How to make the benefits of massage last!

How To: Make massage benefits last!massage benefits

A Lead Practitioner’s Guide

By: Allie Schmier, Lead Massage Therapist

The benefits of massage are endless. Massages can help with sleep problems, anxiety, specific and full body pain, depression, and circulation;  I could go on and on! If you have ever received a massage by a professional, you understand that they are a wonderful experience that helps you feel rejuvenated. That rejuvenated feeling sometimes only lasts a few days.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to massage benefits last a few weeks?

Before Your Massage

Before your massage, try to become as relaxed as possible. We all lead hectic lives, so sometimes this is easier said than done. One option to help you get into “massage-mode” is to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before your appointment. Grab some water or hot tea and unwind. The day of your appointment, make sure you start off with plenty of water. A massage works to rid your muscles of any toxins. Dehydration can lead your muscles to tense back up rather than remaining elongated and relaxed.

During Your Massage

Try your best to clear your head while lying on the massage table. Doing so will ensure there is little resistance when your massage therapist is trying to work out a knot or muscle. If you’re totally vulnerable to the massage, your body will thank you for it in the long run! If you notice it takes you a little extra time to relax during your session, consider scheduling a longer massage. A 75 minute, 90 minute, or even a 2 hour massage will allow more time to ease into your session. 

After Your Massage

Water, water, water! Again, this will help flush out any toxins that were released during your massage. If you received a deeper massage, stretching is going to help your muscles not to tighten back up into their normal position. The more frequently you receive a massage, the easier it will be for your muscle memory will change. This change will help your muscles elongate and relax more easily in your daily life!

Become a Regular

If you are a frequent guest for a massage, I am sure you see the results lasting one to two weeks (or more) because you follow these helpful guidelines. If you are an occasional guest for massage and you wish to see more benefits, schedule regular massages and take your practitioners advice on how to promote and maintain a more relaxed life! Feel free to refer back to this post to make the most of your session.

Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin? Read on!sensitiveskin-01

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Is your sensitive skin instantly rosy after cleansing? Do you hesitate booking a facial because you feel it may cause irritation? Help is here.
Many many people feel they have sensitive skin nowadays for many different reasons. We are constantly bombarded by environmental stimuli, stress, sun exposure, and bad products. For these reasons this skin type is increasingly common.
Sensitive skin is a condition, but it is also genetically predisposed. This skin type/condition is characterized by fragile, thin skin and redness. It is easily irritated by products and by exposure to heat and sun.
Delicate skin needs to be treated very gently with non-irritating, calming products. Vis-a-Vis carries several skin care products that are fabulous for those with skin that’s more sensitive including body products from the “Naked” V2 skin care line. Fragile skin can also be the result of age, dryness or medications. Avoid irritating products and procedures. For example, strong exfoliation, heat, and certain ingredients in products can cause damage and increase redness.
So can people with this skin type receive facials? You bet. Getting a regular facial keeps your skin healthy, and helps strengthen, hydrate and nourish your skin cells. Healthy skin is less sensitive to irritants. Your Esthetician is trained to use specialized products for this tricky skin type that include soothing anti inflammatory and barrier building ingredients. A consultation includes a review of the products you use at home and recommendations for the best regimen for you!

Tablet Check-In 411

Check-In Tablets: Here’s the 411Check-In

By: Melissa Mueller, Vis-a-Vis Founder

Dear Guest,

In conjunction with our new incentives program (VIP Rewards), we have implemented new check-in stations (tablets) at the spa. I’d like to take a little time to discuss our thought process behind these, why we love them, and what inspired them.

For me to explain why we have our check-in system is going to require a deep dive into my thinking, but the abbreviated version is so we can have more meaningful interactions with each of our guests. This system is there for those who want to use it. If you prefer for us to check you in for your appointment, we are happy to do so.

Some of you may think that logic is absurd, “how is asking me to check-in on a tablet creating a more meaningful interaction?” I hear you, this decision took me a very long time to make, and I would like to explain the reasoning for those who would like to hear.

As Vis-a-Vis has grown over the years, our commitment to our guests’ happiness has never wavered. It has always been – and will continue to be – the most important element of our company. 

The Low-Down

In an average week, the concierge staff and I dedicate most our time to making sure that our guests are happy and enjoy their experiences with us. We spend hours going through feedback and seeing what we can do to make things the best they can possibly be when you visit.

One of the top concerns we have heard over the last couple of years is the amount of time check-ins and check-outs takes to perform. This has always been an annoying element for me, and being that we use a third-party provider for all our software, our options to resolve this have been very limited.

I was willing to accept some of these issues as inevitable, until last fall.

The Inspiration

Last September when I attended ISPA, I heard Simon Sinek speak as the keynote. I had heard some of his Ted Talks but the impact of seeing him in person was HUGE!  One of the main ideas he spoke about was finding your “why”.  I knew that as the founder of Vis-a-Vis I needed to clearly define why Vis-a-Vis exists. After lots of soul searching I knew the answer: “To provide meaningful human experiences in a technology based world”.

With this new defined cause, I started to look at our systems, focusing on our primary operations: check-in and check-out. I was determined that we were going to use our technology to allow for meaningful interactions with our guests, not as a replacement for these interactions.

Our New System

Prior to introducing the tablets to check-in, the process of locating a guest’s name and checking them into the software took two to three minutes. While this may not sound like a long time, in our world it can make or break a guest’s experience. If you get stuck in traffic on the way to your appointment with us, the last thing you want to do is spend time standing around in the lobby while we locate your name on the appointment screen. I know, I have been on both sides of that scenario, I know the frustration it can cause.  Our new system allows for guests to be able to check-in even if our concierge is working with someone else.

When I first looked at the idea of self-check-in on the tablets, I thought “NO WAY!” It’s too impersonal. But when I really analyzed the numbers, something different came out. In an average day, Vis-a-Vis sees around 75 guests. If a concierge member spends around 2 minutes per guest looking at a screen to check the guest in, they’ll spend almost 2.5 hours per day dedicated to looking at screen while our guests stand there waiting for us! I couldn’t ignore that this is not a productive use of time.

With our new system, the concierge is available to do things that technology cannot do. They can dedicate their time and efforts into really welcoming you to the spa: helping you get comfortable, taking your coat, getting you something to drink. They can also take time to thoughtfully help you schedule future appointments and work directly with you when you have a specific concern or special request.


This system is there for those that want to use it. If you prefer for us to check you in for your appointment, we are happy to do so. This technology gives us the ability to make check-in quick and easy so we can be there for those who like more interaction!

Thank you for being our guest!


Melissa Mueller

Vis-a-Vis Founder


Ashiatsu Massage: What’s the 411?

Ashiatsu Massage: What’s the 411?Ashiatsu Massage

By: Allie Schmier, Lead Massage Therapist

Have you ever seen a movie portraying a massage therapist who is just walking on a client and holding onto bars that are above the practitioner’s head? Or have you noticed in the massage rooms at Vis-a-Vis, that there are bars above the tables? Have you ever wondered what THAT is all about? Those bars are for a specific modality of massage. Ashiatsu is a deeper form of massage where the practitioner stabilizes themselves with the bars to apply more pressure through their feet onto the client with slow, deep strokes (don’t worry, they are clean and smooth feet!)


The foot of the massage therapist feels exactly like a hand, but covers more surface area. The deeper pressure through the feet is used to elongate and broaden your muscles and increase circulation during an Ashiatsu Massage. The pressure is evenly distributed and is maintained for longer periods of time. This modality may be perfect for you if you wish to have the benefits of massage last longer, if you LOVE deep tissue massages, if you are seeking postural alignment, or if you absolutely love massages (even lighter to the touch ones) and would like to try something new!

Do’s & Don’ts

After any massage, there are cautionary don’ts and do’s. Specifically after an Ashiatsu massage, you should drink LOTS of water, do gentle stretches, treat yourself with a nice hot shower or sit in a sauna, and use Biofreeze to your lower lumbar area as needed. You should not lift heavy objects (even a child over 35 lbs.), do any sports that are rough contact or have you twist your back muscles, sit for long periods of time in a hard chair, or drink heavy alcohol within the first 24 hours. Basically, treat yourself with love and hold off on any activity that is strenuous on your body for at least 24 hours.

Does the actors exaggerated portrayal of a massage therapist make more sense or even why there are bars above the tables in the massage rooms? Hopefully, this discussion has given you some insight into the massage world, whether you are a connoisseur of massages or have never had one before. Give Ashiatsu a try, to assist your body into a relaxing state or work out any muscles tension you’re experiencing!

V-Day 2017

Meet our Treat!V_Day-01

Valentine’s Day Gift Set ($50 value)

Our Valentine’s Day gift pairs perfectly with a spa day! We know you’ll adore these limited edition products (and a little something sweet). Best of all, everything we’ve included in this set is proudly made in the mitten! Our Valentine’s Day Gift Set is available free with $100 gift card purchase, or may be purchased on it’s own for $50.

“Burning Love” Massage Candle

Our Valentine’s Day inspired soy wax candle is sure to light your fire! Sweetly scented with ylang ylang, jasmine, and rose, “Burning Love” will make any love nest extra cozy. Best of all, once melted the wax may be used as a moisturizing body or massage oil. Enjoy alone or with a friend!

“Relax” Scented Drawer Sachet & Bath Sprinkles

These dual-purpose soaking sprinkles are the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day! Dissolve in a bath for a boosted bathing experience, or use as a drawer sachet. Here’s how

  • Bath Sprinkles: Dissolve delicate soaking sprinkles in a warm tub. Either carefully break apart and place directly into tub or place in a tea bag and steep in your bath! Hint: Our bath sprinkles contain natural, herbal pieces, so placing them in a tea bag makes for easier cleanup!

  • Drawer Sachet: Place dry sachet in undergarment drawer for subtly scented unmentionables.

Butter Up Body Creme

This capable cream is sure to be your bread and butter! Essential oils combine to repair and rejuvenate dry skin, leaving even the most barren bod feeling marvelously moisturized.

“Red Hot” Lip Polish

Sugar, coconut, palm, and sunflower oils combine to create serious relief for dry winter lips. Our lip polishes are always popular at the spa, and we know you’ll love this limited edition cinnamon sensation!

“Passionfruit” Lip Balm

Pucker up and hydrate lips with this natural lip balm! Our ultra-hydrating lip balm was formulated to soothe and moisturize even the most chapped lips. Organic and natural ingredients combine with fantastic flavors so you never have to be bored with your balm. Passionfruit is one of our favorites! 

Sander’s Chocolate Heart Set

No Valentine is complete without something sweet and this Michigan-made chocolate seriously delicious. The (obligatory) heart-shaped box houses four tasty caramel treats!

Like what you’ve read?

Learn more or click below to order yours now!


New Year, New Hair

New Year, New Hairhaircolb-01

Hair Trends for 2017

By: Colby Smith, Salon Director

Golden Bronde

In some lighting it’s blonde. In others it’s golden brown. This transformative hair color trend is called golden bronde—and it’s the perfect warm-toned hair color that can be adjusted to work on all skin tones. So if you’ve never considered going blonde before, maybe this is your year.

Shiny and Slick

 It’s all over this year’s spring fashion week. Slick, shiny hair that only looks like its sopping wet is a 2017 hair trend that can look just as good off the runway and in real life. Just work a heavy dose of styling cream from your roots to mid-lengths to get that unmistakable shine with a little bit of hold.

The Growing out Shag

The shag was the surprising hit haircut last year, but those layers and bangs have to grow out sometime. This year we’ll see the beautiful result of that. With hair that hits just past the shoulders and bangs that are long enough to be split down the middle, the grown-out shag is the haircut to keep an eye on this year. If anything, it’s a way to hint at a shag without giving it your full commitment.

Super Sleek

Break out your flat iron. Straight, shiny, and center-parted hair is one of the biggest trends for 2017. But this style only works if your hair looks healthy and not fried. Be sure to mist a heat protectant through your hair before touching it with a straightener.

A Few of My Favorite Things

A Few of My Favorite Thingssocka-01

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Tis the season for gift giving and getting. What will you be giving your loved ones this holiday season? A client recently shared that she threw a holiday party where each guest brought 3 of their favorite things to swap with other guests. This got me thinking about all of the times I’ve been asked “what is your favorite eye cream?” or “do you use products sold here at the spa?”. The answer is YES! Here are some of my favorite things at Vis-a-Vis.


This cleanser is a lifechanger for my dry skin. The light citrus scent is lovely and its a wonderful make up remover as well. Many people are a little hesitant to try a creamy cleanser because there is no foaming action, but the plant oils are a magnet for dirt, oil and debris in the skin. cucumber extract will help sensitive skin stay calm in harsh winter weather. Creamy cleansers are amazing because they don’t  “over cleanse” the skin creating imbalance. Click here to shop!

Lira MYSTIQ Perfecting EYE CREAM

I am a huge fan of eye creams. The skin around the eye area is thin and fragile. Eye creams are developed to be more nourishing and hydrating for this delicate skin. This eye cream is super charged with peptides and plant stem cells. Perfecting eye cream helps to diminish dark circles, reducing puffiness and fine lines.


Pronounced “ho-ho-ba”) oil.

This light golden oil is a lot like your skins natural oils, and comes from a seed from a shrub. It has anti-inflammatory/ anti fungal properties and can be used all over the body and face. Our Jojoba oil is grown organically and because there is only one ingredient.. safe for the most sensitive of skins. Try applying it just out of the shower for velvety skin or add a few drops to your moisturizer for chapped winter skin.


This moisturizer is so protective and rich its considered a balm! I do believe it has magical repairing qualities. Omega Balm is rich in Omega fatty acids that can slow the aging process and rebuild your skins barrier. It also contains concentrated botanical s that take away inflammation.


There are so many choices when it comes to lip products these days. I love the V2 Lip balms because of the simple, healthy, and hydrating ingredients. Organic coconut oil, vitamin E and beeswax. My favorites are Hibiscus, Lemon Cookie, Chai and Nectarine. Okay I love them all! Click here to shop!


This is my favorite anti- aging serum. Apparently others agree as it has won numerous spa awards over the last couple of years. Firming Serum contains eleven..yes eleven Peptides. These proteins act as little cell communicators helping to increase firmness, brighten and soften fine lines. It also contains four different plant stem cells that help encourage the cells rejuvenating processes. I love this product because anyone can use it year round (even in the sun!) and it delivers some of the same results as a retinol. As a bonus- it works beautifully as a make-up primer.

I hope you enjoyed reading my favorite things!

What are some of yours?

The ’90s are back!

The ’90s are back!'90s

Bold, beautiful make-up inspiration

By: Dani Parker, Lead Beauty Specialist

For all of those generation X’ers and Y’ers, good news. The ’90s are back! 1996 is back and in full effect so break out your dark wine colored lipstick and black eyeliner cause this awesome trend is making an appearance and I am personally all about it! 

The picture to the right posing for my high school senior pictures in 1995.  Try to not get too distracted by my caterpillar eyebrows (as difficult as that may be) … A swipe of liner and my color-stay lipstick was my calling card.  So much so that I even have people still to this day ask me where I used to get my liquid liner.

Looking back, I would kill to have those brows again…..

Achieving a ’90s-inspired look at home in 3 easy steps!

For an updated twist on this look for those of us who may start showing signs of aging, a lot of eyeshadow can actually emphasize the loss of slack in an eyelid that upper lid liner is actually a good look. 

1) Start with applying eyelid primer and then using a eyeliner pencil from corner to corner on your upper lid. (don’t worry about making it perfect the next step will help you hide any mistakes)

2) Using a fine tipped eyeshadow brush apply dark brown or even black shadow right over the liner you applied. This helps to soften and blur and imperfections you may have made.  Then just apply your favorite mascara and you’re good to go.  This is great for every eye shape!  If you have a small almond shaped eye you may just want to apply to the upper lid.  If you have large eyes go on to step 3.

3) With the remainder of shadow on your fine tipped shadow brush gently apply the shadow you just used on the upper lid liner to the bottom lash line. Short strokes from corner to corner is best to start out with for technique.  Then apply your mascara!

Take a look at this runway look for some inspirationkylie

The picture on the left is a deep bordeaux lip color thats really on trend now.  The modern twist is that the overall look on her skin is soft and muted.  Lips are the focus for the overall look.  Kendall Jenner on the right has her eyes as center stage dhere.  They both work well but on their own NOT together.  Dark eye and lip would be just too much “look”.

Shop these looks at Vis-a-Vis!

  • Shop the look on the left: MUD liner in ”Mauve” with MUD and Cream Lipstick in “Blackberry”
  • Shop the look on the right: MUD eyeliner in black and shadow shade “onyx”

Winterizing Your Skin

Winterizing Your Skinwinterizing your skin

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Winterizing your skin is the best gift you can give yourself this holiday season. One of the most important things we can do for our skin is to give it hydration year-round.

Understanding the type of hydration your skin needs, and how to impart and lock in moisture is key. Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Our body is 60% water. Water is essential for the skin’s processes as the skin is also a system.

The upper layers of the skin are made up of a combination of dead skin cells, lactic acid, amino acids and salts which create your skins hydration system. Within the skin’s upper layer we also have  “the glue” which holds everything together and holds water in. The glue is made up of ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids and again.. these create the water binding barrier for the skin. When the skin is lacking it’s glue it becomes dry, irritated and sensitive. In other words.. an imbalance of this system can cause “water loss” in the skin. Another issue that arises with a lack of hydration in the skin is exfoliation. Did you know that your skin is shedding dead skin cells constantly? Lack of moisture slows this process and excess dead skin cells trap dirt and oil and reduce penetration of products applied to the skin. How can you improve hydration in your skin? Through adequate water intake, topical skin care products, and professional treatments.

Now that we have an understanding of how moisture and hydration effect the skin.. let’s learn about two common skin conditions: Dry & Dehydrated. The difference between these two conditions is often confused. Someone may think they have oily skin, so they assume they have ample moisture in the skin when in fact they are dehydrated. Dehydrated skin is related to the water in the skin. Well hydrated skin appears smooth and dewy on the surface. When you are well hydrated you can pinch your cheeks and the skin will bounce right back. Also, one may have visible lines which will result in deeper wrinkles later if the issue is not corrected. Dry skin is a completely different issue.  Dry skin is related to oil production. For some this is a genetic issue. Aging also plays a part in dry skin as oil production decreases with age. Many people believe skin with no oil is the healthiest skin and they strip the oil out with harsh products. It is important to realize the skin needs this film for protection and hydration.

An Esthetician is an excellent resource for choosing products and services to help increase hydration and balance your skin. Scheduling “The Chat” or a facial at Vis-A-Vis would be a great place to start. The Chat is a 45 minute session devoted to thorough consultation, analysis and recommendations for regimen. A facial also includes a consultation and analysis. In a facial however, you will also receive a rejuvenating treatment that is customized to your skin’s needs.

Intentional Massage

A Complete Guide to Intentional Massageintentional massage

By: Allie Schmier, Lead Massage Therapist

Intention: Defined

When you come in for your massage, what are you looking to get out of it? Are you in need of pain relief? Or do you need relief from the busy and stressful lives we lead? Whatever you are looking for, that is your intention.  Intention is defined as having an attitude or purpose that guides an action to reach an objective. Intentional massage is coming into your massage with a specific intention, such as “I wish to relieve this pain in my right shoulder and relax my mind”, will guide your body to reach that goal. But coming in with a negative intention, such as “massages haven’t worked for my pain in my right shoulder ever”, will stop the healing process of your body. The objective of releasing that pain you harbor won’t occur because you aren’t allowing your mind to be open with a positive intention.

Stay Positive!

Positive intentions can be simple or more intricate. Consider your attitude, be open, and let go to allow your body to do the healing. Hone in on what you are looking for, whether it is relaxation, stress relief, or pain relief. Your objective can be long term, maybe you desire realignment of your hips or spine, wish to have an old wound heal, or hope for a more balanced life in this fast paced world we live in. Having reason for a massage isn’t enough.  Set your desired outcome and become vulnerable to it, then let it go. Have faith in the process of the massage knowing that your body and mind will guide you through it. Then a massage therapist will assist your mind and body towards reaching the objective.

Share Responsibility

Intention isn’t only your responsibility. A massage therapist always has the intention of looking for the best outcome for you. Being open and not having judgments is a key way to help you heal.  The healing process begins by acknowledging what your intention is, then the therapist can let go of any obligation to fix it themselves and focus more on the massage techniques to assist the body in releasing the tension that is binding your muscles. When the massage therapist knows your intention, they can tune their work to be the assistance needed.

Allow Yourself to Heal

Massage is a great tool to help you release your pain or stresses.  Enter your massage with a clear intention; this will be most beneficial and effective. Your attitude or purpose will guide your mind and body towards your goal. Massage therapists are here to assist in your goal. We do not hold judgments or change your intention; we remove ourselves so that you can heal. We are here to guide your body and mind towards your specific objective. Be communicative to your massage therapist and allow yourself to heal.  

Superguests #7

Superguests #7superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our blog interview series: “Superguests”

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-Vis?

Over three years

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?

I’ve always had a amazing beaus waxing services. And you have some special oil [Calm Down Soothing Oil] that I received during my first waxing. It was amazing with helping with the ingrown hairs and soothing the waxed area afterwards.

Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

Kelly is my waxing girl. She’s amazing! Very personable and makes the moment much less awkward. I’m a baby everytime, but she makes a joke out of it. Plus, I’ve yet to have any irritation afterwards. She’s very well educated on her profession, you can tell when she’s quick at work.

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

All the women I’ve worked with in the beauty industry. I couldn’t just pick one. Women have a different aspect on this line of work and most of the ones I have the pleasure of knowing have taught me so much and made me the cosmetologist I am today. That’s truly irreplaceable.

What is something you are proud of?

Followed in my mom’s footsteps because I’m a licensed cosmetologist.

What is one surprising fact about you?

I love to drive, even without a destination. I hardly live close to Vis-a-Vis and it’s always worth the trip

What motivates you?

Positive people. If I work with someone who also has a great work ethic and outlook that pushes me even further then I’ve expected.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:

I love being outside. I couldn’t live somewhere where I couldn’t enjoying the fresh air and all of the flowers and plants. I wouldn’t handle being stuck inside all day.

What do you LOVE about yourself?

I’m a good listener. It’s why I chose he field that I did. And because of that it makes my job easier, that I can accurately take in what people are expecting from me when getting a service done.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

First time I went to Vis-a-Vis I was in awe. I knew it was going to be amazing. You get that professionalism right away. And Kelly confirmed that. I explained how I had a difficult time finding a place that did waxing for men, and one that suited me. They have always met my expectations.

Superguests #6

Superguests #6superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our blog interview series: “Superguests”

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-Vis?

3 years

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?

Men’s Brazilian

Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

Kelly Smith

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

Sandy – she’s just the woman behind the man, after 55 yrs what can I say.

What is something you are proud of?

My navy service

What is one surprising fact about you?

I learned to control my temper.

What motivates you?

Waking up in the morning.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:


What do you LOVE about yourself?

I’ve survived this long!


Why I love Lash Lifts

Why I love Lash Liftsabbee_lash

By: Dani Parker, Lead Beauty Specialist

Back home in New York about 15 years ago I was treating myself to some highlights when my stylist complimented me on my beautiful, long eyelashes. Her next question was would I like to try perming them to give them a curl. Always a person who is looking for the next new thing, naturally I said “yes” and boy was I so happy I did.  No more of that medieval torture devise (aka my lash curler!) My lashes were long, full and had a lovely curled lift all the time. She even tinted them black so when I was at the beach my lashes stood out all the time with or without mascara.

Flash forward to today and having been performing this service now myself for many years I am always surprised that this is still a well-kept beauty secret. I suggest the next time you go to use your lash curler, take a close look at the rubber in the track. If it’s used regularly than more than likely you are actually snipping out those coveted lash hairs a little bit each time you use it. Once you start Lifting them you’ll notice how much fuller they become over time by no longer using the curler. 

Now that I’m knocking on the big 4-0, I have noticed that most of what has always kept me looking young, my big full eye brows, my “beautiful long, eyelashes” and even my hair are just wincing away.  Lifting and Tinting my lashes have continued to help with battling aging. Now when I use my amazing mascara that I pay through the nose for its going on very deserving lashes! This service is completely safe and totally worth it! 

Reasons why you’ll love Lash Lift!

  • Permanent Curl that will last the life of each eyelash
  • Welcome break or amazing alternative to lash extensions
  • Makes your appearance more bright eyed, awake, and youthful!

Using a lash serum for enhancement?  No problem! This treatment can absolutely be done with no worries (we just need a little more time for the service) Our Grand Lash Lift takes about an hour and we include a lash tint as well to really make your new look pop!  Call us (734) 213-7455 or book online!

Schedule my Lash Lift NOW!

Combat Skin Enemies

How to combat skin enemies!summerskin

Learn about summertime skin irritants and how to beat them

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Heat, humidity, wind, pollution and UV Radiation. What do we do to fight these skin enemies and keep our skin balanced, clear and hydrated in the summer months? In this blog post we will look at each of these irritants, how they affect the skin, and what we can do to care for our skin.


Intense Heat

Heat is welcomed in Michigan after the long winter. Intense heat for long periods can be tough on the skin, though. The body produces sweat when we are hot, to cool itself down. Sweat mixes with sebum and bacteria which can be the perfect storm for a breakout. This is why your cleansing regimen is so important in summer! Using a gentle gel type cleanser is a great option. I would also recommend a cleanser with gentle acids like salicylic or enzymes if your prone to breakouts in the summer because they will clean the pores and rid the skin of some dead skin cells. Heat causes inflammation as well. Inflammation is the cause of early aging, capillary breakdown (those little veins you see), and exacerbates acne and rosacea. A calming toner with hydrating calming ingredients can be helpful in combating inflammation. Keep one in the refrigerator and mist your skin several times per day.


High Humidity

High humidity has some of the same downsides high heat does when it comes to the skin. Hydration is so important to skin health and drinking plenty of water helps to ensure that our skin still has enough hydration left after sweating. Each cell needs water to carry out all of its functions. A serum with hyaluronic acid is a good choice for hydration in summer- but be aware that if your skin is truly dry- a serum will not be enough. For dry skins a nourishing moisturizer is necessary as well. Windy weather means more protection is needed to keep your skins barrier strong. This is another good reason to use a good moisturizer in summer, it creates a thin barrier between the skin and the wind, and locks in moisture. Keeping the skin supple is the goal.


Air Pollution

Pollution is everywhere and is for the most part invisible. Spending time out doors in the summer around a factory or in cities, driving a car,  using a lawn mower are all ways we release pollution into the air. Pollutants adhere to the skin and damage our cells. This is especially true for skin that isn’t healthy,and/or has an impaired barrier. It is important to wash your face every morning and every evening to remove these toxins from the skin. A good cleansing routine should include two different cleansers:
1. A “resting” cleanser, maybe a milky cleanser which is gentle and can remove makeup easily. Ex) Soften Up: Creamy Cleanser
2. A “treatment” cleanser that has targeted ingredients that help treat a skin concern like Acne, sun damage or anti-aging. Ex) Universal Moisturizer 


Sun Exposure

UV Radiation or sun exposure is the leading cause of skin damage in the summer. It’s also the leading cause of early aging. Dehydration, inflammation, cell damage, hyperpigmentation, are all other issues the sun is to blame for, not to mention skin cancer. This is why broad spectrum SPF of 30 is recommended at all times of sun exposure. don’t forget to re-apply every 2 hours. Staying out of the sun at peek hours (when the sun is the strongest) is recommended. If you have spent time in the sun one of the best things you can do is re-hydrate. Drink plenty of water. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!


Superguests #5

Superguests #5superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our blog interview series: “Superguests”

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-Vis?

Since 2011

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?

I love everything. I can’t pick between hair care, facials, massage and waxing. They are all amazing services in their own ways!

Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

Leigh is my go-to pro for waxing and facials-love her! Colby is my absolute favorite hair extraordinaire.

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

My mom-She is resilient and lives life to the fullest expression.

What is something you are proud of?

I ride and train horses. I take a lot of pride in improving each horse I work with.

What is one surprising fact about you?

As a child, I tied my shoes the first time I ever tried.

What motivates you?

The idea that I am constantly improving and developing in body and mind.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:

Lip balm

What do you LOVE about yourself?

My eyes


Superguests #4

Superguests #4superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our blog interview series: “Superguests”

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-Vis?

2 years

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?

It is a tie between the wonderful massages and getting my haircut. The enrichment options with the massages are fabulous. The salon uses wonderful products from surface that make my hair look fabulous.

Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

Elizabeth Fischer is a wonderful stylist who always makes sure your are completely satisfied with you cut and color! Kellie Newsted is a fantastic massage therapist. Every time I go in she always makes sure the massage is tailored to my needs and that I feel relaxed when I leave.

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

My mom is a huge inspiration to me. She is such a strong and caring individual who has always been there for us.

What is something you are proud of?

I am proud of my education and my drive to succeed at my goals, both personal and professional.

What is one surprising fact about you?

I like to find one day a month to stay in my pajamas all day.

What motivates you?

I am motivated by the desire to learn new things.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:


What do you LOVE about yourself?

It has not always been the case but I love my thick curly hair


Prime Time!

Prime Time!prime

Prep, prime, & set makeup like a pro

By: Dani Parker, Lead Beauty Specialist 

We want to help you learn to prep, prime, and set your makeup like a professional makeup artist. Primers and setting sprays are every makeup artists BFF. They make a flawless finish possible. At Vis-a-Vis, they’re our bread and butter!

Primers are an excellent way to fill in pores, fine lines, smooth facial hair and inconsistent skin appearance. At Vis-a-vis, we use MUD (Makeup Designer) primer before a makeup application to create a smooth and even palate.

How to use face primer like a pro:

  • Start with a clean and properly moisturized face. You don’t want to have flakey skin it will make your complexion with makeup look chalky.
  • Apply a pea-sized amount of primer using the tips of your fingers. Dab a small amount on your nose/outer nostrils, chin and forehead. Smooth any excess towards your cheeks and outer face.

How to use eyelid primer like a pro:

Eyelid/shadow primers act like a deodorant sucking up surface oils on the lid and can keep your shadow looking flawless all day. We use Blinc primer before every shadow application!

  • Apply a small amount over the entire lid past the crease using your fingertips.
  • Blend evenly over your lid.
  • Enjoy beautiful shadow that stays put!

Not a primer person?

If primers aren’t your thing and you like to keep your makeup to a minimum, try using a setting spray. V2 Calming Toner is a beast when it comes to setting up your flawless finish! After your makeup is applied and just before mascara, spray your entire face with about 5 spritzes (from a distance!) and let dry. Voila! Just like that you have an airbrushed finish that lasts all day! Hello, summer skin :)

How to get the most out of your bikini wax

How to be a bikini wax pro!

Get the most out of your next wax at Vis-a-Visbikini

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Warm weather has arrived, and we all want that smooth, sexy skin right? Waxing is an excellent choice for hair removal. It’s efficient, affordable, and you can skip the razor for weeks! We take great pride in our waxing program here at Vis-a-Vis, and we want you to get the most out of your next wax with us. Below you’ll find the most effective ways to get the most out of our wax!

Consult your Esty!

The most important thing you will do before getting a wax is to fill out a Health Questionnaire and consult with an Esthetician. Always let us know if there are changes to your health, new medications or skin issues before any waxing service.

Prepare, prepare, prepare!

Have you heard the phrase preparation is everything? Simply put, if you don’t take care of the skin properly before a wax, your outcome won’t be as good as it could be. Discontinue shaving 10-14 days prior to your wax service, or better yet- stop shaving and wax every 4 weeks. Gently exfoliate 2-3 days prior to your wax to remove dead skin cells. Hydrate well internally and externally. Drink plenty of water and use a fragrance-free moisturizer or body oil daily.  Please don’t come in for a wax with a sunburn, this is a mild burn and we won’t be able to wax you. Also, alcohol and caffeine should be avoided before a service, both can stimulate and pre-sensitize the skin. Sensitive to waxing? We have a cream you can put on at home prior to your wax to numb the skin!

24-48 hours after wax:

  • No hot baths. Showers are ok.
  • No tanning beds, saunas or steam rooms
  • Avoid friction causing activities
  • Use only gentle moisturizers
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Avoid swimming
  • No Sun 48 hours

After 48 Hours:

Exfoliate! We recommend a gentle scrub 2-3 times per week based on your skins needs. This allows the hair to grow in correctly and keeps the bumps away. Hydrate! Plant-based body oils work great as well as lotions without synthetic fragrance. If you don’t know which exfoliant or aftercare product is right for you please discuss this with your Esthetician.

Products we love! 

Keep Calm: Part 3

Keep Calm: Part 3massage

Simple steps for total relaxation during your massage

By: Letha Zaracki, Lead Massage Therapist

Whether it’s your first massage or your fiftieth, it can sometimes be a challenge to leave the daily stresses of life at the door and transition into a silent, serene space on the table. There are many obstacles our mind must combat before allowing ourselves to slip into a relaxed and opened state. When our minds are relaxed, our muscles are relaxed; and when our muscles are relaxed, it helps your massage therapist to break up tension and stretch out tightness much quicker and more effectively.

If you have trouble cooling your jets before a massage, here’s Letha’s third and final tip to help you leave the mind-chatter and the door and reap the benefits of being truly present for your bodywork session.

Step #1: Breathe

Step #2: Visualize

Step #3: Ease the Transition

Another great way to help you relax during your massage is to get the relaxation party started before you even set foot in the spa!! Have a few free hours before your service? Treat yourself to a nice hot bath or shower to help your muscles get open and ready to melt away tension. The heat expands tight tissues, making them easier to get worked on, and able to handle more pressure quicker. Have a favorite activity that helps you chill out? Doing any type of relaxing activity, such as yoga, meditation, or walking through nature, helps your mind become ready for receiving massage by slowing down your hyperactive brain waves closer to that of what they would be like during a massage, so the transition is less of a struggle and can be achieved quicker. Think you don’t have enough time before your massage to relax or slow down? You’d be surprised at the places you can fit a bit of calm time in to. Use the car ride from work to the spa to play a calming soothing playlist for yourself, or your favorite meditation podcast. Take a few minutes once you’ve parked to close your eyes, take your hands off the wheel, and take some deep and slow breaths.  Use the walk up Main Street to stretch your legs and shoulders, connecting with your body. Get creative! We all have mental chatter that clouds our minds from time to time, but we don’t have to let it run our lives, or get in the way of our healing time!! Next time you’re on the table, try one (or all!) of these techniques and let yourself see and feel the benefits of being fully aware and present during your bodywork session.

How to protect your hair from sun damage

How to protect your hair from sun damagesunnycircle

A guide to gorgeous summer hair

By: Colby Smith, Salon Coordinator

The sun can really mess with your hair, so shielding it from the suns damaging rays is a must! Below you’ll find my expert tips on ensuring your lovely locks are protected.


Choose a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, like any of the Surface or R+co Shampoos and Conditioners carried at Vis-a-Vis. They’re all sulfate and paraben free. These formulas don’t contain harsh color-stripping detergents that are often used in other shampoos.


Humid summer weather often causes frizz, so you might be firing up your straightening iron or blow dryer during the week to tame your tresses. And since heat damage can cause color to dull, it’s a good idea to enlist a heat-styling spray to protect your strands. Use the Surface Bassu Shine Spray or Surface Trinity Repair Tonic to help protect.


After a long day at the beach, coat your strands with a deep-conditioning mask that helps nourish sun-parched hair. The Surface Bassu Masque is a great way for intense hydration.


Add another layer of protection to your tresses by using a double-duty hairspray that locks in your style and preserves your dyed hair color up to 75% longer. Use the R+co Vicious spray or Surface Theory Firm for a nice durable hold. If you can’t do a hard hold hairspray, try the Surface Curls Finishing Spray. It has a flexible hold and is humidity resistant.


Over-washing your ‘do can be detrimental to your overall hair health. Instead of sudsing up Monday through Friday, which can dry out your strands, skip a shampoo every other day and use a dry shampoo. Try out the Surface Trinity Invisible Dry Shampoo or the R+co Death Valley.


If you’re a blonde and your hair starts turning a tinge of yellow, use a purple pigment-based shampoo, such as R+co Sunset Blvd Shampoo and Conditioner. It helps neutralize the color and bring your hue back to its normal, gorgeous state.

Superguests 3

Superguests #3superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our blog post series: “Superguests”

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-Vis?

My first visit was this past February!

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?


Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

Bonnie is absolutely fantastic! I went for a full Brazilian wax and Bonnie made the whole experience very relaxed and easy and made me feel comfortable. I also want to give some praise to Chelsea for doing such a great job coordinating appointments and answering questions I had.

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

I have a ton of respect for Lady Gaga. She is a staunch supporter of the LGBT community and also has done great work with her Born This Way Foundation.

What is something you are proud of?

I am proud of myself as a transgender woman gaining confidence each and every day and starting to live my life more and more often as the real me and who I was meant to be.

What is one surprising fact about you?

I own over 120 pairs of shoes!

What motivates you?

I am motivated by a desire to fully experience life. Life is too short to not do the things I want to be, and be the person I know I am.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:

Coffee. I just don’t feel like a day has actually started until I have my first cup.

What do you LOVE about yourself?

I love that I am unique. I embrace my uniqueness and understand it makes me the person I am.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I am so happy to have discovered Vis-a-Vis. I am a new client, but will be a client for life!

Keep Calm: Part 2

Keep Calm: Part 2massage

Simple steps for total relaxation during your massage

By: Letha Zaracki, Lead Massage Therapist

Whether it’s your first massage or your fiftieth, it can sometimes be a challenge to leave the daily stresses of life at the door and transition into a silent, serene space on the table. There are many obstacles our mind must combat before allowing ourselves to slip into a relaxed and opened state. When our minds are relaxed, our muscles are relaxed; and when our muscles are relaxed, it helps your massage therapist to break up tension and stretch out tightness much quicker and more effectively.

If you have trouble cooling your jets before a massage, here’s a tip to help you leave the mind-chatter and the door and reap the benefits of being truly present for your bodywork session.

Step #1: Breath

Step #2: Visualize

So now you’re breathing nicely and deeply, really feeling the connection between your body and your mind, but suddenly…. Images of that flat tire you need to fix come flying in, nagging like mosquito. Maybe something reminds you of an argument with a loved one, or that embarrassing text you sent to your crush is still haunting you. This is when visualization techniques can come into handy. Visualization is an amazing way to clear your mind and help you truly quiet the chatter.

Visualization can be as simple as picturing a place on this planet that you love and feel safe. Tune in to the sights, smells and sensations of this place. Imagining yourself in a calm environment can bring peace and silence to the mind.  If you can’t shake a certain thought or feeling while trying to relax, feel free to try out this technique I have created over time;

As a thought arises, instead of trying to bury it, briefly allow yourself to acknowledge it for what it is, without judgment. Envision that thought turning into a shiny bubble, which then quickly solidifies and encases the thought and the feelings it has brought about. Watch each bubble, one by one, rise up and out of your mind, watching it softly float away, far off into the distance, and acknowledge the feeling of the absence of that bubble. Notice when the bubble floats off, that the thoughts you encased inside of it have floated off and away as well. Once the bubble is gone, it can no longer come back to you, it is gone. Allow yourself to make as many bubbles as you need, until your brain can’t think of anything else to put into a bubble. Once the last bubble has left, allow yourself to visualize a soft, glowing white light occupying the space where all the bubbles once were held. Feel it grow and expand as you breathe deeply. When you have reached this state, allow yourself to bask in this feeling, to hone in on experiencing the healing work that is being done to your body, and to feel the deep relaxation that you have now achieved.

Stay tuned for more tips from Letha on keeping it calm!

To Our Transgender Friends

An Open Letter To Our Transgender Friendsletter2

Spa & Salon Services For Everyone

By: Scott Roberts, Vis-a-Vis Operations Director

I love Laverne Cox. I think she is a great actress and I also think she is gorgeous. And, if you didn’t know, she was born male. I can’t even begin to pretend as though I understand her journey to becoming her true self although I do imagine she had difficult moments. Nowadays I assume she has a team of experts doing her hair, her make-up, and all the other things to make her look like a star. This gives me pause as I think about who in the Ann Arbor and surrounding communities are living as their true self but may be experiencing difficulties because they do not have a team of beauty experts to help along the way.

At Vis-a-Vis, we embrace and welcome everyone. In fact, our company diversity statement reads:

“It is our policy not to discriminate against anyone because of gender identity.”

Perhaps you or someone you know is transgender and have been apprehensive to go to a salon or spa for services. We do not want you to feel that way about coming to Vis-a-Vis. You are welcome here. In fact, we perform spa services for transgender guests already so this is nothing new for us.

We strive to make scheduling your skincare, hair, nails, massage, or waxing services as enjoyable as possible. I can hear the question now, “So how do I go about booking a service like a Brazilian waxing with you? I am a Trans woman and I have not had bottom surgery. Do I have to book a male Brazilian?” The simple answer is, “No.” Your private parts do not define you; as a Trans woman you are welcome to schedule a female Brazilian waxing. That being said, there are only certain estheticians at Vis-a-Vis that specialize in waxing male genitalia regardless of gender, Kelly Smith and Bonnie Stuart. If you call to make an appointment or book your service online, be sure you are scheduling your female Brazilian wax with Kelly or Bonnie. If you are a Trans woman that has had SRS, feel free to schedule your service with any esthetician as they all specialize in waxing female genitalia.

If you still aren’t sure about making an appointment or have any other questions, call us and just ask – we are happy to help. We see private parts every day so it is not a big deal to us. What IS a big deal is that we are taking care of you, meeting your expectations, and recognizing you on your terms. Please let us be your team of beauty experts.

Why you need an Esty!

Why you should get an Esthetician … STAT!circle

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

What is an Esthetician?

You would not believe the amount of  times I have been introduced to a new person,who asks me what I do for a living and then stares at me blankly as I say the word “Es-the-ti-cian.” At other times I’ve been asked how I like styling hair?  So I will clear it up once and for all. Here is a definition from my favorite source:

“Estheticians provide preventative care for the skin and offer treatments to keep the skin healthy and attractive. They may also manufacture, sell, or apply cosmetics. They are trained to detect skin problems and provide hair removal services.” – Milady’s Standard Esthetics Fundamentals. 

I like to think of myself as a skin care therapist. Each time I provide a skin service I am presented with a completely unique face. Genetics, lifestyle, skin conditions like acne, emotional and hormonal health, all effect the individual and their complexion. You see, the skin is an organ (our largest) and it has some big jobs. Protecting us from the environment and namely the sun, for example. As the skin ages it looses the ability to protect as well as it once did, and so we start to see brown spots and premature aging.

This is why developing a relationship with an Esthetician is so rewarding. Not only can I help to slow down the effects of the sun and aging, but I can develop a plan for your skin and recommend the best  products to use at home  for your skin type and goals.  

Get the most out of your visit!

Consultation and health forms are a very important start. The more information you can give your Esthetician the better. This is because we understand how things like medications, allergyies and your current regimen are effecting your skin. Your consultation and health information will always be kept confidential. If you like, you can also bring in your current skin care products. Your Esthetician is knowledgeable about ingredients. Certain ingredients may be over drying for example, not good for someone with dry skin who is experiencing fine lines, which could be helped with good hydration.

Frequency of visits

A facial every four weeks is recommended  for most skin types. This is because at the end of four weeks dead skin cell build up occurs and the skin needs to be exfoliated and treated. Just as you go to a trainer and workout regularly to stay healthy and fit, facials are a workout for the skin. Facials increase or speed up cell turnover, to rejuvenate and refine the skin, giving you that “glow”. In the case of acne, congestion and breakouts, removing dead skin cells and treating with anti inflammatory or anti microbial masks is very beneficial. 

Skin care over time

As your skin changes over time, your Esthetician will be able to change your treatments and home care regimen to suit your changing needs. We keep track and log your needs, goals, and progress for best results. Don’t be afraid to ask questions- we love to talk about what we do. Also, don’t be afraid to try a couple different Estheticians until you get the right fit. Your ideal Esthetician should be someone you feel comfortable with, because you will be sharing personal info with them. You should get the feeling your needs are being addressed and that she is listening to your concerns.  I want to become an expert in Your skin, because of how well I know it.

Lets get glowing!

If you have any questions or would like to be matched with the perfect Esthetician for your skin, feel free to email Leigh:

Pastel Hair Color in Ann Arbor, MI

Pastel Hair Colorhair

The truth behind the maintenance

By: Colby Smith, Salon Coordinator

Bright hair color is a huge trend this season. All our favorite celebrities are showing off fun pastel hair dye. But looking past what meets the eye, we have to stop and ask: what kind of damage are they doing to their hair?

Moisture is the key thing you want when you are coloring and highlighting your hair. It is crucial whenever you are making drastic color changes. With hair color, lightening is the most damaging. Adding vibrant colors to previously lightened hair doesn’t damage the hair, and since they fade very quickly, you can play with multiple colors. Also going dark isn’t damaging. It’s trying to go light again where you run into problems.

Vibrant colors tend to fade very fast…usually after a few shampoos. To keep them looking vibrant, you need to redo it about every 2 weeks. More often if you like it super bright and vibrant.  It evolves into a pastel tones as you wash so it’s also fun to see the quick changes.

You need to know that doing these vibrant colors, it’s necessary to pre-lighten the hair to a pale blonde. It’s easy if your hair is naturally light. For darker hair it puts more stress on the hair to get the pale tones. Most people run into problems when they color their hair light, then go dark, then try and go light again.  The misconception is that just because you put dark hair over the highlights, it’s healthy again.  The reality is that whatever hair was previously highlighted will get damage when you try and relighten hair.

If you want very vibrant hair there are products out there you can try at home. If pastel tones are your target color, then adding pink or the color of your choice to conditioner will give a sheer refresh to the color when you wash. Also make sure to use SPF – just like you would on your face.

If you want vibrantly-hued hair, come by for a Color Consultation and we’ll walk you through the process and come up with a game plan!


Prom Prep 101


Hey ladies! Prom is just around the corner and we want to help you make the most of this fun right-of-passage. For some, prom is a special night to remember! For others, it’s a bronzer-heavy occasion immortalized forever in photos your parents parade in front of friends, family, and future significant others.

We’re here to help your prom experience go off without a hitch. We know you’re all beauties (inside and out) but if you want to treat yourself to a little something extra before you dance the night away, we’re here to help. 

Book My Appointment Now!

Two months prior

Schedule your hair and makeup appointments! If you haven’t done so already, you’re in luck! Some of our awesome stylists still have openings during prom season, so take a peek at our Style Sessions and make-up services and schedule what you need!   

Not sure what hairstyle you’d like? Pinterest and Instagram are great sources for inspiration!

Two weeks prior

Whiten those pearly whites! You could book a teeth whitening session with your dentist, but we think white strips work just fine! If you plan on going with a bold lip, this prep step is especially important.

One week – 10 days prior

Get a facial. For glowing, beautiful skin get a facial a week or so before prom. Our estheticians will help jumpstart your skincare regimen.

One week prior

Brow maintenance. We’re experts in the art of the arch. If you’re new to brow maintenance, schedule our design session and your esthetician will teach you everything you need to know!

Two days prior

Sunless tanning! Why leave your tan up to orange-inducing lotions or spray booths when a quick sunless session with us will help you get the perfect glow? Plus, our formula is organic! You’ll seriously love this healthy alternative to sunlamp tanning.

One day prior OR the day of

Get a manicure. Nothing tops off the perfect prom look like a fun mani! Schedule your mani/pedi as close to your prom date as you can for a fresh look.

Meet Our Make-Up

Meet Our Make-UpProfile

Our favorite make-up lines and how to use them

by Dani Parker Lead Beauty Specialist/Esthetician


MUD is highly regarded in the makeup industry as a quality, long lasting line with incredible wear-ability. Whether you dare to be different or prefer a more polished or natural look, MUD was designed to be versatile.


Priia is the first and only mineral makeup of its kind. Made specifically for acne-prone skin, it is 100% acne safe, non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. There is no other mineral makeup brand on the market today that can compare to PRIIA even for the most sensitive skin.

Beauty trends you should try:

Decadently Dark Lips

The 90’s are back with a twist on an old favorite. To stay on trend, try our MUD lipstick in shades Blackberry or Burlesque. Matte lip is phasing out and shine is back in.  Try a burst of MUD sheer glossy color, smooth and never sticky. Java lip is the perfect complimentary color to apply over lipstick for a long-lasting pop of color.

Cherub Cheeks

Strong color on the apples of the cheek is in big time! Try using PRIIA cheek whispers cream-to-powder blush in “poppy” topped with a highlighter for a healthy, cheeky look.

Glitter is back and in a whole new way!

Who doesn’t love glitter?? To try something subtle apply black glitter to outer corner of your winged eye liner for a fresh approach on an old favorite. Feeling frisky? How about rose gold glitter to frame your eye. Using clear shadow or face primer, apply the primer just under the eyebrow then with a dry brush or your fingertip press the glitter just under the brow bone and there you have it! Runway inspiration for a more edgy look.

Remember to choose one feature as your focus. Be it eye, lip or cheek. Pick one to rock out, too much can look overdone. Also, be sure to practice once or twice as well. Even the best makeup artists don’t get it right the first time.

If you need a little help creating any of these looks, the make-up pros at Vis-a-Vis are always happy to assist you :) 

Happy Glam-ing!


How I became the ultimate skincare nerd

How I became the ultimate skincare nerdflight

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

I’m often asked how I got my start in the beauty biz. Looking back it feels like a series of serendipitous events that led me to where I am today. I was an aimless twenty-year-old. I scraped up enough money one spring to go to Europe with four friends for a two month long backpacking adventure. When I returned, my mother handed me an application for a Flight Attendant position. More travel! So I started my first career “flying the friendly skies.” I was based in New York and spent my days exploring the city and flying around the world on the weekends. Singers, celebrities and models were passengers on many of my flights. I noticed many of the women had flawless skin. I admired that radiant, glowing skin. One day, I was speaking to another flight attendant about this and he simply said “they all get facials.” Facials?.. I had to have one.

While on layover at a hotel in Amsterdam I had my very first facial. Everything in the Spa was white. It was calming and clinical all at the same time. My Esthetician wore a white lab coat and spoke little English. She quickly got to work purifying, masking, and massaging my face. I loved every second. Facials are a complete sensory experience of touch, pleasant music, beautifully scented skin care products, and at the end … beautiful skin! I began getting regular facials from a good friend and started noticing my skin was getting better and better.

Fast forward a few years and a couple of children, and I finally made the leap and got certified as an Esthetician. I never looked back. I get to make women (and a few men) look and feel better about themselves every day. I get to take classes that make me better at what I do. Now that I am starting to experience signs of aging, I can choose products and treatments for myself, and enjoy the benefits of advanced skin care. It really works. I am living proof.

Keep Calm (during a massage)

Keep Calm (during a massage)massage

Simple steps for total relaxation

By: Letha Zaracki, Massage Therapist

Whether it’s your first massage or your fiftieth, it can sometimes be a challenge to leave the daily stresses of life at the door and transition into a silent, serene space on the table. There are many obstacles our mind must combat before allowing ourselves to slip into a relaxed and opened state. When our minds are relaxed, our muscles are relaxed; and when our muscles are relaxed, it helps your massage therapist to break up tension and stretch out tightness much quicker and more effectively.

If you have trouble cooling your jets before a massage, here’s a tip to help you leave the mind-chatter and the door and reap the benefits of being truly present for your bodywork session.

Step #1: Breathe

So, where does one begin quieting the raging storm of the mind? Well, perhaps we can look to our ancestors of times passed for some insights. For thousands of years, cultures across the world from the Hawaiian Isles to the Indian Ocean have discovered and experienced the amazing power of deep, conscious breath. When we shift our focus from the chaotic chatter of life to the sensation of our inhale, the expansion of our exhale, and the beautiful wave-like rhythm is creates, it invites our minds and bodies to be completely present in this moment. It’s an invitation to shut down the area of our brains that gives us that nagging anxiety and stress, if just for a moment, to be present for some much needed personal healing and attention. It gives us a neutral and healthy focal point for our busy minds to gaze upon, making it easier for our minds to put all the other unnecessary junk on the back burner.

Next time you’re on the massage table, start your session off by taking a take a moment to pause and take a few deep, conscious, cleansing breaths, allowing yourself to feel every inch of your lungs expand and contract. Find the natural rhythm of your breath and challenge yourself to breathe deeper and slower with every inhale and exhale. The deeper you can breathe, the deeper your relaxed state of mind will become. The deeper you can exhale, the more room there is for expansion on the next inhale. Focus on (and take delight in!) the sensations you feel during every breath, both within and outside of your body. It can help to count, inhaling from 1…2…3…4…exhaling for 1…2…3…4…5…6. Give yourself permission to be fully present in this moment, with no past or future influences, to enjoy a moment of relaxation tailored for YOU!

Stay tuned for more tips from Letha on keeping it calm!


Superguests 2


Superguests #2superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our blog post series: “Superguests”

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-vis?

Since the beginning.

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?

I love the 75 minute facial.

Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

I love all my practitioners! That’s like asking me which of my kids is my favorite.

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

My sister Karen has been an inspiration to me. She’s a loving caring mom, wife, MD. She always has time for my sisters, parents, her kids and patients. She’s expecting her first grandchild this spring!

What is something you are proud of?

My kids. I never knew I could love so purely.

What is one surprising fact about you?

I was a miserable kid :(

What motivates you?

Giving back in some little unspoken way, everyday.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:

Serving, it’s pretty lonely to not give back.

What do you LOVE about yourself?

I love that I have given myself permission to keep learning about myself and am willing to grow.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I first started getting facials at Vis-a-Vis when Melissa was the sole practitioner. As the years have gone by I have found so many services and practitioners I just love. From facials, message, brows, hair, make up and the list goes on. It’s wonderful to have such an amazing space in Ann Arbor.


Superguests #1superperson

Vis-a-Vis Guest Interview Series

We’re inspired by our guests! You’re super moms and lawyers, you’re teachers and doctors … But most of all, you’re amazing people. We’ve decided to highlight the ladies and gentlemen who make Vis-a-Vis what it is in our newest blog post series: “Superguests”

We’ll be posting new interviews to our blog every week or two so people can read about the awesome things our guests are doing (AND their spa service/product recommendations). If you would like to participate in this fun project, email our Creative Director, Amanda ( She’d love to send you our questionnaire!

Without further ado, enjoy some words from our first Superguest, Miss Sonja :)

Your name, please!


How long have you been a guest of Vis-a-vis?

Almost three years, I think!

What is your absolute favorite spa service to receive?

What isn’t my favorite?? The Scientifique facial is probably my #1. 1a is a pedicure and 1b is a massage. I mean anything I get done there is perfect! And my favorite product is Cracked Up. My goodness, that works wonders for my dry hands and feet. Cracked Up + Warm Fuzzy Socks = Happy Feet

Who’s your favorite Vis-a-Vis practitioner?

Seriously?? How can I pick just one?? Everyone is amazing!! Chelsea is my go to girl for a facial!! And no one does a faster (yet comfortable) Brazilian! Colby gives the best foot massage during pedicures!! Nicole can just about put me to sleep with her magic hands during a massage! Leigh and Allison both give a very technical, yet relaxing facial. Everyone is amazing!

Name one woman who inspires you and tell us why:

Her name is Danielle. She owns a pretty niche business, but she is so successful. She went after her dream and is doing it! Plus, is an amazing wife and momma!

What is something you are proud of?

Getting my masters degree.

What is one surprising fact about you?

I love learning about World War 2. Random, I know!!

What motivates you?

My family … and sweets.

Name one thing you COULD NOT live without:


What do you LOVE about yourself?

My sense of humor, and my ability to see the positive in any situation!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Vis a Vis is a perfect place to go for some “Me Time.” Everyone there from the concierges to the practitioners are so nice and friendly and knowledgeable about EVERYTHING. I love how when I come there, it’s like I’m visiting my friends! It’s perfect! Love you guys!!!

Thanks so much for participating, Sonja! 

xoxo, Vis-a-Vis

High Tech Facials: Simplified

High Tech Facials: Simplifiedtechfacial

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

We live in a world surrounded by technology. Our phones are now computers, we can wear devices that monitor our sleep and heart rate, and devices help us get to where we want to go. High tech facials (or facials that include some type of device for skin benefits) are on the rise. Skin rejuvenating technologies can be a real benefit to clients that want highly effective treatments, quickly, with little downtime. In this blog post, we will attempt to demystify technology used in facials and discuss how they work and how they will help your skin.


Ultrasonic machines (one of my faves) use noninvasive sound waves to create results-oriented treatments.  These machines are based on high-frequency mechanical vibrations produced by a metal spatula like tool. The vibrations, created though a water medium, help cleanse and exfoliate skin by removing dead skin cells and congestion at the surface of the skin. There is an additional setting which uses vibration to deep penetrate skin care products for a boosted benefit. This device is a great option for all skin types, including sensitive skin and is available in any Vis-a-Vis facial!

Light Therapy

Light therapy is also a popular choice for tech-savy spa goers. LED is likened to photosynthesis because it converts light into cellular energy, helping the skin help itself. LED machines use visible light such as blue, red, amber and green. Blue light is considered effective in treating acne. Red light can stimulate sluggish skin and increase collagen, while yellow can help brighten and reduce pigmentation. LED is offered for a small charge in Vis-a-Vis facials of 60 minutes or longer. You could also book “The Paris” facial, which includes both an ultrasonic and LED treatment. This facial is divine.

High Frequency

High Frequency Machines have been around for decades and Esthetician’s love them. These devices are having a moment in skin care again, because of its antiseptic effect on the skin. This device works its magic by using alternating current. This in turn creates an ozone and has a germicidal action on the skin. High Frequency treatments also stimulate circulation and help oxygenate the skin. This is a great treatment after extractions, and also after waxing- is painless and calming to the skin. High Frequency can be added to any Vis-a-Vis facial or selected as a *free enrichment in a 45 or 60 minute Heart Crafted Facial.

Safety first!

Although the technology we use is painless, noninvasive and is great for most everybody- there are a few medical conditions that may prevent a guest from experiencing these technologies. This is why we do a thorough health questionnaire before your first visit, and reconfirm health changes before each appointment with us. 

  • Ultrasonic may not be suitable for those with epilepsy or cancerous lesions
  • Light Therapy may not be suitable for those with epilepsy or a pacemaker
  • High Frequency may not be suitable for those with epilepsy, pacemaker, or high blood pressure
  • If you are pregnant, please get your Doctor’s “ok” before any high tech treatment

If you would like to consult with one of our Esthetician’s about our facial services, feel free to contact us!


How to Survive Valentine’s Daycustomgb

By: Amanda Orr, Creative Director

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! Whether you adore this holiday or you can’t wait for it to be over, February 14th can always be improved with the gift of relaxation. 

That’s why we’ve decided to offer custom gift baskets to meet your Valentine’s needs.

The process is super simple:

1)      Browse our website:

2)      Email me ( the following info by FEBRUARY 10th:

  1. Which products/sizes you’d like.

  2. If you would like a Vis-a-Vis gift card included. If so, please include the amount.

  3. Whether you’d like your basket shipped or you’d rather pick it up at the spa.

3)      I’ll send you a link to purchase your custom basket on our website. Once you’ve made your purchase, we will either ship it to you or have it ready for you in the spa!

. . . . . 

Dear Husbands and Boyfriends,

If you’re not sure what your gal would like included in her gift basket, I can help you. Send me an email and I’ll work with you to create a gift that’s sure to satisfy your special lady. Not to brag, but as a human woman I have some expertise on this subject. Don’t feel bad about asking for help, she’ll be touched that you went to the trouble!

Your wing-woman,


Vis-a-Vis/V2 Creative Director


Organic Airbrush Tanning

Organic Airbrush Tanning in Ann Arbortan (2)

By: Dani Parker, Lead Beauty Specialist & Esthetician

Spring break is on the way and that means two things: sunshine and bathing suits. Before you speed off to the nearest tanning salon to take care of what this Michigan winter has done to your complexion, please remember there’s a safe AND natural alternative to sunlamp tanning!

What not to do:

Nowadays, most of us are experts when it comes to understanding the harmful effects of sunlamp tanning. Although we all love an amazing tan, it’s just not worth the health sacrifice.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those who have been exposed to radiation from indoor tanning are 59% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. In addition, the effects of exposure to UV radiation can place one with a greater risk for skin and eye damage later in life.

Recently, the FDA has proposed two rules to further stress the risks of sunlamp tanning to the public. The first rule states that those who utilize sunlamp tanning booths must be over the age of eighteen. Adult users must sign risk acknowledgment waivers every six months during sunlamp use. The second rule requires the companies who manufacture sunlamps to follow more stringent safety guidelines.

Luckily, sunlamp tanning IS NOT the only way to build up a little base or get an event-ready glow. Vis-a-Vis offers an amazing, healthy alternative you’re going to love!

What to do instead:

For those who love a subtle sun kissed look for an event or just want to treat yourself to some safe bronzing, we offer organic airbrush spray tanning by Lavish Tan. This company has managed to formulate a product that delivers a beautiful and natural brown look (none of that funny orange appearance that you can get with other sunless tanning products). This Allure Magazine top beauty pick will definitely not disappoint!

In addition to Lavish Tan sunless tanning, we offer Million Dollar Tan. This product line is perfect for those with a darker skin tone who’d like to achieve a deeper tan. Million Dollar Tan products have made appearances on many of the best beauty blogs and recently won 2015 in review Best In Glow!!

Our airbrush tanning professionals are fully equipped to help you achieve a beautiful, artfully applied tan. If you’re looking for a seamless, natural tan stop by and see us!

What I love about Vis-a-Vis

What I love about Vis-a-Visheart

By: Marissa Sherouse, Assistant Operations Director

My best friend and I rank pretty high on the blatantly awesome scale. We differ however in the fact that I’m really awesome when it comes to not people-ing or adult-ing, while she’s really great at both. I think this is why when she exits her bathroom in the morning, she looks like Olivia Wilde and when I exit my bathroom, I look like the person who blends easily into the background. She nails winged eyeliner in a way I can’t comprehend, and I wear makeup as long as you count putting concealer on the occasional breakout as wearing makeup.

Long story short, I’m not always up on trends and techniques in the makeup world. I was cool with this, until I decided to dye my hair a shockingly vibrant color. Elizabeth, a Vis-a-Vis stylist, was actually the one who dyed my hair, which was why it turned out stunning and not tragic. The only potential tragedy that neither of us realized until after the service was that my eyebrows did not match my hair.

I classify it as a potential tragedy only because she’d done such a good job that I could have passed the color off as natural if my eyebrows weren’t au naturel, off doing their own thing. But what was I supposed to do? Do I schedule another appointment to get that fixed? Did I want to commit to dying my eyebrows? I’ve been dying my hair since seventh grade, yet I am super hesitant to put dye on my brows—mysteries of the universe. 

So, I did what any intelligent human being does. I talked to professionals. I am lucky enough to work at Vis-a-Vis, so when makeup color matching geniuses like Bonnie and Melissa have a free moment, I can wander up to them and beg for help and mercy. Usually, if they aren’t busy, they help me out 100% of the time. 

The greatest thing about asking Bonnie and Melissa for help, or anyone on staff, is that they care about what they do and are passionate. Sometimes when you ask people for help at different stores or shops, the people helping you give what they’re given (or sometimes way less), which I think is ridiculous. It’s like they decide, “If I don’t think you’re 100% invested, I’m not going to be either.” That’s absolutely the opposite of Vis-a-Vis. Melissa and Bonnie gave me 100% of their effort, not because I was freaking out or spouting phrases like, “If we don’t fix this I will die!” They gave 100% because they take pride in their work. They want to do a good job because they have high standards they hold themselves to.

Accuse me of being biased because I work here, but that’s the experience I not only receive, but watch other people receive as well. The practitioners care, and they’re knowledgeable. They want their clients to look and feel their best, whether it’s makeup, hair, facials, waxing, massage, or anything. And they don’t want to keep you in the dark either, like you’ll only be able to keep the results if you come see them every week. They want to show you what products to use and how to use them so that you can take them into your home and continue to rock the awesome results until you come back to see them.

As for me and my eyebrows, Bonnie and Melissa gave me some helpful suggestions, and I chose an eyeshadow of all things to use as brow powder that would give my brows a bit of auburn coloring to work with and not against the copper tendrils I was now rocking.

Peels 101

Peels 101peel

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Considering a Peel? 

If you are curious about what a peel is, does, and feels like, allow me to illuminate and demystify this procedure for you. Peels have many benefits for the skin. Choosing the right Peel for your skin is key, and partnering with a skin care professional (Esthetician) who is knowledgeable about Peels, is a great first step. A thorough consultation is very important.
The terms “exfoliation” and “peel” are often used interchangeably in skin care. Basically, there are different levels of exfoliation possible. A scrub for instance, helps to polish and remove dead skin cells sitting on the surface of the skin. A Glycolic Peel (for example) can actually dissolve the “glue” that holds skin cells together for deeper penetration and refinement. The outcome of any exfoliation treatment depends on the depth of the peel, the type of chemical (peeling solution), or mechanical instrument used.

Meet your peeling agents!

Enzymes: Enzymes are proteolytic. They digest proteins. The actions of enzymes help dissolve cellular debris and build- up leaving the skin soft, clearer and more radiant
Alpha Hydroxy Acids: AHA’s help promote cell desquamation or shedding. These acids are generally derived from fruit and sugar cane. Repeated use of Aha’s have shown considerable improvement in skin conditions such as Acne, ingrown hairs (folliculitis), sun damaged, and prematurely aged skin.
Salicylic Acid: Beta hydroxy acids are lipid soluble. For this reason salicylic acid easily penetrates clogged pores, and is also antimicrobial. Salicylic acid peels result in less breakouts and dead skin build up is released leaving the skin refreshed.
A great way to prep your skin for a Peel is to have a facial. A facial is a comprehensive treatment that will balance and hydrate the skin. Your skin care therapist will analyse and possibly allergy test your skin, before choosing a peel. She may recommend you start using a gentle acid at home to prep the skin as well. you will want to stop using all active products 3 days prior to your peel. This includes AHA’s and retinoids. Doing a series of 3-6 peels will yield the biggest results. Here a Vis-A-Vis we offer Superficial Peels which are safe, effective with no down time and little to no discomfort! We also have many hydrating, healing and corrective home care products to bring home with you after your Peel for best results. Happy peeling!

Treat Your Feet

Treat your Feet hands_feet_1024x1024

By: Marissa Sherouse, Assistant Operations Director

I started painting my toenails in junior year of college. I mean, I grew up painting my nails occasionally. I fell out of the habit because nail polish hates me. It literally leaps off my nails as if my nails were designed to repel nail polish. I did find in this formative college year, that where nail polish refused to stay on my fingernails, it had a bit of a love affair with my toenails. Which was great because every Thursday night, my suite mate and I found ourselves in each other’s rooms, painting our nails.

I have a terrible time picking out which color I want. I can take a solid hour of deliberation. I also was in charge of mixing drinks, so I was moderately distracted as well. As I hemmed and hawed about which shade of blue I wanted, my roommate was master of all things nail care. Her favorite thing to do was put baby powder on her feet and wear toe separators as she set up her station. I openly mocked her for this. I assumed she wore the toe separators because she liked how they felt. She insisted that they aided in her foot’s health. Foot health. Yeah. Only, now, four years later, I realize that she was correct. Toe separators are medically good for you.

The fact of life is that we destroy our feet. According to the Mississauga Orthotic Centre, when walking, each time your heel lifts off the ground it forces the toes to carry one half of your body weight. They found, via the Australian Podiatry Association Vic., that the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, 79,500 mi over a life time. That’s enough to go around the circumference of the earth more than three times. Feet suffer warts, bunions, ulcerations, high heels, arthritis, and more. Haven’t you ever gotten to the end of the day, kicked off your shoes, and thought, “Oh my God, my feet are actually going to fall off”?

Now, I’m not saying that toe separators are the answer to all of your problems. I’m not even saying that it’s the number one doctor recommended “You have to buy!” item on the web. I’m just casually noting that toe separators aren’t just for keeping your toes apart so you don’t wreck your nail polish while getting a pedicure. They have been known to help with toe alignment and foot-pain relief. I kid you not, you can buy a pair of fancy, silicone toe separators off Amazon for $65. You’d have to talk to a real doctor about all the benefits toe separators can offer you.

However, if you want to take my advice, your feet deserve some loving. I know it. You know it. There’s no better way to love them than to schedule yourself a pedicure at Vis-a-Vis so that one of our salon staff can pamper them fully. Then maybe take the toe separators home this one time (or buy fresh ones at Meijer). That’ll give you the opportunity to lounge at home one night with your feet up and your toes separated, sipping a nice glass of wine. Toe separators are supposed to help alleviate foot pain. The antioxidants red wine is supposed to be good for the heart. I’m only looking out for your wellbeing after all. Sometimes you just have to follow the lead of Parks and Rec and “Treat yo’self.”

Schedule one of our Nail Care Packages during our December Sale! You’ll save money and we’ll throw in some freebies! 

A couple great products for your aching feet:

Happy Feet: Moisturizing Cream: Are your dogs ‘a barkin? This mean, green moisturizing cream is certain to soothe those puppies! Chlorophyll and avocado oil combine to heal and rejuvenate dry, cracked skin, leaving your feet feeling and smelling delightfully fresh.

Cracked Up: Hand & Foot Cream: Take a crack at relieving your dehydrated dermis with this deep conditioning cream. This buttery blend will leave your perpetually parched patches feeling smooth and healthy.

Perkville for pros

How to make our like a bandit at Vis-a-Vis GIFT_3

Get the most out of your Merci! Rewards

By: Amanda Orr, Creative Director

Not to brag, but I’m a member of all the hottest clubs in Ann Arbor.

The Plum Market Rewards Club? Obviously. The Biggby Frequent Buyer Club? Better B-lieve it. Don’t even ask me how many points I’ve accumulated as a member of Sephora’s Beauty Insider Club … I earned my VIB status (Very Important Beauty Insider) at the ripe age of eighteen – and I despise Briarwood Mall.

Pretty much the only sweet club I’m not a member of is the Merci! Rewards club at Vis-a-Vis. As an employee, I’m simply not eligible. This pains me. It pains me more than if someone else redeemed the free birthday pastry I earned as a Panera Rewards member nearly eleven months ago. It pains me (almost) as much as if I were banned for life from the greatest club in America – Costco.

I’d love to be able to pop into “Club Merci! Rewards” and redeem my easily accrued Perkville points for something awesome and free.  But since I can’t, I’m going to give you an insider’s perspective on how you can.

First things first. Here’s what’s great about our Merci! Rewards Club at Vis-a-vis:

  1. As long as you’re our guest you are automatically enrolled. Whether or not you have confirmed your Perkville account, all of your points are happily waiting there to be redeemed.
  2. We keep track of your points for you. This is fantastic if you’re the type of person whose car floor is littered with various rewards punch cards.
  3. Points can be redeemed for something VALUABLE! We’re not talking some random miniature bar of soap that gets shoved in the back of your junk drawer. You can redeem your rewards points for FREE services performed by your favorite estheticians, massage therapists, and stylists.
  4. Earning points is easy and fast. I’ll show you how in a minute.
  5. Our Merci! Rewards Club has no cover, you can dress however you like, and there are no creepers allowed.

Although most of you have figured this out, here’s a pro tip: when it comes to your Merci! Rewards, you should save up for something big. It may be tempting to convert your points to cash and take a couple bucks off a Brazilian, but points that are redeemed for services are much more valuable. If you’re a Vis-a-Vis veteran, you already know how to take advantage of the rewards program like a boss. If you’re not, let me illustrate how a guest may earn a free facial in just 3 visits with this completely realistic scenario:


Beyoncé comes to Ann Arbor to enjoy the sights and sounds of the best city around. She just got back from a trip to Turks & Cacaos with Jay and Blue Ivy and boy is she exhausted! First of all, sunshine really takes it out of you! Second, the only food option on her private jet was CHICKEN and as we all know, B is a proud vegan some of the time.

The moment she rolls (royces) into town, one of her squad members schedules an Under Pressure: Deep Tissue Massage for her at Vis-a-Vis (because they looked us up on Yelp and read all of your nice reviews – thanks!) When all is said and done, B loves the massage session, can’t get enough of its adorable name, and is so glad it was recently added to our service menu! Before she leaves, she snags some of our V2 products which she read about in Allure and has been dying to try.


B’s Bill:

$78 (Under Pressure: Deep Tissue Massage)

$36 (3 oz V2 Universal Moisturizer)

=114 points

Additional Earnings:

Pre-books her next appointment = 75 points

Tweets Vis-a-Vis through Perkville = 10 points

Facebooks Vis-a-Vis through Perkville = 10 points

Reviews Vis-a-Vis through Listen 360 = 100

Refers Kelly Rowland = 200 points

Total points earned: 509


B loved her massage (and the sweet potato fries at Zingerman’s Roadhouse) so much the Knowles-Carters are now Treetown regulars. Jay loves a stiff cocktail at Knight’s and the couple plan on taking Jim and Sarah Harbaugh to the Grammys. After her last appointment, B pre-booked an Ashiatsu massage. She wanted to try out the deepest massage on the planet, and heard that Letha was exceptionally talented. After her session, ‘ol Yoncé was completely blissed out and gave Letha her Cartier watch as a tip.


B’s Bill:

$118 (2 hour Ashi with Letha)

$72 (8 oz V2 Universal Moisturizer- her fave!)

= 190 points

Additional Earnings:

Pre-books her next appointment = 75 points

Total points earned:  265


It’s the Michigan v. OSU game, so obviously the B + Co are back in town to tailgate and watch the game with former Wolverine greats Tom Brady and Drew Henson. They get in on Friday night and B decides to take Tom’s wife, Gisele, for a quick pre-game Brow Maintenance and Tint at Vis-a-Vis because both women know the key to all Girl Power and success is the perfect arch.


B’s Bill:

$29 (Brow Maintenance + Tint)

= 29 Points

Additional Earnings:

Refers Gisele = 200 points

Total points earned: 229!

Within 3 visits Beyoncé was able to earn 1003 rewards points – enough to receive her FREE facial (850 points) with rewards to spare! Although this scenario is clearly silly, the point earnings are not. Many of our clients take advantage of our program with this amount of success – or more!

You don’t have to be Beyoncé to make our rewards program work for you, but we will strive to make you feel like Queen B while you’re here.

If you have any questions about your points, Perkville account, or anything else feel free to contact us – we’re always happy to help!

For full Merci! Rewards details click here.


A Nation of Dehydration

A Nation of DehydrationUniversal-Moisturizer_3oz_Front

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Have you felt it yet? The leaves are falling… the mornings are crisp. The hot, humid days are behind us and the temps will continue to drop. My skin has always been on the dry side, and this time of year I can definitely feel the needs of my skin begin to change. My face feels tight and fine lines are more noticeable. Going without a good moisturizer is not an option.

In this blog post I would like to explore the differences between Dry Skin and Dehydrated skin so that you can make good choices when purchasing products and treatments for your skin. Keep in mind your skin is a living organ of the body, and is affected by many things including genetics, lifestyle choices, and the environment.

Normal skin has a good oil/water balance. It can fluctuate and become a little more oily or a little more dry at times. Follicles (pores) are normal size and usually free of blemishes.

Dry skin does not produce enough oil, and can also be dehydrated. Dry skin is unbalanced, and sometimes sensitive, because the barrier (protective Ph balance) is off due to lack of oil.

Dehydration can be seen in all skin types and is a deficiency in water. Over 75% of  us are dehydrated.

Oily skin has excess oil production. The follicle is larger and contains more oil and may be more prone to acne and breakouts. Oily skin can be dehydrated also.

We all need good hydration for healthy, beautiful skin. Hydration plumps fine lines, skin cells metabolism is increased, and over all balance is improved. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day is recommended. Facials are also a great way of infusing hydration. The products you use every day probably have the most impact on hydration. Normal to oily skin types may want to add a water based hydrator with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and silver ear extract. For dry skin types a layering regimen can work wonders. Apply a water based serum and apply a moisturizer immediately after, to seal in hydration.

As we head into winter, here are some general hydration recommendations based on skin type. If you want an even better idea of what type of products are right for your skin, schedule a facial and your esthetician will give you their expert opinion!

Normal Skin

V2 Dew: Multi-Talented Hydrator, V2 Light Hydrating Moisturizer, V2 Universal Moisturizer, PCA Rebalance Moisturizer

Oily Skin

V2 Dew: Multi Talented Hydrator or Roccoco Melon Moisture Boost

Dry Skin

V2 Dew: Multi Talented Hydrator or Roccoco Melon Moisture Boost + PCA Collagen or Silk Protein Cream + Lira Clinical Caviar Cream

Welcome to V2

Welcome to V2!tay

(It’s been waiting for you)

By: Amanda Orr, Creative Director

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Amanda Orr and I’m the Creative Director at Vis-a-Vis/V2/The Vis-a-Vis Acne Clinic. You may have seen my drawings around the spa or posted on our various social media accounts and websites. I’m in charge of all branding, social, and creative aspects of the business. I’m a Capricorn, I have two bulldogs named Lucy & Spud, and I’m pretty tall for a girl. It’s lovely to meet you! … Now, on to the actual point of this post.

Our brand new V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics website is officially up and running! I’m so excited for all of you to see what our team has been working on over the last year or so. I think it’s awesome, and I hope you do, too.  

The process of building our site has been fun, informative, creative, and challenging. Our goal throughout the entire project has been to provide our clients with an online shopping experience that is as beautiful as it is personal.


Love and care went into each aspect of the website’s design. I spent a ton of time hand-drawing all of the illustrations you see on the site, taking photographs, and designing, re-designing, and re-re-designing– it was laborious, but a labor of love, for sure.

Certainly, I’m by no means the only one responsible for the new site. Without our amazing V2 team, none of it would exist. Our Assistant Operations Director (and overall champ) Marissa, worked tirelessly to ensure user-friendliness throughout every bit of the browsing and buying experience. She has combed through this site with her keen, analytical eye, has provided excellent feedback throughout the process, and has (gently) corrected my many, many typos along the way. Most spa clients don’t get the pleasure of interacting with Marissa on a regular basis because she is consistently hard at work in our back offices. Know that when you shop online, she is the one responsible for making it easy. I’m so grateful to have her as a fellow employee.

Without our V2 (and Vis-a-Vis) Founder, Melissa, none of this would have happened. Period. It’s pretty rare that you find an owner of a company who is so dedicated to every step of the process. From formulating the products themselves to overseeing design and functionality of the website, Melissa truly cares about and believes in this business. When you purchase a product from V2, know that from its production to the day it arrives at your doorstep, the woman who created it has made every effort to ensure it’s everything you need it to be – and if it isn’t she’ll fix it.  


First of all, these products are different from anything I’ve ever used – and I’m a product junkie. I love trying new things (regardless of what they do to my skin) and I often purchase based on packaging alone because I majored in art in college. After working at Vis-a-Vis/V2 for over a year and a half now, I’ve stopped doing that. There’s something about these naturally-based, small batch products that just agrees with me. I like buying something when I know where it came from (and I know where these products came from … Trust me, I drove to Delta St. in Taylor, MI to pick up the sugar for our scrubs myself). I like supporting a local business with my purchases. And I like that the products work. I know this may seem like a crock because I work here, but I’m very much a skeptic who hates when people try to sell me things (lol), but when I find something I like I want to share it with everyone.

As a company, we see value in the ease and speed of shopping online, but V2 isn’t about using drones to drop products off at your doorsteps minutes after you click “purchase.” Drones are kind of freaky anyway, right? We believe that you should know who packaged your products as much as we believe that receiving a package from us should feel like Christmas morning. Each of our shipments are carefully packaged by either myself or Marissa, and we always include a calling card in case you have a question for us. If you want to send V2 products to a friend as a gift or would like to put something special together for a loved one, let me know. Cute packaging is probably my third favorite thing in the world (1. My Family 2. Carbs) … My email is

Finally, we have a 100% happiness guarantee. If you don’t like a product, we don’t want you to keep it. We’re dedicated to making sure you get the products perfectly-suited to your skincare needs. If you receive a product you don’t like, we want to know about it, and will do everything we can to make it right. We have an awesome staff of Estheticians on-hand to work with you to provide product recommendations. If you’d like, you can complete our Selfie Skin Care Consult for an extremely personalized experience, including expert regimen recommendations based on our specific needs.


I wanted to write this post so you could get a sort of “behind-the-scenes” view of who we are and what we’re all about. Although longwinded, I hope you can tell how much we really care about the people who use our products. If there’s anything we can do to make your experience with us more pleasant, let us know and we will do what we can. We honestly welcome all feedback, it’s what keeps us improving.

OH! And as a little “Welcome to V2” treat, we’re offering 20% all online purchases through the end of the month with promo code: xoxov2

Shop V2 Heart-Crafted Online!

Thanks and enjoy!


Vis-a-Vis Parties

Salon & Spa Parties in Ann Arbor!danielle-parker

Vis-a-Vis will help you tailor the perfect party

By: Dani Parker, Lead Beauty Specialist & Esthetician

Do you have a special event coming up? Maybe you’re looking for a reason to get some friends together to relax and catch up. Salon and Spa parties are a great way to for you and your friends to spend some time together indulging, beautifying, and making memories!

Whether you’d like your party to focus on massage therapy, beautiful skin, professionally sculpted brows, amazing hair, or the new “IT” polish color on your fingers and toes – we’ve got you covered. Our beautiful, private setting is a great spot for your special soirée! 

Perhaps you’re getting married and you are looking for a place to have you and your bridal party get ready in style. If you are having photos taken, you may want to consider the atmosphere in which you getting ready on one of your most important days. We have expert makeup artists who can give you the best Face Forward on your special day. Looking for gorgeous hair? We have a group of fantastic stylists who can best blowout you’ve ever had. Relaxation more your speed? Sometimes our busy lives can really take their toll. Why not enjoy some “Vis” time in one of our warm, inviting massage/skincare rooms. Our top notch staff can create a tailored package so your party is as unique as you!

Take a peek at the services we offer and fill in our Events Form to get the party started! Once you’ve filled in your form our party planners will get back to you as soon as possible to begin planning your special event! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us as call at (734) 213-7455 or email our Salon Coordinator, Colby at:

Take a tour!

Click on the photographs below to see enlarged images of our beautiful space:

 2  1  booktoday  HEART-CRAFTED  IMG_4992  sign_2  Spa2  IMG_4976   3


Just wash your face

Just wash your face

Trying to do skincare with a little outside help.

Trying to do skincare with a little outside help.

An average girl’s take on skincare

By: Amanda Orr, Creative Director

When it comes to my relationship with my skincare regimen – it’s complicated. Raise your hand if you seriously have the best intentions and want your skin to look great but then you have an “off week” where you exchange complexion care for five more minutes of sleep, or you just don’t feel like it, or something. That’s a lot of hands!

When it comes to consistent skin care, most of us have commitment issues and the rest of us are lying (or robots).

Working at a spa comes with a certain level of pressure to make sure my skin doesn’t look like a slice of pizza. When I first started at Vis-a-Vis, I washed my face like a maniac in an effort to “get my life together” and keep my “young-adult acne” (it’s a thing) at bay.

This worked for a while until I remembered how much easier it is to get home from work, binge watch True Detective, and fall asleep on the couch next to my snoring dog and a bag of chips.

In the interest of full disclosure, my “off week” often slips into an “off couple of weeks” – A blissful time filled with nights of television-worshipping and mornings of crusty-mascara-eyes. This usually goes on until I’m smacked back into reality by either a loved one, or an enormous pimple that tells me it’s time to lock it up.

I’m going to tell you about one special pimple that basically changed my life forever. The faint of heart should stop reading here, you guys.

This particular pimple was nothing if not extraordinary. It was the Mt. Vesuvius of blemishes, the likes of which I’ve never heard of or seen before. It followed about 10 days of skin care neglect, was horrifying, and whenever I tried to poke it, prod it, or pop it pain radiated throughout my entire body. In hindsight, I wish I’d have photographed it as “skin-spiration” but I didn’t (lucky for you because I might have uploaded the photo).

A week into my battle with the tsar of all zits, I realized my skin was getting back at me for my shameless neglect. The pain, the sorrow, the “poor thing” glances shot my way by strangers … This was all karma. I had earned this.

Upon coming to this genius realization, I ran to my bathroom cleansed my complexion, spritzed with toner, applied serums and moisturizer and waited. Nothing happened. But after about a week of taking the extra three minutes to do this morning and night, my sullen skin did a 180.

Although I still struggle with caring for my skin on a daily basis, I know that when it comes to my relationship with skin care:  It’s not the regimen, it’s me. When I consistently care for my skin, it looks better, it feels better, and I get to feel I’m the master of my own destiny. Even if everything else is crazy, busy, and irritating in six minutes a day I can ensure I have a fresh face and a clean pillow in the morning.

When it comes to my relationship with my skin care regimen, in just 360 seconds per day I can decide whether I need to feel kinda bad or REALLY bad that I didn’t go to the gym.

If you’re like me and you’re not really sure about skin care, the Esthetician’s at Vis-a-Vis can really help you! In all seriousness, I use V2 products and my skin has never looked better. 

A gentle scrub

A gentle scrubFacial-FAQ

The benefits of exfoliation

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Exfoliation is a great way to improve the condition of your skin – not to mention it feels amazing. However, it’s always important to be informed when it comes to what you’re putting on your skin. Below you’ll find some key info about what exfoliation is, why you should do it, and what type of exfoliation is best for you!

What is exfoliation?

Exfoliation is the sloughing of the outer layer of skin. Removal of dead skin cells can treat a variety of skin problems and is necessary for healthy skin.

What ingredients make up most exfoliants?

Ingredients commonly used for exfoliation include “mechanical exfoliants”, such as jojoba beads, ground nuts or seeds, and polyethylene or “chemical exfoliants” like alpha hydroxy or beta-hydroxy acids. These gentle acids are derived from dairy, fruit, and nuts. Enzymes are another great way to exfoliate because they dissolve dead skin cells on the surface and help to maintain hydration levels in the epidermis (top layers of the skin).

What are the benefits of exfoliating?

  • Skin texture is smoother and softer
  • Follicle openings are cleansed
  • Deep pore cleansing (extraction) is easier
  • Cell turnover rate is increased, bringing new cells to the surface faster
  • Skin’s ability to retain moisture and lipids is improved
  • Product penetration is improved (that expensive product can actually work!)
  • Micro circulation is stimulated and healthy blood flow bathes skin in nutrients
  • Make up application is smoother- bonus points!

What skin conditions most benefit from regular exfoliation?

  • Oily , clogged skin with blackheads, whiteheads and acne breakouts (not including inflamed acne)
  • Dry, dehydrated skin with cell buildup, flaking, and tight surface
  • Dull looking skin caused by a large buildup of dead skin cells

How do you know which method of exfoliation is right for you?

Ask yourself a few questions. Do you have oilier skin with some breakouts? A gentle scrub is an excellent choice, and something with salicylic acid will help with bumps. Dry, aging skin? A cleanser with Aha’s such as lactic and a facial with enzymes will help tremendously. Sensitive? Stay away from products with Glycolic acid which is to irritating for your skin and opt for gentler exfoliants such as enzymes.

Exfoliation by experts:

While the previous suggestions help most skin types, we are all individuals and your skin is unique. Please reach out to our team of Estheticians to help guide you in your skin care needs. To avoid damaging the skin, do not use scrubs, or any harsh peeling techniques on skin being medically treated with tretinon (retinoic acid, retin-A), Accutane, Differin, AHA’s, or Salicylic products. Book any facial at Vis-a-Vis and your Esthetician will be happy to chat with you about the best exfoliant for your skin!



Bold Beautiful Brows in Ann Arbor

Bold, Beautiful Browsdanielle-parker

Brow Tinting & Waxing in Ann Arbor

By: Dani Parker, Lead Beauty Specialist

Move over pencil-thin arches … bold, beautiful brows are in! These days, you can’t open a fashion magazine without seeing full, gorgeously-shaped eyebrows. Many of us envy the amazing arches of, say, Cara Delevingne or Lily Collins, but in the real world, this isn’t always the easiest look to achieve … until now.

Brow tinting is an excellent way to give natural impact to even the thinnest brows. This subtle form of brow enhancement frames your face, accentuates your features, and helps make your whole look pop!

There are plenty of reasons to tint your brows, but in 15 years as an Esty, I’ve come up with my top 3:

1) Anti-Aging: As we age we start to lose hair from the outer edges of our brows. Tinting can bring back that subtle, youthful appearance in one short session.

2) Shaping Up: Bad wax? Tinting can fix that. If you’ve experienced a less-than-satisfying brow waxing service (or you have thin brows to begin with) tinting will enhance the shape and thickness of your brows. Applying color to the surrounding hair can expertly alter the shape of your brow.

3) Color Contrast: Just like your lovely locks, summer sun can lighten the hair of your brows. Giving lightly-colored brows a slight tint will immediately enhance your look. Your Esthetician can go as subtle or bold as you’d like to create the perfect hue for you!

Whether you’re a wash-and-go person who needs convenience in their beauty routine, or you want a base from which to build your fierce face of make-up, you’ll be hooked on brow tinting after one short session.

At Vis-a-Vis, we offer a fantastic Brow Tinting & Waxing combo service that allows us to accurately tint, then skillfully shape your brows. This is a great session for brow maintenance beginners and arch-aficionados alike! Click the link below to book your session today!

Hair Don’t

Hair Don’touch

A Young Girl’s Tale of Terrible Tresses

By: Amanda Orr, Creative Director

A person’s relationship with their hairstylist is a sacred one. Any lady (or gentleman) with a well-managed mane knows this. It takes some people years to find a stylist who knows how to “make it blonde but not blonde-blonde” or “make it look like my sister’s – but better” or “do whatever you think looks good, but make sure I think it looks good, and so does my boyfriend’s mom, k?” Imagine doing all of this while maintaining the appropriate level of chit-chat. Not easy.

A great stylist knows how to work with a client – no matter how indecisive or ambiguous their requests – to ensure they leave the salon happy.

A professional like this should be trusted. I’ve learned this because when it comes to hairstyling, I’ve had my fair share of mishaps.

In an elementary school effort to achieve “‘The Rachel, but choppier” I ended up with a haircut that very, very closely resembled that of my male Shih Tzu, Gizmo (not to brag). My babysitter’s friend was thinking of going to hair school and needed to practice. She was older than me, and cooler than me, and her AIM screenname referenced a rapper … so I was definitely game. Even today, looking back at 3rd grade photos – my adoration for overalls and turtlenecks as present as my love of only saturated fats – my family jokes that I must have accidentally booked with the dog groomer.

In middle school, things were REALLY turning around for me. My hair had grown into what nearly resembled a young lady’s haircut and I had purchased a pair of the chicest flare jeans (with faux pony-fur patches) the world has ever known. The only thing that could possibly improve my clearly superior style was to lighten things up. Forgoing a “professional” stylist this time, I enlisted the help of my mom and a box Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Frost & Tip Highlights. My flaxen-haired family hit the Frost & Tips hard in those days, and I was determined to be a part of it. Less than an hour after pulling my chocolate-y brown locks through the little holes of the plastic cap, the deed was done. As I sat in front of the mirror that night, bawling my eyes out and combing the white, wormy highlights that wriggled their way through my mane, I cursed my stupidity (and Clairol in general) and knew I would never get a boyfriend.

In the next room I could hear my mom gently patting my younger sister’s head, resigning never to let her make my mistakes.

Like a phoenix from the ashes I entered high school with the professionally-made-platinum tresses of a Barbie doll. I was confident, there was a pep in my step, and I had learned that you can never be too tan! As I strutted down the halls of DHS I knew there was only one way I could enhance my already bitchin’ appearance … side bangs. My best friend had them, Mandy Moore had them, EVERYONE had them. That night, when I got home and grabbed the kitchen scissors from the knife block, my keen resolve lapsed only momentarily as I flashed back to my homemade highlights from the year before. “Nope! This time is different,” I thought to myself as I clipped my face-framing fringe to within an inch of its life.

I’m still growing out those side bangs almost ten years later.

The moral of this story is: Let professional stylists do their job. They GO TO SCHOOL FOR THIS – and the learning doesn’t stop there! At Vis-a-Vis our hair care team spends countless hours attending continuing education programs and weeks training new staff members.

Although I think a couple terrible hairstyles build character … feel free to learn from my mistakes and leave it up to the experts. 

Check out our Hair Care services here!

The Importance of Eating Chocolate

The Importance of Eating ChocolateChocolate

… and wearing it, too!

By: Marissa Sherouse,

Assistant Operations Manager

When people try to tell me chocolate is healthy, I immediately think of two letters, the same two letters at the start of Banana Split. Chocolate is a comfort and a craving, but healthy? Years of doubt pile into one dubious glance when I hear that. 

My past life as a librarian kicked in after reading an ad in Women’s Health (December 2014) about drinking chocolate milk after running in RUN 10 FEED 10. The group of women, WH’s Action Heroes, confirmed that low-fat chocolate milk aided in their post exercise rebuild and refuel due to its high quality protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

How could this be true? According to The Children’s Hospital of Colorado Orthopedics Institute, this idea focuses around recovery nutrition, i.e. getting back that energy you just blew through in vigorous work or activity. The information on their Sports Nutrition page, written by Lauren Furuta, agreed with Got Chocolate Milk’s ad. Low fat chocolate milk is more than just a treat. It replenishes necessary vitamins and provides carbohydrates to replenish energy. The chocolate in the milk actually boosts the carbohydrates supplied to the muscles and the liver. Chocolate milk is also a source of protein (for muscle repair) and fluid and electrolytes (for hydration). All this without crazy amounts of caffeine, mega doses of vitamins, or contaminates such as melamine and lead.

Chocolate’s benefits don’t stop on the inside either. It can be just as great for the outside as well. In the same issue, WH shares Shian Wing’s bath recipe (shared below). Wing is the spa director at The Spa at the Hotel Hershey, letting us in on the Hershey Bliss of bathing in chocolate. The antioxidants, which help prevent cell death, make skin feel silky smooth. It doesn’t hurt either that the dry milk in the recipe also acts as an extra awesome exfoliant because it’s enzymes slough off all those dead skin cells you definitely don’t want hanging around (Linda Walker, October 2012). This is information I can sink my teeth into.

Vis-a-Vis delights in treating you too. While treating yourself at home can feel delectable, don’t forget to drop by and let us dote on you too. Many of our products our naturally based and geared towards making your skin ultra-fabulous. We work hard so that your skin looks soft and supple, while you lay back and relax. When your service is finished, we want you to feel better than that first bite of chocolate after a long day.

Wing’s bath recipe:

1. 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2. 1/3 cup instant dry milk (2% or whole)

3. ½ unscented bubble bath

Add ingredients to warm running water. Froth, then soak for 15 – 20 minutes.

Furuta, Lauren. “10 Benefits of Drinking Chocolate Milk for Nutrition Recovery.” 10 Benefits of Drinking Chocolate Milk for Nutrition Recovery. Web. 13 July 2015.

Walker, Linda. The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook. Allured, 2013. 439. Print.

Contouring 10: Make-Up Magic

Contouring 101: Make-Up Magiccontouringguide

Simple steps for a bold new look!

By: Colby Smith, Salon Coordinator

Contouring is a popular method of make-up application that can help highlight and diminish different portions of your face to give you a more chiseled, finished look – think Kim Kardashian. It may seem a little tricky to achieve the perfect contour, but with a few simple steps, you can become a pro!

Step One: Prep

Use a pad or brush to evenly apply your normal, daily foundation. Don’t worry about the coverage, you’re simply building a base!

Step Two: Plan

Now map out your face using a darker colored foundation or matte bronzer. Focus on areas you want to diminish to create a thinning effect. For most face shapes, the easiest way to do this is to apply the darker hued make-up using an angled brush. Fill your brush with product, and press it in the hollows of your cheeks in a small line at a downward angle (toward your chin). Your line should start roughly where the top of your ear meets your head. Extend your line halfway to the center of your cheek. Next, dab the same product in the hollows of your temples and on either side of your nose for a slimmed down appearance. There should be obvious, darker-hued areas of makeup wherever you’d like a thinned appearance.

Step Three: Blend

Remove most of the product from your brush and lightly swipe over the areas you’ve started to contour. Swoop your brush around the underside of your cheekbones, blending the darker make-up to your liking. Repeat this step over the make-up you applied to your temples (working it into your hairline for a seamless appearance) and the sides of your nose.

Step Four: Highlight

To find the portion of your face that should be highlighted, pretend you’re holding an invisible pair of binoculars up to your eyes. Your thumbs should be places slightly beneath your cheekbones while your fingers rest on top of your eyebrows. Generally, the area inside your hands should be light, and the area outside should be dark. Apply a lighter foundation, concealer, or highlighter beneath your eyes, atop your cheekbones, and just beneath your eyebrows. For an extra-highlighted look, lighten the area down the bridge of your nose and center of your forehead. Blend well using a sponge or brush.

Step Five: Set

Once you’ve blended all of your contoured and highlighted areas, finish by applying a light and/or translucent powder to your entire face to set your look, check yourself out, and hit the town!


Click the image at the right for a closer look at our contouring guide. Still want a little assistance? You can always book a make-up session at Vis-a-Vis and we’ll be happy to show you how it’s done!

Our Cancellation Promise

Our Cancellation Promisecancellation

Policy Updates at Vis-a-Vis

By: Chelsea Ward, Lead Concierge

Earlier this year we implemented a cancellation policy to support our practitioners, their time, and their continuous efforts to ensure our guests have an excellent experience. Our management staff worked very hard to design a policy that would fit the needs of the business and our clients alike. The result was a fair policy that has served us well since its implementation. However, we’d like to amend it just slightly to benefit you – our valued guest!

Recently, one of our practitioners called in sick leaving us only an hour to call their clients to reschedule appointments. There’s not a member of our staff who takes putting our clients in this type of situation lightly. In spite of the fact that we’ve all had extenuating circumstances dictate our plans, we’d like to help alleviate some of the frustration we know our guests feel during these rare situations.

 Our Cancellation Promise

If for any reason we are forced to cancel your appointment within four hours of its start time, we will place a credit for the cancellation fee of the service missed on your client account. You may use this credit at any time toward products or services at Vis-a-Vis. Cancellation credits placed on account never expire, but may only be used by the guest whose service had to be cancelled.

 We know how disappointing it must be to have to miss a service and we hope Our Cancellation Promise helps to make up for future short-notice cancels on our part. If you have any questions about this modification to our policy or our cancellation policy in general, feel free to contact us!

-Chelsea Ward, Lead Concierge 

Vis-a-Vis Cancellation Policy


V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics

V2 Heart-Crafted CosmeticsPackaging

Naturally Based Skin Care in Ann Arbor!

By: Amanda Orr, Creative Director

For those of you who haven’t been acquainted, we’d love to introduce you to V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics! Available at Vis-a-Vis (and soon online) our in-house product line is affordable, effective, and based in nature. Before we officially launch our V2 site, we wanted to take a minute to give you some background info about V2, why we love it, and why you will too!


We know our customers love the environment just like we do! V2 is committed to providing product packaging that is as eco-friendly as possible. We don’t believe in using extra boxes or accessories that are elaborate or wasteful. We don’t want you spending your money on the something you’re going to toss in the trash before you even open your product! We call this our “Heart-Crafted” approach to packaging. If you ever notice packaging changes in our products, it’s because we like to gobble-up stock from companies who’ve produced a surplus of a certain type of package; once that package runs out, we move on to something new. Our goal is beautiful, environmentally-conscious packaging!

Naturally Based

Although some of our products are absolutely 100% natural, we classify our line as “naturally based”. This means that we use ingredients that are as close as possible to the form in which they are found in nature, without sacrificing safety or performance. Though a product that’s “100% Organic” may sound amazing, completely organic products often do not have a good shelf life. When a product expires, it may no longer be safe to use. We guarantee our products will not only last, but they will also maintain their safety and effectiveness.

Made in the Mitten

We’re proud of our roots! V2 is headquartered in Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Many of our primarily natural ingredients are supplied by companies within driving distance of our spa! We’re all about transparency at Vis-a-Vis, and this outlook certainly extends to our product line. If you ever have a question or concern about V2 products, please don’t hesitate to contact us

Want more?

Be sure to check back for updates about our V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics website. We’re soon to launch, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve been working on! For Vis-a-Vis tips, tricks, and tidbits including promotions and V2 updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Summertime Skin Care

Summer Skin CareWeekday

Tips & Tricks from Vis-a-Vis

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

Although we all love these warm summer months, the change in weather can also cause a change in the way your skin behaves. Hot days, humid nights, sunscreen, wind and sun exposure can all effect your skin and what it needs to be healthy and beautiful. Below is a guide for summer skin care based on your skin type. We’ve included general product recommendations, but there’s no substitute for scheduling an appointment with your Esthetician to come up with a regimen perfectly tailored to your skin!

Oily Skin:

In oily skin types, summer can be a time of increased congestion, bumps, and blemishes. Cleansing the skin properly, using the proper home care regimen, and getting monthly facials can diminish bumps and blackheads. A gentle gel cleanser is a great choice for this skin type, ingredients like sulfur and salicylic acid help dislodge oil and dirt. A light water based hydration serum or lotion should follow.

General Regimen Recommendation for Oily Skin:

V2 Tidy Up Purifying Cleanser + V2 Clinical Care BHA Toner + V2 Clarify Breakout Busting Serum + V2 Dew+ PCA Weightless Protection SPF 45 

Normal to Dry Skin:

For normal to dry skin types a focus on hydration is key. Summer sun zaps hydration, leaving the skin thirsty and imbalanced, and dehydrated skin ages more quickly. Products with hyaluronic acid, silver ear mushroom and plant based lipids help to hydrate and protect the skin from the elements. Vitamin C, E, and A, as well as melanin suppressants like licorice root and azelaic acid will act as super antioxidants. Partnered with additional UV protection, these antioxidants will deter the formation of those little brown spots.  Finally, don’t forget the lips and eyes! Both need hydration and protection as well.

General Regimen Recommendation for Normal to Dry Skin:

V2 Liven Up Gel Cleanser + V2 Defend Serum + V2 Dew + V2 Light Hydrating Moisturizer + PCA Perfecting Protection SPF 30

See your Esthetician for an updated home care regimen and facial this summer, your skin will thank you!

Book your facial session today!


Balayage Beauty!

Balayage Beautycolor

Sun-kissed Summer Highlights at Vis-a-Vis!

By: Jac Reyna, Lead Stylist

Summer is here! Michigan is the perfect place for sunny days spent on the lake, warm nights at a bonfire, exciting outdoor festivals and events, and everything in between. With all of those fun things to do we need to look our best, but who wants to spend excessive amounts of time and money to do so?

For beautiful, low maintenance summer hair, try Balayage!  Balayage is a trending color technique in which soft highlights are strategically and artistically “painted” onto the hair. This amazing technique makes for a softer, brighter effect without the harsh lines, or maintenance required with a traditional highlight. The result is a gorgeous, “sun-kissed” glow that will leave you feeling as beautiful as a Michigan summer sunset! Book your appointment today and get set for summer.

Lovely Lashes in Ann Arbor!

Eyelash Tinting at Vis-a-Vismake-up

Mascara-Free Fierceness

By: Colby Smith, Salon Coordinator

If you’d like to add some amazing definition to your eyes and go weeks without mascara, tinting is the way to go! We love lash tinting for its ability to emphasize the lashes you were born with. Vis-a-Vis offers a range of tinting color options from brown, to black, to “blue-black” (our most dramatic choice!)

Emphasizing your existing lashes is super simple and can be completed in three steps:

  1. Your Vis-a-Vis tinting expert will have you remove your glasses or contacts if you have them.
  2. A protective cream or gel will be applied under your eyes to keep your sensitive skin safe while tinting color is applied to your lashes.
  3. All excess cream/gel and tinting color will be carefully and skillfully removed to reveal your gorgeously defined lashes!

 Whether you’d like to keep the mascara to a minimum or you want to look bright eyed and bushy tailed 24/7, lash tinting is perfect for the guy or girl on the go!

If you’re interested in extra dramatic lashes, the Salon at Vis-a-Vis offers a great Lash Lift service as well as false eyelash application. Click here for details!

Hello Sunshine!

Hello Sunshine!Wax-faq

Sunny Day Skincare

By: Leigh Sell, Lead Esthetician

The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing, and sun exposure is at its peak! Unfortunately, while we enjoy those long walks on the beach, the sun’s UV rays are penetrating our skin at different levels. Approximately 87% of aging is caused by the sun. This is because sun exposure weakens collagen and elastin fibers and causes cell death. Skin cancer risk also increases with sun exposure because the sun’s rays damage the DNA of our cells. While we all enjoy a beach day, it’s important we take precautions against the sun’s harmful rays (no matter how happy we are that this Michigan winter might be over). No need to stay inside as long as you follow a few simple steps!

Simple Suggestions for Sun Protection:

  • You can decrease risk of skin cancer by 50% simply by using sunscreen
  • Avoid the sun during peak hours, when UV exposure is the highest (10 a.m. –  3p.m.)
  • Use a “broad spectrum” SPF to protect your skin from the burning rays and the aging rays 
  • If you burn easily, wear a hat and protective clothing
  • Remember that sunlight comes through windows, and UV rays are actually stronger through glass
  • Wear sunglasses to provide protection for the delicate skin around the eyes
  • Make certain medications and topical products you use are not photosensitizing your skin which could cause burning, hyperpigmentation, and allergic reactions

Spa & Salon Employment: Esthetician, Cosmetologist, & Massage Therapist Jobs

Spa & Salon Employment: Esthetician, Cosmetologist, & Massage Therapist Jobsblogscott

Ann Arbor Spa Now Hiring!

I began working at Vis-a-Vis Skin Spa & Bodywork in May of 2013. Fast forward to just over a year later, I never could have imagined the growth of the business in just a year. My primary purpose at the spa is to help run “behind the scenes” and take care of a great staff. That is what I love doing the most – being able to help my employees experience success, enjoyment, and happiness at work.

I worked in corporate America for 13 years primarily working as a human resources manager. Now that I’m working for a small, local business I get to work with highly skilled professionals. The group I work with is a fun bunch. Every day someone is laughing and we continually evolve into a stronger, cohesive team.

Besides getting to work with a great group of people, I get to hire great people! I always get excited to meet new estheticians, cosmetologists, and massage therapists and hear their stories. I like to get to know why they have chosen this as their career field. I love to see them get excited when they talk about how they were able to take care of someone using their own unique personality coupled with their professional skills.

Because of Vis-a-Vis’ growth, I’m hiring right now; I will never stop looking for great people to join my team. Perhaps you are an esthetician, cosmetologist, or massage therapist or you know someone who is…I want to talk to you! Here’s what I look for in people that want to join the team at Vis-a-Vis:

  • Esthetician – In estheticians I always look for a chameleon. The perfect candidate is confident in a variety of the skills they are taught like waxing and skin care. I really look for estheticians that are excited to learn more. I want them to be eager to master the services they may not perform as often such as make-up application, advanced skin treatments, and body treatments. The perfect esthetician can communicate effectively; tailoring their style and message to each client. A great esthetician will listen thoroughly to their client’s needs then use their specialized training to impart knowledge to the client so they know how to maintain good results from their service between appointments. A great esthetician will also realize that the client is looking to them for guidance and suggesting home care regimens and products is an indicator of an exceptional esthetician.
  • Cosmetologist – When people hear the term “cosmetologist” most usually just associate that with someone who performs hair services. In fact, I know many cosmetologists that only really want to perform hair services. However, the kind of cosmetologist I look for to join my staff is one that runs the gamut of performing services and are excited to do them all. Since cosmetologists are licensed to perform so many types of services they can really find a great place in working at Vis-a-Vis. Our cosmetologists are given the opportunity to perform all of the services our estheticians perform as well as hair and nail services. When I hire a cosmetologist, I look for someone that likes an ever changing work day; one that allows them to perform a plethora of services. For this position, I look for people that are truly eager to refine their skills and exude a passion for learning. Those that are hungry to continually learn will be the ones finding great success. I also look for people that can relate to clients, are willing to take the time to truly understand what a client wants, and make honest recommendations. I look for those that are confident in suggesting products to their clients because they know the client could benefit from them. I don’t want a cosmetologist that will just “get ‘em in and get ‘em out” or avoids making product recommendations because of their own fear of the client telling them, “no”. When it comes to hiring a cosmetologist, I seek out those that recognize the importance of relationship building and strive to build strong connections with their clients and co-workers.
  • Massage Therapists – Massage therapists are in a unique position because they are performing a health care service. I’ve interacted with many massage therapists and I’ve realized there are a lot out there that just “go through the motions” of performing a massage as if they are working on a factory assembly line. When I interview candidates for a job as a massage therapist, I look for those that really take their time to assess each client’s individual needs. A truly talented massage therapist will have the ability to connect with their client through touch and be able to bring a level of improvement to a client’s wellbeing even when they are not speaking. I seek out massage therapists that invest time in educating the clients; not just performing the service on them. A superior massage therapist will take the time to talk to a client before and after a service. They will thoroughly communicate benefits of ongoing massage and educate the client on what they should be doing in their own time to reap the benefits of the massage.

As you can see, I’m seeking out only top notch talent. I want to offer jobs to those that have great skills (or are willing to learn) and can communicate thoroughly (which includes active listening and not just monopolizing the time with small talk). I recognize that not every service provider will excel in every service but I do seek out those that are willing to do whatever it takes to try and be the best. Diligence with their own ongoing training and learning from each other. I also look for those that are devoted to sharing their knowledge – someone that is truly successful is not afraid to impart their knowledge into others and take pride in other’s accomplishments.

At Vis-a-Vis, we are a team. We help each other out. We have each other’s back. We have the best interest of others rather than ourselves at the forefront of our mind. We work with humility. We work with an intense amount of passion. We believe in integrity. We are not afraid of a challenge. We don’t let our insecurities define us. We are a group of professionals with high expectations – would you like to be part of our business?

I am proud of the business I am part of and I’m even more proud of my staff that makes it great! If you’d like to be considered for a position a Vis-a-Vis, please email me at or send me your resume through our website: – I would love to talk to you!

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” —Jack Welch

March 5, 2014


It is with a very heavy heart that I write this letter. Effective Monday March 9th I will no longer be available for providing services. This decision has weighed heavily on me for some time and now for the benefit of Vis-a-Vis’ staff and clients I will be assuming the position of Lead Concierge.

When I opened Vis-a-Vis I knew that I wanted to always focus on the guest experience, from the beginning days, I have always had a person whose position was to ensure that our guests are completely satisfied with the services they are receiving. We have had significant turn over in this position since July of last year. Again, I am looking at that position changing hands. I feel I have no choice but to step into this role and lead my concierge staff on a daily level until we are able to find someone capable that demonstrates the incredible list of talents it takes to effectively assume this role.  

I have always wanted Vis-a-Vis to be the kind of place where you could be sure that you would receive an incredibly high level of service regardless of the practitioner you are scheduled with. I work with every single professional that works for me and in a lot of cases their skills have developed to a level that is superior to mine. I am so confident in their skills that if you have currently been seeing me for regular services I would be happy to take care of the cost of your next service with a different practitioner because I know you will be happy. I would also love to work with you to figure out which staff member will be perfect for you. I believe that I have one of the strongest spa staffs in the country. They are an incredible, dedicated group of consummate professionals. They also love feedback if you let them know what makes us special for you, they will do their best to take care of you.

I can’t tell you how happy I am about the growth that we have made over the past three years. I have gone from being a solo practitioner to providing jobs for twenty other people. There is nothing that can describe what it feels like to watch a business grow the way Vis-a-Vis has. None of this would be possible without you, my dedicated loyal guests. I am still here for you, even more so now than I have been over the past few months. It will just be in a different capacity for some time. I have no idea exactly what the next months will look like but I am really excited that I am going to have the opportunity to connect with each and every one of our guests on a personal level again even if it’s not in the treatment room.

If you currently have an appointment scheduled after Sunday March 8th with me we will be contacting you very shortly to see what we can do for you and how we can take care of you. I welcome any questions or concerns that you have. Please feel free to call me or email me personally:

Melissa Mueller
Owner, Licensed Esthetician &
Nationally Certified Massage Therapist
Vis-a-Vis Skin Spa & Bodywork

Vis-a-Vis Acne Clinic Update

We are looking for potential case study candidates

While we wait for all of the construction to be completed I wanted to update you on the acne clinic and also put out a call for potential case study candidates.

Over a year ago, I started to talk about the Acne Clinic and the incredible work that we are doing with our clients.

It has been truly remarkable to watch each and every one of the individuals we work with achieve clear skin.  Despite all this you will still not find these services available at Vis-a-Vis yet!  This is because the process that it takes to get a persons skin clear quite simply does not fit with the business model of Vis-a-Vis Skin Spa & Bodywork.  With the acne work we have to operate a little differently in a few ways:

  • Not everyone is accepted into this program.
  • acne has to be a major factor in ones life
  • Individuals have to be willing to be compliant with our protocols and home care regimens

We have a much more relaxed attitude at the spa. I hate telling anyone what they have to do (unless you ask my staff they may tell you something different)

i had a dilemma. I have this wonderful modality that I know works but it doesn’t fit with my business model.  Alas, Vis-a-Vis Acne Clinic was born. I started to develop the brand and website with the intention to launch it as a sister company inside of the spa. I was still not sure how this was all going to work; I really didn’t want to confuse anyone. I also didn’t want the two businesses to get confused with each other.

I watched the website, testimonials, clinical photos and print work come together and became more and more excited about this project. The more my excitement grew the stronger I felt that this was a separate company and project that can and should stand on it’s own, however I was not in a position to launch a new concept at a new location. We had just started the major project that is about to launch in the second level of the spa.

Over the summer, I dragged my feet and chipped away at finalizing the website and all of the other details. I even ordered my new business cards! The plan was to launch the Acne Clinic formally just after the first of the year. Then just after Thanksgiving something really remarkable happened, our landlord came to us with an offer of more space on the other side of the building. At first I thought more space was crazy, and then when I saw it I knew immediately this was why I had waited. Vis-a-Vis Acne Clinic is going to have its very own home!!! I cannot tell you how excited I am that we are going to be able to provide this work to people in Ann Arbor on a larger scale.

In the mean time we will still be performing acne services to eligible clients on a case-by-case basis. We are also on the hunt for another round of case study clients. If you know someone that would be interested and most importantly benefit please send them our way. Our case study clients receive free products and treatments in exchange for letting us use their photos on our promotional materials and website. I do not have an anticipated launch date as yet, we are thinking some time late spring – early summer *fingers crossed*. We do have a small amount of cosmetic fixes to make to the space to make it ours, but nothing like we have needed to do with our current space.

The growth of Vis-a-Vis never ceases to amaze me and I know that none of this would be possible without my truly remarkable staff and all of our fantastic clients!

Just a little teaser here is the brand new logo for the Acne Clinic courtesy of the fine people at Hile Design: 




Are you ready for your close-up?

Makeup Services are back at Vis-a-Vis and better than ever!

 A month ago we quietly removed our makeup services from the menu. We wanted a chance start fresh and bring something new and exciting to Ann Arbor. Well I am so happy to say that the new make-up program has officially arrived!

We started off by finding one of the best make-up artists in Michigan, Bonnie Stuart. Bonnie has spent almost a decade in the beauty industry. Her most recent position before joining Vis-a-Vis was as a Make-up Artist at Sephora. She has spent the last month training the staff at Vis-a-Vis, acquiring new lines and developing the Vis-a-Vis Make-up Services. 

We are super excited about our new make-up services and have brought on some new lines for our guests as well. We now carry three full lines: Make-up Designory, Jouer, and Becca Cosmetics. In addition to these we also have products from Billion Dollar Brows, Mineral Hygenics, VanityMark, and Blinc.

My favorite service we have added is the Test Drive, this is a make-up counter style application in which you are not charged for the service if you purchase at least $49 dollars in products from Vis-a-Vis.

Bonnie is full fledged brow artist as well and will be adding brow and lash tinting service in the next few weeks. Make-up services are available to be scheduled with Bonnie currently and will be available with our other estheticians in the next month, just in time for your holiday parties!             ~ Mel ~

New faces, new spaces and a baby coming soon!

Things seem to have been moving at the speed of light here at the spa! We recently completed construction on two new treatment rooms and have hired seven new employees since January! Talk about keeping busy, we will also have an additional project over the summer that will be complete in the fall. We will be launching a new concept to Vis-a-Vis and Ann Arbor, we can’t tell you much now, but we know you will be blown away! *wink wink*

For now let me give you the details on all the new smiling faces you will be seeing around Vis-a-Vis. Back in January, Brady got some much needed help on the conceirge team with the addition of Saisha Gaillard and Ashley Danielson. As we neared completion of the new treatment rooms, we decided it was time to bring on some new practitioners. We have added two new estheticans, Rikki Marie Ealy-Hill and Katie Burks, and a massage therapist, Brenna Dee. We have also added a new member to our concierge crew, Letha Zaracki and a Director of Operations, Scott Roberts. Each and every one of these new staff members have come to Vis-a-Vis with their own unique talents. I promise, I will follow-up this post and introduce you to each and every one of them individually. You don’t have to wait, you can always come in to the spa and meet them for yourself.

In case you haven’t noticed, we will be losing one employee for the summer! Kelly, our beautiful, very pregnant, lead esthetician,  is now on maternity leave, but she will be back in the fall, we know she is going to make a great mom and can’t wait to meet that baby!! We love you Kelly XOXOXO

     ~ Mel ~  

Do you have an Esthetician?

Here is a copy of the article I wrote for the Abec Small Business Review, April Issue. If you would like to see the original you can follow the link the here:

Many people are not even sure what estheticians do, let alone have one that they call their very own.

An esthetician traditionally is an individual who specializes in the beautification of the skin. They do this by performing cosmetic skin treatments such as facialslight chemical peels, body treatments, waxing or other hair removal services.

The larger benefit of having an esthetician that you work with on a regular basis is that they become your own personal skin care expert. The largest role an esthetician can play in “beautifying” your skin is regimen coaching. This is where the skin care expert selects products, based on your needs and individual skin type, and teaches you how to use them most effectively.

This product selection is usually done after a facial or consult in which the esthetician has had adequate amount of time to experience your skin. Generally, an esthetician will make product suggestions from the line or lines they are currently working with and have familiarity using. This prevents you from having to spend valuable time and money on products that are going to be ineffective or ill-suited for your skin.

They will also work with you to provide ongoing support in fine-tuning your regimen, to make sure it fits in with your budget and lifestyle. If you have specific skin conditions, such as acne, an esthetician can be an extremely valuable resource in helping to resolve these conditions.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions; most estheticians get very excited at the idea of just talking about skincare. If you are looking for an esthetician, one of the skin care professionals at Vis-a-Vis Skin Spa & Bodywork would love to have the chance to work with you.

Au revior Acne!

When I first opened Vis-a-Vis, I was shocked to find out how many people in their late twenties, thirties and even forties still struggle with acne. I made it my mission for the last year to find something that will work and something I can suggest with my full confidence. After a lot of research, I found a clinic in California that is getting some truly remarkable results, in most cases they are getting their clients 95% clear in 3-6 months! I was hesitant but upon doing deeper research, I realized they are on to something.  I have spent the last six months working with this clinic to understand their methods, regimens and treatment protocols. I have also done a number of case studies with clients here in Ann Arbor. I am happy to report that we are getting some amazing results of our own! 

In the next couple of months we will officially launch our acne program, but here is a sneak peek at the details. The program centers around a custom chosen regimen, based on the clients skin type and severity of acne.  Frequent changes are made in the regimen to keep it working effectively. We also perform professional treatments every two weeks which can entail multiple different elements including chemical peels, enzyme peels, LED light treatment or hydrating masks. We work very closely with clients to help ensure they get the very best results possible.  

Although we have not officially launched the acne program, if you would like to talk with someone about treatment options please book a skin consultation and we can get you started! 

The Deepest Massage on the Planet now available at Vis-a-Vis!


Over a year ago I traveled to Illinois to receive my initial three day training in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy. I quickly realized a couple of things my first day at the training: 

  1. This woud take a long time to master
  2. This is as deep as a massage can get
  3. It is really fun to perform!

Ashiatsu uses an overhead bar system for the therapist to hold on to while they perform a majority of the massage with their feet. This enables the massage therapist to utilize their full body weight in applying pressure.  Ashiatsu is not back walking! This is a common misconception, In this modality the practitioner is applying actual massage movements rather than walking on the clients back. Most of the strokes used in Ashiatsu are performed with one foot so the therapist can control the exact amount of pressure being delivered during the session. 

When I completed the training I knew that it was going to take me a while to become comfortable performing this modality (I had to learn how to massage with my feet). I decided upon returning that I would need to perform at least 20 or more of these sessions before I would consider putting it on the menu. I wanted to make sure that our clients would receive the same level of experience they have come to expect in all of our other services. Well it took me a year, but at last we our now adding Ashi to our service menu!

If you love deep massage work than you will enjoy an Ashi Session!
Book your session today

We Love You Too!

As a small business owner I cannot ignore the importance of We have recently had some great reviews from our clients on this site. So much so that we have had a couple of new clients ask us if they were fake! I can assure  you, they are not, each and every review is a real Vis-a-Vis client that choose to write a review completely unsolicited!

 *Step up on soap box*

I have a very strict professional guideline about never asking clients for any kind of promotional feedback. Being an Ann Arbor resident for about 10 years now, I have been to a lot of different businesses in our wonderful city. Every year around the same time in the Spring, I begin to receive emails from various types of establishments asking me to “Vote” for them in the Current’s “Best of Ann Arbor.” I have always found this practice slightly off-putting. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about supporting “local” here in Ann Arbor.

I am most impressed by the companies that don’t ask for your accolades, but ask you what they could do better. This is one reason why we provide callbacks for all of our new clients after their first couple of appointments. If for some reason your experience with us is anything less than stellar, we sincerely want to know what we could be doing to serve you better. We have encountered a few clients on callbacks that have feedback, but are concerned about getting their practitioner in “trouble”. That is just not how we operate! We see each situation as an opportunity for growth (ok I know that sounds really cheesy, but it’s true) .

Brady’s entire position at Vis-a-Vis is ensuring that our guests are happy and if you haven’t noticed she takes it seriously 😉 While we are flattered, humbled and so very appreciative of all the positive reviews and feedback we have received, we will never expect it from you. On that note, we take every review to heart, we value the time the reviewer invests and recognize that they are recommending us on a very public level. We strive to make sure every client that comes through the door will receive a five star service.

We are so fortunate to have the best clients a business could ask for!   XOXOXOXO  ~ Mel ~ 

We Love Moms!

 I can’t believe that it is May already! This year has gone by so fast, with all of the new things happening around the spa. The tulips in full bloom tell me that Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. After much thought we have decided that we will be closed this year for Mother’s Day. I really weighed this decision because I wanted to be here to reward moms out there with some much deserved rest and relaxation. On a recent vacation, with my family, I started to realize what most Moms want is quality time with their children! I know this may not be the case for some brand new Moms, what they usually want most is sleep and lots of it! But for this mom, the best gift I could get this year for Mothers Day would be a nice afternoon with my children. Being the mother of two girls, 14 and 6, I know that by 2:45 p.m. on Mothers Day I will probably be regretting this decision, but for now I am sticking to my ideals! If you are struggling with what to get your mom this year, she may enjoy just a couple  hours of your time! 

If you still need some inspiration here are few gift ideas available from Vis-a-Vis:

The Urban Oasis ~ 

Help Mom find solace in just 2 hours. Give her a mini-vacation, without having to pack her bags. This package includes a 60-minute facial and a 60-minute relaxation massage. Regularly $123.00 On Sale for $110 through the entire month of May. You can purchase gift certificates for this service online. Plus receive double rewards points for all gift certificate purchases made during the month of May.

Upper Crust Candles ~

We have just received a new selection from Upper Crust Candle Co. with lots of new scents. My favorite is Emerald Isle, it smells just like fresh cut carnations or for the new mom, we have Sweet Pea which is great for the nursery. 

Beau Bain Bath Bakery & Sweets ~ 

Let Mom indulge, without any of the calories! Delightful Bath Cupcakes and Bath Brittle from Beau Bain will let Mom create a spa experience at home.  


Catching up!

Things just seem to be moving at the speed of light these days, on March 15th Vis-a-Vis turned 1 year old! I couldn’t have possibly imagined how far we would come in just one year. I wanted to catch you up on everything that is new with Vis-a-Vis and it’s team.

 The bigest project since last Fall has been the renovation, I am still a little lost some times when I walk around the spa. The results far exceeded my expectations. Brady and I worked almost a combined 200 hundred hours the last week of January and It was definitely worth it! We love to be able to work in such a beautiful atmosphere, it just seems to make your day better. My favorite room, by far,  is now the Brow Bar it just feels “pretty”.

We have also added a new Esthetician to our team, Kelly Smith. I knew Kelly was the perfect fit when I saw how excited she got when she talked about waxing! She hit the ground running with lots of enthusiasm and will be ready to add facials to her services in the next couple of weeks. I think you will enjoy working with her as much as we do. 

Brady will be making a big leap next month, she will begin a six month apprenticeship with me to become an esthetician.  We have been sharing this information and a lot of you have expressed concern about who will fill her shoes. She will still remain in her existing position during the apprenticeship and hopefully for a long time beyond that. We may add a new person to help out a little with the work load, but she will still be here for all of you!! As Brady would say, you can’t get rid of her that easily 😉 

For my big news, I have been keeping it secret until I knew it was official. Yesterday, I was “officially” appointed to  The Michigan Board of Massage Therapy. This has to be one of the coolest things that has happened lately!  Michigan is in the process of making massage a licensed practice and I have the opportunity to  be involved in that process *big cheesy grin*. I will have to make occasional trips to Lansing, but my commute to esthetics school prepared me for that!  

Kelly, Brady and Myself will also be traveling to Las Vegas for five days in June to attend the largest esthetics/spa conference held in the country. We hope to bring you back lots of exciting innovations and new products. 

We know that some of you will be leaving for the summer and look forward to seeing you in the fall. Those of you that are sticking around we hope to see you soon and look forward to working with you Vis-a-Vis ! 


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ~ Mel ~ 

We are so pleased to introduce V2!

V2 Label One thing I knew for sure when I envisioned opening Vis-a-Vis in Ann Arbor, was that we would feature a natural skin care line. I spent two years looking for the perfect mix of affordability and performance. I picked apart countless labels and looked at a number of lines, much to my disappointment, I just could not find the right fit for what I thought my clients would want and enjoy. Last fall, I made the decision to brand my own line, selected just for the wonderful guests of Vis-a-Vis. The products are made for us in New Mexico with natural, organic ingredients that have been very carefully selected and formulated for maximum performance. So with that I am so very happy *big cheesy grin* to formally introduce you to V2! The name is a play on the spas name and A2 (in case you were wondering). Over the next few months we will be featuring one product each week and offering these at reduced, intro prices. We are also featuring V2 in our Signature facials.

          This line is exclusively available at Vis-a-Vis Skin Spa!

                                                                           ~ Mel ~  

Back waxing, His side!

Things at the spa have been crazy! We are completing the expansion construction, getting ready  to receive our first shipment of V2 (our very own skincare line) and bringing a new esthetician on board! All this to say, I have been trying to figure out what to blog about (much less find the time to do it).  Today I got the perfect blog post given right to me!

  Let me set the scene:

Last week, I had an incredibly nice guy come in for an appointment to get his back waxed.  We did the normal consult, Vis-a-Vis style and got to business. I learned from our conversation that this was his first time getting his back waxed.  Usually, the first time a gentlemen comes in to receive a back wax there has been some motivating factor, in this case he  just seemed to be trying out for curiosities sake. Well as you can find out, it all made a lot of sense after I read his blog post about the experience. I hope you enjoy his writing as much as I do! 

I will keep everyone posted in the next few weeks on all the exciting things happening here.  Thank you all for being such wonderful clients ! ~ Mel ~ 

Really, so how much does a Brazilian hurt?

Embarassed Waxing I get asked a lot of questions about waxing but this would have to be in the top three:

How much does a Brazilian waxing hurt? Along with being one of the most commonly asked, it is also, one of the most difficult to answer.  The reason being that we all handle and “feel” pain differently.  I will do my best here to give you the most thorough answer possible along with some tips that will help mitigate any discomfort you may experience while getting waxed south of the border!

No matter how skilled a technician, how expensive the wax, or how flexible the client, waxing will cause some level of discomfort. Any place that promises you a pain-free waxing is either lying or not performing the service correctly.  When waxing is done correctly the hair is removed by the root and (I hate to say it!) this causes some level of discomfort. That being said, most clients receiving a  first time Brazilian leave feeling it was not nearly as bad as they thought it would be.

Almost always it will be your nerves that get you and rightfully so! You are baring all to someone you just met, that doesn’t have a medical degree and didn’t even buy you a cocktail first! At Vis-a-Vis  we do a couple of things to try and help you feel more comfortable:

  1. Start with a through consult so we know exactly what you are looking for and you know what to expect.
  2. Give you a wrap to cover up with while you are sitting on the table and receiving your service.
  3. Encourage you to take some nice deep breaths. (This actually tells your nervous system that everything is o.k. and helps to ease the discomfort)
  4. We use only hard wax for Brazilians. This is much easier on the skin than conventional strip wax. 

     The first time is always the most uncomfortable because your hair’s roots are at their strongest.Although you cannot completely numb the discomfort, there are some things you can do as well, whether it is your first or hundredth time!

  1. Dull Your Nerves: About 20 minutes prior to waxing, apply a numbing cream to help de-sensitize your nerves. We offer Numb-IT for sale. You can also take two ibuprofen about 30 minutes before your wax. *Do NOT take ibuprofen if you are allergic to it.
  2. Scrub On Down: Using a good body scrub between wax appointments will help rid your skin of dead cells that can clog your pores. Exfoliating clears your pores, allowing the hair to be pulled more easily.
  3. Get nice and furry. I know growing your hair out can take some serious self-will as you get closer to your appointment date. If the hair is too short this can be painful and unproductive.  A good guide line, is if you can grab the hair and it lifts the skin then you are good to go.  Don’t worry about trimming any excess we will take care of this at the beginning of your service. NO WOMAN should feel it necessary to go after there own goodies with a pair a scissors to make an estheticans job more convenient!
  4. Know when your monthly friend is scheduled to visit.  For first timers I would suggest a week after you end your cycle. When your body is close too/during menstruating it is just more sensitive. After you have been waxed a couple of times it really is your choice you can even be waxed during if you so desire, with the proper “accommodations”  of course. ( a tampon for those of you that are a little slower on the pick-up)
  5. Don’t Drink A Lot Of Caffeine Or Alcohol: While having a couple glasses of wine or some shots before getting waxed sounds like a great idea, alcohol and caffeine can actually cause your skin to be more sensitive to waxing. Give yourself a couple hours after drinking coffee or alcohol before getting waxed.
  6. Skip The Home Waxing: Just because those boxes of “At Home Wax” say it’s easy, doesn’t mean it is. Waxing yourself can be difficult and you can actually do more harm than good if you aren’t sure what you are doing.
      * I have attempted my own Brazilian on one occasion and I can still show you spots in the spa where i can’t get the wax out of the carpet*
  7. Avoid The Sun: You should avoid going tanning for 24 hours prior to waxing. Waxing freshly tanned skin can cause it to be pulled, which is not a great feeling. Tanning should also be avoided for 24 hours afterwards as well. Your skin will be more sensitive since it was exfoliated, so burning is more likely to happen.

  I hope this post will help motivate those of you that are on the fence to go ahead and give it a try the results really are worth it. Think of the time you will save in the shower alone. As always, please let us know if you have any questons and we look forward to working with you,  Vis-a-Vis.

                                                                                        ~ Melissa ~

A new favorite at Vis-a-Vis

 One of the best parts about my job is the eternal hunt to bring you guys products you will love and want to use as much as I do! I have been looking for a line for about 6 months to fill a spot for soaps and body scrubs that are great AND affordable. Last week we were so excited to receive our first full shipment from Villainess Soaps! In short their products are fun, smell great and work wonderfully.

A brief summary of Villainess:

Villainess debuted with a modest assortment of 10 luxurious, cold-processed soaps. Today, their selection of handmade soaps features 28 original fragrances, and the line has expanded to include a range of facial and body care treatments with an emphasis on effective, nearly-natural formulations. The line is built on signature concepts: pretentious literary allusions paired with evocative fragrances, and botanical elements to ground them in the tactile. The result is a luscious, layer-able collection of Villainess originals -silk-enriched vegetable butter Soaps.

Villainess has crazily, creative names for their scents which come in a variety of products that include bar soap, scrubs and body moisturizers.  Some of our favorites have been: 

Scintillating Smooch   ~  a peppermint, sugar based scrub. Great for those between waxing exfoliation’s. Teasing touches of revitalizing mints – spearmint, corn-mint, peppermint – grounded with a rich base note of black tea, and barely sweetened with soft vanilla.

Krakatoa Soap ~ This one is my FAV! I love this deeply complex scent of tropical fruits and Greenery. This soap makes me smile in the shower. Flashes of exotic foliage – coconut, banana, papaya, dew-fruit, mango – amidst slightly more domestic fruits – nectarine, red apple, peach, plums, pears, and raspberries – and an explosive burst of citrus – mandarin orange, pineapple, lemon, and tangerine. Light musk, salted driftwood, sugar cane, and dry sandalwood work to ground our island paradise.

Chloroform Soap ~ Okay,  I know the name is a little scary, but Brady is crazy about this one! Crisp cucumber, sickly sweet green vegetation, a dizzy whiff of violets, mind-numbing plum, and a stiff shot of anesthetizing vermouth.

Ginger Snapped Whipped ~ This Body Moisturizer is a lightly scented and very emollient. As described by their website:  A slightly psychotic blend of sweet cinnamon, rich cardamom, spicy ginger, and a faint touch of innocent vanilla.

 We have 11 of their soaps and about half a dozen different scrubs and a few moisturizers in various scents available for purchase in the spa. I do also have their ex-trait sampler at the spa. If you are intrigued by any of their 28 original fragrances you can stop in and give ’em a whiff. We can special order any of the products they have available and get them in just a few days for you.

Being bad just became even more fun!  


Vis-a-Vis expands online and on-site!

Exciting and new, but keeping the same great conveniences and service!

As you may have noticed, we have launched an entirely new website for Vis-a-Vis. We have tried to keep the content familiar and friendly, in addition to making online scheduling even easier. This new web presence has taken the great people at Hile Design a few months (and possibly, being the perfectionist I am, been the reason for a few gray hairs) to put together. We hope you love the new website! We welcome any feedback you may have about our new look.

In the following months, this blog will serve as a great outlet for me to keep all of you current about the many new and exciting things happening here at Vis-a-Vis.

For those of you that have been here in the last few weeks, you may have noticed the additional space we’ve taken on in our current building. We are working with the best architects in the Ann Arbor, Angelini and Associates, to get this space ready for our clients to use and enjoy. We have just received approval from our landlord on our intended plans! The expanded space will include two new service rooms (one large enough for couples to have services performed together), a client lounge, and our new Brow Bar. We are hoping *fingers crossed* to have this new space ready for the holidays. We will remain open for business-as-usual during this process and it will not impact you receiving the same great services you have come to love and expect.

We are so grateful for each and every one of you, our wonderful guests. You give us the opportunity to do what we love and have fun doing it!

Looking forward to working with you soon Vis-a-Vis, Melissa