I Got A $1,200 Virtual Reality Facial From John Mayer’s Favorite Skin Line

“I’m getting a $1,200 virtual reality facial that uses John Mayer’s favorite European skin-care products tomorrow — and it’s in an oxygen bubble,” I told my boyfriend last week.
Most men outside of the beauty industry would have thought this was odd conversation, but after seven months of dating, I have my boyfriend on a dedicated skin routine that’s kept his complexion clear and bright — and he’s into it. Meanwhile, he’s exposed me to all that virtual reality, or VR, has to offer, including games, experiences, and a working knowledge of how the technology will inevitably change the future of media — and I’m into it.
So when I heard about a treatment that brings these two seemingly opposite experiences together, I had to try it out.
You may know Natura Bissé as the Spanish brand front and center in John Mayer’s slightly-satirical stab at beauty vlogging last year. In the viral Snapchat videos, he shared his most effective hacks for better skin, including Mayer-isms like CNZs, or “crucial necessity zones” that should be always covered with face cream (so, basically just everywhere) and D.A.T., or “direct application technique,” which involves squirting face cream directly onto skin to limit product waste on fingers. (Spoiler: This is not actually effective.)
Jokes aside, the reason these videos went viral is not because of his application techniques, but because his entire routine rang in at a whopping $1,457. But hold onto your debit cards, because this year, the brand’s implementing a treatment that’s just as novel — and nearly as expensive.
Called The Mindful Touch Experience, it is, according to the brand, “the most innovative and trailblazing venture within the spa sector, in which the results of Natura Bissé’s cosmetics are combined with the most advanced technology.” So how does it work? “Through virtual reality, mindfulness and the therapist’s expertise – the touch – we invite the client to reconnect with the here and now, to relax their body, to awaken their senses and to experience the pleasure of beauty in a more intense way,” the official statement reads. Still confused? I was, too.
Let’s get this out of the way first: At $1,200 for one hour, the facial is far from affordable. However, this has less to do with the bubble itself or the VR technology and more to do with the fact that the brand’s products are just really pricey. Even though I was getting it at a comped press appointment, I still felt a little guilty.
The brand is famous for its bubbles and there are only a few, so you have to catch one while it’s on tour. (Yes, the bubble has more expensive tickets and fewer tour dates than Bieber.) It’s large enough for a bed, a table, and your aesthetician, and it’s filled with 99% pure oxygen, which it supposed to help with the absorption of products. Once you enter said bubble, you remove your robe and lie down, then affix the VR headset.
For eight minutes, you’re walked through a virtual reality experience — you travel through the ocean, wander around a brain, and are led on what is essentially a guided meditation to relax and let go of stress. Meanwhile, your aesthetician is floating essential oils under your nose and massaging your head and limbs to sync with what you’re seeing. It was pretty amazing.
But then, after eight minutes, the headset comes off and the facial begins. As far as facials go, this one was pretty standard: cleanse, tone, mask, peel (but no extractions, unfortunately). As a wonderful added bonus, though, the guided meditation continued, so I was reminded throughout the experience to clear my mind and stay present.
“I’m getting a $1,200 virtual reality facial that uses John Mayer’s favorite European skin-care products tomorrow — and it’s in an oxygen bubble,” I told my boyfriend last week.
Most men outside of the beauty industry would have thought this was odd conversation, but after seven months of dating, I have my boyfriend on a dedicated skin routine that’s kept his complexion clear and bright — and he’s into it. Meanwhile, he’s exposed me to all that virtual reality, or VR, has to offer, including games, experiences, and a working knowledge of how the technology will inevitably change the future of media — and I’m into it.
So when I heard about a treatment that brings these two seemingly opposite experiences together, I had to try it out.
You may know Natura Bissé as the Spanish brand front and center in John Mayer’s slightly-satirical stab at beauty vlogging last year. In the viral Snapchat videos, he shared his most effective hacks for better skin, including Mayer-isms like CNZs, or “crucial necessity zones” that should be always covered with face cream (so, basically just everywhere) and D.A.T., or “direct application technique,” which involves squirting face cream directly onto skin to limit product waste on fingers. (Spoiler: This is not actually effective.)
Jokes aside, the reason these videos went viral is not because of his application techniques, but because his entire routine rang in at a whopping $1,457. But hold onto your debit cards, because this year, the brand’s implementing a treatment that’s just as novel — and nearly as expensive.
Called The Mindful Touch Experience, it is, according to the brand, “the most innovative and trailblazing venture within the spa sector, in which the results of Natura Bissé’s cosmetics are combined with the most advanced technology.” So how does it work? “Through virtual reality, mindfulness and the therapist’s expertise – the touch – we invite the client to reconnect with the here and now, to relax their body, to awaken their senses and to experience the pleasure of beauty in a more intense way,” the official statement reads. Still confused? I was, too.
My Time In The Bubble
Let’s get this out of the way first: At $1,200 for one hour, the facial is far from affordable. However, this has less to do with the bubble itself or the VR technology and more to do with the fact that the brand’s products are just really pricey. Even though I was getting it at a comped press appointment, I still felt a little guilty.
The brand is famous for its bubbles and there are only a few, so you have to catch one while it’s on tour. (Yes, the bubble has more expensive tickets and fewer tour dates than Bieber.) It’s large enough for a bed, a table, and your aesthetician, and it’s filled with 99% pure oxygen, which it supposed to help with the absorption of products. Once you enter said bubble, you remove your robe and lie down, then affix the VR headset.
For eight minutes, you’re walked through a virtual reality experience — you travel through the ocean, wander around a brain, and are led on what is essentially a guided meditation to relax and let go of stress. Meanwhile, your aesthetician is floating essential oils under your nose and massaging your head and limbs to sync with what you’re seeing. It was pretty amazing.
But then, after eight minutes, the headset comes off and the facial begins. As far as facials go, this one was pretty standard: cleanse, tone, mask, peel (but no extractions, unfortunately). As a wonderful added bonus, though, the guided meditation continued, so I was reminded throughout the experience to clear my mind and stay present.
The Results
The facial was great — my skin looked and felt radiant, soft, and hydrated for days (for $1,200 it had better, right?), but it wasn’t unlike anything I’ve ever tried. What excited me most was seeing a beauty brand find a way to use VR to relax the client and add another layer to a classic spa experience.
The headset (a Samsung) and the content weren’t the best quality I’ve seen, but in the context of where I was (nude, in an oxygen bubble, being fawned over in the middle of a weekday afternoon), it was pretty great.
After all, from Coachella installations to the future of surfing Facebook or watching YouTube, VR is on the horizon — and it’s about time the beauty world dove in. Once they figure out how to do a facial with a headset on the entire time? Then things will get real sci-fi.
Natura Bissé just upped the game, so I guess it’s your move, Mayer.
[“Source-refinery29.”]

200 million Yahoo accounts go up for sale on digital black market

yahoo mail

Yahoo users might want to reset their passwords. A hacker claims to have stolen the login information for 200 million Yahoo accounts and is selling them on the black market.

The stolen records are up for sale on TheRealDeal, a darknet marketplace that offers illegal goods. For 3 bitcoins, or US$1,824, anyone can buy them.

The hacker, known as peace_of_mind, has claimed to have previously sold login credentials for LinkedIn and Tumblr users.

In a brief message, peace_of_mind said the Yahoo database came from a Russian group that breached LinkedIn and Tumblr, in addition to MySpace.

In the case of the Yahoo accounts, the database “most likely” comes from 2012, the hacker said. Copies of the stolen Yahoo database have already been bought, peace_of_mind added.

On Monday, Yahoo said it was “aware” that the stolen database was on sale, but it neither confirmed nor denied that the records were real.

“Our security team is working to determine the facts,” the company said in an email.

Back in 2012, Yahoo reported a breach, but of only 450,000 accounts. A hacking group called D33ds Company had claimed responsibility, but Yahoo said that most of the stolen passwords were invalid.

It’s unclear if that hack is connected with this sale of 200 million accounts. Other security researchers have also noticed a Russian hacker known as “the Collector” selling tens of millions of email logins from Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail.

Peace_of_mind has posted a sample of the stolen Yahoo database, which includes user email addresses, along with passwords that have been hashed using the MD5 algorithm.

Those passwords could easily be cracked using a MD5 decrypter available online. The database also contains backup email addresses, as well as the users’ birth dates.

IDG News Service tried several email addresses from the stolen records and noticed that Yahoo’s login page recognized them and then asked for a password. However, other emails addresses were no longer valid.

Although Yahoo hasn’t confirmed the breach, users should still change their passwords, said Adam Levin, chairman of security firm IDT911, in an email.

In addition, users should make sure they aren’t using the same passwords across Internet accounts, he added.
[“source-gsmarena”]

Instagram now has 200,000 advertisers

Facebook’s Instagram app just hit a major milestone: It now has more than 200,000 monthly active advertisers, paying to reach its 400-million-plus active users.

That 200,000 number is up from just “hundreds” of advertisers in June. The company, which opened its self-service ad platform in September, said 75 percent of its advertisers are outside the U.S. and the vast majority are small and medium-sized businesses.

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Getty Images

And this new scale means a better experience for users, and a better return for advertisers.

“Having 200,000 advertisers gives us an ability to better tailor the ads that people see to their likes and interests,” said James Quarles, Instagram’s global head of business and brand development. “The more advertisers we have, the more relevant the ad, the better the ad experience.”

Perhaps what’s most striking about Instagram’s advertiser numbers is how they compare to Twitter’s.

In its last earnings report, Twitter said it has 130,000 advertisers, four years after the company opened its self-serve ad platform.

Instagram has a built-in advantage in helping it expand its advertiser numbers quickly: Facebook’s massive advertiser base — 2.5 million strong — can easily tack on the purchase of Instagram ads.

Ninety-eight of the top 100 Facebook advertisers are also on Instagram. “We recommend that businesses be both on Facebook and on Instagram — it’s the same back end, but a different storefront,” said Quarles.

Instagram is also sharing statistics showing the effectiveness of its format. About half of its users already follow businesses, making the addition of posts from brands a natural addition to the news feed. The company also said 60 percent of users say they learn about products and services on Instagram, and 75 percent say they take action after being inspired by an Instagram post — like visiting a website, searching, shopping or telling a friend. Plus, there’s the statistic that Facebook has put out there for a while: One in 5 mobile minutes is spent on Facebook and Instagram. And it recently announced that over the last six months, the time people spent watching videos on Instagram increased by more than 40 percent.

With Facebook’s advertiser base, and Instagram’s recently launched 60-second video ads, expect Instagram to make a growing impact on Facebook’s bottom line.

[“source -pcworld”]