Should upcoming travel plans involve a trip to the fine city of Dallas, consider checking in at the Joule. The recently opened boutique hotel is a pretty cool place to hang out—note the artwork by the Havana-based collective Los Carpinteros, the lifestyle shop curated by TenOverSix, the Taschen library, and the fine espresso from Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Roasters. But here on Beauty Counter, we’re all about the bi-level Espa Spa. Spanning 8,000 square feet (everything’s bigger in the Texas, right?), the space features a vitality pool, an ice fountain (for stimulating circulation), an amethyst-and-black-quartz-crystal steam room, a wood sauna, and “experience” showers with ambient lighting. Six treatment rooms offer an extensive menu of face and body services, two of which are unique to the hotel: The Joule, a rubdown with warmed volcanic and jade stones, and the Earth-Inspired, a deep-tissue massage designed to undo tension with ginger-root exfoliation. Those not in any hurry to leave such serene quarters should book the Espa Time: a multi-hour session involving a facial, a massage, body exfoliation, a manicure, and a spa bento-box lunch (depending on the length of time requested). With such a lavish—and, frankly, hard-to-top—setup, it’s no wonder the spa will serve as Espa’s flagship location in the U.S.
Espa Spa at the Joule, 1530 Main Street, Dallas, Texas, (214) 748-1300, www.thejouledallas.com.
Stylist Takamichi Saeki has been dispensing precisely disheveled, geometrically structured cuts since opening his first salon on a sleepy block in the East Village in 1999. Since then his address has changed twice—first to the cobblestoned Great Jones Street, and now to a well-trodden stretch of the Bowery. As of this week, Saeki has more newness to boast about: The salon is adding, after hearing the pleas of many a male client, a guy-focused bespoke styling bar. Akin to a dry bar concept for dudes, men can come in pre-important meeting or -hot date for a mini style or wash—all of it using Davines’ More Inside collection exclusively. And since men haven’t historically been known to labor over their coifs for long lengths of time, all of the services are lightning-fast: 25 minutes or less. A concept that any dude can get behind.
Bespoke Style Bar at Takamichi Hair, 263 Bowery, 2nd floor, New York, NY, (212) 420-7979; takamichihair.com.
As iconic New York spots go, few can rival the cachet of the Waldorf-Astoria, whose roster of notable tenants includes the likes of Cole Porter, Marilyn Monroe, and gangster Bugsy Siegel. Another reason to add the fabled hotel to your Big Apple itinerary? The Guerlain Spa, which, perched on the nineteenth floor, now holds a special spot in this jaded New Yorker’s heart. After successfully bypassing the ground-floor Guerlain boutique, I headed upstairs to be received in what is arguably one of the most opulent salon foyers in Manhattan, where guests can shop the brand’s skincare—though you’ll probably prefer to make your way to the Grand Salon, where a well-curated selection of glossies and Prosecco await. The labyrinthine spa offers all the intimacy and meticulous sense of detail of a well-hidden gem on a much larger scale (think fourteen-thousand square feet and fifteen treatment rooms). My indulgence of choice? The deeply nourishing, eighty-minute Abeille Royale Youth Facial, a new addition to the treatment menu. Its star player, royal jelly, has been prized since ancient times for its healing and renewing properties. Guerlain ups the ante of the time-honored ingredient with its Royale Jelly Concentrate, collected from the house’s signature bees (which are kept, dreamily enough, on the French island of Ouessant). In addition to no fewer than two masks, steam, light extractions, and a paraffin hand wrap, the facial’s apian theme continues with the recently launched Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil—a luxurious, amber-hued oil that firms and hydrates skin simultaneously. What could be sweeter?
$295, 100 E. 50th St., New York, (212) 872-7200; guerlainspas.com.
The editor of a literary journal established by American expats in Paris meets the founder of a beauty company with roots in Melbourne on Twenty-seventh Street in New York City. By the time they reach the end of the block, they’ve devised a plan and a unique partnership. Such a thing can only happen on the streets of Manhattan. For Aesop’s Dennis Paphitis and The Paris Review‘s Lorin Stein, creating a Paris Review-themed shop didn’t require a lengthy boardroom meeting—just a leisurely stroll down one of the tree-lined streets in Chelsea. Well, kind of. Over 1,000 new and vintage copies of the journal were strategically suspended from the ceiling of the new Aesop boutique on Ninth Avenue (located just a few blocks from the current home of The Paris Review)—creating a “floating sculpture” of sorts. The walls have also been plastered via a form of grown-up decoupage with black-and-white pages from back issues of the magazine, including the Regency Wine & Liquor receipt that Andy Warhol created to support the title in 1967.
Although it might seem like an odd pairing at first, Stein explains the tie between the two brands quite succinctly: “Since The Paris Review was founded sixty years ago, our only aim has been to discover what is new and best in literature. We’ve followed our own instincts, however whimsical they seemed to others. The team at Aesop is full of that same spirit.” Paphitis expressed his mutual admiration for the journal, stating that he’s read nearly “every issue in a sober state” since finding the twelfth edition (published in 1956) in a bookstore in his native Australia. The plant-based formulations distilled into the apothecary-style jars, bottles, and tubes lining the shelves may appear quite monotone at first, but upon reading the descriptions written on the front, one can clearly see that element of “whimsy” Stein is talking about. The label of their mouthwash reads: “Aesop considers good manners and impeccable hygiene essential to cordial daily conduct. And so, to politely protect the olfactory contentment of your loyal loved ones, fellow commuters or neighbouring theatre-goers, we advise a voluminous swig and gargle of Aesop Mouthwash prior to all public appearances.” It’s likely the most prolific set of directions I’ve ever laid eyes on. And with The Paris Review being of the most discerning taste (featuring works by writers such as Jack Kerouac and Adrienne Rich, as well as “conversations” with Joan Didion, William Faulkner, and Truman Capote, on its pages), I can only imagine the editors found it equally as impressive.
In addition to a bevy of washes, lotions, and potions, shoppers will be able to purchase copies of The Paris Review (new and old), and readings will be scheduled with the release of each issue. Who doesn’t enjoy a well-balanced combo of beauty and brains?
Aesop Chelsea, 174 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY, www.aesop.com
Moonlighting as a spin instructor, while continuing my daily existence as a fashion stylist, means that I can corral actors, designers, and industry insiders to burn calories after enjoying craft services; it keeps it all nicely incestuous.
The unexpected part for the fashion folk, who regale me with tales of their “unbeatable” spinning experiences, is that the RealRyder bikes found at Lomax, a fitness studio in London’s Chelsea neighborhood, move with you as you ride. You’re not bunny hopping, exactly, but you take the bikes in a low lean on each side—meaning that when you’re riding out of the seat a full-body workout is unavoidable. While this technology is available at select locations dotted across the globe, the large majority of classes are still taught on stationary machines.
Killer playlists (including Scarface, Cali Swag District, and Florence and the Machine), plus toning you don’t realize is happening until your body tells you so the next morning, gives cycling aficionados everywhere reason to get back in the saddle while spending time across the pond.
Lomax Chelsea, 293 Fulham Road, London, +44 871-512-0770, www.lomaxpt.com.