The wintry months often inspire hibernation-like tendencies and, in turn, less attention to beauty rituals regularly observed during warmer climes. But in our minds there’s no better time for some serious pampering; after all, we’d rather be getting massaged, polished, and scrubbed than trudging around pretty much anywhere outside (it’s cold out there!). With that in mind, we present seven of our favorite new spa indulgences, each one of them specially designed to complement the season—which, it should be noted, will last well into the new year. Here’s to a beautiful 2013.
Full disclosure: we were a little skeptical about this one, as Christmas cookies and bikini waxes aren’t really two things that ever cross our mind simultaneously. But the warm scent of gingerbread, which permeates Strip’s entire spa when this treatment is on the menu, has a satisfying, much-needed soothing quality to it that makes it a surprisingly sweet idea.
See www.strip-usa.com for details.
Black Currant Sugar Foot Scrub Foot
With black currant as its star ingredient, Eve’s new fruit-laced service for neglected feet feels particularly seasonally appropriate. Feet are scrubbed and slathered with Whish’s Black Currant sugar scrub and body butter while you enjoy a complimentary cup of black currant tea or a crème de cassis cocktail.
$40, at Eve, 55 W. 8th St., see www.evesalonnyc.com.
Taj Ma Toes
Enjoy a steaming mug of spiced chai tea during Haven’s pampering pedicure centered around Ayurvedic principles. A warm Vata footbath dosed with nourishing almond, lemon, and geranium oils is followed by an herbal scrub, mask, and finally a hot-stone massage of the feet and legs.
$59, at Haven, 150 Mercer St., see www.havensoho.com.
With the holidays here and gone, you can probably measure the amount of cheer you experienced over the past few weeks in calories consumed. Between the eggnog, roasted meats, and a staggering array of sprinkle-dusted, chocolate-encrusted confections that have been on seemingly endless display since the beginning of the month, we’re likely not alone in saying we desperately need to get back to the gym. “January is a time of new beginnings and a fresh start. We do see an increase in the amount of people interested in getting serious about their fitness and health,” confirms Will Torres, the New York-based strength and conditioning trainer who has toned the likes of Riccardo Tisci, Ralph Rucci, and Nick Wooster. “But it can quickly die off by February and March. It’s not motivating going to the gym and doing the same things,” says Torres, the founder of Willspace, a West Village boutique fitness studio. So, what’s the best way to keep those lofty New Year’s resolutions? Keep things exciting with a new routine.
Torres is hoping to entice people to not only to get back to the gym in 2013, but to stay there with a new program he’s called Raise the Bar, or willRTB. The 90-minute workout session combines 45 minutes of strength training followed by 45 minutes of cardio activity. “It challenges strength, endurance, and flexibility, along with balance, coordination, and power that will ignite your metabolism and shed fat,” he elaborates of the four-week program that includes two classes per week, with each class building on the next. Combining lifting, mixed martial arts, like kickboxing and jiu jitsu, and stretching and plyometrics “torches fat,” Torres enthuses, and develops long and lean muscles while boosting metabolism. Here’s the real selling point: each willRTB class will be limited to four people, so you get more of a personal-training feel. In addition to a greater ability to hone individual technique, reduced numbers can increase “mental toughness” as well, says Torres. “The small group is great for the camaraderie.” The foursome that works out together, stays svelte together, as they say.
willRTB will debut in January 2013, at Willspace, 254 W. 10th St., Suite B, NYC. For more information, visit www.willspace.com.
‘Tis the season to be merry and bright—and yet if you’re anything like us, your skin is anything but. Luckily, Sonya Dakar has slid down the proverbial chimney with an early holiday gift for West Coasters with brighter, more luminous complexions on top of their wish lists. Just in time to save a little face, the Beverly Hills-based skincare guru has introduced her new Snow Facial. Based on the benefits of the IBR-Snowflake concentrate found in her line’s Stem Cell Transformer—a natural Botox alternative—the skin-smoothing treatment is already a hit with Dakar’s celebrity clientele who are starting their awards-season prep now. Rather than use steam to start the service, a practice that has a tendency to break capillaries, according to Dakar, she begins with a cold mist that is followed by a clinical dose of the Transformer, which is then blended with Icelandic Glacial Water, a brand hand-selected by Dakar because of its enviable purity and high-alkaline pH levels. The snow-based mixture is applied to the face for a jolt of rejuvenation, which Dakar believes is an innovation in antiaging, as it tightens and diminishes puffiness, leaving you with a chill—and a glow to match. It’s perfect for West Coasters looking for a break from the California sun—and East Coast vacationers who are yearning to break free from the winter cold and dry indoor heat.
Sonya Dakar Clinic, 9975 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA, (310) 553-7344.
Since launching its U.S. flagship in Times Square three years ago, Inglot has proved that it can contend with the other beauty big-wigs that have since staked their claim on that prime piece of real estate. The Polish retail success story may have just done the MACs and Sephoras of the world one better, though. Today marks the official opening of the brand’s Artist Loft, a 6,000-square-foot multiuse space located at its Chelsea Market store that’s been retrofitted as a veritable beauty paradise for makeup artists and enthusiasts alike. Part retail destination, part business center, part professional photo studio, it comes equipped with the brand’s entire range of products, as well as camera equipment, a host of experts, and big-screen TVs, making it an unbelievable, free destination for Inglot Pro Members to hold seminars and test shoots, while offering the average consumer a venue for wedding-makeup trials, face-painting parties, and the like for a small fee that ranges from $20 to $50. It can also host corporate events, which should breathe new life into the average office party.
Inglot Artist Loft, Chelsea Market, Fifth Floor, 75 Ninth Avenue NYC, (212) 672-7124.
She’s responsible for Natalie Portman’s recent blond transformation—and the rich red that skyrocketed Emma Stone to fame (and has since become the “most-requested” hair color in Hollywood), not to mention Drew Barrymore’s post-baby brunette and Lily Aldridge’s coveted ombré. So it was only a matter of time before Redken creative consultant for color, Tracey Cunningham—together with partner Neil Weisberg—opened her own salon. “It was just time,” Cunningham confirmed of her Beverly Hills atelier, Mèche, speaking exclusively with Style.com. “Neil and I’ve been friends forever and we’ve worked together also, so opening a salon seemed like a logical decision,” she continued, noting the desire to create a great work environment while building out her own team. Located a bit off the beaten path in the iconic former Ménage à Trois Coiffeurs space, the outpost will staff 20 different stylists operating 22 chairs, which are set amid the building’s natural elements and reclaimed materials.
Conversation quickly turned to awards season, which will prove a busy time for Cunningham and her brand-new venture. Apart from the ombré trend, which she feels is as strong as ever (“I’ll tell you why ombré’s so cool: Because at least it’s something different”), the petite brunette is ready to see a battle of the blondes. “Wintertime is normally when people go darker, but I’m seeing the opposite this year, people going lighter. I don’t know if it’s because of the ‘end of the world,’ but everyone wants to go lighter,” she joked of the rumored apocalypse on 12/21/12, giving her favorite blonde honors to Burberry model and Cunningham client Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, whose color required two applications and rinses for a “super beach-y” look. As for her personal prep work for the bevy of red carpet moments coming up next month, Cunningham admits that she has been busy sourcing runway shots for inspiration but isn’t stressing it too much. “I’m not so worried about people’s hair colors, but I’d like to see better hair styles,” she says. Here’s hoping Odile Gilbert and Guido Palau can make it out to L.A. for the Oscars.
Mèche Salon, 8822 Burton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90211, Phone: (310) 278-8930.