One of Amsterdam's best beauty boutiques has come to the States, and the results are gorgeous. Set inside The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a luxury resort and casino, Skins 6|2 Cosmetics stocks an astounding array of hard-to-find brands including Australian skin care line Grown, American Mortals hair care, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian fragrances. Featuring testers aplenty and friendly (but not overbearing) staff, the store is an amazing find — and, we hope, the first of many more Skins 6|2 shops to come. Read on to see some highlights.
Since opening in 1954, the legendary Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel has drawn a star-studded crowd with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Jennifer Lopez stopping by. Now, with a recent renovation and the addition of the 40,000-square-foot Lapis Spa, it's more glamorous than ever — and, during the current Miami Spa Month, surprisingly well-priced considering the level of luxury at hand. So if you're headed to Miami, here's why you might want to book a treatment.
Millions of vacationers fly to Mexico's Yucatán peninsula each year, but too few of them venture far from Cancún. It's their loss, because the interior is filled with beautiful sights that no traveler should miss: Mayan ruins, refreshing cenotes, and unspoiled scenery. Among the must-see places is Hacienda San Jose, a former colonial estate that has been restored and transformed into a luxury hotel and spa. While trekking around Yucatán earlier this month, I stayed for a night and pretty much fell in love with the place. Take this virtual tour and I'm pretty sure you will, too.
In her work Essence and Alchemy, Mandy Aftel describes perfumers as the modern-day inheritors of the alchemical tradition, following in the footsteps of those men fervently obsessed with finding the Philosopher's Stone and turning base metals into gold. And when you visit the atelier where she mixes up her highly fragranced potions, you can't help but agree. There's something bewitching about the rare essences, the old books, and the quiet, pretty tinkling of colored glass, and I left fairly well ensorcelled myself. Mandy showed me around, let me take a million pictures, and told me all about how some of the rarest and most controversial ingredients go from the natural world into lovely little flacons. So to learn about everything from ambergris's origins inside sperm whales to how a perfumer comes up with new scents, just keep reading.
Not many countries can claim a spa as its main tourist attraction, but in Iceland's case, it's easy to see why so many people flock to the Blue Lagoon. The milky blue waters of this geothermal spa draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, and it's as relaxing as it is picturesque. I'd heard of this beautiful place, but never dreamed I'd see it with my own eyes. So when the Blue Lagoon invited BellaSugar on a trip to see the spa, what could I say but "já"? Read on for a tour of this must-visit spot, but you've been warned: once you've seen Iceland, you'll want to go there. (I'm planning my next vacation already.)
I hadn't been to a Hard Rock anything since I was a kid. But the sleek, all-suite tower of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas is a far cry from the burgers-and-guitars brand that once existed. Inside, the gorgeous Reliquary Spa is proof that Sin City can be as relaxing as it is stimulating. I was invited there for a complimentary treatment and was stunned by the luxurious space that awaited. Here's my report.
When it comes to Soho House, the doors are closed to almost everyone. Manhattan's famously exclusive private club is known for letting only the "right" people in, and its membership waiting list is a mile long. (Remember when the Sex and the City girls were kicked out?) Safe to say, it isn't easy to get through its doors — unless, of course, you feel like relaxing, being pampered, and generally having a blissful experience at Cowshed.
Spanning the greater part of Soho House's third floor, Brit import Cowshed is one of New York's best-kept spa secrets. Until last year, only members of the club were allowed access. Now, appointments are open to everyone who seeks a luxurious but unpretentious place to spoil themselves.
I recently paid Cowshed a visit, so to find out about the experience, keep reading.
Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, CA, has one of the Bay Area's best-kept beauty secrets. While most people know about the resort's dining offerings and golf courses, its spa facilities shouldn't be overlooked. I was recently invited to tour the spa and try a gratis treatment. To find out what a $245 massage is like, read more
Think being ecologically friendly means you'll have to give up style? Think again. At Manhattan's Ion Studio, super-hip cuts and vibrant color come to life in an environmentally conscious space. With years of styling experience behind them, founders Leonardo Manetti, Marco Santini, and Pasquale Ferrante aim to create a salon that is as good to the earth as it is to your hair.
Simple ideas led to a greener salon space. Much of its bright, airy feeling is due to natural light from skylights, the salon runs on wind-powered energy, and the stylists use the excellent and sustainable hair-care line Davines. Look around the art-filled room and you'll even see pieces made by reworking furniture from the space's former tenant.
As much as I like the green credentials of Ion, I like the vibe there even more. Even though the stylists have years of backstage experience at fashion shows (remember this cool braid at Coventry?), there's not even a hint of pretense. Instead, everyone is friendly and down-to-earth — so you get the world-class hairstyle without the upturned-nose attitude. And that just might leave your friends green . . . with envy.
Windy City ladies might not feel so lucky right about now, what with the cold weather and governor troubles. But on a lighter note, at least Chicagoans have one of the country's newest and most beautiful beauty boutiques. Sonia Roselli Esthétique is a girly-girl's primping paradise.
Longtime makeup artist Roselli offers airbrush makeup application, facials, eyelash extensions, and other beauty treatments. But the real reason to make a trip is the space's gloss bar. You'll choose from 120 color bases and a multitude of flavorings, then work with Roselli to create a custom lip gloss ($20) or lipstick ($35) — now that's giving urban Midwesterners something to smile about.