The down low on IPL

Unwanted hair you just don’t know what to do with it? Shaving is a hassle. Waxing hurts. Why not try IPL?

What the heck is IPL, you ask? It is an intense pulse light (IPL) machine. It is most commonly used to remove unwanted hair. It can also be used to treat a number of cosmetic conditions such as improving skin tone, improve skin texture and reduce age spots. Read on to find out more, and if this doesn’t answer all your questions,  please  contact us  here.

 

 

How does it work?

The IPL machine emits very small amplitude wavelength light through a crystal sapphire head. The light penetrates deep into the skin reaching all the way to the inner layer (known as the subcutaneous layer or hypodermis).

This deep penetration provides a mechanism for reaching unwanted structures within the skin, such as hair follicles, clogged glands (causing acne), veins, and pigmentation.

The colour of the structures (such as the red in veins, or pigmentation in hair or freckles) attracts and absorbs light of different wavelengths depending on the colour.

So basically, for all of us that are not scientists, the IPL machine emits light directly to an area, which reaches the inner layer of skin.

What do the machines do?

There are a number of different machines which all treat different things.

 

 

Vascular lesions are used to treat spider and thread veins. The light pulses from the IPL machine target red-pigment in the blood which heats and changes pigment without affected the skin tissue itself.

Pigmented lesions treat age spots, freckles, flat-pigmented birthmarks and a number of other skin tone differences. Light pulses are targeted at the melanin in the skins surface, which heats and destroys pigment.

And of course, the hair removal machines. Light pulses into the hair follicle causing the hair to fall out and prevent further growth. It can be used on nearly every part of the body.

Before an IPL session?

Listen to everything that your practitioner tells you. But a few common things that you should know is… It is advised you don’t tan up for a month before your session. Being heavily exposed to the sun will increase the health dangers. Also, make sure your hairs are either shaven or very short, if they are long they can heat up and be rather painful. Ouch!

What does a normal procedure involve?

Like any beauty treatment, make sure you find someone you know and trust. After you have picked a salon you will first have a consultation to go over exactly what you want, they will do a test patch on your skin and then, if you are suited for IPL, if your skin does not react negatively and if you are still wanting to go ahead with the treatment then you move forward in the procedure. Remember, like anything, at any stage it is never too late to change your mind!

The first stage of the session will go through safety procedures. Any cooling gels being used will be prepared, and if you are being treated in a sensitive area, an anesthetic cream may be applied. Since the skin can get rather warm during the treatment, a cooling gel is sometimes applied; some machines also have a chilled tip on the wand. The procedure can then begin. Your practitioner will apply the hand-held wand of the IPL machine, from which the light is delivered, to the surface of your skin. Bursts of light will travel from the wand to your skin. The light travels through your skin until it reaches a hair, in which it can target the pigment or melanin. The hair and its follicle (root) heat up and are destroyed.

 

 

 

This happens extremely quickly, and you feel a stinging or tingling sensation, the intensity of which will of course vary from person to person. It is usually described as uncomfortable rather than painful. Depending on the size of the area being treated, one IPL hair removal session can take anything from ten minutes to an hour.

What happens after?

If all goes well, IPL hair removal should need very little recovery and you should be able to return to work as usual straight away.

You may be given an antiseptic cream to apply, as the skin can be quite tender afterwards. It is also advised that you keep out of the sun for at least twenty-four hours, and for a few days afterwards it is best to apply a high factor sun block to the treated area if you do.

It is normal for your skin to go a little red and sore, or to swell a little, but this should subside after a day or two. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, such as blistering, intense swelling, infection, or if it is very painful, be sure to contact your practitioner immediately.

Are there any side effects?

As like every treatment there are possible side effects. These can include burns, scars and light damage. Make sure you know both the risks and rewards before you commit to IPL.

Brazilian or Bikini Waxing

#askFlossie

OMG they’re going to see my fanny!

Well yes, that’s part of this treatment. But you know what? As my waxer assures me – she has seen it ALL before. No, you don’t have the hairiest one ever. Or the ugliest or any other pet concern you have about your vagina.

So with that out of the way – let’s get you educated on what you can expect.

Regardless if it is a Brazilian or bikini wax you are after, Flossie.com is the perfect place to start the search for the best beauty or waxing salon and the best waxing offer. We also encourage you to look at trying something new… perhaps a Brazilian wax if you’ve never had one before? If you have a question we haven’t answered about waxing then please contact us and we’ll add to our guide.

What is a brazilian wax?

A Brazilian wax is the term given to a completely hairless pubic area. The brazilian waxing process removes all your pubic hair (front and back). It’s obviously a very intimate process and should be performed by an experienced beauty therapist in a reputable beauty salon. It is considered a little painful, but nothing in comparison to childbirth ladies! Nothing to be afraid of here.

What is a bikini wax?

A bikini wax is the process of using hot or cold wax to remove the hair from your bikini area and is more conservative then a Brazilian wax. It involves removing the hair to just inside the underwear/swimsuit line (also known as the bikini line). Hair removal is limited to the front of your body – and does not include the legs, abdomen or buttocks.

What other types of waxing are there?

A French wax involves taking all or most of the pubic hair in the front (leaving a small strip known as a “landing strip”) and the hair in the middle, but leaves the hair in the back. French waxing is a style of bikini wax.

A Hollywood wax removes all the pubic hair – front, middle and back and is a term used to describe what most of us think as a full Brazilian wax. It can also be called a Playboy wax, a G-string wax or American waxing.

The European wax removes all hair except for a small patch on the mound. The Triangle wax removes all hair except for a trimmed triangle with the lower point aimed at the genitals (like an arrowhead pointing down to your pleasure zones!) You can also get The Moustache, with everything removed except for a wide, rectangular patch just above the hood at the top of the genitals. The Heart wax will leave you with the main pubic tuft shaped as a heart (and can be dyed pink!) This is particular popular on Valentines Day and for weddings. Each to their own, we say!

As you can see, there are many shapes and patterns to choose from, so ensure that you have a chat to your beauty therapist about which one will work for you!

Why should I get a Brazilian or bikini wax done?

To be frank – you should get a brazilan wax because it increases the sensitivity of your nether-regions and the enjoyment of your sex life! Some women also prefer it as can be cleaner and more hygienic.

If you choose to get either a Brazilian or a bikini-type wax, you can wear togs or lingerie without the fear of stray strands escaping as the soft hairless skin lasts for much longer than if you shave. You also avoid the stubble and rashes that you get when shaving, and the hair really does grow back thinner and more sparsely than if you shave.

How long does a Brazilian or bikini wax last?

It depends on you and your hair! Most salons say come in every 4 weeks to maximise the benefits. However you may only need to come in every 5 or 6 weeks if you have very slow growing hair. You should experience total hairlessness for about 1-1.5 weeks, followed by soft, slow growing hair that comes through for the next few weeks.

The more regularly you come, the less painful it becomes as the hair cycles all get in sync, so they are waxed off at the same time.

Does getting a Brazilian or bikini wax hurt?

Yes it does. The first time is the most painful, but it really does hurt less each time (we aren’t just saying that!) This is because the first time you have much more hair and at a longer length then if you get waxed regularly.

If you are worried about the pain, you can take a pain killer about an hour before your appointment. It is important to note that the week before and after your period you are much more sensitive – so try and avoid waxing at this time if you are particularly susceptible to pain.

Are there any side effects? What should I avoid after waxing?

It is normal to have a little bit of redness after the wax, and your skin can be a bit bumpy and sensitive, but from the next day it should be silky smooth on the areas you have had waxed.

You should leave the area alone for at least 5-10 hours (so if you have an afternoon wax, no hanky-panky that night!). Avoid the sun immediately after waxing and wear sunscreen if you are going to be exposing your recently waxed area to the sun. Avoid heavy exercise for at least 10 hours (you don’t want sweat getting into the sensitive pores) and avoid other steamed sources like saunas and steam rooms for at least 48 hours.

How do I prepare for a Brazilian or bikini wax?

The hair should be at least a quarter of an inch long (about half cm) and you should start exfoliating daily in the week leading up to your wax to minimise the chance of ingrown hairs, and increase your smoothness for longer!

Ensure you are well-hydrated and drinking lots of water in the lead up to your appointment. Dehydration increases the the amount of pain you feel and can also lead to bleeding.

The day of your appointment, shower as normal but do not apply any location to your vaginal area (you want the wax to stick to the hairs not the lotion) and wear comfortable loose clothing.

How long does getting a Brazilian or bikini wax take?

 

The pain is short and sharp, and your beauty therapist should have you out within 30 minutes. However if you have more hair then usual, or it is your first time it may take longer, so ensure you have enough time!

Experienced beauty therapists are fast (which means less pain for you) and can do large areas at once.

What is the procedure for a Brazilian or bikini wax?

Each salon is different – but that basic produce should be about the same. Upon entering the room you will find a little waxing package, usually made up of a towel, vaginal wipe and a throwaway string G-string.

Strip of your bottom half and give yourself a quick clean with the vaginal wipe. Pop on the G-string (if they have one) and lay down on the bed with the towel covering you.

Feel free to chat as little or much as you want during the procedure – and remember your beauty therapist is experienced in this so try and relax and have a giggle if you can! Your beauty therapist will discuss with you whether you want a Brazilian wax, a bikini wax, a Hollywood wax, if you wish to leave a landing strip, having it all bare, tidy the edges etc.

How much does it cost?

A basic Bikini tidy up costs from $15 – $40.

A first time Brazilian usually costs from $60 – $80. Regular maintenance (under 6 weeks) usually drops the price to about $40 – $70) and many salons offer regular wax packages.

How to…treatments

We know that sometimes getting new treatments done can be a little scary. So we’ve complied a series of handy guides that should give you confidence about what you’re going to get done.

Here are our first ones:

Each week we’ll be adding more guides – do let us know if there are some you’d like to see! Just click here to contact us!

Nails

Manicure & Pedicure Information Guide

In order to really nail it, Flossie.com are here to answer all your questions about manicures and pedicures! If you have any questions, or have anything extra that you would like us to add on this page, please contact us here.

What is a manicure?

A manicure is a cosmetic beauty treatment for the fingernails and hands, usually performed in a salon. A standard manicure usually involves the filing and shaping of the nails and application of polish. Your hands are usually soaked in a softening substance and have land lotion applied. The cuticles are then pushed back with a cuticle pusher to create an even nail, at which time the nail is polished and buffed with a polishing board.

There are a variety of finishes you can have once your nails are ready to be painted ranging from a single layer of nail polish to various nail art designs, a French manicure, or even acrylic nails or Gel nails. Your manicure should only be carried out by trained nail professionals.

What is a pedicure?

A pedicure is a cosmetic beauty treatment for the toenails and feet, usually performed in a salon.

It is very similar to a manicure, and can help prevent nail diseases and nail disorders. Dead skin cells on the bottom of feet are rubbed off using a pumice stone, and leg care below the knee is now usually a part of the pedicure procedure. Leg care can include hair removal via shaving or waxing followed by exfoliation, application of moisturisers and a brief leg massage. Your pedicure should only be carried out by trained nail professionals.

Are there different kinds of manicures and pedicures?

Of course! Manicures and pedicures came in a range of shapes and sizes, just like your nails! You can opt for simple salon and get a trim, buff & polish (perhaps with an Essie nail polish?) or go for something more extravagant like a full spa manicure and get yourself a Shellac manicure or perhaps an OPI shatter manicure?

Pedicures tend to come in basic and deluxe packages and are available at all the same spas and salons that manicures are.

How long does it take to get a manicure or pedicure?

An express manicure or pedicure lasts for 30 – 40 minutes, and involves the basic trimming, buffing and colouring of the nails.

 

A standard manicure or pedicure usually lasts for around 45 – 50 minutes and involves the basic trimming, buffing and colouring of the nails plus a little bit of extra love and attention.

A deluxe manicure or pedicure usually lasts an hour, and is truly an experience to remember.

How much does it cost to get a manicure or pedicure?

An express manicure or pedicure can cost from $20 to $50

A deluxe manicure or pedicure can cost from $50 –150

What other types of decoration can I get on my nails?

Minx nails are gaining popularity with celebrities and everyday people alike! They are a special type of nail covering and are not painted on – which gives them limitless style potential. The only downside is that Minx nails only last up to two weeks, unlike other forms of manicures and Shellac, Colour Gloss or gel nails that can last up to 4 weeks. They must be applied by a trained nail professional.

 

Shellac nails are the new kid on the block, and have been one of the most popular type of nail applications in the last few years. They last up to 2 weeks without loosing their shine or shimmer and are super hard, so they don’t scratch or smudge. An easy ten step process is used to apply the Shellac nails.

  • 1 thin layer of shellac base coat
  • 10 seconds of curing in a UV lamp
  • 1 thin layer of shellac color coat
  • 2 minutes of curing in a UV lamp
  • 2nd layer of shellac color coat
  • 2 minutes of curing in a UV lamp
  • 1 thin layer of shellac top coat
  • 2 final minutes of curing in a UV lamp
  • Wipe nails done with 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • Apply solar oil to nails

What is the procedure to get a manicure or pedicure?

For a manicure, you will be asked to remove all rings watches, bracelets etc. For both a manicure and pedicure you will now choose whether you want a French manicure (very popular) or to have a colour applied, like and OPI colour or perhaps a shatter nail polish.

 

If you are interested in getting nail designs applied you should ask your nail technician at this stage what types they have and discuss your options. Your nails will then be filed – a good salon or spa will ask you which shape you prefer – and buffed and the colour or nail art you have chosen will be applied.

A spa manicure or pedicure will be a bit more extravagant with your hands typically being soaked, and your hands, wrist and lower arms will then be exfoliated and massaged before your hands are dried off and finished with the polish or nail art.

Some spas and salons may charge extra if you wish to have a French manicure or pedicure, so ensure you know clarify what you want at the beginning.

Massage

Having a massage appointment at a beauty salon or spa may sound indulgent but in reality it can be just as important as any other healthy habit in your wellness routine.

A massage is more then just a way to pamper yourself. The therapeutic benefits enabling your body to function better. Scientists even believe that deep healing massage triggers the release of certain chemicals in the body that can help combat illness and speed up recovery.

 

 

It also helps you relax, relieve tension and de-stress. But, that’s not to say you can’t have a massage just because you want to! There are so many options of massages and we here at Flossie have a bunch of questions covered about what the heck any of them are! Read on, and if we haven’t answered any of your questions then feel free to contact us and we will add to our guide!

Massage & Scrub Guide FAQs

What is a massage?

Technically, a massage is the rubbin and kneading of muscles and joints of the body with the hands, mainly to relieve tension or pain. Those of you who have had one though know it is much much more then that! Depending on what type on massage you get, depends on the type of techniques that will be used.

What are the most popular massages and what makes them different? 

1) Swedish Massage Therapy

During a Swedish massage the massage therapists use long smooth strokes, kneading, and circular movements on superficial layers of muscle using massage lotion or oil. Swedish massage therapy can be very gentle and relaxing and if you’ve never had massage before, this is a good one to try first.

2) Aromatherapy Massage

Aromatherapy massage is massage therapy with the addition of one or more scented plant oils called essential oils to address specific needs. The massage therapist can select oils that are relaxing, energizing, stress reducing, balancing, etc. This style of massage is particularly suited to stress-related conditions or conditions with an emotional component.

3) Hot Stone Massage

One of our most popular on Flossie.com, this style of massage uses heated, smooth stones that are placed on certain points on the body to warm and loosen tight muscles and balance energy centres in the body. The massage therapist may also hold stones and apply gentle pressure with them. The warmth is comforting. Hot stone massage is good for people who have muscle tension but prefer lighter massage.

 

 

 4) Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage targets the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue. The massage therapist uses slower strokes or friction techniques across the grain of the muscle.

Deep tissue massage is used for chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems, or recovery from injury. People often feel sore for one to two days after deep tissue massage.

5) Shiatsu

Shiatsu is a form of Japanese bodywork that uses localized finger pressure in a rhythmic sequence on acupuncture meridians. Each point is held for two to eight seconds to improve the flow of energy and help the body regain balance. People are normally pleasantly surprised when they try shiatsu for the first time. It is relaxing yet the pressure is firm, and there is usually no soreness afterwards.

6) Thai Massage

Thai massage aligns the energies of the body using gentle pressure on specific points. Thai massage also includes compressions and stretches. You don’t just lie there, the therapist moves and stretches you into a sequence of postures. It’s like yoga without doing any work. Thai massage is more energizing than other forms of massage. It is also reduces stress and improves flexibility and range of motion.

7) Pregnancy Massage

Also called prenatal massage, pregnancy massage is becoming increasingly popular with expectant mothers. Massage therapists who are certified in pregnancy massage know the proper way to position and support the woman’s body during the massage, and how to modify techniques. Pregnancy massage is used to reduce stress, decrease swelling, relieve aches and pains, and reduce anxiety and depression. The massage is customized to a woman’s individual needs. 

 

  

8) Reflexology

Although reflexology is sometimes called foot massage, it is more than simple foot massage. Reflexology involves applying pressure to certain points on the foot that correspond to organs and systems in the body. Reflexology is very relaxing, especially for people who stand on their feet all day or just have tired, achy feet.

9) Chinese Massage

Chinese massage is one of the techniques of traditional Chinese medicine based on qi – which is believed to be the vital energy or force that animates living beings. Qi flows through meridians, pathways on the surface of the body that also connect internally to vital organs. For Chinese massage, you need not remove your clothing. Depending on the area to be massaged, you may be asked to lie down on a massage table or sit in a massage chair. The therapist will first massage your muscles using a variety of massage movements, including compression, kneading, rubbing, pressing and percussion.

10) Back Massage and Head Massage

Some massage clinics, beauty salons and spas offer short back massages and/or head massages. These types of massages are not usually done for therapeutic reasons, they are more for a quick pamper session, usually lasting about 30 minutes.