Vancouver beauty services help prep for the holidays

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Everyone deserves a little pampering during the holidays. In between gift shopping, Christmas baking, and getting ready for holiday parties, find some time to enjoy these relaxing services across Vancouver.

The right eyebrow shape can transform a face and even make a person appear younger. According to Blink Brow Bar (577 Bute Street) owner Kiran Darred, it all comes down to brow thickness and the placements of the arch—which a professional can help you determine and achieve. At the recently opened shop, Darred, who has nearly two decades of eyebrow-shaping experience under her belt, helps clients find the right brow shape for their face and uses threading (which utilizes a cotton thread to precisely pull hair from the root) or waxing ($21) to get the desired look. A 20-minute appointment includes the consultation, hair removal, followed by a relaxing forehead massage using aloe vera or rose-water gel and optional brow makeup. For women colouring their mane darker for the winter, Blink Brow Bar also offers temporary eyebrow and eyelash tinting ($19 to $35).

Kitsilano’s Bare Wax Bar (1828 West 1st Street) recently marked its one-year anniversary, and while the shop specializes in waxing—from Brazilians to brows and everything in between—Bare is also gaining a reputation for its customized facials, soothing massages, and precise eyelash extensions. Owner Kimmy Le says that the services offered at Bare really represent her top interests. Facials, which include the 40-minute express ($40) and therapeutic ant-aging facial ($90), are all performed using Dermalogica products. Le explains that the California-based skincare company produces a range of products that target specific skincare concerns while still suitable for sensitive skin. In case of post-facial reactions, however, Le recommends booking a facial three days before a holiday event, and scheduling monthly visits to maintain a natural glow throughout the winter.

The busy holiday season leaves many women less time to go to different locations for different services. At D. Tox Spa (Manitoba Street), owner Irene Lee—who also presides over the popular Pure Nail Bar chain—wants to bring a range of treatments including facials, waxing, nails, and massage under one roof. Clients can group several treatments together—such as a 30-minute Dermalogica facial ($30), 30-minute manicure ($25), all while enjoying an hour-long foot reflexology massage ($38)—and leave feeling relaxed and ready for whatever the holidays might entail. Before heading off to a Christmas party, opt for a mani-pedi that lasts: D. Tox offers shellac gel manicures ($45) and CND’s long-wearing Vinylux nail polishes in festive colours.

Even the best mascaras do not always hold up to harsh winter weather. At Noir Lash Lounge (various locations), many women who might not usually indulge in eyelash extensions or LashDip—a semi-permanent mascara—pay a visit during the holiday season so that limp lashes and flaking mascara becomes one less thing to worry about at Christmas. Owner Joyce Poon, who launched the business in 2008, offers over 100 different lash varieties, which are individually bonded to real eyelashes to create the look of long, lush lashes. For the most natural-looking set, try the Perpetual Pretty ($75 per set), and for a look that is a bit more dramatic—perhaps ahead of a New Year’s Eve bash—go for the luxurious mink lashes ($200). If you are planning on spending a lot of time out in a winter wonderland, keep a flawless face sans runny mascara with LashDip ($25 to $125).

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