change of seasons, make sure to keep yourself happy and healthy and don’t forget to come visit us at Ortanic!

Summer blues: 4 ways to survive the season change into fall in Chicago

Summer Blues: 4 Ways To Survive the Season Change Into Fall in Chicago

Newsflash – summer doesn’t end on Labor Day! Let’s face it, for most people it can be a little rough saying goodbye to summer. Even if it’s not the hot weather you’ll miss or you didn’t get a chance to take a vacation, there’s something that feels more simple about life in summer. Whether it’s the longer days, the endless outdoor Chicago events, the carefree manner of dress, or the laid back gatherings with friends, summer just seems to make life seem a little “easier”. Before you bid a hard farewell to lazy summer days, think about this: the average daytime temperatures in Chicago for September and October range from 62 – 74 degrees; no need to break out your Snuggie just yet! Here are a few tips to survive the season change into fall in Chicago and keep the summer spirit alive.

Leave (most of) the fall clothes in the bin for a while.

You won’t want to overheat while enjoying Jazzin’ at the Shedd each Wednesday from Sept 12 – October 10, Riot Fest, Ravenswood Art Walk or any of the numerous beer and Oktoberfests around the city (many are in September). Stick with the midi or maxi dress, or a romper with or without sleeves, and bring a light sweater or poncho to throw over your shoulders for evenings.

Don’t ditch pink for pumpkin just yet.

Unless you’re going to a formal evening event, you’re probably not ready for dramatic eyes and shadows the early fall days. Go for bolder lip shades with a little of that pink or nude summer gloss over the top for some shimmer. Try a plum or burgundy hue and continue using neutral eye shades with a little winged eye liner. Also, you spent some quality money on those summer highlights and shimmery glosses so no need to wake up one September morning and bid adieu. While blonde highlights may have lost a little luster by now, you can just ask your stylist about getting some lowlights in a richer caramel and glazing the rest of the blonde with a touch of gold. If you’re brunette, add a little touch of warmth without going too dark, or try auburn to complement the changing leaves.

Related: fall is one of the best times to get married! Tips for looking your best on your (or your friend’s) wedding day.

Keep your skin glowing.

As the weather turns more crisp and cool, your skin can begin to dry out. Get an all-over body exfoliator such as a loofah or mitt and brush skin lightly once or twice a week. For your face, use a beaded scrub such as jojoba and avoid anything too abrasive. On that note, don’t let your skin go from sun-kissed to peaked overnight either. Did you know an airbrush tan, done correctly, will help restore moisture and balance to your skin? You can maintain your airbrush tan by just lightening up the color just a little bit. Your Ortanic artist will know how to blend just the right shade to transition you from warm and breezy to cool and calm and keeping you looking gorgeous all season long.

Continue eating deliciously and nutritiously.

Summer’s ending shouldn’t include a free pass for discontinuing healthy eating. There’s no switch that says we should trade salads for nachos or grilled veggies for loaded baked potatoes on September 21. There are plenty of “comfort foods” that can be enjoyed while you are still baring some skin (see rompers and maxi dresses above!). Try a spinach salad with a sharp blue cheese, some dried cranberries and pecans or a yummy roasted beet salad with a little kale and some toasted pepitas (with or without goat cheese). If it’s something warm you crave, opt for a 3 bean veggie chili, a vegan cauliflower chowder, or a butternut squash soup.

The important thing to remember is that Chicago’s weather will fluctuate from season to season quite regularly, but usually does not have a dramatic “overnight” switch from hot to cold. Plan on being adaptable and ENJOY every minute of the late summer/early fall. See you at Ortanic!

Adulting 101: How to Save for the Future and Still Live Your Best Life

Here in Chicago there are no shortage of ways to quickly blow a paycheck on both essentials and frivolities. After paying rent, a stop at the organic food market, your quarterly balayage, the gift for your bestie’s bridal shower and cocktails with the girls from work, do you find yourself with little or nothing left for savings? You may not yet be in full-on retirement planning mode, but it would probably (just kidding – we KNOW it would) be nice to have something left over to put away for a rainy day. Here’s how to create a budget and still live your best life.

Make a budget (leave room for the unexpected).

It’s not always fun to “get real” when it comes to how your money will be spent, but winging it or pretending you have means that you don’t, isn’t a practical way to get ahead. You could wind up with low or zero balances in your account, going into overdraft which comes at a hefty price, or racking up credit card bills. Make a list of the 10 most pressing monthly expenses in your life including the essentials like rent/mortgage, phone, utilities, loan payments, groceries and also the “extras” like your salon visits, and membership fees. Try to include an amount that is as close to accurate as possible.

Once you subtract the must-spends from your monthly income, you’ll have an idea of what you’ll have left for your social life, vacation planning, and savings. If you’re a whiz at spreadsheets, you can organize that way for free assuming you already have the software, otherwise there a lots of Apps out there that make it easy-peasy to plan and keep spending in-line. Try Fudget or Goodbudget Budget Planner, which have both free and paid versions.

Watch credit card spending.

The average US household has more than $15K in credit card debt. It doesn’t usually happen overnight, and it can be very difficult to get out of once you’re there. One credit card is really enough, perhaps two if you are a responsible credit card user and are looking to build your credit score for future events like purchasing a home or financing a vehicle.

Too many cards with unpaid balances reflect negatively on your credit score so if you don’t have any more cards than you can afford to pay the balances in their entirety on every month. The advantage of having more cards (if you’re good at managing them) is that you can earn cash back and rewards such as airlines miles, and cash back from certain purchase. Just remember, reward cards usually come with annual fees and have higher APRs, so paying off balances monthly is critical.

Shop wisely.

Practicality isn’t always as much fun as say, having a closet filled with shoes or bags, but in the end, those Jimmy Choo’s aren’t going to pay your student loans and definitely don’t make you a nicer person. Think before you buy impractical things and save the extra money, so at the end of the month you can reward yourself with a great night out, a good bottle of wine, or a few extra bucks in the vacation bank. You’ll only regret NOT having the shoes for a minute or two, but you could regret the purchase greatly if you don’t have enough to cover a “surprise” expense like a broken-down vehicle or a last minute overnight with your college friends that you so needed!

Take advantage of free and low cost events.

This city is chock-full of free and/or cheap stuff to do! Especially in the summertime… festivals, concerts, “Taste-Of-Some-Neighborhoods”, movies in the park, and oh yeah a 18 mile path along a ginormous lake, to name a few, can keep you busy for little to no cost at all.

In cooler months, there are still lots of fairs and festivals, but you can also check out the Goldstar App for lots of complimentary and heavily discounted theater, comedy and music events all around the city and suburbs. You’ll be super cultural and save a ton of money while impressing your friends with all you can do for a few bucks. Or you can even stay in and treat yourself to a snazzy at-home spa day – complete with essential oils, candles – the works!

The bottom line:

Only you know what your priorities are. Not everyone is planning for a wedding or buying a home, but it’s often the things we don’t plan for that wind up costing us because we didn’t hold some money aside for “emergencies” (even if the emergency is that you forgot your Mom’s birthday).

Save money for sunny and rainy days, spend money on feel-good things you value like your airbrush tan and your gym membership, and pay your bills in full and on time whenever possible, and you’ll be on your way to wherever or whatever your future heart might desire.

Benefits of an Airbrush tan throughout your life

The Perfect Skin Solution for Ladies of ALL Ages

When you think about spray tanning, the first things that may come to mind are proms, weddings, and vacations. You’d be right in thinking these are the some of the most popular reasons our rooms are filled in the spring and summer months. Given the nature of these events, you might also then place spray tans in a category reserved for young(er) people perhaps in their teens and twenties. But think twice before you brush off the idea of a getting a custom tan in your thirties, forties, and fifties! As a matter of fact, while your youth might be the best time to start a healthier skin routine, there is NO stop clock for taking good care of your skin.

Through the Decades

In our 30s, our skin starts to thin and tiny fine lines will begin to appear around the eyes and forehead once our estrogen levels begin to dip. Once we reach our 40s, elasticity, firmness and moisture begin to decline. And by the time we hit our mid-50s most women experience menopause – at which time the production of estrogen halts, and we begin to see changes such as sagging, age spots, spider veins and deep lines. From the inside we have learned to shine, but on the outside our skin can look dim and dull.

Cover It Up or Let It Glow?

Many of us don’t think twice about putting on makeup and purchasing quality clothing, which will cover up those areas we might feel self-conscious about. So why not consider an all-over body makeover that only takes about 20 minutes and lasts nearly a week? A custom airbrush tan will hide “imperfections” under a simple layer of color, making your skin glow and fine-tuning it (literally) from head-to-toe. The product applied allows your skin to breathe and thrive, unless some over-the-counter products that can cake and look orange giving you quite the opposite of a “glow”. At Ortanic we take the time to consult with you about exactly what you’re looking for and always guarantee a tan that is perfect just for you.

Whatever you do, don’t hide and don’t stay home simply because a little age has sprinkled its magic dust on you. All the wisdom and confidence we gain through our life experiences give us the right to walk tall with pride in our accomplishments. So, put on that amazing outfit, wear your brightest smile, and get out and glow!

Wedding day tanning 101 with Ortanic Chicago

Your Wedding Tan: For Better or For Worse

You’ve planned every last detail, from the guest list and the favors to the appetizers and music playlist, right down to the font on the place cards. You spent hours trying on dresses until you picked the perfect one; even your future MIL approves. Now think about slipping into that dress on your big day, looking in the mirror and seeing a) a sunburn b) pale skin or c) an uneven skin tone on your most photographed spots – neck, face, shoulders, arms, or worst of all… d) a blotchy and orange “tan” from a booth.

Yikes.

Don’t let this be you! With custom airbrush tanning any shade can be yours with a little advanced planning. Whether you want a look that’s super-subtle, sun-kisssed, contoured and toned or tropical, you CAN have the perfect color on your wedding day.

First thing’s first, don’t wait until the day before your wedding to get an airbrush tan for the first time. To be sure the airbrush artist knows exactly what you are looking for, we recommend two visits before wedding week comes. At the first visit about a month before your wedding, you’ll describe your desired shade. On the second visit, you can try either lighter, darker, more contouring, etc, and then decide which of the two you prefer for your wedding.

Next, schedule your wedding tan for about 36 hours before the big event. This will give the tan time to develop to the desired shade, but not fade before the big moment arrives. So, a tan on Thursday night for a Saturday wedding would be perfect.

Third, make sure to take proper care of your tan. If you’ll be going on your honeymoon, you’ll want to get a personal bronzer that matches your tan for touch-ups on your face and hands. Also, don’t use harsh scrubs and heavy lotions on your skin in the days following your tan and make sure all your waxing is done beforehand.

Lastly, take a big deep breath and enjoy your wedding day! Don’t forget to pack sunscreen and a wide-brimmed collapsible hat for your honeymoon. Oh, and book yourself another tan for about 3-6 days after you return home to keep that romantic glow going!

April Tanning Special: Take $20 off any Deluxe Ortanic tan Mondays & Tuesdays!

(Offer expires April 30, 2018. No two discounts apply. Available only at West Loop, Gold Coast, and Lincoln Park).

4 compelling reasons you should tan before your vacation

4 Reasons You Should Tan BEFORE Your Vacation

Even if you enjoy the Midwest winters, I’m sure we could all use a little getaway the last month of the season, right? If you close your eyes, you can feel the warm sun on your face, hear the waves crashing on the beach and taste that frozen margarita on your tongue. You’re also probably picturing yourself basking in the sun… but what if, when you get back to your room, you’ve turned a lobster shade of red?! You then spend the next few days of vacation covered up and slathering yourself in aloe vera and moisturizer. Not what you planned, right?!
Sunburn is dangerous and especially common during the first sun bathing days of a vacation on pale/dry skin that hasn’t seen the sun in months. Have no fear!  You can still come home with a great bronzed look – in fact, you can even leave home with a great tan! The trick is to leave already tanned, so you don’t have to worry about over-exposure from working on that bronze glow. Consider these points for coming in for an airbrush pre-vacay:
  1. You will arrive at your vacation destination looking relaxed and sun-kissed. No need to spend your days trying to achieve a tan, you already have one! This will free up your time for other vacations activities as well.
  2. You’ll look great in your vacation pictures, right from day one.
  3. If you can’t tone it, tan it! As hard as we might work out, sometimes we have those spots that just don’t get as toned as we like. An airbrush tan can help minimize the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. Everyone wants to feel good on vacation.
  4. The tan lasts up to 7-10 days, so you are set for your whole vacation.
Come into Ortanic to see me and I’ll give you one of the best-looking, natural airbrush tans whether you are taking a vacation or just want to look like you did!
See you soon,
Tracy Alexander
Ortanic Gold Coast

Why You Should Tan During Winter

Sub-zero temperatures, snow, and ice don’t immediately come to mind when one thinks of a “sun-kissed glow” although, arguably “skier’s tan” is a real thing… but not likely the look most are going for.

During the winter, much of our skin remains covered up under ponchos, turtlenecks, and assorted North Face accessories. So why, you might ask, would anyone feel compelled to get an airbrush tan in January? If you need some rationale, here are 3 pretty darn good reasons to come out of hibernation for an appointment:

Brunches, parties, and vacays… oh my!

On the occasions that you find yourself peeling off the parka and the mukluks, you’ll want to reveal smooth, toned skin, right?How many of those cute little dresses are short and sleeveless?  Plus fireplaces and heaters warm everything up inside, and the layers start to shed. Whether it’s a wedding, work event, brunch, or caribbean cruise, it’s a great excuse to get a little boost of color!

Cozy nights in with your S.O.  

OK, so your bikini body will go a few more months before hitting the beach, but hanging with your honey with a nice bronzed body that accentuates your curves and contours can always add a little confidence, right? Living single? When you go clothes shopping and bare all in front of the bright lights in the dressing room, your spray tan will help paint a better picture of what that outfit will look like in real daylight!

To look good is to feel good.

Sometimes, just doing a little something that makes us feel better can lift our spirits for hours, or even days. Lighting a candle, getting a massage or buying a new lip gloss don’t seem life changing on the surface, but anything that can improve your mood will create a happier you. A daily practice of treating yourself to something nice, even if it is just a cup of coffee, will go along way. Include an airbrush tan in your repertoire of mood-lifters and you’re bound to feel better even on the gloomiest days!

Remember, take good care of you… all year long. We’ll see you at Ortanic!

Why You Should Be Dry Brushing Daily

We’ll admit there are some daily rituals and spa services that seem quite indulgent, eccentric and over-the-top, if not completely unnecessary. Dry brushing is NOT one of those!
Dry brushing is an ancient practice in cultures on at least four continents, who have been employing it with slight variations for centuries. Nowadays, it’s all the rage among popular celebrities and athletes. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, here’s the quick scoop on why now is as good of a time as any to start:
  • It helps detoxify the body. The skin is the largest organ in the body. When you exfoliate it properly through dry brushing you allow the open the pores to allow waste to be released.
  • It smooths the appearance of cellulite. The dry brushing improves blood circulation everywhere, but most noticeably in areas where fat is commonly deposited (hips, legs, tummy, etc) and tones the skin and superficial muscle.
  • It helps boosts your immunity. By increasing the flow of lymph and stimulating your lymphatic system, you are likely to reap the reward which comes along; improved immunity. It won’t rid you of a cold, but it will probably help you to fight one off.
  • It exfoliates your skin. Particularly in harsher weather months (ahem, winter!), dry brushing accomplishes exfoliating unwanted dead, dry skin cells from every part of your body that you brush!  (Plus, it makes your Ortanic tan apply more evenly and last longer!)
The technique is simple. 
  • Purchase a new, clean brush and replace it every 30 days to maximize benefits. Brushes with a handle will help keep the technique quick and from you dropping the brush, plus gives you a way to hang it afterward.
  • Brush just before you shower. Because you’re already in the buff so why not?
  • Brush firmly, but don’t hurt yourself.  It shouldn’t tickle, it should feel stimulating, but not painful.
  • Brush toward the heart for maximum effectiveness. Don’t forget to do your tummy (go easy on sensitive skin), and your lymph areas: hips, pits, neck and décolleté, and inner thighs)
  • Do it daily. ‘Nuf said.
  • Follow up after your shower only with organic body oils or creams with few ingredients so as to allow the skin to absorb all the goodness!

February Events in Chicago We Think You’ll Like

Hey friends! Brrrrrr it sure is cold out there and the groundhog says there will be six extra weeks of winter this year. The cold weather may have you hibernating but you know, you can’t stay inside forever! Valentine’s Day is on its way, and there are plenty of ways to commemorate the holiday whether you love LOVE or you think cupid is stoopid.

Cupid’s Undie Run – Wrigleyville – 2/17

Consider baring (almost) all and head out for Cupid’s Undie Run in Wrigleyville on the 17th.  Run for prizes like flasks and, you guessed it – undies,  as you raise money for charity. A little friendly advice?  Don’t get down to your skivvies without getting an Ortanic tan beforehand!  🙂

“Naked” Scavenger Hunt – Art Institute of Chicago – 2/11

If culture is your thing, head over to the Art Institute of Chicago for “The Naked” Scavenger Hunt on the 11th, where you can check out some of the most famous nudes in art history.

Makeout Party – The Hideout – 2/11 – 2/12

If you want a little romance (or not), head over to the Hideout for their Makeout Party and have a listen to some local artist playing original tunes on both 2/11 and 2/12.

Whether you’re flying solo or cozying up to someone special, above all else, find a way to love YOURSELF!  Take time to do things you love with people you love…. be your own Valentine!

Using Essential Oils for Healthier Skin Part 2 – The Recipes

 

essential-oils-for-healthier-skin-part-2

As you read in Essential Oils Part I, essential oils such as frankincense, tea tree, and rosehip have been used for centuries all around the world to heal the skin. There are thousands of recipes that people from east to west rely on to care for their unique skin types and specific skin conditions. Since we, as a society, are increasingly looking to more natural and organic ingredients and actives in our skincare products, I’ve put together a short list of essential oil recipes to give you an idea of how these oils are being used to treat acne, sun damage, dry patches, oiliness, cell regeneration and signs of aging.

An important note: as you begin to work with essential oils and experiment with different recipes, please remember to never place essential oils directly on your skin. They should be mixed with into a serum, a moisturizer, a foundation or into one of several carrier oils.

As with any new skin care product, make sure to do a patch test and steer clear of any oils that are not cold-pressed or that are mixed with other ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Remember, we want pure essential oils without preservatives or other additives.

Rosehip: The Firming, Toning and Anti-Aging Super Star

Rosehip seed oil is perfect as an anti-aging oil because it penetrates deep into the skin, much like a serum. Its molecules are small enough to travel through many layers of skin and make a real impact on the skin’s elasticity. It aids in collagen production and cell regeneration, which in turn helps to plump the skin!

Did I mention rosehip seed oil also fades age spots and tiny red lines (capillaries that appear most prominently around the nose, chin, and cheeks)? Here’s a perfect little recipe to mix up and add to your daily skincare routine.

  • 2 tbsp rosehip seed oil
  • 2 tbsp sweet almond oil
  • 10 drops geranium oil or cypress oil
  • 7 drops frankincense oil

Mix ingredients in a small airtight bottle/vial (preferably darker in color to keep the sun out).

Each morning and night, apply a few drops to your fingertips and sweep across your entire face. You’ll love the scent and within a few weeks (depending on your age, as cell turnover ranges) you’ll notice a more youthful, tighter and brighter appearance to your skin.

*Recipe from Pinterest

Acne Away Essential Oil Recipe

  • 6 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops tea tree essential oil

Add ingredients to a 1-ounce amber bottle of jojoba oil. Apply a few drops to acne prone spots before bed as needed. Visit earthroma.com for more information and recipes.

Dark Circle & Brow Lines

  • Sweet almond oil
  • Organic rosehip oil
  • 10 drops of frankincense oil
  • 15 drops of Roman chamomile oil
  • 20 drops of lavender oil

Add the frankincense, Roman chamomile and lavender oils in the bottle. Add the almond oil and rosehip oil as a 50/50 ratio until the bottle is filled. Screw the lid on and shake. Apply a few drops under each eye and between brows at night. Recipe from the SpoilsofOils.com.

As always feel free to speak with your esthetician about the benefits of essential oils in your skin care routine. Feel free to email questions and comments to me at sflemming@ffc.com!