Wednesday, December 15, 2010


~ in moments of stress, changing one’s surroundings is a great cure for this ailment ~

When I need to get-a-way to a luxury spa close to home, Kohler Waters Spa (Kohler, WI) is my preferred destination. The first time I went to experience the spa was in 1995. At that time, it seemed to be an after-thought to this iconic AAA Five Diamond American Club Resort. It was tucked away in its mega fitness center, The Sport’s Core. Suffice it to say, if one blinked, they wouldn’t have even noticed it existed. Fortunately, much has happened since that first experience.

Kohler, WI is home to the factory of the eponymous brand of all-things water. Kohler fixtures and equipment are the definitive water design element for home, business and spa. With its rich history in legal immigration and American ingenuity, the Kohler brand would define the town with its exquisite and practical designs; the brands also include Baker and McGuire furniture and Ann Sacks ceramic tiles. Kohler’s name also defines the location for the multi-award winning resort, which used to be the factory’s housing quarters for sponsored legal immigrant workers. Its name would also define the multi-award winning Spa, and its affinity to all things water. Clearly, Kohler has become a single word that defines and is synonymous with the luxury brand and experience. It is aptly referred to as Destination Kohler.

In 2000, Kohler Waters Spa was finally given its due, and relocated to its permanent location, the Carriage House, which is considered an annex to the main resort, The American Club. The Carriage House has 55 guest rooms, ten of which are their Immersion Suites. Guests can literally stay in their comfy robe and slippers all day and go from room to Spa without any curious looks. The Spa is comprised of nearly 25,000 square feet and occupies over two floors of the Carriage House.

Reception, retail, multi-purpose room, waiting areas and the salon are on the first level. The lower level is comprised of its magnificent water feature (a thirty-foot relaxation pool and eight foot cascading waterfall), additional waiting areas, and gender-specific Respite Rooms (lockers, whirlpool, cold plunge, steam and sauna). There are twenty-one treatment rooms. There’s also a glass enclosed rooftop deck complete with a huge whirlpool, and outdoor patio. The deck and patio were part of the Spa’s 2005 major expansion and remains a very popular event space, especially for bridal parties and girl’s getaways.

The Carriage House is an historic multi-story structure that once housed the pharmacy for the Kohler Company factory workers. It’s somewhat ironic that the place where ill factory workers once sought healing for whatever ailed them continues healing those who seek the space for restoration and relaxation.

Now celebrating its tenth anniversary, and with several expansions and renovations later, a recent trek to Kohler Waters Spa reaffirmed for me that the nearly four-hour drive from my home was well worth the journey. This Spa remains a preferred luxury destination for both the spa aficionado and spa novice.

Kohler Waters Spa has continually stepped up its game by offering innovative water-based treatment therapies that conform to its wellness platform. The Spa made a significant expansion in 2005 to additional space (roof-top pool and open-air patio), existing space (women’s respite room), additional treatment rooms and the addition of ten immersion suites in the accommodation area of the Carriage House. This past July, another major expansion and enhancement program included the introduction of unique signature treatment rooms (Harmony, Acoustic, Riverbath and Stillness) and expanded treatment therapies (Lavender Rain), and a new and proprietary technology VibraAcoustic. This technology includes underwater music’s rhythmic vibrations that enhance the treatment experience.

The Harmony Room is a hydrotherapy treatment room where a steady stream of water flows in a steady downward stream from the ceiling and into the tub. The Acoustic Room is equipped for the VibraAcoustic Bath. Both rooms feature the innovative Kohler Vichy Shower with hydromassage features. The Riverbath Room offers a whirlpool where eight colors are synchronized with changing water flow movements, to simulate currents of a river; the guest has total control of the color synchronization and ebb and flow of the water. In this room is also the Kohler Ambient Rain shower with chromatherapy and a Flipside Handshower to maximize the shower experience. Kohler leads the way in its hi-tech mastery in water research and developments, innovation and uniquely healing and therapeutic equipment applied to their Spa experience. There’s also a Stillness Room, which allows couples an opportunity to further decompress, post-treatment, and experience additional therapies.

In addition to these treatment rooms, new water treatments added to the menu include the Riverbath, Acoustic Bath, Lavender Rain, Stretch & Flex and Sinus Massage. New facial treatments added include the Antioxidant Facial and Acu-Lift Facial.

According to Jean Kolb, Director of Wellness, “We designed these rooms and new signature treatments to further enhance the health and relaxation benefits for which Kohler Waters Spa has long been known. Our goal is to provide guests with the latest in spa therapy while continuing the traditions that have made the Kohler Waters Spa one of the best in the country.”

For my treatment therapies, I enjoyed the Riverbath with Massage (Karen, Massage Therapist) and the Lavender Rain (Melanie, Spa Technician).

After a rest by the Spa’s gorgeous Waterfall, I’m led to the Riverbath Room for my Riverbath with Massage treatment. The treatment began with a full-body dry brushing to prep the skin to receive the benefits of a replenishing mineral bath in a spacious whirlpool. Upon entering the spacious whirlpool, I have full access to the control panel that adjusts the flow of water, which simulates river currents, as well as adjusts the sequence of the chromatherapy colors. Between the gentle flow of simulated river currents and the synchronized colors that correspond to the Chakras, I am relieved of body tension and calmed from any internal dysfunction. A deeply relaxing and tension-relieving full-body massage follows and culminates with a wonderfully hydrating full-body moisturizer. This treatment therapy lasted seventy-five minutes.

After this treatment, I took a slight break to enjoy a light lunch, which included a lovely Kohler Waters Spa Salad (grilled chicken breast with organic vegetables and roasted garlic vinaigrette) and a super-anti-oxidant Pomegranate & Raspberry Smoothie, which I savored throughout the afternoon and on my drive home.

After my light lunch break, I led to the Acoustic Room for my Lavender Rain treatment. This treatment combines the best of a full-body exfoliation, infused with eucalyptus and lavender, and a thorough rinsing using the new proprietary Kohler Vichy shower with hydromassage; following this is a lavender-infused body wrap, foot and scalp massage, and a full-body application of moisturizer. My skin was stimulated and revitalized, and the texture felt like silk; my olfactory was also stimulated and revitalized; the body wrap and extremity massages greatly eased my tension, which helped to relax me. It was the perfect combination of treatment plus aromatherapy. This treatment therapy was an indulgent fifty minutes.

In addition to offering it comprehensive treatment menu of water therapies, face, body and salon-related treatments, the Spa regularly offers Yoga, meditative walking, relaxation technique classes, hair and makeup stylists and how-to classes, and retreats. Some of the Spa’s featured treatment product lines include Kerstin Florian, Red Flower and Skin Authority; the Spa also offers its signature-scented products, Hollyhock, which is indigenous to the area and has a lovely floral scent. The retail section is packed with must-have at-home spa treats, including Yoga gear, meditation and inspirational reading material and music CDs.

~ Kohler Waters Spa Etcetera ~

In addition to the American Club Resort and Kohler Waters Spa in WI, there’s an equally impressive spa in the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St. Andrews, Scotland, which opened in 2004. Equally impressive is the Kohler Waters Spa in the tony Chicago suburb, Burr Ridge, which opened in 2008; this location marks the first time Kohler has had a freestanding day spa. The new day spa is contingent to one of their brand new Design Centers.

To read more about the new Burr Ridge location, this digital magazine's September 7, 2009 edition, “Spa Treatments and Product Experiences-Part III”, presents an in-depth look at this exceptional location. For an additional read, my cover feature review of the WI Spa location can be found online in the “Spa Destinations” section of Spa Management Magazine.

Kohler Waters Spa is a day or multi-day experience, but it’s always a place where one can go to for what I categorize as the four important components of Spa Rx ~ rest, relaxation, revitalization and rejuvenation. Kohler Waters Spa is accessible by car, train or air (Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport or Chicago O’Hare International Airport).

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the 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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


To read my review of this extraordinary spa at the InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa (Scottsdale, AZ), go to "Les Nouvelles Esthetiques & Spa". The Spa of the Month feature is currently appearing in their December digital edition. My feature begins on page nine.

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the 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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


(Volume 2010.6)

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” (…..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
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
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
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 and

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
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
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,, Chelsea Hotel’s Sea Spa,, and Congress Hall’s Sea Spa,


Emmy Award Show Faves ~ Votre Vu Duette Luxe Lip Balm & Hand Crème (Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale), visit; Orlane Lightbox, Absolute Skin Recovery Smoothing Foundation and Bronzing Powder (Jenna Ushkowitz), Refining Arm Cream and Active Hydration Body Care (Claire Danes), visit and
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
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


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
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
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 and


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
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
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
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
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
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


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
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
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
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


"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, or

That’s it for this edition…until the next one…remember to take care of yourself and those around you.

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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


...World First in Definitive Wellness...At Luxury Resorts Exotic Destinations...journeys in retreat to wellness

Imagine … EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Wellness Retreats
, the world´s first self-actuated wellness retreats available at selected exclusive luxury boutique resorts located in exotic destinations around the world and utilizing safe, effective, enjoyable holistic natural therapies as a positive response to the chronic ailments of modern life.

Premchit Prateap Na Thalang, internationally certified aromatherapist, organic cosmetics formulator, natural perfumer, acclaimed chef and inheritor of twelve generations of ancestral Siamese healing wisdom and secrets, has launched her EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Wellness Retreats at Paresa, TripAdvisor´s #5 resort in Phuket, Thailand.

Extending out dramatically from the stunningly sculptured cliff tops of Kamala over-looking the spectacular azure blue waters of the Andaman Sea, surrounded by lush tropical forests and gardens, Paresa embraces the exclusivity of its natural surroundings to create an oasis of relaxing tranquility and unrivalled luxury, the perfect place to EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Wellness Retreats.

"Many people want to avoid or treat the chronic ailments of modern life in a way that is not only painless, but also convenient, effective, enjoyable, natural, private, and fits in with their own personal, work and life schedules", said Premchit, "I have designed my wellness retreats so guests have the convenience to start their retreat on any day of the year. Guests also have the flexibility to experience their retreat with any of my unique luxury resort partners and the privacy to do their retreat by themselves or with a friend or family member, as well as the enjoyment of combining their retreat with a holiday at an exotic destination, where the journey in retreat to wellness is a profound personal experience."

Imagine … travelling to exotic destinations, experiencing ancient cultures, tasting indigenous cuisines, walking barefoot on the beach, riding through awe-inspiring landscapes, photographing majestic wildlife, enjoying secluded romantic escapes, being in paradise.

Imagine … staying at a 5-star resort, a luxurious colonial mansion, an elegant heritage villa, an eco-friendly wilderness lodge or a colonial mountain retreat, each with a distinctive story, a unique character, where the emphasis is on enjoyment and wellbeing, delivered with exceptional service and warm smiles.
Imagine … enjoying a wellness retreat so easy and simple to experience you can literally lead yourself through the natural wellness therapies, with a schedule flexible enough to also pursue all your vacation pleasures, whatever they may be.

Benefits of Premchit´s Wellness Offering
Premchit has launched EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT with the Natural Detox Retreat, available in 3, 7, 10, 14, 21 and 28 day programs, each highly effective and providing either a "jump-start" to a new wellness lifestyle or an "intensive-refresh" of an existing lifestyle, with the key benefits being:

• Learning about the why, what, when and how of the body´s detoxification processes and their everyday critical importance to wellness for a long life of health and vitality.

• Understanding and experiencing the detoxification benefits of delicious Ambrosia Therapy, luxurious Elixir Therapy, silent Meditation Therapy, gentle Movement Therapy, enjoyable Music Therapy, heavenly Scent Therapy and wonderful Treatment Therapy.

• Achieving significant progress in gently, effectively and safely detoxifying your body of accumulated environmental and lifestyle toxins.

• Acquiring the "take-home" knowledge and tools to make positive changes to protect against exposure to environmental and lifestyle toxins and to implement the four keys to sustaining excellent health - healthy diet, regular physical exercise, healthy lifestyle, healthy relationships.

• Having plenty of "me" time, time to do whatever brings calm to your mind, relaxation to your body and joy to your heart, for this too is therapeutic!

Creation of Premchit´s Wellness Ambrosias and Elixirs

As specialized and unique creations, Premchit provides her Wellness Retreat guests with three distinctive Guest Retreat Boxes hand-crafted from exquisite Thai silk designed to take home afterwards as luxurious home décor pieces. The Guide Box contains a deluxe Retreat Guide to lead you through your retreat. The Room Box of accessories, Ambrosias and Elixirs is for therapy performed in the room and around the resort. The Spa Box of accessories and Elixirs is for Treatment Therapy, comprising three and a half hours per day, every day, of enjoyable therapeutic spa treatments combining traditional and contemporary healing techniques.

Premchit creates a range of nutritious therapeutic Ambrosias specific for each Wellness Retreat, including fresh fruit, herb and vegetable shots and juices, as well as herbal tisanes which, in conjunction with Premchit´s cuisine recommendations and menus, offers a delicious Ambrosia Therapy experience.

Premchit´s Elixirs, customized to support the specific goals of each Wellness Retreat, are conceived in harmony with the art and science of aromatherapy, formulated from one-hundred percent authentic, genuine, natural, organic and pure botanical extracts and minerals, and protected in bio-photon energy preserving violet glass. All Elixirs are created by Premchit with loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity to nourish, preserve and restore animals, people, plants and the earth.

Premchit also offers comprehensive before, during and after retreat support via personal wellness consultations, recommendations and home care Ambrosias and Elixirs to enable all guests to achieve optimal wellness every day of the year.

In addition to her own substantial knowledge and expertise, Premchit is supported by an Advisory Board of ten international experts, including Professor Jaime Z. Galvez Tan, a respected Professor of Medicine, who assist Premchit in the research, design and development of her Wellness Retreats.

After Paresa, Premchit will progressively launch her EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Wellness Retreats with selected exclusive luxury resort partners in Thailand and other exotic destinations, such as the Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, where the journey in retreat to wellness is always an enjoyable experience.

About Premchit Prateap Na Thalang
Premchit´s family has been growing, trading, studying, using and dispensing indigenous plants of southern Thailand and traditional Siamese knowledge for beauty, medicinal, nutritional and perfumery benefits for more than 12 generations.

For nearly 200 years Premchit´s family traded aromatic plants with the British East India Company, including Thao Thep Kasatri, heroine of the Battle of Thalang (Phuket) in 1785, who traded with Sir Francis Light whilst he was based in Thalang, the home of Premchit´s family.

Premchit´s mother and father passed their family´s wisdom and secrets to Premchit, who blends this with her own international certification in aromatherapy and intuitive cosmetic, cuisine, perfume, scent and therapeutic skills, to create enjoyable and effective Ambrosias, Elixirs and Treatments for health and longevity.

For More Information Contact:
Norman G. Jones, Advisor
Premchit Prateap Na Thalang Limited
Telephone: +66-2260-2915
Skype: Norman Glyn Jones
ooVoo: Norman Glyn Jones
Facsimile: +66-2260-2916


I am pleased and honored to be affiliated with this extraordinary wellness and luxury travel approach, and will be serving on its Advisory Board. The Advisory Board is comprised of ten international experts who support founder Premchit Prateap Na Thalang.

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the 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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


(Volume 2010.5)

The latest news and review bits from my desk…..

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Here’s just a sampling of the many brands actively supporting research for the cure with donations from sales of their products or services:

~ Purchase the Aromessence Aromatherapy Set during the month of October and ten-percent of proceeds will be donated to Cancer & Careers, a support organization for working women who have cancer; visit

Jane Iredale ~ Between September 2010 through September 2011, $2.00 from the sale of each Phoenix Sugar&Butter Lip Exfoliator and Plumper will be donated to “Living Beyond Breast Cancer”, a national support and education organization. “Phoenix” is the special pink color formulated for this worthwhile cause and symbolizes the Phoenix rising for all those who are living with the disease; visit

OKA b. ~ During the month of October, for every one pair of shoes sold online, OKA b. will donate one pair of their most popular sandal, “The Madison Slide” to breast cancer patients. Their goal is to donate 50,000 pairs of shoes. To make a purchase, go to and enter the code CountMeIn.

Lynn Sage Foundation’s “In Good Taste” Campaign
~ In its third year, the popular Chicago-area based foundation will again have its “In Good Taste” breast cancer research initiative. More than 100 area salons, spas and restaurants are participating in this year’s month long campaign where patrons can make donations to the cause through the participating partners. One of the first to help launch the fundraising was Marianne Strokirk Salons; specially priced services were offered to clients and left the salon with a new look, a stuffed goody bag and a smile knowing that their patronage helped this important cause; visit and

Massage Envy “Massage for the Cure”
~ Since 2005, this national franchise has been a leading partner with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure campaign for cancer research. Since its inception, Massage Envy has raise more than $1.4 million for the cause. This year’s one-day event was September 14th; visit

The Peninsula Spa by ESPA (New York)
~ Special “Think Pink” treatment includes a sixty-minute massage and ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud specially; priced at $195.0-0, where $5.00 will be donated to the American Cancer Society’s “Making Strides against Breast Cancer” fundraiser; visit, or

Rosen Hotels & Resorts ~ Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Centre and Rosen Plaza in Orlando will be offering guests specially priced room packages now until the end of the year during their “Sleepover for the Cure”, including during their “Pinktober” BCA promotion, where three-percent of proceeds will be donated to the Central Florida Chapter of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation; visit

Check these additional e-tailers and brick and mortar stores for their give to the cause efforts:

Crater Lake Company
~ Purchase Glisten Up! Hair & Body Gloss and twenty-percent of profits go to BreastCancer.Org; visit

Bath By Bettijo ~ Purchase Fenomenole and one-quarter of proceeds go to the American Cancer Society (ACS); visit

~ Purchase either the Feel Well Lavender Hand Cream or the Believe by Carina and five percent of proceeds go to City of Hope; visit

Skin 2 Skin ~ Purchase the Anti-Aging Kit (top sellers: Anti-Aging Face Wash, Anti-Aging Eye Gel and Aging Intervention Cream) and twenty-percent of proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research Foundation; visit

~ Purchase either LaCoste Touch of Pink, Alfred Sung Pure, Lulu Guinness Pink or Aquolina Pink Sugar and fifteen-percent of proceeds will go to Breast Cancer Research Foundation; visit

Sally Beauty Supply Stores (Nationwide) ~ Purchase China Glaze Rich and Famous and eighteen-percent of sales will go towards promoting breast cancer awareness; visit

Red Flower
~ Purchase Japanese Peony Moisturizing Body Lotion and 100% of profits will be donated to Cancer and Careers; visit

Skin Authority ~ Purchase Go! Gorgeous Pink Edition (travel sizes of top sellers: Daily Cleanser, Resurfacing Accelerator, Tri-Power Peptide Hydrator and Sunscreen) and ten-percent of proceeds will go to the Pink Ribbon Girls; visit

Darphin ~ For every purchase of Intral Soothing Cream, $20.00 will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation; visit


Astara Skincare ~ I had such a wonderful time experiencing a wide range of these outstanding natural and organic-based skincare and body care products. Astara Skincare founder and CEO Sunny Griffin, a former super model and cover girl, corporate powerhouse, entrepreneur and philanthropist had a simple philosophy and purpose behind the development of her wellness brand of skincare products “…raw, botanical and energized…The Perfect Harmony of Science & Nature”. Her further reasoning was that “If you wouldn’t want to eat it…Why would you put it on your skin?” Astara Skincare’s philosophy further represents this purpose “…life supports life. Proper nutrition and support of your body’s own healing mechanisms are the key to a healthier, younger-looking skin.” Healthy, holistic, eco-conscious, renewing and revitalizing, aptly describe all of the products. Knowing that I was feeding my skin, while staving off the signs of aging and improving the texture and firmness with gentle, non-irritating and just plain good for the skin products using natural and organic ingredients. Following are the products I tried, and thoroughly enjoyed! For the Face: Botanical Cleansing Gelé (with organic aloe vera, oils of sweet orange, grapefruit and comfrey, algae, rosemary, basil lemongrass and calendula), Daily Refining Scrub (with organic aloe vera, diatomaceous earth, extracts of comfrey, chamomile, calendula and algae, lactic acid, oils of sweet orange, grapefruit and mandarin orange), AHA Nutrient Toning Essence (with witch hazel, lactic acid, cucumber, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, vitamin C, oils of rose and jasmine), Nourishing Vitamin Mask (with organic aloe vera leaf juice, soy phospholipids, pine, golden seal, royal jelly, hydrolyzed wheat protein, hyaluronic acid, beta glucans, wheat amino acids, vitamin C), Golden Flame Hydration Mask (with organic aloe vera leaf juice, cucumber, vitamin E, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, chamomile, comfrey and calendula), Radiance Renewal Intense Moisturizer (with ginseng, wild yam, evening primrose, gingko biloba, vitamin E), Botanical Eye Treatment (with wild yam, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, arnica, shea butter, grapeseed, vitamin E, bisabolol, hydrolyzed wheat protein). All of these products are ideally suited for an at-home skincare regimen in addition to an in-spa treatment experience. For the Body: Aromatic Seaweed Body Wash (with aloe vera, white tea extract, kelp, and organic lavender, rosemary and sweet basil essential oils), Antioxidant Body Lotion (with sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, wild yam and vitamins A-B-C-E), Citrus Lavender Sea Salt Mineral Soak (with Dead Sea salts, papain enzymes, carrot oil and glycerin), and Aroma Nutrient Face and Body Oil (with grape seed and rosehip oils, jojoba and avocado oils and lemongrass and lavender essential oils). All of these products are also ideally suited for an at-home body care routine, in addition to an in-spa treatment experience. For more information, visit

Christopher Drummond Beauty ~ A fashion and beauty industry veteran, Christopher Drummond is also a favorite of the celebrity, fashion and beauty show circuit. The products use natural and organic ingredients that are in keeping with EU Cosmetics Directive. Affiliations include the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, PETA, and Green People. I tried the Creamy Lip Stain in Cosmopolitan. Ingredients included jojoba seed oil, aloe leaf gel, vitamin E, grapeseed extract, and pomegranate extract. Although the product went on smoothly and was creamy, its promise to be non-drying, at least on me, wasn’t; perhaps my lips are excessively dry. The color, however, was a beautiful burnished orange with a hint of pink, which complimented my skin tone very well and was perfect for the onset of Fall. For more information, visit

DayNa Decker
~ This über chic brand has expanded its Couture Home Ambiance Collection to include its new Bath and Body Collection. Although not familiar with the line, I tried the new Couture Body Cleansing Crème (Amoura) and Le Petit Parfum (Kyaha). The Cleansing Crème is formulated with lemon peel, sugar cane and sugar maple extracts, aloe vera, jojoba, pearl powder, Manuka honey and hyaluronic acid. All ingredients naturally exfoliate, hydrate, increase hydration, and minimize aging by rejuvenating skin texture. The sophisticated aroma included layers of bergamot, plum blossom, Hinoki wood, patchouli, orris and oriental musk; the citrus, fruit and floral properties subdue the woody denser aromatic properties. The Cleansing Crème lathered well, left no residue when rinsed, other than its beautiful scent, and left skin hydrated and smoother to the touch. The Parfum was a very dense woody scent, with bergamot, green tea, cedar, mahogany and sandalwood. The woody aspects dominate the overall scent as top notes, while the citrus and tea softened somewhat the darkness of the scent in the dry-down, or bottom notes; complex personality with a range of bold to a softly muted aroma. Both products are beautifully packaged. For more information, visit

Nune & Nature ~ A newcomer to the natural and organic skin, body and hair care products arena. I tried the Organic Vanilla and Organic Minty Lip Balm, Botanical Shampoo in Lavender and Botanical Conditioner (Lavender & Clary Sage); for the baby in us all, I tried the Baby Bath Wash (Sweet Orange), Baby Shampoo (Unscented) and Baby Moisturizing Lotion (Gentle Lavender). Not only were these products good for the environment, all of them were extremely gentle on my body, lips and hair; during my trial review period, I had some irritations and slight injuries that weren’t the least bit affected by any of the ingredients or products. The lip balms and moisturizer were very effective, and wherever used, my skin remained smooth and hydrated for hours. The hair care products were also gentle and didn’t strip my hair of any natural oils; hair felt revitalized, and not dried or frizzy. All products tried contain and extensive list of natural and organic ingredients that are vegan friendly, and biodegradable. For more information, visit

Obagi Medical ~ I tried the Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Gel. A cosmeceutical categorized product, this was one of the better ones I’ve tried to date. I had no reaction or sensitivity to this cooling eye treatment gel that was gentle, had a silky consistency, was quickly absorbed, non-tacky, and fragrance free. Its proprietary Restorative Elasticity Complex increases and aids collagen production, which is needed to restore the elasticity of the delicate eye area, while eliminating appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; a mineral complex that includes zinc and copper are key to the ingredient efficacy. The product left the fragile skin area of my eyes hydrated, while noticeably diminishing the appearance of very fine lines and wrinkles; I noticed results within a few days. For more information, visit

~ Breast cancer survivor and company founder Valerie Grandury has committed her life in championing the cause of safe cosmetics that are not only free of fragrance, harmful preservatives and parabens, but are also non-toxic, and formulated with natural and certified organic ingredients. She’s proud to be a survivor of cancer, while living a toxic-free life through choices in work and life environment, geography, fitness and nutrition, and of course, safe and toxic-free cosmetics. I wasn’t familiar with this line at all. I also received limited quantities of product to review, about a ten-day’s worth; I normally prefer trying products a good three to four weeks before formulating any opinions. In general I found the products to be gentle and non-irritating, and although I prefer products not to have nauseating scents to them, some of these products had unusual, albeit tolerable, aromas. The condition of my skin (texture, firmness and brightness) wasn’t adversely impacted and remained static. Cleanser rinsed well, day cream and night serum moisturized well, and the mask was easy to remove; none of the products left any unpleasant residue; the only slight residue I had was with the face scrub and it took longer than I prefer to remove all of the jojoba granules; I enjoyed the toner, but ran out of it before the end of the week’s trial. Following are the products I tried: Gentle Rejuvenating Cleanser (includes aloe vera leaf juice, wheatgerm oil, linden and elder flower extracts, ginseng root extract, rosemary leaf extract), Jojoba Beads Exfoliant (includes aloe vera juice, coconut oil, jojoba wax beads, lavender, olive oil, rooibos tea extract, vitamin E, white tea extract), Immortelle Refreshing Toner (includes aloe vera leaf juice, rose and Roman chamomile flower water, oat kernel, rice, spirulina and willowbark extract), Deep Hydration Masque (includes olive oil, white tea extract, lavender extract), Beautiful Day Moisturizer (includes coconut oil, white tea extract, jojoba oil, rosemary, Neem oil), Night Time Repair Serum (includes jojoba oil, vitamin E, white tea and rooibos tea extract, evening primrose oil, rosehip oil, borage oil), Ultra Effective Eye Cream (includes evening primrose oil, organic blue green algae extract, vitamin E, rooibos tea, lavender extract), and Perfect Nutrients Body Lotion (includes lavender extract, jojoba oil, shea butter, carrot oil, coconut oil, calendula extract, white tea extract). For those who want to try this collection, Odacité offers a “Discovery Kit”. Each product is made fresh per order, comes with an expiration date, and shipped directly from the lab to the customer that day; products have a “Freshiency Date” of expiration. Customers are also assigned a “skin coach” who will walk them through any concerns they might have, and also provide detailed instructions on product use and benefit. For more information, visit

Sunday Riley
~ Anti-aging is a year round proposition, and although Fall may have just arrived, the need to protect and nourish skin from the ravages of sun also remain all year and don’t just end when Summer ends; sun exposure contributes to pre-mature signs of aging. Yet another company whose products I wasn’t familiar with until trying a few of their exceptional Anti-Aging skincare products that are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and collagen and elastin cellular renewal properties. All of the Anti-Aging products contain the proprietary NV-5 Ageless Complex. This exclusive all-natural complex contains five Native American botanicals ~ Blue Agave, Night Blooming Cactus, Lady’s Slipper Orchid, Prickly Pear and Biofermented Aloe plus Yeast extract. The complex detoxifies and repairs cellular damage, while fighting signs of aging due to inflammation. Products tried from the Anti-Aging line included Juno Transformative Lipid Serum, Cashmere SPF 30 and Start Over Active Eye Cream. I’m not a fan of sunscreen, but after using Cashmere SPF 30, mixed with a few drops of the exquisite Juno Transformative Lipid Serum, a dry oil, I was hooked. These products not only went on like silk, my skin texture was healthier looking and brighter; products were quickly absorbed, left no sticky residue, had a neutral, but fresh aroma, and were super sensitive. I also used the Juno as a night treatment serum; even when not using a night moisturizer over the serum, my skin was thoroughly nourished and revitalized. I was amazed at how great my skin looked the next morning. Some of the ingredients in Cashmere include cashmere protein, wheatgrass, rice grass, ginseng, and Ellagic acid from pomegranate. Some of the ingredients in Juno include vitamin E, Argan oil, Marula oil and numerous plant seed oils (Acai, black cumin, blueberry, broccoli, carrot, Chardonnay grape, pomegranate and red raspberry). This dry oil wasn’t the least bit greasy and absorbed exceptionally well, hydrating and revitalizing my face and neck areas; my skin looked nourished and definitely healthier; the fresh plant aroma was very pleasant. The Start Over Active Eye Cream was a real treat; absolutely no irritation or product migration; the fragile skin under the eye along the orbital bone and clear up to the temples appeared smoother, with fine lines and wrinkles diminished. Some of the ingredients in Start Over include vitamin C-Ester, lutein, alpha lipoic acid, licorice, algae, pomegranate and rosehip seed oils, and yeast extract. I also tried the Anti-Aging body products Disrobe Body Lotion and Liquid Diet. Both products also contain the proprietary NV-5 Ageless Complex. The Disrobe Body Lotion (with phosphate, lactic acid, yeast extract, squalene, urea, glycerin and shea butter) is ideal for dry skin or for skin that has been exposed to sun. Product’s texture was silky and had a cooling effect while being applied to my dry skin; it was quickly absorbed and left no tacky residue; my skin was left super-hydrated and revitalized. The Liquid Diet (with Kola nut, caffeine, Bladder wrack marine algae, lemon extract, and MCT, an anti-inflammatory/fluid retention reduction) is ideal for temporarily reducing fluid retention in areas like feet, ankles, hips, thighs or stomachs. I found it very effective in reducing the water retention in my ankles, a tendency during hot and humid periods; my puffy ankles were noticeably reduced in size within a few hours. This product’s texture was also silky; it was cooling, quickly absorbed, and left no tacky residue. All five of these products were effective, had a lovely fresh aroma and must-haves to consider, either for those beginning an anti-aging skincare regimen (including staving off the harsh effects of sun-exposure), or who are thinking about trying some new products. For more information, visit

That’s it for this edition…until the next one…remember to take care of yourself and those around you.

……NEXT EDITION ~ Reviews on Thalgo Skincare, Bond No. 9, Cellulations, LaLicious, SPIKE, The Maybelline Story, Gibson’s Steakhouse, Kama Indian Bistro……

By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the 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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)

Thursday, September 2, 2010


(Volume 2010.4)

The latest news and review bits from my desk…..


Best Buddies Hamptons Gala and Immunocologie ~ Immunocologie was a proud donating sponsor of their skincare products to the Third Annual Best Buddies Hamptons Gala, held this past August 21st. Best Buddies is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping persons with developmental disabilities attains self-sufficiency. The gala was held at the home of noted philanthropic and political fundraising icons, Anne Hearst and Jay McInerney. For more information, visit and

Elysian Hotel Spa Yoga Retreat Weekend, Chicago ~ September is National Yoga Month, and to celebrate it, Chicago’s exquisite luxury hotel and spa destination, the Elysian Hotel Spa & Health Club, will be hosting a Yoga Retreat Weekend this September 10-12, featuring yoga iconic instructor Mandy Ingber; Ms. Ingber is the go-to yoga instructor for aficionados and celebs like Anniston, Shields and Hunt. The 3-day/2 night Yoga Retreat Weekend rates start at $1,445.00 and include accommodations, lectures, demonstrations, classes, a spa treatment, in-room amenity, Lululemon mat, and lunch with Ms. Ingber. For more information, visit and

ESPA International
~ The iconic spa brand’s founder and CEO, Susan Harmsworth, received a unique honor by being recognized for her outstanding services and tireless commitment to the spa and beauty industry during the U.K.’s recent 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honors. Ms. Harmsworth now holds the title of Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, or MBE. For more information, visit

Gehwol ~ The long-established and innovator of foot-health products and care, is now offering its therapeutic mani and pedi treatments, using their extensive line of products, at the exquisite The Spa at Trump SoHo. Guests of The Spa will be able to purchase these iconic products, or find them in their rooms as in-room amenities. For more information, visit and

Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur, India ~ To commemorate the opening of India’s first ESPA, the luxury hotel and spa is offering a “Spa Divine@The Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur” package that includes airport transfers, accommodations, meals and spa treatments; the special package runs through September 30, 2010. Rates are based on double occupancy, minimum of two-night stay, and begin at $375.00 per person. The spa is set among a grove of flowering guava trees, where traditional European and Ayurvedic-based treatment therapies are administered in nine historically designed Rajasthani tents (some include over-sized marble soaking tubs). For more information, visit

MUD (Make-Up Designory) ~ The name behind the iconic brand of beautiful cosmetics, tools and two teaching academies (LA and NYC), can add to its list of accolades a continuing partnership with cable television’s hit reality show, “She’s Got the Look” (TV Land). The MUD partnership is now in its third season and the glam look behind the show’s runway hopefuls. For more information, visit and

Spa Chakra ~ After much hoopla and fanfare with the Waldorf-Astoria Corporation, Guerlain and Spa Chakra launching the new luxury brand, Spa Chakra, in the Fall of 1998, troubled times kept biting them on their proverbial backside. And, having filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last December 2009, hope abounded when private investment firm Hercules Technology Growth completed the acquisition of the troubled luxury brand in March 2010, with promises of growth and expansion. Then, without any warning, the doors were abruptly closed on August 20th, leaving fifteen worldwide Spa Chakra luxury branded spas up for grabs, not too mention all of the staff, spa faithful and gift certificate holders. Hotels where these spas were located are scrambling to try and work out details on space retention and continue spa operations, but under different and individual names. I’m sure there are many legal hurdles to overcome given the complexity of the asset assumption and ceasing of operations. Hmmmm, wonder what happens to all that inventory of equipment, products, etc.? A distress sale, perhaps? I digress…..the Conrad Indianapolis will retain their spa facility and operations, and will open in the Fall under a yet to be disclosed name. Besides the Conrad Indianapolis, some of the other shuttered Spa Chakra doors include the Palmer House Hilton Chicago, W Retreat & Spa Vieques Island and the Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey. The short-lived and storied Spa Chakra had its roots with the luxe brand Guerlain. The Guerlain Spa at the tony Waldorf Astoria is also shuttered, since they were part of the brand. Tough times. Sad to see a spa fade like this. Too much drama. Stay tuned for more developments. I’d give a reference website, but that isn’t viable, either.

Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour, UK ~ The luxury hotel brand has announced the opening of The Blue Harbour Spa, which will feature specialized treatments for “mums-to-be” and an indulgent signature treatment, the Melt Massage, which involves a melted heady-scented massage oil candle that’s dripped all over the body as part of a seventy-five minute body massage. Men aren’t being overlooked and will an extensive list of treatments to soothe their savagery and release manly stresses. Rounding out the spa’s focus on well-being, the area will also include a twenty-four hour fitness area, steam, sauna and a sizeable seventeen meter pool (nearly fifty-six feet in length), complete with soothing “swan’s neck hydro faucets and jets. For more information, visit



Amrit Organics Spa Specifics ~ Another product line I’ve heard great things about in the world of “organics” and “spa”, but hadn’t ever tried any of them until now. I was slightly hesitant trying products that were “oil” in the dead of the dog days of summer; heat and humidity, which I hate, didn’t seem like a good fit. When I’m wrong, I’m wrong. I tried the Golden Nutrient Serum and Eye Serum Roll-On. The beauty behind this brand and especially these products is that there aren’t any synthetics, chemicals, additives or preservatives. The Golden Nutrient Serum is based on their signature blend of organic sunflower, jojoba, and olive oils, natural vitamin E, organic essential oils of lavender, lemongrass and rose geranium. If you’ve been reading my articles on a regular basis (since the mid1990s), you’ll know that I have a passion for using products that are aromatherapeutic. Just look at the list of organic essential oils in this product and you’ll appreciate why I was enthralled using the product. But a great aroma doesn’t equate to an effective product. In this case, however, it does. In addition to these scrumptious aromatherapeutic essential oils, the three organic oils combine to become super-hydrators, delivering antioxidants to the skin, while helping to brighten skin tone, combat aging and rejuvenate. Used sparingly, I preferred using this for my night regimen. The Eye Serum’s applicator seemed a bit unusual, since I’ve never seen a “roll-on” as the delivery component for this type of product; but it’s a very logical design, not too mention extremely hygienic. I loved on easy the roller dispensed just the right amount of treatment serum to the under eye area; I didn’t even need to tap it into the skin; it absorbed without any irritation and like the face serum, hydrated well, minimized fine wrinkles and left no greasy residue. The Eye Serum’s ingredients include organic jojoba oil, organic freeze-dried aloe vera and organic chamomile. Simple, pure ingredients that deliver results. For more information, visit

Bambola Beauty ~ This new eco-conscious skincare line includes a full-range of natural and organic-based products. I tried their Hydrating Eye Gel. Key ingredients include aloe (hydrates), arnica (diminishes discoloration), green tea extract (plumps, anti-aging properties) and Mannentake mushrooms (vitamins A, B. B2, and C, which nourishes and promotes smoother and firmer skin in the delicate eye area). The product absorbed quickly, left no residue and gently hydrated. For more information, visit

ESPA ~ I’ve never had the opportunity to experience any of these products until now. ESPA Floral Spafresh Spritzer and ESPA 24 Hour Balancing Complex were two exceptional hot weather weapons in combating the onslaught of heat and humidity, which I don’t tolerate too well. The Floral Spafresh not only was a lovely toner post-cleansing routine, it was also soothing; this non-alcohol product was also refreshing and uplifting; its delicious aroma added to the enjoyment of using the product; some of the aromatherapeutic ingredients included rosewater, neroli and tangerine oil. The product was ideal for my sensitive skin, was non-irritating, and lightweight; it provided effective all-day hydration. I also used it throughout the day as a refresher and pick-me-up. The Balancing Complex was also ideal for my sensitive skin and helped stave off my face from perspiring due to the heat; it seemed to add a delicate, but effective barrier to my skin; my skin felt silky smooth to the touch; the texture of the product was silky, and left no residue, and was quickly absorbed. The product is recommended for sensitive or dry skin and is well suited as an anti-aging moisturizer. Some of the high-performing ingredients in this wonderful product included evening primrose oil, apricot kernel oil, myrrh and rose geranium oil, as well as coconut, jojoba, and frankincense; with all of these aromatherapeutic properties, it’s no wonder why I also loved its delicious aroma. For more information, visit

Fleur’s ~ Fleur’s has launched a brand new product, Sérum Hydratant Absolu )Absolute Moisturizing Serum). A key ingredient is the floral essence of the blue orchid, which is prized for its inherent moisturizing, anti-aging, antioxidant and softening properties. Other key ingredients in this exceptional product include shea butter, known for restructuring and moisturizing; grapefruit seed extract, known for its fruit astringent properties, which regulate sebum production and staves off blackheads; and wheat germ, soy, and sunflower plant oils (all rich in vitamin F and essential fatty acids), which help to reduce water retention, retain ceramides, while reinforcing cellular content. This is product’s aroma is divine, with a heady scent of orchid. It glides on with its lightweight and silky texture, and is quickly absorbed; applied morning and evening, it can be used alone, or as a “booster” underneath preferred moisturizer. I found it performed wonderfully without the addition of moisturizer and left my skin feeling hydrated, while improving the overall texture and adding subtle radiance. I thoroughly enjoyed using this aromatherapeutic product. For more information, visit

Skin 2 Skin ~ Here’s another brand of highly regarded natural and organic products that are advanced with scientific properties in its ingredient profile. I refer to them as cosmeceuticals because of the advanced scientific components, particular for anti-aging. I generally avoid these types of products, because my occasionally reactive skin, well, reacts negatively to some of the ingredients. Unfortunately, a few of their products didn’t fair too well on my skin. Products I tried included White Tea Anti-Aging Face Wash, Oatmeal & Pomegranate Face Scrub, Anti-Aging Renewal Serum, Aging Intervention Cream, Un-Wrinkle Forehead & Crow’s Feet Cream, and Anti-Aging Revitalizing Eye Gel. With the exception of the Renewal Serum and Intervention Cream, all other products performed better than anticipated; they were gentle, non-irritating, favorably consistencies, quickly absorbed, left no greasy or tacky residue, and had a pleasant aroma. My favorite products included the Face Wash, Face Scrub, and Eye Gel. Although I did try the Un-Wrinkle product, fortunately, I don’t have crow’s feet or deep-set wrinkles; still the product gave a nice level of hydration to those targeted areas. Initially, the Intervention Cream (alpha lipoic acid, dermaxyl, and vitamins A, C and E) worked very well in maximizing my hydration levels, until I noticed irritation and drying around my nose area after a two-week period; I discontinued its use. I had almost immediate irritation and stinging in the eyes when using the Renewal Serum (17% matrixyl) on targeted areas, like the forehead and the nasal labial folds; since its 17% concentration of matrixyl represents the maximum percentage, this product is probably best left in the hands of a qualified esthetician, which I’m not. Matrixyl treats wrinkles while repairing the dermal matrix and is an alternative to retinol and vitamin C; it stimulates cellular production of collagen and improves the tissue; clearly, this ingredient represents the latest advancement in anti-aging ingredients. I tried to understand a research paper on the science behind this advanced peptide; the research results were difficult to appreciate, let alone comprehend, because it was science-speak; I even had a major flashback to chemistry classes; it wasn’t a pleasant memory, reminding me of my geeky years; but, I digress….Another product I tried was the Light Tint Photoaging SPF 30 Moisturizing Cream; unfortunately, even though it was a Light Tint, it was too dark for my fair skin and I didn’t want to walk around looking like I was either late for a theatrical performance, or something else; still, consistency was creamy thanks to the jojoba and shea butter ingredients. For more information, visit

TALIKA ~ The authority in lash care since 1948 has set a new standard. TALIKA has improved its original LIPOCILS product, making it even more effective, with the introduction of LIPOCILS EXPERT. Enriched with silk proteins and 12 plant extracts, including nettle, hamamelis and apple, clinical trials resulted with some participants experiencing up to a 36% lash growth, and an increase in color of up to 50% on participants with light-colored lashes; these results were documented after a twenty-eight day trial, involving a twice daily application of the product. Lashes are also conditioned and less brittle, eliminating “fall out”. TALIKA EXPERT’s unique dual applicator wand has a tip for applying the gel to the lash roots, as well as a brush to maximize even gel distribution to lashes. Growth is stimulated and lashes are treated. In using the product, I found that it delivered. My pale puny lashes became slightly darker, thicker and definitely more conditioned and healthier to the touch, and weren’t brittle to the touch; I also noticed a slight curl to my lashes. For more information, visit

ZENSATION Sense of Luxury
~ This Swiss company promises products that are based with natural and organic ingredients, which deliver results. Not being familiar with this brand, I tried one of their multi-tasking products, Radiance Brightening Cleansing Cream. Not only did the product thoroughly and gently clean and remove my makeup effortlessly, its creamy texture also hydrated and brightened my skin as well. Some of the product ingredients include mulberry root, grape and sarmentosa extracts, known for their skin brightening properties, rose flower oil, rose flower water, and vitamin E. I enjoyed using this product. Its creamy texture was rich and rinsed off easily without leaving any greasy or tacky residue; the subtle scent of Damask rose added to the pleasure of using the product; skin felt thoroughly cleansed, hydrated, with a very silky texture. For more information, visit


~ Since 1882, Gehwol products initially began treating and tending to feet, but through its success and technological advances, have included a product range that addresses problems with hands and nails. Behind the success and endurance of this company was Eduard Gerlach, a German pharmacist, who is credited with opening the first-ever drugstore in 1868 in the region of Westphalia. He would also be regarded as the pioneer in modern foot care, after successfully introducing the first-ever commercially manufactured medical cream for treating and alleviating foot conditions. Although I was vaguely familiar with the company, I never had an opportunity to try the products, until now. I tried the Gehwol Med Callus Cream for feet and Gerlan Hand Cream. The Callus Cream promises removal of stubborn calluses with a twice daily application within twenty-eight days or less restores affected area to normal. I was amazed when I noticed initial results occurring within hours and only after the initial application, it was remarkable. The Callus Cream’s powerful ingredients include urea, allantoin, avocado oil, glycerin, lipids and silk extracts. With regular use, problem areas become more manageable, and the stubborn callus is easily removed. I enjoyed the product’s pleasant aroma; its texture was rich and creamy, was quickly absorbed and left no greasy residue. The Hand Cream was also very effective in moisturizing and treating my hands; it was also enjoyable to use; I especially liked how it treated my dry cuticle areas and fingertips, making them soft and hydrated. Rich and emollient, this pleasantly fragranced product was quickly absorbed and left no greasy residue. Beneficial ingredients include aloe vera, jojoba oil, panthenol, and bisabolol (from German chamomile). For more information, visit

~ Although I’ve never had my eyebrows threaded, the Karmissie Threader Deluxe Kit is an impressive at-home kit for those experienced in having their brow growth thinned and shaped using this ancient method. The Kit includes an instructional CD that was very thorough, with easy to follow instructions and product demonstrations. The Kit also includes Feel Less, a de-sensitizing pre-treat lotion, Chalk for highlighting the brow hair, The Closer, a post-treat lotion that calms, soothes and inhibits breakouts (due to hair removal from its roots), and a Threader device, complete with snap-in cotton threading material. Threading removes ragged or excessive hair from the brow area, and with removal, also smoothes and polishes the skin’s surface; increased frequency of use will also make newer growth less visible and finer in texture. For more information, visit

Lotus Wei ~ I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing other products in this line of natural and organic whole body care, flower essences and elixirs, energy mists, and body oil. This time around, I tried some of the suite of products that with regular use, can affect one’s state of mind and especially calm and uplift. I tried the Infinite Love Flower Elixir, Energy Mist and Body Oil (Balancing Serums), which are geared towards “being kind to yourself”. The Flower Elixir is taken five times a day, 5 drops under the tongue; ingredients include vibrational flower and gem essences in a base of pure water, organic grape alcohol and glycerin; I detected a faint taste of cinnamon; very pleasant. Next came the Energy Mist, which was also refreshing and uplifting; its aroma was delicious; some of the ingredients included rose absolute, rose geranium, orchid, lemongrass, lotus, and pink magnolia; also recommended to be used five times a day; I loved it chilled. The Body Oil was also refreshing, quickly absorbed and left no greasy residue; I loved pouring some on my palms, rubbing for friction, which seemed to release more of the aromatic vapors; some of the ingredients included safflower oil, vitamin E, and those found in the Energy Mist. Other varieties include Joy Juice, Inner Peace, Quiet Mind, Inspired Action, and Pure Energy. A definite must-have to keep at arm’s reach when a lift and refresh are needed; wonderfully aromatherapeutic. For more information, visit

Votre Vu ~ Votre Vu’s On Holiday Huiler Pour Le Corps is a lovely scented Moisturizing Body Spray that drenches the body with a formula rich in hydrating oils, including grape seed, sweet almond, apricot kernel, wheat germ and jojoba. These oils are rich in properties that not only hydrate, but also nourish and calm dry, irritated or itchy skin. On Holiday was quickly absorbed, non-greasy, and didn’t leave any residue on my skin, while noticeably leaving my skin with an improved texture and elevated levels of hydration. The combination of these benefits, plus the subtle aroma it imparted on my skin, made this product very enjoyable to use. This product is part of a series of body care products that also include a Body Scrub, Shower Gel and Body Lotion. For more information, visit


FACE atelier ~ I rarely use foundation because I find it too heavy feeling on my face, especially when it’s hot and humid outside (lately the norm in my area). I also don’t like the consistency, which seems tacky, greasy and pasty. I felt this way until I tried FACE atelier Ultra Pro Foundation; the color I tried was their #2, which complimented my fair skin tone beautifully; the product went on easily and smoothly, and covered the skin evenly, without any telltale sign I was even wearing a foundation. Behind the products effectiveness are ingredients like cylomethicone, which fills in fine lines, glycerin, which hydrates and binds moisture to the skin without any over-saturation or unwanted “dewiness”, and silicone, which inhibits forces that degrade the product (heat, cold, sweat, and water). The product is also oil and fragrance free, and non-comedogenic. I also found I didn’t need to apply any powder over the foundation; results were very natural looking. For more information, visit

MUD (Make-Up Designory) ~ This was another brand I wasn’t familiar with, but had the pleasure of experiencing a number of their products. Whether it involved the special seasonal color palettes, such as Summer, Autumn or Holiday, the colors were exceptional and easily transitioned within color palettes and season. Each palette included an eyeshadow quad of brilliant colors and treatment lip gloss. Palette colors included Summer ~ Magnolia Lip Glaze, Dulce de Leche, Pixie, Cajun, and Sapphire eyeshadow quad, and Endless Summer bronzer; Autumn ~ Java Lip Glaze, Brownstone, Moss, Espresso, and Honeysuckle eyeshadow quad, Black Forest eye pencil, and Rose Petal blush; and Holiday ~ Cupid Lip Glaze, Tinsel, Cashmere, Voodoo, and Onyx eyeshadow quad, Vintage eye pencil, and Rose Beige blush. The products went on effortlessly, were easy to blend, didn’t fade or irritate. The colors were beautiful and could be as subtle or as intense as I wanted. I also enjoyed using their Travel Brush Kit, containing seven must-have professional applicator brushes. For more information, visit

Skindinavia ~ Skindinavia’s Cool Flash Makeup Finish not only sets makeup, but helps to cool skin surface temperature so there’s no heat degradation with makeup. The product is also heat resistant and ideal for those hot humid summer days, hot flashes, or while doing exertive activities. With its cooling mist, the product is also refreshing on those tropical days. Leaves no residue and ideal for sensitive skin (like mine). Product is also oil and paraben free. Can be applied throughout the day or evening as a refresher spritz. For more information, visit

That’s it for this edition…until the next one…remember to take care of yourself and those around you.

……NEXT EDITION ~ Reviews on Astara Skincare, DayNa Decker, Nune & Nature, Obagi, Sunday Riley, ‘The Maybelline Story’……

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


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)