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Posted by on May 17, 2017 in Destination Spas, Resort and Hotel Spas | 0 comments

Vietnam Steps Up as Spa Destination Du Jour

Vietnam Steps Up as Spa Destination Du Jour

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Paradise Elegance

Paradise Elegance

While Bali and Thailand steal the lion’s share of attention when it comes to spa destinations in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is readying a major roar as five of the country’s top hotels, resorts and cruises launch ‘Spa-tacular Vietnam.’

 The new package features 10 nights and 10 spa treatments in the most deluxe property in each of Vietnam’s top five destinations: Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Nha Trang and Saigon. 
 
“Vietnam is the most under-rated spa destination in the world,” said Franck LaFourcade, general manager of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi. “For a long time, there was no spa culture here, but there was a people that cultivated the virtues of attentiveness and diligence that make a spa treatment here rather extraordinary.”
 
Just four years after the Metropole Hanoi debuted the first spa in its 108-year history, Le Spa won recognition from Travel + Leisure as one of the five best hotel spas in the world. Last year, CNN hailed The Reverie Saigon’s new spa as one of the 10 best new hotel spas in the world.
 
For ‘Spa-tacular Vietnam,’ each hotel is casting out two 60 or 90-minute spa treatments as anchors to each on-site experience. 
Reception area at the Reverie Saigon

Reception area at the Reverie Saigon

 

In Saigon, The Reverie’s new ‘Serenity’ treatment is a 90-minute, deep-tissue experience emboldened by herbal packs and Ila oil. It’s more stimulating than soothing, takes in the entire body and deploys heat in strategic fashion.
 
In Hanoi, the Metropole’s signature ‘Vietnamese Journey’ is a feel-good treatment that’s often deployed post-flight to ease transitions. The 90-minute experience incorporates traditional Vietnamese massage techniques, using finger and palm pressure to relieve aching limbs, improve circulation and eliminate toxins — all while lying on a warm herbal cushion. 
 
Three hours from Hanoi, Vietnam’s most august cruising vessel, Paradise Elegance, launched March 1 with a full-service spa anchored by four treatment rooms and two signature massages — Vietnamese and Hot Stone, 60-minute therapies rooted in traditional Eastern practices.
 
As new as the Paradise Elegance, The Anam celebrates its grand opening next month with a 10-treatment room spa that looks Balinese but is fueled by seasoned Vietnamese hands. The Sri Mara Spa’s ‘Foot Fetish’ bath and massage sets up as an antidote to the rigors of exploration, boosting blood circulation in the lower extremities and, in turn, the rest of the body through thumb techniques applied to pressure points in the feet.  
Le Spa at La Residence Hue

Le Spa at La Residence Hue

 

And lastly, in the imperial capital of Vietnam, one of La Residence Hotel & Spa’s choice treatments is a Vietnamese rice wine and ginger bath treatment that trades on a one-of-a-kind back and shoulder therapy treatment. Le Spa’s 380 square meters includes seven treatment rooms, as well as a Jacuzzi and herbal sauna.
 
The new ‘Spa-tacular Vietnam’ package costs $3,346 and is valid through Oct. 31, 2017. The package includes accommodation with breakfast and treatments for one person. Additional charges apply for double-occupancy. 
 
Each of the hotels is a member of the Quintessential Collection Vietnam, a marketing cooperative that trumpets the single best hospitality property in each of Vietnam’s five most attractive destinations.
To facilitate a booking, contact Lan Vo at lan@quintessentialcollectionvietnam.com.
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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Product Reviews | 0 comments

 Fake Bake: A Safe and Natural Tan

 Fake Bake: A Safe and Natural Tan

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Fake Bake's Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum

Fake Bake’s Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum

Fake Bake tanning products have been around for a while, embraced by celebrities, beauty editors and “civilians” alike as a safe way to achieve that glorious year-round golden bronze color without risking skin damage from the sun or tanning beds. The company’s products contain no parabens or artificial preservatives; they don’t smell, turn your skin orange or stain your clothes. They contain three organic tanning ingredients: Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) boosted by DMI and Erythulose. Fake Bake works with your own individual skin tone to produce a naturally-based darker pigmentation on your skin’s surface. By enhancing your skin’s own pigments, Fake Bake gives you a natural-looking tan that lasts longer.

Fake Bake also has a built-in color guide so you can see where you’re applying the product on your skin, which helps avoid streaks.

Because there are no harmful ingredients and the moisture-rich formula softens the skin, you can even use Fake Bake on your face.

One of the company’s newer products is the Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum, a “bronzing hybrid” serum that applies easily, dries quickly and contains nourishing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, coconut oil, glycerin and silk amino acids. It works vigorously to plump and cushion skin while preventing dehydration and wrinkles. It retails for $31.

Fake Bake's Double Shot Expresso Tan

Fake Bake’s Double Shot Expresso Tan

For experienced self-tanners, Fake Bake’s Double Shot Expresso Tan is a high performance product with triple-tanner activators that give a richer natural-looking tan. It glides on smoothly, absorbs evenly and dries quickly. It retails for $27.50.

Though the Coconut Tanning Serum can be used on the face, Fake Bake Platinum offers a specialized product called Face, which combines the company’s award-winning self-tanning formula with an anti-aging ingredient called PhytoCellTecTM Malus Domestica, created from stem cells extracted from the rare Swiss apple Uttwiler Spatlauber. This formula, which contains anti-aging peptides combats the effects of oxidants and is especially kind to sensitive skin. It sells for $30.

Fake Bake products can be purchased at stores nationwide or online.

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Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Health and Wellness, Product Reviews | 0 comments

Aminocare Reverse Eye Cream: Boosts Collagen, Reduces Puffiness

Aminocare Reverse Eye Cream: Boosts Collagen, Reduces Puffiness

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A spa treatment for the eyes

For me, the basis of any skincare regimen must include a gentle cleanser, an effective serum and a good eye cream. In Aminocare’s Reverse Eye Cream, I have found a product I can use in any regular skincare routine. First, the texture is irresistible: it’s silky and smooth, like the fluffiest whipped cream for your skin. It’s quickly absorbed and there is no greasy after feel. There’s no perfume and no parabens, dyes or mineral oil . In short, it’s like an instant spa treatment for the eyes.

The ingredient list is impressive:  Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, cetearyl alcohol, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, Camellia sinensis oil, kukui oil, black currant seed oil, red raspberry oil, olive squalene, borage oil, D-Alpha tocopherol, retinyl palmitate, vegetable glycerin, caprylic capric triglycerides, myrisyl myristate, aspen bark extract, sodium stearolyl lactylate, glyceryl stearate, creatine.

When I saw that one of the ingredients contained the word “alcohol,” I checked it out—and found that cetearyl alcohol is a “natural” ingredient, a mixture of fatty alcohols consisting found in plants, like coconut and palm oils.

Ingredients aside, the proof is in the effectiveness and this eye cream performs, day in and day out. Using it only once a day (twice is recommended if needed), I saw crow’s feet and puffiness disappear. According to the promotional material, one of the ingredients, creatine, an amino acid derivative, has been clinically proven to increase skin cell vitality, boosting collagen, elastin and keratin production. Caffeine is added to make the skin in the eye area slightly taut. Vitamin A offers unprecedented cell renewal, while Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection. The active ingredients reach the target layers of skin via a revolutionary nanotope delivery system. Cell-Ox2 Phyto Peptide has been clinically shown to effectively reduce dark circles and puffiness in the eye area and offering increased oxygenation.  While I can’t prove these claims, I can say that Aminocare Reverse Eye Cream delivers all I would ask of an eye cream.

Best of all, this product and all of the products in the line are never tested on animals.

Aminocare ® Reverse Eye Cream retails for $50, is available at stores nationwide and online.

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Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Tips | 0 comments

NATURA BISSÉ: Year-Round Protection For Your Skin

NATURA BISSÉ: Year-Round Protection For Your Skin

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Sun protection that also protects, repairs and hydrates

Once the temperature drops and sunshine gives way to snow, it’s easy to assume that sun protection is no longer needed.  And that, any dermatologist will tell you is a mistake. Sometimes a very serious mistake, as I found out the hard way. That’s why I look for the best possible sun protection year round, and why I was pleased to discover NATURA BISSÉ’s  C+C Oil-Free MacroAntioxidant Sun Protection SPF 30.

This is said to be the only cosmetic in the world to incorporate Macro-Antioxidants®, powerful and recently discovered natural macromolecules.

Whenever I go outdoors, I apply the product after cleansing my skin and using serum and eye cream. It is a “dry oil” that feels silky and smooth and has a delicious citrus-y aroma. In addition to providing protection against the ravages of ultraviolet radiation—freckles, hyperpigmentation, photosensitivity and general aging—it has ingredients that repair and strengthen and hydrate the skin.

One is Provitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in preserving the skin’s natural self-defense system. It provides intense hydration and helps prevent sagging and wrinkles. However, Vitamin D is compromised and inhibited by many, if not most of the sun-filtering  products currently available.

This sun protection also contains MacroAntioxidants®, powerful antioxidant macromolecules that defend the skin against the free radicals that cause premature aging. (Discovered and patented by the CISC–Spanish Council for Scientific Research–MacroAntioxidants® are obtained from the skin of fruit and are bound to its natural dietary fiber.)

Unlike most drugstore products that contain only the basic sun-filtering ingredients, NATURA BISSÉ’s  C+C Oil-Free MacroAntioxidant Sun Protection SPF 30 is a powerful cocktail of multivitamins and antiaging, firming and repairing ingredients, such as vitamin E, vitamin F, hydrolized collagen, arginine, glycerin, bio-fermented Zea mays oil and alpha-bisabolol.

Priced at $65, it is available at fine stores and online.

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Posted by on Feb 10, 2017 in Bargains | 0 comments

I Hate Gray Roots

I Hate Gray Roots

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But Frequent Touchups Get So Expensive

My hair grows quickly (good)—which results in gray roots popping up all too soon after I have my hair colored at the salon (not so good).

So over the years I’ve tried just about every type of root coverup on the market, including powders, mascara-type wands, crayons and sprays.

None is a perfect solution, though I’ve settled on the sprays. Here are three I’ve used. They all do the job of covering root. All are used in the same way, by holding the can about six inches above the offending roots, then spraying to cover the gray.  As none of the products listed has a color that matches mine (warm brown with reddish highlights), I use a tissue after spraying to do a little blending. All the products dry fairly quickly and the color stays put until I shampoo.

Cover Your Gray comes in various versions, including a fill-in powder to disguise thinning areas, a brush-in wand and a touch-up stick. I have used the line’s Color Cover, a touch-up. The spray comes in light brown, dark brown and black. The retail price is $10.00, but as this is a drugstore product, it often goes on sale.

L’Oreal Root Cover Up is another drugstore product, a spray that works the same way.  It is ammonia and peroxide free, and comes in blonde, brown, red and black. Listed at $10.99, this drugstore product often goes on sale, and the manufacturer often distributes coupons in newspapers and online.

Rita Hazan Root Concealer Touch-Up Spray is another spray formula that is free of ammonia and peroxide. It claims that Hazan’s custom-blended dyes are buildable to work on very hair color. This is true, to a point as the spray comes in a subtler range of colors than the other products listed here: blonde, dark blonde, light brown, dark brown (recommended for black hair color) and red. However, I still have to do some blending with a tissue after spraying. The price (at Sephora) is $25.00. I have occasionally been able to buy it for substantially less on various websites, including Amazon.

Which do I like best? All do the job, all cover roots, all hold their color between shampoos. Though I would buy the Hazan spray regularly if it cost less, I usually choose one of the other two, depending on which is readily available when I shop at my drugstore.

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