Glam Jam

What is a Lash Lift?

February 13th, 2018

Lipstick, blush, mascara — any makeup artist will tell you, those are the three essential items a woman should have in her makeup bag. But what if you could eliminate one of those things and wake up with lashes that look like you just had them done? It’s a service you can now find at Simonson’s Salon and Spa, using not extensions, but your own real lashes. Twin Cities Live Reporter Kelli Hanson headed to our Coon Rapids Salon & Spa to show us how it works.

3S Experts Featured:
January | Aesthetician at Simonson’s Coon Rapids

Holiday Hair Tutorial

December 13th, 2017

Holiday party season is the perfect time to play with your look and try something new. But with the hustle and bustle this time of year brings, you probably don’t have a whole lot of time to fuss with a new style. We’ve got you covered! Try this knotted side pony tail. It’s only a few quick steps and no braiding skills are required.

  1. Bring all hair to one side. Section into 3 parts. Left section and Right section with a small section out on the bottom.
  2. Hold the Left section and Right section out and tie a knot, pull it tight.
  3. Repeat with same sections so there is now 2 knots.
  4. Use a clear binder to combine the knotted section. Grab the bottom section that was left out and use a binder to combine the whole pony. This third section left out of the knot is meant to give added length to the final look.
  5. Wrap a small piece of the hair around the binder and secure with a pin. Curl a few pieces of the pony for a beachy textured look.

3S Experts Featured:
Hair By: Katlyn | Stylist at Simonson’s Plymouth


Holiday Hair & Makeup Looks

December 8th, 2017

The unavoidable Instagram-ing of holiday festivities means you’ve got to look on top of your game. Watch our “Holiday Looks” segment featured on Twin Cities Live (video above) and read the tips below.


Change up your look from your typical go-to style with this effortless looking, boho-inspired half-up-twist. It’s a comfortable and keeps your hair out of your face. The best part? It’s easy to pull off because the overall look appears “undone,” so you don’t have to spend time particularly placing each hair. All you need are a few bobby to secure the hair and your twisting skills.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season doesn’t always leave much time to perfect your makeup game. Do yourself a favor…cut your makeup routine down immensely and head to the salon for a Lash Lift service. In just one 45-60 minute procedure you can lift and curl your natural lashes, providing lasting enhancement and definition for up to 8 weeks without the upkeep of lash extensions. Add on a lash tint for additional drama and maintenance-free glam…no more wasted time spent fussing with false eyelashes or loading on clumpy mascara. For a completed look, find an all-in-one pallet for a quick and easy makeup application. Try Shimmer Brick by Glo on the face, cheeks and eyes. It’s the ultimate multi-tasker and the perfect travel companion. With four beautiful colors you can swirl together or use individually to illuminate key features. Finish with a rich nude lip color.

The ponytail, is one of the most basic and versatile hairstyles out there. You’ve probably worn this style many ways time and time again, so how can you change it up? Try the knotted side pony tail. It’s only a few quick steps and no braiding skills are required. If your hair isn’t quite long enough to pull off the side swept pony, leave a few bottom layers out of the knot and bobby pin them to the finished ‘do for added length.

If your outfit is already sparkling with festive and fun, keep your makeup simple and choose one feature you want to stand out. For this look we focused on the lips (nothing screams holiday more than a berry lip). Start searching for your go-to berry to carry you through the season. Try Malbec by Noyah. We love Noyah glosses because they are all-natural, add a rich sheen and pop of color. Ingredients like Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and antioxidant rich Vitamin E pack on the moisture to protect and soften the lips. Consider applying a lip liner before your lip gloss or lip stick to prevent the color from bleeding or feathering, plus liner prolongs the wear of any lip color.

Nothing screams oh-la-la more than satin looking healthy, voluminous hair. Of course, heat styling and at-home blow-drying techniques contribute to this polished look, but a key step to achieving luscious locks is at-home care. Just like your weekly facial mask, you should include a hair mask in your weekly beauty routine, especially in the winter. Revive lifeless, dry hair with Moroccanoil’s Weightless Hydrating Mask. This moisturizing, five-minute hair mask is rich and creamy, yet lightweight so it won’t weigh your hair down. It’s great for all hair types and will dramatically improve the texture, elasticity, shine and manageability.

You can’t go wrong with a smoky eye and classic red lip. However, the key to any glamorous look is a full, bold brow. Your brows frame your face and enhance your overall look instantly. At the end of the day, brows should look natural and subtle, not like you took a Sharpie to them. Just by filling in the sparse areas and enhancing their color takes your look from blah to fabulous!

Transform your brows instantly with RevitaBrow® Tinted Brow Gel, a mineral tint styling gel that fills in sparse areas, defines and tames unruly brows. Its buildable formula allows for multiple applications until your desired brow volume and color is achieved. Plus, it’s a water-resistant and long wear formula to keep brow hairs in place all day long. Looking to improve your brows long term? Try RevitaBrow® Advanced Conditioner. This award winning product enhances natural eyebrows that may appear damaged from over styling or environmental effects and give you a bolder, fuller looking brow. BioPeptin Complex and natural botanicals work together to defend against breakage and improve flexibility, moisture and shine while adding definition.  Gentlemen can also use RevitaBrow® Advanced to enhance the appearance of sideburns, beards, & goatees.

All products mentioned above are available at all 3 Simonson’s Salon and Spa locations. 

3S Experts Featured:

Classic Comfort Look
Hair by: Terah | Simonson’s Coon Rapids location
Makeup by: Kayla | Simonson’s Plymouth location

Festive/Fun Look
Hair by: Katlyn | Simonson’s Plymouth location
Makeup by: Kayla | Simonson’s Plymouth location

Holiday Chic Look
Hair by: Alissa | Simonson’s Maple Grove location
Makeup by: Kayla| Simonson’s Plymouth location


Half Up Twist Hairstyle Tutorial

November 30th, 2017

Change up your typical go-to style with this effortless, boho-inspired half-up-twist. It’s a comfortable and keeps your hair out of your face. The best part? It’s easy to pull off because the overall look appears “undone,” so you don’t have to spend time particularly placing each hair. All you need are a few bobby to secure the hair and your twisting skills.

  1. Start with beach waves or any curl you desire.
  2. Take a side section and twist it tight to the back of your head.
  3. Clip your twist section to hold in place.
  4. Twist the other side of the hair to meet the first twist.
  5. Cross the twisted sides over each other getting ready to tie in a knot.
  6. Tie the two sections together and use a few bobby pins to hold.
  7. Use the end if a comb to pull out the hair lightly for added volume.
  8. Voilà! A cute style in minutes. Spray with a little hair spray and you’re ready for your day.

3S Experts Featured:
Hair By: Terah | Stylist at Simonson’s Coon Rapids

What is Dermaplaning?

October 25th, 2017

Women buy razors for their legs, not their faces, right? But beauty experts say getting rid of that peach fuzz can help your product sink in deeper and your makeup go on smoother. But ladies, before you whip out the straight edge, it’s time to head to the spa. As Twin Cities Live reporter Kelli Hanson found out at our Plymouth location, a smooth face also means a healthy one. Dermaplaning is a skin care treatment that removes the surface layers of dead skin cells and vellus hair (aka “peach fuzz”).

It’s a celebrity secret to bright and glowing skin because it leaves the skin immediately smooth and vibrant. Dermaplaning can be added onto any of Simonson’s regular facial services to get a deeper exfoliation.

Fall Hair and Makeup Trends

October 10th, 2017

A new season calls for freshening up your look! This fall, it’s all about making your hair richer and warmer as well as getting rid of unwanted tones from the sun and elements. Check out our latest feature on Twin Cities Live and be inspired by hair/makeup tips and tricks that will modernize your look this season.

All Clothing/Accessories are from Simonson’s 3S Boutique.

3S Experts Featured:
Brunette Model Hair By: Ashley Schumacher | Stylist at Simonson’s Maple Grove
Blonde Model Hair By: J.D. Stormoen | Stylist at Simonson’s Maple Grove
Red Model Hair By: Cassandra Thompson | Stylist at Simonson’s Plymouth
All Makeup By: Morgan Paeth | Aesthetician at Simonson’s Plymouth/Maple Grove


5 Reasons Why You Should Exfoliate

September 22nd, 2017

Exfoliation is often considered an “added” step when it comes to homecare, beyond the basics like cleansing, toning, moisturizing and SPF. It can often be overlooked or forgotten, since it does require (at least a minimal) time commitment and especially if you do not understand its importance.

Ask any skincare professional and more than likely they will say it’s a critical step not just within a facial treatment but also at home! So, let’s review some of the top reasons why you should exfoliate.

1. Exfoliation encourages the cell regeneration process, removing dull surface cells.

Cell regeneration, often referred to as cell turnover and renewal, refers to the cell’s life cycle, a continuous, natural process that occurs within our skin and body that’s imperative for skin health.

Skin cells are “born” (cell division occurs), in the deepest layer of the epidermis (the base layer) called the Stratum Basale or Stratum Germinativum. The young skin cell, called a keratinocyte, is filled with approximately 80% moisture. It begins its journey upward and travels through the layers of the epidermis until it reaches the uppermost (top) layer, called the Stratum Corneum.

During the transition from the layers below into the Stratum Corneum, the skin cell loses its nucleus and becomes a corneocyte. As a corneocyte, the structure of the skin cell changes. Its moisture content is diminished and it is filled with keratin, making it thicker and harder.

This is a good thing because the skin’s number one job is protection and corneocytes provide the strong barrier and protection we need to help keep the “good” things in- like moisture, which helps prevent water loss, and the “bad” things out- like microorganisms and irritants.

At the end of the skin cell’s journey (life cycle), it is shed in the natural exfoliation process, called desquamation. As older surface cells shed, fresh cells rise to the surface to replace them.

In a perfect world, if this process continued in a timely fashion, there would not necessarily be a major need for us to help it along. But, as we age, this process decelerates.

You may wonder, how long does it take my skin cells to complete this process? Do I really need to use an exfoliant if my skin cells naturally exfoliate on their own? Here’s an average timeline of cell turnover/renewal rates:

  • Children:approximately 2 weeks
  • Teens:approximately 3-4 weeks
  • Adulthood:approximately 30-40+ days (up to age 50) and about 45-90 days (after age 50)

A general way to approximate how long it takes your skin cells to complete this process, is to take your age (in years) and add about a week to that.

Slower cell turnover and renewal rates can lead to dull, lackluster skin with an uneven surface in addition to other skin conditions like breakouts, which we will mention later on. Incorporating exfoliation helps to speed this process along, encouraging new, fresh cells to the surface which leads to a smoother, more radiant complexion.

2. Exfoliation breaks up areas of discoloration for brighter skin.

Melanin, created by melanocyte cells, is the natural pigment responsible for the color of our eyes, hair and skin. Melanocyte cells can overproduce melanin in response to stimulation from a number of factors including sun exposure, skin trauma or injury, hormones and medications.

This melanin-producing response creates darkening of the skin due to the over-accumulation or uneven distribution of melanin, often referred to as hyperpigmentation. For instance, the shadow mark left behind after a breakout, called Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, is an example of skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation) that occurs in response to skin trauma/irritation.

Regardless of the cause of hyperpigmentation, sun exposure can exacerbate it. That’s why the top product for anyone with hyperpigmentation concerns is sunscreen. Daily sunscreen will help with a major part of the concern: not stimulating the production of additional melanin.

But, what about the existing areas of hyperpigmentation? That’s where exfoliation comes in. Exfoliation will help to break up areas of discoloration, helping slough away hyperpigmented cells, resulting in brightened skin and a more even complexion.

And, if you use products with brightening ingredients, like a serum, exfoliation will help aid in that product being more effective, see below for more info at reason #4.

3. Exfoliation removes debris from follicles to keep skin clear (aka breakout-free).

As discussed in reason #1 above, skin cells have a life cycle. Upon completion, they shed in order to allow fresh cells to rise to the surface. In addition to aging slowing this process, other factors can hinder the release (shedding) of skin cells.

Some contributors occur naturally, like our own oil production, and others we play a role in, like improper removal of skincare and makeup products. When oil and debris mix with dead skin cells, they can work their way into follicles and become trapped. This can lead to congested skin and acne, including non-inflamed breakouts, called comedones or blackheads, and inflamed breakouts.

If you experience regular breakouts, you should consider giving exfoliation a try. By helping clear debris, excess oil and dead skin cells from follicles and skin’s surface, you may have found the key that unlocks the door to clearer skin.

4. Exfoliation helps skincare products absorb more easily.

Dull surface cells are thick and can be more dry. Once they shed, products applied will have an easier time penetrating and absorbing. In addition, they will absorb more evenly.

Exfoliation helps you get more out of your products in two ways: first, since products have an easier time penetrating, that helps to increase their effectiveness and since they absorb more evenly, you may end up using less of your products, so you get more uses out of them!

5. After exfoliation, makeup applies seamlessly, looks more natural.

Once dull surface cells shed, the resulting fresh cells that replace them create a smoother, softer, more uniform surface to the skin. Anything you apply on top, like makeup products, will lay more seamlessly and create a more natural-looking finish.


“Fall Refresh” Makeover

August 29th, 2017

A lucky MN State Fair fairgoer was picked out of the TCL bleachers to get a “fall refresher” that will have her ready to head back to school! Check it out to discover fall hair, makeup and style tips!

3S Experts Featured:
Hair by: Melisa | Stylist at Simonson’s Salon and Spa

Makeup by: Sadie | Aesthetician at Simonson’s Salon and Spa

Bronze Glow Makeup Tutorial

August 23rd, 2017

The most noticeable way to add warmth to your look is to get that bronzed complexion. Warm up the cheeks with a bronzer. Your bronzer should be a couple shades deeper than your natural complexion. Apply the color just below where you would normally apply blush, but just above where you would contour your cheekbones. The key is to blend the color outward for a seamless, sunkissed effect. For a cohesive look, take the color down along the lower jawline and add a touch to the hairline.

Keep the look warm with a neutral blush. Apply to the apples of the cheeks with a blush brush, fusing with the bronzer. If you apply too much color, a cream formula is very forgiving, so blend it out!

Highlighters come in a variety of shades, from pearly pink to champagne, so pick an option that will keep the look warm. Highlight with a gold shade using a flat, tapered brush on the high points of face. For subtle shimmer, only apply to the tops of the cheekbones. For a more intense highlight, also apply down the center of the nose, forehead, chin and cupid’s bow.


Try a muted copper shadow and apply with your favorite eye contour brush. Be sure to soften the edges and blend the color through the crease. Take it to the next level and bring color down to the lower lashline with a smaller brush.

Finish off the eyes with a single coat of Volumizing Mascara on the upper and lower lashes. If you’re enjoying a day in the hot, summer sun, try Water Resistant Mascara instead for melt proof makeup.


Pick a mid-tone pink that’s slightly deeper than your actual lip color. A matte lip will give you longwear staying power and major color saturation. Layer a peachy gloss with gold shimmer, over top. The combination of pink and gold create a soft, rose gold lip that you’re going to want to wear year round.



Gift Ideas for Any Occasion

August 17th, 2017

Target, a flower shop, a department store, maybe a local boutique — these are all places you’d expect to pick up a baby shower gift right? I bet you’d never head to the salon. Those salon products are for more than just the shower. From baby showers, bridal showers to birthdays and host gifts, you’ll find something for everyone at the salon…be inspired by these creative ideas!