Tag Archives: M-61

5 Important Tips I Learned During My Last Facial


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.

312 Shops: Bluemercury Lincoln Park

Chicago is a shopping destination and beauty boutiques are plentiful. I’m introducing a new feature, 312 Shops, to detail my favorite places to shop in the city and to explore some new territory.  Consider this your guide to Chicago, by way of beauty. I’m kicking things off with one of my favorite boutiques, the Lincoln Park Bluemercury.


Before I got back to my Midwest roots and made Chicago my home, I lived in DC for about five years. I was fresh out of college and just starting out in the working world, saving my hard-earned pennies for important things like rent and food, but also lip gloss. Priorities were in check, clearly. One of my favorite places to visit was Bluemercury.  I frequented the M Street location on the regular and ventured off to the Dupont Circle store during lunch breaks occasionally. It was my peaceful oasis and provided a total aspirational shopping experience. Bluemercury was originally founded in D.C. in 1999 by Marla Malcolm Beck, just 29 years old at the time, and her husband Barry. She had a vision and turns out, everyone wants a peaceful beauty oasis. Bluemercury is the fastest growing luxury beauty and spa chain in the nation. Chicagoland is home to a total of five, with the latest opening in Highland Park this weekend!  The Lincoln Park shop on Halsted is a girl’s dream.


I always like being welcomed by a giant display of NARS

The look… Both inviting and contemporary, think hardwood floors, Persian rugs and white marble.  It’s a concentrated space — so much pretty for eyes to take in at once. Rows upon rows of makeup displays, walls of product housed on glass shelves and jars of minis, like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in every color possible.


Drool-worthy wall of Diptyque, next to a massive amount of Molton Brown


Like a kid in a candy store

The brands… You’d normally have to visit a handful of different stores and/or online shops to find the variety of brands you would in Bluemercury. There’s a mix of artist makeup lines, like NARS and Bobbi Brown, derm-approved skin care, including Dr. Dennis Gross and Skinceuticals, niche brands, such as REN and Diptyque, and tons of luxury. The Lincoln Park shop also has loads of Kiehl’s, Moroccanoil, Oribe and dedicates a healthy amount of real estate for NEST.

The perks… Bluemercury seems to get new releases and seasonal collections earlier than others (this holds true in their online shop, too!) and their staff is super-friendly — Richard is the man. Samples are plentiful and they host a lot of fun events, which are always BYOB.  At least they are when I go. Bubbly and beauty talk just go together. Am I right?


Kiehl’s for days


M-61 available only at Bluemercury

The exclusive… The M-61 skincare line, developed by Marla Malcolm Beck, fuses the best of science (peptides, glycolics, retinol) and nature. The M-61 line, including a yummy collab with lip scrub queen Sara Happ, is sold exclusively at Bluemercury.

The unexpected… It’s also a full-fledged spa! Facials, body massages, micro-derm and waxing — they do it all.

Bluemercury also has a beauty blog, authored by Marla, that I faithfully follow. You can almost always expect her take on seasonal collections, like these NARS Pierre Hardy blushes, and even some reveals on what she’s working on behind the scenes with M-61.