We have unusual conversations in a hair salon.  Outside of work I don’t recommend wrinkle creams, talk hair removal or swap foot callous stories.  But, I work in a (pretty awesome) salon and spa and, when in Rome……  So, over the years I have heard some off-the-wall beauty secrets.  Some tried and true; some not even close.  But, whenever I do hear something new or interesting, I always think of how I can share it.  We spend a lot of money on our hair, skin, nails, beauty products, hair care, make-up, the list goes on and on.  We should get the biggest bang for our buck and extend the life of our beauty treatments as long as possible!  To this end, I caught up with some of our in-house experts and, together, we have created a pretty swanky Tips & Tricks list.  Try them all, or pick your favorite and run with it.  Either way, in the spirit of this list’s humble beginnings, share it!

Make The Most of Your Manicure

I asked one of my favorite Nail Technicians, Jelena, for some top tips.

  • Don’t blow on your nails to help the polish dry faster, it creates those pesky little air bubbles that you can’t get rid of.  To dry your polish in a hurry, use a fan or blow dryer on cold only!  Hot air, or hot water, will make your polish lose its shine.
  • Apply a topcoat every 2 days to help keep your polish from chipping and to keep the shine going.
  • Wear gloves when using any household cleaners with bleach or when gardening, especially if you do the Shellac manicure that will lift off with bleach.
  • This one I stole from Allure recently – Whenever using oils, moisturizers or cuticle oils, make sure you don’t miss the area of skin between the cuticle and bottom knuckle.  The nail starts growing under the skin at this knuckle and any extra care you give it now makes it happier, healthier and stronger when it reaches the “outside.”
  • Use a fine-grit foot file at home between pedicures to keep your heels smooth.  Sandals in the Chicago summer mean dirty feet and calloused heels.  While we urge you not to over-file (let your nail technician do the heavy-lifting), using a fine-grained foot file at home once a week makes for happy, beautiful summer feet!

Keep Your Color Longer

I went to the master of all things hair-related for this one; Sally Noblett, Joseph Michael’s Creative Director.

  • Resist washing your hair for 2-3 days after your color service.  The chemicals in hair color take time to finish oxidizing.  If you can hold off for 48 hours before shampooing, you will get the most out of the service and your color will last longer!
  • Where you live effects your color’s life span.  If you live in the sun, cover up to avoid fading.  If you have a higher amount of chlorine in your water, try to shampoo less.  Chlorine will strip the color more quickly.  In this scenario, you may want to acquaint yourself with a magical product called Dry Shampoo.  If you get a good one, they really do work!  Try Kérastase Powder Bluff or Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo.
  • Use color additive shampoos once a week.  These shampoos deposit color and help keep your browns, coppers and reds vibrant and the brass out of your blondes.  We like Tressa Water Color Shampoos.
  • In-between services root cover-ups really do work.  Some prefer a colored powder spray; others like the “hair mascara;” and then there’s our favorite, Color Wow.  Whatever your pleasure, make sure to match the color as best as you can and keep it natural-looking by not over-applying.

Haircuts and Styles for Days

Thank you, again, Sally!

  • Avoid excessive heat on your hair.  When you do need heat, make sure you use a heat protectant.  This will preserve the ends of your hair and diminish split ends.  We use Kérastase Nectar Thermique, Ciment Thermique or Keratine Thermique
  • A satin pillow case will create less abrasion on your hair when you toss and turn during sleep and help keep the cuticle smooth and your hair shiny.
  • Use an old t-shirt rather than a regular towel to dry your hair.  And, even with an old t-shirt, never vigorously towel-dry your hair.  You should use a firm press or squeeze to help eliminate the excess water.
  • Saving your style:  Avoid humidity (if possible.)  Also avoid touching your hair excessively.  Not only will the oil from your hands dampen your hair so it loses the shape, but it will also break down the products keeping it so perfectly placed.

The Forever Facial

Well, wouldn’t that be nice?  But, our Head Esthetician, Margaret, does give us her at-home go-to products and a few little tricks.

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Don’t use bar soap on your face.
  • Avoid sun exposure.  When you cannot, wear sunscreen.  And re-apply.
  • Did we mention drinking lots of water?
  • At-home musts:  Vitamin C and exfoliate.  Vitamin C is Margaret’s favorite product.  Vitamin C serum to be exact, it’s more potent.  Vitamin C is reparative (that’s huge), helps promote collagen production, diminishes fine lines and wrinkles and creates a radiant glow (Pevonia C Complexe with Oxyzomes.)  Exfoliating keeps your skin as young as possible…literally.  If you have thinner skin (often paler complexions) use a topical vs. manual exfoliator.  Pevonia Enzymo Spherides Peeling Cream is my favorite.
  • Do not fall asleep with your make-up on.  And, if you do, wash that (satin) pillowcase before you use it again.
  • Exfoliate 2 days before waxing for a little extra quality time without the fuzz.  Sorry, guys and gals, but if you have sensitive skin, you should skip this step.
  • The Face-Shaving Fad.  Margaret is not a fan.  Besides being too aggressive for the delicate skin on your face, she says it will grow back thicker.  Maybe only a teeny weeny itty bitty bit, but isn’t that enough?

Massage…And Repeat

Our Head Massage Therapist, Danny, gave me some great tips!

  • Have a bottled water immediately after your massage and increase your normal intake by a glass or two a day following your session.  Massage helps flush toxins from your system and water helps the process.  And, keep it real.  The amount of water you get from tea or coffee does not substitute a real glass of water.
  • BONUS:  Massage counts as a workout!  Do not head to the gym, or out for a run, after your massage.  Your muscles have just been given a workout and need time to recover.
  • Enjoy a nice warm bath after your massage and let your body continue to completely relax.
  • Stretch it out.  Literally.  A well-stretched body uses less muscle power and has less resistance, leaving us with a feeling of ease.  This one’s big, so get ready……by stretching we become less tired and age slower.  Do we need to repeat that one? ……by stretching we become less tired and age slower.


Some of these were passed down from our grandmothers to our mothers to us.  Some were overheard and some we figured out the old-fashioned way of trial and error.  The other 90% were probably found on Facebook.  No matter its origin, if you have a tip to pass on, we encourage you to share it on our Facebook page  with #SharedBeautySecrets where we will keep them all neat, organized and accessible.  And here’s our last tip of the day for you: if you see a product listed by name in this blog, you can find it at Joseph Michael’s Salon and Spa!


Allison Vannoy
Joseph Michael’s Salon and Spa General Manager