October is a time when end-of-year pressure elevates a notch or two, deadlines double in intensity, and all those things that have casually sat on the ‘to-do’ list start to clamour for immediate attention. An accumulation of overloaded days can see burnout looming on the horizon.
Over the last few weeks, as things have got a little frenzied, we’ve made an effort to set aside a small decompress time – with a touch of pampering, revitalisation, and self-care. These blissful windows of calm offer a brief reset and opportunity to push pause. We’re sharing our three favourites as inspiration to help level the playing field as we head into November.
Experience the sumptuous offerings at SO/SPA Auckland. This inner-city retreat includes a 20-metre heated lap pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and fitness centre and is open to hotel guests as well as visitors. The spa menu offers a collection of facials and body treatments – all of which begin with an exclusive SO/SPA natural aromatic welcome ritual, encouraging you to breathe in the mind-body relaxing aromas, in preparation for the bespoke application techniques and massages. If you’re short on time, check in for the 30-minute De-Stress Back Rescue – the ideal treatment for those who spend hours sitting at their desk or in front of a computer. Feel the knots unravel as your muscles de-stress and luxuriate in much-needed attention. Or take it to the next level with a 90-minute Experiential Volcanic Stone Treatment – a deeply relaxing option with long soothing movements with heated basalt stones (sourced from mineral-rich lava flow). Then there’s The Morning After or The Night Before eye add-on (IYKYK) – a refreshing eye mask designed to hydrate, soothe, and plump skin around the eye area.
Pro Tip: Leave a little additional time at the beginning or end of your appointment to experience the indulgent luxury of the SO/SPA Serenity Lounge.
With a stellar reputation for all things skincare solution related, as well as a thoughtfully curated collection of products in-store and online, The Facialist, located in central Auckland, offers a swoon-inducing array of treatments. However, the unique Yoga Facial option is definitely one to add to your wish list (or Christmas gift list). Developed by The Facialist founder Ashleigh Scott, it’s truly sublime and ranks at the top of the leaderboard for memorable facials experienced in life to date. The Yoga Facial differs from a ‘standard’ facial in that it’s designed around intensive facial massage techniques, rather than a menu of products. Using just a small amount of face oil, the hero of the treatment is the bespoke toning and lifting massage movements. It’s groan-inducingly good, particularly as it works to relieve tension from stress points around the jaw and eyes. And the facial workout truly does leave your face feeling like it has been uplifted and revitalised.
Pro Tip: Don’t expect butterfly light touches; immerse yourself in the firm invigorating movements. And enjoy the post-workout feeling while you ponder when you can return for another session.
Say hello to the quickest beauty pick-me-up in town: 20 minutes of utter relaxation, while your skin gets a glowing helping hand. LED Light Rooms are the new concept taking the nation by storm and there’s none so dear to my heart than the calming haven of Skin Depot in Hamilton. Founder Laura Townsend is a guru of all things skin-related, and part of her bespoke skin treatment business is her no-fuss LED Light Lounge. Book your session online and pop in at a time that suits you (or in between meetings) – then lie down and relax under a fluffy blanket, cloud-like pillows and enjoy the warmth of a short session of light therapy. Plus it’s a little digital detox time (I’ve been known to nod off for a quick power nap #winning). It’s also ideal pre or post-event when your skin needs a little helping hand with the rejuvenating powers of light therapy. Non-invasive, it’s anti-ageing and helps target the effects of sun damage, plus can be used to treat a myriad of skin conditions. While it might look like a ’70s disco light and feel like you are back in your sunbed days, rest assured these non-UV lights are highly researched for effectiveness and stem from NASA research where LED technology was used to help regulate astronauts’ sleep cycles and accelerate healing.
Pro Tip: It’s a handy skin SOS to have in your arsenal. I’ve been known to visit a few days before an event when I can feel a potential spot of acne or stress brewing for the LED light magic wand touch.