Favorite Facials

Um, Hi. I am way overdue on any kind of blog post, and I apologize for a ridiculously long delay. I have been so busy I can't believe it's already mid-April. Lord, help us all. Tax day was today and it's only fitting I forget about the negative and focus on the positive and share all good things with you - like spa days :)

If you follow me on Instagram you know I am OBSESSED with skincare and facials. I have so many friends, family and clients ask me about all things skin because well, I literally will and have tried it all. 

The beginning of the year I did a chemical peel for the first time ever and Oh My Gosh... I loved and hated it. It was a very uncomfortable process in the fact it felt like I had an extreme sunburn. The reason why is because it is a very potent Skinceuticals Advanced Corrective chemical peel filled with 3 major acids: 14% salicylic acid, 14% lactic acid, and 10% phenyl ethyl resorcinol. This peel is meant to retexture, diminish underlying pigment/discoloration and smooth pores. Basically in this process Susan, (my WONDERFUL friend and trusted aesthetician), swiped a textured cotton pad doused in these acids across my face "aggressively" 4 times. I say aggressively in quotes because she didn't do it meanly, but in order to see results you can't be gentle. It didn't hurt at all. It really felt and smelled like if you rubbed nail polish remover on your skin - not bad, just dry and smelly. After you feel like super sunburn, but it's okay. It goes away within a couple hours and your skin feels really tight. The next morning my skin was so blotchy due to the acids lifting so much underlying pigment from my good ol' sun worshipping days. After about 2 days my skin started lifting - all that old pigment and discoloration had lifted to the surface of my skin and started flaking off. People had told me it would happen in big strips of skin flaking, but that wasn't my case. I just had it slough off gradually. All in all, it probably took a full week to go back to normal from start to finish... So, I tell you all the gross and "bad" stuff to now tell you how amazing it was. My skin has never been changed so much like it did with this peel. It truly has lasted so long. Today is April 17th - I got the peel done January 3.. I still see results like no other. Now, I did do a series of laser treatments last year - which I will get into next - but, the peel is life changing. If you're interested at all in doing a clinical treatment DO THE PEEL. Get through the worst part and you will literally love your skin. I did break out a bit after, but I expected that because it literally purges your skin of all things bad. Seriously, I have a continuous glow and I swear it seals your pores perfectly. Actually, now that I've written this post I want to contact Susan right now and book another before Summer. 

Okay, laser treatments. Last year I saved up for my 28 birthday (I'm 29 now) and bought myself a series of 3 Clear & Brilliant laser treatments. If you receive one.. ehhh, okay. But 3 is the magic number. The laser treatments are my most favorite correcting treatment. Why? Because before I had a laser treatment I considered myself oily, after 3 sessions I now consider my skin normal. I don't overproduce oil and I don't have texture like I used to. The Clear & Brilliant also is amazing at removing pigment and discoloration, however I have to say the peel amazed me at this - probably because you physically see the dark spots flake off. The C&B made my skin sooooo smooth and radiant. I asked Susan one day "How do I get JLO skin" and she replied with the solution which was this series of laser treatments and I got just that. (I'm also low-key obsessed with JLO.. I have been since she was a fly girl... another story, for another day.) Your skin with the C&B will become grainy feeling and bumpy and within 2-3 days completely slough off and renew into beautiful radiant skin. No one will see your graininess, it's only you who will know - so you don't look like a monster face falling off quite like the peel. I did one laser treatment, post peel, in February and I will tell you I didn't see the biggest difference the last time ONLY because I see Susan regularly for dermaplaning treatments and she has truly changed my skin for the better, I think I'm finally at a place where I have completely redefined my skin and made it brand new. It's recommended to do the C&B 1-2x a year.. but she takes such good care of me, I seriously use everything she says and my skin is the best it's ever been - She is the reason I have such great skin and a perfect glow. However, that will not stop me from getting them, because since I have done so many treatments and she has rid me of all the repercussions of my old bad habits, I am now on the road of maintenance after reversing all my sun damage completely. But, because I'm an addict - I won't stop doing these treatments basically, is what I'm saying. Especially post Summer - OMG! You have no idea how a teensy bit of sun can completely change your skin, texture and all.. long term too. 

Dermaplaning is MY FAVORITE THING OF ALL TIME. I started doing derma planing when my husband and I were first married and lived in Richmond, VA. I was really poor and saved up $85 every 8 weeks and treated myself to this one thing. I have been obsessed ever since. It wasn't until I met Susan that I realized just how amazing the dermaplane treatment could be. I loved it before, but she added the cherry on top by introducing me to the dermaplane trio. The trio is the dermaplane service itself, which is basically taking a blade to your face and exfoliating very precisely any dead skin and hair and it's the greatest facial treatment of all time. After the dermaplane Susan does a light peel, usually lactic acid - which isn't harsh or uncomfortable, but an extra bit of exfoliation and then she seals your skin with the cryogen ball. THE BEST PART. Basically a little ball similar to dry ice wrapped in gauze and rolled over your skin and it feels sooo amazing. It also will zap any bacteria on your skin or any blemishes you may have or soon to come up will completely vanish after using this. It's SO incredible. Dermaplaning is the easiest and least uncomfortable out of the 3, but hands down my most favorite service to get. Probably because it's instant results with no down time. 

I think that's it, other than the typical relaxing facial. I do want to try a hydra facial some time... and I am doing cool sculpting next week - can't wait! I have done one session on my stomach in August and HOLY COW, that treatment is phenomenal. I will write a whole post on that because I was very skeptical but cool sculpting is such a great treatment. 

If you're in the Knoxville area call my friend Susan Buchanan of Aesthetic Skin Solutions. She is so knowledgable and so sweet I love spending time with her. I know this seemed like such a biased post, but it's not. Like I said, I've always been obsessed with skin care but it wasn't until I met my sweet friend Susan that I really understood and got to know what exactly my skin needed. I tell everyone who asks to text/call her and just set up a consultation because she is just incredible and can definitely help you change whatever you want with your skin. Her instagram handle is @aeskinsolutions , her number is listed in her bio.. send her a message/text/call and tell her I sent you and she will take care of you 100%! Let me know if you see her too, I want to know all about your skin journey! It's sooo important to take care of your skin and it's so much cheaper and low maintenance than a full face of makeup. I typically only do cc cream, blush and mascara daily and within 5 minutes I'm out the door and I never worry if I have to run out barefaced because healthy skin is more beautiful than any foundation! 


2018 Skincare Regimen

HELLO! And, Happy 2018! I have been wanting to share this post for awhile now, but I am so glad I waited because I just came across a few gems I am absolutely in love with! I'll breakdown and explain each product I use and why .. Note: I am a diva when it comes to skincare, so you do not have to be as "extra" as me. 


My Daily Skincare Routine:

This product right here is an absolute game-changer. It's an exfoliating clay-based mask that will give you the most radiant complexion ever! I am obsessed with it. I had an Aveda esthetician tell me I should use this no more than twice a week and once it dries to remove it with oil and scrub it on your face for a deeper exfoliation before rinsing. My skin is so radiant after I use this and it feels sooo soft and plump. I don't know what magic this has in it, but I LOVE it. 


Now, this product is great - as well. If I use the skin refiner this is the oil I use to remove and scrub it in with. If I'm not exfoliating, I use that teeny little brush to dry brush. This is a new "ritual" Aveda has out right now - to take 10-15 mins in the morning for yourself. So, you dry brush your skin to lightly exfoliate and then massage in the oil and let it sit. When I was reading reviews on this many people said they let the oils sit on for a few minutes while they did yoga, or drink hot tea, or do your daily devotional.. whatever you choose! I usually wash these oils off because I use other oils throughout my routine that I keep on all day! 


THIS. This cleanser is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE cleanser I have ever used, ever! I am not kidding. I found this in Sephora on a whim one day and bought a travel sized trial pack. OH MY GOSH! I love this so much. It's so cleansing, but also soon hydrating and doesn't make me feel like I've over cleansed any natural oils away. AMAZING! I am not kidding, I love this cleanser. It's suuuuper reasonably priced as well. Jumping on that Korean beauty trend with this one. Plus, a little bit of this foams perfectly so you just feel so fresh afterward. 


Okay, I am a HUGE believer in everyone needs Vitamin C. This is my 2nd container of the Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day serum. I love it, its pretty pricey but I also feel like you get a lot of product in this container though. Vitamin C helps even out skin tone and texture. I do love this serum, however I literally used my last drop this morning before photographing this - so I am going to try out the Dr. Dennis Gross version of his vitamin c serum ... which leads me to my next product. 


Dr. Dennis Gross Eye Creams! Okay, I am 100% being dramatic when I use both of these.. but... I recently listened to a podcast where Dr. Dennis Gross spoke on his background in the industry and how he created his own products and his why. I loved every second of it. I immediately went out and bought his peel pads - which I also use, but I will include that in another post (Night Routine). I also bought the C+Collagen Brighten and Firm eye serum (Orange) but it is somewhat drying - Vitamin C usually is - and days after I purchased this he released the Hyaluronic Marine Dew It All eye serum. Soooo, it was Christmas time and I was really all about the "Treat Yo'self" slogan.. aka I justified everything I wanted. But, I just used a drop of each and mix together to be super dramatic and I have to say, I love both equally. It's the first eye cream I have ever used that I truly feel makes a difference. The C+Collagen Brighten and Firm helps strengthen your skin and rebuild that collagan, as well as brighten and the Hyaluronic Marine Dew It All also does the same BUT is truly, truly hydrating. * I also bring this product down on my laugh lines as well.. you can never be too careful. 

SHOP HERE - C+Collagen Brighten and Firm

SHOP HERE - Hyaluronic Marine Dew it all

This is something new I just started incorporating in. I love oils, so much. I've also heard so many great benefits of Rosehip Seed Oil. It's great for moisturizing, brightening, fading pigmentation or any scars and treating wrinkles. I can't tell you if this product has made a huge difference, but what I can tell you is it's so moisturizing and hydrating but also soaks into your skin so nicely. I found this on amazon and it's only $12. So, I thought - why not? I have an oil addiction as well, and this is my go-to lately. 


Another Aveda product that I swear by. I love this cream. I use it every morning before applying makeup and it's wonderful. It's so lightweight but so hydrating and I love the way Aveda products smell - not all - but all the earthy smells are my favorite. It is perfect over my rosehip seed oil and I love how glowy they make my skin look all day long, without being oily. 

This is my skin without any makeup - but when I had lash extentions, which I miss so badly! I will be getting those put back on. Also, I don't know why my neck looks so red in this picture, but disregard that. I love my skincare routine right now and I feel like I finally have products that each one makes a difference and make me feel beautiful all day long. I'm huge on I would rather go without makeup and have beautiful skin than covering it up. I actually rarely wear makeup anymore because I don't have much time in the mornings and I love being 100% naturally me... just a bit glowy. I did a poll on instagram @claudianicole_hair and 52% beat out 48% for this post to go up - sooo, I'll be doing my hair care regimen next since the poll was so close. Happy New Year and I hope you have a wonderful 2018!