My sister always says: “There is a first time for everything.” After 12 years in the fashion industry, I can tell you that there is still something new I discover every week. So when I was invited to sample some services for Beautylicious 2013, I decided to try things I have never done before; after all – why not!
As the only event of its kind in Canada, Beautylicious is hosted by Bloor-Yorkville for the fifth year in a row. For our international readers, Bloor-Yorkville is the neighbourhood in Toronto that specializes in the most high-end services and boutiques in the city.
Beautylicious started on Oct.24 and will run until Nov.3. The concept is simple: over 50 businesses are participating and they are all offering discounted services to customers, focusing on spa, salon and wellness. All services fall into four prices: $30, $50, $75 and $125. Packages are available in four categories: Hair (hair colour/cut/style); Spa (includes massage and/or facial, and/or mani/pedi); Skin (non-invasive procedures, such as Botox, Restylane or chemical peel); and Health & Wellness (nutrition services, dental, chiropractic services). These specially priced packages are not available at any other time during the year.
When I was invited to try two of the services on a complimentary basis, it took me a while to choose what I wanted. First of all, I’m incredibly picky and that always makes me consider all options and do extra research. Secondly, this was the week before fashion week, so my schedule was more crazy than usual. And thirdly, I like “natural” stuff, so options like Botox or chemical peels were completely out of the question.
In the end, I opted for a manicure at the Spa at The Four Seasons Toronto and eyelash extensions at Winks Eyelash Boutique. Here is what happened.
Spa at The Four Seasons Toronto
I’m a big fan of this hotel and can often be found there at events or for dinner with my family. However, this was my first time at their spa.
My day was more jam-packed than usual, so I arrived unforgivably late (20 minutes!). I was curious to see how the staff would handle it. They were incredibly pleasant and very apologetic when they said they wouldn’t have time to do the whole nail shaping and moisturizing massage for me, but that they would paint my nails and shape the cuticles. We basically went on apologizing to each other for several minutes – it all looked pretty funny, how very Canadian of us – and in the end Four Seasons won me over because of how gracefully they handled it.
Elizabeth was taking care of me that evening and she was beyond fabulous. I wanted to try something I haven’t done before, so we decided to paint my nails black. Elizabeth said that the nail polish I chose, called Vinylux, included a base coat and will last for seven days. It took 10 minutes to dry. The concept of having perfect nails for a week, without going with acrylic or gel options, was not something I would easily believe. Fashion week was almost upon me, and I knew my nails would chip in less than two days. That is just the reality of being a journalist – I’m always typing and my nails get ruined quickly.
Imagine my surprise when they lasted for a solid six days. I still can’t believe it and neither could anyone who saw them on the sixth day. I have since revisited the salon, and gotten another colour I have never tried – white. I’ve become a big fan of both the spa and Vinylux. The second time I visited, I arrived on time and the entire experience was incredibly relaxing: it took one and half hours, and included nail shaping, cuticle care, moisturizing massage and the nail polish. I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep, and for someone with a Type A personality this is quite unusual. I’m already planning my next visit.
Winks Eyelash Boutique
“Choose something you have never done before” I kept thinking to myself. A bit scared of what this might mean, I decided to get eyelash extensions. I normally do not wear mascara, and many people I talked to said that having eyelash extensions can be an effective substitute.
My eyelash expert Melissa was skilled and fast. The entire process took about 75 minutes. She said I will likely feel nothing and that many people fall asleep, because you have to lie with your eyes closed the whole time. With soothing music playing in the background, this was my time to relax; I almost felt like I was doing yoga.
Melissa’s touch was completely undetectable, although the synthetic mink lashes were attached to my actual lashes with medical-grade glue. Melissa had to manually glue all 70 pieces. The result was truly spectacular and most people have been very surprised when I told them that I got extensions. I haven’t had any pain, irritation or reaction to the lashes; it’s pretty easy to take care of them too – avoid any contact with water in the first 24 hours, don’t use any oil-based make-up remover or waterproof mascara, and brush them regularly (Winks team will give you a small brush for this). Also, my lashes look very natural, long and curvy – I don’t need to use mascara at all. I think that is a huge advantage.
Several business contacts and friends have signed up for this beauty service after they saw its results on me. Take a look yourself!
Try them yourself
Spa at The Four Seasons Toronto: $30 Offering – Spa Manicure – This classic manicure includes nail shaping, cuticle care, a moisturizing massage and the nail polish of your choice.
Winks Eyelash Boutique: $75 Offering – Natural Set of Mink Lashes – 35 lashes per eye (regular value: $122).