Monday, November 3, 2014

The ARCONA Studio Signature Facial Contouring from Brandi Brown | Overview and Review

Spa Services Provided Courtesy of Arcona (Unaffiliated Links)

When I was invited to The Arcona Studio in Santa Monica to receive their Signature Facial Contouring treatment, with world renown Esthetician Brandi Brown, I was absolutely thrilled. The ARCONA Studio was established in 1989, and has been a coveted sanctuary since its inception. While I have shopped at this location for years, I had never received any of their Red-Carpet favored Spa treatments. I have to preface this by stating that in no time at all I was able to see why this particular facial is the go-to treatment for the who's who of Hollywood for the Oscars and The Golden Globes (to name but a few award ceremonies and events). A staggering number of Hollywood A-listers have The Arcona Studio on speed-dial, and Brandi's Signature Facial Contouring is a well known industry insider secret. 
In a day and age inundated with trips to the plastic surgeon for fillers, injectables and a nip and tuck here and there, many forget that there are viable alternatives to these costly and invasive procedures. That is to say nothing of the chemicals, and their potential harmful effects, used in many of these treatments. This is something that ARCONA knew long ago, and this miraculous treatment literally erases years off of the face, and the results are truly astounding.
ARCONA believes in the use of the highest quality clean ingredients, and they avoid the use of all caustic chemicals. They utilize cutting-edge scientific technology in conjunction with the highest quality actives that are antioxidant and lipid-rich, and the result is highly potent and effective cold processed cosmeceuticals that are safe and highly effective.
THE ARCONA PHILOSOPHY:
Arcona always said, “Color, fragrance and consistency don’t change your skin—live, active ingredients do.” We believe lasting beauty comes from within—whatever you put on your skin goes into your body. We use only the finest quality, pure and powerful ingredients in products that penetrate deep into the cellular layers of the skin to effect real change, resulting in glowing, healthy skin at any age.

Dedicated to creating the most effective skin care for both home and professional use, we infuse ARCONA products with enzymatic-based ingredients such as high concentrations of antioxidants, plant lipids and extracts, sea vegetables, essential oils, vitamins and minerals. Active ingredients are processed and our products are manufactured according to scientifically tested, state-of-the-art, chirally correct technology, to produce products that link up effectively with skin cell receptors for better absorption and more visible results.

Because what’s NOT in a product can be vital, ARCONA products contain no petrochemicals, binders or fillers, chemical stabilizers, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphates, perfumes, dyes, or any other caustic, toxic ingredients. Common additives such as these support no more than a brief, cosmetic change in the skin, while clogging the pores and ultimately blocking the restoration of healthy, balanced skin.
ARCONA believes in an easy to follow five-step daily regimen as a means of obtaining a clean and refreshed complexion. Their treatment regimen takes your skincare to the next level, and your complexion is transformed from drab to fab in record time.
THE BASIC FIVE:
ARCONA’s Basic Five skin care regimen begins with products chosen to address your particular skin concerns. The purpose of the Basic Five is to help speed up, strengthen and enhance the skin’s own renewal process. The products you use in the morning nourish, strengthen and protect your skin by day. The products you use at night heal, repair and regenerate your skin as you rest. You’re likely to see an immediate difference in the way your skin looks and feels, and with faithful continuous use, the Basic Five will bring your skin into balance for cumulative long-term change.
WHY ARCONA CREATES REAL CHANGE IN YOUR SKIN:
1) Active Ingredients Work TogetherKey to ARCONA’s effectiveness is active ingredients and the way they are combined and processed. Cosmeceutical-grade ingredients, such as enzymes, antioxidants and amino acids, are formulated to work synergistically to deliver powerful results.

2) Organic IngredientsPure is powerful. ARCONA products are not homogenized, and apparent irregularities in the color or texture of products signify the living nature of organic ingredients. Only those ingredients required to achieve the best results go into our products.

3) Chirally Correct Delivery Systems For Optimum PerformanceActive ingredients are processed—and our products are manufactured—according to scientifically tested, chirally correct technology, which allows products to link up most effectively with skin cell receptors for better absorption and more visible results.

4) Small Batches Assure FreshnessMade without preservatives, ARCONA products are processed in small batches to keep them fresh and assure the potency of active ingredients. Many of our products have expiration dates, so small batches guarantee that products are delivered to the marketplace immediately and used while they are most effective.

5) No Harmful Ingredients Or AdditivesARCONA products contain no petrochemicals, binders or fillers, chemical stabilizers, parabens, sodium lauryl sulphates, perfumes, dyes, or any other caustic, toxic ingredients. Common additives such as these support no more than a brief, cosmetic change in the skin, while clogging the pores and ultimately blocking the restoration of healthy, balanced skin.

6) Science-Based, Performance-Oriented FormulationsDeveloped in the the best labs we can find, our formulations are supported by clinical trials. Sophisticated delivery systems target and time the release of active ingredients into the skin’s cells exactly where they can effect the most powerful results.
In addition to selling their own products, The Arcona Studio sells a few other select lines.
kai products are sold at The ARCONA Studio
25% of the proceeds of ARCONA Magic Pink Ice sold during October 2014 went to Cancer and Careers.
Beautiful product laden vignettes punctuated by gorgeous floral arrangements are tastefully and artfully found throughout the retail space.
The Basic Five Step Regimen shown above.
Instant Lift Kit ($45.00. Shown above): is an iconic set that is wildly popular for good reason since it, "contains a trio of ARCONA products that are specifically formulated to help instantly lift, tighten and firm the skin so that it feels better and appears brighter, smoother and revitalized." 

The kit  includes a Lift Mask, a Tightening Mask, Peptide Firming Complex, a brush and a mask bowl. 

To use: "Start with a combination of Lift Mask and Tightening Serum, which includes a potent formulation of ingredients designed to increase skin's resiliency, elasticity and radiance. Follow with Peptide Firming Complex to help repair, minimize fine lines and attract hydration to the skin. Since results are immediate, this kit is excellent for special occasions. For optimal cumulative results use the kit twice weekly as the perfect complement to your ARCONA skin care regimen."
Allure Editors' Choice 2009 Award Best Natural Wonders for ARCONA Wine Hydrating Mask Replenish (AM/PM) ($40.00): Moisture-binding mask to nourish and replenish dry, dehydrated, depleted skin. Stimulate cellular renewal, reduce wrinkles, firm and smooth by accelerating skin’s natural defenses with grape seed and wine extracts and resveratrol. Revitalize skin with borage, macadamia nut and carrot oils, shea butter and vitamin E, to leave skin supple, soothed and balanced. Repair, refresh and refine skin with hyaluronic acid, the most effective moisturebinding humectant.
Brightening Gommage ($52.00): Two-in-one brightening gommage synergistically promotes deep exfoliation while visibly improving skin’s balance, tone and clarity. Reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation and scarring with ascorbic acid and skin-lightening daisy extract. Exfoliate and purify skin with naturally occurring diatomite, jojoba beads and zeolite. Helps protect skin with antioxidant-rich cranberry and blueberry extracts. Leaves skin toned, vibrant and more luminous.
Cranberry Toner ($34.00): Three-in-one cranberry milk toner cleanses, tones and hydrates, infusing skin with protective antioxidants to leave it glowing and refreshed. Removes dirt, oil and make-up. Protect and clarify skin with antimicrobial cranberry, containing vitamins, phyto-nutrients and essential fatty acids. Neutralize free radicals with vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols. Nourish and heal skin with omegas 3, 6 and 9 and rice milk.
Triad Pads ($32.00): Cranberry Toner in convenient cotton pads helps cleanse, tone and hydrate, infusing skin with protective antioxidants to leave it glowing and refreshed. Ideal for travel, office and handbag. Protect and clarify skin with cranberry extract, containing vitamins, phyto-nutrients and essential fatty acids. Helps neutralize free radicals with vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols. Nourish and restore skin with omegas 3, 6 and 9 and rice milk.
The waiting room, for those awaiting their facials, is an elegantly appointed and graciously sized room behind the retail space in the front.
Comfortable chairs fill the space, and the atmosphere is modern and very relaxing. It is a peaceful room that quite literally transports you from the hectic world outside to an interior space that centers you and quiets your mind before you are led into the inner sanctum of the facial suite.
Magazines, flowers and seashells adorn the trays and tables next to each of the chairs for the added pleasure of the patrons.
A beautiful refreshments bar provides nibbles and beverages for guests as they await their Esthetician's invitation into their room.
While I was waiting for my appointment Brandi gave me a very detailed multi-page questionnaire that solicits information about the client's skincare concerns, the types of skincare products used, and any medications that the client may be taking. TheEsthetician's carefully review the responses in an effort not to administer any protocols that may be contraindicated to medications or skincare products being used by the client. If, for instance, you are actively using retinoids, or had a peel too close in proximity to the ARCONA facial-- they will not allow you to get the Enzyme Peel. Furthermore, studying the client's responses helps the Esthetician customize your facial by choosing the most appropriate products for your skin type.
A view down the hall toward all of the facial suites.
A sneak peek into one of the private suites
SIGNATURE FACIAL CONTOURING WITH ENZYME PEEL & OXYGEN THERAPY
Once Brandi was ready for me she brought me into a dimly lit tranquil room filled with soft peaceful music, and I was immediately lulled me into a deeply relaxed state. She had me change and slip under the covers that were heated for added comfort. 

After reading my questionnaire, and studying my skin, Brandi was able to select the products that she felt best addressed the needs of my skin, and that would work most effectively during my facial.

The Signature Facial Contouring is a 50 minute facial, masterfully performed by Brandi Brown, and it can be done in conjunction with a powerful Enzyme Peel as well as with Oxygen Therapy. Brandi pulled out all of the stops and graciously gave me the ARCONA Signature Facial Contouring with the Enzyme Peel and the Oxygen Therapy. This was an utterly mind-blowing experience!

Brandi began by cleansing my face with the ARCONA Cranberry Toner, an utterly delectably scented toner used to to remove all impurities, and to prep my skin for the Enzyme Peel. Brandi then steamed my skin to further prep it for the Enzyme Peel. She then applied the very effective and potent Enzyme Peel and then ramped up the efficacy by applying a warm towel to my face and then added a powerful steady stream of steam to further activate the powerful enzymes. The mask definitely tingled as it was dissolving dead skin cells, cleaning out clogged pores, and stimulating further skin turn-over and renewal.

While the Enzyme Peel was working its magic on my face, Brandi worked hers on my neck, shoulders and back by giving me an unbelievably powerful and effective massage. At this point my body was limp and unbelievably relaxed, and I felt peaceful and happy. When Brandi was finished massaging me, she then removed the Enzyme Peel and began the Contouring portion of the facial.

The Signature Facial Contouring is, a "proprietary deep muscle facial massage" that "incorporates acupressure and lymph drainage to provide a great antidote to gravity and a viable alternative to facial surgery. The ARCONA Facial Contouring exercises, tones and tightens the muscles of the face, leaving it looking years younger." Furthermore, contouring "brings out the cheekbones and relieves puffiness for a finer, contoured look. Relaxes and tones the face and whole body." ARCONA suggests that repeated treatments give cumulative results. There are many people who do it regularly, and see it as a healthy alternative to chemical-laden injectables and fillers.

The facial massage that constitutes the Contouring portion of the facial is vigorous, rapid and deep. Brandi is utterly brilliant with her controlled deft strokes delivered so deliberately and with such precision. She is powerful and strong, and yet despite the firmness of her touch she remains gentle.

When Brandi was finished with the contouring massage she applied Booster Defense Serum and the
Hydrating Serum to my skin and then administered the Oxygen Therapy Treatment which not only deeply hydrated my skin, but also facilitated the deeper absorption and penetration of the antioxidant, vitamin, mineral, and amino acid rich serums that Brandi had applied to my face, neck and décolleté.

When Brandi was finished she effusively exclaimed that my skin looked gorgeous and renewed, and had me look at my skin in the mirror to see for myself. Not only was my skin soft, supple and moisturized, but it was radiant and glowing unlike anything imaginable. The texture of my skin was so smooth, fine lines were radically diminished, pores appeared tighter and smaller, and my skin was lifted and taut. I looked relaxed, rejuvenated, rested and had a very youthful radiance. Brandi said while my skin looked fantastic directly following the facial, that it would look better and better over the next few days. She was absolutely right!
PRODUCTS USED:
Most of the products that Brandi used on my face during the facial were ARCONA Pro Products that are not available to the public, but the following list of products used during the facial can be purchased:

Cranberry Toner ($34.00): Three-in-one cranberry milk toner cleanses, tones and hydrates, infusing skin with protective antioxidants to leave it glowing and refreshed. Removes dirt, oil and make-up. Protect and clarify skin with antimicrobial cranberry, containing vitamins, phyto-nutrients and Essential Fatty Acids. Neutralize free radicals with Vitamin E Tocopherols and Tocotrienols. Nourish and heal skin with Omegas 3, 6 and 9 and rice milk.

Booster Defense Serum ($68.00):  Antioxidant cocktail regenerates at a deep cellular level, leaving skin firmer, stronger and protected from damaging environmental stressors. Eliminate environmental impurities that contribute to aging with superoxide dismutase. Defend against free radical damage and premature aging with resveratrol and grape seed extracts. Retain moisture and protect skin with Antioxidant Green Tea and Vitamin E. A powerhouse formula to help in the fight against skin damage and skin aging.

Hydrating Serum ($42.00): Skin hydrator rescues dehydrated and depleted skin by replenishing lipids lost in aging, stress and environmental damage. Attract and bind moisture to skin with Hyaluronic Acid, a powerful natural hydrator. Nourish and protect skin with healing Manuka Honey, rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids that assist cellular regeneration. Lock in moisture to maximize the benefits of a daily hydrating regimen, for a healthier, more youthful complexion.
ARCONA SIGNATURE FACIAL CONTOURING OPTIONS:
Signature Facial Contouring ($95.00 for 50 minutes): This proprietary deep muscle facial massage incorporates acupressure and lymph drainage to provide a great antidote to gravity and a viable alternative to facial surgery. The ARCONA Facial Contouring exercises, tones and tightens the muscles of the face, leaving it looking years younger. Contouring brings out the cheekbones and relieves puffiness for a finer, contoured look. Relaxes and tones the face and whole body. Cumulative treatments equal deeper, more profound results. For all skin types except problematic.
*Contouring with Oxygen Therapy $125.00

Organic Enzyme Peel ($125.00 for 50 minutes): The ARCONA Enzyme Peel provides excellent cellular renewal for sun damaged, aged and dull looking skin. This activating yet soothing treatment cleanses and restores your skin to its natural and beautiful balance. Organic fruit enzymes dissolve dead skin and cleanse pores, thereby stimulating the dermis to manufacture more collagen and elastin. Regular Organic Enzyme Peels continue to help your body to produce new, strong, healthier and younger looking skin, without the harsh side affects of a chemical peel. Experience the ARCONA Glow. For all skin types except clients undergoing Retin-A therapy.

Facial Contouring with Enzyme Peel ($125.00 for 50 minutes): A favorite treatment of those who love the ARCONA Signature Facial Contouring, plus the added results of our aromatic Enzyme Peel. Natural organic fruit enzymes break down the outermost layer of the skin and stimulate the dermis to manufacture more collagen and elastin. Next, the ARCONA Facial Contouring brings out cheekbones and relieves puffiness for a finer, more contoured look. Skin looks healthy, vibrant and years younger. For all skin types except problematic.
Products used for ARCONA Facial Treatments

Overall Assessment: Brandi is an extraordinarily talented Esthetician, and her ARCONA Signature Facial Contouring treatment in unlike anything that I have ever experienced. She exclaimed that it was like going to the gym for the face, and that with repeated treatments the transformation is long-lasting and remarkable. After a single treatment I can honestly say that this is the most amazingly effective skin-transforming protocol that I have yet seen or experienced. Not only did I delight in the scents and tactile effects of the beautiful ARCONA products that Brandi used on me, but her magical touch effected radical changes in the texture, appearance and radiance of my skin. This was a truly extraordinary experience!
If you are, or will be, in the Los Angeles area, contact The ARCONA Studio to schedule an appointment. They are open Monday- Saturday from 9am-6pm; Wednesday’s from 9am-7pm,  and every other Sunday from 11am-5pm. You can purchase their products online or call them directly and they will ship them to you!
425 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel 877.272.6620 310.458.3800 • Fax 310.458.3811
The Arcona Studio Spa Services Menu

Services provided courtesy of Arcona (Unaffiliated Links).
All views expressed are categorically my own.
Copyright © 2014 www.lolassecretbeautyblog.com All Rights Reserved.

44 comments:

  1. It looks so beautiful there. I def need to check it out.

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    1. It is an amazing place! It's pretty much skincare heaven! The facial was absolutely insane!

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    1. Hi Destany! It is an extraordinarily magical place!

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  3. I'm sorry that I'm about as far as you can get from Santa Monica. The spa looks lovely, and the prices on the facials are less than in my little town of Wenham MA. I could really use the facial contouring facial. I'm glad you had a wonderful experience there.

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    1. Me too! You would absolutely love it! That's crazy that this is less expensive than facials in you town!!! This facial is unlike anything that I have ever experienced, and Brandi is extremely gifted! :-)

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  4. What a fantastic service this sounds like! Lucky girl!

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    1. It was absolutely amazing, Kellie! I'm so grateful to have experienced it! :-)

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  5. SUCH a gorgeous spa! I feel relaxed and at ease JUST looking at the beautiful pictures! <3

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    1. It really is, Taneja! The stress drains out of your body as soon as you walk through the doors! I left there floating! I'm glad that you enjoyed the pictures and that they made you feel relaxed! I was hoping to convey the feeling that one gets in that amazing environment! Thanks for your kind words! <3

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  6. This definitely sounds like an amazing treatment! I never had such a luxurious facial before but maybe it's about time :).

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    1. Hi Deborah, It definitely was one of the most amazing treatments that I have ever received! You definitely deserve a luxurious treatment! :-)

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  7. The ambience is simply beautiful! I loved looking at all the photos.

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    1. Hi Renu, I agree the ambience is just amazing! I'm so glad that you enjoyed looking at all of the pictures! I wanted to convey the experience as much as possible from the pictures and descriptions! :-)

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  8. I love that Arcona is cruelty free. That wine mask sounds awesome.

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    1. ARCONA is definitely a cruelty free line, and their products are truly amazing! I tried a sample of the wine mask a long time ago, and seem to remember it being really nice! :-)

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  9. What an amazing experience!!!! I wouldn't have wanted to leave, ahahaa!

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    1. It really was Dani! I definitely didn't want to leave because it is so gorgeous there, and I felt so happy and relaxed! :-)

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  10. It looks amazing and now I totally want to try the cranberry toner!

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    1. Hi Bailey! It was TOTALLY amazing! OMG, Isn't that Cranberry Toner AMAZING?! It feels and smells delicious!

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  11. Totally jealous! Sounds like a lovely treatment!

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    1. Hi Kristin, It was an absolutely amazing treatment! Mind-blowing, actually! :)

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  12. It looks so pretty but I have to say my favorite part is how all the products are lined up so perfectly! It makes my weirdo heart so happy. LOL!

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    1. Hi Valesha! I know-- the perfectly lined up products made my weirdo heart happy too! What's hilarious is that it looked perfect, but as soon as I pulled out my camera the lovely people at ARCONA said, "Wait!! Let us tidy everything up and restock before you take pictures." They were so cute and sweet about it, but it looked perfect before they did anything. It is always impeccable and spotless there! I swear you could probably eat off of the floor there! :-)

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  13. Replies
    1. That's it in a nutshell! It's an AMAZING place!

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  14. That cranberry toner? LOOKS AMAZING!

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    1. Hi Angela, Isn't it the most amazingly beautiful color?! I've gone through numerous bottles of this toner, and it is really lovely! It is quite literally as wonderful as it looks, and the smell is intoxicatingly good!

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  15. Thanks for "taking us" to your spa adventure. Reading your post made me feel relaxed. Now I need to get some "me time" soon!

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    1. You are so welcome, Kath! That's exactly what I was hoping to achieve-- I wanted to give you a feeling of the whole amazing experience! You should go pamper yourself-- you deserve it!

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  16. Ooh - that wine mask sounds divine. I always enjoy going to the spa for a treatment... ;)

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    1. Hi Honey, Their products are amazing, but that facial treatment was truly out-of-this-world! :-)

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  17. I love ARCONA products! I'm beyond jealous that you got to go to the spa!

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    1. Hi Jamie, Me too! Arcona products are really amazing! I highly recommend one of their spa treatments, if you find yourself in LA! :-)

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  18. i love the brand philosophy! i love that they emphasize not only the use of natural ingredients but the absence of chemical binders and fillers! thanks for putting this on my radar. plus any brand that emphasizes the use of hylauronic acid and manuka honey has my attention! i will definitely be checking them out once my wallet recovers from f&f sales...

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    1. From philosophy to ingredients used, and finally to the efficacy of the products themselves-- ARCONA is a wonderful line well worth your attention! Plus they are sold at Nordstrom so it's pretty easy to see and feel the products first. They also have samples available-- so you can try before you buy! It's a really wonderful line!

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  19. Want. That. Facial. That is all.

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    1. It was absolutely amazing, and unlike anything that I have ever experienced before!

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  20. Is this line only sold in their store or online through their store? Would love to try a couple of their products while getting some kind of GWP or something with my purchase when a big-name store is having a bonus. Thanks.

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    1. No, you can actually purchase their products at Nordstrom as well. They have them online and in many of their physical stores! That definitely is a huge bonus!

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  21. I was thinking of going here to get a facial while in the LA area. Do you recommend it? Was there a specific name to the facial you got? Do you think they'd sample some products for me while I am there? Thanks!

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    1. I would HIGHLY recommend it! It's a truly amazing experience! It's the Signature Facial Contouring from Brandi– that is her specialty, and she is amazing! They always have samples of things to try! I would imagine that you could probably get samples of some of the products that Brandi uses on you! Tell her that I sent you!

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