September 2023 Buccal Massage Course

The Buccal Massage course will be held, Tuesday, September 26th thru Wednesday, September 27th, 2023 inside the Tierra Santa Healing House at the Faena Resort. Hours of learning will be from 10 A.M.- 6 P.M. both days.

Learn the Buccal Massage Technique.


Q1: Who can take the course?

A. Any student of aesthetics, massage therapy or physical therapy. Any licensed Aesthetician, Massage Therapist, Physical Therapist.

Q2: Will CEU’s be provided:

A. Yes, 12 NCBTMB CEU’s.

Q3: Are the 12 CEU’s accepted by the state of Florida?

A. Yes, this Buccal Massage course is approved by the Florida Board of Massage Therapy.

Q4: When will the 12 CEU’s be recorded to the CE Broker?

A. As soon as the course is completed and you receive your certificate, your name will be entered within 24 hours after completion of the course. It may take up to three business days for the Florida State Board to show record of your CEU’s.

Q5: Why should I take this Buccal Course?

A. This Buccal Course incorporates in an-depth knowledge of the techniques used to treat TMJ and its surrounding muscles, as well as the sculptural techniques used for lifting the facial muscles. It also is an interactive, hands-on course, allowing you to walk away from the course feeling confident to apply it in your practice.

Q6: Is there anything I need to bring to the course?

A. Everything that you need will be provided.

Q8: What is the address of the training location?

A. 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33140

Q7: Is there parking available?

A. You may valet park at the Faena for an additional $55 per day. There are two different public parking lots on the north side of the Faena which you may pay by a park mobile app.

Q8: How do I contact you for additional information?

A. You may contact me by text/call (305) 798-9910, or by email:

Q9: What is your Instagram?

A. My Instagram handle: @amraleartrainer

Q10: How do I book for the course?

A. Visit or click on link Services (

Scroll down until you see Buccal Massage Course Sept 26-27. Click on the 26th date and select anytime to book. A $350 deposit will be required. Remaining payment will be collected the day of training.

First Acupuncture Treatment

Today, I received my first Acupuncture treatment.  Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technique that incorporates tiny needles puncturing the skin, into the tissue of the body.  These needles are strategically placed by a trained Acupuncturist along the meridians of the body.  Acupuncture helps to treat many various forms of ailments, addictions and underlying emotional problems that an individual may have.  My visit started with seeking out another treatment, the Gua Sha.

I saw a video where Gua Sha was used on a person to help treat the pain they were experiencing.  Another Chinese technique was used by scraping the tissue with a spoon.  I became curious and wanted to experience this treatment.  I’ve tried cupping.  This one was a similar idea, to bring blood flow to the surface of the skin.  After watching the video, I Google searched for the nearest Gua Sha treatment and came across one close by me.  After I spoke to the friendly receptionist, it was determined that I needed to receive Acupuncture along with the Gua Sha (Gua Sha usually is not performed by itself).

I booked my Acupuncture visit and arrived to the Las Vegas Integrative Medicine with no expectations of what to experience.  I have never received Acupuncture but had been trained in Acupressure and knew about the meridians and the points that is used in Acupuncture.  With this knowledge going into the treatment, I knew that the chi within me was going to get treated.

Dr. Yoojin Lee-Seders, ND, OMD warmly greeted me when she walked into the room.  Very petite in frame, a soft-spoken voice and a genuine sincerity of wanting to know my medical history and current ailments, I felt at ease as we went through my consultation.  My main concern was my right neck, shoulder, hand and knee.  Everything on the right side of my body has been in discomfort.  She digested my information.  Before stepping out of the door, she directed me to put on a hospital gown when she is out of the room and to lay face up on the table.

As I was laying on the table in the hospital gown, I got a little butterflies in my stomach.  For the first time, I felt a little nervous.  She came back into the room, placed all the sterilized needles out on her work station, turned on some soothing ocean sounds (coincidentally, the same ocean sounds I listen to when I take a bath) and started to palpate the areas on my body that I had told her were causing pain.  Stating if the pain was either greater or less when she’d press into my body, she got a clearer vision as to where to place the needles.

After wiping my body down with a disinfecting alcohol wipe, she began to perform the Acupuncture needles, one-by-one into the meridian channels of my body opposite side from where I was feeling the pain.  It felt like a sting, a sharp pain in some areas and sometimes just a tiny poke.  There were two areas on my body that caused a deep, achy, almost unbearable pain.  One was on my left outer knee, the stomach meridian and the other was on the inside of my right heel, the kidney meridian.  Needle after needle were placed into my arms, legs, feet wrists and one in between my eyes.  She then asked how I was feeling before she placed another layer of cloth over my body and an infrared lamp at my feet.  Dr.  Lee-Seders then told me that I would be lying there for 3o minutes and she exited the room.

During this time, I was allowing my body to go through the motions.  I let go of all control and let the work of the needles puncturing the meridians go to work.  At times I could feel some throbbing pain but it only lasted seconds.  Tingling and numbing sensations came and went in waves throughout the 30 minutes.  At one point, I felt a heavy weight laying on my chest.  The weight got heavier, my ribs became compressed and my breathing grew shallow.  I reminded myself that I was letting go and allowing the work of the needles to perform their job within me.  Within a couple minutes, the heavy weight was lifted off my chest, my ribs expanded, my breathing became effortless, I felt like my body was a light weight of air.

The doctor came back into the room to check up on me, asking me if I was relaxed.  I was indeed relaxed, very relaxed, elated even.  She told me I had about 10-15 more minutes left and asked me I would be okay for that length of time, which replied, “Yes”.  I was very happy to hear that I could keep experiencing more work of the Acupuncture needles.  For the remainder of the time, I rested.  No pain, no discomfort, just complete uninterrupted rest from body and mind.

Time was up.  Dr. Lee-Seders began to remove the Acupuncture needles, one-by-one from my body.  I felt like I had just did an intense weight lifting session.  My body felt swollen but was not swollen at all.  She gave me after treatment instructions by using Castor Oil to rub into my skin on certain areas of the body.  The Castor oil helps to bring warmth and promote healing.  We discussed the Gua Sha and decided that she will perform in on me after my next visit.

I purchased some Homeopathic medicine to treat my sinus issues and inflammation in my body and purchased a package for treatment.  With a 5 session package purchase, she gave me the 6th treatment for free.  I now have my sessions booked and look forward to receiving more Acupuncture treatments with Dr. Lee-Seders.  This was a great experience and she was phenomenal.  A great doctor with patience, kindness and ease with performing her well-mastered Acupuncture.



The Acid Mantle

The skin is quite an amazing organ.  It has a natural layer on the epidermis called the “acid mantle”.  This organically, acidic, built-in layer on the skin helps to fight off bacteria, fungus and other contaminants from penetrating farther into the skin, protecting the body from harmful outside predators. 

As we age the acid mantle increases the pH on the skin.  People age 60 and over have a pH of 6.0+ depending on the depletion of their skin cells being able to turnover and produce more skin cells.  As the pH increases, the immunity the skin has to certain bacteria becomes suppressed and illnesses and viruses can arise because of this.

Beyond the acid mantle having an acidic pH of 4.5-5.5 naturally, what else is this thin layer on the epidermis comprised of?  It also contains lipids, fatty acids, lactic acid, amino acids and skin’s own natural moisturizing factor.  When any of these other constituents are altered, it leaves the skin susceptible to unwelcome bacteria, fungus and viruses.

To keep your acid mantle from changing, use products that are close to its pH.  This will enable a warm welcome allowing the skin to continue doing its job with continuity.

What’s Within a Kiss

“It’s just a kiss.”  How many times have those words been uttered?  To, Ingrid Bergman, a Swedish actress in the mid 1900’s, “A kiss is a secret told to the mouth instead of the ear; kisses are the messengers of love and tenderness”.

What’s within a kiss that creates so many feelings?  Why is it more than, “just a kiss”?  The tissue on the lips is the same tissue that comprises the genitalia and the nipples.  These three areas are interconnected to each other.  When the lips are kissed it heats up the body and sends signals throughout it heating up the erogenous zones.  The heating up of the erogenous zones creates a desire to allow the body to experience what the lips are feeling.

Men’s Health Magazine did a survey for both men and women.  In this survey, they asked the participant to rank 10 areas on their body on a scale of 1-10 that were most arousing.  Notice on the survey, a kiss for both male and female ranked number two on the survey, being outranked by the their genitalia which came in as number one.  The prelude of a kiss it what begins, in most cases, a sensory inflation within the body.   It is that particular tissue of the skin that creates the impulses to desire more.  It is the kiss that sustains the passion during sex and it is the kiss that concludes the act.

A kiss is 100 times more sensitive than your fingertips.

A kiss is 100 times more sensitive than your fingertips.  There is a reason for that.  A kiss is to be savored, to be reserved, to be longed for from someone deserving of its soft touch.  God was smart when he created the different skin cells for each area of the body.  It is this masterful design that creates yearning for one another.  The touch of a kiss is the peacemaker of relationships.


Wearing raw honey SKIN CORRECTING night balm.


I am an absolute believer in raw ingredients delivering great results if:

a.) Formulated correctly.

b.) Natural preservatives are used for longer shelf life.

c.) They are ingredients found to have benefits for the skin.



Dr. Atif Munir Malik, MD & MD (H), has found a way to formulate 4 raw ingredients that have been proven throughout time to have lasting benefits for the skin and are comprised of my three main product criteria listed above.  Dr. Malik is Board Certified in Family Medicine and is also a  Homeopathic Physician.

In the raw honey SKIN CORRECTING night balm, Dr. Malik has been able to properly shift his formulation from the REAL Honey Ointment for spot treatment therapy to a facial balm using the same four ingredients of:


1.) Raw Honey

2.) Coconut Oil

3.) Beeswax

4.) Olive Oil

Raw Honey benefits the skin by helping to correct:

1.) Active acne.

*It’s anti-bacterial, properties help to rid the bacteria found within the follicle shaft which harbors acne.

2.) Redness.

*It’s anti-inflammatory properties help to de-red the skin from sun exposure, rosacea, acne, over consumption of alcohol and post laser treatments.

3.) Dryness.

*It is a natural humectant which helps to keep moisture within the skin.

4.) Uneven texture.

*It has natural exfoliating properties which help to combat dead skin cells delivering an even skin tone.

5.) Harshness.

*It’s natural emollient helps to keep your skin soft and supple, ridding the appearance of harsh wear and tear on the skin.

These five reasons alone from the RAW Honey are great reasons to use this facial balm for your skin benefit but it does not stop there.  The three additional ingredients of Coconut Oil, Beeswax and Olive Oil have similar benefits for the skin:

anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-oxidants and moisture-retention.

These benefits indeed make this facial balm a TRUE SKIN TREATMENT.

The most effective area on my face that I saw the greatest results were my eyes.  Not only did it help with minimizing the appearance of fine lines, it also helped to brighten the appearance of my eyes making them look more awake as well as help to reduce the appearance of dark circles under my eyes.  If you want a great eye treatment balm, this would be ideal.

Using the balm on my face was great for helping to lock in moisture.  It served similar to an ointment, creating an occlusive barrier to retain moisture within my skin.  This was great for my skin on days that I felt the harsh conditions of the weather were wearing on my skin.  The only downside to the balm was the sticky texture I would feel while applying but once when the balm warmed in my fingers and on my skin as I was applying it, the sticky texture began to dissipate as it dissolved onto my skin.

I found an added benefit to this facial balm as I used it.  I applied it at night for skin therapy as I slept, I also applied it during the day at times when I wanted more moisture on my skin.  I found it to be a perfect primer for that glowing, “dewy” look.  Applying it before makeup allowed my makeup to go on smoothly and evenly.  It held the makeup in place and kept my skin glowing the entire day.  I would highly recommend it as a skincare tip for achieving a “dewy”, youthful look, for nights out on the town or for a special event.  I assure you, your skin will look radiant and people may want to know your secret as to why it looks so radiant.

The raw honey SKIN CORRECTING night balm delivers in its name, it is precisely a balm that helps to correct the skin with its various imperfections but I don’t want the name, “balm”, to discourage anyone from using it on the face.  Although we may think of balm’s being designed for lips or spot treating small areas on the body only, this balm is designed for the skin on the face.  Your skin will receive wonderful benefits from using it on your face and eyes.

*Skincare Tip:

A little bit goes a long ways.  Warm balm in fingertips before applying a thin layer onto the skin.

Because this product does not come completely packaged with an application tool raw honey SKIN CORRECTING night balm receives  4.0 stars.








Degree Your Feet

Okay, I don’t know if you’re like me but I love shoes! High heels, flats, flip-flops, tennis shoes, boots any new fun and unique shoes that grabs my attention and will go with my style, I love to put them on my feet.  The only thing I don’t love is breaking in the new shoes.  The soreness and blisters that come with wearing the new pair of shoes makes for a very unhappy next couple of days as I walk and reminisce of how I was super excited to wear them prior to the agony of when I was able to take them, hoping that they made the full length of time I had planned wearing them.

Over and over, I find myself talking to my shoes like a kid who just got in trouble, “Why oh why did you have to ruin my night?  I was having such a great time until you had to act up and ruin things.  You’re getting a much needed time out.”

I started rethinking my purchases, playing a shoe scientist as I would factor in the event, the shoe height, the shoe restrictions on my feet and the amount of time I would be in the shoes until I was able to take them off.  Some shoes sat on the shelves as I gave them a despairing stare, knowing that I could not purchase them because they would not be able to live up to my plans for them.  I started feeling like a shoe retiree and it was cramping my style until I came across this brilliant skincare tip;

*Using an antiperspirant will help to keep feet from blistering.

I went out and purchased these fun, high-heel, open-toed booties and a Men’s Degree fresh deodorant, antiperspirant.

Not just any kind of antiperspirant can be used.  It has to be a non-powder, smooth, antiperspirant stick.  A stick that is solely deodorant will not work because deodorants are used to help with the pungent odors leaving the skin.  An antiperspirant helps to treat perspiration, sweat.  Some sticks offer both, a deodorant and an antiperspirant and that is what I chose with the Men’s Degree deodorant/antiperspirant stick, the scent is entirely a personal choice.

I applied a generous amount of the Men’s Degree all over the top, bottom, side, toes, and heel of my foot, reapplied a few more times and repeated the same application process on my other foot.  As I slipped my feet into my shoes, it felt like how I’d imagine a snake’s skin would feel moving along objects, with a fluid motion and slimy.  Granted, I did just apply 50 shades of Men’s degree on my feet, well, so it seemed.

I attended my son’s navy boot camp graduation in the Great Lakes of Illinois, just outside of Chicago, with these new bootie high-heels, a true testament to see if this antiperspirant was a theory or an actual fact.  Walking around on the naval base was no small feat for my feet, there were many steps involved with stairs and long standing times.  When I was able to take my shoes off after four hours of wear, I was happy to see no blisters, a little bit of redness but they were not extremely sore, they were soft and smelt super fresh.  At that moment, I was able to declare that the antiperspirant use for the help in prevention of blistering the feet, is indeed, a fact.


Since then, I have used the Men’s Degree on my feet when needed and found that if I don’t lubricate my feet enough, I have acquired blisters.  It is important to make sure the feet have a very generous amount of the antiperspirant on the feet and if necessary, reapply.  Just think of the snake’s skin, it wouldn’t be able to move so easily over grass, dirt, roads, etc., if it didn’t have enough lubrication itself.

Next time you’re out shopping and you think your feet won’t be able to wear those shoes you can’t stop staring, think again with the use of an antiperspirant.

*Skincare tip, apply antiperspirant on the palms of the hands to help with excessive sweating.



Exotic Escape by Perfectly Posh

I regretfully admit that I am ashamed to have delayed a most tantalizing, skincare, tropical retreat.  Perfectly Posh, a quite lamb amongst the roar of the lions, is a fierce to be reckon with.  Who would’ve known that such products with great integrity for the skin could be affordable and effective?!?  I was literally blown away by the deliverance of each and every product I tried.

I decided one evening I needed a vacation for my skin.  I needed to let my skin venture to a place it’s never been, somewhere tropical, somewhere where I could taste the savory cocktails, hear the whistling of the palm tree’s leaves sifting in the air and feel the warm rays from the sun dance on my skin.  I turned to the Perfectly Posh collection that sat on my counter and as I gazed upon each product it was as if they were whispering to me, it’s about time.

IMG_0110I picked up the Best Face Forever cleanser and began my exotic escape.  At first glance, I thought this cleanser was actually a thick moisturizer.  I reread the product and confirmed that it was indeed a facial cleanser.  I removed the BFF from the container and immediately felt little particles of beads on my fingertips, I got a little excited, for this was an exfoliating cleanser.  I do like exfoliating cleansers, the minute removing of dead skin cells is always a nice addition to the skin along with cleansing it.  I applied it on my skin and instantly felt a tingling sensation.

Perfectly Posh surprised me twice and I loved it!  The aroma of a refreshing minty-smell filtered through my nose as I continued with my facial cleanse.  Wow! The cooling on my skin was sensational.  My skin felt smooth and ever so clean.  Even after I finished the cleanse on my face I could still feel the lingering effects of the peppermint on my skin for a small while which made the cleansing experience even more fantastic.

bff perfectly posh    BFF Best Face Forever is a gentle exfoliating face wash that can be used daily.  The moisturizing properties of the aloe vera and glycerin will not dry out the skin but aid in keeping the natural oils of your skin to remain after cleansing.  The cooling sensation from the peppermint oil entices the senses to soothe and comfort tired and overworked skin.  The citrus scent of grapefruit allows a refreshing synergism among receptors to uplift the spirits while cleansing.  Perfectly Posh’s BFF is the new form of products you can count on to deliver the best cleanse each and every day.

BFF Best Face Forever Exfoliating Face Wash Receives 5 Stars!

5stars1My exotic skincare escapism continued on with the Hoku Kukui bath bar chunk.  Kukui nut is one of my favorite tropical scents and when I read this body bar’s name, I could not wait to start washing the day’s wear off my skin.

The body bar was a nice, colorful, earth blend of beige, tan and brown. IMG_0112 I allowed the cascading shower to prep my skin with water and began rubbing the Hoku Kukui bar on my body.  The combination of the water and the bath bar created a nice cream-colored lather on my skin.  I could feel the moisture on my skin as I continued to lather the bath bar all over my body.  I kept waiting for the scent of the Kukui nut to kick in but to my disappointment, it was faint almost non-existent.  The smell was rather bland and reminded me of an overcompensating organic health extremist making sure no synthetic chemicals were in it.  The bar crumbled away in some of the areas where the colors bordered each other and left little pieces on the floor beneath my feet and the shower drain, waiting for me to pick them up after I finished cleansing my body.


hoku kukuiThe Hoku Kukui Bath Bar left my skin with that squeaky-clean feel yet also very moisturized.  To be able to create such a complex satisfactory blend on the skin is a job well done.  Perfectly Posh was able to incorporate a proportioned mix of ingredients to execute a great cleanser for the body.  If the scent of the Kukui nut was more in existence, immediately registered by the olfactory system and some of the bar didn’t crumble upon washing, this would be a 5.0 star rating.

Hoku Kukui Nut Bath Bar receives 3.o stars!

3 stars



IMG_9978The Stripper worked its magic on me next, seduced me with its tingling sensation when it touched my skin, enchanted me when it started to tighten on my face.  I fell in love with the stripper!  A clarifying detox mud for the skin, The Stripper, is a genuis play on words as it is a sultry purplish color, applies smoothly on the skin with a fan brush and truly strips the impurities off of the skin without drying out the skin when its done.  Rich in detoxifying elements of clays and muds, the skin rests easy in the hands of The Stripper as it sits on the skin, drawing out environmental pollutants, ridding the pores of undesirable deposits of product debris (makeup, oxygenated serums, physical sunscreen, etc.).

The menthol in the D-Tox mud is exhilarating!  I felt as though my skin was on a pleasurable experience of its exotic inhabitants.  As the mud dried, my skin tightened and the purplish color morphed into a reddish-brown clay appearance.  The scent was subtle which was perfect.  Some detox masks have an unbearable scent that reek like nature’s worst scents and I was very happy that this one did neither, it stayed neutral.

the stripper d-tox mudAfter I took The Stripper off of my skin, my skin no longer had any areas of red showing on my skin, the pores were deeply cleansed, my skin was not extremely dry and the best part, I could still feel the menthol on my skin, that wonderful tingling and cooling sensation which lasted for about 10 minutes after I removed the mask.  This detox mask worked wonderfully and was easy to apply and remove.

The Stripper D*Tox Body Mud Receives 5.o Stars!5stars1




IMG_0111My face was receiving so much attention, I thought I’d make my feet happy with a little Rio Rumba, an exfoliating sand scrub.  A natural pedicure-grade foot treatment, my feet danced in my hands as white sand and sugar scrubbed away any mild dryness.  The exotic fruit and amazon rose were beyond intoxicating to my senses.  I felt like I was punch drunk in love because I kept sniffing the air like a new scent had just been birthed from the exotic fruits.  Delicious!

rio rumba sand scrubThe sand scrub was well mixed, the exfoliating ingredients stayed on my feet and didn’t fly all over the place or leave a pile of leftovers on the ground as I scrubbed.  Easy to rinse off, my feet were smooth and soft, even lightly moisturized when I was done.  I was saddened to have to stop scrubbing because I wanted to continue inhaling its thrilling exotic-scented wonders.  I’d have to admit that this scrub is on my top 5 scrubs for the feet.

Rio Rumba Sand Scrub receives 5.0 Stars!5stars1




IMG_0113Now that my feet received a titillating treatment, my body was ready to become a Brazilian Bombshell, at least that is what I imagined as I read, Skindelicious Brazilian Bombshell.  Excited to rub the combination of a brazil nut and babassu oil infused body butter onto my skin, I envisioned myself as a Brazilian Bombshell, skin kissed with the mysterious grandeur of the Amazon. brazilian bombshell

The scent was not strong like what I would imagine a bombshell to be wearing, it smelt more of baby lotion with a hint of coconut.  The butter was more like a lotion, not thick enough to be deemed either a cream or a butter.  There needed to be more moisture adhering to the skin.  If I’m going to be a Brazilian Bombshell, my skin needs to radiate beauty from the natural glow of the exotic oils and drenched in exotic scents from its natural surroundings.

Brazilian Bombshell Body Butter Receives 3.0 Stars!

3 stars

IMG_0114Last but not least, my exotic escape ends with the finishing touch of a Big, Fat, Yummy, Key Lime Pie dessert for the hands.  Every time I hear the words, Key Lime Pie, I think of my mom, it is one of her favorite desserts.  She is very picky about her Key Lime Pie, it has to smell pleasingly fragrant of lime and taste just as good as it smells.  I’d have to say that this hand cream would satisfy my mom’s strict guidelines to her savory dessert.

key lime pie hand cremeSmelling just like a scrumptious Key Lime Pie, I applied the hand crème onto my hands.  It was an effortless application onto my skin.  Absorbing nicely the ingredients of coconut oil, apricot kernel oil and vitamin E into my hands, I was impressed with no oily residue.  Usually hand creme’s tend to leave an oily residue that rubs off on everything you touch after application but I found this not to be the case with this product.  A very nourishing hand crème that will keep your skin soft and supple.

Key Lime Pie Hand Crème Receives 5.0 Stars!5stars1Perfectly Posh delivered a close to perfect exotic skincare escape.  I am mad at myself for not enjoying such wonderful products sooner.  Please forgive me for putting baby in the corner, for it needs to be dancing in the center of a ballroom, a full spectacle for others to witness its wondrous works.

Ann Dalton, CEO and Founder of Perfectly Posh deserves a standing ovation.  The creative mind that cultivated such great products and playfully dubbed each product a memorable name, has delivered a truly effective product line that consumers skin should be devouring.

According to their website, Perfectly Posh is founded off of four principles:

We Simply Pamper.

The Best Ingredients.

Made in the USA.

You Deserve It!

No fillers are used in any Perfectly Posh product which means you get quality ingredients delivered directly to the skin.  Some products are vegan for those who want to avoid using products with animal ingredients and no animal testing is performed during creation of the products.

Enjoy an exotic escape yourself with the pampering of Perfectly Posh and let one of their Perfectly Posh consultants, Janeen Ellis customize your journey.



Lash Artist Extraordinaire


When I first walked into the small entrance of Cherry Lash Lounge, a young woman greeted me, seemingly tired from her day, almost arriving to closing hours, she stumblingly explained the lash services.  As I was standing near to the counter, listening to the unenthused receptionist speak, a jovial woman greeted me with a smile and relieved the young woman from tiredly explaining the services to me as I am sure by that time it had become a repetitious nuisance.

Petite in frame, her thick black hair having a red undertone which shined when the incandescent light hit it just right, created the smoothness to her flawless skin radiating elegance as she spoke to me.  Her voice was soft and gentle, delivering answers with flowing inflections.  As she had to hurry away to finish her work I had accidentally taken her from, I told the receptionist I wanted “her”.

Marianne Cortez, Trainer/Artist at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Marianne Cortez, Trainer/Artist at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Excited to receive my first eyelash extensions which I had ravenously awaited, I entered Cherry Lash Lounge for the first time as a client a week later.  This entrance was different than the first.  There was no longer a small room with a tiresome receptionist standing behind a tiny counter, it had transitioned into a large waiting room with a tall, sleek counter and three pleasant greeting receptionists all of which had eyelash extensions of their own.  The room was encompassed of modern, black leather chairs, a large flat screen television that had a continuous video of eyelash content playing, cherry-red painted walls blended perfectly with the scent of cherry that bathed in the air I breathed.  I felt like I had just stepped into a highly coveted, eyelash extension boutique embracing a new-formed secret society of eyelash extension wearers.

I was given a refreshingly cold bottled water with the Cherry Lash Lounge Logo of two cherries wrapped around it as I waited for “her”.  Butterflies formed in my stomach as the anticipation overwhelmed me with the visions I had created in my mind as to how the outcome of my eyes would look with eyelashes.  Naturally, I have long eyelashes on both the top and the bottom lids of my eyes but because I have fine hair, it does not have volume until I use mascara to enhance my eyelashes and create that volume.

Sitting in the comfortable, leather chair, watching the video on how to care for my new lashes, I heard my name quietly called, “Amra”.  I looked over to where the sound had come from and saw “her”, arms clasped together in front of her body with a welcoming smile.  I rose from the seat, ready to receive what I had envisioned in my mind of a new form of fashionable eyelashes and went to “her”.

“Hi, my name is Marianne,” she said kindly.  “Her” had a name, Marianne.  I followed her through a closed door.  When she opened it I was amazed at what I saw.  It was like stepping through an Alice in Wonderland movie, I did not expect to see rows of reclined chairs with long, black drapes hanging high from the ceiling, dividing the chairs, providing a private compartment for each client.  She walked me to a chair that was on a platform, raised higher from the floor, I felt like a queen to her throne as I stepped up and sat into the black, reclining chair which swallowed me in like quick sand, forming to the contour of my body, creating a cozy, womb-like feel.

Sitting on my throne at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Sitting on my throne at Cherry Lash Lounge.

Covering me with a blanket, Marianne walked behind me and slowly reclined me back to a semi-inverted position and whispered, “you’ll feel a bright light.”  She turned the bright, magnifying lamp on and although it felt bright on my closed eyes, it made me feel like I just entered into heaven.  I was now fully engaged to this 3 1/2 hour process of receiving my eyelashes for the first time and I was endearingly ready.

What is eyelash extension?  What kind of eyelashes are used?  What is the process to receiving eyelashes?  All these questions I had and Marianne was gracious to answer them and more.

Eyelash extension is taking an individual piece of manufactured eyelashes and applying them onto a naturally existing eyelash to extend out from the eyes.  This enhances the contour of the eye and allows for length and depth to the eyelashes.

Cherry Lash Lounge uses synthetic mink extensions.  Everything is 100% customizable.  They carry relaxed, curly, super curly curls and sizes that range from XXS-XXXL.  They also have colored lashes and fun Ombre eyelashes as well.

If well taken care of, eyelash extensions can last anywhere from 4-7 weeks but to retain a complete fill look, most people return 2-3 weeks in between fills.  The worst thing that anyone could use on extensions is mascara or lash strips because it will ruin the lashes.

Individual eyelashes are placed on by adhesives.  Cherry Lash Lounge has 3 different types of adhesives to suit varying client’s needs.  They range from normal to extra sensitive eyes.  It is important that clients do not receive any form of irritation when receiving extensions so catering to those sensitivities  are first and foremost.

The extensions that Cherry Lash Lounge uses are privately made by their own manufacturer.  There are 3 types of curls that are specifically made by Cherry, relaxed curl, curly and super curly.  Relaxed curl is straighter with a a little bend towards the end for a more natural look.  Curly is universal that looks good on anyone and is Cherry’s most popular because it opens the eye up more.  Super Curly is Cherry’s most dramatic curl and most tight curl that gives the eyes an opened doll-eyed look.

During the eyelash extension treatment, a mister which sprays out distilled water, is sprayed over the eyes.  The cool mist of distilled water cures the adhesive instantaneously and allows the eyelashes to set for the duration they will remain on your natural eyelash.

I like dramatic eyes, the Cleopatra look, and Marianne listened perfectly.  She designed my eyes by using the medium Super Curly’s on the inner corners of my eyes transitioning to the Longs and Extra Longs throughout the rest of my eyes giving me that bold, doll-eyed, dramatic look that I love.

Marianne throughout the 3 1/2 hours it took for her to apply my virgin eyes with extensions, sat patiently, artistically designing the exact look I had envisioned.  I could tell she loved what she does and her passion displayed nicely on my eyes but I would have never known that she desired a different path early on her career.

Straight out of Aesthetic school, Marianne Cortez wanted to work for one of the biggest and best spas on the Las Vegas strip at one of the high-end casinos.  Through tireless attempts, she found it hard to go against the seasoned Aestheticians that had experience who also were fighting to land their career in a well-reputable spa.  Being that she had no experience at that time, an opportunity arose for her that her husband found in an ad.  The ad stated that they were hiring at Cherry Lash Lounge.  Although very apprehensive about applying for the position because she didn’t know anything about eyelash extensions she applied with an open mind and got hired right away.

As I sat in that chair, receiving eyelash extensions by Marianne, I am grateful that she was open-minded to experience a position in which she knew nothing about for I felt in her presence that she was where she was meant to be.  Extremely skilled at her craft, I never felt her breath over my face, I never felt her hands resting on my forehead, she spoke softly like an angel and it was like almost a dream when the whole experience was done.

Trained by the greatest overseas, Marianne now trains other apprentices new to applying eyelash extensions.  She devotes numerous hours to making sure this trending beauty eyewear is delivered to eyelash extension wearers in all of Cherry Lash Lounge’s locations.  She truly is lash artist extraordiniare.




Botox for Athletes and Non Athletes

blog-botox-usesBotox is great for the athlete and the non athlete.  Onabotulinumotoxin, otherwise known as, Botox, is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.  It is used for both medical and cosmetic services.  When injected cosmetically into the body, it temporarily paralyzes the muscle at the injection site.  This paralysis to the muscle can last anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months.


Botox is great for athletes because it can help smooth out the tough definition that comes from lean muscle tissue and for non athletes it helps to tighten the muscle where fine lines tend to form.

platysmaOne muscle in particular that is very beneficial for smoothing out the muscle, is the Platysma.  The Platysma pulls the corners of the mouth down, creating the “sad face” look and pulls the neck upwards when the teeth are clenched.


All these individuals are clenching their teeth and engaging the platysma muscle.

In the picture above, the Platysma muscle is flexed.  Injecting Botox into the attachments of the Platysma and along the protruding areas of the muscle, will help to lessen the appearance of the “chicken tallon” neck.  Once the Botox has taken effect, the Platysma will not be able to be stand out as much causing a softer, smooth appearance of the neck and corners of the mouth.  A side effect to having the Platysma injected with Botox is that it may become a little harder to pull your chin to your chest.


Women Body Builders have stronger, more defined jawlines.

Another great muscle to receive Botox injections for the athlete and non athlete is the Masseter muscle.  This muscle is very defined in athletes that tend to clench their teeth while engaging in their sport, especially bodybuilders both men and women.


Masseter Muscle.

The Masseter muscle is the strongest muscle on the body.  As small as it may be, it is built strong for eating.  This is the muscle that opens and closes our jaws.  Designed to chew and bite with its mighty strength, when overworked, it will cause the jaw to become more defined and harden the appearance on the face.  This muscle can also cause teeth grinding when it is not relaxed.  The side effect that comes with receiving the Masseter injected is that the power to chew solid foods may lessened.


When the Botox is injected into the Masseter muscle, the hard- defining jaw will be lifted like the pictures above.  Notice the pictures on the left, the women have a more round and diamond-shaped face.  After the women were injected with the Botox, the jawline for both women became more softened and their face transformed more into the “classic” oval-shaped face.



Besides helping to soften the appearance on the face and neck, Botox helps people who suffer from Hyperhydrosis.  Hyperhydrosis is the term for excessive sweating.  Athletes who tend to perspire profusely during their sport and non athletes who may suffer from Hyperhydrosis can treat their excessive sweating with Botox injections.  A very common area for Botox injections to treat excessive swelling is in the underarms and groin areas.


The only downside to receiving Botox for treating sweat is that your body will produce the same amount of sweat.  Being that your body will still produce the same amount of sweat, it means that other areas on your body will sweat more.  For example, like the picture above, if the underarms are injected with Botox for excessive sweating, the groin area will receive some of the extra sweat that your underarms would release.  Be mindful of this when receiving the Botox injections that your body needs to release the sweat in other areas.

Receiving Botox is great for the athlete and non athlete to smooth fine lines, soften the appearance of the face and neck and to treat Hyperydrosis but there are some side effects that come with it.  An allergic reaction may occur or the paralysis of the wrong muscle group might happen.  Bruising at the injection site may occur when injected from the injector and may take a few days before the bruise will go away.

Botox is advised to be avoided to individuals who are pregnant, have egg allergies, or a neuromuscular disorder.  Mothers who are breastfeeding are advised to consult their doctors.

April Showers Bring May Flowers


May is here and the April rains have sprung growth among the flowers.  Flowers not only are aesthetically pleasing to the eye but each and every flower expel a different scent and awaken a different response physically to the skin and mentally awakens the emotions.



Flowers are beneficial to wellness, by awakening your mental state, it allows the mind to connect to an emotional response, whether it be good or bad, a reaction occurs when the eye sees certain flowers and the nose inhales their scents.


Flowers are associated with memories, flashing back to events, places and dates of where and when they were made.


Flowers deliver different benefits to the skin which help to calm, soothe, treat ailments, tighten, firm, heal and many more additional benefits.


Flowers add to wellness, they add to skincare.  Appreciate the beauty they create freely within the lands they grow and be grateful for their abundance of various benefits to serve mother earth and aid in all forms of life whether it be mammal or plant.


Thank you April for your showers that bring such beautiful May flowers.