August 23 2014

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14 posts tagged "Spa"

The Best Facial—for Your Body



My bathroom is brimming with every spinning brush, brightening peel, and wrinkle-fighter on the planet. I even try to keep a standing facial appointment on my schedule. But below the neck, the bells and whistles are few and far between; I’m lucky if I remember to reach for the lone loofah in my shower once a week. But celebrity facialist Mila Moursi, a favorite of Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox and owner of her own namesake spa and skin institute in Beverly Hills, says that crunches aren’t the only key to getting a bikini-worthy bod. “The skin on your body needs just the same kind of attention [as your complexion] in order to keep it feeling soft and looking rejuvenated,” she noted. To keep tone and texture in tip-top shape, Moursi suggests scheduling a body treatment at the beginning of every season. But for those who don’t have the time (or the cash flow) to get pampered on the regular, sneaking in a quick session before an impending beach vacation can help overhaul lackluster arms and legs. In my quest to look more like Aniston naked (or at least get her glow from head to toe), I road-tested Moursi’s Detoxifying & Skin Conditioning treatment, which incorporates a thorough dry brushing and a 45-minute detoxifying sweat wrap, followed by a soak in a hydrotherapy tub, a body scrub, and a customized massage for kicks (and kinks). When I emerged from Moursi’s coccoon-like space, I felt reborn, refreshed, and ready to bare it all. (Let’s just say if there had been a wrecking ball in the middle of Sunset Boulevard, I might have been tempted to pull a Miley Cyrus.) They say your body is a temple, and I highly suggest these 75 minutes of uninterrupted devotion.

Detoxifying & Skin Conditioning treatment, $410; Mila Moursi Skin Care Institute & Day Spa, 9255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 102, Los Angeles

Photo: Courtesy of

Weekend Escape: A Spanish-Style Retreat You Wouldn’t Expect in San Diego



It might seem completely illogical to travel all the way to San Diego and not set up shop directly on one of the many (some, heartbreakingly picturesque) beaches, but spend time at the Rancho Valencia resort, tucked away in the rolling hills of Rancho Santa Fe, eight miles east of the ocean, and you’ll reconsider the merits of a countryside getaway. The spa, housed in its own Spanish-style compound, offers thirty-five treatments—some of which make use of the shower or tub in the private outdoor patio found in many of the rooms. (I had a particularly deep massage that unwound muscles that had been coiling for months and ended with a delicious green juice in lieu of the usual cup of water or tea.) For those who want to jump-start their morning before winding down, a complimentary workout session at the yoga pavilion, sunlight-filled Spin studio, or TRX room are also on offer. Still itching to feel the sea breeze? Hitch a ride to the coast from one of the three complimentary Porsches available to guests.

Why go now: The resort is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year by offering its guests a major party favor: Rates that typically start around $700 are now beginning at $420, and no matter what type of room you book, you’ll get a $250 resort credit until June 30.

5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, California 92067,

Destination Hot Body: Two Summer Escapes That Will Whip You Into Shape


We understand the siren call of the poolside cabana and cocktail list like anyone else, but it’s hard to ignore the new concept of traveling for personal fitness gain that’s sweeping through nearly every kind of vacation spot. The idea: Whether you want a beach retreat, crisp mountain breezes, or the heat of the desert, pair a kick-ass workout with stunning views and chic accommodations to create a luxe summer camp of sorts. It may seem counterintuitive to count down to a vacation only to hit the ground running (sometimes literally) the moment you land, but these trips might just change the way you view your time off.


What: Hang23 Surf Retreat
Where: San Diego, California

It’s hard to drive a few feet down a stretch of the San Diego coast without spotting a surfboard strapped to the roof of a car. It’s even harder to gaze out over the water without seeing a few—or a small village worth—of surfers bobbing up and down like buoys waiting for the next set. But no matter how influenced you are by the local culture, if you didn’t grow up riding on the waves, your instinct is probably one of quick dismissal. Or maybe you look into learning it during your trip and are quickly dissuaded by the fact that you need to log at least a few hours in the water with an instructor before you can even remotely do it independently, and any sort of concentrated set of lessons usually involves a tent and campfire. Enter Tower23′s inaugural Hang23 surf camp, slated to take place September 25-28. The chic boutique hotel has partnered up with famed champion surfer Izzy Paskowitz to offer guests a package of ten hours in the water with his close instruction over the course of three days—replacing the sleeping bag and tent with a sleek modern hotel room, the s’mores and hot dogs with the California fresh cuisine from the hotel’s restaurant JRDN, and the campfire for a fire pit on the sundeck that overlooks the sands of Pacific Beach. Even better: It’s a total-body workout for your arms (paddling), legs (popping up), and core (keeping balance). By the third day, you might just find that recovering in your room with the balcony door open is the perfect moment of R&R…but the sweet sounds of waves at that point might just lure you back down to the beach.

Rates start at $540 a night and include the surf instruction fees and equipment use during your stay. For more information, visit


What: Mountain Trek
Where: British Columbia, Canada, or Tecate, Mexico

Ever watch The Biggest Loser and wish you could put someone else completely in control of your health—but also sort of wish you could do it in more of a spa-like resort than a sweaty gym? Mountain Trek is your answer—a company that brings you to the breathtaking ranges of British Columbia or otherworldly terrain of the Baja desert in Mexico for a week full of hiking and wellness. The program strips away the distractions, bad habits, and processed food you’ve come to depend on to get you through a high-stress day, while forcing you to push yourself as you traverse through gorgeous scenery. After a day full of hiking, hit the lodge for a different kind of workout class (think yoga, Spinning, circuit training) or visit to the spa (three treatments are included in your stay), then collapse onto what’s possibly one of the most comfortable beds you’ve ever felt on vacation (likely because you’ve never been so exhausted in your life). They tell you when and what to eat and where to go—they even prepare your hiking pack for you—so the only thing you need to worry about is clearing your mind and working your body. You’d think you’d come away from it feeling like you need a vacation from your vacation—over the course of a week you’ll likely hike around 50 miles—but the undeniable energy boost you’ll acquire from getting back to nature will undoubtedly put some pep in your step that first day back in the office.

Mountain Trek operates weekly stays in British Columbia between May and October, starting at $4,250 for the week, and includes everything but airfare. It runs its program at the Rancho La Puerta resort in Mexico in November, starting at $4,500. For more information, visit

A Haircare Pioneer’s Top Beauty Picks and Skincare Secrets



The beauty world has its share of cult products: items like Clé de Peau Beauté’s concealer or Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50, whose popularity was built largely on near-feverish word-of-mouth campaigns. And Phylia de M.‘s organic keratin-infused shampoo and conditioner—beloved for their magical mane-thickening and follicle-regenerating abilities and addictive neroli-orange-blossom-laced scent—are poised to join the cultish ranks. The woman behind the widely lauded hair potions is Kazu Namise (the formulas are based on the work of her godfather, oncologist Dr. Dick Mayayama), who founded the brand after suffering for years with hair that wasn’t of the shiny, happy variety. Here, Namise shares some of her own beautifying favorites—Phylia, naturally, among them.

THE SKINCARE REGIMEN: Innovative Skincare

“Following the recommendation from the lovely Gill Sinclair, owner of (the best health-based beauty site out of London), I have become a faithful addict of all things from Innovative Skincare. Founded by a team of doctors and scientists, the company dedicates itself to intense research, employing molecular biologists, biochemists, and various professionals specializing in botany, pharmacology, and medicine. The results are two product lines that combine nature and science to produce extremely effective remedies for everything from dry skin to scars. I start with the Daily Cleanser, which is heavenly. Then, on clean skin, I apply our own Phylia de M. Connect Scalp & Hair treatment as my toner. It has the same healing and regenerative performance for skin and it’s perfect before applying lotion or cream. The final step is Innovative Skincare’s Reparative Moisturizer, which my skin drinks up beautifully. Between the dryness of L.A. and the strain of travel, this routine saves my skin! For more intensive healing, I also love its new IS Clinical Sheald balm.”


THE HAIR: Phylia de M.

“My holy grail for hair is, of course, Phylia de M. Clean, Condition, Connect, Reconnect, in that order, every day. The products detoxify the scalp and target the optimization of your body’s own hair growth function to grow its best hair, naturally. This is all I’ve used for the last fifteen years, and it has transformed my hair completely.”



“My nature is to be a bit of a lazy panda in this department, but my friend encouraged me to get a trainer (Molly McNamee), who has been incredible, and I’ve come to enjoy working out. My preferred style is long and lean with low impact. So she has designed a program, and three times a week we rotate yoga and Pilates with cardio and strength training, and then she throws in a day of ballet and dance. She’s helped me find a routine that challenges me and gets me in shape, but is also varied and fun.”

See; (309) 838-0385


“With all my work and travel, I love to indulge in spa time to restore my body and spirit. I pop around to different spas when I’m traveling, but at home, my go-to is Raindrop Technique and Water Release Therapy with Stacy Morrisey. The raindrop technique uses a method combining Vita Flex and reflexology with a series of sacred essential oils applied along my spine for a luxurious massage, which encourages structural and electrical alignment. Water Release Therapy is a deeply healing water session, a sort of shiatsu stretch and flow immersed in warm water. It’s a beautiful and deeply nurturing experience.”

Contact her at or (310) 486-6583


“In L.A., Life Food Organic is my daily drop-in for yummy fresh juices, tonics, and raw vegan food. I wish we cooked more at home, but with my schedule, LFO has been a lifesaver. I add our Fulphyl [pure biomimetic fulvic acid supplement] into my juices every day, and just a spoonful a day keeps me steady and healthy.”

1507 North Cahuenga Boulevard, (323) 466-0927;


“Most days, I’m out the door with a fresh face, but for an occasion, I do love to get dolled up—still keeping it very simple. Some mineral makeup (Bare Escentuals mineral powder and Well-Rested Face and Eye Brightener, as well as their blush), plus Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen and YSL eyeshadows are my go-tos for when I dress up a bit at night.”


“I have wonderful girlfriends, and we love to take little getaways. One big spa healing trip I do once a year is to Miraval in Arizona. They have incredible treatments for body and spirit. The most unique and special have been working with Wyatt Webb’s Equine Experience, Dr. Tim Frank’s Spirit Flight, and Pam Lancaster’s Shuniya Sound Ceremony. A few days in this desert haven and I am back to neutral.”


Beauty 411: Ariana Mouyiaris of MAKE



Launched last year, the new cosmetic line MAKE defines itself as purposeful beauty. And the definition couldn’t be more apropos. The company, founded by Nikos Mouyiaris, a cosmetic chemist who has worked on landmark brands like NARS and Erno Laszlo, donates (in partnership with the We See Beauty Foundation, an independent nonprofit) one-third of all sales to aid in the development of women-run businesses in the U.S. And while the purpose behind MAKE is praiseworthy, so too are the products themselves—the brand’s latest creative collaboration with photographer-filmmaker Erik Madigan Heck and makeup artist Sam Addington resulted in the lushly beautiful Post-Impression collection (our favorites: the dense greenish-gold molten cream shadow in Mud and the intensely pigmented orange-red Scarlet Oak lipstick). The woman fueling the ideas for MAKE is Mouyiaris’ daughter Ariana, who serves as the company’s creative director. Here, she shares some of her own beauty and style favorites in both London and New York, the cities between which she divides her time.

“Therme Vals is an incredibly Zen place. I have a love affair with the Alps, and as a guest you can go night-bathing at midnight. The contrast and stillness of the heated thermal water, rising steam, and cold air against the clear night sky and mountains is magic. The space, designed by Peter Zumthor in the nineties, is stark, monastic, and perfectly detailed—he worked with local stone and the geography to create something completely meditative.”


“I’ve been going to Dr. Dan since I was about 10. Her English isn’t very good, but she is an amazing acupuncturist. She can tell what is going on through your pulse, skin, tongue, and face. And if you’re in need of an energy boost, sorting out a pinched nerve, or anything in between, she’s well worth the journey. She is the real deal for health and realignment.”

Dr. Dan Li, 14030 Sanford Ave, Suite 1A, Flushing, NY

“In London, Helen O’Neill is the ultimate for physio-massage and physi-yoga. Her practice melds an Eastern approach—needling to activate the muscles—with Western therapies for musculoskeletal health. She started a great little center out in London Fields where I live called Fix with therapists who cover and complement all forms of treatments and activities—from osteopathy to Pilates, to acupuncture and myofascial release.”


“The one thing I miss in New York that has grown so much in my enclave of London is local greengrocers. Broadway Market in London has two great ones alongside a growing selection in the local corner stores. But a new find for me in New York has been Elm Health Downtown. They have good nut milks, gluten-free products, and dry goods.”


“This was a recommendation from my naturopath and it’s amazing. It has all one could wish for: herbal teas, supplements, pre and probiotics. You name it, they know it well.”


“Goodyoga is my local spot when I’m in New York. I go to the one in Bushwick, though they also have studios in Greenpoint and Clinton Hill. The studio itself is unpretentious and spacious, and classes are often small and noncompetitive. They have classes that focus a lot on your core, back, and strengthening, and the teachers give individual attention to get all in-line.”


THE GO-TO JUICE SPOT: The Butcher’s Daughter
“I use a Vitamix my mother gave me from the eighties for juices and other fresh concoctions at home, but The Butcher’s Daughter in Nolita has great cleansing juices. The interior is sunny, and the milk bottle packaging, graphics and all, is always a visual treat.”

19 Kenmare St, NYC,

THE SWEET SPOT: E5 Bakehouse
“E5 Bakehouse in London is the hands-down best bakery on either side of the pond. Their sourdough breads are made with local flours, and a Russian-inspired rye, called Borodinsky, is not only gluten- and yeast-free but stays moist for days. It will change your morning ritual and expectations for your daily bread—forever.”


“Bois d’Orage by Frédéric Malle has been a signature scent for years—it’s so deep and immersive. I also sometimes wear Comme des Garçon’s Play (the black one); it has cedar and black pepper notes, amongst others, that make it feel fresh and contemporary. And I like that it’s for men and women—who says scent should be gender-specific?”

Available at

THE HOME SCENT: Astier Villate
“Their incense and Swiss hand cream are a luxury, but what I truly covet are their candles. I’m the one always picking up all the cloches to immerse myself in scent!”

Available at

“I like to keep things simple: a good base, multifunctional products, layered color, and a strong brow. MAKE’s primers and perfectors are a slight obsession. The Retexturising Face Primer in fall and winter, and the SPF 30 during the summer, are perfect for a clean face. I like a wet lid and use the Face Gloss semi-religiously. The Brow Pen is really great for effortless filling in, and I tend to use a lipstick for cheeks and lips; Deep Flesh and Putty are my current preferred combination. Lucas’ Papaw ointment also does wonders for the lip and is always in my bag.”

See and

“For eyebrows, I’ve been going to Angela at the Red Door Spa for over a decade. Although it no longer has its iconic red door, it is still a New York institution. I like that most of the therapists have been there for twenty years or more and really know what they’re doing. Well-shaped brows can change your whole face, and there’s no one else I trust for a perfect arch and great symmetry.”


“I’m very lucky that my boyfriend is a very talented hairdresser, so cuts tend to happen spontaneously or when I’m in dire need. I love that sometimes we just cut it at home without a mirror, which takes away the anxiety of watching tresses fall away. For products, I’ve been using Brooklyn, Maroc Argan Oil, which is sourced by a friend of his from Morocco. It is cold-pressed, raw, 100 percent pure, and sourced directly from women’s cooperatives outside of Marrakech, so very much in-line with my sensibility. It is great for keeping my ends looking healthy. I’ve also been into Vetiver and Black Pepper Hair Powder from Lulu Organics; I apply it to my roots and brush my natural oils to the ends so my hair stays shiny and full in the winter.”

See and