Friday, June 19, 2009

Sick of City SearchI

How many people use City Search to, um, well . . . search their city? I don't. I use Google. But City Search statistics show a lot of people use City Search. I know, big shocker. But truth be told, often when I Google something I wind up on a City Search review. And in my process to get Sugar & Swank better placement on Google (see my previous blog) I did a lot of googling and saw a lot of spas were on City Search. I figured it was time for Sugar & Swank to have a page, as well.

My first meeting with City Search was on May 12th. At first it was rush, rush, rush. We'll have your page up in no time if you get us this and get us that! So I did. But then nothing happened.

"Oh, we're sorry, the new girl keyed your information in wrong."
"Oh, we're sorry, this never happens but they lost all your pictures."
"Oh, we're sorry, but because of the holiday weekend (MEMORIAL DAY!) things are backed up."

You get the point.

Finally everything was a go! Emails from City Search rolled in to let me know the good news . . . I could find Sugar & Swank on their site! They weren't lying. There I was. But they chose the wrong main picture. Instead of using one that showed off the calming spa atmosphere they chose the pdf of the banner hanging in the window of Sugar & Swank. And it wasn't even the whole picture, it was cut off so you couldn't read any of it.

OK. So fine. The picture was a bad choice. I could get over that. But when I clicked on it, instead of going to the Sugar & Swank profile page with reviews and descriptions it simply went to my website. Also fine because I like my website! But why pay for someone to go to my website? I already pay Google to send people to my website.

At this point I gave up. I was so aggravated that I had to just stop. But today I decided to go look and guess what? Nope. Not a happy ending. I'm not even on their site anymore! Not even kidding! Sugar & Swank's gone from it!

More phone calls. More emails. More text messages. They say they decided to start over. To re-enroll me.

So the bottom line is that I'm sick of City Search.

Movin On Up!

I've been working my butt off to get Sugar & Swank top placement on Google and it seems as though my work's payin off. I'm "Movin On Up" to the top of the list!

In the past whenever we were looking for a business to hire we'd use the Yellow Pages. Companies believed potential clients would start at the top of the list and work their way down so alphabetical was key. Think A-1 Plumbers. But now most of us only use the internet to search so catchy key words that attract Google and other search engines are the the key to getting a good ranking.

What do I mean? Here are some examples:

Spa Mercer Island
Mercer Island's Best Spa
Hair Removal Mercer Island
Waxing Mercer Island
Make Up Artistry Mercer Island
Facials Mercer Island or
Waxy Waxy Facial Clean Your Skin Here Ear Piercing Day Spa Spa

In any case, blogging and Google ad words is working! If you type any of the above phrases into Google, Sugar & Swank - Mercer Island's best kept spa secret - pops up toward the top of the list.

This makes me happy!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Brow Waxing for My 3rd Grader

Last year this stinkin little bully made fun of my son's unibrow. My son's teacher, who happens to also be our cousin, handled it well. She called the kid in, pointed out HIS unibrow and asked how it felt to be made fun of for something God given.

God given or not, my son wasn't too impressed with his unibrow after that. As luck would have it, my son has an esthetician for a mother. His unibrow's gone. Not as lucky for the bully. He still has a unibrow. (And, I kid you not, he also gets his hairlighted. He's NINE! I think he should be made fun of for that, don't you?) And while I may not offer my services to him I'm happy to offer them to you. And really, if my 3rd-grader's getting a brow arch, don't you think it is time you got one too?

You can get almost anything waxed at the Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa. Expert brow shaping, removal of other unwanted facial hair, armpit waxing, arm waxing, leg waxing, belly waxing, chest waxing, bikini waxing . . . you name it! Let me know what you need - especially as the sun begins to shine on areas where the sun hasn't shined since October.

Yes, waxing can hurt. Come on! I'm using wax to rip hairs from your follicles! No, it certainly isn't as lovely as getting a facial. But I try to make it as pain free as possible via pleasant music, a hypnotic blend of soothing oils and a calming approach before and after I actually pull the wax.

So make an appointment. When you're lounging pool or beach side in your swimsuit you'll be glad you did.


A Spa with Soul

I once worked at the spa that appeared oh so grand to those on the outside looking in. It boasted beautiful decor, a ton of amenities and a fantastic location. But for those of us on the inside, we knew the truth. The grand facade was just that, a facade. In all reality, management was mean, greedy and unpredictable and employees were anxious and unhappy. As pretty as it appeared, the spa was really just an ugly eyesore. So I left.

But I didn't know from where to facial and wax after that. I wanted to make sure the next spa I chose had heart. That its focus would be on caring for clients in the most positive manner rather than putting so much value on outward appearances.

For a long time the only place I could find that fit such a description was my home. (Hey, rent was cheap and the commute was short!) But it was a challenge for us to always keep things in that "company's coming over" condition. And my husband, son and dog would have to find a place to hide during evening appointments - especially when I was doing a bikini or brazilian wax.

Something needed to change, but the right opportunity hadn't yet presented itself.

My friends Leslie and Adrienne Rubenstein kept suggesting I rent a room at Harmony Day Spa, but the owner, Fawn, didn't have space available. But sure enough, a room there suddenly opened and in went The Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa.

Are either Harmony Day Spa or Sugar & Swank really spas? Maybe not in the traditional sense. We don't have a jacuzzi tub in which you can soak. We don't even have a shower. The building, built in the 1930's, is old and quirky. When it is hot I get there early to cool it down, when it is cold I get there early to warm it up. We don't have a receptionist. We don't have a quiet room.

But we do have soul. And most importantly, we have expertise. Knowledge. Training. Experience. Intuitiveness. So the building's old. It is also charming, clean and harmonious. And I would much rather get my money's worth in a funky old building that's filled with some of the best in the business than take my chances in a fancier joint.

And by the way, this is not to say that you won't relax with us. I've been to those appointments that are all business, no pleasure. That's no fun! We have candles. We have spa music. We have yummy smells. We'll pamper you til you feel like jello! But if you're looking to sip lemon water in a robe while sitting next to a zenned out fountain as you wait for your treatment - which may or may not be good - we aren't your answer.

So call Fawn Harmon at Harmony Day Spa at 206-232-3291 if you'd like to book a really, really good massage. She's been in the business for over 16 years and has clients that have been with her that long. They won't go anywhere else!

If you want a really, really good manicure or pedicure call Tanya at 206-355-4675. Her clients are just as loyal!

And for a super-relaxing facial (I give a 20 minute massage) with dramatically positive results call me, Jennifer Muscatel, at the Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa. 206-351-3213. As you probably know by now, not only do I do facials but I also wax, pierce ears, do body scrubs and am a make-up artist that specializes in custom blended mineral make-up.

Facials, Peels, Waxing . . . Oh My!

Recently I've been taking photos to show off my newly grown, long, thick Revitalash eyelashes. To help me see how long they've actually gotten I've been looking at old pictures to compare with the new ones. (You'll see some attached.) There's no doubt my lashes are ridiculously long! The difference is amazing! But even more noticeable is the dramatic change in the appearance of my skin.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me. I've been diligently peeling my skin once a week for a couple of months. It should look smoother, wrinkles should be diminished and noticeable damage from the sun should be lessened. It just took me by surprise to see the improvements so plainly.

What is peeling? A peel is usually a liquid emulsion of vitamins, acids and other ingredients that work together to target problem areas of the skin. One might fight signs of aging, another might be better at fighting acne.

Peels are different than facials as facials typically replenish and balance the skin while peels are usually harsh and are meant to knock the skin off balance When the skin's pH gets thrown off due to a peel it'll have to rebalance itself and that's when the magic happens.

A good dermatologist or esthetician will always follow a peel with a soothing, calming, nourishing mask that tells the skin, "Sorry. I know that was mean, but you'll thank me for it later. Just take a deep breath and rest for now."

Speaking of good estheticians, I can diagnose your skin to determine if a peel is right for you, and if so, what kind would be best. Call or email me anytime for a consultation. In the meantime, here's a list of peels I offer at Mercer Island's Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa.

(Or visit for even more information.)

The Blemish Banishing Peel:
The lactic, salicylic and alpha hydroxy acids in this peel help heal and reduce acne in several important ways. First the acids cleans out the pores. Then they sit in them so no other bacteria can. They also help rejuvenate the skin cells to help with scarring. While these acids may be naturally harsh, the Blemish Banishing Peel is stocked with anti-irritants that soothe the skin, as well.

The Peel Off the Sun Damage Peel: This Vitamin C infused peel directly targets skin that's showing signs of sun damage. Freckling, wrinkles, patchy discoloration. You know what I'm talking about.

The Good Ole Glycolic Peel: Probably one of the most common peels, glycolic acid does a really good job of keeping acne at bay, diminishing fine lines and wrinkles and even getting rid of sun spots.

The Genesis Peel: This non-acid peel doesn't sting, but is still chock full of amazing ingredients that effectively resurface the skin and transform the skin's texture.

The Enzyme Peel:
A simple, mild peel that eats away all the bad stuff and leaves all the good stuff.

You'll notice the results of a peel right away. Your skin will glow. Then, over the next couple of days, your skin may peel. (A-Ha! That's why its called a peel!) The bad stuff will literally slough off and that's when you'll really see results! During this period the skin will need your help in getting it to rebalance. You must slather on tons of moisturizer (and sunscreen because you'll be extra sensitive to the sun) to replenish what its lost.

I suggest doing a series of peels. After the 3rd you'll really start to see dramatic results that last. Sugar & Swank offers a peel package - a series of 6 for $330. The price is the same as the price of a facial package so that the peels can be interchanged with a facial if we decide your skin needs a break.

Oh - don't schedule any facial waxing when you're planning a peel. Bad idea! Obviously any other body waxing - bikini, arms or legs - would be fine.

Hope to see you soon! And when you come in remind me to do a before and after picture so you can see the results for yourself. It really is mindblowing!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lengthen Your Lashes!

Mercer Island's Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa has had some pretty good offers in the past.

In fact, you can still get a $90 facial for just $55 if you buy 6 in advance.
That's $330 instead of $540.

Or a $10 brow wax, instead of $20, if you buy 12 in advance.
That's $120 instead of $240.

But now I'm going to offer you the chance to grow your lashes LONGER, THICKER and FULLER. Seriously. And for a really good price too.

Have you seen Brooke Shields on commercials and in magazines lately talking about Latisse, a prescription medication that treats "hypotrichosis."

"Hypotrichosis?" you ask. Yes, according to the Latisse website, hypotrichosis is, "Another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes."

Really? Come on! Sure we'd all love to have Hollywood lashes, but in most cases "inadequate eyelashes" is not a debilitating, life threatening condition needing a prescription.

And that's exactly what the insurance companies are saying. If you can get a prescription from your doctor (Out of curiosity I tried. My doctor's really cool and she almost wouldn't do it.) it is likely your insurance company won't pay for it.

Sure enough, mine wouldn't pay for it, so out-of-pocket a one month's supply would cost me $129.

$129 per month? What? That's a lot of money these days. Of course if you're ailing from "not enough eyelashes" it might be worth it.

In any case, I didn't buy it because I already have the most amazingly long, thick and full eyelashes. Yes, it is true. Look at the pictures above and see for yourself. But I wasn't born with them. I grew them with Revitalash - a similar type of product. And while people have balked in the past about the price of Revitalash - $150 for a six-month supply - it probably won't seem as steep anymore!

I'm not sure if Latisse works because I've never used it, (I should hope it does for the price!) but I KNOW that Revitalash REALLY WORKS! My lashes get so long I have to trim them and my brows have never been more full! And I'm not the only one - my clients are having the same success with Revitalash.

How does it work. Even the Latisse website says no one really knows! Here's my suggestion - do a little research at and Both sites have a lot of information.

Then, if you're interested in purchasing Revitalash from me let me know and I'll sell it to you for $129 - what the insurance company would have charged me for a month's supply of Latisse.

And, as usual, The Sugar & Swank Skincare Spa is always available to provide the Mercer Island community and surrounding areas with facials, waxing, body scrubs, makeovers, custom blended mineral make-up and ear piercing.

Hope to hear from you soon!