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Beauty Roadtest: Mystique Beauty

Jessica Schumann

It’s common knowledge just how harsh Canberra’s cold, dry winter weather can be on our skin. From cracked heels to shabby cuticles to a dehydrated t-zone, there’s only so many DIY home treatments you can do before it’s time to invest in the help of the experts… especially when that first frost arrives and the effort to maintain that supple, dewy look becomes harder and harder.

The good news is there is less than a week until spring arrives, so it’s time to get your skin glowing and radiant…and that’s just what our latest beauty roadtest is designed to do.

Mystique Beauty’s ‘top to toe’ package combines a rehydration facial, manicure and pedicure to get your body ready to slough off its winter cocoon; and I was only too happy to put my body on the line to test it out.

PUT YOUR BEST FACE FORWARD

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Before and After Jess’ rehydration facial

 

Canberra’s winter climate often leaves our skin dry, itchy and in need of hydration. And while I love the fashion winter brings with it, sporting dry scaly skin is not a look I’m willing to rock.

So when I was put under the “spotlight” for a closer look, I wasn’t at all surprised when salon owner, Karla Palombi, told me just how dehydrated my skin was – especially around my t-zone. Add to that being pregnant and you can guarantee your skin is fighting an uphill battle.

The answer? A one-hour rehydration facial* to restore some of the much needed moisture that makes your skin look smooth, plump and more radiant.

“Regular facials are important as they increase circulations of the blood under the skin allowing it optimal health to facilitate the renewal of skin cells,” explains Karla.

“The power of touch, massage, proper technique and professional products allow you not only to relax but to have radiant glowing skin.

Up on the table I hop and settle in for an hour of restoration, pampering and my first introduction to Environ products, considered to be “among the best in the world” because of its skin healing and rejuvenating benefits.

“Keeping your skin hydrated externally as well as internally is fundamental towards anti-ageing and keeping the skin healthy,” says Karla.

“When the skin is well hydrated, it is more plump and resilient. To maintain this, it’s important to have regular facials and a good skincare routine.”

After my close up (checking my skin), my face is treated to a pre-cleanse to wash away any excess “dirt” (aka product) before a deep cleanse, a revivial exfoliant masque treatment and a hydrating moisturiser is applied using the Environ Avst range (full of vitamin A and a variety of antioxidants, flavonoids and peptides – all of which Karla explains upon the first application)*.

Karla says that while most over the counter exfoliants include microbeads or some form of abrasive scrub, the Environ Avst exfoliant doesn’t.

“It’s an alpha hydroxy gel that uses fruit acids to help refine the visibly rough and sun damaged skin, as well as intense hydrating ingredients and a fine clay that absorbs excess oils.”

“Rather than feel scratchy and coarse across your skin you’ll notice a tingle which means the active ingredients are doing their thing.”

The rehydration facial finishes with a head, hand and arm massage before my blissful hour comes to an end and I leave with a dewy fresh face, beautiful tamed brows and long luscious lashes that have been tinted (perfect for those days when you don’t want to wear makeup).

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I can’t say I was surprised at the results, purely because I had no doubt at just how dehydrated, tired and dull my skin had become ­– which is exactly why the rehydration skin treatment was perfect.

NEED A HELPING HAND(S)?

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Now, it was on to the hands. I love a good mani – add to that Bio Sculpture Gel nails and I’m in heaven. I love the natural look of the Bio Sculpture Gel not to mention that it doesn’t damage my nails, unlike acrylic and Shellac. Instead it does the opposite – it strengthens, conditions and promotes nail growth. And because it is soaked, not buffed, off your natural nail remains intact whereas acrylic often requires lots of buffing (and white dust residue) because a primer or bonder is used during application, and can damage the nail bed while leaving it thin.

Karla is just one of a handful that offers the ‘real deal’ Bio Sculpture Gel in Canberra – it lasts for three to four weeks depending on your nail growth and don’t require infills if you prefer to keep up the maintenance.

If you opt for the upkeep of Bio Sculpture, Karla prefers the “Soak Off” treatment which includes wrapping each nail in cotton balls soaked in an acetone based solution and wrapped in aluminium foil with a heat pack placed over the top to soften the gel. This is then followed by a new application (all of which takes no more than an hour whether it’s your first or eighth visit), and dependent upon whether you want colour or a French manicure, of course. The result? A handful (or two) of well kept beautiful nails…

Acrylic nails, on the other hand, generally last only two weeks before they become easy to damage, while Shellac is much the same requiring a special treatment process to remove the colour…so you can see why I prefer Bio Sculpture Gel.

TWINKLE TOES

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My least favourite thing about winter is the fact that my toes and feet are bundled up in socks, tights and boots for a good four to five months of the year, which means cracked heels and neglected tootsies that I fear showing to the world once daylight savings kicks in.

Karla’s one hour deluxe pedicure is absolute heaven and nothing like those quick pedicures you experience in the shopping mall chain stores. This one is luxurious.

Nestled in one of the Mystique treatment rooms, I kick back and relax in a beautiful big recliner while my (very) neglected feet are pampered to a warm soak that softens the cuticles before they are pushed back and my nails trimmed. This is followed by a half leg and foot exfoliant massage with a fruity sugar scrub that smells so good you want to eat it, (though it’s not recommended).

Once the scrub is washed away, it’s time for my favourite part. Both my feet are cocooned in warm paraffin wax to soften up those cracked heels and revitalise my hard working feet (after all they are carrying around a little extra weight at the moment). Left for about five to 10 minutes, the pedicure finishes with a buff and polish of my choice… I opt for a sexy red to match my Bio Sculpture Gel nails.

But before you think a mani and pedicure is just another indulgent expense that you can’t afford, keep in mind that both can have multiple health benefits. From reducing the appearance of wrinkles and keeping your hands smooth to treating your cuticles to promote stronger and healthier nail growth, Karla adds “Hand and foot massages increase blood flow which decreases any aches or pains and relieves tension in the body.

“While removing callouses on the bottom of your feet not only makes them more attractive but helps you to distribute your weight more evenly, which can reduce leg and back pain after standing for long periods.”

So you see, the benefits of pampering yourself throughout the year really are more than skin deep, and now you have the perfect place to treat yourself too!

*For those who are pregnant and seeking a facial, the minimal amount of Vitamin A in the product used throughout the facial is safe, however, it never hurts to enquire about the product-base before your treatment.

the essentials

What: Mystique Beauty
Where: 109 Anthony Rolfe Avenue, Gungahlin
When: Tuesday 9am-5.30pm; Wednesday and Thursday 10am-8pm; Friday 9am-5.30pm; and Saturday 9am-2pm
Phone: (02) 6242 4542
Web: Find Mystique Beauty on Facebook.

The author received a complimentary one-hour rehydration facial; a deluxe pedicure; Bio Sculpture Gel manicure; eyelash tint and brow wax and tint for the purpose of this review, however all opinions remain her own.

This review complies with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission’s guidelines on Online ReviewsRead our Sponsored Post Policy if you would like more information.

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Jessica Schumann

A 'rambling ranga' at heart, Jessica Schumann is a bubbly, creative social thinker who thrives on words, social media and an innate knack for sharing stories. When she finds the time to write, Jessica seeks out the beauty in change and the essence of human condition. Varied and diverse in nature, her writing delves into the enviable world of people, travel, food and culture. When you can't find her in a nook writing, just follow your nose and you’ll soon find Jessica indulging in her other passion – cooking – or curled up on the couch with a good book in hand. You can find her over at ramblingranga.com.au. More about the Author

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