9 posts tagged "Spa"
Microdermabrasion may be old hat for the hardened facial junkie hell-bent on a skin-perfecting fix every four weeks or so. But even the most jaded of skin-sloughers might just perk up at the promises backing the HydraFacial, a relatively new kid on the block in terms of treatments. HydraFacial’s technology uses a series of plastic “blades” (not nearly as frightening as it sounds) in place of the diamond-tipped tools traditionally used in dermabrasion. When the tool is placed against skin, a vacuum clears pores, scrapes away dead cells, and delivers a cocktail of complexion-reviving ingredients simultaneously.
The first step to exponentially more fabulous skin is a cleansing/exfoliation hybrid, featuring the brand’s proprietary Activ-4 serum. Lactic acid banishes dead skin cells and brightens, while glucosamine helps to soften lines and whisk away hyperpigmentation. Next up is a glycolic-salicylic peel, aggressive enough to visibly brighten, but gentle enough that I wasn’t too red in the face to head straight back to the office post-treatment. Extractions are handled not by squeezing but by using suction, and the Beta-HD serum with salicylic acid and honey extract softens pore-clogging impurities and combats any resulting dryness. The pièce de résistance is Vortex-Fusion—not, in fact, related in any way to the Star Wars franchise, but a potent, antioxidant-packed serum that hydrates, plumps, and serves as a buffer against environmental foes. Optional add-ons include lymphatic drainage or LED light therapy, but after thirty minutes of standard HydraFacial magic, you may not even need them—or your foundation.
See hydrafacial.com for more information.
There are some women who would love nothing more than to luxuriate in a spa for hours on end. I, despite my job description, am not one of them. I’d rather paint my own nails, blow out my own hair, and replicate the effects of a facial at home than spend hours sipping cucumber water during a marathon pampering session. (Cue the hashtag: #firstworldproblems.) It’s not because I dislike these types of activities, it’s because they take forever…and ain’t nobody got time for that, as Sweet Brown would say. Leave it to storied beauty brand Elizabeth Arden, whose first Red Door salon opened in 1910 on Fifth Avenue, to keep up with the modern woman by offering speed services at its new Union Square location. In under fifteen minutes, you can treat tired eyes to hyaluronic serum and soothing pads via the Westside Eyeway, or get a quick dose of skin-plumping oxygen with the SOHO2. If you have an extra ten minutes, you can opt for the Queens Expressway, an extraction-free facial. Or try the Urban Renewal, a microdermabrasion treatment that’s finished in twenty-five minutes flat. Before I even had a chance to dose off during this diamond-tipped buffing session, I was done. The resulting glow, however, made it appear as if I’d gotten a solid eight hours of sleep. I like to think Ms. Arden herself would have been fond of these expedited services—after all, you don’t build a global empire lazing about. She famously stated, “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman,” but if this tireless entrepreneur were alive today, her motto might go something like this: “To be beautiful is the birthright of every woman—even a busy one.”
200 Park Avenue South, New York, NY, (212) 388-0222; thereddoorny.com
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.
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.
If heaven is a place on earth, then there is most definitely a slice of it at Spa Town—the spa at luxury ranch The Resort at Paws Up, which is nestled in the foothills on 37,000 acres of majestic Montana landscape. Created by husband-and-wife team Dave and Nadine Lipson, the resort is less Wild West adventure and more seven-star, woodland lodge experience. Guests can either stay in luxury tents, or two- and four-bedroom log cabin-esque homes—all boasting the perfect balance of comfort and opulence that one normally only finds in massive urban hotels or beachside retreats. And while horseback riding, white-water rafting, hiking, archery, mountain biking, and even pie making are all offered as activities, the resort’s spa is one of its most beautiful and unique features—as it’s entirely situated in the great outdoors.
The spa comprises six canvas tents—each outfitted with heated massage tables and fans, all opened to an outstanding (and private) view. In Spa Town, tranquility is the goal, so no music is played. Instead, the sounds of grass moving in the wind and birds calling fill the air. Treatments—which range from massages and facials to hand, feet, and body scrubs (all ideal after a few hours of horseback riding)—are also tailored to the environment, as many of the scrubs and oils are handmade with natural and indigenous ingredients found at the ranch. The Wild Scalp Oil, for example, contains lavender, mint, sage, rosemary, and huckleberries and is hand-mixed by spa director Laura Russell. “I spend time hiking and jogging the trails here at Paws Up, and the foliage gets my creative juices flowing,” she says. The spa also includes two outdoor showers with rainfall showerheads, where guests can rinse off under towering ponderosa pines. In other words, getting back in touch with nature has never been so blissful.
The Resort at Paws Up, 40060 Paws Up Road, Greenough, Montana, (406) 244-5200; www.pawsup.com.