My first time at a day spa
Confession time: I have never been to a day spa. It’s not that I don’t think the idea of a lush 75-minute full-body massage doesn’t sound like a gift from the gods. It’s more, I don’t know where I’d find a spare 75 minutes to just lay down and surrender to the experience. I mean, who has that kind of time, am I right?
But busy women deserve pampering too, dammit. So in the interest of journalistic research, I headed to Queen St Beauty and Hair in Sydney’s Woollahra to sample three speedy-yet-transformative treatments you can get done in a lunchbreak. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it…
First up, a shoulder and neck massage with resident beauty therapist Laura, who explains that she’s using straight-up almond oil on my skin because it’s all-natural and super gentle on skin. I nod happily. She could be smothering peanut butter on my skin and I wouldn’t mind, because her blend of smooth strokes and deep-tissue massage is sending me into a sweet zone of relaxation.
Every time she moves over a knot in my shoulder, I feel it loosen and the weight of a thousand deadlines lifts off me. When the half-hour is up (why doesn’t time fly by like this on the treadmill?) Laura finishes by working an Elizabeth Arden lotion into my back, and I get up from the massage table feeling like a new person. Mission: accomplished.
Instant overhaul number two: pedicure. Sandal season is just about here and I reckon nothing puts me in a better mood than looking down at my feet to see a bright summery polish on my toes. And here you can get all that foot spa luxury without the toxins – yep, from the foot soak to the top coat, every product Laura used on my feet was free of the big five baddies, DibutylPhthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor (seriously, none of those things sound friendly!).
If you’ve got time, you can go for the one-hour deluxe pedi, but I’m on a mission to keep things short and sweet, so I pop my feet in a luscious warm spa to give them some R&R, then Laura does her thing, whipping my nails into shape and applying three coats of a pretty mauve polish. These prods might be short of toxins, but they’re not short on pigment. They go on smooth and three coats later, I’m ready to flaunt my tootsies to the gen pop!
The third trick Queen St Beauty and Hair has up their sleeve is to send me packing with a new ’do. After all, a fresh blowie has the power to make a girl go from feeling like Ugly Betty to Gigi Hadid. Hair guru Isabel wraps me up in a lush kimono-style robe and guides me over to the basin, where she tells me to lie back as she switches on the massage setting. Yep, this recliner literally gives me all the good vibrations.
After Isabel shampoos my scalp with the kind of head massage that’s impossible to DIY, it’s time for the blow-dry to begin. I relax back in my (perfectly still) chair and sip on a calming Alchemy and Eden botanical tea. Twenty minutes (and three cups of tea) later, I strut out of the salon like I’m owning the Victoria’s Secret runway… Except that I really need to pee.
Queen St Beauty and Hair, 158 Queen Street, Woollahra
By chief sub, Alice Harrington
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