Long Island Secret: Bocu Salon & Spa

In Long Island, women take their salon and spa time very seriously — and Bocu is one of the largest and most well-known places to get pampered.

With over 25 years in business, it’s clear that the spa is onto something. They’ve made a lasting impression on locals by offering services women really want, with a staff of highly trained skin, hair, body, and nail pros.

“We don’t take anyone right out of school,”  says Alisa, manager at Bocu. “Everyone is seasoned and experienced in their field.”

If you’d like to see for yourself, now’s the time! Only a few days left to book one of Bocu’s discount Spa Week treatments.

Choose from a one-hour full-body exfoliation or 60-minute customized facial. With either treatment, you’ll also get to relax during an aromatherapy steam room session, and then the salon will even end the treatment with a blowout so you truly feel polished from head to toe.

Pick from either of these available treatments, just $50 through the end of this week:

1. A 60 Min Customized Therapeutic Facial, Aromatherapy Steam Room Session and Salon Blowout with Select Stylists

2. A 60 Min Exfoliating Body Treatment with Vichy Shower, Aromatherapy Steam Room Session and Salon Blowout with Select Stylists

Eyelash Extensions at Albina Spa

Do you think these eyelash extensions look natural? We had no clue they were fake! No wonder women everywhere have fallen in love with the procedure.

There’s just one problem. They can cost up to several hundred dollars. That may be worth it for a wedding or special occasion, but not necessarily when you’re applying them just for fun.

The solution? Get your lash extensions at Albina Spa during Spa Week for $50 — normally $90-$200 depending on the amount of lashes.

Albina promises the lashes will last up to 4 or 5 weeks, giving you at least a full month without having to wear mascara (or eyeliner, as many women find their new, defined lashes make most of their usual eye makeup unnecessary).

Not into falsies? Choose another Spa Week treatment — a 55-minute massage, Deep Pore Cleansing Facial, or Laser Hair Removal session — still just $50 each:

Not in New York? See more spas offering eyelash extension deals here.

O’Live Organic Spa Airbrush Tan

When we stopped by O’Live Organic Spa for a Spa Week airbrush tan, we were expecting your basic quickie in-and-out service, but were pleasantly surprised to find a cozy, relaxing spa focused on organic ingredients — including their own self-tanning formula.

“Our formula doesn’t contain a bronzer, because the bronzing agents typically contain non-organic ingredients,” our airbrush tech explained. Then she asked us to pick a scent to be added to the formula (easy! coconut!) and advised us to lotion up areas of the body with thicker, dryer skin, since they usually absorb extra tanning solution and turn darker than the rest (knees, ankles, elbows…). Side note: There’s just something so soothing about a woman with a British accent saying things like “organic” “sweet almond” and “coconut.”

The room was airy and open, and we didn’t smell anything funky as she sprayed us from tip to toe — about a 10-15 minute process. After each body part was sprayed, she used a blow-dryer to speed the drying process — something we appreciated before getting dressed and heading back to work.

By the end of the workday, we were glowing, and when we showered off the solution, a bronze-y tan remained. We’ll definitely be back for more tans at this Gramercy location, just off Madison Square Park.

Intrigued? Book your airbrush tan at a discounted rate of just $50 during Spa Week — and that includes a $20 gift card for a future visit. Or, opt for a 60-minute massage or facial instead. See more info here.

nuBest Salon Celebrates 40 Years

Spa Week staple nuBest Salon in Manhasset, NY celebrates their 40th anniversary in June 2013. Happy Anniversary!

Over 125 beauty professionals work in the 20,000. sq. ft. space, where everything from blowouts to massages to threading can happen under one roof.

If you’re thinking about booking a Swedish massage, reflexology session, or other pampering treatment (they make great gifts!) we have good news: They accept Spa & Wellness Gift Cards!

Check out the services on their website here and let us know if you try them out.

The Good Kind of Oil Spill: Shirohdara

Have you ever been made to ROAR at the spa? Well, as it turns out, yelling at the top of your lungs is incredibly therapeutic. I went for a treatment at Fine Living New York Ayurveda (check out those fun $50 treatments!), and my therapist Shree Panta was one of the feistiest spa ladies I’ve ever met. The face she put on for my photo below speaks volumes. “I like being different,” she said. The things that came out of this woman’s mouth dripped in sass, and one of these things was the instruction let my inner beast out through my lungs. Normally this would disturb other clients (she recommended doing it from a mountaintop next time), but I was the first appointment of the day and luckily, nobody was in yet.

The roaring did feel fantastic, and it segued somewhat sensibly into the main part of my spa treatment: Shirohdara. Shirodhara is an Ayurvedic ritual dating back in India over 5000 years, and was developed to treat a variety of conditions through gently pouring a liquid over the “third eye Chakra” – the middle of the forehead – for an extended period of time. (Get up to speed on your 7 Chakras from this morning’s Chakra Crash Course – some pretty fascinating stuff!)

Fine Living New York Ayurveda is one of the only spas in NYC to devote itself solely to Ayurveda, and they are committed to carrying on Ayurvedic traditions, to showing the next generation the spiritual and wellness benefits of Ayurvedic practice. (Read more on Ayurveda, not to be confused with Aveda.) While more and more spas are offering this treatment added onto more Western services, I was glad to experience the treatment for the first time at a place dedicated to preserving it.

The name Shirohdara comes from the Sanskrit words shiras (head) and dhara (flow). Without knowing much about WHY people do this treatment, you can kind of imagine the soothing, balancing effects of a warm stream of oil enveloping your forehead and scalp for 20 minutes or so. It’s aimed at preserving health, balancing you physically and emotionally, and rejuvenating the spirit.

First, I shuffled my body up towards the top of the table, then Shree covered my eyes. Then, warm sesame oil began to spill from a vessel about 6 inches above my head. On the floor, a bucket collected the oil – In the shower, have you ever leaned back to let the water pellets bean down on your forehead? You know that tingly rush that surges through your body, starting from that invigorating, twitch-inducing point on your forehead? (If not, try it tomorrow.) That’s the point right there – the Third Eye Chakra. But since the flow of oil is gentle, you don’t twitch. You just feel gently caressed, rocked into a state of serenity.

But there’s a name for it. This steady, rhythmic pouring of oil induces a deeply relaxing and blissful state of consciousness called “Turiya” the state of awareness that is neither fully conscious nor deep sleep. While in this Turiya state, you are able to witness and/or release impressions in your conscious and subconscious mind. As you now know, this all makes sense because Third Eye Chakra represents intuition, insights, your psychic abilities, and self-realization. It also has the power to release repressed negative thoughts – which, because of the Turiya, definitely takes place during Shirohdara.

After the ritual, Shree completed the service with a scalp, neck and shoulder massage, along with a full body massage using the very same oils. It was a delicious experience!

However, I would recommend doing it at the end of the day when you can go to sleep with the oils seeping into your hair, wrapped in a towel. Not the brightest idea for me to do this in the AM when I had a date that night –  I smelled like a Chinese restaurant and looked like a brunette (gasp!) caught in the rain. A quick trip to the salon did the trick, and my hair appreciated the deep conditioning that is a by-product of Shirohdara.

Fine Living New York Ayurveda
154 West 14th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10011

August Spa Deals from Spa Week:
75 Min Quick-Fix Stress Buster: includes Silk Glove Exfoliation, Ayurvedic Abhyanga Massage and Clean-Up Facial.
Special: $75; Originally: $125