Mani + Pedi at Stillwater Spa


Posted on October 26th, by Helen in Blog, I tried it!, Treatments. 5 comments

Mani + Pedi at Stillwater Spa

Stillwater’s front entrance

It’s time to get pampered, groomed, and prettified: Beautylicious kicked off yesterday. Just like Winterlicious, the annual event where restaurants around the city offer prix fixe menus for a limited time, Beautylicious offers specialty-pricing at over 50 beauty and wellness establishments in the Bloor-Yorkville area. It’s the perfect opportunity to check out some swish spots without breaking the bank.

My first stop was the Stillwater Spa, located at the Park Hyatt, for a (much overdue) manicure and pedicure.

The pedicure bench and manicure tables

Stillwater is one of the premiere spas in the city, noted for its 5-star service and beautiful amenities. I’ve frequented other spas before, such as Elmwood and Shizen, (and even worked the desk at one during my undergrad years), so you can say I’ve got a bit of spa-cred under my belt. This was my first time at Stillwater and I’ve heard only great things about it so my expectations were high. The place certainly lived up its reputation. The service was top-notch – exactly what you should expect from a 5-star spa: timely service, polite and knowledgeable staff, impeccable cleanliness and little fine details that leave a sweet taste in your mouth when you leave (more on that later). The waiting area had a great selection of the latest magazines (SO important), gourmet teas (SO important), illy coffee, and biscotti (SO important). Donned in a plushy robe and flip flops, I felt like a queen in waiting while lounging in their cozy waiting area (pictured below). That feeling was magnified when I nestled into one of the little private t.v.-viewing pods in the change rooms after my services. These pods were curtained-off nooks designed for cat naps or catching up on the latest news with earphones on. Just brilliant!

My manicure

I wanted to do a matte tomato red such as OPI’s Vodka and Cavier from their Russian collection a few years back. Aestheticians have always told me that tomato-colored reds help bring a youthful vibe to your hands, especially on short, well-manicured nails. It’s a classic feminine look. If you have a lot of veins on your hands, stay away from blue-based reds, which can highlight every vein. My aesthetician also said that nudes or sheer pinks are great if you have short, stubby fingers. The fleshy hues can lengthen your digits.

To my chagrin, OPI’s Vodka and Cavier has been discontinued. Plus Stillwater doesn’t use OPI; they use Deborah Lippman, the eponymous line from the New York celebrity manicurist/musician who names all her polishes after songs. Very cool. I asked for OPI’s doppelgänger and the manicurist matched it up perfectly with My Old Flame (sold at Stillwater for $22)Before the polish my manicurist gave me a hot paraffin wax treatment, which she explained helps to restore moisture in dry, scaly hands – something that many people have this time of year due to amping up the thermostat. This, she said, can suck the moisture out of your hands, nails, and hair. Oh I forgot to mention the best part: she was giving me a shoulder massage while explaining all of this. Those fine details, I tell ya.

“My Old Flame”

My pedicure

While it was tempting to go all match-matchy with the tomato red, I realized that I had on OPI’s Vodka and Caviar on my toes since summer. Clearly, I’m very lazy when it comes to changing toe polish. Time to let them breath, I suggested to my aesthetician. She agreed and said that she always recommends giving your toes a break from polish in the winter, “Your feet are always covered up in boots and shoes anyway,” she reasoned. When she removed my toe polish and eyeballed the condition of my toesies (which I haven’t seen bare since the beginning of mid-July), she politely suggested that I use some tea tree oil to help ward off some of the visible nail bed damage on my big toe caused by wearing tight spectacular shoes. Le sigh. Time to invest in orthotics, I suppose. Since I was putting my toes on a polish strike, she insisted on no top coat and instead she buffed them to a shine that seemed to slash five years off my feet. Seriously, I have never seen my bare toes look so healthy before. All in all, I took home some solid anti-aging tips for the hands and feet today, but how do the folks at Stillwater top off an already spa-mazing experience? They offered me an almond florentine bite at check-out. No dinky mint here. 5-star service to the end. They sure know how to leave a lasting impression…

 





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