Hide Yer Kids! A Miami Spa Kidnapping

Michelle Joni and Dashama Spa at Shula's

This is officially a spa kidnapping.

I believe one of my duties – not just as Spa Week’s editor-at-large – but as a human being on this earth, is to share the benefits of the spa lifestyle with as many people as possible. If I can get one billion people to go to the spa or have a transformative wellness experience in their lifetime, I will die a happy woman. My life calling is clear: Indulge, and make it attainable for others to do the same. (Thank God for Spring Spa Week – don’t wait another minute to book!)

While I was staying down in Miami with Dashama, one of our spa stops was the Spa at Shula’s in Miami Lakes. In the middle of Shula’s circle, a quiet and unassuming neighborhood of condos and various business, we were pleasantly surprised to discover this gem, longtime members of Spa Week.

the spa at shula's

We slipped into soft white monogrammed robes and spa shoes, locked our things away in the very nicely equipped changing room, and settled into a quiet relaxation area. We hadn’t eaten much and were quite hungry, so we were thrilled to find a variety of teas, a big plate of fresh strawberries and grapes, an assortment of grainy crackers available to us while we waited on cushy leather recliners.

Shula’s wanted us to experience their seasonal treatments, as this AVEDA spa is constantly coming up with new dynamic spa experiences to try each month. Dashama went first for the Warm Wintergreen Stone Massage & Body Scrub, a 45 minute warm stone massage followed by a 15 minute Wintergreen full body scrub. I went in to snap some photos of her treatment (like all normal spa-goers do… or not…), and vicariously felt the stones gliding up and down her oiled body.

hot stone massage dashama
hot stone massage

My turn was next. I was taken to another dark and quiet room for Shula’s other seasonal offering: The Mandara Treatment. It included a deep cleansing facial, a warm neck and scalp massage, a grapefruit paraffin hand & foot treatment, a dead sea salt body exfoliation and a full body hydration. It started with the scrub, after which I was escorted to a nice strong shower to rinse off the salt, and told to use as many towels as my heart desired. My hands slivered all over my silky smooth body – I love that feeling! Before going back to the room I took a detour in the bathroom and was elated to find a full-blown tushy spa, AKA a heated toilet sea with a multi-speed bidet. Ah, the simple joys.

I returned my treatment bed, which was wrapped in fresh towels and blankets, and waiting for me was a small snack. How did she know I was still hungry? Or rather… how did she know I’m always hungry?

spa snack

After I enjoyed my tea party for one, I couldn’t really tell you what came next, because I slipped into a state of deep spa slumber. I vaguely recall a mix of the softest, gentlest hands imaginable running up and down my body, complete immobilization by way of warm paraffin solidifying around my extremities, and a parade of delicate, delicious-smelling substances applied to my sleeping face.

Needless to say, I did not get any photos. We will both just have to imagine that The Mandara Treatment was ninety minutes of complete and wholly therapeutic bliss.

After a post-treatment visit to the tushy spa, I slowly changed back into my clothes. I went outside to find a private outdoor relaxation area, and Dashama relaxing in it. We both agreed: It’s far from South Beach but well worth the trip. The Spa at Shula’s is a Miami Lakes must-try!

Dashama Shula's

On the way out, we couldn’t resist a little AVEDA shopping spree. I mean, look at this place! We both took home a few new hair products and a vibrant sense of season spa healing.

spa at shula's

As we walked to the car Dashama said to me “Thank you for taking me here. I’m always so busy but this really reminded me that I need to treat myself more. I need more spa in my life. This was amazing.”

Spa kidnapping… SUCCESS!


Are We Dreaming or Spa-ing?

Dashama and Michelle Joni Dream Hotel

What a day for a daydream! On my first day in Miami, after a delicious breakfast buffet of flavored fish oil, I took Dashama to The Dream Hotel in South Beach, home of the brand new Shala Spa. We ordered a light lunch and a few cocktails in our cozy cabana, then drifted into a dreamlike state with two truly incredible spa treatments. If you love poolside treatments, body scrubs with a dose of massage, and organic spices and essential oils, you must get your spa booty down to south beach and experience Shala Spa’s Beauty Bar. Another reason to visit is the facial line they use: Shankara, named by Spa Magazine “the most deserving skincare line to bring to the attention of spa goers.” It was one of the best facials of both mine and Dashama’s collective lives. As the hours passed, we couldn’t tell if we were awake or dreaming… until we realized we got this video. A perfect poolside spa day like this does, indeed, exist:

We spa’d, we swam… but no day is complete without stretching!

Dashama Dream Hotel

michelle joni legs

Dashama yoga

Michelle Joni Stretching

Dream Hotel South Beach

Miami Bound! The Make-Me-Skinny Spa Day

Hello from Miami! I escaped. Yes, I’ve escaped the bitter New York winter for a healthy dose of sunshine… with an even healthier dose of spa.

Let the bliss begin! I’ve come here to stay with Dashama, the very beautiful yoga guru and healer who has been part of the Spa Week Expert family since last December when she challenged you to hug more. We’ve got a vibrant week ahead, chock full of wellness adventures, and I hope you follow us here and on social media along the way.

red pedicure

Now, a spa girl like myself makes certain beauty preparations before traveling into the sandal-wearing, bikini-body-baring weather of South Florida. Firstly, a mani/pedi is a must. Aside from being clean and polished, it makes you feel clean and polished to have your extremities taken care of. I choose bright colors for mid-winter vacations; it makes it feel even more like summertime.

What’s a spa trip without preparing for it… with three hours proper at a spa?

“Hey,” I called up Luminesa Cellulite and Slimming Medi-Spa, “can you make me hot and skinny by Sunday?”

The team of estheticians at Luminesa was up for this challenge.

spa bed

We started with the popular body contouring treatment, Endermologie. For Endermologie, you slip into a whole-body stocking that I happen to love a lot. It’s like a giant Spanx.

endermologie outfit

michelle jon spa tutuRemember when I wore it to New York Fashion Week with a tutu and interviewed Gwen Stefani? (I’m sure she does.) —>

To my delight, Endermologie feels a lot like a massage. It works by means of an esthetician rolling a magic wand over your body. The suction and rolling action is an extremely effective method of increasing circulation, which helps prevent and reduce the appearance of cellulite. It firms and contours your body wherever it goes—hellz to the yes. It’s most effective when multiple treatments are done in succession, but even one time does help a little.


endermologie wand

Unfortunately, my tummy is so ticklish that we were not able to Endermologize it. Endermologize is not a word. Neither is “mwabdijsalaifodwfguifbcaahhhhh!!!,” the unfortunate sound I make when someone is trying to do Endermologie on my tummy.

Next came a Sudatonic Wrap. If you are a wrestler and you need to lose four pounds of water weight in the next hour without sitting in a garbage bag at your gym sauna, call Luminesa for a Sudatonic Wrap. I’ve had a number of wraps in my day, but never one quite this sweaty. I felt like a piping hot grilled chicken Panini wrapped in saran wrap and aluminum foil, sitting in the sun under a wool blanket with a cup of hot tomato soup.

sudatonic wrap

sudatonic wrap

It’s not simply the sweat though that’s helping you shed pounds – there’s also a combination of oil and lotion that is first massaged onto you. (Yay! Massages are hidden everywhere at the spa, I love it.)

Once the formulas mingle on your body and get heated to a sizzle, they aide in firming and smoothing your body.  I would recommend keeping one arm free (your skinnier one, of course) so you don’t feel like a completely cocooned caterpillar. Also, in case you need video tape it.

While my body was shrinking beneath the layers, my face was free to make proper pre-sun arrangements. I got a Vitamin C facial, which included a great round of extractions (Ahhh, yes this meant steaming! Why not just boil me whole?) as well as a pumpkin face mask…

relaxing facialfacial mask

…and a green neck mask which I happen to think looked rather chic. Perhaps something to consider for next fashion week to go with my Endermologie chastity suit.

neck mask

At long last, the Panini was ripped open. AIR! Sweet, cool air! Victorious!

Ranking similarly in victory level was the result. Prior to the treatment we had taken stock of my vital fat signs: body fat percentage, BMI and a few circumference measurements. Directly after the treatment I had gone down .3 percent in body fat, and a total of two inches in circumference. My BMI did not go down.

But it wasn’t the numbers so much that impressed me; I’m not someone who weighs herself nor feels a sense of confidence over a drop in waist size. What matters is how I feel. And as I left, I felt noticeably lighter—and tighter too.

The spa is not the answer to your weight problems. The spa is part of a solution. Just like anything in health and wellness, too-dramatic results often come with dangerous side effects. Just like a massage: You don’t go expecting them to completely fix your lower back pain, but you feel the amazing instant difference regardless. You can expect to see subtle shifts in your body and wellbeing after one treatment, but it’s your job to say persistent, to allow your body learn how to respond to a treatment over time, and also do your part in eating well, stretching and staying active.

As a strong Vitamin C serum settled into my face over the next fourteen hours, (I was instructed not to shower or wash my face for a few hours, so I waited till the next day), I felt like a burst of sunshine myself. My skin felt more taut and far more hydrated. I noticed a distinct golden glow get brighter and brighter—perhaps a direct reaction to the Vitamin C, perhaps a subliminal anticipation for the Oscars Red Carpet, or maybe an inner radiance… joyful and grateful that I have a week ahead of me to bliss out in Miami with Dashama.

dashama yoga

As Dashama explained over wine and goat cheese brie (yes, that exists!!!) upon my arrival:

“Yoga is a peace sign we do with our bodies.”

Let the Miami peace and love begin.

xo Michelle Joni

Discount On Eclat Medical Products

You might have seen Dr. Salomon on Bravo’s Miami Slice, The Discovery Health Channel, Telemundo or NBC.  He has an extensive list of credentials (there are a lot of frames on his office wall at Dr. Jhonny Salomon Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Miami) and a high-end product line designed to create an unparalleled skincare experience.

Speaking of that product line…Dr. Salomon’s product line éclat Medical is an advanced skin care system blending the best medical and botanical ingredients to treat uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, enlarged pores, acne, and environmental damage.

For the month of December 2012, Spa Week readers can receive an exclusive discount of 20% off all product purchases using promo code holiday2012 at checkout. Visit the Eclat Medical website to shop now!

Now, just for a bonus, let’s peek into Dr. Salomon’s luxurious and spa-tious office:

Even the reception area will make you feel like a million bucks.

In a waiting room like this, we wouldn’t mind waiting all day.

The art of medicine. We call this medi-chic.

Dr. Jhonny Salomon Plastic Surgery & Med Spa
6705 Red Road, Suite 708
Coral Gables,  Florida 33143

Come On Barbie, Let’s Go SPA-rty!

The forever young Barbie turns 53 today and we want to wish her an extremely happy birthday, because she deserves it! Barbie isn’t just another pretty doll face, she’s a hard worker. She has to maintain her icon status, stay dressed in the latest trends, and she’s even found time to hold over 120 different careers. That will wear a girl out! It takes a lot of spa visits to keep her so impossibly perfect, so for her birthday Barbie is taking Spa Week off and spa-setting around the country to have her ideal week of $50 spa treatments, because she’s made of plastic not money.

Spa Week Day 1: Monday, April 16

Barbie is going to start off her week at El Leon Spa in Los Angeles. She’ll get a 60 minute Extremity Remedy hand and foot massage with lavender, a dead sea salt soak ,and exfoliation. Her feet and hands could really use an extreme rub after 53 years of standing on her toes and having her fingers perpetually fused together!

Spa Week Day 2: Tuesday, April 17

Time to hit the slopes! After an early morning on the mountain skiing and riding chair lifts, Barbie’s going to head down to Denver’s VITAHL Medical Aesthetics for a different kind of lift. A little botox boost will help keep her looking young (Ken is two years younger after all). She’ll get 10 units of Botox and she can get additional units for only $14/per unit.

Spa Week Day 3: Wednesday, April 18

Next, Barbie’s going south to Texas to keep her face from going in the same direction. Barbie will be visiting FaceToFace Spa at Avery Ranch in Austin to smooth out any imperfections with diamond tip microdermabrasion, a customized hydration mask, and scalp massage. And we bet she won’t be able to resist adding on the professional eyelash extensions application treatment. Diamonds and lashes: so THAT’S how she gets that sparkle in her eye.

Spa Week Day 4: Thursday, April 19

Next, Barbie’s off to the windy city to blow off some stress. After a trip to Red Door Spa in Chicago for a 50 minute Stress Melter, her plastic will have an extra smooth and shiny finish, and all the pressures of being a celebrity for the last 53 years will dissolve away.

Spa Week Day 5: Friday, April 20

Welcome to Miami! It’s no secret that Barbie isn’t the most flexible doll around. She’s going to clear her mind and work on bending at the waist with Exhale’s award winning Core Fusion and yoga classes. The deal includes a pack of 5, but there’s no twisting her arm to come back to hot Miami.

Spa Week Day 6: Saturday, April 21

Barbie’s going to our nation’s capital to get her hair on. She’s going to get a complete hair treatment at Washington DC’s Piaf Salon and Day Spa. She can pick from two hair packages: a shampoo, a conditioning treatment, haircut and style or a single process color with deep conditioner and style. We’d suggest the one without the haircut, because we know the trauma that results after cutting Barbie’s hair. (Note to Barbie: George Washington is not your best look.)

Spa Week Day 7: Sunday, April 22

Barbie is going to end her week in NYC where she was born in 1959. And what better way to wrap up her luxurious week than in a body wrap?! She’ll visit Spa Jolie for a slimming body wrap with a deep pore facial to get her ready to get back to work. Even Barbie lets herself go a little on a vacation.

Barbie, for your birthday we got you a cake! Now eat the whole thing.