Tuesday, November 9, 2010
The latest news and review bits from my desk...
...My apologies for appearing to have gone AWOL, but my schedule has been a bit hectic...
...I just finished writing two separate spa features for “Les Nouvelles Esthétiques & Spa” (http://www.lneonline.com)…..the features will be running in their December 2010 (Joya Spa) and January 2011 (Zazu Salon & Day Spa) editions…..I also had the pleasure of conducting an Advanced Salon/Spa Business Seminar at the recent International Congress of Esthetics & Spa Philadelphia Conference (“Make Better Impressions to Boost Profits”)…..after wrapping up this edition of “Spa Bits”, I head to the ISPA Conference November 15th; ISPA is celebrating their 20th Anniversary….upon my return, I’ll be writing a separate edition on my recent review experience at the iconic award-winning Kohler Waters Spa (Kohler, WI), a separate edition on ICES and ISPA, in addition to continuing editions on industry news and product reviews...
Ceiba del Mar Spa Resort, Riviera Maya ~ Get your spa on and spa like you’ve never done before. Boutique hotel Ceiba del Mar, a Preferred Hotels & Resorts property, is offering a 4 day/3 night “Unlimited Spa Getaway” for two, now until December 22nd; rates for two start at $1,680.00; accommodations, daily fitness classes, and unlimited daily spa treatments per person is included in this special rate; each person also receives their signature Vital Energy Flow Analysis and a gift of Signature Blend of Oils. For more information, visit http://ceibadelmar.com/english/
Four Seasons Chicago ~ A first for the area and responding to the special needs of hyper-sensitive and allergy-adverse guests, Four Seasons Chicago is now offering its Hypoallergenic Suite. The luxury residential suite has been stripped of any allergy inducing materials and replaced with hardwood floors, window shades, foam pillows, allergen-free cleaning solutions and fragrance-free toiletries. For more information, visit http://www.fourseasons.com/chicagofs/
Four Seasons Denver ~ Opening this fall in downtown Denver, the luxury hotel will also include a third floor level 9,000 SF full-service Spa. Guests will have contiguous access to the Fitness Center and the landscaped outdoor rooftop terrace, which includes pool and whirlpool. Views of the city and rugged mountain terrain should be breathtaking. For more information, visit http://www.fourseasons.com/denver/
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts ~ In an effort to provide the utmost comfort and care for guests with allergies or intolerance to airborne irritants, the iconic brand is unveiling their Respire by Hyatt. A percentage of each location’s rooms will be designated as hypoallergenic rooms, and will be part of all Hyatt locations in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean. Each room contains a PURE Solutions medical-grade air purifier. All rooms will be treated with a proprietary inhibitor that removes allergens and irritants from all surfaces, fabrics and airflow. The PURE Rooms will result in an allergy-friendly room, with indoor environments that have up to ninety-eight percent of bacteria and viruses removed. For more information, visit http://www.hyatt.com and http://pureroom.com
Jane Iredale - The Skin Care Makeup ~ As if this iconic brand doesn’t have enough well-deserved awards and accolades, add one more. The prestigious Health and Beauty Association’s International Package Design Award (HBA IPDA) was bestowed on the brand for their clever package design for the new Eye Steppes. For more information, visit http://janeiredale.com/
The Art of Yin & Yang Wellness Retreats ~ From December 3-6, 2010, popular Spa Montage Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills locations will feature a must-have Wellness Retreat that combines yoga, oceanfront vistas and expert lifestyle insight. Yoga expert Dana Sara will lead the Wellness Retreats. Spa Montage offers Surrender, a comprehensive approach to bodywork involving a thorough assessment of the guest’s unique needs, combined with in-depth discussion on wellness, followed by a customized menu of recommended services. For more information, visit http://www.spamontage.com/
Seaweed & Sea Salt, Nature’s Healers ~ Mineral-rich, spas continue taking advantage of these ancient natural healers by incorporating seaweed by-products and sea salts into their therapeutic spa treatments. A few recent spas promoting the healing benefits of seaweed and sea salt, include The Maya Spa at Tides Riviera Maya, http://www.tidesrivieramaya.com/, Chelsea Hotel’s Sea Spa, http://thechelsea-ac.com/sea_spa.php, and Congress Hall’s Sea Spa, http://www.congresshall.com/content/seaspa.html
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Emmy Award Show Faves ~ Votre Vu Duette Luxe Lip Balm & Hand Crème (Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale), visit http://www.votrevu.com/; Orlane Lightbox, Absolute Skin Recovery Smoothing Foundation and Bronzing Powder (Jenna Ushkowitz), Refining Arm Cream and Active Hydration Body Care (Claire Danes), visit http://www.votrevu.com/corporate/public?page=/jsp/home.jsp and http://www.orlane.com/
Leonor Greyl ~ This luxury brand of superior hair care products has a supporting role in Woody Allen’s latest venture, “Paris In Midnight”, which features French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy and Owen Wilson, among other Hollywood celebs. The real stars, however, are all of the Leonor Greyl hair care products the devoted hairstylists wouldn’t be without, both on and off the set. For more information, visit http://leonorgreyl-usa.com/
Skin 2 Skin ~ For three seasons, this popular anti-aging skincare treatment line has remained the preferred line for top makeup artists and celebs alike in hit reality shows like The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and The Bachelor Pad, visit http://www.skin2skincare.com/
Good Shop ~ Love shopping online? Love being charitable? Then, “kill two birds with one stone” by shopping online at this “mall” of top name retailers and e-tailers; these retailers have partnered with various charitable organizations. Make a purchase and designate your preferred charity, which then receives a retail partner donation of up to thirty-percent to that cause. For more information, visit http://www.goodsearch.com/goodshop.aspx
Nitin Chhoda ~ Physical therapist, author, and fitness guru’s monthly missive, Nitin Chhoda’s Fitness Newsletter is a go-to source for encouragement and valuable information. Tips on fitness and nutrition are mainstays. For more information, visit http://www.totalactivation.com/
Qosina/Qosmedix ~ Offering industry professionals manufactured components and accessories that make the job run smoothly, the brand has again been recognized by “Inc. Magazine” in its annual “Inc. 5000”, which highlights the fastest growing privately-held businesses. For the second year in a row, this brand has placed in the top 5,000; it also placed in this ranking in 2007, and initially gained recognition in the “Inc. 500” in 1989. For more information, visit http://qosmedix.com/ and http://www.inc.com/
OF THINGS ESTHETIC & AROMATIC
Bond NYC No. 9 ~ Cooper Square is one of those NYC moments that gets right in your face with its bold and brash unisex appeal. Named after a nineteenth-century über New Yorker, Peter Cooper, the geographic area is where eclectic East Village, NoHo (North of Houston Street), and the equally über-downtown area, aka the Bowery, converge and merge. This isn’t a fragrance for the faint at heart, of which I tend to be. It’s woody spices, peppered lightly with fruit and floral, dries down to a potent and dark and brooding XY imprint. This fragrance is definitely not for the faint of heart or those with an already centered and self-assured persona who don’t need a fragrance to be second fiddle to determination and confidence. For more information, visit http://www.bondno9.com/
Dentisse Natural Reflection Toothpaste ~ This natural oral care product gently cleaned my teeth, while leaving a luminosity to the enamel. It also left my mouth fresh tasting and moist. Key ingredients, which gently and naturally provide cleansing and protection, include refined kaolin clay, bentonite clay, and natural peppermint oil. Although I didn’t have much product to test, in time, the product is said to reduce tartar and plaque build-up and stain removal while brightening the enamel. The luxury toothpaste is formulated with and without fluoride; a mouth rinse and lip balm is also available. For more information, visit http://www.dentisse.com/
LaLicious ~ For those that can’t get enough of sweet-smelling fruits, nuts and extracts, this is definitely a line for you. I tried three different Body Butters, that included Vanilla, Tahitian Flower, and Coconut Cream. Products were non-greasy, quickly absorbed and left skin very hydrated; the consistency was very dense. My favorite was the Tahitian Flower; least favorite was the Vanilla, since its aroma lasted well into the hours, even after numerous washings. Ingredients included shea butter, safflower seed oil, glycerin, aloe leaf extract, apricot kernel oil, and vitamin E. I also tried three different Sugar Soufflé Scrubs in Brown Sugar & Vanilla, Coconut Cream, and Coffee Bean. My favorite was the Coffee Bean and least favorite the Brown Sugar & Vanilla. Products gently exfoliated and were very hydrating; consistency wasn’t greasy. Ingredients included cane sugar, coconut and sweet almond oil, vitamin E, soybean oil; honey was in the Brown Sugar & Vanilla variety, and 100% Arabica coffee grounds in the Coffee Bean variety. Using both the gentle, yet effective scrubs, followed by the body lotion did improve the overall skin texture and hydration levels. For more information, visit http://www.lalicious.com
Orlane Paris ~ This iconic brand’s latest innovation to stave off early signs of aging, while inhibiting and restoring, is Anagenèse 25+ Morning Recovery Concentrate First Time Fighting Serum. Some of the pro-growth ingredients include collagen rich bio-marine derivatives, hyaluronic acid, vitamins A and E, and ginseng. The Serum is luxurious and silky, but once applied, it enhances the skin’s luminosity, while evening out texture and tone. This is a remarkable product alone, or as a base for moisturizer and I actually looked forward to using it each morning because of the porcelain luminosity to my skin, while leaving it revitalized. This product is one in a series of three, which targets anti-aging. At any age, it’s an outstanding product. For more information, visit http://www.orlane.com/
Thalgo la Beauté Marine ~ This natural skincare line is based in miner-rich algae and other restorative plant derivatives. I tried a travel kit that included Pure Velvet Cleansing Cream, Super Lift Tonic Water, Thalgogive Firming Gel Mask, and Wrinkle Control Smoothing Cream. All products were gentle, non-greasy and had a rich, silky texture. I enjoyed how the Cleansing Cream was easily rinsed off and didn’t leave the skin feel taut or dry. The Tonic Water was refreshing and the Smoothing Cream absorbed quickly, while maintaining hydration levels. Although I used the products for about four weeks, the Smoothing Cream didn’t appear to diminish some of my fine lines as much as I had anticipated. The subtle fresh aromas expanded the enjoyment of using the products. I especially enjoyed the Gel Mask, which was cooling and left my skin energized with a smooth, even texture. All products are also free of parabens, mineral oil, propylene glycol and GMOs. I enjoyed using this handy travel kit during some of my recent treks. For more information, visit http://www.thalgo.com/
Whole Truth Solutions Natural Bath Bars ~ These exceptional handcrafted of plant-based ingredients, natural teas, organic oils and butters, and healing herbs make the cleansing regimen an aromatherapeutic experience. I tried the Lavender Buds, which included avocado oil, raw honey, oatmeal, chamomile, lavender buds and essential oils of lavender and chamomile; wonderful addition of organic colloidal oatmeal for exfoliation is gentle, without irritating delicate skin. Each soap has a reflective saying printed on the handcrafted wrapper. The bar I tried lathered and rinsed well without drying; the beautiful lavender aroma was very subtle and calming. Using it was definitely an ideal cleansing option to close out a hectic day. For more information, visit http://www.wholetruthsolutions.com
OF THINGS CULINARY & EDIBLE & HEALTHY CHOICES
Cellulations Modjo 4Life ~ All of these products are designed to increase energy levels with vitamins, anti-oxidants and electrolytes without caffeine. They’re definitely geared for the pump and grind active types who rapidly deplete their energy levels through their frenetic workout regimens, although anyone can benefit from the formulations. Products tried included Natural Energy Shot in Island Punch and Grape Pomegranate, and the Anti-Aging Matrix in Island Punch, Simply Citrus and Grape Pomegranate. All flavors were delicious and refreshing, and formulated with the potent antioxidant Resveratrol, known for its anti-aging properties. For more information, visit http://www.modjolife.com/start.php
Gibson’s Steakhouse (Chicago-area) ~ At first glance, this might appear to be a non sequitur, but it’s not. I had the recent pleasure of lunching at the Oak Brook, IL newest location of this national quintessential steak and chop restaurant. My test was to find something heart-healthy on the menu and I succeeded by selecting a deliciously prepared grilled Organic North Atlantic Irish Salmon served with delicate seasonal vegetable sides. The wine selection includes a lovely Organic Cabernet by Bonterra. Other green-sustainable efforts include Gibson’s Beef Program; participating cattle ranchers are also farmers, growing their own food for the cattle (the farmers also recycle the waste in the form of methane and fertilizer and also sell it to others; this allows for a better controlled by-product that is more environmentally-friendly). Other green efforts include using takeout containers made from biodegradable recycled paper materials, and using recycled paper towels in their Kitchens and Restrooms. A commitment to using locally grown produce to reduce CO2 emissions is another green effort. Lastly, the restaurant chain also recognizes that more and more diners prefer heart-healthy menu selections, including organic-based and locally grown items. To this end, Gibson’s is committed to adapting their menus to accommodate those palate preferences. Diners can easily find heart-healthy and organic menu selections offered at any of the nationwide restaurant locations. For more information, visit http://www.gibsonssteakhouse.com/
Kama Indian Bistro (Chicago-area) ~ Located in LaGrange, a suburb of Chicago, this fairly new restaurant is a unique dining experience for the area’s many varied cultural eating establishments. Although limited in size, the restaurant serves traditional Indian cuisine, as well as alcohol; something many such establishments leave off their menus. What is very appealing about Kama Indian Bistro is that it will adapt any of its menu offerings for those with a gluten-intolerance, or who are vegan or vegetarian. Portions are ample and range from mildly spicy to fire breathing. I chose mildly spicy. I enjoyed many unique flavor combinations that included cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, and cilantro. My selections were mostly vegetarian; I did indulge in some perfectly seasoned Tandoori lamb, which was delicious. I also enjoyed the Saaq (Spinach Masala) and Eggplant Bharta (a vegetable-like stew). Nourishing, healthy, fresh and very light make this type of dining highly recommended if you’re searching for an introduction to a healthier cuisine. All dishes were prepared from scratch and I imagined the chef frantically preparing dishes, as the seated reservations, plus the brisk takeout business kept time to the rhythm of the regional world music that helped to dim the loud chatter from the diners. The restaurant was beautifully decorated and easily transported me to another distant land. For more information on this vibrant Indian restaurant and to get an idea on the richness and healthiness of this type of cuisine, visit http://www.kamabistro.com/
Spike Seasoning ~ I first learned of Dr. Gayelord Hauser, an acclaimed nutritionist and credited with being the “founder of the natural food industry”, in the 1970s. His passion was the correlation between good nutrition and gourmet taste, while using natural foods seasoned with herbs that were full of vitamins, minerals and healthy good taste; he never was a proponent of additives, preservatives or fillers. Taste had always been a fundamental when it came to something being healthy, but didn’t need to taste like medicine. Hauser made in roads in his quest for healthy and flavorful products since 1925. For seven decades he took on the food industry in his passion for natural foods as a means of health. His motivation was finding a way to extend his life after being diagnosed with cancer. He achieved this goal and continued promoting his “wonder foods” for healthy living. These foods included yogurt, black strap molasses, powdered milk, brewer’s yeast and wheat germ. He is also credited with devising a seven-day natural cleanse and detox diet for the body. Dr. Hauser founded Modern Products in 1925, which included healthy seasonings and flavorings formulated. A number of the original products like Swiss Kriss (an herbal laxative and natural facial beauty aid), Spike Vege-Sal Magic and Spike Original Magic, and Spike Vegit Magic are still available and formulated as were the original products. I tried a variety of the Spike seasonings and was amazed at the versatility with each product. No matter what food I seasoned with these products, vegetables, fish or poultry, the tastes were always enhanced and vibrant. I also found the addition of the seasonings to yogurt, made for a flavorful dip for crudités. Another use was to lightly oil whole wheat tortillas or pita breads, and sprinkle with any of the seasoning varieties and then toast them in the over; quick, easy and healthy snacks; dipped in seasoned yogurt, made for an ideal healthy snack food. And because they’re formulated using pure ingredients, the flavors are intense, and a little goes a long way. Products are gluten-free, with many newer varieties and adapted original varieties available in salt-free versions, and because there are no preservatives, additives or fillers, the taste of each product was “clean” and fresh. Lastly, I love the web link because it provides background detail on this remarkable man. It also provides beauty and detox advice and recipes. For more information, visit http://www.modernfearn.com/index_files/Page390.htm
"The Maybelline Story" ~ Over the years, I’ve read biographies and autobiographies of many different industry types, including the likes of Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden, Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder and Mary Kay Ash. I love a good story about creativity and its process, making it work, succeeding, failing and then succeeding again. When it came to Maybelline, I remember well how super beautiful I felt as a teen using the black cake mascara, with the tiny brush I’d wet with spittle (lucky never to have gotten an infection). I’d delicately apply the beauty treasure to my puny light lashes, all the time hoping for drop dead gorgeous lashes, clumps and all. I treasured that little red plastic container with gold lettering and no mirror. I’d later treasure the eyebrow pencil in the red tube with gold lettering, although I didn’t need to accentuate my eyebrows. I’d sneak wearing this “war paint”, as my dad would call it, and cringe at my mom telling me I was too young for makeup. That was the early-sixties. I remembered the iconic brush mascara in the pink tube with the granny smith apple green top towards the middle-sixties; I went between black, brown, and brown-black, trying to find an identifying color to again make my lashes lush; it was still a beauty treasure. Anyway, reading this book was nostalgic for me. Overall, however, I found the book to be long on family dysfunction and short on the creative process, business adversity and its ultimate success. True, many families are fraught with dysfunction and maybe because of or in spite of this, they become successful. While I did learn a bit more about the storied brand, the retelling of the family history of dark secrets unfortunately led to tragic consequences and outcomes. The brand continues to be a legend and a mainstay in many cosmetic bags and bureau tops. For more information, visit http://www.bettieyoungsbooks.com, or http://www.amazon.com
That’s it for this edition…until the next one…remember to take care of yourself and those around you.
COMING EDITION REVIEWS
Spa Review ~ Kohler Waters Spa; ICES & ISPA Conferences; GliSODin Skin Nutrients; Dr. H. Bellin Swiss Skin Care; IROHA Natural & Practical Cosmetics; Aloe Up; and, more...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)