First, a bit about Sweetgrass (direct from their website and because I couldn’t say it better myself):
“Stylishly appointed in every detail, and architecturally designed to impart tranquility and relaxation in every curve of its flowing space, sweetgrass spa is a sanctuary of splendid escape. In the heart of the city where the tension of the fast-paced, hard-edged urban world outside virtually evaporates, it’s the place for you to go for the pampering and rejuvenation you deserve.
.So give yourself a time out. Reclaim serenity. Renew and refresh yourself. Browse through our Spa Menu and call us for details; we will take care of the rest!”
Sweetgrass spa, along with the five-star restaurant George and the boutique hotel the IVY at Verity are open to the public. They are operated by Verity, a private professional women’s club. Together all the premises occupy a 55 000 sq.-ft. complex at 111 Queen Street East in Toronto.
After reading this, I thought “Gee really? Can they truly live up to this most awesome description? Isn’t it going to be the same old spa experience, put my robe on, grab some water, treatment and goodbye?”
I browsed the website and started reading about the history behind the spa, the concept, as well as George restaurant, IVY Hotel at Verity, and the Verity club (to which I vow/promise myself I will be a member someday) . The spa already has a ton of press, all rave reviews. Website is thorough and easy to navigate. The spa director Monique’s qualifications are enough to make even the most powerful CEO’s knees knock.
Before I get too much further, let me show you the space:
*Note* I had to have one of the staff (concierge) with me at all times when taking photos. The blogger in me shuddered, but the spa client in me cheered! In the end, I think that’s a great policy. After all, the spa should be an oasis-not a paparazzi opportunity!
Since I am not (currently) a member of the Verity club, there is a guest locker room:
and my favorite…..
Well of course the space is just beautiful….
my pictures no ANY pictures don’t do it justice, you have to experience the space:
I realize I took several retail photos but what I was trying to capture was the detail and organization that went into the arrangement of these items. Go back and look at the photos again…..see what I mean?
Now onto the rest of the spa-or what I was able to photograph:
I was lucky enough to sit down for a few moments with Monique Joustra, the Spa Director. Even reading about her on the spa’s website will do nothing less than blow you away. The woman defines ‘Qualified’ and yes that’s a capital ‘Q’. She is the epitome of grace and beauty. She is well spoken (due to experience in the industry no doubt) and you can truly tell that she cares about environment and spa experience.
“We consider ourselves friendly not stuffy. All of our operations are run with the aim of delivering maximum value to our customers while emphasizing friendly informed service and harmonious surroundings.”
And now, the ‘lash’ space:
Now, my treatment-enter Laura H. a.k.a. my eyelash master. If you have read my blog before, you will know I am *NOT* a stranger to eyelash extensions. My last set worked its way through my natural lash cycle and I was more than ready for a new set. After filling out an information form and signing, Laura explained how she used the extensions, the different types. Then eye pads were applied, eyes closed, and away we went! Laura worked her magic and 90 minutes later my peepers were doe-eyed and fabulous once again!
So what did Laura do to my lashes? Well….she names her work, so she calls my look a variation of the “California Blonde.” It’s a combination of black and dark brown synthetic mink lashes so as not to be too ‘stark’ against my (then) blonde hair. She also used 2 different curl types to add dimension!
Going to insert some quick aftercare tips for lash extensions here-my good friend, Elaine of TOBeautyReviews also did a fabulous blog post on extensions here. Please read it-there’s so much information!
From Laura on Lash aftercare:
*Avoid touching or pulling your lashes
*Do Not sleep with your eyes directly contacting the pillow
*Do Not use any oil-based makeup removers or cleansers. Use only water based (oil-free) eye makeup and eye makeup remover
*Do Not use regular mascaras. Do use Black Diamond Coating Sealer that is available for purchase from you sweetgrass eyelash stylist. This special formulation will protect and extend the life of your lashes.
*Do Not use manual lash curlers as they may cause damage. The eyelash extensions have a natural curl to them.
*Do Not panic when your individual eyelash extensions fall out; most people lose 1 to 5 lashes daily.
*Do schedule your relash maintenance session every 2 to 4 weeks to replace any lashes that may have fallen out during this time period, ensuring proper maintenance of your new look.
*If you experience signs of irritation, please contact us as soon as possible.
General Rule: For the first 24 hours, lashes should not be in contact with water. For the first 48 hours, lashes should not be exposed to extreme heat/humidity (such as steam from cooking or a hot bath/shower, saunas, hot yoga, etc.). Thereafter, clients should just avoid oily makeup and makeup removers near the lashes.
Phew! Seems like a lot to remember!
As I walked back out towards the lobby area, I noticed that the lounge was full of women just “chilling” out. That made me feel pretty good-that ladies DO come just to relax.
Good sign….no VERY good sign.
I love my lash extensions and walked out a very happy girl! During the days that followed, I found (and continue to find) myself looking for reasons to return back to the spa.
I will be back-loved everything about my experience! Ladies, go ahead and treat yourselves…you won’t regret it. I would love to hear about YOUR experience at Sweetgrass spa!
* update * in case you don’t follow me on twitter (and gosh you should!), I did return back to sweetgrass to have Laura add some pink lashes AND a crystal! So here’s a pic of that because I know you are dying to see:
*P.P.S.* I highly recommend you check out the Sweetgrass website-especially now! They have a red carpet ready series of specials that will blow your mind! good stuff!
Ladies, what do you think about Lash Extensions? Are they a luxury that you just have to have?
Have you been to Sweetgrass?
*lash extensions were provided complimentary. All opinions are my own*