Category Archives: Intimacy

Common Cosmetic Procedures that can Brighten Your Look

One of the joys of married life is that you have someone to grow old with. Unfortunately, that means you have to grow old. Even if you and your partner are as gorgeous to each other as the day you married, it couldn’t hurt to occasionally get a little assistance. There are some cosmetic procedures that can brighten your complexion, remove a few wrinkles, and eliminate that unwanted hair that tends to sprout as we age.

Most of these procedures are available at your local dermatologist’s office, or at clinics like American Laser. The prices vary by procedure, and the more expensive procedures tend to have the longest-lasting results. One nice thing is that a lot of clinics offer package deals. Just like a day spa, where you can have a couple’s massage, you and your spouse can treat each other to a couple’s procedure for a reasonable price.

1. Microdermabrasion

Average cost: $150/session

Microdermabrasion uses tiny abrasive particles to remove the topmost layer of skin. It’s similar to the way an ultra-fine Emory board buffs your nails. Buffing the skin stimulates collagen and cell growth, and the new outer layer has fewer wrinkles and blemishes.

Microdermabrasion is one of the least expensive procedures, but only lasts about a week. This procedure is good for those special occasions where you’d like to be wrinkle-free, like a reunion, a mile-stone anniversary, or a special Mother’s Day celebration.

The procedure can cause some redness irritation, which usually lasts about 24 hours. So, if you’re having it done for a specific event, schedule your appointment at least two days in advance.

2. Dermal Fillers

Average cost: $600/session

Dermal fillers are natural or synthetic products that plump up the skin and fill in wrinkles and creases.

Some fillers, like Juvederm, are made of a substance called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in your joints and skin, to help you make collagen. In your skin collagen provides strength and attracts moisture.

Other fillers, like Radiesse, are made of biologically compatible substances that stimulate your body’s own collagen production.

Both types of fillers are considered safe than the old silicone fillers because they are closer to your natural body chemistry, and less likely to cause a reaction.

Skin fillers are slightly more expensive than microdermabrasion, but they can also last several months, to a year.

3. Laser Treatments

Average cost: $429/session (hair) to $3,000/session (skin)

Lasers have several cosmetic uses, from hair removal to repairing sun damage.

When used for hair removal, the laser heats up the hair follicle, causing the existing hair to fall out and preventing it from growing back. Laser hair procedures, like the ones available an American Laser, are more effective than electrolysis because the light hits several follicles at once. You can perform laser hair removal on almost any part of your body, but it is most effective for large areas like the back, chest, or legs.

When used as a skin treatment, the laser is used in several ways:

As a wrinkle treatment and for repairing sun damage, the laser removes the topmost layer of skin and stimulates collagen production in the layer beneath. Because it is a directed beam, it only affects the immediate area, and not the surrounding tissue;

As a liver spot or tattoo remover, the laser breaks down pigments into smaller particles, which are then absorbed into the skin. Lasers work best on darker pigments, like blacks or browns.

Laser treatments tend to be more expensive than other procedures, but the effects can last several years.

4. Chemical peels

Average cost: $650/session

A chemical peel is similar to microdermabrasion, except it uses an acid, usually derived from fruit, to remove the topmost layer of skin. The peels come in different strengths, depending on the extent of work being done. For example, fine lines may respond well to a light peel, while heavier lines and blemishes may need a stronger product.

Although they are more expensive than microdermabrasion, chemical peels generally last several weeks, vs. several days for the microdermabrasion. After repeated sessions, the effects could even last years.

Cosmetic procedures aren’t just for those who want to fight aging. Even if you feel comfortable growing older, these procedures can help you elevate your look, whether for one night, or several nights to come. These procedures won’t completely change your appearance, or make you unrecognizable to each other, but they can add a spring to your step and a little spark of romance to your relationship.

Mother’s Day Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

This Mother’s Day you do not need to spend an arm and a leg in order to show the mom in your life how much she really means to you. Especially if you are looking for ideas for your children or perhaps even a mother in law, it may be the most sentimental or simple gifts or gestures that do all of the talking.

One of the most classic gifts for mom on Mother’s Day is a homemade card. The thought and time that goes into a custom gift such as this will go a long way with the mom in your life. This is especially a great idea for the kids to do. Another great gift idea that is for the kids and dad is a day off for mom. Make sure mom doesn’t lift a finger on her day and go the extra mile to help out around the house. Ideas could be doing the laundry, cooking dinner, or other chores that mom has been known to do.

One gift that will never get old for mom is flowers. Despite what you may think, these do not always have to break the bank. By shopping around you can find great florists like Fresh Flowers who offer really beautiful arrangements (my favourite is their Mothers Day Aurora Tulips) that will make beautiful arrangements for your mom on Mother’s Day. Check out this online florist’s Facebook page for more ideas as they have some lovely Instagram photos that pop up on the page as well.

There are countless other ways to make sure mom knows that you love her without spending a lot of money. Any type of handmade gift will always win over mom. Just because you aren’t artistic does not mean it is not a great gift. Pictures and experiences are also always great ideas.

With a little thought you can come up with the perfect gift from mom. Be creative. The purpose of the holiday after all is to show mom what she means to you so even the spoken word can be enough.

Go Off the Grid for Your European Vacation

Sure, you can take a vacation to a foreign country and stay in luxury hotels and be part of a tour group, but then you only get the safe, touristy view of the country.  That’s fine if you want a one dimensional view, but to truly see what a country is like, you need to live like the locals and experience the local culture.

This might be difficult in countries where not many people speak English, but in many European countries, plenty of people speak English so it’s easy to get around, especially some place like England or Ireland.

If you want to take an off the grid vacation, consider utilizing these techniques:

1.  Plan your vacation with an off the beaten path guidebook.  There are some guidebooks that specifically seek to take tourists to destinations not visited by many.  This is the kind of book you want to use to plan your trip.  You’ll likely be taken to anything from offbeat to macabre to other types of destination.  You’re vacation won’t be boring, that’s for sure, and you likely won’t have to wait in line!

2.  Join an online group.  You can join an online group for people who have either been to the country or live in the country.  You may hear of adventures and trips that are far from mainstream such as those you’ll find on Shagaholic.com which offers online dating in the UK (and even sex dating, if that’s your interest).  Be prepared to hear of all sorts of alternative destinations, and only choose those you truly feel comfortable with.

3.  Find alternative housing arrangements.  Don’t bother with fancy hotels.  Instead, consider staying in a hostel or even trading homes with someone who wants to visit the United States when you’re visiting their country.  This is a great way to get free housing.

4.  Keep your plans loose.  The best way to travel is often to keep your plans loose.  Arrive in the country and then get busy asking the locals what there is to do and see.  Also, asking the locals is the best way to find excellent restaurants and pubs.  If you’re visiting a pub, you could likely ask the patrons for their recommendations for fun things to do.

Travel doesn’t have to be stifling and boring.  Take advantage of some of these tips and have a vacation like you’ve never had before.