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Beauty Junkies Get Their Fix with BirchBox

I’m always on the hunt for fun gift ideas. So when one of my favorite publicist friends started singing the praises of BirchBox, I decided to check it out. It’s basically a subscription service in which you receive a box filled with four to five samples from various spa and luxury brands each month. From skincare products, makeup, fragrance, and more, the goodies are all generously sized so as to allow you a chance to determine if they’re right for you. Think of it as a beauty box of the month club. For beauty junkies, it’s the ideal gift. While we all have our favorites spa brands, this is a great way to branch out and sample new products. You can also customize your box by filling out a Beauty Profile. That way you’re sure to get products chosen for your specific skin type and coloring. Membership definitely has its benefits.

Prevent Massage Therapist Injuries in Your Spa
with a Save Your Hands! Workshop

While massage can certainly ease aches and pains, it can also cause its fair share of the aforementioned. For therapists, it can cause a litany of ailments, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, hand and arm strain, and more, thanks to the repetitive movement massage requires. Fortunately, there is help to prevent such injuries. Save Your Hands!, a trusted name in injury prevention and self-care for manual therapists, is offering a weekend workshop in Minneapolis on Oct. 14-16. Part of a certification program, the workshop will teach therapists how to teach others how to prevent injury on the job. Participants will have the opportunity to become a Certified Injury Prevention Instructor (CIPI). This individual can then serve as an in-house trainer to other staff members. Another workshop is slated for Feb. 10-12 in South Florida. For more information, contact

Celebrate National Smile Week with a Smile

While smiling may be the last thing you want to do this week, thanks to the volatile stock market. The fact that it’s National Smile Week is reason enough to flash those pearly whites. Here, Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, offers tips to ensure you’re greeting your clients with your best and brightest smile.

  • Rely on natural teeth whiteners. For example, strawberries contain malic acid, which act as an astringent to remove surface discoloration.
  • Drink water in between drinking and eating colored foods to help eliminate stains. Rinse your mouth with fresh water and eat bread to remove the temporary stains that immediately appear after drinking wine.
  • Wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth after eating or drinking acidic foods, as brushing immediately afterward can erode tooth enamel.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after meals to stimulate saliva flow, which can acts as a natural detergent to remove teeth stains.

Want to give your clients something to smile about when the week is over? Consider offering teeth-whitening services in your spa. For more on this topic, check out “Show Me Your Teeth” in our upcoming October issue.

Washing Away Anxiety

This past weekend, I visited Northern Quest Resort & Casino (Spokane, WA). Owned by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians, the property includes Current Spa, which embraces the tribe’s healing traditions. One tradition I’m especially fond of is when therapists wash their hands before beginning any treatment. My therapist at Current Spa did just that when she entered the treatment room. Although it may seem like a small thing, it’s something that always puts me at ease before a treatment. Granted, I’m a self-confessed germaphobe, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking it should be a standard practice in every spa. When I was in China last year, I had a therapist actually make a point of telling me that she was going to first wash her hands before commencing the treatment. I found it comforting to know. I’m also a fan of therapists washing their hands after touching the feet and always before touching the face. I’m sure I’m not alone in worrying that the products used during my body treatment may not be suitable for a facial massage. If they are, that’s great, but it would be nice to have that info communicated at some point. While it should go without saying that hand washing should be a given, making it part of the pre-treatment ritual can also put clients, like myself, in an even more relaxed state.

Boom Boom! Cards Help Inspire
Random Acts of Kindness

I’ve always been a big fan of paying it forward. That’s why when I read about Boom Boom! Cards, I was intrigued. Each deck contains 26 individual act of kindness that are meant to be performed and then paid forward. For instance, one reads, “Unexpectedly pick up the tab, even if it’s not a special occasion.” You can register your cards online in the Boom Boom! Community at, where stories, videos, and photos of altruistic acts are posted. You can also track the cards as they get passed around the world. An ideal spa retail item, these cards can help bring a smile to anyone’s day. They certainly did mine.

Minx Nails Introduces the Ramadan Collection

In honor of Ramadan, which began yesterday, Minx co-founders Dawn Lynch-Goodwin and Janice Jordan introduced three new Minx designs. The debuting designs reflect the focus on spirituality and meditation exhibited during this holy time for those of the Muslim faith. Ramadan typically lasts 29 to 30 days.

Spa Mio Offers Extra Credit
for Donating New School Supplies

It’s hard to believe that back-to-school season is right around the corner. However, it’ll be here before we know it. That’s why the folks at Spa Mio, located inside the M Resort Spa Casino (Las Vegas), are offering “Extra Credit” to anyone who brings in new school supplies from Aug. 15 through 21 between the hours of 6am and 7pm. Those who earn the extra credit will receive 30 percent off any full-price service. The school supplies will then be donated to the Clark County School District. “With school right around the corner, we thought this would be a great way to help our schools and reward our guests,” says spa manager Kate Wind. “We suggest items like crayons, pens, dry erase markers, pencils, and loose-leaf paper.” What interesting promotions has your spa offered that also benefits the community?

A New Website Helps Debunk Popular Beauty Myths

If you’re always on the hunt for a reliable source of health and beauty info, you may want to check out Created by Mehmet Oz, M.D., F.A.C.S., a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Michael Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, the website brings together industry experts in beauty, fitness, and science to help debunk common myths with proven facts. The site features fun quizzes, articles, and discussions that may help you better understand the science behind healthy habits, thereby helping you to bring out the inner and outer beauty of your clients. What beauty site do you rely on to keep informed?

The Latest Lowdown on Spray Tanning

I recently read an interesting piece in WellandGoodNYC questioning the safety of spray tanning on account of the ingredients used. It seems the safer alternative to the sun might have some issues of its own with ingredients, mainly Dihydroxyacetone, which are not meant to be inhaled. Considering that it’s nearly impossible not to breathe in at least some of the spray, it’s surprising that more people aren’t asking what exactly they’re inhaling. What struck me the most about the article was the fact that so few spa employees had any idea what was in the spray tan formulas they’re using. Do you know what’s in your spa’s spray tan?

Okabashi Celebrates Christmas
Early with a Special Offer

I love a great deal, and apparently, the folks at Okabashi do as well. For one day only, the company is giving spa-goers a dozen 100 percent recyclable shoes in a variety of styles and colors for just $100. For those who want to stock up on their supply of flip flops, casual slides, mid-heels, sandals, and clogs, it’s like Christmas in July. To take advantage of the one-day offer, log on to on July 25th, from 12am to 11:59pm. Just fill your cart with 12 of your faves, and they’re yours for just $100. Guaranteed for two years, the shoes are ideal for sharing with friends or stocking up on your locker room supply.

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