For me, nothing smells more like summer than Neroli. That’s why, as my favorite season comes to a close, I’m reaching more often for my Marie Veronique Pacific Line, with it’s luscious Neroli essential oil fragrance. Though I may not be able to make summer last all year, with one spritz of the MV Pacific Mist, I can instantly evoke warm nights, gentle breezes and vacation memories.
Not only does the Pacific Line smell divine, but this high quality, ultra organic, scientifically vetted skincare line leaves aging skin looking bright, uplifted and toned. Their gentle cleanser goes on easily and while creamy and rich, doesn’t leave an overly greasy film on skin after rinsing. The Pacific facial oil is also a pleasure to apply and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth.
But the ultimate product in the Pacific Line and one which I never want to run out of, is the Pacific Body Oil. It’s got seeds: watermelon, sesame and apricot (kernels), it’s got essential fatty acids and it’s got the most insanely delicious essential oil fragrance blend imaginable, with a unique blend of tuberose, star jasmine and neroli oils. The Pacific Body Oil soaks into your skin easily, leaving it feeling rich, soft and sensual without being heavy. If you’re looking for after sun care, a soothing body moisturizer, or just a skincare treat, this is one product not to miss.
The Pacific Line overall works beautifully for skin that is sensitive or prone to rosacea, with ingredients that are designed to calm and hydrate over exposed skin.
If you live in the bay area, check out the Marie Veronique Retail Store in Mill Valley:
Marie Veronique Organics 29 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley CA 94941
It’s been a busy couple of months in spa land so I haven’t been able to post on the blog as much as I would like. I just started a new gig as a wellness blogger for the Sonoma County Tourist Board website. As an official “Sonoma Insider”, I’ll be able to explore some of the spas I’ve missed (hard to believe I know), in Sonoma County.
I’ll be reporting on the latest wellness news in Sonoma, including the best yoga classes, practitioners, retreats and workshops in the area.
Contributing to Healing Lifestyles and Spas“Daily Tips” column of hip, hot and innovative beauty and wellness news has proved to be a fun way to learn about all the latest trends in wellness and beauty and I’ve also been enjoying getting to know the HLS team (Shanon Hoffman, the HLS editor and publisher is an awesome lady!).
My recent facial of a lifetime with the “Grande Dame” of skincare Belle Schneider, is going to be a hard act to follow. Aesthetician and beauty guru to celebrities, politicians and Silicon Valley bigwigs, Schneider has been beautifying the world one day at a time since she first learned the trade at the tender age of 14. Check out my detailed review here
Osmosis Day Spa put on an unforgettable spa event at the recent “Maximum Buzz” party. Showcasing Osmosis’ unique cedar baths, stellar treatment menu and one of kind gardens and rooms, the evening featured local wines and a variety of tasty treats from Osmosis’ personal chef. I especially enjoyed laying in the hammock in Osmosis’ innovative “Field of Hammocks”, while drinking a glass of Lambert Bridge’s amazing Cabernet Sauvignon and enjoying a cardamom chocolate truffle as the sun set in the late afternoon Sonoma County sky.
I also had an amazing organic facial from Azja, an Osmosis aesthetician who has been working at Osmosis for over ten years! She must have started when she was about 15 because she didn’t look a day older than 25.
Three local wineries represented at the event from Graton, Healdsburg (Lambert Bridge) and Freestone.
Finger food! Loved the chef’s meatballs and the chocolate covered strawberries and cookie array went a long way towards making my sweet tooth happy.
Got to meet some great people and get more of a sense of what it means to be a truly “local” spa.
Soaking my feet in the Cedar Enzyme Bath with Ariane Hilterbrand, Interactive Media Manager of the Sonoma County Tourist Board and Jeanne House of Solcommunication.com
This spring at the spa you can inspire your inner artist, bring the party to the spa or commune with nature at a holistic eco-inspired retreat. Whether you’re painting watercolors in the Napa Valley, enjoying a drink after a day at the slopes in Wyoming or walking on the beach in Bodega Head, you’ll enjoy a unique and memorable experience of spa life.
“Art of Relaxation” package in Napa Valley:
Want to practice the art of relaxation? Visit the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, CA. this spring and enjoy a unique package that integrates art into your spa experience. The “Art of Relaxation” spa package includes two spa treatments at the fabulous Spa Terra, art supplies and luxurious resort accomodations.
A three hour watercolor class is also available with a local artist for an additional $30.
When I visited Spa Terra last year, I loved lounging in their unique “spa cave” and had a great Hot and Cold stone massage, one of the first treatments I’ve experienced that integrated cold stones into a hot stone treatment. Napa Valley is beautiful this time of year and sure to inspire novice and experienced artists alike.
In Jackson Hole, Wyoming:
Visit Jackson Hole in Wyoming and enjoy a treatment at one of two great spas. Each offer a lighthearted opportunity to bring the party into the spa. Though I haven’t personally visited Solitude Spa or Chill Spa, they offer some interesting and creative treatments and I love that Chill Spa is an eco-friendly LEED Silver Certified Resort and Spa.
Solitude Spa at Teton Mountain Lodge & Spa:
Hair of the Moose Treatment:
The perfect remedy for a hangover or to simply unwind after a hard day hitting the slopes, the playful Hair of the Moose boozy treatment includes 15 minutes of Oxygen Therapy in the Tranquility Lounge followed by a Bacon Bloody Mary from the Spur Restaurant & Bar. ($36 available from 10am to 1pm daily with two treatments possible per hour)
Chill Spa at Hotel Terra Jackson Hole:
Overlooking Teton Village, Chill Spa is offering the the Key Lime Martini Organic Facial.
Key Lime Martini Organic Facial (May 11 – August 30th):
This summer facial features a refreshing experience highlighted by the benefits of coconut, lime, pineapple and key lime vanilla. The treatment can also be customized for both oily and dry skin and will provide anti-aging results, leaving a beautiful fresh summer glow. (50 Minutes: $149 80 Minutes (CACI Ultra Eye Lift to provide instant anti-aging gratification is available with this treatment): $199)
Osmosis Spa in Freestone California:
Enjoy a complete eco-spa experience at this oasis in Sonoma County’s coastal wine country. Osmosis offers a unique retreat complete with Japanese style cedar enzyme baths, a carefully curated spa store that features some of my favorite green spa products and a spa environment that is as beautiful as it is sustainable.
Their “Organic Lifestyle Vacation Package” includes a customized spa program designed and guided by a spa therapist, guided meditation in the Zen Gardens, three nights stay in a luxurious home on the Bodega Harbor, private tours of nearby organic gardens, meals prepared by an organic chef (with optional cooking classes available) and more. (Rates begin at $1,499 per person). Contact: email@example.com or call Mercedes Jones at 707-823-8231 for more info. http://www.osmosis.com
Are you ready for romance? Relaxation and massage can enhance your natural beauty and raise your endorphin levels, creating a welcoming love vibe that will attract others and make them want more of you. That’s why a day of pampering and indulgence at the spa is one of the best ways to prepare your self for love. But spa-ing isn’t cheap, luckily, Burke Williams spa just announced some great Valentine’s Day packages for both singles and couples who want to celebrate love, but without breaking the bank.
Romance: Just $159 (regular price $205)
Enjoy a Spa Pedicure with your choice of a 50-minute Pure Relaxation massage with enhancement -or- a 50-minute Spa Style Facial with peel.
True Love: Just $259 (regular price $340)
Indulge in a Spa Pedicure with a 50-minute Pure Relaxation massage with enhancement -and- a 50-minute Spa Style Facial with peel.
For Two: Just $299 (regular price $400)
Each of you will enjoy a luxurious 80-minute Pure Relaxation massage with enhancement or Spa Style Facial with peel.
Valentine’s Day package specials are available beginning January 25 through February 14 and vary per spa location. Burke Williams San Francisco is located downtown at the Westfield Shopping Centre. Enjoy the “Parisienne Fantasy” theme decor of this location, including artwork inspired by the City of Lights. The San Francisco Burke Williams is one of its largest and most luxurious facilities.
845 Market Street, Suite 510
San Francisco, CA 94103
San Francisco Westfield Shopping Centre directly above Bloomingdales
T: 415-694-7980 http://www.burkewilliamsspa.com
When I recently got invited to try Intraceuticals, a new (to me), facial and product line, I was admittedly skeptical. In general, I’m not a big fan of beauty treatments that involve machines. Give me a good old fashioned facial massage, essential oils, warm towels and products that are free from toxins and I’m a happy camper. High-tech, aerodynamic, super scientific skincare just isn’t my thing.
Enter the “Opulence Intraceuticals Infusion Oxygen Facial”. Touted by a-list celebrities (Madonna! Kim Kardashian! Eva Longoria!) and top models, renowned as a “bride’s big day” secret weapon and beloved by makeup artists and aestheticians in the know, Intraceuticals has garnered quite a reputation in a relatively short time.
The Intraceuticals Facial, as I would come to learn, is a serum based treatment with results that you can literally see, (really, actually see in the mirror during the facial). Pretty amazing eh?
So what exactly does this skincare superhero consist of? First of all, it does involve a machine, hence my initial skepticism. But I have to admit the Intraceuticals facial is a game changer. The machine in question “delivers oxygen under light pressure.” While I’m not sure exactly what that means, after having the treatment I don’t really care. What I experienced felt like a cooling wand of low pressure air and Intraceutical serum puffs gently blowing on my skin. The Intraceutical daily elixir contains “hyaluronic acid “ a natural acid that already exists in the skin and provides both hydration and anti-oxidants. Vitamin C and Green Tea add even more healing punch to this potent skin medicine, enhancing the healing and rejuvenating properties of the serum. Word on the street is that this combination of cool air and soothing serum are an especially great skincare regimen for those with eczema and sensitive skin.
I like results, but I don’t like poisons, so I was happy to hear that Intraceuticals products are paraben free and the boosters in particular incorporate some great natural ingredients. My favorite is the antioxidant booster which contains an eco-certified bark from Australia that helps to revitalize and balance skin.
After deploying the oxygen wand over half my face, my aesthetician handed me a mirror and pretty much said “voila”, as both of us could see the difference between the two halves, one of which had been Intraceutacalized, and the other which had not. Yep-lines in my forehead and around my mouth which looked carved in stone on one half, were virtually non-existent in the other half. My skin had a plump, almost dewy hue. Ok, I was impressed. Machines do have a place in skincare….But, according to the Intraceuticals reps, it’s really the serum that has the magic powers, the machine is certainly a component, but without the serum the results wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic.
The general recommendation is a series of six treatments every month and a half for more powerful and longer lasting results. My own line free, fresh face look only lasted for a day or two-but I’ve continued the Intraceuticals “at home” regime since, using their treatment support product kit. My skin is softer and shinier, but the lines alas, have come back.
So now of course I’m dying to see what would happen after the six series treatment!
Intraceuticals treatments are available at a variety of bay area spas, but I had mine done at the Remede Spa in the St. Regis hotel, which was quite nice with an indoor infinity pool and other interesting perks. The St. Regis hotel has just had some major renovations done and it looks pretty grand, so check it out!
What could be better than chocolate on Valentine’s Day? How about a chocolate and honey spa treatment? Romantic and beautiful, Salish Lodge and Spa in Washington has a deluxe lineup of sweet themed spa specials available through February 28, 2013. As a special treat, enjoy their delectable house made honey truffles which are included in all the Valentine’s day offerings.
Choose from an array of sweet treats including:
Sea Salt Chocolate and Honey Body Scrub
This Sea Salt honey scrub will sweeten your day and your skin. Salish’s skilled practitioners will polish the surface of your skin and replenish your body with a thin layer of warm body crème. Finish by nibbling on a Salish house made Honey Truffle with your skin feeling silky soft and ready for a night out with your Valentine.
50 Minute | $115
Chocolate and Honey Bath This bath includes the perfect blend of chocolate, honey and rose petals. All of your senses are heightened and your experience enhanced as you nibble on Salish house made Honey Truffles and indulge in pure bliss.
$45 | All ingredients will be provided to set up your own memorable moment at your convenience $65 | Your Bath Butler will draw the bath at your requested time
Or if you prefer the decadence of whipped cream, try this over the top body wrap:
Chocolate & Whipped Crème Body Wrap
Wrap yourself in the decadence of chocolate. This delicious treatment includes a cocoa bean exfoliation, a full body covering of Dead Sea mud and chocolate and a warm blanket wrap. The combined benefits detoxify, improve circulation, tighten, tone and soften your skin. Complete the experience with a drizzling of sweet whipped crème leaving your skin with a luminous glow and enjoy a Salish house made Honey Truffle to take home.
80 Minute | $185
Chocolate is incorporated into massage in a delux Valentine’s day body treat:
Warm Cocoa Massage
A cocoa massage is so much more than just a relaxing experience. It is proven to be beneficial for the skin and therapeutic as well. As warm cocoa crème is drizzled over you, enjoy a 50 minute full body massage that will sooth aching muscles and relax you from head to toe. Enjoy a Salish house made Honey Truffle on your way out.
50 Minute | $150
Upgrade to a Heated Stone Massage for $10 and it will feel and smell like hot chocolate.
Couples Fireside Chocolate Massage The two best things on Valentine’s Day – chocolate and the one you love. Your Valentine will fall in love with you all over again as you enjoy 50 minute chocolate massages together in our romantic Fireside Room. Lay side by side taking in the warmth and crackling of the fireplace and the scent of warm chocolate and surrounded by rose petals. Complete the experience with two Salish house made Honey Truffles to take home with you.
50 Minute | $270 per couple
Call 1.800.2.SALISH to make reservations.
Want to start the new year off right? Get your spa on and welcome in 2013 with a retreat at one of wine country’s most unique resorts. Bardessono Hotel Restaurant and Spa, renowned for its contemporary eco-luxury vibe, excellent service and spa style suites, features an innovative menu of evocative organic spa treatments. Bardessono’s latest spa offering includes the “Red Flower Nature Ritual” a carefully crafted experience designed to address skin inflammation and dryness, perfect for the winter season and for those with sensitive skin.
The “Red Flower Nature Ritual” is two and a half hours of head to toe pampering, focusing on soothing and replenishing skin. Incorporating products infused with collagen enhancing arctic berries and Omega 3 and 6 oils (which reduces inflammation), this extravagant organic experience is one to remember. On a recent visit, my treatment began with a body scrub using bioactive berry white peat exfoliate, followed by a mushroom and phtyo nutrient body wrap. While encased in the wrap, a soothing foot massage and a heated water pad placed over my belly added the perfect touches to this relaxing and therapeutic treatment.
Following the body wrap, my massage therapist, Heather, put her stellar head massage techniques to work during the application of a scalp serum to my head and hair. A 75-minute massage, a mini-facial and more scalp massage were the grand finale to this healing treatment.
Treatments can be experienced in a “spa suite”, (perfect for relaxing afterwards in the hot tub size soaking tubs), or, for day visitors, in Bardessono’s in-house spa. Enjoy an infrared sauna and the spa shop’s unique collection of sustainable produced clothing and other great spa products.
Overnight guests will be greeted upon arrival at Bardessono with a glass of premium local wines with a choice of red or white. Other amenities include complementary bicycles, perfect for touring nearby wineries, house roasted rosemary almonds awaiting you in your room and Tcho chocolates with turndown service in the evening.
Current packages include “The New Years Eve Escape” which features a four night stay, a couple’s massage, a premium bottle of Billecart-Salmon Champagne, a $100 and a special turndown amenity. This offer is good until January 2, 2012-
Or try the “Spa Package” which includes overnight accommodations and a $200 spa credit.
Book your Bardessono reservation here: (707) 204 6000 or online via the Bardessono website: www.bardessono.com