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loving the skin you're in (giveaway)

I have too many freckles. I'm too pale. My fine lines make me crazy. Why do I still get zits?! Why are my eyelids so damn purply? Why are my cheeks so red? OH MY GOD MORE FRECKLES. Thoughts like these zip through my head on the regular. How about you?

I've always found the idea of "normal skin" strange because skin that's flawless and glowy all on its own ain't normal, it's perfect. Wait, are normal and perfect the same thing? Seems odd when you stop to think about it.

Personally, my skin's far from perfect but it's pretty decent. Aside from my run-in with malignant melanoma skin cancer at the tender age of 25, my complexion's usually clear and isn't terribly sensitive. As a blogger I've tried hundreds of different skincare products and only one or two have ever given me trouble, so I consider myself pretty lucky.

But I started noticing changes after 30: fine lines crept in around my eyes, and were especially noticeable when I smiled. See them in that pic below? Eeeep! My skin started losing moisture, and with my 35th birthday just around the corner, I've noticed wee lines forming between my brows. UGH.

I'm a firm believer that prevention is more effective than correction, so I booked a facial at Third Avenue Spa to get a little help from their skin care experts.

Third Avenue Spa is located in the heart of the Glebe (Bank and Third!) and it's Ottawa's only full service Aveda spa. That means they offer a truly massive range of services and there's something for everyone. I first visited Third Avenue for a facial in April and was truly wowed by my experience, so going back was a no-brainer.

My esthetician, Shandy, greeted me with a smile and a firm handshake and led me to my spacious treatment room. She invited me to enjoy a warm foot bath (ahhhh!) while we chatted about my current skincare routine, and any skin issues, concerns, or allergies.

After that I snuggled under the warm blankets of the treatment table for 90 minutes of pure facial bliss. Shandy carefully chose products that would best treat my skin's needs, and any time a mask or treatment was working its magic she massaged my scalp, neck, shoulders, arms, legs, and feet. And I tried desperately not to drool because I was pretty near falling asleep. SO GOOD YOU GUYS.

Shandy performed extractions, applied scrubs, masks, and serums, then finished everything off with a misting of toner and a lovely moisturizer. Then she generously treated me to a blissful 30-minute back massage, what a lovely surprise! Stay tuned for how you can score a free massage at Third Avenue during the month of November -- more deets on that in a sec.

I floated out of the spa and thank goodness hubby came to pick me up. I was soooo relaxed and loopy that I probably couldn't have figured out my Uber app! My wee wrinkles may not be gone, but my skin's feeling happy and smooth, so that works for me.


Now, since my last visit to Third Avenue Spa, they've made some pretty exciting -- and delicious -- changes. They now offer both wine and food pairings to complement your treatment, which is especially lovely if you're going with pals or spending a bit of time there.

Choose from cheese plates, charcuterie boards, and a curated list of red, white, and sparkling wines. Such a great idea for girly get-togethers and holiday parties!


Yup, you read that right: for the month of November, book any facial at Third Avenue Spa and they'll add on a relaxing 30-minute massage! That's a a $55 value FOR FREE. Mention Amy in 613 to get the deal, you do not want to miss this one!!

The fine print: both services must be used on the same visit and the deal is valid with any facial from November 1 - November 30, 2016. This is the *perfect* gift idea if your bestie's celebrating her birthday, or what the heck, spoil yourself! And to help you get through the busy holiday season, Third Avenue will be open 10am-4pm on Sundays throughout November and December.


I'm gonna hook you up! One lucky reader is going to win a luxurious Aveda Essential Facial plus a relaxing 30-minute massage. That's almost $200 in pure indulgence at Third Avenue Spa!

For any of you who are new to my giveaways, enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The first entry action is mandatory, and once you've done that you'll see slew of optional entries you can complete for extra credit. The more entries you complete the better your chances of winning!

Contest closes October 31, 2016 at 11: 59pm and I'll announce a winner first thing in the morning on November 1, 2016. Best of luck!

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