Portland Girl Spotlight: Stephanie Richen

Portland Girl Spotlight: Stephanie Richen

Hello beauties,   This month I am very excited to introduce Stephanie Richen to you! Stephanie is that “rare ray of sunshine on a cloudy day” kinda gal. I met her about a year ago and she has been lighting up my life ever since. She has a open and kind heart and she has a way of making everyone feel at home in her home away from home (AKA her 2 Pure Barre businesses in Portland, Oregon).   She is a breast cancer survivor, a small business owner and a general badass. Meet Steph!     Tell us a little bit about yourself: Born and raised in Seattle, I grew up with a love of animals and always had pets in our home. After high school, I became a vet technician and worked for a pet hospital for almost 8 years. I wanted to further my education, so I decided to leave the field and go back to school to become a nurse, but this time for humans. =) I was lucky enough to land a job at The University of Washington as an anesthesia technician working in the operating room with very ill patients waiting to receive a heart, lung, or kidney transplants. Because of the high stress, it didn’t leave me much time for myself or to even work out. One of my friends, Christine, told me about this workout she’d been doing called Pure Barre. She invited me to join her that night. My life changed. I worked as a tech for 3 years until my husband got a job opportunity in Portland. We moved...
Eye Cream: Is It Really Necessary?

Eye Cream: Is It Really Necessary?

I’ve been an esthetician for almost 10 years now and one of the questions that I get frequently from clients under 35 is this: “Do I really need an eye cream?” I’m always a little taken aback by this question! These same women understand the other parts of their skin routine like using cleanser, moisture cream, masks, and toner, but when it comes to their eyes, they assume that only “old” people need eye cream! Here’s the deal: eye cream is for anyone at ANY age. Not just “old” people who are already starting to see wrinkles. Okay, maybe not ANY age (kids and preteens are definitely exempt), but I would say that once you hit your mid-20’s, eye cream is not something to skimp on. But why? Twenty-somethings usually don’t have wrinkles and shouldn’t expect them for another ten years at least. Is eye cream just preventative maintenance to stop wrinkles from forming later when we’re actually “old”, or does it protect from damage that is occurring to your skin now that could cause wrinkles prematurely? Well, it’s a bit of both.   How Our Skin “Ages”   While your skin might not be degenerating as quickly as when you are young (and the effects of gravity haven’t yet manifested in skin sagging), your skin can still be hit with stressors from the environment as well as re-occuring facial gestures. Think of “smile lines” and those little lines you get on your forehead and between your eyebrows when you frown. Facial expressions can pinch and squish your skin, and that stuff definitely adds up over time. However, those...
The Portland Girl Guide to Pre-Wedding Skin Care

The Portland Girl Guide to Pre-Wedding Skin Care

The big day is coming up! You’re probably in a flurry of wedding plans—picking out the cake, tailoring the dress, shopping for caterers and photographers. You’re probably taking good care of your body so you’ll look amazing in your dress, but are you giving the same care and attention to your skin? While your wedding is one of the most exciting days of your life, planning for it can be super stressful! We all know what stress can do to our complexions (hello breakouts!), so your skin needs plenty of extra TLC during this crazy (and amazing!) time. We created this blog post to highlight a few adjustments in your skincare routine that you’ll want to make 4-6 months prior to your wedding to make sure that your skin is glowing and beautiful on your big day!   Here Are Our Top Wedding Skin Care Tips:   See a professional to get a lineup of stellar products suited to your skin. The ladies at the mall and Target don’t REALLY know what you and your skin need. Make sure to seek out professional advice before you splurge on products. Talk to a licensed esthetician at a reputable spa (Portland peeps, we’ve got you covered!) who can take a good look at your skin and make knowledgeable recommendations. A good esthetician can hook you up with products that work for your unique skin type, climate, and body chemistry. Why buy crappy over-the-counter stuff when you could buy products perfectly tailored to your skin?   Cleanse your face daily. No shortcuts here! Stay away from those over-the-counter cleansing wipes. Clean your face...
Be a Portland Girl: The Perfect Girl’s Weekend in Portland

Be a Portland Girl: The Perfect Girl’s Weekend in Portland

Portland has been a main stop on any west coast road trip for years! With its quirky brunch spots, spas, shops, and bars, Portland is an unbeatable spot for a girl’s weekend, and I’ve already drawn up your itinerary for you! (Thank me later.) If you’ve been to Portland, you probably know all about the amazing gardens, museums, shops, and restaurants downtown, but I want to help you get off the beaten path a little bit so that you can check out some of my favorite haunts in NE Portland. Yes, Powell’s Books is amazing and VooDoo donuts are ever popular, but if you want a fresh take on our city, keep reading and I’ll show you some out-of-the-way gems that you might not find in typical Portland travel guides.   The Perfect Girl’s Weekend in Portland:   Saturday Morning: Hit up Tasty n Sons for brunch. Whether you’re into sweet or savory breakfasts, Tasty n Sons has something for everyone (along with some unique brunch cocktails!). The offbeat menu was inspired by the chef’s travels and interaction with immigrant communities and their cuisine, so you’ll find globally-inspired (and freaking delicious) dishes like the chocolate potato doughnut, Shakshuka, and a Dutch Baby. If you’re not feeling adventurous this morning, you’ll find plenty of traditional brunch staples as well! Saturday Afternoon: Shop for gifts at Queen Bee. Everything at Queen Bee is handmade by Portland artisans, many of whom you can watch at work directly behind the store in the workshop. This amazing shop strives to create quality goods while forging a connection between buyer and creator. Queen Bee is...
Portland Girl Spotlight: Rebecca Kaihani

Portland Girl Spotlight: Rebecca Kaihani

Hello beauties, We are so excited to feature Rebecca Kaihani as our Portland Girl Spotlight this month! She is funny, warm and the brilliant creator of the ever popular Hillockburn Farm (you’ve “Oooooohhhhhed and Aaaaaahhhhhhed” her amazing soaps if you’ve been in our studio lately!) Everyone, meet Rebecca! ————————————–     Tell us a little bit about yourself: The dreaded “about you” section…. Born and raised in the PNW, dog lover, candle lit dinners and long walks on the beach…. Oh! Wait! This isn’t a dating profile, I’m married!! Now I’ve gone and made things awkward! Better get back on track. I am the Founder/Head Maker of Hillockburn Farm and we make all kinds of natural body care products. From soaps to lotion, lip balms to salts and scrubs…we do it all. Hillockburn Farm pretty much started on its own…I never set out  to be a business owner, it just started growing and growing…and growing. My husband and I were struggling to have a baby when I started looking at all the nasty chemicals that were in all the body care products we were using, so I threw it all away! I was going to make my own stuff, I mean, how hard could it be…right? Wrong! Totally hard!! UGH!! It took months to get things figured out to the point we had a fairly usable bar of soap. During those months, my husband and I suffered several miscarriages and, after the last loss, I refused to get out of bed. For weeks. I was depressed, constantly crying, had gained a ton of weight, totally lost direction, motivation and...
Winter Skin Remedies!

Winter Skin Remedies!

Hello there Portland beauties! It’s Winter and if you haven’t noticed, it’s COLD out (yep, even here in Portland!) And with this cold comes dry skin. Here are some of my recommendations: Drink water infused with cucumber- Cucumber is fabulous for your skin because it contains silica, which boosts moisture and elasticity. I’m not the biggest fan of chomping on cucumbers, but I DO love infusing my water with them. Pour yourself a pitcher of filtered water, toss about 5 slices of cucumber in and let them soak for 15 minutes or more and then drink throughout the day. I think you’ll find that you will end up drinking even more water because it tastes even yummier than plain old water.   Quickly tone the skin with a PH balanced toner after getting our of the shower: After you take a bath or shower and the room is all hot and steamy, quickly tone your skin with a ph balanced toner that is free of drying agents such as alcohol. It will help to moderate oil production and prep the skin for your moisture cream. Wanna learn more about facial toner? Read a blog we wrote on it here.   Use a water-based moisture cream followed by an hydrating oil or balm- While you might be tempted to combat your dry skin with a lovely facial oil, it won’t be as hydrating as applying a water-based moisture cream first! Why? Well our skin and our body is mostly comprised of water and water molecules can penetrate more deeply into our skin than oil. Thus, fist applying a water-based moisture cream and...
Portland Girl Spotlight: Jennifer Coughlin

Portland Girl Spotlight: Jennifer Coughlin

Hello beauties, This month on our blog I’m absolutely delighted to be featuring Jennifer Coughlin! If you don’t know her, you should. Jenn and I first started getting to know another around the time that we opened up The Portland Girl (April 2015). We both spent a LOT of time at our local coffee shop and eventually got an introduction and ever since I’ve wondered why weren’t in each others lives a long time before! I’ve always cherished my chats with Jenn. Her spirit is light and alive and she always has a smile on her face (a welcome change from most others on these dreary Winter days). I got to know Jenn a lot better over the past year when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and instead of falling inwards, she started a blog to keep everyone in the loop about her progress. In the midst of all the chemo and radiation, she kept smiling and remained positive. If she was worried, she took that worry and channeled it into raising a crap-ton of money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation (read more about that below) and more than ever, Jenn led with positivity. It may sound cheesy, but I’m a big believer in role models to help get me through new things, scary things…really ALL THE THINGS. And while there is no “right way” to fight cancer, I hope that should I ever have to fight it myself, I fight it the way Jenn did (like a total badass). I never pitied Jenn, I was way too in awe of her courage and her grace to...
The Great Product Dilemma!

The Great Product Dilemma!

When I first became an esthetician I struggled majorly with sales. I would give a facial and have clients straight up ask me what they should use for their particular skin strengths and struggles. At the time, I didn’t want to seem pushy, so I would send them to others to buy products that I liked and recommended. Not only was this a silly business move, it was a pretty silly professional move. Clients came to me to (as a professional) to make their skin better. Part of that was a regular facial routine, but an EVEN BIGGER part of it was a regular at-home care routine. Now that I’ve been “doing skin” for almost a decade, I relish the opportunity to help match clients with products that will help them get the results they are looking for. After all, who else takes at least an hour to touch and look at your skin with the sole purpose of helping to improve your skin? Even your dermatologist doesn’t put that kind of time in with you! If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: I would say that the number one thing that makes me giggle is when a client tells me about all their skin woes, how committed they are to see a change, but that “they need to use up their old stuff first” (you know…before buying the stuff that will ACTUALLY improve their condition).   Here’s the thing: if you LIKE what you use and it’s working, then “it ain’t broke”. Keep using it! But if you are using something that isn’t working for your skin, then...
Portland Girl Spotlight: Paisley Meekin

Portland Girl Spotlight: Paisley Meekin

Hello Portland beauties! We are back at this month with our new Portland Girl Spotlight: Paisley Meekin. Paisley is one seriously tough (and fun) chicka who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for many years now. She has single-handedly whipped my butt into the best (and strongest) shape that I’ve ever been in AND she managed to make the process enjoyable. I was so stoked when we moved into our Dekum shop location and realized that she and I were neighbors. By the way, I’d like to give a big shout out to Shelby Brakken for taking the amazing photos in this interview!   ————————————– Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in the bush of Alaska.  My Dad was a bush pilot and my parents owned a lodge where people from all over the world would come too.  So needless to say I had a unique upbringing.  I actually had to work (which I loved!) I am so appreciative of having parents with strong work ethics… it’s made me who I am today. About 8 years ago I moved to Portland.  I worked as a personal trainer at a gym for a few years but then decided that owning my own gym would be MUCH better. I opened Honest Training (was Honest Personal Training aka Honestpt) about 6 years ago.  I have really thrived in this world of being an entrepreneur… I LOVE it! Today we have hundreds of clients and 4 kick ass trainers.  I have also expanded into doing fitness vacations. The first one is this January and we are going...
How would I benefit from using a facial toner?

How would I benefit from using a facial toner?

My staff and I at The Portland Girl are experts in the art of skincare. We can melt your tensions, extract your blackheads and leave your skin feeling smooth like a baby’s bottom. But being experts in skincare means that we also spend a good deal of time, thought and effort deciding what products we think would be best for your particular skin.   Because what you use at home EVERY day…is even more important than getting regular facials. It’s extremely frustrating to try to help clients improve their skin when they only come in once a month for a facial and then don’t take care of their skin the other 29 days of the month. It’s like someone going to personal training once a month and then ignoring their eating and working out for the rest of the month, but then expecting to see miraculous results. It’s silly!   Which brings me back to toner…   I’ve worked in skincare for over 8 years and I must say that selling toner has been the biggest uphill battle. Moisture cream and serum fly off the shelf, but toner…well, not so much! That is, until I learned to explain it in terms that my clients understood.   Yes- toner can help to reset the PH balance of your skin (which is slightly acidic at 5.5) post cleansing, but what does that REALLY mean for you?   PH Wha?? Well let’s start with a basic explanation of PH levels. PH actually means “potential hydrogen” and it describes the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance that ranges from 0 (most acidic) to 14...