Tuesday, July 13, 2010
The latest bits from my desk.....
Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition (APSWC) ~ This pre-eminent professional spa organization recently held its annual Strategic Planning Forum at the beautiful Shangri-la Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. This year’s theme was Vision 2020. This annual event attracted global senior spa professionals and industry experts. The event focused on the micro and macro relevancy issues impacting the industry and the adaptive perspectives to an ever-changing economy and consumer-driven service industry. Next year’s event is tentatively scheduled for February 2011. More at www.apswc.org.
Johnathon Breitung Salon & Luxury Spa (Chicago) ~ To aid in the Gulf oil leak clean-up effort, this luxury salon and spa is donating its hair cuttings to Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization that creates “booms” (nylon stuffed with hair and other natural fibers), which help absorb oil from water surfaces. The luxury salon and salon is located in Chicago’s trendy Lakeview area. More at www.johnathanbreitungsalon.com and www.matteroftrust.org.
Kohler Waters Spa (Wisconsin) ~ This distinguished multiple award-winning resort spa has announced a series of new spa bathing rituals that emphasize the health benefits of water for relaxation and well being. The Acoustic Bath incorporates sound and vibration (VibrAcoustic) bathing experience, a body exfoliation and customized Vichy hydro massage; US$100. The Harmony Bath includes a bath and a body exfoliation, customized Vichy hydro massage and the Tea for Two Bath experience complete with neck jets and soft pillow; US$100. The RiverBath for Two includes a dry body brushing, a bath in the customized multi-colored whirlpool and full body moisturizing; US$120 per person. The RiverBath with Massage for Two includes a bath followed by a full body massage; US$200 per person. Treatments booked for Saturday are an additional US$20 per treatment. More at www.destinationkohler.com.
L’Occitane Gardens ~ L’Occitane En Provence has announced that its Show Garden has been awarded the Silver Gilt medal at this year’s prestigious RHS Chelsea Show (UK). The Gardens are known for plants and vegetation indigenous to the Mediterranean area and are key ingredients in many of the wonderfully natural-based products offered in this prestigious line; the Show Garden was a recreation of the Provence Garden location. More at www.usa.loccitane.com.
Peninsula Spa by ESPA (Chicago) ~ Now through the end of August, this luxury spa location is offering its Summer Radiance Spa-Cation package Monday through Thursday. The specially priced package includes a Salt and Oil Exfoliation, sixty minute Intensive Facial, mani and pedi; use of the spa and pool facilities is also included; US$275 (value US$355). Throughout September, their popular Spa Day Special will include a choice of one sixty minute treatment (Aromatherapy Massage, Intensive Facial, or Body Envelopment), plus lunch by the pool and day use of spa and fitness facilities, including Yoga and other featured fitness classes; US$175 (value US$290). More at www.peninsula.com.
OF THINGS ESTHETIC, AROMATIC, CULINARY & EDIBLE
Cal a Vie Health Spa Cookbook ~ This new edition for one of the better destination spas, the Cal-a-Vie LIVING Gourmet Spa Cuisine Cookbook is a definite must-have for the foodie and spa aficionado. Not only is this cookbook great as a coffee table book with gorgeous photography of food as art, it’s also an outstanding cookbook filled with all of the healthful and mindful recipes synonymous with this award-winning wellness destination spa. I especially loved the fact that in addition to the beautifully planned menus and corresponding recipes, the cookbook is set up in two-week suggested meal plans for optimum health, vitality and nutrition. Although I’ve not had the good fortune to guest at this spa, the cookbook brings me there with its engaging recipes and words of wisdom. This cookbook is a journey of renewal and commitment in healthy and mindful eating. Just looking at the gorgeous photography will sate anyone’s appetite. More at www.cal-a-vie.com.
Danielle And Company ~ A new player in a growing and often crowded field of eco-friendly natural and organic products, this company combines the best of natural and organic ingredients that are geared towards relaxation and renewal through aromatherapy. I enjoyed experiencing products that were infused with lavender essential oil, one of my favorites. For my olfactory, the Pure Lavender Organic Beeswax & Pure Soy Candle created an aroma-therapeutic space of calm and relaxation, whether the candle was lit or not. The aroma was consistent throughout the burn, an indication of thorough oil mix and the use of higher quality essential oil. Proceeds benefit Penn State’s Honeybee Research Facility. The Pure Lavender Shea Butter Soap had a divine aroma that was consistent; cleansing and hydrating properties were favorable, but unfortunately, the soap’s consistency got mushy, even when placed on a grated holder for air circulation/drying; the organic vegetable-based soap also contains moisturizing glycerin. The calming aroma was consistent use to use. The Pure Lavender Shea Body Wash was a disappointment. Although the aroma was subtle, after rinsing off from the shower, my skin was left with an unpleasant aroma of the product’s natural cleansing agents. The product did foam and rinse well, while leaving the skin soft. A real favorite of mine was the Pure Lavender Hand & Body Lotion. This product delivered a consistent calming aroma of lavender; the natural and organic ingredients like glycerin, aloevera, and Vitamin E moisturized my dry skin; product absorbed quickly and didn’t leave a tacky or greasy residue; it was ideal for hands and body. The only non-lavender product I tried was the Pure Pomegranate Organic Lip Balm. Healing and moisturizing ingredients include almond oil, coconut oil, and Vitamin E; a subtle hint of pomegranate added to the pleasure of using this easy glide lip balm. Danielle And Company offers a variety of eco-conscience products that are gentle to planet and people. The company's web-based “Eco-Mission” further supports their commitment to being green, environmentally sustainable and eco-conscious, while promoting safe and planet-friendly research and community outreach. More at www.danielleandcompany.com.
Hillhouse Naturals ~ What better way to bring the fresh calming aromas of nature indoors than to have a variety of products with natural aromas that accessorize one’s design style, while treat and also treat and hydrate dry skin? For my olfactory, I had the pleasure of trying the Birch Diffuser Reeds; the long-lasting reeds imparted a subtle aroma that had a hint of fresh green aroma, just like the outdoors. Another way I imparted the fresh clean green of the outdoors into my indoor space was with their Olive Leaf Home Fragrance Mist. The Birch and Olive Leaf aromas complimented each other; their fresh clean green aspects were intensified delicately. I also tried two of their body lotions, Bloom Body Crème, a very subtle fresh-cut floral, and Fresh Linen Body Crème, with a subtle and crisp aroma reminiscent of how clothes smelled after being dried outdoor. The base formulas include Jojoba oil, Vitamin E and Sunflower oil, which are super moisturizers. Skin was left silky and hydrated with a subtle hint of each product’s aroma; products were quickly absorbed, without leaving any tacky or greasy residue. Both products worked great on hands and body. Hillhouse Naturals, a new favorite of mine, offers an impressive variety of personal and home care products; there’s even a line of products for the beloved family pet dog. More at http://hillhousestore.com.
Jane Iredale ~ Jane Iredale knows how to deliver dual-purpose products. Lip Fixation, a neat lip tint on one end and a yummy flavored gloss on the other end. And just in time for the glorious hues of fall, aficionados can get their Lip Fixation in Devotion, a “Sultry Coral and Shimmering Pink Gloss”, Fetish, a “Cool Plum and Delicate Lilac”, and Rapture, a “Timeless Red and Sumptuous Shine”. Sold individually, these fall must-haves are on the ready for a quick-change routine to match fall’s temperature fluctuations. Now that the lips have been taken care of, let’s focus the eyes with more great new products. Stylized eyes make any look a real wow! What better way to achieve this with more adorableness for Fall from Jane Iredale with her hypoallergenic and natural-looking Professional Faux Lashes; the handy take-with carrier stores two different sizes of individual lashes (a total of forty-eight) and comes complete with an itty-bitty tube of latex-free adhesive; the result is gorgeous lashes for the peepers. Lastly, the eyes just aren’t complete without tending to the brow department. What better way to groom and emphasize the crowning feature of the peepers than with this adorable Bitty Brow Kit. The kit comes complete with mirror, three mini-styling tools, brow color and brow wax. Really cute! More at www.janeiredale.com.
Phytomer ~ Although the word is out to not bake in the sun, regardless of how fearless of deity-like you think your tan will be, Sun Serenity Pre/Post Sun Exposure Duo is an intelligent and functional way to prep, condition and treat the delicate skin prior-to and following sun exposure. The intelligence behind these new serums includes a consistent measured application twice daily (morning and evening) of the Pre-Exposure Serum and the Post-Exposure Serum for seven days prior to sun exposure and seven days following sun exposure. The first serum conditions skin by increasing melanin production and its ability to fend off damage attributed to UV rays. The second serum repairs damaged skin cells while helping to maintain a longer lasting tan. Neither serum is meant as a substitute for additional use of an SPF product while sunning. Both products have a subtle fresh aroma; both go on easily, are quickly absorbed and don’t leave any tacky or greasy residue; I noticed that the Post-Exposure Serum had a very slight cooling sensation upon contact. This new approach for conditioning and maintaining skin’s defenses against the sun’s onslaught to delicate skin is a definite must-have for anyone planning on spending their vacation time in a sunny clime. More at www.phytomer.fr.
Skindinavia ~ As I’m writing this, it’s unseasonably hot and humid in my area, which are two things that spell disaster for anyone’s looks. I hate wearing traditional moisturizer in this type of weather since it feels too weighty. Skindinavia has come up with some wonderful alternative products for testy weather, and their latest, Weightless Summer Moisturizer, is a must-have for the season. This is a mist-able moisturizer, complete with an SPF of 8. A few mists to the skin refreshes, while skin remains hydrated throughout the day without any heavy or “greasy” feel to it; pleasant aroma; also primes the face for makeup. Great anytime, whether it’s work, workout, or play. More at www.skindinavia.com.
Xoçai The Healthy Chocolate ~ With continuing research into the health benefits of antioxidant, flavonoid and polyphenol rich dark chocolate, I thoroughly enjoyed several pieces of Xoçai The Healthy Chocolate (pronounced sho-sigh). Their dark cocoa is cold-processed, which preserves the potency of the nutrient components. The key to maximizing the benefits of dark chocolate is to slowly and methodically allow for natural dissolving, versus chomping the “candy” and swallowing it. Slowly dissolving the dark chocolate is also a moment to savor, but aids in optimum absorption into one’s system of the beneficial nutrient components. Based on various studies, dark chocolate has many health benefits, including, but not limited to, cardiovascular health, stress reduction, digestion, and immune function. Both antioxidants and flavonoids help to reduce cell destroying free radicals and improve the immune system. Fortunately, these healthy dark chocolates, when taken regularly throughout the day, make the health benefits a decadent indulgence. I only had a single serving of four of the seven formulations, Omega Square (orange), XoBiotic Square, Power Square, and Nugget; all of these four teases were delicious tasting. The line also includes the X Powerhouse Cookie, Activ (beverage) and Protein Bar. More at www.myershealthychocolate.com, or www.xocai.com.
That’s it for this edition…until the next one, remember to take care of yourself and those around you.
……NEXT EDITION ~ Product reviews on Wei Lotus, Talika, Votre Vu, Bambola Beauty……
By Terry Herman
Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the spa industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker. You can email her at email@example.com.
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(Photo by Cal-A-Vie Health Spa)