Walking into the Beauty Room in Toronto’s Liberty Village, I immediately felt a sense of calm. The reception area was awash in sunlight, soothing music played and there was a slight floral scent in the air. Owner Amanda Chui greeted me with a smile and led me into the treatment room for my anti-aging, vitamin C facial.
“First we cleanse your skin with a product suitable for skin type and condition. For you, I’ll use the G.M. Collin Hydramucine Cleanser which is a milk cleanser for dry or mature skin,” explained Amanda. Exfoliation followed, using DerMED’s Microcrystal Exfoliating polish with jojoba beads and corundrum crystals. “These are the same type of crystals found in microdermabrasion treatments,” Amanda noted. She used a “gommage” technique, good for my sensitive skin, to gently rub off dead cells and improve circulation. After rinsing away the polish, she applied a mild lactic and glycolic chemical peel to further exfoliate any dead skin build-up. “The lactic acid, made from milk, is great for hydration. Glycolic acid, made from sugarcane, is good for wrinkles and pigmentation,” she told me. Just what I needed. After a few quick extractions, she disinfected my skin and reduced redness with a high-frequency tool. “It uses a gentle electrical current to enhance circulation, diminish acne-causing bacteria, reduce fine lines, and stimulate collagen and elastin production,” she explained.
Next came the vitamins. The G.M. Collin facial kit Amanda used on me comes with a vitamin C serum (Sea C Spa Serum), Sea C Spa Seaweed Patches, a hydrating activation lotion, and a Sea C Spa Thermal Mud Mask. The serum contained 15 per cent L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which she explained was high in antioxidants that fight free radicals and promote collagen production. After she lightly massaged it into my skin seaweed patches were placed on my forehead, cheeks, chin, and neck. Made from marine extracts high in minerals and nutrients, they were supposed to provide ultimate hydration and anti-aging benefits. Saturated with activating lotion they turned into what felt like a thin layer of jelly on my face. Amanda massaged it into my skin then gave me a facial massage using acupressure and fluttery effleurage moves. A thermal mud mask followed. As it tightened and dried, she massaged my neck, shoulders, hands and arms. Twenty minutes later she wiped off the mask and applied toner, eye cream, serum, moisturizer, and SPF.
Voila! I was done. My skin was baby soft and when I looked in the mirror there did seem to be a slight diminishing of my crow’s feet. It’s not easy to fight the ravages of time and sun, but Amanda managed to make me feel 10 years younger.
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that treats all sorts of skin conditions such as lines and wrinkles, sun damage, and dehydration. L-ascorbic acid is a form of vitamin C. Vitamin C can also be found in many foods such as oranges, grapefruits, and tomatoes.
G.M. Collin products are only available at select spas/salons. G.M. Collin has seven (Beauty Room offers six) different facial kits specifically for professional use only. The products are pre-measured for one-time use and work in harmony with the other products in the kit. “What I love about them is that when the clients come in for a facial, they’re getting exclusive in-clinic products and not just retail products that they can easily purchase themselves,” says Amanda.
Amanda Chiu’s Story
“In 2001 I was 18 working part-time at a Yorkville hair salon and going to school full-time at University of Toronto, studying computer science. After two years of being in school, I disliked what I studied so much that my grades fell. I left school and started working full-time at the salon.
“One day, a friend, who was and still is an aesthetician there, wanted to have her nails done. I jokingly offered to do them. Surprisingly, she let me. After I finished, she complimented me on how well I did and suggested that I go to beauty school. I’ve always had an interest in beauty, ever since I was a child. Not knowing what I wanted to do at 20 years of age, I figured it was better than nothing. I stayed working full-time at the salon while I went to school at night part-time. It took about two years to finish all my courses.
“I got my first aesthetician job at Stillwater Spa at Toronto’s Park Hyatt hotel. It was an amazing opportunity that helped shape how I run my business today. Beauty Room started in 2012. I still follow Stillwater’s motto of offering an experience to our clients. Even though we’re situated in a hair salon, I take pride in providing a certain level of luxury in all our services.”
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