Category Archives: Black Book

Robert Leonard Salon & Day Spa in Seattle

Inside the Robert Leonard Salon in Seattle
Inside the Robert Leonard Salon in Seattle

The relationship that we have with our hair stylist is one of the most important ones we have. The good hair they help us achieve gives us confidence, it picks us up and makes us feel good. Does it not? Good hair is a powerful thing! I’ve been without my trusted stylist for a little while now and my hair has had some ups and downs. Since I moved closer to the heart of Seattle, I’ve been looking for a new salon to call home and I finally think I found it. I was recently invited to visit the Robert Leonard Salon & Day Spa in downtown Seattle to see what they are all about. Since my hair was still in recovery from the damage done by another well known local chain, it was definitely an invitation my hair was ready to accept.

For those of you in Seattle, the Robert Leonard Salon is located on 6th Avenue between Lenora and Virginia. If you’re familiar with the Westin Hotel, it is right around the corner from the hotel. Founded over 30 years ago by Robert Salmons and his partner,  the salon is home to over 20 stylists and colorists that offer a complete range of haircare services, including extensions. From what I gathered from my stylist during my visit, the salon also offers stylists the opportunity to continue to learn with education offered along the way, most recently from Oribe.

Keep reading for a look inside the salon, more about my experience at the salon and a giveaway!

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Davines Vegetarian Miracle Condtioning Treatment

Davines-Vegetarian-Treatment

Winter has arrived.  This week has been cold everywhere — experienced the first subzero wind chills in Chicago in what feels like two years, how about you? Everything is just so dry. I have stepped up my moisturizer game in a big way. I mean business. My hair wants in on the moisture blast action, too. Last night, I took myself to George the Salon in Chicago to experience The Vegetarian Miracle Conditioning Treatment. In short, it’s everything for dry ends. I woke up with the softest tresses this a.m. And my blowout is completely intact — I plan to ride it out for as many days as I can manage.

Davines-Living-Enzyme-Infusion

A bit of background on George. The man behind the salon, George Gonzales, worked for Oprah and the Harpo team for more than a decade and opened his own salon about five years ago. One of the lines he’s been carrying since opening is from eco-friendly Davines, and the Vegetarian Treatment is the newest addition. Part one is an intense conditioning treatment featuring nourishing ingredients like rice, red algae and avocado. The final touch is the Living Enzyme Infusion Spray which targets brittle hair with wheat proteins, olive oil, cotton bloom and a special enzyme that fights free radicals (yeah, they attack your hair just as they do skin!)

My hair has way more shine and bounce than it should for January, and I’m thrilled. The service costs $20 — and is perfect for someone like me who gets as few trims as possible. I think a regular treatment like this can help me keep my ends in better shape.

Anyone else feeling winter’s drab effect on hair? What are you doing to remedy the situation?

Note: Services were provided free-of-charge for editorial consideration. Opinions are my own.

Beauty Black Book: Blowtique Chicago

All I have to say is FINALLY, Chicago has a proper blow dry bar. I’ve mastered the DIY mani and prefer to save my pennies for other things. Now those pennies will undoubtedly be going to Blowtique, located at the corner of State and Huron in Chicago. Blowtique is all blow-outs, all the time, for $35 (regardless of hair length/style). The salon was founded by Ireland native Fiona Mcentee (who has amazing hair and an even more covetable accent!) The Blowtique menu, featuring styles like “the Magnificent” (classic smooth blow-out with light-weight body), the “Deep Ellum” (big body curls and dramatic bounce) and “the Sunset” (tousled waves), was crafted by creative director Rhona Kane, also of Ireland.

The wall of Oribe

I’ve got Irish roots (my maiden name is Murphy, after all), so I was thrilled to sit in Rhona’s chair last week on the eve of Blowtique’s grand opening. It’s clear that she is a styling genius, and I was enthralled by her skills with a round brush. The salon uses Oribe products (always an attraction!) and each appointment starts with a shampoo and conditioning. I opted for “the Sunset” and was in love with the results, which lasted nearly four days (with some dry shampoo and Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray on days three and four to help revive).

"the Sunset" blow-out

One visit and I’m already hooked.

If you’re in Chi-town, you must visit. And if you visit Chi-town, you must make this a stop in your trip. Good hair days are good for the soul.

Ruby Room + Exclusive Deal for Chicago Readers

One of the first places I discovered when moving to Chicago three years ago was the Ruby Room. It was affirmation that I’d moved to the right area! In a city with all of the big shops and department stores, it is so nice to have a sanctuary with niche brands (beauty + accessories) and spa and healing services. Actually, Ruby Room opened in 2002 as a healing center — putting a modern twist on ancient healing rituals. From there, it’s grown to a salon, spa, beauty boutique, yoga lounge and more.

Last weekend, I had the most amazing Ruby Room experience. I had the Acure Facial, one of their newest services and one that they exclusively offer. Jenifer, the esthetician that I saw, actually wrote the spa protocols for Acure and Ruby Room is the first spa in the country to debut the service. They carry the Acure Organics line as well, which we are really excited about! Everything is truly natural —the creators of the line actually grow a lot of their own ingredients—and super affordable (nothing is more than $30)

All Ruby Room spa services begin like a yoga practice: by setting your intention. You’ll select a card and there’s an accompanying Ruby Room Aroma Flower and Gem Essence filled with essential oils that is used throughout the service to keep your energy positive and clear. I selected ‘b Open’ and the Flower and Gem Essence included pure rose oil, my favorite.

The facial from Jenifer was like none other – a total mental cleanse and detox for the skin. It began with Acure’s Olive + Mint Facial Cleansing Crème, which might just be the best combination of ingredients. The smell of mint is invigorating! From there, Jenifer used Acure’s Brightening Facial Scrub and a blast of steam which felt fantastic. She also did a few manual extractions (NEVER do this at home!) on the stubborn “plugs” of buildup in my pores around my nose and forehead. The rest of the facial was pure bliss, especially the Acure Argan Oil massage. I definitely left there with an energized chakra and brighter skin.

Chicago readers, pay close attention! Ruby Room is offering Product Girl readers a special promotion during the month of March!

  • Take $20 off any 60-minute service* and receive a complimentary makeup touch-up. Just mention Product-Girl.com when you book the service!  I hope that some of you will take advantage of this. I highly recommend the Acure Facial (so new it’s not on their website yet!)

Also, for those not in Chicago, Ruby Room does a “weekly win it” on their Facebook page and the first week of March they will be giving away an Acure product! Their Facebook is also a lovely addition to my news feed, with their daily readings and messages of encouragement!

 *excludes colon-hydrotherapy

**Ruby Room provided spa services free-of-charge to me for review purposes. Al opinions are my own.

Beauty Black Book: Dana Hotel and Spa + Skin Authority Facial

A few Friday’s ago, I indulged in a facial, courtesy of Skin Authority, at the Dana Hotel and Spa in Chicago. It was the best way to spend a Friday evening — so relaxing after a busy week at work. While some may prefer a night on the town, this was just my speed. The Dana is one of Skin Authority’s spa partners, so I had a customized facial and glycolic peel using Skin Authority products.

After I donned my spa uniform – cozy bathrobe + sandals – I kicked back for a few with a glass of berry and cucumber spa water. I love the rituals involved with relaxing! After prepping my skin and removing all traces of makeup with Skin Authority’s Exfoliating Cleanser, the esthetician did a glycolic peel. The strength of the glycolic acid was 35%, and it was on my skin for just under three minutes.  The peel is an optional add-on to the Dana’s facial treatments.

I had a few extractions done as well, which I never dare do myself (no matter how tempting), but love when professionals do it for me. From there, she used a post-peel balm and massaged it into my skin for about seven minutes. It nearly put me to sleep. Next, she used a clay mask with avocado to further extract gunk out of my pores. While the mask sat, she rubbed an elixir on my neck, shoulders and upper arms. Almost fell asleep during that, too. Total mental relaxation does wonders for the body.

After removing the mask with a hot towel, she layered a series of Skin Authority products on to wrap everything up. Of note about Skin Authority products – they are about the most effective (e.g. highest concentration/lowest penetration pH levels) that you can get without a prescription.

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Beauty Black Book: Gene Juarez Alderwood Mall Salon

The one thing about me that gets more compliments than anything else are my eyebrows. I’m not bragging when I say this but I get stopped by people asking who does my brows all the time and I’ve even had famous makeup artists compliment them. I am very lucky that I do not have to do a single thing to them, I don’t fill them in or use brow gel or wax, they are well behaved on their own. I owe my amazing brows to one person in particular, a gal named Jayla at the Gene Juarez salon located at Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington.

Jayla is meticulous when it comes to brows. When she takes care of my brows, she uses the hot wax first but also spends a great deal of time following up with her trusty tweezers to ensure everything is just right. She is so good that I usually just keep up the “outline” she’s given me. I only see her when I get a little carried away with the upkeep or before I go somewhere. Seeing her again last month before my trip reminded me that I shouldn’t keep her all to myself.

If you’re a local gal, I highly recommend Jayla… and based on the compliments I’ve received by the beauty experts I’ve met, they do too. ;)

Beauty Black Book: Julep Manicure Parlor

Around the holiday’s last year, I was invited by Julep Nail Parlor to experience their Peppermint Bark Manicure. I was having a hard time getting into the holiday spirit around that time so I figured a little peppermint bark wouldn’t hurt. I had always wanted to visit one of their locations but never quite found the time.

Julep has a unique approach to their services in comparison to other nail salons. They offer memberships at 3 different levels that entitle you to a specified service once a month with additional discounts on other services. At the Parlor club level for example, you get 3 Parlor pedicures or a facial each month. Normally you’d pay around $74 each time but for the cost of $168 for membership, you’re saving $54. It is something I’ve been debating for awhile now.

I got my manicure at the University Village location, where the interior is a little different from the other salons as you can see here, it seemed very flexible like any chair in the salon could be a nail station and I liked that, it seems less rigid to me that way. The atmosphere feels warm and cozy like you were getting a manicure or pedicure from one of your girlfriends, it feels like home.

My Peppermint Bark manicure is the same as the salon’s Julep manicure, only with a little Peppermint Bark scrub from Sweet Beauty in place of the usual sea salt exfoliation. The Julep manicure costs $48 and is a very pampering manicure. It lasts 40 minutes, includes an extended reflexology-based massage and a hydrating paraffin wrap… in other words, heaven on earth for tired hands.

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