It's not that there's a shortage of spas and salons in NYC and Northern NJ, so it's a bit funny that I had to be in New Hampshire to get myself into a spa, but there you have it. Knowing that I was going to have a full day to kill in Nashua, NH, I booked a spa day at the Skin & Body Spa. The place was close to the hotel where the husband and I were staying, and it had very good reviews online, so why not? I chose their Relax & Renew package ($343, including a 18% gratuity), a combination of deep tissue massage, their classic facial, the spa's signature mani-pedi, lunch, and a makeup application. Personally, I'd have swapped the makeup session with another body treatment, but I'm fully aware that most spa-goers don't get their makeup done quite as often as I do, nor are they the control freak that I am.
To say the massage was much-needed would be an understatement. Brandy, the massage therapist figured out the source of my back and posture issues and worked hard on the major knots. Truth be told, I should probably have deep-tissue massage a lot more often. It's the one thing that cannot be part of a DIY pampering. Not that a real full facial is not a good idea, even for those of us who have perfected their routine. Fallon, the aesthetician who took care of me, is probably the best advertisement for this service. You don't often see this kind of perfect skin on a living breathing creature. The treatment was pretty standard: a very thorough cleansing (including a session with a Clarisonic brush followed by extractions), an enzyme peel (AHA) for a good glow, some seriously hydrating mask and creams, and all that while also getting a truly relaxing hand, foot, shoulder, and neck massages. The hand treatment was particularly nice: I never get to just lie there with hands wrapped in warming mitts while my skin soaks it all up. That's the thing about a salon facial: it forces you to really devote the time to the ritual, no distractions, no phone calls, no running downstairs to flip the laundry. It's all about your skin.
I felt like a million dollars after the facial. It really drove home the point of hydration. I do that religiously anyway, but that morning because I was going to the spa I only used a light moisturizer with an SPF for the walk through the parking lot and the three minute drive. My face was eager and drank up everything Fallon slathered on me. So I vow never to take my creams and masks for granted. They really do make a difference.
A light lunch was ordered for me from a local Italian restaurants. It's not exactly the finger sandwiches and cucumber water of NYC spas, but the big salad hit the spot and I got enough time to relax with my iPad before the day continued.
The manicure and pedicure with Brook was probably the highlight of my day. Brook is a fellow makeup and polish addict who loves color-- to play with and to talk about it. It was an incredible fun, the foot massage was beyond divine, and she took her time to make the process perfect. My hands and feet are always dry and I work hard to keep them in good shape, so I could appreciate the attention and care Brook devoted to treating me. The color I chose for both hands and toes was I Knead Sour-Dough from OPI Fall 2013 San Francisco Collection. It's probably one of the sleepers, but I absolutely loved it once I saw the color up close. You can see the Scrangie's swatches (scroll down for this color); all I can say is that I need a bottle, pronto. I almost wish for a third hand or a foot or something, so that the mani-pedi would have lasted longer.
The last part of the day was makeup application with Danielle of the infinite lashes (she said it's thanks to Revitalash). The makeup brands used at the spa are mineral: Mirabella and Jane Iredale. I don't envy a makeup artist who needs to foundation-match me on the spot. Danielle did well and found the right combo very quickly, but the Jane Iredale powder ended up looking way too cakey after an hour or so, reminding me why I'm not the biggest fan of mineral makeup. But that's between me and my skin. I ended up with a subtle my-face-but-better look.
My spa day ended up being a little over five hours long, and I enjoyed it tremendously. Obviously, I need to do it more often, and not just on out-of-state trips.
The Skin & Body Spa, 385 East Dunstable Road, Nashua, NH. Online booking available at theskinandbodyspa.com.