Glam Jam

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.

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


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!

How Stress Affects Your Skin

August 16th, 2017

We all know stress is bad. It can lead to troubles sleeping, depression, digestive problems and more. One thing you may not know is that it can also affect your skin. Skin health can be determined by external factors like sun exposure and pollutants and internal factors like food, genetics and stress.

Acne may not be an explicit cause of breakouts, but many experts believe it is a contributor and can make symptoms worse.

“Under stress, our body releases cortisol, often referred to as a stress hormone, which can create inflammation, affect oil production levels and lead to breakouts,” says Anna de la Cruz, glo’s Senior Product Brand Manager.

According to Dr. Anita Gill of Gill Dermatology, increased oil production can lead to pimples or cystic acne.

“With acne production and more stress, one often will start ‘picking’ at the skin leading to scar formation and areas that do not heal well,” says Dr. Gill.

“Stress-induced acne can be controlled by using a personalized skincare regimen, and by reducing stress on a daily basis,” she adds. She recommends consulting a board certified dermatologist to create a skincare regimen for your skin type.

Studies have shown that stress may affect skin’s reactivity. In fact, 50% of beauty buyers identify their skin as sensitive according to the American Academy of Dermatology. For some, sensitivity is only temporary. When your skin flares up, stick to gentle, soothing ingredients, like Aloe Vera and Cucumber.

According to the National Rosacea Society, stress can trigger rosacea symptoms. Rosacea, a chronic skin condition that leads to red, inflamed skin, affects more than 16 million Americans.

While Rosacea can be concealed with makeup, like Redness Relief Powder, it’s ideal to target the cause of your skin conditions instead of the symptoms. While the cause of Rosacea is unknown, it can be exacerbated by sun exposure, stress and heavy exercise among other factors.

Stress can be hard to escape, but it’s important to manage it where you can.

    1. Exercise regularly. Walk your dog, take the stairs, or dance like nobody’s watching.
    2. Set aside “me time.” Paint your nails, treat yourself to a massage, or simply shut the door and read a good book.
    3. Meditate and practice deep breathing. Meditating will lower your heart rate and blood pressure, a true sign of relaxation.
    4. Get your beauty rest. Allow yourself to sleep for 7-9 hours every night so you’ll be fully rested and ready to take on the day.

Dr. Gill says, “Exercise, a healthy diet and sleep, in addition to a skincare regimen, will leave your skin pristine long term!”


Summer Must-Do Beauty Tips

May 31st, 2017

Summer is just around the corner! Check out our beauty tips to ensure you look your best! From eyelash and brow tinting to a collagen pedicure to sun-care products that can take your skin to perfection, watch and learn how to look flawless all summer long!

Did you Know? 

1. UV rays are responsible for 90 percent of photo-aging and the leading cause of cancer in the U.S. So, when it comes to topicals that have healing potential, and yet protect skin safely from UV damage, choosing the right sunscreen is vital. – Skin Cancer Foundation(

2. People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily. – Skin Cancer Foundation(

3. SPF 15 filters out 93% of UV rays and SPF 30 filters out 97% of UV rays. SPF 50 filters out 98% of UV rays, only a 1% improvement from the SPF 30. Any sunscreen higher than an SPF 50 provides negligible UVB filtering, as no sunscreen filters 100%. – Skin Cancer Foundation(

Expert Tip:

In many cases, the higher the SPF rating, the more chemical ingredients are added and the price increases. Therefore, the degree of efficacy in these higher SPF products is not necessarily commensurate with the accelerated price or the questionable safety of all the added chemical ingredients. You are better off choosing a sunscreen between SPF 15-30 with clean ingredients and applying the sunscreen more often (2 hours, more frequently if you get wet or are sweating), than spending the money on a higher SPF.

3S Experts Featured:

Lili Henthorne | Simonson’s (Plymouth) Nail Technician
Ashley Lease | Simonson’s (Plymouth) Nail Technician
Alysia Johnson | Simonson’s (Plymouth) Aesthetician

Simonson’s Salon and Spa is the Official Salon and Spa of Twin Cities Live.
View video on mobile device HERE

Spring Hair and Makeup Trends

April 19th, 2017

Spring is the perfect time to purge your closet, get rid of things you’ve been staring at all winter…and freshen things up a bit. The same goes for your hair and makeup. Check out what’s on trend in all things beauty, in our recent Twin Cities Live feature.

1. The Trend: Platinum (icy, white blonde)
Blonde hair is always in, but it’s getting a brighter twist this season. This mesmerizing color will completely change your look. Of course, hitting the bleach bottle is often seen as the epitome of damaging your hair but it is possible to get the look with healthy results.

Expert Tip: Ask your stylist to apply Olaplex before putting it on your hair to maintain the integrity of the hair, repair and prevent damage.

Hair By: Katelyn Koski | Simonson’s Coon Rapids Stylist
Makeup By: Meredith Hammermeister | Simonson’s Maple Grove Aesthetician

2. The Trend: Pin Straight, Ultra-long, One Length Cut
Break out your flat iron—straight, shiny, and center-parted hair is one of the biggest trends for 2017 and it’s strikingly dramatic! The key to this look is blunt, heavy ends – incorporate HAIR EXTENSIONS to maximize the thickness of you ends which will also make your hair look longer.

EXPERT TIP: Pair with a “Sombre hair color” a.k.a soft blends/melted color. Just as the name suggests – it’s ombre hair, but softer. Blending multiple shades in order to create a seamless, natural highlighting effect adds dimension and is low-maintenance.

Hair By: Amanda Ullevig | Simonson’s Maple Grove Stylist
Makeup By: Lis Hage | Simonson’s Plymouth Aesthetician

3. The Trend: Rose Gold
This is the Girly-Edgy Color Trend for Spring! It’s a subtle way to try a rainbow sherbert/pastel shades without going too bold.

EXPERT TIP: Mid-length cut styled with beachy waves for an “effortlessly cool” look.

Hair By: Emily Boehm | Simonson’s Plymouth Stylist
Makeup By: Lis Hage | Simonson’s Plymouth Aesthetician

4. The Trend: Layered Lob/Tousled Waves/Hair Flip
Many celebrities are trading in their long locks for shorter hair recently. Ask your stylist for a shoulder-grazing textured blunt cut and you’ll be right on trend this season.  Requesting a length that is worn below the cheekbones makes this style super versatile.

EXPERT TIP: While warmer temperatures tempt us to go lighter, brunettes should think about opposite side of the spectrum and go richer, like a chocolate brown. It’s a striking color that is complimented by pastels and bright spring colors.

Hair By: Chelsey Waalen | Simonson’s Coon Rapids Stylist
Makeup By: Meredith Hammermeister | Simonson’s Maple Grove Aesthetician

5. The Trend: No Makeup, Makeup
We love the “no makeup” makeup trend because it highlights your natural features. Even your skin tone and add natural coverage with a tinted primer then conceal and highlight with liquid concealer. Choose a blush that flatters your skin tone. Bronze for some natural, warm contour and add a little shimmer highlight to bring out your cheek bones. Finish off the look with a nude lip gloss.

Simonson’s Salon and Spa is the Official Salon and Spa of Twin Cities Live.
View video on mobile device HERE

Spring Into Your Best Skin

March 23rd, 2017

Spring is officially here and that means no more snow, no more ice and hopefully a big “see ya later” to dry winter skin. TCL reporter Kelli Hanson went in search of a facial that wouldn’t just hydrate, but would also repair. She discovered found our NEW Environ Vitamin Face Treatment!

It’s important to stick to an at-home skin care regimen to continue your results…find out more about Environ’s NEW Botox-like serum and how to increase absorption of ACTIVE ingredients by 80%.

3S Experts Featured:
Heidi | Simonson’s Plymouth Aesthetician

Simonson’s Salon and Spa is the Official Salon and Spa of Twin Cities Live.
View video on mobile device HERE