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Enter the Skin Games 2017

Image: The Skin Games

The first professional skincare competition aims to honor some of the industry's top estheticians.

The Skin Games, a nationwide skincare competition taking place on April 23, 2017 at The Marriott Hotel in San Ramon, is now open to all skincare professionals. Contestants are invited to show off their skills, promote their business, and compete for prizes in front of a panel of judges, including Dr. Bojana Matovski of Institute Rejuvee and Rejuvee Inc., during the live finale event in April.

Participants can enter in any of the following categories:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Age management
  • Acne/problematic skin
  • Best new esthetician (estheticians with 2 years or less)
  • International
  • Expert
  • Compassionate

How to register:

  • To register go to this registration page, and pick the category you want to enter (you may enter more than once).
  • Your name will show up on THE PLAYERS page within 1-3 days.
  • Each player will have a self-portrait, their name, location, category, website link, social media links and video diary link on the Skin Games website.
  • Everyone can check up on any of the players by clicking on their web site or video diary to see their progress.

On February 15, 2017, finalists will be selected to compete in the Live Games, taking place on April 23rd. Five finalists will be selected from each category, except the Expert and Compassionate categories, which will have 6 and 3 finalists, respectively. The 6 Expert entries will be highlighted at the Live Show Expert Treatment Panel. All contestants will be reviewed based on technique and before-and-after results, and will be judged via an interview panel with the judges prior to the Live Show Event (interview schedule TBA).

During the Live Games finale event on April 23, 2017, finalists will be interviewed by the panel of expert judges on a live stage. One winner will be selected per category with the top estheticians being crowned on stage in front of their peers.

All entires must be submitted by January 31, 2017. For more details, please visit

The 14th Annual Cosmoprof North America Produces Record Breaking Numbers

Image courtesy of CMMPR

Take a look at the highlights from Cosmoprof North America 2016.

Cosmoprof North America (CPNA), the only all-encompassing, award winning, business-to-business beauty event in North America and the ultimate meeting point for beauty professionals is proud to announce they have done it again by producing record breaking exhibitor attendance and ticket sales. Held, annually at Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, 33,750 attendees (12.5% increase to 2015) engaged with record breaking 1,154 exhibitors representing 38 countries (12% increase from 2015) and were able to see and experience new sections like Discover Green and Glamour Me along with show favorites, Discover Beauty, Tones of Beauty and Discover Scent.  The show floor space covered 280,991 sqf (26,105 sqm) of space with an increase of of 10% compared to the previous year. 
This year was also about igniting the power of some of most influential beauty influencers in the business and giving the exhibitors a chance to be covered on their social media channels.  With over 23 million impressions and 400 posts these influencers which included ethnic, multi-cultural, television personalities, vloggers, and bloggers brought the show to a new level and really solidified its title of best in business.
Show Highlights:
Discover Green: Going Green
Discover Green was a special area curated with the input from Insiders Guide to Spa and dedicated to eco-friendly, clean, organic and/or natural beauty products. Created to mimic the high-end, exclusive feel of Discover Beauty, Spotlights, Discover Scent, and Tones of Beauty, the decision to include a new “green” section came on the heels of increased consumer awareness of the environmental impact and ingredient safety from products purchased. 
Glamour Me: Experiencing Beauty Innovation Live
Glamour Me was a new beauty lounge that allowed attendees to experience participating exhibitor products first-hand and with close to 200 appointments booked it has exceeded expectations. Attendees were able to select to have their hair, nails, skin or makeup show ready with quick 30 minutes services provided by select exhibitors. 
Tones of Beauty: Multi-cultural Beauty
Also returning for the second year is the highly successful Tones of Beauty, which showcased a select group of coveted and innovative multicultural brands across every major sector: Skin, Hair and Color. To ensure successful program implementation and brand selection, CPNA repeated its collaboration with renowned global beauty media group love, Aunt Bonnie and added a dedicated educational conference to learn about market specifics.
Discover Beauty

Presenting a line-up of start-up beauty brands, this high-end, curated section combined the best of both worlds: pre-arranged face-to-face meetings with key retail buyers such as Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Barneys New York, HSN and Kohl’s as well as a traditional exhibition presentation where all attendees are invited to come and discover these brands. Additionally, this year we are pleased to announce Chaleur Beauty as the winner of the official Discover Beauty 2016 Award. 
Discover Beauty Spotlights
Spotlights was an exclusive initiative within the Discover Beauty program. This department store-like presentation serves as a showcase for companies that are big on creativity yet smaller in size but who are a prime fit for high-end retail stores, boutiques, salons and spas. 
Returning for the second year, International Business Forum & Exhibition (IBF&E) focused on the Beauty Supply Chain business platform for companies specialized in contract manufacturing, packaging, machinery, OEM and raw materials. The program benefited from key strategic placement on the show floor and a full package that includes buyer meetings. 
TV Shopping Channel Auditions
Making a return were the live auditions for major US TV shopping channels QVC, HSN and Evine Live whereby exhibitors were able to pitch products live to the merchants. New this year exhibitors were also able to audition with international TV shopping channels including The Shopping Channel (Canada), HSE (Germany), and GS Shop (Korea). Also new this year, CPNA created a new collaboration with EVINE Live, an ominichannel retail experience whereby the organizers provided the opportunity for key buyers from the network to meet with exhibitors inside a dedicated space on the show floor; select exhibitors will be featured in a dedicated inner segment featuring products discovered at CPNA  2016.
BOUTIQUE, buzzing with activity, was set up as a sampling bar showcasing deluxe premium-size samples from twenty exhibiting brands. For a donation of $10, attendees chose seven samples out of twenty-featured products and this year CPNA raised over $13,000 to be given to Look Good, Feel Better.  
Discover Scent: The Smell of Success in the Air

Scent was also in the air this year - literally. Air Aroma, a leading scent branding agency that designs custom fragrances for luxury brands around the world, returned again to scent main show areas through its patented diffusion technology but this year custom formulated a signature CPNA fragrance. An area on the show floor dedicated exclusively to fragrance, Discover Scent featured 13 niche fragrance brands curated with the assistance of Sniffapalooza

CPNA hosts PBA Beauty Week
Cosmoprof North America not only celebrates the beauty industry but also entrepreneurship evidenced this year at the second annual Beauty Pitch™ which was co-hosted by PBA on Saturday, July 23rd. This one-of-a-kind beauty competition showcased six innovative beauty companies, in two separate categories – Startup and Established. Over one thousand attendees gathered to watch these companies pitch their products to a panel of celebrity judges including John Paul DeJoria, Kevin Harrington, ELLE Beauty Director Emily Dougherty; Executive Editor at InStyle Digital Innovation of Time Inc. Deanne Kaczerski, and Mark Spinks, President of BSG CosmoProf and Armstrong McCall, Sally Beauty Holdings. The winners of this esteemed event include: Sunlights Balayage, Inc., P3 Pure both recipients of cash prizes, and O.R.G Skincare  chosen by the merchants of BSG to gain distribution into all 1,200 nationwide stores and online. Additionally, all semi-finalists received an invitation to be featured in an online exclusive boutique on Amazon Launchpad. 

FarmHouse Fresh Receives 2016 ISPA Innovate Award

Image courtesy of Carolyn Kamii Public Relations

FarmHouse Fresh was awarded in the Philanthropic Initiatives category for its creation and launch of Is It True They Call You the Dog Bed Fairy? picture book.

FarmHouse Fresh recently received the 2016 ISPA Innovate Award in the Philanthropic Initiatives category for its work surrounding the creation and launch of an 18-page, hard-cover picture book, Is It True They Call You the Dog Bed Fairy?. The book, which features images of lovable homeless dogs, retails on the company's website for $10, with $7 of each book sold going toward the purchase of dog beds for animal shelters across the country.

"We are thrilled to be recognized by fellow ISPA members who voted for ideas they believe are the most innovative in the spa industry within 4 categories, and so honored they recognized our dog bed fairy book for its charitable initiative," says Shannon McLinden, CEO of FarmHouse Fresh. In the first 2 months, proceeds from the book amounted to over $20,000 in beds, outfitting shelters from Arizona to Texas, Georgia and Florida. Spas across the country are retailing the book, and many partnered with FarmHouse Fresh to ensure their local shelters receive beds.

McLinden continues, "Our corporate mission has a philanthropic component which is to support the rescue, transport, funding and fostering of forgotten and abused animals, where every purchase made of the picture book helps us help them. Shelters, rescues, and non-profits are selected, and asked to fill out a wishlist. We pool the proceeds of book purchases to fulfill their requests, so that one by one, each shelter and animal rescue we approach is completely outfitted, and dogs get the comfort they need. I believe that some images in this heartwarming book capture the emotions of what dogs in shelters say and feel when they are given their very own bed."

To help spread the word about this book and the company's charitable initiative to supply dog beds to shelters and rescues, FarmHouse Fresh asks readers to engage their friends, families and colleagues in a social media challenge to become "FarmHouse Fresh Dog Bed Fairies." With each online purchase, the reader will receive a welcome email with instructions on how to upload a selfie or photo of a friend or family member they are gifting. Within 2 business days, the company sends back a customized Dog Bed Fairy photo which the reader can post on social media using the hashtag #DogBedFairy, and tag the company on Instagram (@FarmHouseFresh), Facebook (FarmHouseFreshGoods), and Twitter (@FarmHouseFresh). As a reminder of the challenge, the bookmark provided inside each book explains how readers can email the company their photo(s). Each month, the company will pick random fairies who posted a photo using the correct hashtag, and send the winning fairies a free, limited-edition poster print of pages from the book.

For more details about the company's ongoing efforts to help forgotten and abused animals, visit the Rescue area on their website,

Bluemercury Opens 100th Store

Bluemercury Founders Marla Malcolm Beck and Barry Beck cut the ribbon at the 100th location in Savannah; Image courtesy of Alison Brod PR

The luxury beauty product and spa retailer celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the 100th location in Savannah, GA.

In 1999, Bluemercury Founders Marla Malcolm Beck and Barry Beck identified a gap in the beauty market. Cosmetics and skincare products could largely only be purchased at department stores or drugstores. With the founding of Bluemercury, the Becks created the first national neighborhood beauty store, where customers could receive a personalized, educational, friendly shopping experience, along with an assortment of the world's most coveted luxury beauty brands. "We created a revolutionary retail concept – a store steps from your home, with friendly beauty experts that know everything about products and can advise clients on the right solutions to your beauty and skincare problems," said Marla Beck. "We also wanted a one-stop shop for all things beauty. We have always offered experiential services – makeup services, brow stylings, waxing, and facials so all of our clients’ beauty needs could be met in one place."

The Savannah store, located at 110 West Broughton Street, is emblematic of Bluemercury’s past, present and future; it simultaneously speaks to the brand’s heritage and its plan for growth. Located in the historic Jacob’s Men’s Shop Building in downtown Savannah, the store serves as a beautiful landmark of the innovative spirit and hospitality central to the Bluemercury philosophy. The space has a fresh and updated look, while still preserving traditional architectural elements such as exposed brick walls, wood flooring, and the historic original terrazzo entryway.

Looking forward, Bluemercury Savannah, at approximately 2,400 square feet, marks Bluemercury’s foray into a larger store size retail format. "We continue to find the retail white space after 17 years in part because of our innovative approach to merchandising and our exceptionally laser focused real estate strategy. Our Savannah store builds on our remarkable success in nearby Charleston, South Carolina, and we plan to add more stores to the region," said Barry Beck, Bluemercury Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer.

The Savannah location houses over 70 leading beauty brands, including longtime Bluemercury favorites such as La Mer, Skinceuticals, Natura Bisse, Kiehl’s, Trish McEvoy, NARS, Oribe, Molton Brown, along with newcomers Hourglass, RMS, Tara Smith, and This Works. Bluemercury’s exclusive products, including the Trish McEvoy Sun and Sand Planner and the Estee Lauder Genuine Glow line, and proprietary, clean skincare and cosmetics brands, M-61 Powerful Skincare and makeup line Lune + Aster, will also be available. Furthermore, Bluemercury Savannah will feature the company’s first Jo Malone micro shop; an interactive shop-in-shop that allows clients to experience the beauty of Jo Malone’s full range of fragrances, creams and washes.

Marla Beck added, "Bluemercury is also for discovery and tips and tricks. I’ve always said, I don’t know what products we’ll be carrying ten to fifteen years from now, but we’ll always be the best at giving beauty advice. We look for brands that have a distinctive point of view. We love brands created by entrepreneurs and innovators with a strong opinion, whether it’s Rose Marie-Swift of RMS, Dr. Greg Brown of Revive, Dina Mojer of Smith and Cult, Oribe, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Tara Smith, and more."

Barry Beck said, "As we look towards the future, our approach always starts with our customer, anchored in providing her a better more engaging shopping experience. Our beauty experts can hyper-customize beauty solutions and are human Googles for beauty products. Our mission was — and is — to be the best in the world at giving beauty advice. Shopping for beauty can be a complicated and personal process and our beauty experts are the most knowledgeable in the industry and have become our enduring secret weapon."

Bluemercury will also celebrate their 100th store with special offers across all doors on Saturday, July 23, 2016. Customers can receive complimentary mini-facials and makeup touch-ups, along with product giveaways on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Repêchage to Host 3-Day Oncology Training Program with Becky Kuehn

Image courtesy of Repêchage

The program will teach attendees the essential skills necessary to work with cancer survivors and enhance their quality of life.

On August 15-17, 2016, Repêchage will host a 3-day Oncology Training Program with Becky Kuehn, Master Licensed Esthetician, COS, Educator and Founder of Oncology Spa Solutions at The Lydia Sarfati Post-Graduate SKIN CARE Academy in Secaucus, NJ. Attendees will receive training created by Kuehn, who will share her knowledge experience, and compassion working with cancer patients from two hospital programs that she created.

A licensed Master Esthetician, licensed Cosmetologist, and NCEA Certified, Kuehn's 31 years of experience and over 6 years dedicated to working with cancer patients, will assist her in providing intimate knowledge of the essential skills necessary to work with cancer survivors and enhance their quality of life.

Course Includes:

  • Training manual/workbook ($125 value)
  • Canvas Oncology-Trained Tote bag ($35 value)
  • USB flash drive with digital product information/forms ($60 value)
  • Equipment ($150 value)
  • Product samples ($60 value)
  • Lunch is supplied each day ($40 value)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 10 CE’s Approved by the Commission on Accreditation ($149 value)

Course Content:

  • Discuss oncology to have a better understanding of cancer
  • Examine cancer treatments and their effects
  • Identify side effects to create personalized safe treatments
  • Recognize how a cancer diagnosis affects both physical and emotional health
  • Compare ingredients in our personal care products
  • Explore your role in skin cancer
  • Manage CAT Forms - Consultation
  • Demonstrate hands-on practical
  • Discuss marketing to utilize your oncology skills in your community

Price (3 days): $897. To register, contact or call (253) 405-5810.

Mandarin Oriental Launches Global Digital Detox

The spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, which will host a Digital Detox weekend Sept. 9-11, 2016; Image: Mandarin Oriental

The digital detox initiatives will help spa guests manage their relationship with technology while adapting an attitude of mindfulness.

Beginning September 5, 2016, Mandarin Oriental will launch a Digital Detox initiative at all of its spas worldwide. The program is designed to help guests find new ways to manage their relationship with technology and the stress that can come with a constantly connected digital lifestyle.

“Technology has brought us many great advances,” said Jeremy McCarthy, Group Director of Spa and Wellness, “But the expectations for instant communication and the increasing pace of change in the world can have a negative impact on our wellbeing.”

Now, by booking any treatment at a Mandarin Oriental spa, guests can also access a range of wellness advice and activities designed to help them disconnect from technology. Mandarin Oriental has worked with the renowned Mayo Clinic on the creation of a range of tips and guidelines that can help establish personal boundaries on the use of technology, clear mental chatter and establish a healthy, digitally balanced lifestyle.

The Digital Detox initiative encourages guests to surrender their phones on arrival at the spa, thus removing any online distractions. In the spa relaxation rooms, guests can access a full range of mindfulness activities such as journaling, note card writing, coloring, meditation or simply relaxing and enjoying the silence. There will also be a selection of curated spa retail offerings, ranging from crystals and eye masks to meditation pillows and a selection of calming teas and oils. All have been chosen to encourage mindfulness and digital disconnection.

For those who wish to immerse themselves more fully, a Digital Detox Retreat can be booked. This 1 hour 20 minute experience focuses on grounding both body and mind through the power of human touch, and is designed to provide a calming and peaceful respite from the outside world and the stress of repetitive movements. The treatment includes relaxation in an aromatic bath, followed by a massage that concentrates on the head, eyes, neck, shoulders, hands and feet.

“The spa is one of the few places left in modern society where it is acceptable and even encouraged to disconnect from technology,” said McCarthy. “The Spas at Mandarin Oriental provide a perfect haven for people to escape from technology, even if only briefly, to rest their minds and reconnect with themselves.”

On departure, inspired by tips on how to achieve a more digitally balanced life, guests can reclaim their cleaned device from the spa, repackaged in its own protective digital shielding. To further support this new Digital Detox initiative, The Spas at Mandarin Oriental will again offer an annual Silent Night event for the holiday season. On December 14, 2016 each spa will have a special silent retreat to remind guests about the importance of taking personal time for reflection, introspection and silence.

On departure, guests can reclaim their cleaned device from the spa, repackaged in its own protective digital shielding. To further support this new Digital Detox initiative, The Spas at Mandarin Oriental will again offer an annual Silent Night event for the holiday season. On Dec. 14, 2016 each spa will have a special silent retreat to remind guests about the importance of taking personal time for reflection, introspection and silence.

For more information, please visit

2016 Wellness Travel Awards Finalists Announced

Image: Agua Spa

The awards aim to honor hotels, resorts, spas and retreats in a variety of health and wellness categories.

Spafinder Wellness has announced the finalists of this year's Wellness Travel Awards. Agua Bathhouse and Spa at The Mondrian London, Anantara Spa at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort, Villa Stéphanie at Brenners Park-Hotel and Spa, Canyon Ranch in Tucson and the spa at the Royal Mansour Marrakech are among the 388 hotels, resorts, spas and retreats from around the globe listed as the 2016 finalists.

The awards comprise 20 categories, including Best for Fitness, Best Weight Loss Programme, Best for Nutrition and Healthy Cuisine, Best for Outdoor Adventure and Activities, Best for Medical Services and Best New Spa and Wellness Property.

In addition to the 20 categories covering different aspects of wellness travel, the Wellness Travel Awards also include the Country and Crystal Awards. Crystal Awards are presented to the top property on six continents, while Country Awards will be handed to the highest scoring property in a wide range of countries globally.

The shortlisted properties were nominated by a global panel of 39 industry judges, including spa and wellness operators and editors and writers within the sector. The awards opened for consumer voting today, which will remain open until September 16, 2016. The winners will be selected based on a combination of the panel’s scores, and the votes cast by consumers around the world.

John Bevan, chief operating officer of Spafinder Wellness, said, “With thousands of diverse properties to choose from, we believe the Wellness Travel Awards are an exceptional resource for people seeking a world of destinations that restore and improve their wellbeing.”

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at the World Travel Market, held at the ExCeL exhibition centre in London on November 7-9, 2016.

To vote in the 2016 Wellness Travel Awards, please visit
See the full list of finalists here.

CIDESCO To Host International Makeup Competition

Image courtesy of The Spa PR Company

The theme of this year's event, which aims to honor the top makeup artists in the world, centers around myths and legends.

International beauty therapy association CIDESCO is hosting its annual Makeup and Body Art Competition on September 26, 2016 during the 64th CIDESCO World Congress in Dublin, Ireland. Open to both student and professional makeup artists, the theme of this year's competition is "Myths and Legends of the World Unite," encouraging competitors to unleash their creativity through makeup and body art.

Winners of this year's competition, in both student and professional categories, will receive prizes from CIDESCO International and sponsor Kate Wacz of Sweden, and will also be featured in CIDESCO's LINK International magazine, distributed to members worldwide. All participants will receive a CIDESCO World Congress Makeup and Body Art certificate of participation.

To register, each competitor is required to submit a brief synopsis of their interpretation of the theme, "Myths and Legends of the World Unite," which should include a picture or sketch. To register visit

The 64th CIDESCO World Congress and Exhibition takes place September 22-26, 2016 in Dublin, and is expected to attract attendees from around the globe to discuss the industry's most important issues, learn new skills, and network. The theme of this year's event is "Into the Deep," and will include a CIDESCO Examiners’ Workshop, Schools’ Meeting and General Assembly for members, as well as the Professional Beauty Exhibition & Lecture program, open to trade visitors.

For more information, please visit

American International Industries Acquires Model in a Bottle

Image courtesy of Model in a Bottle

The acquisition further expands the brand's portfolio as a leader in manufacturing and distribution.

American International Industries (A.I.I.), a leading manufacturer and worldwide distributor of beauty products, recently announced its acquisition of cosmetics company, Model in a Bottle. The acquisition comes just one year after A.I.I.'s purchase of Hollywood Fashion Secrets, further cementing the company’s place as an industry leader in beauty and style essentials.

“Like other brands in our portfolio, Model in a Bottle offers innovative products with a fast-growing and loyal customer base. With this acquisition we broaden our portfolio into the cosmetics category, adding dimensions to our current product offerings,” said Zvi Ryzman, President of A.I.I. “We believe it has great potential and with our wide distribution channels and expertise in growing niche brands, we anticipate a long and happy future for A.I.I. and Model in a Bottle.”

Model in a Bottle products include a range of makeup sealing products including the widely-recognized Original Makeup Setting Spray, Eyebrow Sealer and Lipstick Sealer. Visit to view the complete line.

Blythin Leggett, LMT Receives the 2016 Performance Health FSMTA Humanitarian Award

Left to right: Jane Hyde Kordish, LMT (2015 award recipient); Lynda Solien-Wolfe, Vice President, Massage & Spa, Performance Health; Blythin Leggett, LMT; Leiah J. Carr, LMT, President, FSMTA Photo courtesy Action Jackson & FSMTA; Image courtesy of Performance Health

Leggett was presented with the prestigious award for her work with military veterans at the Florida State Massage Therapy Association’s Annual Convention

Blythin Leggett, LMT was presented the Performance Health FSMTA Humanitarian Award at this year’s Florida State Massage Therapy Association’s Convention and Trade Show. Performance Health, manufacturer and marketer of Bon Vital', Biofreeze, Prossage, TheraBand, Cramer and Thera°Pearl health and wellness products, honors individuals annually in the massage therapy industry for their efforts in improving the welfare of their clients and demonstrating selfless devotion to others. This is the fourteenth year Performance Health and the FSMTA have presented this award.

“We are once again grateful for the opportunity to partner with the FSMTA to honor someone who quietly gives back so much to others,” stated Marshall Dahneke, President, Performance Health. “I love the heart of this profession and of its practitioners, and selecting just one person to honor among so many worthy choices is never easy. However, Blythin is another ‘poster child’ of generosity through her work with our military veterans.

“Blythin cares for and supports the needs of veterans by donating her time and expertise at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL and Quantico, VA. She also provides monthly volunteer support for an award-winning warrior-athlete who is paraplegic as a result of his sacrifice for us, and who is now a world-class jet ski competitor. She supports him and his team as well as other competing warrior-athletes, encouraging and enabling them to compete at their best. It is truly an honor to present Blythin with the 2016 Performance Health FSMTA Humanitarian Award,” concluded Mr. Dahneke.

Blythin Leggett is a life-long learner with a long list of degrees and certifications ranging from museum art education to personal training. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist in Florida, a member of the FSMTA and has served on the FSMTA Sports Team since 2009.

In addition to honoring Ms. Leggett at the FSMTA convention, Performance Health will donate $1,000 to Special Operations Bionic Warriors.

“I am surprised, honored, humbled and absolutely full of gratitude to be the recipient of the 2016 Performance Health/FSMTA Humanitarian award. I am so fortunate to love my work as much as the people I serve,” Ms. Leggett said. “Although these special operations athletes are physically and emotionally reminded of their sacrifice 24/7, they regain awareness of their self-worth through building supportive relationships and are empowered by their challenge. I believe the Special Operations Bionic
Warriors organization provides the strongest correlation with my mission, and I am pleased to have my award appropriated to them.”