It's a new year and I couldn't be happier for 2017 to come to an end. There were a lot of highlights in my life in 2017, but also a lot of not so good moments. Each year, each month, each day, each hour is an opportunity to be reborn in alignment of your best self. One of my goals that rolled over from 2017 into 2018 is investing in self...of the mind, of the spirit and of the body. For my body, fitness and self care are high on my list. Going to spas regularly, getting facials, yoga, manis and pedis, treating my natural hair like a plant and all of the above went from once in a blue moon to now rituals.
Earlier this year I traveled to Virginia Beach and couldn't leave without visiting my favorite spa Flowering Almond Spa at Founder's Inn because..self care. There I received a Pure Results Signature facial (my first professional facial), learned I'm a combination skin type, and got a Deep Forest Detox Stone Massage. I plan to go there anytime I'm back in VA, but it also motivated me to find a spa where ever I travel. After returning back to Chicago, I was motivated to find a spa to keep my ritual in full effect. I saw someone I knew from college post a picture on Instagram of her after microdermabrasion glow and her lashes looked amazing. She name dropped Celeste Skin Spa and plugged Cristien Ranney - licensed Esthetician, Certified Lash Artist and the face behind the skin spa. I immediately reached out to Cristien to inquire about her services and booked an appointment. As soon as I walked through her doors, part deux of my self care ritual began.
Going to Celeste Skin Spa was nostalgic for me. It's nestled right in the heart of Wicker Park off 1519 W. Haddon Ave and not far from Young Chicago Authors on Milwaukee where I used to intern in high school. My old stomping grounds. As soon as I opened Cristien's wooden door with "Suite A" printed boldly in the center, I entered into a small but intimate space. My eye became centered to every decor detail in the room - from the gold "hello" welcome statue sitting on the edge of the window, to the mini Succulents sitting next to a small white candle to even her fluffy black pillow laid behind a white pillow with a picture of big bold black eyes, perfect lashes and eye brows on fleek staring right at you. Cristien personalized her suite and made it her own. The mood was set perfectly to cozy vibes and added to the R&R ambiance.
I hopped onto on the spa bed, laid back, closed my eyes and drifted into my third eye. Cristien started off with a Customized Facial. She likes to personalize her facials for each of her clients since we all have our own unique skin type. It felt wonderful getting a facial made specifically for me.
Cristien started off with a cleansing followed by a gentle exfoliation. The warm steam felt like a private sauna for my face and heightened the overall facial experience. I was in an instant state of relaxation. I learned from my first professional facial that steam helps open up your pores.
Two warm pink sponges soaked up my skin as Cristien gently continued my exfoliation in a circular motion. She then prepped my face by removing the cleansing cream to apply the natural enzyme peel.
*Interesting fact* Enzyme peels can speed up natural chemical reaction in the skin that renew skin cells while exfoliating dead cells. Enzymes can diminish scars, age spots, fine lines and discoloration. It can also penetrate deep into the skin to cleanse pores, improve texture and skin tone.
At this point, my face already felt rejuvenated and we were only half way into the facial. Cristien did a few extractions - the unfortunate woes of having oil glands on our face. Then she used a high frequency tool which kills bacteria and reduce inflammation for healthier, glowing and acne free skin. Honestly, the sound of the electric current running through the tool was intimidating. Don't let the sound fool you. The softness of the smooth glass surface and the gentle circular motion puts your nerves at ease and back into a calming frame of mind.
*Interesting Fact* Cristien worked in the medical field as a Phlebotomist. She took her medical knowledge from her previous job and applied it to her passion for skin care. She has been practicing as a licensed Esthetician and a Certified Lash Artist for 3 years now.
My facial concluded with a skin brightening fleece mask infused with a serum. The serum contains gentle skin lightening ingredients that hydrate and rebuild freshly exfoliated skin. This my friends, is highly recommended, especially if you live in a city like me where you endure cold winter months and need to put moisture back into your skin.
*Pro Tip* What I love about Cristien is that she's extremely detailed and takes her time. My facial lasted an hour. Make sure to book a facial with Cristien on a day you're not in a hurry.
Now that my face felt and looked amazing. It was time for some lash love. I told Cristien I was nervous to try lash extensions so she offered an alternative - a lash lift and tint. Good news is, she said I have naturally long lashes and I didn't really need extensions.
The lash lift is a new take on the traditional, old-fashioned lash perm. A protective pad is used to cover the under eye area and hold down the bottom lashes. Cristien then uses curved silicon pads that are glued to the eyelid and the top lashes are lifted and glued to the pad to curve the shape of your lashes. I'll admit, the perm solution has a strong odor, but doesn't cause irritation to the eye as it's thoroughly cleaned after sitting on the lashes for 10 minutes. You may experience a couple quick stings when opening your eyes, but completely bearable. The overall lash lift process takes 30 - 45 minutes and the lash tint takes 20 minutes. Both are completely worth it as it lasts 8 weeks. If you have crazy, criss cross eyelashes like me that need some tender loving care, I highly recommend the lash lift.
As soon as Cristien handed me the mirror to see the finished product, I jolted with excitement and shouted a few "Oh My God's" because wow, my lashes looked amazing. They were curled to perfection and the tint was the cherry on top. I'll definitely be back for a second round.
Overall I highly recommend both services. I saw an automatic difference right after my facial. My skin was brighter and hydrated. The ultimate glow up. I look forward to my next lash lift, trying the microdermabrasion, and adding serums and skin peels to my daily skin care regimen.
Thanks so much to Cristien at Celeste Skin Spa for the amazing services! If you’re interested in learning more about the services she provides, feel free to check out her website here. Or send her a DM on Instagram. She’s really responsive :)
*CELESTE SKIN SPA PROVIDED ALL SERVICES COMPLIMENTARY. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.