CHI, The Spa

Monday, August 31, 2015

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We stepped off the elevator to the tranquil sound of a full wall waterfall and I was immediately at ease. After an eventful twelve hour drive from Edmonton to Vancouver, we couldn't have been more thrilled for this retreat.

CHI, The Spa is an oasis on the fifth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in bustling downtown Vancouver. It's incredible that a place so calm is nestled in the chaos of the West End; once you enter the spa, the traffic and other city sounds dissipate. 

After a cordial welcoming, we were escorted into a luxurious private couples suite complete with a washroom/changing room, fireplace, sitting room, bath, steam shower, and massage beds. Spacious and comfortable are words that quickly come to mind. It dwarfs my first apartment by a long shot. 

We changed into fluffy white bathrobes while enjoying a refreshing glass of infused water. That was followed by a signature exfoliating foot bath accompanied with a tea service. Throughout the whole treatment we were pampered and at ease all while being informed about the benefits of each step. 

An aromatic eucalyptus steam shower, the halfway point of our couples treatment, has ruined me on any other shower I will ever have. First of all, I love essential oils and the option to diffuse them into my shower is knowledge I probably could have lived without as I want nothing more than for this to be an everyday occurrence. It smells heavenly and feels incredible. The next place I live in, the shower will need at least a dual head one of which must absolutely be a rainshower. 

The grand finale of course was the signature CHI Aroma Vitality massage which combines elements from Swedish and Shiatsu massage as well as lymphatic drainage techniques. The massage bed was one of the comfiest I've ever been on with the perfect balance of soft yet firm. The sheets and quilts were all made of luxurious materials; I felt like I was ensconced in a bed of cashmere and egyptian cotton. The therapist's skill and attention to detail were immaculate. We walked out of there into rush hour traffic feeling as chill as can be. This will definitely be making my 'must-do' list for Vancouver.

Photographs - Michael Borchert // Sandy Karpetz

The Surf

Friday, August 28, 2015

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OUTFIT
Hat - vintage Halston // dress, belt, bag - vintage // sunglasses - The Row // shoes - c/o Le Chateau

Gabriola is full of hidden gems. The Surf, an old resort now restaurant/bar, is the newest addition to the island since I was last there two years ago. Two games of croquet and a slice lemon cheesecake chased down with fresh mint tea is a great way to spend an afternoon by the sea. We went back a day later to indulge in their miso mushroom gravy poutine, one of the best I've had in ages, and smoked salmon crostini's - both of which I wish I had in front of me right now. 

Photographs - Michael Borchert 

Beachy Waves

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The elusive "effortless" beach wave is a hairstyle that I have just about perfected... or at least my versions of it. Here are the tools and products I use to get my wave on:

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PRODUCTS:

BUMBLE & BUMBLE SURF INFUSION - A salt spray that doesn't dry out your hair! The glorious geniuses at B&B added oil to their surf spray and voila: sea hair with softness. It's almost too good to be true, but it's real. Shake well before using on damp hair but don't go too nuts otherwise your hair will be more oily than salty. 

KEVIN.MURPHY HAIR RESORT SPRAY -  Do you like the smell of coconut? Do you like hair products that work on damp OR dry hair? I'll spray this in damp hair, let my hair air dry, then go back in with the whirl trio for more defined waves.

BUMBLE & BUMBLE DON'T BLOW IT - For those lazy days you don't want to actually heat style your hair. For this, I would towel dry my hair, apply evenly, then pop on those wave clips. #lazygirlvibes


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TOOLS:

T3 WHIRL TRIO - this iron changed everything. It's three interchangeable barrels makes this styling tool a triple threat. The above pictured tapered barrel is, in my opinion, the best for acquiring the perfect beach waves.  It's super easy to use, doesn't singe your hair, and comes with a glove to prevent your styling hand from burning. Bonus: since the barrels are detachable, it's the easiest iron to pack for a trip. 

KEVIN.MURPHY WAVE CLIPS - This is my lazy gal solution to waves. Pop this babies onto damp hair and go about your beauty routine. This combined with a beach spray makes for a loose wave and takes little effort. 

KEVIN.MURPHY TEXTURE COMB - There's nothing better than a wide tooth comb on wet hair; it saves you from doing serious damage to your mane as well as helps easily detangle your hair. I especially love using it to loosen my Whirl Trio beachy waves; it softens the look of the wave.


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All of these tools and products work well together (with the exception of 'Don't Blow It' which is supposed to be used without heat) and I use them in various combinations often layering product - but all in moderation!

Happy beach wave-ing!

Photos - Michael Borchert // Sandy Karpetz