54 Beauty Secrets

54 Beauty Secrets
John Wagner
How do you channel your inner—and outer—beauty? For some, it’s about adornment. Makeup, like fashion, can completely alter the way you look and feel. For others, it’s an hour of silence at a spa, restoring a sense of self. It’s whatever gives us a boost of confidence looking in the mirror before stepping out into the world every day. Here we’ve highlighted top treatments, trends, and tried-and-true products to help you get in touch with your most beautiful being.

1. The Vanity is Back
Photo by John Wagner
This timeless tabletop has returned in a big way. Mirrored vanities are everywhere from national retailers to local antiques stores. Make it mod, vintage, girly, or goth—whatever your style, it’s your place to keep your favorite fragrances, jewelry, love letters, lipstick, and anything you might need to tackle the day as elegantly as possible. Vanity and accessories shown from Alfred’s Grand Petit Magasin, 4388 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-345-6696

2. MBT Shoes
Photo by Mary  Lynn Blasutta

All you need to do is walk in these clever little shoes to reap the benefits. The uniquely shaped sole improves posture and engages rarely used muscles to reduce the appearance of cellulite by strengthening and toning your legs, butt, stomach, and back. The ultimate efficient work-out. Foot Solutions, four metro locations; Fusion Lifespa, 18142 Minnetonka Blvd., Deephaven, 952-345-3335; Shu Global Footwear, 1041 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-3570

3. Extreme Hair: Short Is Short (and Long Is Long)
Photo by Mary  Lynn Blasutta
Maureen Anlauf, Juut master stylist and recent winner of the North American Hair Stylist of the Year award, says she’s mostly working above the chin or below the shoulder blades these days because extreme lengths are very hot. Long hair is full, feminine, and pretty with more layers on the top of the head and softer scissor cuts (instead of last’s season’s sharp razored edges). Short hair has texture, lots of shape, and a sort of “controlled mess” look to it. Fringes (like bangs) are above the brow or below the cheekbone and are great for framing angles on the face. Although extreme is the au courant look, Anlauf insists a good stylist can adapt runway fashions to fit every face.

4. Edible Beauty
Photo by Mary  Lynn Blasutta
Horst Rechelbacher says we are entering the “age of confrontation” as a consumerist society, meaning people are becoming less tolerant of cosmetic companies selling unmarked and potentially cancerous chemical ingredients under the veil of “safe and natural.” In an attempt to effect change through the marketplace, Horst has been steadily rolling out IN (Intelligent Nutrients), a new line of food-based, completely natural home and body-care products made from such things as pumpkin seeds and cumin oil instead of undesirable synthetic concoctions.

5. Brazilian Wax Parties
Photo by Mary  Lynn Blasutta
Ah, the pain of a Brazilian. How about some music, sangria, and small plates to take the edge off?  Esthetician Faye Nouraee holds private parties after hours at the salon where groups of gals get private waxes, botanical exfoliations, and toner treatments. Plus, the host receives a free facial. $60 per person. Salon Estilo, 11 10th Ave. S., Ste. B, Hopkins, 952-932-0444

6. Watsu
Photo by Randall Nelson
What-su? Imagine floating on your back in a heated pool while a massage therapist uses shiatsu techniques to work away most of your stresses, aches, and pains. The warm water allows the therapist to go deeper into the muscles and pressure points, and the effect is a notch or two more meditative than an ordinary, on-the-table session. Starting at $45. The Marsh, 15000 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, 952-935-2202

7. Must-Have: Mason Pearson Brush
Photo by Randall Nelson
London-made Mason Pearson brushes mix boar bristles and nylon to stimulate the scalp, releasing oils that give your hair shine. Invest in one (several sizes, including some boar bristle-only versions, run well above $100) that suits your head of hair. Cherie Boutique, 750 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-475-2212
8. Rain Showers

Photo by Randall Nelson
The RainSky M by Dornbracht fits into the ceiling to create an unparalled “rain-bathing” experience in your own shower. You have precise control over three flow panels: the head spray, the body spray, and the outermost rain curtain. Once you’ve selected your rainfall of choice, the degree-by-degree thermostat module lets you dial up your most soothing water temperature. If only April showers would be so kind. $9,612. Montaggio, 150 2nd Ave. N., Mpls., 612-333-6264

9. Magic Wands
Photo by Randall Nelson
After much ado about formula, mascara maestros are now seizing the brush in a relentless quest for lash perfection. Two standouts are Chanel’s Inimitable ($26.50) for its elastomer (smooth plastic) bristles and prescise, multidimensional effects; and Clinique’s feathery light High Definition Lashes ($13.50) with a double-sided brush/comb applicator. Insider tip: start with Paula Dorf’s Perfect Lash to thicken, plump, and prime the eyelashes before mascara. $16. Extrados, 3100  W. 50th St., Mpls.; Chanel and Clinique mascaras at Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121

10. Red
Photo by Randall Nelson
The color is on fire this season from coats to clutches, and sultry red lips are no exception. Finding your shade and style takes some trial and error, but, for a classic, Saturn by Chanel (shown) sets the standard. Also check out the new Lover in the Rouge Allure line. $23.50-$29. Macy’s, ten metro locations, including 700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-375-2200

11. Lip Gloss
Photo by Mary  Lynn Blasutta
Always changing and improving, lip gloss is a huge market these days. Stila’s lip glaze pens are bigger and shinier than before with four new shades for fall, including Spiced Maple and Spiced Pumpkin. $20 each. Sephora, Ridgedale, 952-513-1306; Mall of America, 952-854-1517

12. Eyelash Extensions
Photo by Mary Lynn Blasutta
Here’s a way to instantly get noticed à  la Lindsay Lohan—and, no, we’re not talking about heat exhaustion. Synthetic NovaLash extensions are glued straight to the lash (instead of the lid as with the drugstore versions) and look extremely natural. You pick the length, and the extensions can last for several months if you get touchups every few weeks. $250. The Day Spa, 7575 France Ave. S., Edina, 952-830-0100

13. Chromatherapy
Photo by Mary Lynn Blasutta
Holistic health practitioners believe color can have healing effects on the body. Fusion Lifespa uses the flashing spectrum of shades in its steam/soak bathing ritual and Kohler has created the sok bath so you can light up your home spa. Fusion’s Bathing Ritual, $40. Kohler’s bathtub, $9,000 and up.

14. Squeaky Clean Mats
Photo by Randall Nelson
The Skidless Towel by Yogitoes fits neatly over your mat. It’s a hygienic solution that prevents slipping and absorbs moisture so all you need to worry about is your pose and pranayama. EQ Life, 5803 Neal Ave N., Oak Park Heights, 651-275-2600; 870 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-225-2880

15. Curls
Photo by Randall Nelson
David Wagner, owner of Juut Salonspa, recommends dusting off your electric rollers and old curling irons to achieve this season’s big, romantic dos. Or if you’d prefer to skip the closet raid and start anew, he suggests the Ion Shine Instant Heat Hair Setter by Conair ($29.99). For a more spirally look, Wagner likes Remington’s Heated Rag Rollers ($19.99). Ulta Stores, six metro locations, 866-340-3704

16. Shine
Photo by Randall Nelson
It’s big this fall, be it a gunmetal handbag, dramatic gold jewelry, or glossy, vibrant hair. Gordon Nelson, the international creative director for Regis Salons, confirms what we’ve been reading about the end of chunky, piecey highlights and urges everyone to embrace subtler foils (like caramels or honey blonds) to give the hair sun-sparkling dimension and volume. So go ahead, shine on!

17. Hair Removal—for Men
Photo by Randall Nelson
Yes, guys are taking it off—all of it. They just don't want to gab about it in a room full of other dudes. John Zeches Skincare keeps the whole process private so his clients, most of whom are straight, don’t even cross paths between appointments. Zeches, who formerly worked for Tom Schmidt, uses a soy-based line of wax for eyebrows, abdomens, backs, butts, and, of course, the most popular treatment—the men’s Brazilian. Gals are welcome too. John Zeches Skincare, 2388 University Ave. W., Ste. 205, St. Paul, 612-670-2141

18. The Organic Spa
Photo by Randall Nelson
No longer confined to the grocery cart, organic is fast becoming the domain of estheticians opting to mine Mother Nature for the latest in skin and body treatments. Fusion Lifespa, which opened just over a year ago, is one local example of this new breed of holistic beauty temples. Each fall, owner Donna Duffy makes a highly coveted (there’s a waitlist) hand and body cream from freshly harvested organic cranberries that are packed with antioxidants and healing enzymes. When Duffy isn’t deep in cranberry crush or other all-natural products for the Fusion signature skin-care line, she and her dedicated staff are helping clients experience French botanical facials, Napa bath soaks, and Javanese nail treatments complete with vegan polish. At Fusion, you can also outfit your home with eco-friendly (and silky soft) bamboo sheets, clean-burning soy candles, or decorative Bali antiques. Fusion Lifespa, 18142 Minnetonka Blvd, Deephaven, 952-345-3335

19. Cosmetic Acupuncture
Photo by Randall Nelson
Long popular on the coasts and in parts of Europe and China, cosmetic acupuncture is on the verge of a beauty tipping point in Minnesota. An acupuncturist uses tiny, sterile needles to stimulate qi (energy) and collagen in the face. During the course of treatment, deep lines will soften and skin becomes noticeably tighter and firmer. Devotees also report improved sleep at night. Who knew traditional Chinese medicine could give Botox a run for its money? Starting at $90. HealthPoint TCM, 720 Main Street, Ste. 208, Mendota Heights; Stillpoint, 333 N. Main St., Stillwater, 651-430-0018

20. Filler du Jour
Photo by Randall Nelson
It’s hard to keep up with injectables, but Skin Therapease owner Pat Scherven says Restylane is still the hottest for lips and laughlines. Next up (pending FDA approval) is Sculptra, which is currently used on HIV patients to fill in areas of facial fat loss and lasts longer. 1907 Wayzata Blvd., Ste. 120, Wayzata, 952-404-0000

21. Sunscreen
Photo by Randall Nelson
Always, always in style. Brian Zelickson, MD, a dermatologist and owner of the Center for Cosmetic Care, recommends using sunscreen every day, preferably one that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Zelickson suggests L’Oreal’s Mexoryl SX or Neutrogena’s formulas with Helioplex technology.

22. Great Lengths
Photo by Randall Nelson
It’s the brand VH1 called the “Rolls-Royce of hair extensions, the crème de la crème of hair.” Everything is 100 percent natural (no knotting, braiding, sewing, or ripping) and begins with virgin Indian “temple hair” (untreated and chemical free), which is slowly stripped of all pigment and then retreated with textile dye. Shades are expertly matched to your own and attached via heated keratin protein bonds. They last about three to five months and are truly up to celebrity standards. $1,200-$4,000. Twiggs Salonspa, 785 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-258-0200

23. Drinking to Your Health
Photo by Randall Nelson
Herbal teas and add-ins are popping up in more places with increasingly creative and appealing formulas. Check out the rooibos-based Be Well Red Teas at EQ Life. Rooibos (pronounced roy-boss) is a South African red herb prized for its antioxidants and therapeutic properties. $10 each. 5803 Neal Ave N., Oak Park Heights, 651-275-2600; 870 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-225-2880
24. Specialized Salons
Photo by Randall Nelson
Trendsetter Leah Simon-Clarke made waves with her Beverly Hills-style salon offering eyelash tints, perms, extensions, and for mastering custom eyebrow shaping. Fresh from Laguna Beach’s famed Spa Montage, she’s brought us the Connective Tissue Facial, a noninvasive, firming, collagen-boosting finger massage. $50-$130. Extrados, 3100 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-920-0227

25. Javani
Photo by Randall Nelson
The one-hour Javani facial “takes microdermabrasion to a whole new level,” according to Charles Crutchfield III, MD. Immediately after the exfoliation, the hydrating gel gets massaged into the skin via a low-frequency ultrasound, which lets the product seep right into the dermis to soften lines and wrinkles. Crutchfield Dermatology, 1185 Town Centre Dr., Eagan, Ste. 101, 651-209-3600

26. Beauty by Rocco
Photo by Randall Nelson
The hair guru hit the beauty biz this year and his chic boutique is brimming with products—and there’s a sink to sample it all. The h2t dermAstage line targets specific problems, and yummy home spa goods include the natural pumpkin and multifruit complex peel. H2T HomeSpa, IDS Center, 717 Nicollet Mall, 612-332-8005
27. Lasers
Photo by Randall Nelson
In the ever-changing realm of skin-smoothing technologies, lasers are proving to be your complexion’s latest defender and ally. The new MicroLaser Peel at Revessence diminishes the appearance of fine lines, sun damage, age spots, and irregular pigmentation. The Laser Genesis procedure at the Laser & Cosmetic Center uses a wand instead of a peel to reduce pore size, even skin tone, and erase acne and surgical scarring. MicroLaser Peel starting at $165. Eden Prairie Revessence only, 952-829-7546; Laser Genesis starting at $2,000 for six treatments. Laser & Cosmetic Center, 15600 36th Ave N, Plymouth, 763-551-1551; 2050 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul, 651-690-3333

28. Hollywood Glamour
Photo by Randall Nelson
According to Denny Kemp, owner of the eponymous salon, old Hollywood glamour is back. Enough with the rumpled, bedroom look. Now you’re seeing hair that is polished and more styled, but still fresh, he says. Denny’s must-have styling products to help you channel Veronica Lake: Defining Whip ($20) keeps romantic modern and Damage Control ($14) protects hair from hot tools. Both by Aveda.

29. The Return of the Apothecary
Photo by Justin Grierson
The concept of European-style apothecaries—where you walk in and talk to someone about exactly what you need—have evolved into highly specialized, glamorous shops that exude all things beautiful. Ever so popular on the coasts, we have two such independent beauty boutiques in town, offering premium lines, high-quality cosmetics, skin care, fragrances, and gifts. Cameo Beauty Lounge delights downtowners with happy hours and makeup lessons, and Cherie Boutique is turning its business up a notch, expanding its goodies, such as perfumes of pure essential oils (even people with allergies can wear these!), and soon launching a salonspa utilizing the same plant-based products sold in the store. These two local treasures ensure that whatever hot beauty items arise in LA, London, New York, Paris, or Rome will very soon hit our shelves. Cameo Beauty Lounge, 1300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-340-0600; Cherie Boutique, 750 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-475-2212

30. Fall Colors
Photo by Randall Nelson
Nars’ new eyeshadow duo shades are perfect representations of autumn’s amped-up neutral look. India Song gives brown and cream some shimmer while, Bohemian Gold brings in the metallic sparkle of the season. $31 each. Nordstrom, Mall of America, 952-883-2121
31. Clean Feet
Photo by Randall Nelson
We’ve heard enough horrendous nightmares about foot issues that stem from shady nail places—now it’s even more important to seek out those super sterile pedicures and splurge. Spalon Montage has a strict “pedicure protocol” cleaning system, and its foot facial really grooms and massages the toes. Afterward, pop your feet into a pair of adorable Bonjour Fleurette flip flops, sold at the salon. 3909 W. 49-1/2 St., Edina; 600 Market St., Ste. 270, Chanhassen; 8375 Seasons Pkwy., Woodbury, 952-915-2900

32. Baliage
Photo by Randall Nelson
The eighties spawned this system of painting highlights onto select strands of hair and now, from Melrose to Minnesota, it’s making a major comeback. Unlike traditional foils, Baliage is completely freehand, controlling color especially on naturally wavy or curly hair and leaving a soft, sun-kissed effect. Jon English Hairspa, 1439 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-824-2474

33. Coffee Beans
Photo by Randall Nelson
Rich brown scrubs and soaks are everywhere, not just because they smell so intoxicating, but because caffeine works as a detoxifying agent. Pevonia’s Green Coffee Slim & Detox body wrap uses natural enzymes to flush toxins and smooth skin. $85. Twiggs, 785 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 952-258-0200
34. Look Better Naked . . .
Photo by Randall Nelson
 . . . with this handy three-step body treatment by Get Fresh. Start by exfoliating with a salt scrub soufflé, then detoxify and purify with the soy body facial, and finish it all off with a supermoisturizing lemongrass lavender body butter. $29. Ampersand, 3445 Galleria, Edina, 952-920-2118

Feeling Fit
Image: Cardio Striptease
Photo by Christopher Bohnet

There’s perhaps no better beauty secret than good, solid exercise. If you’re looking for a new way to feel the burn, swing by one of these sweat-worthy classes about town:
35 Cardio Blast
By blending traditional aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular strength training with cool beats and the high-octane vibe of legendary instructor Gerry Haeger, Cardio Blast gets the job done and remains a perennial Twin Cities’ favorite. Minneapolis Life Time Athletic Club, 615 2nd Ave. S., Mpls., 612-752-7000

36 Gyrokinesis
Rhythmic breathing and flow characterize this total body workout. Through a series of twisting and spiraling movements, the joints and muscles open and decompress. A good nonimpact option for all ages and ability levels. Align Pilates, 708 N. 1st St., Ste. 150, Mpls., 612-343-7500

37 Hydro Riders
Just like cycling on land, but with no gravity to work against you. This newly introduced aqua-spinning class uses stationary water bikes from Italy to strengthen your heart. Beginning classes are only thirty minutes long because it’s harder than you think! Downtown YWCA only, 1130 Nicollet Mall, 612-332-0501

38 Cardio Striptease
Give your abs, glutes, and quads some attention in this much sought-after session at The Firm. A great group thang for newlyweds or bachelorette parties. 245 Aldrich Ave. N., Ste. 220, 612-377-3003

39 Total Conditioning
Perfect for the no-nonsense, pressed-for-time fitness buff, Total Conditioning at Life Time mixes cardio training with strength and endurance movements to tone and tighten your arms, abs, and legs. If you tend to bore easily, the exercise balls, step platforms, and dumbbells used in class should hold your attention. 25 metro locations, including Chanhassen, Eagan, Minnetonka, New Hope, Savage, and Woodbury

Seeking Sanctuary at the Spa
Image: by Randall Nelson
When you just need an hour—or four—to tuck away and unwind, here are fifteen more local gems guaranteed to help.

40 Aveda Institute
This beauty school is clean and stunning. Above the hair and nail services, there’s a serene practice spa for students, where massages and facials are offered along with makeup application and Aveda products galore. It’s frills-free, but rock-bottom prices make up for it. 400 Central Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-331-1400,

41 Jewel Spa
Situated in downtown Minneapolis right under Graves 601 hotel, this place beckons for a girls’ night on the town. Choose among caviar facials, mudwraps, and Turkish scrubs, or take advantage of the group spa party packages, bring some wine, and cater in. 600 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-746-5010,

42 Juut
The Wayzata location of this Aveda chain is its exclusive branch for the Vichy shower. This downpour of warm water is one of many hydrotherapy treatments, including massage, scrubs, and masks. 1125 Wayzata Blvd E., Wayzata, 952-404-9955,

43 Life Spa
You don’t have to be a member of Life Time Fitness to use the Aveda concept spa. Once you book a service, you have full access to the gym, locker room, pool, steam, and sauna, so you can have a well-rounded health spa experience. Six metro locations

44 Litespa
Signature treatments use light and sound to shape, contour, and purify the body. For healing, check out qigong and gem stone facials. 1201 Harmon Pl., Ste. 105, Mpls., 612-333-0300,

45 The Marsh
A true holistic getaway. Book a day of treatments—maybe a pedicure, acupuncture, and a facial—and follow it up with a swim, dinner on the deck, and even your own room for the night. 15000 Minnetonka Blvd., Minnetonka, 952-935-2202,

46 New Reflections
Detoxifying treatments include lymphatic drainage and sinus cleaning, plus the usual Aveda concept treatments for the face and body. 3530 Vicksburg Lane, Plymouth, 763-559-3185; Ridgedale Center, Minnetonka, 763-559-3185; 3915 W. 50th St., Edina, 952-922-5236,

47 The Royal Treatment
Owned by a husband-wife team, this place encourages couples to come together for massages in the duo room. Better yet, the “couples package” includes hand and feet treatments along with massage. 162 Pioneer Trail, Chaska, 952-361-5555,

48 Sanctuary Salonspa
With hydrotherapy baths and outdoor massages—offered as long as the weather permits—this place is much more sanctuary than salonspa. 995 Prairie Center Dr. Eden Prairie, 952-949-1313,

49 Simonson’s Salon & Day Spa
A wide array of offerings from paraffin dips and pedicures to paramedical skin procedures such as GentleWaves photo facials. Also featuring the new Botox-in-a-bottle HydroPeptide face and eye cream by Azure Cosmeceuticals. 3507 Round Lake Blvd., Anoka, 763-427-0761; 19320 Hwy. 169, Elk River, 763-441-5999; 13744 83rd Way, Maple Grove, 763-494-4863; 4315 Peony Ln., Plymouth, 763-550-1121,

50 Solimar Wellness Spa
Offers a holistic approach—from Shirodhara to yo-ga to seminars on fibromyalgia—all in a peaceful setting. 1121 Town Centre Dr., Ste. 105, Eagan, 651-686-6686,

51 Spa Bella Casa
Wraps, bathing rituals, body polishes, and organic treatments in an Italian-inspired environment makes a very posh outing. Notice the cute gifts and cosmetics on the way out. 7615 Metro Blvd., Edina, 612-920-4050,

52 Spot Spa
This postage-stamp spa could be missed, but its big massage business expanded this year with a second location in Uptown. There are about a dozen techniques, including the signature Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage. P.S. There’s a steam room at the Northeast location. 401 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-331-4182, 1600 W. Lake St., Ste. 100, Mpls., 612-823-SPOT,

53 TeenSpa
A part of Burnsville’s The Day Spa II, here’s a place where mothers and daughters can spend a relaxing day together. 12700 Nicollet Ave. S., Burnsville, 952-854-0388,

54 Tommy’s
This guys-only spot isn’t a room full of terry cloth-clad men; it’s more of a men’s club where guys don’t have to deal with gals gossiping and choosing the right nail color. There are hot stone massages, waxes, facials, and a pool table, plus it’s the place for guys to get a great haircut. 1608 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-822-4323