Candidly Cartier – Pressing Life’s Reset Button

I left Toronto in 2015 because things just weren’t going my way. Every time I took a step forward, life pushed me two steps back. No matter how hard you try to change your perspective and have a positive attitude, sometimes you have to change your actual surroundings to press reset.

I moved to Korea and spent 3 years living and working abroad. During those years I fell in love once and fell in like twice. Living in Asia gave me the opportunity to experience culture in my own new home country, but also in so many others. I built two brands and worked independently in a variety of industries.

Pressing the reset button, heading away, then returning home, I was terrified to come back to the environment from which I had fled. He was almost brought to justice, but Lady Justice is often told to go back to the kitchen, isn’t she?

I’ve had some wonderful opportunities and have really settled into my life here. That said, I’ve definitely settled through settling down. I wonder if I’ll ever find the same excitement and sense of liberation that I had living abroad ever again.

I wrote the above in October of 2019. Last year was ROUGH, but my self-quarantined ass (and ratchet shellac nails) with 2020 vision would like to apologize for all the opportunities in 2019 that I didn’t take. The “new normal” is going to change over and over again as we make our way to 2021.

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The Case Full of Seoul: Korean Beauty in a Few Easy Steps

The Case Full of Seoul

I would have never, ever guessed that the first place from which I’d get legitimate Korean beauty and skincare products would be Costco. I’ve found some products in stores along Bloor Street in old Koreatown, and even a slew of products from Shopper’s Drug Mart which had writing in Hangeul (Korean characters). Until now, none of these products have actually been made in Korea.

“Discover all that K-Beauty has to offer with The Case Full of Seoul. K-Beauty is a skincare regimen designed by beauty experts in Korea. Korean skincare is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

It is a daily routine rather than a one-off treatment – It is a commitment. UMMA has gathered 8 skin-changing products that work best when used together, and has designed a beauty plan to help you get the most out of each product. Follow these beauty plans and get ready to see results.”

Step One: 9 Wishes Rice Foaming Cleanser $20.90

Step one in any Korean skincare routine I’ve ever heard of is cleansing. The scent of this particular cleanser reminds me of wandering through rice paddies in Bali. It’s light in every sense of the word. The formula features micro-ground rice texture which lightly and gently exfoliates dead skin cells. I wouldn’t use it as your make-up remover (again – it’s light), but the formula is designed to cleanse oil, sebum, blackheads, and other impurities from make-up. The design is to even out skin tone and hydrate the skin.

Step Two: MayCoop Raw Sauce Mini $28

The product is a combination toner and an emulsion. As step two, it prepares the skin to absorb the hydrating formulas you’ll apply throughout the rest of the process. The scent and viscosity are both quite light. The description is that it “hydrates and revitalizes dull skin” and “uses ingredients that mimic molecules in human skin, such as maple tress sap, to help retain extra-high absorbency”. This was a step I really enjoyed as it wasn’t sticky and it was absorbed very quickly.

Step Three: URANG True Rose Repair Essence $47

The rose scent on the repair essence is quite a bit stronger than the other products, so take note if you’re sensitive. This formula contains organic Bulgarian rose water and rose essential oil. The substance is thicker than the previous step. The texture is designed to have a cooling effect. It should calm down redness, although I found it just wasn’t all that effective in balancing my skin tone especially around particularly dry areas like my nose.

Step Four: Tov Camellia Wrinkle-free Eye Solution $25

This product was hands down one of my favourites. This formula contains shea butter and macadamia nut oil. Obviously, it’s safe to use around the eye area which can be quite delicate. The product goes on so smooth it’s almost like a primer in an of itself. It’s quite thick and a little goes a long way. My under-eye area calmed down almost instantly. This is a holy grail item I’d definitely purchase on its own if it weren’t already in The Case Full of Seoul.

Step Five: MayCoop Raw Moisturizer $40

I found this product to smell quite clean and fresh. My guess would be something close to fresh linen, but even that would be too strong a scent. The description states that it “uses moisture balls filled with oil that pop onto the skin to provide the ultimate hydration experience” – I didn’t experience that. It went on like my regular day/ night moisturizer. I would use this in the spring as it’s not quite thick enough for winter, but it would be too much for summer.

Optional: Touch In Sol No Poreblem Primer $18

This is another fabulous find I would have never heard of without The Case Full of Seoul. I would say this primer (at least for me) is another holy grail. I typically use Smashbox Primer, but felt it just wasn’t working with my skin lately. This product goes on like the first time I ever used a primer. My foundation works over it like silk it’s so smooth. I’ve never has any film from it either. It conceals my pores and nearly all my wrinkles for a really even complexion. I love the way my makeup looks when I use this primer!

Optional: URANG Vitamin Oil Serum $57

I wasn’t a huge fan of this oil, to be candid, and found myself swapping in my Chantecaille Rose Oil instead. With so many rose infused items, it made sense to me. The fragrance of this product (with rosehip and jojoba oils) was so overwhelming it gave me headaches. The idea is to seal in all the aforementioned hydrating ingredients to hide discolouration, reduce fine lines, and give an overall brightening effect.

I Woke Up Like This All-In-One Concentrate Treatment Mask

Most of the sheet masks I’ve tried in Korea have some sort of gimmicky ingredient. Some have gold or diamonds, some wine or beer, others have snail serum. This sheet mask is made with pearl powder, Vitamin C and Niacinamide to (again!) boost hydration, provide a brightening effect and even out skin tone. The fit is good, but I wouldn’t say there’s anything insanely exciting about this mask. Pop it on for 20 minutes, then remove and massage the excess essence into your skin.

This kit is easy to use for even the most sensitive skin and the newest K-Beauty user. The case itself gives directions for morning, evening, self-care Sunday, and even “get ready with me” and also comes with a booklet full of ingredients and instructions. The case brings huge discounts vs. purchasing each product individually (on Costco’s website the price listed it $79.98). If you’d been doing your math along the way, you’ll note that the value of the case is upwards of $235 USD.

I enjoy taking care of my skin and enjoy trying new products – especially those from my old home, Seoul. The proof is in the pudding, however. Go check out my recent skin analysis where you’ll find that my skin is dialing in at almost 5 years younger than my actual age! Thanks for letting me try some of the hot commodity products which came out directly after I left Korea!

Skincare Review: Leegeehaam has quick-drying formulae which I love when I'm in a rush.  My skin feels soft and there's never any hint of shine.

This article was written in unpaid partnership in exchange for an honest reviewThatGirlCartier.com only features products or services I genuinely adore and would repurchase again and again.
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Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic: Medical Experts in Toronto

Photo: Robert Evans

When I lived in Korea, I was absolutely astounded by the number of cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery clinics there were just in the Sinsa-dong area of Seoul. 1 in 3 women in South Korea have had plastic surgery. South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgeries per capita in the world. That’s why they say Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the planet. I spent 2015 – 2018 in South Korea; two of those years living in Seoul.

Photo: Robert Evans

Cosmetic Surgery in Toronto

Since returning to Toronto two years ago, I have been invited to visit several clinics. My first question is always, “Do you have a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon performing injections and cosmetic surgery procedures?” Until a couple of weeks ago, 100% of the representatives for the clinics replied that they only had medical esthetic practitioners, or nurse injectors. I don’t know about you, but if someone is sticking a needle near my eye, I want to know that they have more experience than a handful of Saturdays of training.

Image result for dr. diego delgado

Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

I met with Dr. Diego Delgado, Medical Director of Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic who is also a Clinician Investigator at the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute, an Associate Professor in the Division of Cardiology and Cardiac Transplantation at the University Health Network, and a faculty member of the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. Procedures at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic are carried out by medical professionals who are certified by both the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and the Ontario Nursing Association.

The Team at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

I also met with Managing Director, Olga Olenka, and Nurse Anna, who you can see in the video above talking about some of my favourite skincare products from Vivier Skin. We discussed some of the procedures I’ve had in Korea as well as those I’ve tried out since returning to Toronto. I’ve had Dysport (a competitor of Botox) twice (forehead and crow’s feet once each), a facial peel, dermaplaning (an exfoliation technique to rid the face of hair and the first layer of dead skin), a Fire and Ice facial, and an IPL.

VISIA Facial Assessment Report

Since I do take care of my skin fairly well, the team suggested that rather than going straight for the lasers, I should have my skin analysed by their VISIA Facial Assessment machine.

“IntelliFlash®, cross-polarized and UV lighting are used to record and measure surface and subsurface skin conditions. UV photography provides the most complete data set available for sun damage assessment and analysis, including UV fluorescence imaging to reveal porphyrins.

Canfield’s RBX® Technology separates the unique color signatures of Red and Brown skin components for unequaled visualization of conditions that result in color concentration, such as spider veins, hyperpigmentation, inflammation and other conditions.”

My VISIA Facial Assessment Report at Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic was actually a lot better than expected. You never really know what’s going on with your skin until you can see deeper into the layers on skin. The ideal score is 100%, but that would be wild considering most skin damage occurs in the first 5 years of life.

My scores:

  • Spots: 66%
  • Wrinkles: 61%
  • Texture: 79%
  • Pores: 67%
  • UV Spots: 61%
  • Brown Spots: 58%
  • Red Areas: 67%
  • Porphyrins (Bacteria): 89%

The system suggested a number of treatments to get my skin to its best. They’re fairly non-invasive treatments which I’ve already been doing. Looks like if I continue with my current regimen and add just a few more treatments, I’ll have the best chance of great skin as I age.

My Custom Suggestions:

  • Botox (a 10-minute treatment which can last for up to 4 months)
  • Latisse (an FDA-approved treatment to grow fuller, longer lashes)
  • Silk Peel (a 3-in-1 dermatological treatment that exfoliates, extracts, and infuses skin with condition-specific serums for a one-step all-inclusive treatment)
  • Fractional Laser Skin Resurfacing (laser technology which generates collagen and elastin to improve fine lines, wrinkles, scars, and other surface imperfections)
  • Platelet-rich plasma Vampire Facial (An injectable treatment that will increase rebuilding of tissue by stimulating new collagen and blood vessel formation. Helps with acne scars, wrinkles, sun damage, dark circles, and overall skin tone).
  • Photofacial IPL (Laser treatment for brown spots, sun damage, and vessels without harming the surrounding skin)
  • Skin Tightening (Multi-polar radio frequency and pulsed electro magnetic fields to produce heat under the skin’s surface. The process helps icrease collagen and elastin fibers while also shrinking the volume of fat cells)

Trust

Any type of procedure – be it elective or emergency – requires a high degree of trust between the patient and the Doctor of Nurse. Having visited Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic yesterday for my VISIA Facial Assessment (as well as an other procedure I’m excited to tell you all about) I think I’ve found my new spot. The team is dedicated, present, and friendly. I felt very well taken-care of by Dr. Diego, Olga, and Anna throughout my visit!

How to Get to Vita Cosmetic & Laser Clinic

  • Address: 27 Rean Dr Unit 7, North York, ON M2K 0A6
  • Phone: (416) 639-1882
  • Hours:
    Sunday: Closed
    Monday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Tuesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Wednesday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Thursday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Friday: 9 AM – 7 PM
    Saturday: 10 AM – 3 PM

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Miracle 10’s Kabuki Brush – Worth the Splurge

Kabuki Brush

“This super soft multi-purpose Kabuki brush can sweep, finish, bronze and mattify. Safe for even the most sensitive skin. Plus, it’s totally cute and fits in any makeup bag (even the tiny ones).”

Adding a Kabuki Brush to my Standard Rotation

Adding a Kabuki Brush to my kit changed my relationship with foundation. I suppose my skin had adapted to the pollution in Seoul, because I rarely wore all-over makeup when living in Korea. In Toronto, however, my skin just doesn’t look as bright or flawless, and I’ve been finding myself wanting to smooth things out more and more. I hate the caked on look of foundation. When Miracle 10 Cosmetics offered me a chance to scoop up a few items from their brand new line, I figured I might as well give it a try. It’s not such a crazy splurge as a Kabuki Brush from Fenty or Mac Cosmetics will run around the same price (or higher).

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Take your pick 🤔😍 ⁣#miracle10 #glowgetter

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How to Use the Miracle 10 Cosmetics Kabuki Brush

I’ve been using this brush exclusively with foundation, and am obsessed with the results. Other brushed have left broken bristles (and black flecks all over my face – no thanks). This one has held strong. As opposed to a makeup sponge, with the Kabuki brush I get that ultra-smooth look. I don’t have to use too much product, either. I haven’t used it with bronzer or blush, but the website suggests the following if you choose multi-use:
“Using this brush is an absolute dream. It can be used with your bronzer, powder, blush or to create an airbrushed look with your foundation. When switching between products, spritz with a little Rejuvenating Mist and dab onto a tissue. When applying blush tighten the surface area of the brush by pinching the bristles together a bit (as opposed to holding the handle).”
What does she really want for Valentine’s Day? If she’s like me, probably not chocolates; maybe roses. Definitely some great-quality, locally-sourced (Yorkville, bébé) skincare and cosmetics from an innovative, nimble company like Miracle 10 which is led by and largely run by women.
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Valentine’s Day in Toronto: A Date With Dasha

Valentine’s Day in Toronto

I spent last Valentine’s Day getting filthy. An early morning sweat session was just what the doctor ordered, and I went for it first thing in the morning. It lasted about 45 minutes, and it was a mad dash to get ready and get to work.

I spent last Valentine’s Day working out. What did you think I meant? 

Last Valentine’s Day was actually quite sweet. I got up and headed to F45 where my Valentine’s at St. Clair West got my endorphins going. I did, in fact, rush to work, and was greeted by one of my favourite security guards handing out roses. Nice work, Brookfield. I spent lunchtime with my on and off beau of a year and a half. We’re still talking, but I’ve since set some boundaries since we ultimately just want different things. He’s one of the guys on the The Worst Guys A Re-Pat Can Date in Toronto  and his name actually rhymes with Dasha.

A couple of weeks ago I got a canned e-mail from the team at Dasha advertising their Valentine’s special. No longer being part of a couple (and a little burned by the naming convention reminder) I cracked wise on instagram asking if they’d like to have me hunched over a bar stool singing Céline Dion. Turns out – they were into it. With that in mind…

Join us on February 14th for a Date with Dasha!

An upscale karaoke party for singles, friends, lovers or whomever else your heart desires!

TICKETS: $25 (Click here to get yours!)

WHATS IN IT FOR YOU:

  • A welcome shooter (to set the mood – I’m calling it a “Love Shot” for EXO fans)
  • Appetizers (canapé-style food in Dasha’s private dinning room)
  • Access to 5 unique karaoke rooms ALL NIGHT LONG!

We will have a cash bar in the Private Dining Room (featured above) stocked and loaded for your night out.

Our bartenders will be serving up the best of the best – whether it be a customized cocktail from Dasha or a classic shot of tequila to get your pipes ready; you pick your poison.

This is a 19+ event and tickets are non-refundable.

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Dating Diaries: How to Attract What You’re Least Expecting

The concept of manifesting your goals has been rattling around in my head for quite some time. There’s great power in positive thinking, and harnessing that power and honing it has been a big focus for me, especially toward the end of this year. It’s amazing what happens when you focus on something very particular and send out a very specific request to the universe. The answer certainly surprised me!

Lately I haven’t been focused so much on dating, but more on fitness, rest, healthy cooking, and just generally making it to the next day. After a tumultuous first year back in Canada, my aim is to focus on the positive, release the negative, and practice gratefulness.

It seems that the best things come to those who clearly envision their goals and make solid plans. This year, I wrote down that I wanted to see Angkor Wat. On my birthday, YYZ Deals came out with a massive list of destinations from Toronto on China Eastern. One such destination was Siem Reap. The goal I envisioned (and wrote down) turned into a reality in less than three months. I decided that was enough to get me on the path of the vision board making my dreams into goals, my goals into plans, and my plans into reality.

I often write about dating, so how do you make your vision into a reality when it comes to love? I mean, as much as it’s been on the back-burner, I’d be very happy to have a partner. They say you find love when you least expect it. How does that work with the law of attraction?

The Secret: “Under the Law of Attraction, the complete order of the Universe is determined, including everything that comes into your life and everything that you experience. It does so through the magnetic power of your thoughts. Through the Law of Attraction like attracts like. What you think about, you bring about.”

If thoughts become things, then how could you find “the love of your life” when you least expect it? Knowing that there isn’t a unique thought left on the planet, I dove headfirst into black hole of Google. Turns out the answer was on the very first page:

The Law of Attraction: “Focus on your intention, hand it to the eternal energy of the universe to contemplate entirely. You will have stopped the experience of wanting; therefore, you will have automatically placed yourself in a better position to receive. Just like those aha moments when ideas and solutions have entered your mind unexpectedly, you suddenly received what you wanted. 

If you are desperate to have something, you are in a state of need. Thus, you remain needy instead of becoming successful. The universe receives your needy energy, and politely sends you more needy energy since it is programmed to deliver your primary focus.

Your life might still be enhanced greatly when you receive gifts from the universe, and in this sense, you require what you obtain. However, you are not urgently crying out for a result when it occurs. Recognize that you also need to throw the energy of ‘want’ that you have created to the wind. When you have done so, good things will blow into your life.”

I had sent out a request to the universe to find, in essence, a unicorn. I wanted to meet someone who wasn’t from Toronto since the pickings have been so slim. I wanted to meet someone who has goals and ambitions; has his own thing going on. Someone who could make me laugh. A man who believes in monogamy. Physically I don’t really have a preference, but I like someone who is active and ready to try new things.

…and then he appeared.

I had a fantastic date with a man I seem to have dreamed up. It may not stand the test of time, but as far as the concept of asking the universe for what you want? I’m sold. Ask the universe for your wildest dreams with very specific details, then let all that focused, yet impatient, energy fly away; released to the universe – no longer something on which you need to fixate. The universe unfolds as it should.

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Believe your own B*llsh*t

As I settled into shivasana in my after-work hot yoga class last week, I began thinking about some basic b* generalizations. In the pursuit of happiness, I’ve come to wonder whether the best things in life are basic. If so, maybe I should be.

Hear me out…

Without getting too far into gender identity, I’d like to discuss some stereotypical female-presenting gender roles and why it’s OKAY to to subscribe yourself to even the worst ones. Society on the whole has a set of ideas expectations about how men and women should behave in certain situations; everyday life being one example.

Criticism is all too easy. The moment I step out my front door I’m open to judgment, disapproval, and self-deprecation due to various instances of the aforementioned over the years.

If we’re to reclaim the word “bitch”, let’s reclaim the other pervasive female stereotypes. Sometimes I’m angry and sometimes I’m a cheerleader. I can be emotional, feminine, masculine, tough, and weak. I am an Ice Queen and perhaps that’s one reason why I’m single (and lonely sometimes, but thanking my lucky stars others). I can appear fearless while shaking in my boots. I can be polite and accommodating and aggressive or bold. Sometimes I’m the token female at the table, and I take my position in the boys club to heart. I am strong.

I’m not just one stereotype – I’m a person. My thoughts, feelings, and emotions can change at the drop of a hat based on my circumstances. If I don’t like what’s being said, then surely I can change the conversation. So, why not change the little voices inside my head and heart telling me “you can’t”? Even it’s it’s total bullshit you’re telling yourself right now, in time you can make it all a reality.

I sure as hell can be a basic bitch. Alternately, I can also be a shoulder to cry on, a person who loves to celebrate the success of others, and an expert on topics at work and at play. I’m passionate, generous, and adventurous. On paper I might be pretty basic (my Tinder profile is not exactly an oeuvre), but IRL I’m absolutely unapologetically me. As we rock up to 2020, find out who you are and don’t apologize – that’s one female stereotype I’m striking-through next year.

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Expat Dating Diaries: Travel Romance

The Travel Romance is just one part of the 7 Worst Guys an Expat Can Date. I have been avoiding writing this section for the better part of 3 years because the first one really and truly shook me to my core. While I’ve moved on, I still haven’t quite recovered. I’ve realized, however, that there’s a difference between a Travel Romance and Travel Love.  Travel Love has potential. It makes you want to work for, nay, fight for something intangible. It sweeps you off your feet and keeps you dangling – waiting for the other shoe (er – you, in this case) to be dropped.

This one shouldn’t be avoided altogether, but you must know upon entry that your risk of heartbreak is about 90%.  Meeting in vacation mode gives you the opportunity to live without the stress of work and other responsibilities at home.  You are at your peak around one another.  You’re consumed by the bliss of being in a new place with exciting adventures at every turn.  Give in to the Travel Love, just don’t give away your heart completely.  It will fly away to the other side of the planet to taunt you with ransom letters every time your time-zones allow you to connect.

Travel Romance, on the other hand, is fleeting. It’s a fling on the road never designed to be permanent. It has a mutually communicated date of expiration. Feelings might evolve, but you have perspective. It’s a paragraph; not a chapter.

I genuinely don’t understand the mating rituals of singles in Toronto. On vacation, with just a lingering gaze and a tentative wave, you’ve got the opening to conversation which could lead to a night of passion or following your newfound bliss across the country. Here in Canada, even at a designated “meet market”, all you’ll find are raggedy men glued to their phones or yelling about real estate.

My first Travel Romance after starting The Toronto Seoulcialite was in Shanghai back in 2015. It was my first truly solo trip, and I was shaking in my boots waiting for take-off. When I approached the hostel (with a printed out map and walking instructions – no SIM card), I was tired and nervous and wasn’t sure if I should venture out or wait until daylight broke. As I walked to the lobby a voice called out; “We’ve been waiting for you!”

It turns out he was from California, was staying at my hostel, had spent the last 5 years learning Mandarin, and had had a series of seizures in Beijing. He wasn’t sure if his health was up to finishing his months-long trip and hadn’t made any plans for Shanghai. I, on the other hand, had planned my trip down to the minute. We met up the next day and ventured around the city. It was nice to have a flirty new friend with whom to wander. People assumed we were married, and we didn’t correct them.

All things considered, he wasn’t a bad insta-husband for 2015!

The charade was all too pleasant. We walked all over for two days and the extent of our physical relationship was a bit of hand-holding and a tender kiss on my forehead. It was better than traveling solo. Better still than traveling with certain women. An intense flicker of chemistry with a well-established expiration. I was hooked.

After my little taste of Travel Romance I dove well into the deep-end with Adonis. After him, I thought I’d never fully let my heart go again. Then, I met an American (ex-Co-P) who confirmed it. I’ve never been as happy with anyone as I was when we were wandering through the dusty back roads of Phuket with a snaggle-tooth pup in tow. Since ex-Co-P, there’s been the Gentle Brummie in Seoul, the Tazzie with Trust Issues in Bali, Mr. Non-Monogamy in Toronto (who I met when home felt like a real trip), and the Dutchman in Hoi An. He cooked for me and I reworked his resume. We’re still talking, but that’s just for fun. That’s the key to a successful Travel Romance: make it all about fun in the moment.

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The St. Regis Spa – Treat Yourself, Toronto!

Every so often, I’ll feel the need to get myself home as quickly as possible on Friday night. I’ll stay in bed catching up on bad television and UberEats until Monday morning when I wait to emerge from my duvet until the absolute last possible moment. This past weekend I could feel myself submitting to those cravings. Instead, I booked myself some indulgent treats: an aromatherapy massage at the St. Regis Spa Toronto, dermaplaning, a “fire and ice” facial, and a workout in a vacuum.

The St. Regis Spa in Toronto

The St. Regis spa is, above all, guest service-focused. I was really impressed by the team effort made by all the staff. Once you’ve checked in, everyone knows your name. You’re escorted to all the areas at your disposal, and all options are explained with as much detail as you’re ready to hear. I was offered pluck tea (Earl Grey Cream was so divine), coffee, fruit-infused water, dried pineapple, chocolate-covered blueberries, and white/ milk chocolate-covered pretzels. No wonder they asked me to arrive at least 30 minutes before my treatment!

The St. Regis Spa change-rooms are bright white and are frequently manicured. It’s a little awkward having people rushing in and out the whole time you’re getting ready for your treatment/ getting ready to leave, but those rolled up towels have to be symmetrical, right? You’ll find disposable razors and a shower cap with the robe and slippers in your lockers, and there’s hairspray, blow-dryers, and mouthwash at the vanity. If you require moisturizer or a straightening iron, they’re available upon request.

St. Regis Spa AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE
Weekdays : 60 min $180 / 90 min $255
Weekends and holidays : 60 min $190 / 90 min $265
By combining a blend of healing essential oils with a therapeutic massage technique, tension and stress simply fade away. This treatment is proven to help with migraines, sinus pain, fatigue and low energy.

I opted for the aromatherapy massage. After 60 minutes with my masseur, Devon, I felt like I was just starting to relax. I usually have a female masseuse (an aggressive ajumma, actually!), so I wasn’t sure how I’d react to treatment by a male practitioner. Devon explained everything that was happening and made sure that the pressure was perfect. If you have the time/ budget, I highly recommend opting for the 90. After my massage, I went back down to the lounge to grab some water and relax. I was brought a glass of prosecco, too. Treat yourself!

One of the loveliest things about going to a spa in a hotel is that you’re typically able to use the pool and fitness amenities before and after your treatment. Next time I’ll be sure to use the gym before having a pre-massage steam/ shower. This time, I had the entire pool, hot tub, and dry sauna to myself after my treatment. A team-member brought me up and showed me around before leaving me to my own devices. When I was ready to primp, prime, and take-off, I was even able to have a martini from Louix Louis delivered to the St. Regis Spa change-room. If that’s not peak luxury, I don’t know what is!

Getting to the St. Regis Spa

* If you’re lucky enough to have health benefits through work, make sure to get an insurance receipt so that your treatments by an RMT may be eligible!
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Her Majesty’s Pleasure Yorkville is Now Open

The Yorkville kid sister to King West’s Her Majesty’s Pleasure opened not with a bang, but with a whimper. The expansive space nestled around the corner, behind, and up 3 flights up stairs from Versace hit the scene without much fanfare. That said, it’s well worth visiting.

I never thought I’d describe a veritable instagram dream-house in such a manner. It’s almost like a more sophisticated HideSeek with the added bonus of an upscale bar and some hair and nail services. It’s certainly my new happy place.

The décor at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Yorkville is much more vibrant than its King West pretty in pink counterpart. It reminded me of the daring mix of colours combined by Flack Studio (an interior design studio from Australia) for Caravan Seoul.

No dialing for champagne here, it’s a cocktail-lover’s dream. The menu is a great mix of smoothies, kombucha, and items a little more spirit-forward for the “it’s 5 o’clock somewhere” crowd. I tried the Purple Plane (a play on the classic Aviation). It was made of gin, Luxardo maraschino, Cointreau, lemon, and blueberry bitters. On a Sunday afternoon after a haircut and a manicure, one was enough for me. I’d love to come back and give a few others a try.

The real star of the show was Shamara, a junior stylist (seriously? My luck!) at Her Majesty’s Pleasure Yorkville. She turned my massive, messy mop into trendy, tamed tresses. I was promised no judgment (I just went from blonde to brunette and my locks aren’t the only thing damaged in my world). No judgment (and a great cut) was what I got.

We shared plenty of giggles trying to chop off as much of the dead weight as possible (my goal for life in general, this season). My polish change (quick shape and polish) was fine, although after a couple of days the polish was nearly all scratched off. Give it a pass unless you’re getting shellac.

I’m trying to grow in my natural colour, so I’ll definitely be back to Shamara. She will tone the red out and keep this fantastic shape up. Her rates are probably the most reasonable in Yorkville right now ($65 for cut and style). She won’t be considered a Junior Stylist for long. I can’t recommend her enough!

The website for Her Majesty’s Pleasure Yorkville only shows the King West location’s menu. Click the individual images above to pick your poison well in advance of your visit.

How to Get to Her Majesty’s Pleasure Yorkville

  • Address: 102 Yorkville Avenue, Unit 5, Toronto, Ontario, M5R 1B9
  • Phone: +1 416-546-4991
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 8 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 6 PM
  • Book an Appointment at Yorkville: Click Here

 

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