Author Archive

Spa Scoop Is Moving–Please Take Note

The powerful partnership between American Spa and Spatrade continues to thrive. As such, we are moving our blog to a new location——starting Monday, Sept. 26. There, you will be able to access all of your favorite blog items, as well as some exciting new options, including:

  • Highlights of the latest industry news
  • Blog postings from American Spa’s editors
  • Business-building articles from industry experts
  • Profiles of spa movers and shakers
  • A comprehensive calendar of events
  • A look at the latest edition of American Spa
  • And much more!

Plus, the Spa Scoop newsletter is going to be offered weekly starting in October. This fabulous new weekly roundup will be replacing both American Spa and’s former bi-weekly newsletters. If you are already a subscriber to either, you have been automatically signed up for this exciting new option. Feel freel to share the news with your friends and colleagues and invite them to sign up here for this informative new offering.

I look forward to getting your feedback.

The Spa at Ravella Debuts Sip & Spa Thursdays

Like most people, by the time Thursday rolls around each week, I’m pooped from four days of working hard. So it has quickly become one of my favorite days to gather my girlfriends and enjoy a cocktail or two. So when I heard news of a fun new offering at The Spa at Ravella (Las Vegas), I wished I lived in Sin City. The spa recently debuted Sip & Spa Thursdays, a fashionable ladies’ night out featuring fun spa treatments and cool signature cocktails. The weekly event takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. and features a fun new duo every Thursday night. Each week, participating ladies leave with a great takeaway gift from OPI, Naturopathica, and Morocconoil, among others. Plus, they have the chance to win a spectacular spa gift basket. Options include an express treatment, a signature cocktail, hors d’oeuvres, and a spa gift for $25. Or, they can indulge in everything but the treatment for $10.

Here’s a look at the upcoming schedule:

  • Mai Tais & Massages (Sept. 22)
  • Bellinis & Brows (Sept. 29)
  • Ritas & Relaxation (Oct. 6)
  • Long Islands & Lashes (Oct. 13)
  • Absinthe & Aromatherapy (Oct. 20)
  • Tinis & Tinsel (Oct. 27, Nov. 17)
  • Martinis & Manicures (Nov. 3)
  • Mojitos & Makeovers (Nov. 10)

Heading to Vegas any time soon for a fun girls getaway? Be sure to make a pit-stop at The Spa at Ravella.

SoulCycle Makes Upper West Side Debut

When it comes to fitness, I will be the first to admit that I’m a tricky customer. I don’t like running and I don’t have any rhythm, so finding an activity where I don’t look and feel like a hot mess is difficult. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with spinning, but I have been getting a little bit bored. So when I was invited to test out the latest outpost of SoulCycle in my NYC neighborhood, I will admit I was intrigued. The 45-minute class involved an intense 45-minute cardio workout that combines spinning with upper body toning using hand weights and core exercises. I’m happy to report the new studio is fabulous. Located on the corner of 77th Street and Amsterdam, the 1,900-square-foot, ground-level facility features a 54-bike studio, as well as a 300-square-foot SoulCycle Boutique. The studio also boasts 96 lockers, two bathrooms, and a changing room. I was a little nervous when I arrived this morning to try my first class, but after 45 minutes of fun music, total toning, and cool cardio, I am totally hooked. Can’t wait for my next ride. For more on the new studio or to find a SoulCycle near you, visit

Tips for Scoring a Winning Smile

In recent years, I’ve been hearing more and more about spas offering teeth-whitening services, which makes a lot of sense to me. It’s a great revenue-generating option that can be performed during a facial or makeup application. It easily adds to your spa’s bottom line, and whiter teeth make clients look younger and refreshed. As such, we’re highlighting spa teeth whitening in our October issue in an article called “Show Me Your Teeth.” (Here’s hoping all you fellow Lady Gaga lovers will appreciate the reference). Be sure to keep your eye out for American Spa in October. In the meantime, I thought I would pass some great tips from Dr. Alex Gause, D.D.S., from Smile Design Manhattan, who has some handy teeth whitening tips to help keep your clients’ smiles bright as they move into fall. Be sure to pass along his suggestions.

  1. Replace your normal mouthwash with a rinse that adds a whitening benefit, or carry a whitening pen with you that can be applied after meals or drinks that may cause staining.
  2. Cool those drinks down! Sipping hot coffee leads to this major stain causing agent to sit on your teeth for a longer period of time than necessary. An alternative is to drink iced coffee, or iced tea, through a straw.  This bypasses those front teeth that you use to present your face to the world while still giving you that jolt of caffeine that you need to start your day or keep you going after lunch.
  3. Monitor your eating habits. We all know the idea that eating candy leads to cavities, but the relationship between diet and dental health is more complicated. The simple act of eating causes an increase in acidity in the oral cavity, which contributes to the breakdown of enamel. The good news is that our body, through saliva, naturally counteracts this. Eating more frequently lengthens the time that our teeth are exposed to an acidic environment, putting them more at risk of decay. The take home message—frequent snacking can cause higher risk for tooth decay.
  4. Brush before bed. Don’t fall to the temptation to just fall asleep. During the night our mouths produce less of the saliva that is our natural defense against decay and gum disease.  Forgetting to brush means plaque and bacteria have a better environment to wreak havoc on our teeth and gums.
  5. No Smoking! In our image-conscious society, smoking has recently become popular as an appetite suppressant, or in other words, a way to keep the pounds off. But this approach compromises the beauty and health of your teeth and gums in an effort to stay trim. Smoking is one of the worst contributors to surface staining that we are aware of, and is a recognized risk factor to the development of periodontal disease, a disease that eats away at your gums and bones supporting your teeth. As an alternative to cigarettes, try controlling your appetite with healthy alternative such as fruits, nuts, and water.

CND Launches CND Shellac Salon Certification Program

If you’ve read my blogs over the past year or so, you will know that I am a giant fan of CND’s Shellac manicures and pedicures (I actually am sporting one right now). I was hooked after my first manicure lasted for nearly three weeks without a chip, and I’ve pretty much kept my nails Shellac’d ever since. So, I can say that I’ve seen some amazing Shellac applications, as well as some that are not so impressive. So I was excited to see that CND is now taking steps to make sure this service is performed properly. Now, clients across the U.S. will soon be assured that the Shellac services they are being offered have CND’s official seal of approval. The CND Shellac Salon Certification Program will showcase spas and salons that provide quality CND Shellac services.

To earn this coveted certification, spas and salons must prove they precisely follow corporate protocol for every CND Shellac service to clients—from application to removal. Certified spas and salons will be listed in CND’s Salon Locator on, receive CND Shellac certified window signage, and have the opportunity to participate in other business building programs. To be certified, a CND representative will visit the spa or salon and review protocol, as well as educate spa and salon professionals on CND Shellac services. In addition, the spa or salon must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Uses CND Shellac Base Coat, Color Coat, and Top Coat for all CND Shellac services.
  • Uses the Brisa™ or CND UV Lamp for all CND Shellac services.
  • Does not mix or pair CND Shellac with ANY non-CND shellac products such as base coats, top coats, or color coats.
  • Does not file the natural nail surface during application or removal of CND Shellac.
  • Does not soak client’s nails in a bowl of acetone to remove CND Shellac.
  • Performs a manicure using ScrubFresh™ to P.E.P. (Perform the manicure, Eliminate surface contaminants, and Purify the nail plate layers) the natural nail prior to a CND Shellac application.
  • Uses 99% IPA to remove the tacky layer at the end of a CND Shellac service.
  • Uses SolarOil™ to condition the nail and cuticle area.
  • Uses pure acetone and CND Shellac Remover Wraps (or foil and cotton removal method) for removal of CND Shellac.

“The implementation of CND’s Shellac Salon Certification Program will ensure the ultimate experience for clients and will provide a great incentive to nail professionals to provide exemplary Shellac services,” says CND co-founder Jan Arnold.

Those wishing to receive CND Shellac Salon Certification are required to register on the Salon Locator at If you are already registered and have accepted CND’s new terms and conditions, call the CND Hotline to request certification. For more information, call (800) 833-NAIL.

Spa Biz Gurus Launch Uspa Immersion

I’m proud to share some exciting news from some of my favorite people in business. A group of spa industry experts have launched, Uspa Immersion, a new hybrid of wellness, spa, and fitness. It is a collaborative development from three industry-leading firms with development and project planning expertise, as well as facility management, operational, and retail experience.

Uspa Immersion is a fully integrated brand featuring a focus on green and sustainable principles and an emphasis on innovations in design, education/training, services, products, and business tools. Inspired by traditional indigenous rituals and by the science of nature, Uspa Immersion uses only natural and organic products with an emphasis on performance and offers a full range of authentic services, therapeutic treatments, and wellness and life-improvement experiences.

The marriage of the Blu Spas, Ageless Esthetics, and Uspa teams has created an unequaled match of talent and experience.  Their combined expertise ranges from distinctive design, turn-key operations, business analysis, product and service treatment development, product distribution, retail, sales and marketing, and training. Throughout their history of creating world-class wellness, spa, and fitness facilities and product companies globally, this team has been recognized for capturing authentic and marketable qualities from the local culture, and delivering distinctive facilities and guest experiences. Their project planning has led to the unveiling some of the best wellness, spa and fitness facilities in the world.

Collectively, the Uspa Immersion executive team has been involved in more than 350 projects in over 30 countries and includes Rob Insinger, Cary Collier, Doug Chambers, Ronel Corbin, Justin Morgan, Lisa Jacobs, Jackie Insinger, Brooke Taylor, Ashlee Anderson, and Rianna Riego. Additionally, the group has assembled a medical advisory team representing varying disciplines to guide its wellness, fitness, and life-improvement programs.

Cary Collier, the group’s principal designer, says, “Our team has carefully created a ground-breaking combination featuring truly innovative experiences; a balance of sustainable, sensuous design and technology; wellness, fitness, spa, waters, retail, and integrated web business features; and a star line-up of Uspa products and services.”  Operations guru Ronel Corbin says, “While it’s the creative side of our team that breathes the soul into our Uspa Immersion, it’s the analytical side that assures our projects are functional and, ultimately, best positioned for profitability.”  George Jilly, Founder of Uspa, adds, “There is a spectacular story and purpose behind everything we do – the products, the treatments, the design details. Our passion is to inspire our guests through our meticulous fusion of nature, function and purpose.”

PBA Disaster Relief Fund to Help Hurricane Victims

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, which swept through the East Coast this past weekend and caused extensive damage in several states, the Professional Beauty Association (PBA) has quickly stepped up and is doing its part to help those in our industry who are impacted. Now, you can help, as well. Donate to the PBA | NCA Disaster Relief Fund to help beauty professionals rebuild after the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. For more information and to make a tax deductible donation and/or request assistance, please visit

Gharieni Gets Imported to America

Gharieni, a leading German manufacturer of high-end spa and medical furniture, treatment beds, and equipment has made its U.S. debut, and its offerings are now available in America. The company’s spa division features a  range of beauty and relaxation couches along with a selection of equipment and furniture. The medical division designs and manufactures examination beds for ENT, podiatry, ultrasound, and more that provide comfortable and optimized positioning for patients. Visit, or learn more in person at SPATEC Fall, which takes place Sept. 7-10 in Dana Point, CA.

Primavera Makes U.S. Debut

Arriving from Germany, Primavera is an all-natural skincare and aromatherapy line that has recently debuted in the U.S. The collection harnesses the healing powers of nature with skincare, bodycare, wellness therapies, and home fragrance products. Primavera offers effective products with the highest percentage of certified organic ingredients available based on pure essential oils, seed oils, base oils, and plant extracts, which results in therapeutic benefits to skin and senses. It can be purchased via partner spas throughout North America, including Rancho La Puerta (Tecate, Mexico), Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa (CA), and Niki Bryan Spas at Walt Disney World Resorts in Orlando and Hawaii. Visit for more information, and if you are attending Spatec Fall, which takes place next month in California, be sure to check in and be introduced to the line.

Exhale Celebrates National Yoga Month with NamasDAY

Next month is National Yoga Month, and Exhale is celebrating with style with NamasDAY, which takes place Sept. 22. The company will be relaunching its yoga program on this date by hosting NamasDAY events at all Exhale locations across the country. The aim of NamasDAY is to bring guests together as a community to build awareness of yoga’s proven health benefits and provide people with actionable guidance and tools to enhance their own well being all while having fun. As part of the celebration, Exhale will host special complimentary yoga classes throughout the day. In the evening, all locations will host a yoga bash, featuring a variety of free classes including Music Yoga Flow, special contests and prizes, swag bags, and live music.

“NamasDAY is an exciting way for exhale to bring together the yoga community, and inspire new guests to try this incredible mind body practice,” says Erin Jacques, director of yoga at Exhale. “Our yoga program offers the highest quality of teachers and the most varied range of classes. We can’t wait for the whole country to be celebrating on the same day.”

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