Spa

By Leslie Rice Hart

Winter has slowly crept upon us and so has dry cracking skin, especially on our hands and feet. I was just saying, the other day, to a friend what the heck is up with my nails? They were so healthy and strong just a few months ago, now look at them. With the cold weather comes, dehydration. That means dry, dry, dry. Our hands and feet are not the same in the winter, no ma’am!!

Moisturizing is always important, but even more so in the cold-weather months. We also have to make sure we drink a lot of water! Lack of moisture shows immediately in our faces, hands and feet.

I was in dire, desperate need of a manicure and pedicure. My poor thirsty hands and feet were looking pretty ragged, so I popped over to Silk Day Spa for some TLC.

When I hear the word silk I think of something sleek and lustrous. Adjectives pop into my head such as fine, elegant, luxurious and comfy. Silk Day Spa lives up to all of these images and some.

Silk Day Spa is a haven, conveniently located in between Chelsea and the west village.
According to Korean-born, Master Therapist Hwa Lee, owner and visionary of Silk Spa, the philosophy of Silk is to join the best of both the Eastern and Western practices. “From the East, we balance body energies to improve mood and well-being, while from the West, we focus on renewing the body and spirit with special attention to skin care and muscle tone.” She certainly had the right idea because what she created is a unique and relaxing environment where both men and women will feel comfortable.

There is a wonderfully quaint retail store when first entering Silk. Products such a Votivo candles and Tocca products including candles and the bath and body line. Venture in if you want some great gifts for the holidays or treat yourself to something special.

Making my way downstairs, I found landed in their extremely warm and welcoming reception area. Swathed in a mixture of neutrals and jewel tones, I was struck by the very comfortable yet unpretentiously luxurious feel of this oasis. Bamboo is dispersed throughout, and sheer drapes, plush furniture and rich woods are the foundation of the décor.

Displayed are Peter Thomas Roth, June Jacobs and Darphin products. These are the product lines that Silk exclusively uses.

I was shown to the dressing room where I changed into robe and slippers preparing for my manicure and pedicure. This is no ordinary “mani/pedi” though. I was having the “Foot Fetish” deluxe pedicure($65.OO for 50 minutes) and the “Turn Up The Heat” deluxe manicure ($50.00 for 50 minutes).

I went to the “waiting room” better know as the meditation or relaxation room, to wait for Judy who would be doing my treatments today. This room is the perfect setting for clients to unwind before receiving treatments, or end a perfect experience for some quiet time before having to face the outside elements, once again.

Judy came to get me and we went into a charming room with two pedicure stations and a manicure table. I had a choice of different types of music to listen to during my services. The room was so cozy and inviting, a real contrast from some of the pedicure factories you find around the city, that tend to be too bright, too cold and too impersonal.

FOOT FETISH
I didn’t have a foot fetish before, but I think I’ve developed one after this pedicure. This decadent treatment begins by soaking your feet in a prepared mix of peppermint aromatherapy oil, peppermint leaves, Korean ginseng and warm water. Judy explains that the peppermint, stimulates the tired feet helping with circulation. It is cool and refreshing. I knew ginseng was taken for energy but I didn’t realize it’s used to energize fatigued feet, as well . After some cliping, sniping, filing and buffing, comes the most incredible part – the massage. A warm paraffin masque and reflexology! She applied a June Jacobs lemon citrus sugar scrub to my legs to exfoliate the dead skin cells that had accumulated (she uses the sugar instead of salt because the salt might cause a sensitivity to newly shaven legs). She then massaged my legs and feet, rubbing every last inch below my knees. Next, the warm paraffin is applied with a brush like a artist applies paint to canvas. This is to bring much needed hydration to dry feet. Paraffin coated feet are then wrapped in plastic and placed gently in heated, electric foot warmers. After relaxing for a few minutes, the paraffin is removed. Next, Judy performs reflexology. If you’ve never experienced reflexology you are definitely missing out. It is a natural healing art, based on the principle that there are reflex points in the feet and hands that correspond to every part of the body. By stimulating and applying pressure to the feet or hands, you are increasing circulation and promoting specific bodily and muscular functions. Most importantly, it feels spectacular. I was so relaxed and oh so happy! My feet looked and felt marvelous! As if that wasn’t enough… now it was time for my manicure.

TURN UP THE HEAT
My hands waited patiently and now it was their turn. I sat for a few minutes with my eager digits soaking in a bowl of warm water and mineral salts. Judy then prepped the nails and preformed her magic. With the same citrus sugar scrub she thoroughly massaged my hands. I thought my head was going to plop down on the table because I was so relaxed. The same procedure was performed on my hands with the hydrating paraffin masque and electric warmers. Next came the reflexology and polish. By the end of the treatment I was tingling from head to toe. Judy moved me into the relaxation room to give my nails time to dry. I was thoroughly enjoying the feeling of calmness and total rejuvenation. I’ve never been the kind to splurge on myself when it comes to manicures and pedicures but that has all changed! These treatments were worth every cent.

Silk Day Spa offers many beauty services and packages. They offer various and unique types of massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, masks, peels and treatments developed specifically for men. Some of the services may be purchased in packages at a discount.

One of their specialties is the Silk Supreme Eastern Indulgence (Body Scrub and Polish).
A highly practiced technique originating in Korea, they use a specially textured glove and natural ingredients to refine, soften, and renew the skin. This full body exfoliation is followed by a soothing wrap using natural fresh fruits. Next is a gentle massage followed by a moisturizing milk rinse. Finish with a scalp massage and shampoo. The 60 minute version, which excludes the wrap, scalp massage and shampoo is designed for those who may not have time for full treatment, but still desire the therapeutic benefits of this ancient treatment.

90min or 60min – $180.00 for 90min, $130.00 for 60min

Another original package is the Silk Emperor/Empress Signature Treatment
Designed for two, this treatment is set in the luxurious private Rain Room. It begins with a cleansing deluge shower and a de-stressing soak in the grand hot tub filled with essential oils and aromatic herbs. The therapist will present you with a variety of herbs, oils, fruit essence, and fragrances. From this assortment you can choose your favorite combination customized just for you. Your treatment includes a hand and foot reflexology session followed by our signature Eastern Indulgence body scrub. Next , a full body mask is applied using your own customized moisturizing mud formulation. For adventurous couples, the therapist will show you how to apply your moisturizing muds on each other and leave you to relax in complete privacy. Finally, enjoy a soothing Silk Melt Away Massage to relieve stress and tension.

– Cleansing Deluge Shower
– Moisturizing Mud Body Masque
– Soothing Soak Using Aromatic Herbs And Oils
– Cleansing Rinse with Organic Shampoo
– Therapeutic Foot & Hand Reflexology
– Silk Melt Away Massage
– Eastern Indulgence Body Scrub

3 Hours
$540.00 for 2 $330.00 for 1

Sadly my treatments were over. I had such a terrific experience, I didn’t want to leave. I do feel rejuvenated and I can’t wait for my next visit. I also learned from Judy how important it is to keep your hands and feet moisturized all year round. I guess it’s only natural to pay a little less attention to them in the winter…since you can’t show off a great manicure and pedicure while wearing boots and gloves…but I learned from her that having regular pedicures actually improves the health of your feet. As we age, we lose moisture throughout our bodies…a visit to Silk Day Spa is a fantastic way to replenish…and after my visit there, I’ll be looking for any excuse to go back!

For more information and prices on Silk Day Spa visit their website at: www.silkdayspa.com or contact them at:

47 West 13th Street
New York City
212-255-6457

Originally published December 2004
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