Sweet Valentine’s Looks

Sure it’s fun to do makeup and hair on any day… but it can be even more fun to do it on Valentines Day! Whether you have a romantic evening planned, a last minute date, or a night out with friends, here are a few tips on getting the perfect sexy Valentines Day look.

Let’s start with hair. Research on the hottest, sexiest hair trends for Valentine’s Day surprisingly shows that very natural over the shoulder hair is what’s in! Simply wash your hair, apply a volumizing mousse to the roots, flip your head over and blow dry, combing your fingers through it. When your hair is dry mist with a flexible hold hair spray and throw it to one side.

You don’t want to over do it with makeup. Less is more when you want to achieve a romantic look. So what is the key to achieving a rosy glow? Try using a pink blush with a hint of warmth, and of course don’t forget to add a shimmery highlighter just over the cheekbones. For your lips, skip the deep red lipstick and try a lip gloss with an orange tint to give just a hint of color and a little plump to those smackers!

Brown sultry eyes look good on almost all skin tones and eye colors. Whether you choose a deep brown eyeshadow for a dramatic look, or more of a tan hue for a natural glow, you can’t go wrong! Colors in the brown family will match just about any outfit and can be paired with virtually any lip color.

Whether you’re dining out a Alinea or just hanging out at home with your sweetie or besties, try to incorporate a hint red into your outfit. If you think red clashes with your skin or hair, you can always use it in an accessory such as a clutch, jewelry, or shoes. It never hurts to be just a little festive, does it?

Your look, of course, will not be complete without a perfect Ortanic custom airbrush tan! Go ahead and show a little skin and enjoy a great evening out!

Happy February and Happy Valentines Day!
Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

Fashion and Beauty Trends 2015

2015 is here to deliver lots of new colors and laid back styles. As fashion history will repeat itself, some of these looks we have seen before. That said, I’m happy to say they have a fresh flare! Need a frame of reference? Think retro 70’s – Joni Mitchell Meets Runway Femme Fatale. Here are a just a few of the trends about to hit the stores….and your closet!

Military Green has made its way onto the runway of many fashion designers in the Spring 2015 collection. This look can be achieved easily with cargos and army jacket and there are affordable options at many retailers.

Loose Denim is making its way back into our closets and it’s a good time to try out a wider-leg jean or bell bottom. But don’t throw out those skinny jeans just yet! You can capitalize on another 2015 trend… Bright (But Understated) Bags. Why not pair a Tangerine boho bag with black or dark skinnies and a flowing custard blouse to add a splash of color?

Makeup for 2015 has gone Plum Crazy! Plum can be both subtle and dramatic, depending on how it is applied and what shade you’re using. Lighter shadows in the daytime, with a dark lipstick and / or dark shadow and liner in the evening with a soft lip can make a nice contrast.

Last but not least, natural beauty simplified…Air dried hair! Let your hair dry naturally and add a little frizz taming serum for a tousled, feminine look. You can wear it down with your natural waves and curls or you throw it into loose bun or ponytail for to add a little more drama

It probably goes without saying, but no look is complete without an Ortanic airbrush tan to enhance your natural beauty.

Happy New Year Everyone. Looking forward to seeing you at Ortanic!

Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

5 Skin Care Tips You Shouldn’t Overlook This Winter

The cold winter days are upon us. I am super excited about the holidays and spending time with my family – but much less so about terribly dry winter skin! I know I am not the only with this problem during this season. We tend to do less to take care of our skin in the winter months – probably because our skin is less exposed. However, remember that it is just as important to take care of your skin in the winter as it is any other season. Here are some tips on just how to do that in the coming months:

Get a Different Moisturizer

You may have found that your favorite moisturizer that works wonders in the summer, spring and fall just isn’t doing the job once the weather conditions change to cold with a chance of freezing! You’ll need to change it up for a few months. Find a moisturizer that is “oil based” rather than “water based” as the oil will create a protective layer on your skin and may help protect it from the harsh cold weather. Try to look for non clogging oils such as avocado oil, mineral oil, primrose, and almond oil. Avoid shea oil and any type of butters; those work wonders on the body but will only sit on top of the skin on your face and clog your pores.

Embrace Sunscreen

This may come as a surprise, but sunscreen isn’t just for the summertime. Winter sun combined with snow glare can still cause plenty of damage to your skin. The most important places to apply sunscreen during these cold months are the face, neck, and hands as they are the most exposed during that time. It’s been said that one can tell a person’s real age women in particular) by looking at her neck and hands, so be advised — take care of these delicate spots!

Give Your Hands a Hand

The thinnest skin on our body is on our hands, therefore it needs the most attention during this time. Hands are often exposed to the cold and need to be very well taken care of to avoid dryness and itchiness. Make sure you are moisturizing as much as you can and wear gloves when you are outside; doing both will help keep your hands hydrated and keep your skin from cracking.

Embrace Humidity

Heating systems and space heaters blast really hot dry air throughout our homes and offices. Humidifiers help put moisture back into the air which can help prevent your skin from drying out. Place humidifiers throughout your home to help disperse moisture into the air throughout and combat dryness.

Don’t Forget Your Feet!

How about those feet? Look for lotions that contain petroleum jelly or glycerin to moisturize dry, cracked, and scaly feet. Also, exfoliate the feet the same way you would exfoliate your face; a few times a week. Put moisturizer on immediately afterward while pores are open which will help the oils absorb into the skin.

Last Resort

Lastly, if it comes to the point where your skin is just so extremely dry and itchy, try a soothing and calming oatmeal bath with warm water (not too hot… that can make it worse)
Chicago air may be dry and bitter, but you don’t have to be! Stay moisturized this winter and don’t forget, you can take advantage of a little extra healthy glow with an Ortanic custom airbrush tan. I hope to see you soon!

Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com for a consultation!

Foods for Healthy Skin

We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” That’s never been more true than it is today. With the chemicals found in and amount of processing of many shelf foods, our bodies’ organs are at risk for crisis. Skin is the body’s largest organ, so it is imperative to keep it as healthy as possible. Remember, you excrete toxins through your skin, so if you put non nutritious foods in your belly, when you sweat they come out only to sit directly on your skin!

Here are some yummy foods that do a great job of protecting skin from premature aging and promoting a healthy glow from the inside out.

Green Tea – Green Tea is filled with the amazing antioxidant EGCG, which provides protection from the sun’s damaging rays. Whether you apply it directly to the skin or drink a nice cup of tea, its antioxidants work to prevent DNA damage and help repair existing damage. Drinking green tea is also hydrating, one of the most important factors for healthy, glowing skin.

Yogurt – Yogurt is a great source for vitamin A, which is very important for maintaining vibrant skin. Vitamin A helps the body produce collagen, which is responsible for your skin’s elasticity.

Salmon – Salmon contains Omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect your skin from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation. Wild salmon contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin that helps fight wrinkles and sagging.

Kiwi – Kiwi is one of the most potent sources of vitamin C. It is essential for maintaining connective tissue. Kiwi, papaya and guava are all excellent sources of collagen producing vitamin C. Eating one kiwi a day can improve your skin over time.

Dark Chocolate – Surprise! Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin. There is a myth that chocolate causes adolescent acne. Not true! When eaten in moderation, the flavonols in dark chocolate not only protects the heart and blood vessels, but also protects the skin from sun damage. When applied directly to the skin, natural cocoa butter is an excellent emollient that helps preserve the skin’s moisture and elasticity.

It’s never too soon, or too late, to start eating well! Try incorporating a few, or all, of these foods into your diet and see how incredible your skin will look. Then stop into Ortanic and we’ll give your healthy skin a healthy glow!

Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

Fall Trends 2014

Fall is here!  It’s a little bittersweet, but there are so many new and fun trends that arrive with Autumn, especially when it comes to hair, makeup and nails.  With New York Fashion Week just behind us, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the most popular trends for the upcoming months, which make up my very favorite season!

Nails. The hottest beauty trends for Fall nails involve neutral tones, particularly beige, chocolate, nude and mocha. Choose a glossy polish for lighter colors and matte for darker hues. This will make it easy to match with outfits and accessories. Bottom line: Keep it simple!

Lips. The bolder the better! Deep reds and darker colors are the main hit for the season. This fall make your lips the main event. Attention grabbing lip colors and light makeup is the way to go .

Hair. Breathe a sigh of relief, ladies: having our hair up is finally a trend!  No more fussing with spray, pins or fancy ‘dos. Braids, buns and ponytails are all in, so feel free to throw your hair up and feel confident. Keep the style loose and beachy!

Accessories.  There is no better way to transform a basic outfit than with some jewelry. This is the season for accessories! Grab your biggest earrings or a chunky necklace, couple it with a black ensemble, and you have a simple, classy outfit which will last you all through the season!

Eyes.  Move over smokey eye liners and shadows and make way for the return of “winged” eyeliner! This is my particular favorite look and I have been rocking it all year long. Think 1960’s Hollywood Glam! It might be a little hard to learn at first, but one simple trick is to use a liquid eyeliner in deep black and hold your eye tautly closed as you apply. Check out how-to videos on YouTube.

Also this season anything that’s heavy on the black is in. So go to town on the eyeliner and full mascara… then add some more! Wear it with style and confidence.  Now’s the time!

Last bit of advice:  Don’t try to mix the deep red lipstick with the heavy black eyes. It’s best to stick to one or the other. Light eyes with dark lips, or dark lips with light eyes. And don’t forget to get your Ortanic tan!  Especially with all the dark colors in this season. Dark colors always look better on tan skin. Enjoy these wonderful trends and have fun!  Happy Fall!

Blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

Four Easy Steps to Preventing Breakouts

Does it seem like as you age you are more likely to breakout during odd times of the month? Cleansing your skin on a daily basis can help, but there are other simple things you can do to prevent your skin from erupting.

1. Clean your makeup brushes
Over time makeup brushes can collect oil and bacteria, especially if you have had previous breakouts. This can cause both oily and regular skin to break out. You should be cleaning your brushes at least once a week with a brush cleaner to get the best results. You can also clean your brushes with soap and water. Make sure you do so until the water runs clear, then just lay it on a clean cloth to dry.

2. Change your pillowcase
Think about all the products you put in your hair: hairspray, wax, gel, mousse, etc. When you lay down on your pillow all those chemicals get transferred onto your skin. To prevent blemishes, make it a habit to change your pillowcase at least twice a week. As a shortcut, flip your pillows to the other side when you don’t have time for laundry.

3. Clean your phone
When you answer your phone you press your skin against the screen, causing the bacteria to be transferred onto your skin. If you are breaking out around your chin line, this might be the cause. Make it a habit to clean your phone’s screen once per week with an antibacterial wipe.

4. Give it time
Any time we start a new skin regimen, including cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing, we expect to immediately wake up with amazing outcomes by morning. Be patient! It could take up to six months for results to show. Stick with it and the results will reveal themselves in due time.

Follow these basic steps and you’ll see your skin improve and stay blemish free. And as always, don’t forget to compliment your perfect skin with a flawless custom airbrush tan from Ortanic!

See you next month!
Guest blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

Save Your Skin

Well we’re here — smack dab in the middle of summer. Indeed all the things we love about summer are the very same things our skin hates! A warm, breezy beach day, a dip in the pool, an afternoon at your BFF’s backyard barbecue are oh so much fun, but the sun is wielding its powers all the while, leaving you with damage that may not be seen until it’s too late. Think about following these simple steps to save your skin and still enjoy all of your favorite summertime activities:

Step One: Stay Hydrated
Heat, chlorine and a few martinis can take a toll on our bodies, and it reflects on our skin. Combatting the effects of summer does not need to be an extravagant ordeal. Something as simple as not drinking alcohol for a week and eating a healthy diet will make a tremendous difference to your skin. Make sure you try to stay away from sugars, salts and processed foods. Don’t forget to drink at least eight glasses of water a day and, when drinking alcohol, be sure to enjoy a glass of water between cocktails to help to avoid a hangover. Your body and skin are thirsty, don’t deprive them!

Step two: Exfoliate and Moisturize
Your body has a buildup of dead skin cells from the sun and other outdoor elements. Give it a proper exfoliation for good skin turnover. This is easily done in the shower once or twice a week for both your face and body. For the body, I recommend Hempz Sugar Body Scrub Polish, since it’s gentle, yet effective. It also smells amazing! For the face, I have been using Derma Peel by Rhonda Allison. It’s an enzyme exfoliator and helps with deeper cell penetration for greater cell turnover. Once all those dead skin cells are gone you can nourish your skin with a great moisturizer to unveil the gorgeous skin underneath. We all know there’s nothing like soft, silky smooth skin.

Step Three: Add a Nighttime Anti-Aging Regimen and Get Some Sleep!
Most of us are already using some type of moisturizing serum or face cream post shower. It’s time to switch it up for a month or two… or even for longer than that. Add an anti-aging moisturizer or cream specific for nighttime to your daily regimen. Why? Because when you’re sleeping, your body is working to renew and regenerate itself. Nighttime is the best time to use any type of serums or anti-aging products. After you apply, brew yourself a cup of chamomile tea and get some zzz’s. And make sure you are getting at least six to eight hours of sleep each night. You’re welcome. 😉

Step Four: Protect with SPF
Just because summer is coming to an end in a few weeks, or you already have a tan, does not mean it’s time to put away the SPF. The sun’s rays are just as damaging in the colder seasons as they are in the summer time. Always include an SPF moisturizer in your daily skincare regimen. By taking the time to revitalize your skin now, you’re protecting it from future damage.

Step Five: Get a Custom Airbrush Tan!
The summer will inevitably come to an end, but that doesn’t mean your tan has to! Remember, our Ortanic tans are free of nasty smelling chemicals, and never leave you streaky or orange. So come get an Ortanic custom airbrush tan and keep your summer glow all year long!

Guest blog courtesy of Kat Maj, Ortanic Coordinator. Contact Kat at kmaj@ffc.com.

Intern Tries Airbrush Tan for First Time

5 ortanic-best-custom-airbrush-spray-tan-chicagoFree airbrush tan to “model” for aesthetician trainees? Sign me up!

The color tone was my choice. My options ranged from “vacation tan” to “summer glow.” Being just five days from the 10th anniversary of my 21st birthday, I opted for “birthday tan.” What I got was a glorious, natural bronze that looked like the sun and I hugged just long enough before it got weird.

I had never had an airbrush tan before, so I can’t compare this experience to any inevitably streaky horror stories. But I’ve done the tanning bed thing, and even the rotisserie chicken-on-the-beach thing, neither of which are the safest, or the healthiest, of options.

Ortanic is fantastic if you need a tan in a hurry, without the havoc UV rays can wreak. In the 20 or so minutes between checking in and walking out, you’ll receive a custom blended, natural looking tan that should last five to seven days.

When I walked into the room (that thankfully featured a small space heater), Elizabeth, my Ortanic aesthetician-in-training, talked me through the details. She told me some color options. She talked about the pre-tan buffer, which gets sprayed on rougher, drier areas like feet and ankles, hands and wrists, elbows and knees, and post-tan bronzer (available for purchase when you need to touch up between tans). She also told me not to shower or work out for eight to 10 hours, and asked me to remove my jewelry (which I would also not be able to put back on for eight to 10 hours).

I undressed (you must wear underwear but a top is optional) and stepped into the booth I’ve seen turn people in the movies shades closer to carrot than copper. But no orange spray would be coming out of those holes. Ortanic is done by hand. The booth is, however, equipped with suction to keep the excess spray away from you, so someone with blond hair like mine won’t leave with bronze highlights.

After applying the buffer, Elizabeth started at my feet with her spray gun, which shoots a surprisingly cool mist (thank goodness for the heater!). Since Ortanic is naturally derived, it smelled sweet, not chemically, thanks to its sugary base. She didn’t miss a spot!

Elizabeth and Kat, Ortanic coordinator (who stays in the room with trainees), did mention that I would be darker immediately following my session (thanks to the bronzer), and that my actual tan would darken and set underneath throughout the day.

Once I was totally sprayed, Elizabeth dusted shimmery powder on areas that tend to sweat, including my lower back, décolletage and underarms.

That very day people complimented my tan (most were surprised I had turned about four shades darker overnight), and when I told them it was Ortanic, they immediately mentioned how natural it looked. Two days, a shower and multiple hand washings later, the bronze powder has washed away and I am left with what looks like I just returned from a three-day stint in Mexico.

While I’m sad it won’t last the summer, knowing I have the option to look this “healthy” tan, and it actually is a healthy tan, will keep me coming back for more.

Working Out, Not Breaking Out

Does sweating it out at the gym have you feeling like a breakout is impending? You could be right, especially if you don’t take the proper steps to avoid it. Sweating is a sign that your body is doing what it’s meant to do to expel built up toxins which will sit atop the skin. Active people actually produce more dead skin cells than the average person. Those dead skin cells trap oil and dirt and can cause breakouts. Keep up with your workout and still have flawless skin with these simple tips.

Cleanse before AND after. We already know that it is important to cleanse your skin after a workout, but did you know that a cleansing beforehand is just as important? Avoid harsh soaps and try a cleanser formulated to remove oil and sweat without drying out the skin. For example, try Rhonda Allison Beta Green cleanser available at Fitness Formula Club Spas (ffc.com/spa).

Remove makeup. Your skin needs to breath while working out or else it can cause extremely clogged pores. If you can’t bear to be at the gym with a “naked” face, try using a tinted moisturizer instead.

Exfoliate. Make sure you exfoliate gently about every other day if you’re at the gym 5 days a week.

Tie your hair back. Also make sure to keep your hair off your face. This may help avoid potential breakouts. Grease and sweat can accumulate in your hair and your pores may end up drinking it up.

Follow the tips above and watch your skin continue to glow as you move from Vinyasa to Tread to Zumba. Remember your Spin class should be rough, not your skin!

p.s. Reduce the appearance of any skin imperfections with an Ortanic complexion enhancement service or custom airbrush tan and as always, if you can’t tone it, TAN IT! Book now

Peeling Back the Layers

Proper exfoliation is an essential for giving the skin a fresh glow, but more important than just doing it, is doing it correctly. Overdoing it or choosing the wrong method, can really damage your skin.

What exactly is “proper” exfoliation? Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the Stratum Corneum (the outer layer of skin). When you exfoliate you are stimulating new cells to rise from the basal layer to the surface. There are several types of exfoliants: Physical, Enzyme and Chemical. Physical exfoliation is done with mechanical brushes or dry brushing, exfoliating scrubs, and microdermabrasion. Enzyme exfoliants can be found in fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, papaya, avocado, lemon,orange, grapefruit, and many more. This is a gentle way to exfoliate and is recommended for first time use. These enzymes can be found in cleansers, masks and peels. Lastly, chemical exfoliation is performed using a beta- or alpha-hydroxy acid. These acids help to dissolve oils in the pores and loosen the bond between the cells to assist in cell turnover.

My skin looks fine to me, so why do I need this? Well, of course you look great….but sometimes its the things we can’t see now, that come back to haunt us later….things that are out of our control like pollution, age, diet, and weather. All of these and more may affect your skin’s ability exfoliate naturally. Particularly as we age, our cell turnover gets sluggish and exfoliating regularly, can give us the extra help we need to get things moving. Among other benefits, skin exfoliation removes impurities from pores, lightens and brightens the skin, evens skin texture, and maximizes the results of other products, like moisturizer, by allowing them penetrate the skin more deeply.

How often should I exfoliate? Depending on your skin type, you may exfoliate up to three times per week. In particular, if you have combination, oily or acne prone skin this is very important.
Also, if you have dry skin, three times per week can be super beneficial and provide you a smoother, glowing surface. If your skin is sensitive, only exfoliate once per week using a mild exfoliant to avoid broken capillaries and irritation. Remember, exfoliation is not only for your face, it is beneficial for the entire body! It will help with overall skin hydration and give you the smoothness you want.

When using professional exfoliating methods you can target and treat melasma,acne, fine lines, wrinkles, hyper pigmentation and scarring.

Questions? Stop in and for a free consultation with one of our estheticians and see which exfoliation technique might be best for you. Consider scheduling a brightening facial to which uses a wonderful Rhonda Allison Brightening Scrub and is a great jump starter to your skin care regimen. For your body, try HEMPZ Sugar Body Scrub also avail