Of all my spa-ing I would have to say I was most excited about heading to the original Bliss Spa in SoHo because I have been a long time fan of their beauty products. Bliss have cute and funky names for their products and equally fun names for their treatments. I decided to help myself to one body treatment plus a manicure and pedicure. The menu is extensive and I found it really difficult to pick just one body treatment. I had a long think about it and figured I should do something to tackle one of my most hated body problems, CELLULITE! I also figured my hands and feet were in dire need of attention after all that shopping was taking its toll.
The SoHo location is the original Bliss spa and where everything begin for this now hugely popular beauty brand. The spa has a great shopfront with all their products available, plus products from Clarisonic, MD Skincare, Remède and more. The staff are happy and bubbly which really fits in with the bright ‘Bliss Blue’ colour theme and just as bright lights.
You think by now I would have seen some consistency with the locker rooms at each spa but it is great how the locker room is thought about just as much as the rest of the spa. Being the first point of entry, after reception, it really does give you the chance to develop an opinion early on. The locker rooms at Bliss I found to fit in perfectly with their bright theme. The dark wooden lockers curve around a large Blue round ottoman. Inside the lockers are soft, thick cotton robes with ‘Bliss Blue’ Havianas (again too big for me, size 39-40) which looked brand new. Plus the Havianas are far more comfortable that hard plastic slippers. Bliss wins the slippers category for sure!
The locker rooms also have a sauna, which was out of order and two showers nicely closed off by frosted glass doors. The basins are housed in a long bench with large mirrors and accompanied by amenities such as deodorant, toothpaste, mouth wash, hair spray and Q-tips. Bliss Face Wash and Body Butter are also available from the Silver pump stations. Two bathrooms are discreetly built into the wall opposite the basins.
After changing into my robe and thongs I head to the Women’s Treatment Lounge which is dimly lit and has a large soft L-shape suede lounge to plonk on. The furnishings are really pretty without being in-your-face feminine as you will see in the picture below. There are magazines and coffee table books to read while you wait, and a White buffet sits against a wall offering a selection of teas, iced Lemon water and little plates of cheese, crackers, olives, cucumber and cakes. The environment is relaxing and has some contemporary music playing to keep the cheery vibe going. I think it was Norah Jones.
Treatment 1: fatgirlslim
Maria, my beauty therapist, collected me from the Treatment Lounge and showed me to our treatment room. The room was bright and petite but being a treatment not about relaxation I didn’t mind the lights. After de-robing I lay face down on a big silver wrap that was draping over a nicely warmed massage bed. First up was a thorough body brushing and Maria explained to me that it is important to brush towards your belly button because that is where the lymphatic system comes to drain. The brushing tickled more than anything and it was great on drier parts of my skin that were really itchy. Once that was completed Maria said she will package the body brush up for me to take home which is nifty cause those wooden body brushes aren’t the cheapest thing. fatgirlslim lotion was then applied and massaged in using a technique known as ‘contouring massage’. It felt like a mix of normal massage, pinching and flicking which made me a little ticklish.
Once all the humorous massaging was done Maria quickly slipped out to grab some hot paraffin wax as a bonus little treat (it wasn’t included in the package so shhhh). I was then rolled on my side and painted with a seaweed mixture. Basically the seaweed mixture was slopped on like a face mask but ran from my knees up to below my ribs. It was a little chilly while the seaweed was painted on but then I got wrapped in the big Silver sheet and everything got a little warm. I then had two normal sheets wrapped around me and the paraffin wax slipped onto my feet so I felt like a slowly roasting newborn baby. It was actually really awesome and made me kind of sleepy, and if that wasn’t awesome enough, Maria then gave me a head, neck and face massage while the seaweed set. I think I fell asleep at this point.
After 15 minutes I was unwrapped and the seaweed had turned to a rubber like substance that was easily peeled off like a soggy banana skin. A quick clean off with a hot towel and an application of Love Handler left me smooth and silky.
Treatment 2: The Upper Hand Manicure & Foot Patrol Pedicure
Again I waited in the Treatment Lounge before my next beauty session. Pamela, my second beauty therapist, collected me and lead me through to the nail salon area. There were three manicure booths set-up and on the back wall was an impressive pedicure station to fit four people. The entire wall was a high-level leather couch with sectioned stations for the manicurists to do their thing. The colour scheme continued with furnishing in Red, White, Beige and the famous ‘Bliss Blue’.
For my manicure I chose “The Upper Hand” which begins with the usual filing, trimming and cuticle removal. The treatment then includes a brightening mask which is perfect for those with sun damaged or ‘spotty’ skin, followed by a paraffin wax treatment. No unhygienic bowls are used with the wax and instead they use these genius plastic slips that contain pre measured amounts of paraffin wax. It’s far cleaner and honestly made me feel much better about sticking my hands in a big pile of sludgy wax. Pamela finished my digits off with a master application of Essie base coat, OPI Pink Flamenco colour and Essie top coat.
Next up were my tootsies so we moved over to the super comfortable pedicure lounge where I was able to recline and rest my hands to dry. The “Foot Patrol” pedicure began with trimming and filing my nails. My feet then got to soak in a rose petal filled bowl of warm water. The petals were pretty and actually felt really nice between my toes. I then got treated to a coarse salt scrub on my legs and feet which was washed off and dried ready for the paraffin wax. At this point I had now had both my hands and feet in the wax and I can confidently say that I much prefer it on my feet than my hands. Having your hands in the paraffin wax just feels to icky after while because the heat creates sweat and therefore more moisture and combined with the hand creams your left feeling like your arms are submerged in mud for 15 minutes.
My toenails are also finished off with Essie base coat, OPI Pink Flamenco colour and Essie top coat.
My cellulite was noticeably reduced and the dimpling seemed to stay away for at least a week post treatment. I have since tried to do the “contour massage” on myself but I really have no clue what I am doing because it didn’t work when I did it. Maybe it is just one of those things you can’t do on yourself?
My nails were all perfect and remained so for a week on my hands and two on my toes. I am terrible at painting my nails so I really appreciated the fine artist that Pamela was.
The treatments were very reasonably priced and the treatment menu has something for all price ranges.
fatgirlslim goes for 75 minutes and costs US $150
The Upper Hand runs for 60 minutes and costs US $60
Foot Patrol takes 75 minutes and costs US $90
All prices exclude taxes and gratuities.
For more information on Bliss, or to purchase Bliss products visit their official website (…. and they ship worldwide!)