no tricks, just treats: reward yourself with aviary's pumpkin facial

Alright, Atlanta. As you know, it’s pumpkin time. But pumpkin is not only for your porch or pie or, ahem, latte – it’s for your skin. All year around, we love our ALCHEMIST Smart Peel utilizing Sircuit's Youth Accelerator Pumpkin Enzyme Peel, but there’s something about the arrival of fall that makes it even better. And apart from it smelling good enough to eat, it comes loaded with healthy skin benefits.

By smartly targeting the skin’s receptors, the peel aids in getting rid of that icky free radical damage (which results in accelerated aging), and the power is really in the pumpkin. Concentrated pumpkin, or Cucurbita Pepo extract is rich in Beta Carotene and over 100 other nutrients. The other main ingredient, pumpkin ferment or Lactobacillus, works to exfoliate dead skin cells and impurities. All in all? It leaves your skin as vibrant as fall’s blue sky.

As a part of the facial, it’s a sure fire way to deeply cleanse pores, exfoliate and rehydrate. But seriously, don’t go eating it – we have a treat for you. If you show us this blog post upon receiving your Pumpkin Enzyme Peel, you’ll get $10 off, and, if you’re a member of Gilt City Atlanta, you can grab yourself the whole thing for $54 (not to mention the deals on Intraceuticals Rejuvenate + Atoxelene Oxygen Infusions and brow shaping that we’ve thrown in the treat basket as well).

Happy fall, friends!

into the bottle: calendula

Between Labor Day, Dragon Con, the 9th annual AJC Decatur Book Festival and the BeltLine Lantern Parade, the past two weekends in Atlanta have been busy ones. And while we don’t wish for a shortage of fun and games, we can’t help but feel in need of a little rest and relaxation for the week ahead – especially for our skin. That’s where Calendula comes in. A soothing herb extracted from the Marigold plant, the scientifically named Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract is calming to tired, worn out skin. And, well, after all that Dragon Con makeup, it seems like exactly what we need.

The trick is that it boasts goodies such as carotenes, flavonoids, tannins and essential oils. The healing astringent has even been thought of as a remedy for centuries.

But the real key to getting your skin ready for the next festivities is that Calendula is regenerative. It’s not hard to get your hands on either. A lot of our favorite healing products use it.

For example, Sircuit’sI. Cee U.+ is a firming, anti-aging eye gel (ahem, one of our faves) that boasts Calendula as a main ingredient. Dr. Hauska'sEye Balm also uses the herb, meaning it’s the perfect ingredient to zap those pesky undereye bags. Sircuit’s Clarity Broccoli Sulfur Mask also uses it, and is awesome for skin prone to blemishes.

Sounds like this week’s skinsaver to us!

your summer skin savior

We are all familiar with the failsafe skincare ritual of cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing and the daily use of toner can feel like a daunting extra step. So do you really need it? The answer is yes – especially in the coming summer months. Toner is a water-based solution with humectants that work to keep moisture in the upper levels of the skin. In turn, it fights dryness and gives your skin an instant boost of hydration. That’s not all, though. Toner is known to combat chemicals such as chlorine. Summer swims are a necessity when it comes to getting through the Georgia summer and chlorine can sit on your skin long after a splash, drying it out. In contrast to combating dehydrating chemicals, toner enhances your preexisting skincare routine. It consists of ingredients that soothe, control oil (thus fighting acne) and stimulate blood circulation. Applying it pre-moisturizer can multiply these benefits as well as add a protective layer to your skin so you can say goodbye to environmental damage.

Toner is a skin saver when it comes to summer sun and it’s well worth the extra step. We love Dr. HauschkaFacial Toner and Clarifying Toner. Sircuit Cosmeceuticals also boasts two of its own: Molecular Mist and Immaculate Mist. Ready, set, summer skin!

francesca hernandez, aviary's newest esthetician

We are so excited to introduce you to Francesca, our newest esthetician. A true adventurer with a passion for holistic health, healing arts and beauty, Francesca has worked at reputable spas around Atlanta as well as a resort spa in Bermuda.  She's now entering her tenth year in the industry and we're thrilled she's decided to share her sense of exploration, inspiration and knowledge with us. Here's a little about her – in and out of the treatment room: What initially interested you in your craft? With your first degree in studio art, do you feel the two go hand in hand? I first became intrigued in aesthetics and massage in junior high after I saw an article in Seventeen Magazine about spa treatments. There was something so pleasing about self care and the tranquil images that it left an impression on me. I also started getting into my own aesthetic rituals around that time, which in turn helped with my confidence as a teenager. I would buy exfoliant and masks from The Body Shop with my allowance money and do facials on myself at home. The visual arts has always been a life long interest. It definitely goes together as both allow me to use my hands and be in the moment.

You were born in Louisiana, but spent your childhood between Puerto Rico and Florida. What brought you to Atlanta? I initially came to Atlanta in high school after my mom got a job at a college here. Since then I've lived in other places, but I always ended up coming back to Atlanta. It just offers a lot here in the way of activities and interests, plus you've got a lot of good nature spots to balance it out.

As an adventurer, what's one of your favorite places in the world? Paris. I've never seen another city so well designed. It was like someone laid out the city so that every angle looks like a scene from a painting. It's definitely worth a return visit.

How about in Atlanta? As a foodie I am eternally grateful for the Dekalb Farmer's Market. Their selection keeps getting better and its worth braving the crowds. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is another favorite. I just got back from seeing the scarecrows and the Imaginary Worlds exhibit. It is always a pleasure to hang out there.

And lastly, if you were a bird, what bird would you be? An owl, but maybe a baby owl. I tend to be a solitary thinker but I'm wise enough to know I don't know it all.

into the bottle: rose

Humans have always had a love affair with roses and for good reason. Rose oil and rose water are two of the oldest skincare products in the book. The Dr. Hauschka website explains the coveted use of rose oil and rose water in their products: “The flowers must not be allowed to get hot, otherwise they would lose too much of the costly rose essential oil. For this reason harvesting starts early in the morning and everyone in the Lalehzar valley that is not aged or infirm is roped in to help. Again and again the distillery workers turn the roses over to ensure that they remain cool.”

Apart from the boundless vitamins and antioxidants that can be ingested through a cup of rose hip tea or the calming affects of its aroma, rose oil and rose water have a long list of benefits when it comes to beauty. First off, it contains anti-inflammatory properties, which soothes irritated skin. It also includes a great deal of antioxidants that are proven to strengthen skin cells and regenerate tissue. These properties make the rose particularly beneficial to sensitive skin, but the love affair doesn’t stop there.

The duo also makes for a great moisturizer. Its natural oils trap moisture in the skin, decrease damage to the skin's elastin fibers and prevent wrinkles. These properties, especially beneficial to dry skin, help skin look and feel smoother.

The key word for the rose, in any sense, is gentle and some of our tried and true natural products thrive on the super flower. Dr. Hauschka boasts Rose Day Cream, Rose Day Cream Light, Rose Body Moisturizer and Rose Body Oil and Sircuit uses it in restorative retinoid crème Supernatural-A, repair and recovery balm Sircurity and protective moisture crème Cloud 9+. Roses are red, anyone?

sircuit, making our summer skin better

Our friends at Sircuit have put together a list of seven sun essentials that we couldn't help but agree on. Here's why:

1. swell, an oceanic cooling mask Most acclaimed as a cooling after-sun mask, Swell calms and hydrates the skin. It works in the shade too, though, to firm and refresh with its anti-aging properties.

2. molecular mist, hydrating moisture care It works in that dehydrating airplane air and sunshine alike and it's important when it comes to refreshing and hydrating our beat summer skin. We also love that Sircuit's take on the mist includes protection against UV rays and other environmental factors.

3. sol-avert SPF 30, ultimate UV defense It's Sircuit's classic yet fierce sun block - paraben-free and eco-friendly of course.

4. sircuit soleil, firming mineral self-bronzer We like to think of this one as safe sun at its best. Sircuit's streak-free bronzing self-tanner an almost instant seven day glow. Not to mention it can even be blended in with your favorite moisturizer to build a healthy tan any time of the year.

5. lavish, multi-use therapeutic dry oil It's an old-time favorite that turns out to be perfect for summer. Lavish absorbs quickly into skin and leaves behind a soft and subtle sheen.

6. sircuit weapon, 10% vitamin C therapy serum We don't only like this one for the name. It's also anti-aging, reduces the appearance of fine lines and improves your skins resilience and tone.

7. white out, daily under eye cream It may be cliche, but it is important to be easy on the eyes in this case. Sircuit has created a multi-tasking under eye cream that protects that delicate eye area from environmental damage. And as part of Made Better, White Out also bosts its Biolumen Firm technology, which captures UV light as energy and, like LED red-light therapy, utilizes beneficial aspects for the skin.

into the bottle: arnica

This week we’re revisiting the “E” word. If you haven’t taken Condition up on last week’s deal, we may know one of the things stopping you. Exercise can be tough so it’s natural that muscles start feeling tight and joints begin to get a little stiff after a rigorous workout. That’s where arnica, another ingredient we’re thanking the earth for, comes in.

Arnica is in the sunflower family and has been used for centuries to relieve pain, revitalize after-physical activity, and even promote flexibility. It’s believed that the plant contains derivatives of thymol, which has anti-inflammatory effects so even those with arthritis are use it to reduce pain and swelling in joints. It is also loaded with compounds like flavonoids, silicic acid, tannins, carotenoids, and essential oils. These compounds make arnica a fantastic healer for skin and its own process of renewal and self-cleansing.

For us, arnica’s all natural soothing action along with its skin benefits makes it a superstar ingredient. Dr. Hauschka uses arnica as the main component in their Birch Arnica Body Oil and Sircuit in their refreshing gel moisturizer, Cool Aid. The best way to utilize arnica’s benefits is the massage it into the skin after exercise or those other strenuous activities. It’s soothing warmth will bring those muscles and joints back to live… so you can exercise again tomorrow.

it's just... lavish.

Remember last week when we explored One Love Organic’s master product, Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm? Well, this week we’re exploring another product that could be included under the master category (just like Michelangelo or Raphael). It’s Lavish by Sircuit and again, we’re in awe.

The multi-use therapeutic dry oil is a face, body, and hair godsend. With NINE of the most precious oils (Grapeseed Oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Organic Borage Oil, Arctic Cranberry Oil, Cloudberry Oil, Bitter Almond Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Calophyllum Inophyllum Oil, Neem Oil), Lavish nourishes, protects, and smooths every inch of the body. These oils also combat signs of aging, improve the appearance of scars and strechmarks, and can be used on dry hair for spilt end and general damage control. And this wide range of benefits relates to the wide range of possibilities Sircuit brings to the table with Lavish. It is suitable for every age and can tackle woes all year around. How cool is that?

And if that isn’t enough, Allure Magazine’s Beauty Reporter pointed out five more reasons dry oil may take place of every product ever (ever). It can remove everything from mascara to eye shadow without stripping skin, tame frizz and flyaways, naturally highlight cheekbones and shoulders, and when added to liquid foundation, it can make it more hydrating and sheer. One simple idea I really liked was to dab a little on your wrist as perfume (Lavish comes complete with an almond scent to swoon over). And as always, Sircuit has produced a product that’s free of artificial preservatives, colors, fragrance, and cruelty. Get ready to glow.

celebrate the season (right down to your skin)

We’ve (un)officially entered the holiday season. With weeks old smiling pumpkins beginning to wilt on stoops, new pumpkins waiting for Thanksgiving (already?) the sound of pumpkin flavored… anything, pumpkins are hard not to love. But all won’t wither away like our stoop sitting friends. For example, Sircuit’s Youth Accelerator Mask (Made Better) with pumpkin enzyme is here to stay.

Youth Accelerator is an all-natural, pumpkin enzyme peel that’s rich in anti-aging and skin perfecting nutrients.  Brimming with Beta Carotene and over 100 other nutrients, pumpkin ferment and lactic acid (skin softening exfoliant) removes dead skin cells and deeply cleans pores. It helps to minimize free radicals (that icky stuff in the air) that result in accelerated aging and clogged pores. It’s suitable for all skin types yet best for aging, oily, and/or those with hyperpigmentation.

It all lends to a healthier, more vibrant complexion and that’s what we’re all about. And with endless holiday parties (and photos opps) coming up, a revamped complexion couldn’t sound better. And, hey, Youth Accelerator is 100 times simpler than the holidays and all they bring. Use once a week for 10-15 minutes will do the trick! Ready to beam? We know it smells good but save that for the desserts. THIS intensive therapy targets the skin’s receptors yet boasts fewer calories better than that pumpkin spice latte you’re craving.

The pumpkin mask is also available in the Smart Peel Facial and appointments with Amy can be scheduled here.

tired eyes? we can't tell.

Whether it’s “falling back” making us feel a little confused about time, this week’s election (yay), or just our day to day life, we know that there are some puffy eyes out there. When we spotted one of our favorite Sircuit products, I. Cee. U.™, being named the solution for tired, puffy, hangover eyes in GQ, we were reminded that we have it under control.

I. Cee. U.™ is a firming anti-aging eye gel, a long time Sircuit favorite but also part of the Made Better program we spoke about a few months ago. It’s a miracle worker the way it cures puffiness, eye bags, crows feet, tired eyes, and fine lines as well as prevents signs of aging. How? They used kiwi fruit extract to diminish dark circles as well as supercharge it with lots of antioxidants. Did you know that turmeric brightens as well as protects the skin and that Kumbuchka boosts the skins immune system, restores volume, and improves things like softness, radiance, and luminosity? We’re glad Sircuit figured it out.

And not many things sound better than a healthy dose of I. Cee. U.™ right now but then we paired it with our Clarisonic Opal. The Opal is palm sized and designed to help build skins resilience to prevent future damage around the eyes. While gently applying I. Cee. U.™ by hand does the trick, when applied with the Opal the serum reaches maximum absorption. That’s because, unlike our hand, the Opal moves at 125 sonic movements per second. This means an immediate reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, too.

SIRCUIT made perfect?

As you know, we have had a recent growth spurt at the Aviary, striving to move towards something even better.  This idea being a common theme lately, we were excited to see that one of our product lines has grown as well and, as a result is better than ever.  And while it can be scary when one of your favorite product lines opts for an upgrade but SIRCUIT COSMECEUTICALS did it right.  How?

First off, SIRCUIT is a pretty fantastic company.  Their main philosophy is to set a new standard of what you should expect from a skin care company,  so SIRCUIT goes deeper than skin health, to cell health.  They do this by using Chiral Technology, a revolutionary molecular separation technology that’s almost unheard of.  Simply said, Chiral Technology results in formulas that have a higher concentration of the ingredient's benefits, balancing the skin on its most basic level.  They strive to work with the body, not against, and are free of chemicals, parabens, artificial color and fragrance, as well as cruelty.  That’s something we can get behind.

Their “Made Better” program came about as a sort of celebration of their ten-year anniversary.  Being a company that’s constantly ahead and striving to grow their knowledge of skin and cell health, SIRCUIT looked at the anniversary as a chance to reevaluate.  They listened to your concerns and suggestions and began a search for new ingredients as well as breakthroughs in skin health.  Ultimately, SIRCUIT reviewed it all and set a laser focus on what they wanted to achieve: a product that would move their philosophy further. Consequently “Made Better” was born.

We’d love to help find the perfect products in the line for you.  With more advancements in Chiral Technology, scent improvements (mmmm), safety breakthroughs, as well as new ideas when it comes to plant stem cells, the “Made Better” program is well... made better (maybe even Made Perfect).