What’s wabi sabi?
Many people have tried to explain the meaning of the Japanese term wabi sabi but with great difficulty. In the same way that we can’t “catch” or hold onto time, neither can words hold onto wabi sabi’s meaning. Wabi sabi relates to an understanding of natural beauty that dates all the way back to ancient Japanese tea ceremony practices.
The initial idea of wabi sabi stems from the ancient rituals of Japanese tea ceremony where the purity and simplicity of an objects’ natural beauty were honored. Revering the beauty of a handmade tea cup for its uneven glazing and cracks is a basic example of wabi sabi.
In modern times, wabi sabi relates to all aspects of life from relationships to design to beauty. Since all life is constantly changing, honoring life’s impermanence while revering the imperfections in any given situation or item is also considered wabi sabi. A common misconception of wabi sabi is that it connotes carelessness or frivolity, while in fact wabi sabi is revealed and understood only when putting the utmost care and attention into embracing imperfections and change.
Wabi Sabi Aesthetic
Just like tea ceremony masters take impeccable care of their cracked and imperfect tea cups, wabi sabi aesthetic is about embracing the aging process while maintaining impeccable self care and pampering.
When extending the concept of wabi sabi into beauty, wabi sabi honors imperfections such as freckles and laugh lines over perfectly spotless and smooth skin. Wabi sabi natural beauty acknowledges that while skin care is a constant affirmation of self care, obsessing over changing the way we look isn’t.
Wabi sabi aesthetic encompasses self care and pampering alongside the three realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Try adding a little more wabi sabi aesthetic into your self care ritual with a pampering skin care treatment like The Geisha Facial®.
Related blog post:
How Prioritizing Self Care Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions
The Limoneira Company recognized Shizuka as a Beauty Opinion Leader in their February 2014 newsletter. Shizuka has been offering her expert advice on skin care and beauty for 20 years.
Limoneira’s February Newsletter focuses on ways to promote natural beauty with lemons through their UNLEASH THE NATURAL POWER OF LEMONS CAMPAIGN. Check out Shizuka’s tips for hydrating skin naturally using a lemon juice face mask.
Related Blog Post: How to Hydrate Dry Skin Naturally
For centuries, geishas’ beauty has been likened to their mysteriously flawless skin. Geisha beauty secrets reveal that simple ingredients native to Japan like rice bran, camellia oil, and green tea work together to protect, nourish, and brighten skin. These and other ingredients create the cornerstone of time-honored geisha beauty.
Geisha Beauty Secrets
Many describe geisha’s skin as mochi-hada or baby skin because it resembles skin so soft and flawless like a baby’s. The secret to their flawless skin attributes back to their skincare routine that’s been passed down for centuries.
At one time, the heavy makeup worn by geishas contained harsh chemicals like lead and zinc which led to severe skin problems. Eventually, they discovered nightingale droppings as a natural way to not only remove the makeup but to retexturize and strengthen the bonds of the skin at a cellular level.
Traditional Skincare: Simple Ingredients
After Shizuka learned that geishas used simple ingredients easily sourced throughout Japan to care for their skin, she carefully studied the effects of these ingredients along with her husband, the dermatologist, Dr. Robert Bernstein. From their findings, Shizuka created The Geisha Facial® , which incorporates simple Japanese ingredients like rice bran, camellia oil, green tea, and uguisi no fun or nightingale droppings.
Deep Cleansing Facial
Since ancient times the enzymes from nightingale droppings proved to deeply cleanse and lift away harsh chemicals from the skin leaving it renewed and dewy each time. (Think of it like an enzyme peel). By mixing the droppings proportionally with powdery rice bran, Shizuka created a fine enzyme exfoliate that’s been lauded the world over.
Winter inevitably brings with it the much dreaded cold season.
One physical symptom of the cold that gives away you’re sick (besides a red nose!) is dry dehydrated skin. While we all know it takes time for a cold to subside, there are few things you can do to keep your skin hydrated and healthy while your immune system recovers.
Winter Skin Care Tips for When you Have a Cold
- Cool down: Even though a long hot shower can feel heavenly while the steamy water opens up sinuses and soothes body aches, the hot water can actually strip skin of moisture and dry it out.
- Gently cleanse: Instead of using harsh soaps, instead stick with mild cleansers for sensitive skin. These are usually fragrance-free and gentle on the skin, helping it hold onto its natural oils.
- Act fast: Moisturize skin often, especially after showering. Be sure to moisturize within 5 minutes after showering. Pores are most open at this time making them ready to receive and lock in moisture.
- Protect yourself: Always wear protective clothing to shield exposed skin from the windy dry elements. If skin is left unprotected, flaky itchy skin can develop.
- Regulate the air: Use a humidifier indoors to keep air moist. This will help regulate your skin and sinuses when you come in from the dry air outside.
Whether you’re a facial veteran or are about to get your first facial ever—knowing how to prepare your skin for your treatment will help extend the life of the facial keeping your face aglow longer.
Here are a few tips to help you prepare for a facial:
- Know your skin. While our skilled estheticians will let you know the best treatment upon examining your skin, it’s best to already know which areas you’d like to target. For example: Tone down oily skin, target acne prone areas, focus on lifting, deep cleansing with pore extraction, etc.. Communicate this to your esthetician and your treatment will be specially catered to your needs.
- No scrubbing. Skip harsh cleansers or facial exfoliants before your treatment. Your facial will consist of exfoliation and most likely pore extraction as well, so leave the dirty work to a trained professional!
- Save new products for later. Just clean your face following your usual cleansing routine. It’s best not to experiment with new products right before a facial so that your skin can be examined in its “usual” state. Using new products may have adverse reactions on your skin (i.e. over drying, inflammation, etc.), so it’s best to hold off until after your treatment.
- To steam or not to steam. This is a personal preference that doesn’t positively or negatively affect your treatment. Some like to use a sauna before a facial to relax and open up pores. While this is an option, it’s not necessary since your face will be steamed and cleaned for an hour or more anyway.
It’s never too early to start getting regular facials for optimum skin health! Shizuka began getting facial treatments in her 20’s and says “facials have helped keep my skin clear and firm throughout the years”.
What special measures do you take to prepare your skin for a facial?
The holidays can bring with it unwonted stress, causing you to look tired even if you’re not!
This happens because facial muscles store tension much like muscles in the body do, so a tired expression can actually start to feel “normal” for your face.
The next time you’re feeling zapped of energy or just need to revive a tired face, try this spa technique (offered in all Shizuka New York Spa Facials) to wake up tired facial muscles and go from Grinch to jolly St. Nick in no time!
At Shizuka New York, a facial massage is incorporated into each facial treatment to help stimulate collagen production and new cell regeneration. It also “wakes up” tired facial muscles making you look more awake by increasing blood flow and bringing oxygen to the skin.
A facial massage works wonders to relax overactive muscles and softens the expression so you APPEAR AND FEEL refreshed.
How to give yourself a Stress-Busting Facial Massage:
Start by applying a moisturizer, cream, or essential oil such as lavender to your face…
1. Begin at the cheeks. Use your fingers or knuckles to draw big circles around your cheeks, be sure to always push the skin upward.
2. Using upward strokes, firmly rub the skin from the mid jaw to the cheekbone. Apply pressure to the cheekbones for a few seconds.
3. Massage smile lines by starting from the corners of the mouth and ending at the corners of the nose.
4. Using your fingertips, apply pressure to the brow bones to lift and open the eyes. Apply light pressure around the eye sockets and out to the temples and up to the forehead.
5. To plump lips, use forefinger and thumb to pinch upper and lower lips to stimulate blood flow.
6. To end, drain lymphatic fluid from the face to the collarbone. Place fingertips under the eyes on either side of the bridge of your nose. Gently apply pressure in a long flowing motion across the under eye area to the temples, down the side of face (along sideburns), and down the neck to the collarbone.
Don’t forget, Daylight’s Savings is right around the corner which means an extra hour of beauty sleep awaits!
It’s the perfect time to rethink your bedtime routine for a more restful and naturally beautifying sleep. While you sleep, your skin is actually undergoing a deep restorative process, expediting the skin’s natural healing and rejuvenating process. When you’re sleep deprived you’re more likely to wake up with under eye bags or a tired complexion. So the more restful your repose, the better the morning will be for you AND your skin!
Here are some tips to help promote a more restful (& beautifying) slumber:
- Light an aromatherapy candle at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime. This will ensure the essential oils have enough time to warm and permeate the air. Let the soothing scents guide you to dreamland.
- Lavender is a popular aromatherapy scent due to its calming and soothing properties. Mist your face, pillow, and/or eye mask with a lavender mist before going to bed.
- For a dull or tired complexion try using nighttime serums to promote cellular renewal:
Apply Shizuka New York’s Nighttime Anti-Aging Repair 1 & 2 to clean skin on alternating days. These products work together to even out skin tone and texture while targeting fine lines and wrinkles.
- Anti-Aging Night Repair 1 contains retinol and Vitamin C to retexturize and brighten skin while you sleep.
- Anti-Aging Night Repair 2 contains a powerful blast of vitamins, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid to smooth, plump, and firm skin.
- Target sagging skin by using Plant Stem Cell Serum (signature product of the Natural Face Lift Facial). This potent product utilizes active plant stem cells to plump and firm skin.
- For tired eyes, try a firming eye cream such as DCL’s AHA Revitalizing Eye Cream to moisturize and firm the fine skin around your eyes.
What’s your restful bedtime routine?
Breaking a sweat during a workout or a sauna session can do wonders for your skin and overall health. Sweating draws impurities out from your body through your skin, clearing and cleansing your pores in the process. However, beware! If sweat sits on the skin’s surface for too long, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria leading to acne, inflammation, and clogged pores.
Save your skin from workout mayhem by washing your face before & after working out.
When you sweat, pores enlarge inviting anything left on your face IN. Products like makeup and sunscreen can actually further clog your pores prohibiting your skin from breathing. If you MUST wear makeup while working out, fore go foundation and stick to eye and lip makeup only.
Use a gentle cleanser like a Foaming Facial Cleanser or Chamomile Cleansing Milk, wash with cool water, and pat dry. Finish with an alcohol-free toner like Shizuka New York Skin Freshener with sage and mushroom extract to soothe inflammation and lock in hydration. If you’re nowhere near running water, then at the very least wipe your face clean with cleansing facial wipes.
Kissing lines, or perioral lines, are wrinkles that form around the mouth by way of repetitive facial expressions.
As skin matures, it loses its elasticity and fine lines begin to form and deepen around the corners of the mouth and above the upper lip.
An effective anti-aging measure to prevent these lines from deepening is a routine peel or exfoliating treatment. Chemical, enzyme, and crystal peels (microdermabrasion) work to slough away dead skin cells revealing a brighter, firmer layer of skin.
For best results, opt for a spa treatment over an at-home kit. Spas use professional grade products which are more potent than those sold in stores. Plus you can relax knowing the procedure is being administered by a trained skin care expert!
Other tips to prevent lip lines:
- Refrain from smoking
- Apply sunscreen regularly
(product recommendation: Chemfree Superblock)
- Keep lips hydrated by using a lip balm
(product recommendation: Honey Vanilla Lip Balm )
- Apply an anti-aging cream or serum daily
(product recommendation: Primrose Eye & Upper Lip Treatment Cream)
Check out our current spa deals >>
A French science magazine for kids, “Science & Vie découvertes”, includes The Geisha Facial® in its latest October 2013 issue!
RT TV News visited SNY on August 17th, 2013 to interview Shizuka for a feature on The Geisha Facial®!
RT TV News is a 24-hour international news network, broadcasting in over 100 countries, including the U.S. In NYC, RT TV is on Time Warner Cable channel 135.
Read the full article (in Swedish!) here>> Nya trenden som gÃ¶r dig skitsnygg
A reporter from The Daily Beast walks us through The Geisha Facial® process at Shizuka new york Day Spa.
When my facialist Satomi Teraoka made it clearâ€”multiple timesâ€”that there would be bird poop included in this treatment, I wondered how many people just thought a Geisha Facial seemed pleasant, got in the room, and were greeted with this lovely news. “That’s why I’m here,” I told her, like a poop fiend.
Read the full article here>> I Got a $180 Bird-Poop Facial
A recent article in Nature World News shares Shizuka’s take on nature’s beauty secrets.
A famous spa chain in Japan made headlines recently when news of the company’s snail facials began to spread. The process, which entails live snails crawling across one’s face, distributing mucus as they go, claims to offer that renewed glow so many spa-goers are desperate for.
Surely, the world thought, this is as weird as it gets. Then came news of the bird poop facial.
According to the Huffington Post, facial is slowly being popularized by individuals such as Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise. However, as Japanese facialist Shizuka Bernstein will tell you, the practice has been around for centuries where she comes from.
Read full article here>> Forget Snails, Bird Poop Facials are Where it’s at, Spa Owner Says
Shizuka New York Day Spa is offering the Geisha Facial as an attempt to import beauty secrets once only found in Japan to New York. Introduced by the spa’s owner, Shizuka Bernstein, the Geisha Facial includes powdered nightingale droppings, uguisu no fun, and the spa’s skincare system, which includes green tea, sake, rice bran and pearl protein. The bird poop facial will leave one’s face rejuvenated and will “soften, brighten and nourish the facial complexion.”
Read the full story here>> Bird Poop Facials May Be The Latest Spa Craze, NYC Spa Offers A ‘Geisha Facial’ For $180
A recent article in The New York Observer highlights nightingale droppings’ complexion enhancing properties in The Geisha Facialâ“‡.
But don’t worry, spa owner Shizuka Bernstein isn’t running after flocks of pigeons hoping she can scrounge up the stuff, she uses Asian nightingale droppings, which contain an enzyme that helps brighten and heal skin.
Ms. Bernstein brought the full service facial to her spa â€” located at 7 W 51st St. â€” five years ago after a discussion with her mother about ancient Japanese skin care techniques used by geishas.
Read the full article here>> Dropping Dough for Deuces: New Yorkers Pay $180 for Bird Poop Facial
Check out CBS New’s extensive coverage of our Geisha “bird poop” Facial®!
The Geisha Facial poop treatment is relatively rare in the U.S., but it is no secret in Japan, where it was first used in the 1600s by actors and geishas.
An article by the Associated Press about The Geisha Facial® went to press on August 2nd, 2013. Since then, the piece has appeared in countless local and international publications including USA Today, MSN, The Huffington Post, The Washington Times, NPR, and The NY Post.
Read the full article here>> In world of facials, what does $180 get you? Bird poop
A recent article in Fox News Magazine highlights creative ways to use the summertime heat for great skin.
Read on for Shizuka’s summertime tips for eliminating dull dry skin:
To make sure your skin is in tip-top shape, it’s especially important to cleanse properly when the temperature rises. Experts say now is the time to thoroughly exfoliate every week to remove impurities from the skin and keep pores clog-free. New York City-based celebrity facialist Shizuka Bernstein suggests applying a hot towel to the skin for five minutes after removing makeup and washing skin thoroughly. Follow this by exfoliating gently with a scrub that’s ideal for sensitive skin.
If there was ever a season for makeup woes, summer would be it.
Between sudden rainy downpours, sweltering sweaty afternoons, and even wayward splashes from poolside cannon balls, applying makeup, especially mascara, can become a real chore.
Luckily for some, there are three spa treatments that may make you give your mascara a summer vacation of its own.
An eyelash perm curls your lashes semi-permanently, giving your eyelash curler a rest for 4-6 weeks. Technicians wrap your lashes around tiny rollers (think eyelash sized hair rollers) and apply a chemical solution to induce the curl. The entire treatment takes about an hour. A pro to perms is you get to choose the size the curl. A tight curl will give your eyes a more dramatic & glam look while a looser curl will look more natural.
Tinting solutions range from auburn to blue black and will give your lashes the look of mascara (but without the clumps). Just like the perm, this treatment lasts 4-6 weeks as well.
If giving your lashes the chemical treatment just isn’t your thing, another alternative worth trying is Eyelash Extensions. Extensions combine the look of a perm and tint, making your lashes look longer, fuller, and curlier. False lashes are affixed to your real ones with a special glue holding them in place until they fall out naturally.
Related Blog Post: 7 Tips for Naturally Stronger Fuller Lashes
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