My last facial came with a particularly empowering name: You Glow Girl. I’ll cheers to that. I visited the Blue Mercury spa in Lincoln Park several weeks ago, on a dreary day that leeched any type of glow from both mood and skin. The “You Glow Girl” facial uses the m-61 products exclusively, which was a great way to learn more about the line. I’ve had a handful of facials before and in my experience, there are estheticians that take the sales-y route and others that make it a point to shame you on skincare sins. What a pleasure to have one that did neither and instead helped me help myself. Rachel King, lead esthetician at a few Chicagoland Blue Mercury locations, dropped some major knowledge on me while showing my blackheads who’s boss.
Blend downward. We tend to apply skincare and makeup in an upward direction, but it might be causing breakouts. Our faces are covered in peach fuzz, called vellus hair, and blending upward against the follicle, can lead to congestion. This makes complete sense! It takes some getting used to, but I’ve gotten the hang of it now. I press my serums, oils and creams into the skin and lightly pat in a downward motion.
Don’t forget the the sides of your nose. I regularly get a build-up of milia, a.k.a. tiny white bumps that form when skin cells become trapped under the skin’s surface. They don’t look like whiteheads or blemishes, and are near impossible to remove at home. Simply being more dedicated about washing and exfoliating specifically that tiny nook on the side of my nose can go a long way towards prevention. I’ve been testing the m-61 Brilliant Cleanse and love how gentle yet powerful it is — glycolic, salicylic, lactic and malic acids remove dead surface skin cells and grapefruit extract brightens. Bonus, the grapefruit extract adds the most refreshing smell possible.
Masks aren’t just for the face and neck. Consider your chest and back, too. Of course these areas could use a little TLC – they’re constantly exposed to the sun – yet, I never do this. Rachel used the m-61 Fast Blast on my neck during my facial to show me how effective and quickly it works. It is indeed fast — a 2-minute, Vitamin C brightening mask that exfoliates and firms (seaweed and aloe vera help this). It applies creamy and within 90 seconds begins to foam up on skin. Skin is brighter right away — gotta love instant gratification!
Take a 360 approach to eye cream. Most of us apply eye cream to the immediate under eye area but often forget to move it up and to the sides. I’m guilty of this. As Rachel applied the m-61 Hydraboost Eye in a 360-motion around my eye, she emphasized how important it was to help plump and treat the area right under the browbone, which droops as we age (damn gravity). I’ve started weaving the Hydraboost Eye, in all of its hyaluronic acid and peptide glory, into my morning routine 360-style and really like how my skin drinks it up.
SPF your lips. I preach this one, but even I forget. What used to be one or two “cute” lip freckles have now multiplied. Rachel made it a point to remind me to SPF my lips and we had a skin cancer chat. My grandfather actually had melanoma on his lip, so I’m conscious of the realities. Nothing a Fresh Sugar can’t handle! Part of the facial was also a lip treatment with the m-61 x Sara Happ colllab, with Lemon, Mint and Cucumber. Tasted incredible and I surely ingested more than I should have.
*Blue Mercury picked up the tab for my facial and provided me with samples of the Fast Blast, Hydraboost Eye and Brilliant Cleanse. All opinions are my own.