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Review of $59 Photo Facial at Serena Spa

So how good could a facial that usually costs upwards of $150 or more be at $59?? In a word…Good.

First let’s explain a little bit about a Photo Facial or IPL for the uninitiated.? It is a laser treatment that can remove sunspots, sun damage, age spots, redness.? It can even out skin tone and is said to improve wrinkles.? IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light.

I went for sunspots(because I hate to call them age spots) and to even out my skin tone.? Normally it takes about 5 treatments spaced 3-4 weeks apart to see results.? It can cost from $150 -$300 per treatment.? It is done in doctor’s offices also, however it is legal for an aesthetician to perform the procedure.

I’ve been looking at the website for this particular spa for a while.? Now that I live in NYC it was very convenient for me to try them out.? I looked online for reviews and found 2, one very negative & the other positive.? I thought I would see for myself.

Location: Centrally located at 127o Bdwy at 32nd St, in the heart of Herald Square and at the tip of Koreatown.? As such this is an Asian spa.? It is on the 5th floor of a large office bldg.

Layout and ambience:? At $59 you know this is a no frills type of place, however it was freshly painted, nicely decorated and very clean.? It’s small, with a reception area and treatment room with 2 tables separated by a curtain.? There was no other clients there when I was there.? It there were it might have been a bit tight.? There was no “receptionist” per se; the woman who checked me in also performed the facial.? I’ve found this sort of arrangement at many a small spa, some that charge double or triple the price.? It doesn’t bother me at all.? The woman who worked on me was very sweet, polite and accomodating.

Treatment:? Many places that do an IPL do not do a complete facial treatment with it.? They just use the laser and then you are done.? Not so here.? You?get a complete facial with deep cleansing, extractions and mask after the laser plus a little massage on hands and arms.? It was a decent facial with a medium amount of time spent doing the IPL treatment.? I have had other IPLs, some a bit longer some about the same.? Whether this was a sufficient amount of time with become evident after my 5th treatment when I will see whether the spots are gone or not.? The only thing I did not like about the treatment is that after the IPL, they did not remove the heavy gel substance with damp towel.? It was only wiped off with a dry cotton pad.? As that gel, necessary for the laser to work, is very thick, I did not like the feeling of only wiping it off.? Right after that a peeling mask was applied.? It was a cooling mask which was refreshing after the laser, but I still would have preferred some water being used to clean my face before it.? I told the aesthetician that and she said she would do that for me next time. The whole procedure took and hour.

Does IPL hurt?:? A little bit.? It’s kind of like a rubber band snapping on your skin.

Results:? I will not know for sure if the sunspots will be gone until about 3 1/2 months from now, however I do know that IPL is very effective in treating this, so I am confident they will be.? As for how my skin looked immediately?afterwards…Reports are good.? I asked a couple of people who had seen me the day before if my skin looked different.? Both said yes, it looked better and more refreshed and wanted to know what I did.? I thought it looked better too.

Would I recommend this spa?? Yes.?? I will definately go back there for more IPL.? Would I go there for just a regular facial.? Probobly not.? I like a little more of a calming ambience for that.? I would also go there for the microdermabrasion and laser hair removal, as they are both also $59.? Plus, if you buy a package of 5 treatments at once the price is $50 each.? You CANNOT beat that with a stick!

Serena Spa
127o Bdway, bet 32nd & 33rd Sts

History was made today

The 1st ever live streaming on the internet NYC?Fashion Week?show just ended.? Ports 1961 showed their Fall 2010 collection at the tents in Bryant Park and online to the world.? It started about a half hour late(not too bad in Fashion? Week time) and lasted about 10 minutes.? It went off technogically without a hitch.?

Tia Cibani did not stray from her basic color schemes.? There were lots of deep chocolate browns, magentas and purples mixed with some brocades.? Alot of shiny fabrics, many cowls back and front and only a smatter of? form fitting?designs.? Flowing soft fabrics mixed with long gloves, knee high boots?and a couple of cloche hats ruled the runway at this show.

Enough of high fashion for today.? Now it’s back to the business of being a tightwad, albeit an elegant one.? I’m off to try a $59 Photo Facial.? How good could this be you ask?? I’m offering up la mia faccia to see.? I’ll let you know tomorrow.? In the meantime remember to SHOP RESPONSIBLY!

Oh here’s a list of those other dates for NYC Fashion Week shows streaming live on the internet:

Saturday, February 13 at 5pm EST
Alexander Wang

Sunday, February 14 at 2pm EST
Calvin Klein Men?s Collection

Monday, February 15 at 8pm EST
Marc Jacobs

Tuesday, February 16 at 12pm EST

Thursday, February 18 at 3pm EST
Calvin Klein Womenswear Collection

Exciting addition to Mercedes Benz NY Fashion Week Fall 2010

I am SO thrilled to pass this particular info on!? Of course The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York City is here again.? It starts today February 11, 2010.? This year?s most EXCITING NEWS is that many shows will be streaming LIVE over the internet.? Yes I said LIVE!? Move over Anna Wintour & Paris Hilton.? Now fashionistas the world wide will be able to see the newest designs from the likes of Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein and Rodarte.? More may follow suit.?

?Here is a list of the New York Fashion Week Fall 2010 shows which will be streaming live over the internet:

Thursday, February 11 at 3pm EST
PORTS 1961

Saturday, February 13 at 5pm EST
Alexander Wang

Sunday, February 14 at 2pm EST
Calvin Klein Men’s Collection

Monday, February 15 at 8pm EST
Marc Jacobs

Tuesday, February 16 at 12pm EST

Thursday, February 18 at 3pm EST
Calvin Klein Womenswear Collection

Check back here after 4pm?? I will tell you all about the PORTS 1961 show.? Over the next week I will also be reporting on the shows I?ve attended in person too!

Sample Sales 101

December is here and brrrrr, it?s cold outside.? Bundle up to visit those sample sales.? And of course tis the season for sample sales?lots & lots of them.? December is the biggest month of the year for these, one of our favorite forms of shopping in New York.

What is a sample sale?? So glad you asked!

At least twice a year, spring & fall, designers & manufacturers create a new line of clothing. In order to sell these new designs to department stores & boutiques a sample line is manufactured for the salesmen & showrooms to show to buyers.? As the garment industry works six months in advance of the stores, the fall line is created in the preceding spring & the spring line is created in the preceding fall.? So..When the fall season is upon us the manufacturers are through with their fall samples.? All the clothes for that season has been sold, cut, manufactured & shipped to the stores. What do they do with this sample line?? They offer it to us, the consumer, at sample sales.

In the past,? ALL of these sales were referred to as a ?true sample sales?, meaning they offered only the sample line.? A sample line is created in only one size, hence only one size of cl.? This is more times than not, NOT the case currently.? Most sample sales nowadays will stock all the sizes that that particular line carries.

?How can this be, if samples only come in one size?? So glad you asked!

Now most sample sales will also offer ?overstock?.

What is overstock? So glad you blah, blah, blah!

Overstock is the merchandise a company will manufacture over and above what they need to fill their orders.? Why would they do that you ask?? Ok, so you didn?t ask.? I?ll tell ya anyway.? If a store sells out of an item & wants more, the manufacturer doesn?t have the time cut & sew it on the spot.? They have to have it ready to ship.? Hence, overstock.? What ever of that is not sold can go into the sample sale.

So if you see an advertisement that says this is a ?true sample sale? you?ll know it will offer only one size.? Make sure you find out what size that company?s samples are made in, so you don?t waste your time.

Some good sales happening this week

alice + olivia Sample Sale Up To 70% Off?

12/8/2009 – 12/11/2009?? Tue-Fri 8am-8pm

?80 W. 40th St.? (btwn. 5th & 6th Aves.)? 2nd Floor?? (212) 840-0887

12/4-12/9 Theory women’s sample sale… 261 W. 36th St., nr. Seventh Ave., second fl. (212-947-8748); F (11-7), S-Su (11-5), M-W (11-7).

Stop back to get the skinny on how to find the best sample sales, how to get the best deals at those sample sales and most importantly, how to hide the new purchases from your hubby! ( Oh sure like you?ve never done it!)

And remember?PLEASE shop responsibly!