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Beauty Review: Lavender & Acacia Relaxing Foaming Bath
August 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm 0
bathbubbles We tested out the Le Couvent des Minimes foaming bath by chance; we found it in the drug store and thought based on it's expensive price tag it had to be amazing! We were not disspointed! You only need a little bit for a full bathtub and the scent is divine! It has a strong but natural scent and it produces an incredible amount of bubbles for a full bathtub. So, even though the pricetag is around the $35 mark, it's worth it to pay for quality products that you can use for a long time. Apprarently these products come from a Convent in France en Provence, that now operates as a hotel spa, which has been certified by Relais and Chateau ( a big fancy group that tells you if your hotel is fancy enough to get into their club - it's very exclusive; only 2 hotels in Canada are in the club).
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Style
Spa Review: Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt Toronto
July 5, 2010 at 8:34 am 2
stillwaterspa The Park Hyatt Toronto is a beautiful hotel, and the Stillwater Spa is no exception. The changerooms are clean and compact, and have personal tv viewing beds, a ladies only steam and hot tub and all the little conveniences you would want, from toothbrushes to q-tips. The waiting area for services is serene and relaxing, and they have a great selection of teas, fruits and biscotti for guests. The one major location drawback is that there's absolutely no natural light, since the spa is entirely underground. Somehow the space doesn't feel so fresh and healthy when you have no natural light or fresh air. Another problem was the showers; several of them were out of order, meaning ladies were waiting in line for a shower, and the water remained cold for a long time. Not exactly 5 star service. In terms of services while at the Stillwter Spa I tested out their facial services. Luckily I was able to score a last minute appointment, so on a whim I hopped in a taxi, spent some time relaxing before my appointment and then blissed out with my facial. The aesthetician, Kelly, was friendly and knowledgeable. When I went into the room she asked me within seconds if I was German or Polish because she could tell based on the slightly pink colouring that is different from the English pink skin, and is unique to Germany and Poland. I was shocked! Nobody ever guesses that I'm German; I have dark hair, hazel eyes and olive skin. Everyone thinks I'm Italian. Except for the super smart Kelly! Throughout the facial I had a mixture of masks, creams, steam, extractions, and massages. The one thing that was noticeably missing was the high frequency machine, which apparently the Hyatt does not use as a rule. How disappointing! I've had facials with and without, and the facials without don't make any major difference to my skin, while the ones with the high frequency make my skin look much smoother, softer, and it reduces redness. That said, the hand massage and foot massage while waiting for some of the masques to work was lovely. I've never had that before in a spa, so it was a great treat. Once I was done my spa services I relaxed a bit only to be located by staff and asked to pay as soon as I could. New tax laws were coming in and the spa had to charge me before there system switched over. Understandable, but I think the hotel could do a better job than hustling guests as soon as they check in to pay, and then again right after their service. Overall the spa's score is 7.5/10. The actual facial was good, but no high frequency machine, the broken showers, and being chased to pay were not conducive to a great facial and a relaxing spa promise. Photo Credit: Where.ca
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Life, Style
Fancy Spa vs. Cheap Nail Bar: Who Gives A Better Manicure
March 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm 6
One of the luxuries of being a girl is all the pamering - hair appointments, shopping trips, manicures, pedicures and all sorts of other lovely things that make us feel super special. But does it have to cost a fortune? Can you go for the cheaper option but still get great value? This week we're testing out nail bars. Is there a difference between the fancy spa and cheap nail bar? At the average fancy spa a manicure will cost $40, but at the inexpensive nail bar it's about $15. Once you add a tip you are looking at $45 vs. $18. Is it worth it?
for manicures expensive does not mean better

for manicures expensive does not mean better

Recently we tested out Elmwood Spa to see if it was worth the price difference. The facilities at the spa are lovely - there is a wonderful change room, water treatments that make you feel so relaxed, and flavoured water and apples everywhere. But, when it came time to get the manicure we were ushered down into the basement - and seated in a room with 20 other women cramped in little chairs getting manicures and pedicures. It was anything but glamourous! Trying to keep an open mind we chatted with the manicure ladies and people watched the other patrons. The manicurist trimmed our cuticles, shaped our nails and painted away using the Elmline products - a brand specific to this spa. The trimming and shaping were ok, although not as thorough as expected, but the nail varnish was awful! It was streaky, clumpy and just would not even out. And we were paying $45 for this! We asked the manicurist to remove the polish and start again with a recognized brand - OPI. This polish went on much better, smoother and didn't look like dollar store varnish. When we were done with the treatment and it was time to pay the friendly receptionist asked how we liked the manicure. It was time to be honest - "It was the worst manicure we've ever had". We were told the manager would call to see how they could make it better, but they never did. Over at the inexpensive nail bar we had a manicures and pedicures. As expected the place was busy, loud and crowded and the manicurist didn't have the same gentle approach as at Elmwood spa, but the results were fantastic! Our nails were trimmed well, our cuticles never looked better and the polish was applied perfectly. Some naysayers avoid cheaper nail bars saying they are unhygienic - but all you have to do is use some common sense (i.e. if there are used needles on the floor it's probably not a clean place) and if it makes you more comfortable just ask for any tools used on you to be sanitized with alcohol. So if you are looking for a great manicure the cheap nail bar is a better bet. It may not be as relaxing as the spa, but you will have great looking nails, and you'll have saved yourself a few bucks!
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