#SpaSpotlight: Everything You Need to Know About Shellac Manicures (Part I)

In this two-part blog series, our aestheticians give their expert advice on all things shellac. Today, they share their best tips on how to keep your shellac manicure looking flawless for weeks! 

How long is a shellac manicure supposed to last? Why might it not last as long as it’s supposed to?

Aga: in theory, every client should get two weeks out of their shellac mani without chipping. In 90% of cases this is true. Since we still must perform our everyday routines, there’s always a chance you might hit your hand against something or catch your nail on a rough surface. This is especially true if you lead a particularly hectic or active lifestyle.

Kaitlin: As Aga said, you should never experience lifting, peeling, bubbling or discolouration within the first two weeks of getting your shellac manicure. Make sure you don’t come into contact with any harsh chemical products while you have shellac on (think bleach, industrial cleaners, pool chemicals, etc.). These chemicals will cause the shellac to peel and lift right off the natural nail bed, and may cause the nail itself to soften to the point of breakage.

Besides avoiding harsh chemicals, what else can be done to prevent lifting or chipping within the first two weeks of a shellac manicure?

Katie: Something as simple as being more aware of your actions, whether it’s sports, exercise, cleaning, manual labour, or something else involving physical activity can help reduce your chances of experiencing any of these mishaps. Being more gentle with your hand movements can go a long way in preventing any chipping or lifting! And remember to wear gloves when washing dishes, working with bleach, or other household cleaning products.

What should clients do if they do notice chipping within the two week period? 

Alex: The best thing you can do to prevent any chipping around the free edge of the nail is to keep a file or buffer handy at all times. If the free edge (tip area) catches on something and it creates a snag or a rough spot, smoothing it down with a file will prevent any further catching. This in turn will minimize the potential for chipping or lifting. After every shellac service, we send you home with your very own file and buffer, so you don’t have to worry about buying your own!

Ali: You can also add a couple of coats of high quality, regular clear polish to create a layer of protection over the chipped area. This also helps maintain shine and adds a barrier between the shellac and the environment.

Any additional tips you’d like to share? 

Kaitlin: It’s best to have shellac applied when your natural nail is strong and healthy. This prevents the natural nail from bending too much, making it more likely for the shellac applied overtop to also bend and possibly separate from the nail. So make sure you’re getting plenty of vitamins and minerals from your diet!

Alex: We’ve also had a lot of clients say that hair and nail supplements have helped strengthen their natural nail.

Aga: Also remember that during winter months, there’s a lot of temperature change between the cold whether outside and heated indoor environments. The cold causes the gel molecules in shellac to contract, so wearing gloves when you go outside is very important in keeping the shellac nice and flexible.

Ali: On that note, I always tell my clients to keep your hands and cuticles properly moisturized during the winter, especially after every time you wash your hands. This prevents the nail underneath from becoming too dry—if the nail is too dry, it is more brittle and susceptible to breakage.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the second part in this series, where we’ll go over the dos and don’ts of shellac application and removal. 

#CleanBeauty: The Future of Cosmetics Is Chemical-Free

You may have heard the phrases “clean beauty” or “green beauty” floating around on the internet, with many different social media platforms—especially Instragam—showcasing beauty brands pledging to create products that have clean, chemical-free formulas made with naturally-sourced (especially organic) ingredients. Currently, the hashtag #greenbeauty is trending with just under 2,000,000 posts on Instagram, with #cleanbeauty coming in at over 1,000,000 posts. While the nascent green beauty movement is still a niche community that attracts a very specific type of beauty consumer, there’s no question it’s gaining momentum, poised to make a major mark on the beauty industry as a whole.

What is Clean Beauty?

“We’re predicting a clean-beauty revolution,” writes Rachel Lapidos at Well+Good. But what is clean beauty, anyway? What separates a “clean” cosmetics product from a regular one? Simply put, clean beauty is about health, safety, and non-toxicity. Although many clean beauty brands advertise their inclusion of specific fruit (or plant) extracts in their makeup and skincare formulas, if they contain chemicals or harmful preservatives, they can’t legitimately claim to sell clean beauty products.

The reverse is also true. A cosmetic item is considered clean even if there are no naturally-derived ingredients included in its formula. In the cosmetics world, “clean” is often confused with natural, organic, or even environmentally friendly—but the truth is, a clean beauty product is simply any product made using ingredients that are not suspected of being harmful to human health. That’s it! 

Many clean beauty products are made with plant-based ingredients.

Thankfully, of course, many clean beauty products contain an abundance of nourishing, all-natural ingredients brimming with skin health benefits. Plant-based ingredients are loaded with antioxidants that greatly enrich the effectiveness of many of your favourite beauty finds. Sometimes, clean beauty products will also be certified organic, which is another huge plus for consumers who are wary of plant by-products that are probably exposed to pesticides as crops, before they are harvested and prepared for cosmetic use.

It may be helpful to know that a lot of cosmetic companies committed to manufacturing clean products also pledge to support animal rights, fair trade, and environmental sustainability, formulating their products without using animal products or without exploiting the earth. They might try to prevent contributing to inhumane working conditions for people who work in cosmetic manufacturing. It takes a certain amount of patience and research, but discovering the beauty brand with the right blend (pun intended) of ethical commitments is incredibly rewarding, and makes cosmetics consumers feel that their love of all things beauty isn’t detrimental to other people, animals, the environment, or themselves. 

What Ingredients Should I Avoid? 

It can be difficult to decipher the scientific jargon that you see on many cosmetics ingredient lists. How do you know which ingredients are toxic and which ones are considered “clean?” The world-renowned environmentalist David Suzuki has created a shorthand list of the most common chemical ingredients that aren’t clean and that should be avoided. Here are just some of the most common chemical ingredients you should watch out for:

BHA/BHT

DEA

Dibutyl phthalate

Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives

Parabens

Parfum 

PEGs

Petrolatum

Siloxanes

Sodium Laureth sulfate

Triclosan

Checking the ingredient list of any product you want to purchase is essential to living the clean beauty lifestyle. This is the only way to truly guarantee that your beauty products are chemical-free, low in toxins, and free of harmful additives. Because of major legal loopholes, cosmetics brands are able to make claims like “natural” and “non-toxic” without proper regulations. This is known as greenwashing, and the only way to avoid being duped by false claims of dishonest marketing is to carefully check the ingredient list of every product you’re thinking of buying. 

Does NEWS Offer Clean Beauty Aesthetic Services?

Yes! Here at Niagara’s Elite Wellness Spa, we use a Canadian-based company called Jenetiqa for all our facial and aesthetic services. This product is free from every single ingredient on the dirty dozen list! We also sell many of their products so you can use them at home. In addition to their clean, chemical-free formulas, Jenetiqa uses all-natural, plant-based extracts to deliver high-performance results. We couldn’t be happier with how this product performs on our clients. Their products are formulated with clinically proven ingredients, powerful antioxidants, and highly nourishing plant-based moisturizers. Jenetiqa is also committed to environmental sustainability, promising to reduce their carbon footprint by only using eco-friendly packaging. 

We offer free skin consultations to all of our clients with one of our skilled aestheticians. During your facial treatment, she will be able to assess your skin type and recommend which type of facial is right for you. In addition, she will suggest a list of products for home use, so you can continue to enjoy the results of your elite facial service. You can live clean and chemical-free without compromising radiant, glowing skin!

Welcome to the NEWS Blog!

Thanks for stopping by!

It’s a new year here at NEWS, which means it’s a new year for beauty, health, wellness, and self-care.  These aren’t just empty buzzwords that we copied and pasted from somewhere on the internet: these are the values our business lives and breathes by,  the ideals we are determined to help each and every one of our clients realize.

It’s been just under two years since we opened our doors back in April 2016, and we can’t believe how many men and women we’ve helped along their journey toward optimal wellbeing. We believe in helping the body heal itself organically through naturopathic medicine, alleviating physical pain through manual osteopathy and massage therapy. We’re also here to help you relax, unwind, and take your mind off life’s many stresses by offering a variety of therapeutic spa services, because at NEWS, we’re committed to providing services that address the needs of the whole person.

We started out small, but we’re now staffed with over 15 people with a rapidly growing clientele that shows no signs of slowing down! NEWS came about because there was a need in the Niagara community for an elite set of aesthetic services that were health and wellness friendly, and we are the first spa in the area to offer just that. All of our technicians are certified, conscientious, and professional, and we have set the highest standards for manicure and pedicures, facials and laser treatments.

We retail high quality, naturally-based spa products for home use, and we have made sanitation and exemplary client care our foremost priority. Outside our spa, each member of our healthcare team is accredited in his or her respective field. But our staff brings more to the table than just a certificate or degree: their wealth of experience consistently leads them to take a holistic approach to wellness, and you will often find that one practitioner will make referrals to other practitioners within our clinic.

What does NEWS stand for?

Many people ask us this question on a daily basis, so here’s what we’re all about:

Niagara: we are a locally-owned business, and we make every effort to cater to the unique needs of Niagara residents.

Elite: we are a knowledgeable team of experts who offer superior quality service, exceptional client care, and innovative products for purchase.

Wellness: we are dedicated to providing alternative, naturally-based spa treatments that complement our holistic medicine services.

Spa: we love to make our clients feel relaxed, pampered, and beautiful!

We hope you will continue with us on our journey towards health and happiness! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and to check back here at the blog to stay up to date with what’s new at NEWS!

Happy 2018,

NEWS Staff