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the Beauty Bean: Makeup-Free Mondays

Life-Changing Makeup Free Mondays: Models & Michelle Go Makeup Free For Beauty
By Michelle Joni Lapidos, Spa Week Daily

Not to get all dramatic, but I think #MakeupFreeMondays changed my life. Here I am, editor of Spa Week Daily, dishing beauty and skincare advice for a year and a half now, getting all types of facials and learning tips from the best estheticians in New York, and for the first time I am actually doing something so stupidly simple.

I’ve never been one to wear a ton of makeup, but bronzer has always been a beauty addiction of mine. Confidence in a powder palette. Sexiness via blush brush. Even on my tannest summer days, I’d still feel the need to put on bronzer for that extra oomph.

Well, I found one great reason not to, and it stemmed from an interview a few months back with runway models on how they get flawless skin for Fashion Week: “Avoid makeup for at least a week,” they advised. When we posted this on Facebook we asked: Would you go without makeup for a week if it meant flawless skin for a big occasion? Just about everyone said yes, and some even said that they usually don’t wear makeup anyway. (Love my readers, so au naturel!)

See the celebrities going makeup free too!

This is when I contacted Alexis about joining the #MakeupFreeMondays movement; yes because inner beauty and confidence are great, but more so because I wanted perfect skin. For me and my readers alike.

On my first Monday of the movement, I didn’t touch a speck of makeup. As I walked to work, I felt okay about the status quo but secretly hoped I wouldn’t run into any exes or Vogue editors I used to intern for. During the day of work I completely forgot I wasn’t wearing makeup. And then, walking home I couldn’t have cared less! I held my head high and felt more empowered than ever. Maybe it was psychological because that’s how you’re supposed to feel on #MakeupFreeMondays, but it’s true. I did Yoga after work, showered, washed and exfoliated my face, toned and moisturized, and went to bed.

On Tuesday my skin was radiant as a solar power plant. I couldn’t believe it! I felt great, and I couldn’t stop there. I had a #TotallyMakeuplessTuesday and #WellThenLetsJustNotWearMakeupWednesdayEither. Throughout the week I saw a significant improvement in my skin.

3 facials you can make in your fridge!

Fast forward to now. I try to do #MakeupFreeMondays every week, but I also always find myself going makeup-free right after a facial. A professional cleansing really has the power to make you feel empowered to walk with your makeupless head held high.

Three of my favorite facials in New York City are: The 24Kt Gold Facial at Spa Martier (hello GLOW), the Oxygen Facial at Perricone MD Flagship (Estella is absolutely amazing – rated in Allure’s Top 10 estheticians nationwide), and the Customized Facial with Reflexology at Shibumi Spa (spa director Soli Davis will rock you head to toe). Check out and book yourself one of the incredible $50 facials we have lined up for Spa Week!

In honor of Spa Week’s $50 Directory launching TODAY (woo!!), we’ve invited Spa Week Daily’s Editor Michelle Joni Lapidos to share her #MakeupFreeMondays tale – along with a reminder to book yourself a skin-kissing facial for Spa Week, taking place nationwide April 11-17. Get that amazing post-facial glow and you’ll wish every day was #MakeupFreeMonday!

Eat this for beauty! Shibumi Spa review

For the past few months I have been suffering from migraines and insomnia, a terrible combination. I spend lots of hours of the night trying to force myself to sleep, except when I have migraines. Those nights, I can’t wait to sleep because that’s the only time the pounding in my head is tolerable. As if that isn’t enough, we underwent an audit at work (STRESSFUL!!!). Needless to say, I was in dire need of a relaxing evening, and Shibumi Spa provided just that.

Shibumi is a hidden sanctuary, located in the lower level of Tribeca’s Eastern Athletic Club. I arrived 30 minutes early and was greeted by the owner, Soli Davis, and her assistant Sha. I was prepared to sit in the waiting area and watch the water flow down the river wall into the pond beneath it, but Soli gave me the option of spending some time in either the sauna or steam room before my appointment. I opted for the sauna and spent a good 15 minutes with my thoughts in the heat.

When I was done in the sauna, I changed into a plush robe and slippers and walked to the treatment room for the first part of my appointment – a mini facial and head to toe anti-oxidant exfoliation treatment, which Soli developed to mimic the baths her grandmother took her to when she was a child in Japan. I got beneath a Mylar wrap and Soli rubbed my body from head to toe with a cranapple-pomegranate scrub, while wearing loofah mittens. As she did the mini facial, she paid attention to the goings on with my body, pointing out that I clench my jaw. It’s true, I suffer from TMJ (jaw pain) and she gave me some tips on how to relax the area at home

I was ready to fall asleep once my scrub was done, but my spa day wasn’t over. I still had to take a shower and return to the treatment room for an hour long healing session. Soli mentioned to me that people have been known to talk to themselves in the shower after the scrub and in my head I thought, “oh boy, she’s nuts!” But, it turns out she was right.

I walked to the shower, truly feeling lighter than I had when I’d arrived, and got in and started to rinse the scrub off. My legs felt unbelievably smooth, and I heard someone say, “My body feels so good.” I took me a s second to realize the words had come from my own mouth. Soli was right! And let me just tell you, I do not have a habit of talking to myself, it was truly the affects of the body scrub. I toweled off and I took a quick glance in the bathroom mirror before going back to the treatment room. My face looked bright, not greasy as it usually does.

The second part of my treatment was the healing session – a mix of reflexology, reiki, and Shiatsu. Soli started off applying pressure to my feet and explaining which areas were related to each part of my body. Then she worked her way up to my hands. Next, she worked out the knots in my shoulders and at my neck she targeted the area related to my migraines.

After two and a half hours, I left the spa feeling more relaxed than I have in a long time. I got straight into bed when I got home and fell asleep watching TV. That night, I slept soundly for six hours, something I rarely ever do.

If you are looking for a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life in New York, I would definitely recommend spending a few hours at Shibumi Spa. From the pond in the waiting area, to the sauna, to the wonderful treatments, and Soli’s extensive knowledge of healing, it’s definitely the perfect way to escape hectic city life for a few hours.

***This treatment was provided for editorial review. However, my review is completely unbiased and was in no way influenced by the complimentary service.***


Tips on De-stressing

Detoxifying Bath Ritual

We all have rituals. Some are subconscious and some; we carefully craft to help us navigate through our day. Here are three that I use constantly to help me remain centered, grounded and positive!
Turn your bathroom into a spa- create a sacred sanctuary at home:

1. Detoxifying Bath Ritual: I pour a cup of Epsom or Dead Sea Salts in a full bath, with a little Lavender Essential Oil. As I soak, I use a sugar scrub (which does wonders for sensitive and dry skin) while sipping a cup of green tea. Ok, sometimes I substitute a glass of wine but always have some music that you love as the sound track. Just soak or scrub away and then relax!

2. Daily Shower Ritual: Ok, so I don’t always get to take a bath but I have to take a shower every day. Get a little bath sponge and put lavender essence (to relax or tangerine/citrus to energize) on it, I put it on the top part of my shower caddy… a little aromatherapy goes a long way and there are so many wonderful essences that have incredible properties.

3. Anger Releasing Breath: Curl your tongue and stick it out (If you can’t do that, then curl your tongue to the roof of your mouth); inhale through your mouth and out through your nose. Again, pull up the breath from your diaphragm/stomach and up through your head, breathing in through your mouth and exhaling through your nose, feeling it empty from your head to your stomach. This also helps to released clenched jaws and is really helpful to those that grind their teeth, have TMJ.

Hope that helps you take a bit of the stress from your day.

love, light, laughter

VOGUE.COM–> Beauty Moment: Julia von Boehm

Julia von Boehm (photo: Emily Weiss)

“Everyone in fashion actually thinks I’m French—my style is very French,” says Julia von Boehm, the German beauty who moved to the City of Light at 18, and quickly found herself assisting Carine Roitfeld, who was styling for Tom Ford during his YSL and Gucci days. Now, a decade later, von Boehm—who followed Roitfeld to Vogue Paris, where she worked for six years—has moved to New York.

On a frosty Saturday morning in Chelsea—where she has set up house with her husband, photographer and frequent collaborator Ben Hassett, and 11-month-old daughter, Josephine—the multilingual blond stylist certainly stands out. At first glance, you’d notice the fashion (vintage white fur, YSL platforms), but look closer and you’ll find lit-from-within skin, subtly defined eyes, and the ideal undone updo. Von Boehm’s beauty philosophy is simple: “perfect imperfection,” tempered by effortless Parisian sensuality, she says. “Dark eye shadow that looks like it’s lived already, that it’s from the night before. Same for the hair—this slept-in look.”

Von Boehm maintains her enviable complexion with “tons of Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Cream under whatever makeup I’m wearing. That way my skin doesn’t become too matte; the face always has a little sheen to it.” The secret behind her artfully disheveled coiffure is “a special hairpin by Odile Gilbert, sold at Colette. It’s like an oversize bobby pin.” She sums up her Fashion Week survival strategy in just one word: “Massage!” In New York, “I have one place I go if I only have ten minutes—it’s called Oasis Nails, a little nail place near Sixth Avenue,” she says. “They have this amazing guy who is Japanese. I’ll go really quickly in between shows.” In fact, she has a preferred masseur (or two) in each of her favorite cities. Below, she opens her little black book.


Thomas Laine, house calls, 201.914.8645
Wakako Ogawa, Shibumi Spa, 80 Leonard Street, 212.343.8788
Oasis Nails, 101 West 24th Street, 212.255.6880

Angel Orozco,
Body Sense,
2292 Coral Way, 305.793.3744 or

Fernando Garbini, house calls, 011-44(0)7905419522 or

Ban Sabai Thai massage, 12 rue de Lesdeguieres, 011-33(0)142713710

For more on Julia’s routine, check out her “Top Shelf” on

Emily Weiss is the editor of Into The Gloss.

February 07, 2011 12:48 p.m.

Spa Week Daily: LoveLife 2011 Party Recap

Party hosts sharing tips on love, life, and loving life

Loving life! On Tuesday night, Spa Week Daily co-hosted LoveLife 2011, a celebration of love and life at Shibumi Spa in NYC. With red rose petals and white tea candles scattered around the bridge and water in the middle of Shibumi, my co-hosts Andrea Syrtash (dating and relationship expert and author) and Soli Davis (God-sent owner of Shibumi spa) and I (dressed a sort of like a cupcake) welcomed an intimate group of media to our little 2-hour haven of happiness.

Shibumi Spa's Wakako gives a guest a complimentary massage

Guests indulged in massages and facials with luxurious Bionova products, wines by HobNob (a modern, refreshingly uncomplicated twist on wine), mini Beet Velvet Cupcakes by Sugar Flower Cake Shop and addictive Alley-O organic, homemade Cookies. With live music by Nicholas Megalis and some really great people in attendance, the spa was buzzing with ooohs, aaahs, and simply amazing energy.

First of all, I have to hand it to Andrea—before the event started, her iPhone went missing. Did she panic and let it ruin the night? Nope–she resolved to stay calm and positive, and karma got her back by delivering it to her under a piece of obscure furniture afterwards. What a relief, and good lesson learned.

My other co-host Soli Davis, the owner of Shibumi Spa, usually for some reason materializes in my head as an angel in white chiffon. And last night, it happened for real. In purple velour. Her Shibumi staff pampered each and every guest with gusto and grace, leaving shoulders at ease and faces aglow.

Bionova, one of the top lines in professional spa skin care, so generously donated their products to the gift bags, customized by skin type – we asked if everyone was dry or oily in advance! There were also Sexual Perfumes (#sexy), a copy of Andrea’s book He’s Just Not Your Type (And That’s A Good Thing), Sleep Scentsations scented pillow liners, a gift card to Shibumi Spa and a 1-month gym membership to the Eastern Athletic Club, which in total ended up being worth about $700 each!

A sincere thank you to everyone who came! To name a few: Katy Lindenmuth and Anne Davies from Cosmopolitan, Courtney Rubin from Self, Elisa Benson from Seventeen, Emmy Parsons and Kristin Boehm from People, Jonathan Siskin from Organic Spa Magazine, Ellianna Placas from Essence, Virginia VanZanten from W, Dawn Perry from Real Simple, Patty Hughes from SOHO Design Magazine, Andrea Wytish from Parade, Bryce Gruber and Ashley Brady from The Luxury Spot, Kimmie Smith from KittenLounge, Sarah Conley from StyleIt Online, Matt Wilkerson from AHAlife, Andrea Uku from Beauty High, Wendy Lam from Nitro:licious, Annika Harris from The Frisky, Valerie Berrios of Daily Glow, Celebrity Stylist Lauren Rae Levy and Kelly Tomashoff of Bravo’s NYC Prep.

You can read Michelle Joni Lapidos’ original blog entry here:

FEATURED ARTICLE: Reflexology for Women’s Health

I’ve had several clients ask me about how reflexology can be used to help support health and others with questions about fertility and women’s health issues. Here is a great article that I’ve found for you. I hope it proves helpful. Of course I would love to answer any additional questions you all have about reflexology, other treatments and skincare.

love,light and laughter

Refloxology for Women’s Health

The ovary is the female reproductive system organ that produces ovum. Almost always existing in pairs, you’ll find them located in the lower abdominal cavity of the female body. Situated just on top of the fallopian tubes, with one ovary on either side of the uterus, they are the approximate shape and sizes of an almond.


At the time of ovulation every month; one single mature egg is produce by either one or the other ovary for the purpose of fertilization. Surprisingly, a baby girl has approximately 1,000,000 ovarian follicles when she is born.
Each one of these follicles has an immature egg in the middle. Generally, each of the ovaries will take turn to release an egg every month but in case of those women who have only one ovary, that single ovary will produce the eggs every month.

The ovary reflexes are found on either side of the heel at about the mid-point of the lateral hind-foot. I always tell my students to remember what side of the heel that this important reflex is located on by remembering that there are 2 ovaries and they are bilateral, away from the midline of the body. Therefore, think about the ovaries as on the outside of the foot away from the mid-line so NOT on the medial side.

Over the many years that I’ve been practicing reflexology I began to notice that lots of my female clients were reporting more sensitivity on the lateral heel of one foot one month and then the following month, the sensitivity would be pronounced on the other side.
I’ve never assumed that sensitivity means that there is something definitely wrong. I refer to all reports of sensitivity (pain) as “a call for energy”. That way I’m not diagnosing (which unless I can be 100% accurate, would be a dangerous thing to do). Instead I refer to the body being in a constant state of process – and if there is a problem, they’ll get the diagnosis from their doctor.

There are many diseases of the ovary that can affect women. Some of them are ovarian cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome and ovarian cysts. Ovarian cancer is also referred to as a silent killer because usually no symptoms will show until the disease has been advanced to the final stage.
It has been estimated that about one-third of the women in the United States will suffer from some kind of cancer and out of these women; about 1.3% of them will suffer from ovarian cancer.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome is considered to be a hormonal disorder and it has been found that it can develop in 7% of the female population.It is one of the most common hormonal disorders that women suffer from.
Ovarian Cysts are similar to blisters and this disease usually affects those women who are still young. While you cannot predict who may get any of the diseases of the ovary, it is also better to take precautions so that you can prevent the disorder from taking place.

What can reflexology do?

Lateral side of foot

If the client reports a problem that has been diagnosed by a doctor, or even if there’s a tenderness at that reflex point during the session, I’ll take time to detail the reflex, the surrounding reflex areas and the system (or systems) that the reflex is a part of.

Like several others, the ovary reflexes are part of two distinct organ systems: the reproductive system and the all important endocrine system. That means that I’ll focus my attention on both. This is a comprehensive way of helping the client’s body to heal itself with the support of reflexology.
We do know that reflexology is phenomenal in its ability to offer relief from stress and help the body to increase its healing potential.

Wow, that’s what I call health support!
And, remember that reflexology is great for self-help too.
Here’s to your good health!
Online health and reflexology expert Wendy I. Coad, the “Reflexology Professor” publishes the popular “Reflexology Secrets, Tips and Techniques” bi-monthly email newsletter to subscribers from around the world. If you’re ready to enjoy health, express creativity, gain knowledge and skyrocket you reflexology or holistic health career, get your FREE tips now at and join at the top right corner.

How to protect the SKIN from extreme weather conditions?

Jupiter Images

How to protect the SKIN from extreme weather conditions?

The Importance of the Skin Barrier System

Wintertime is the most challenging season for the skin. The cold and wind have the most negative impact on the facial area, since this is the only body part that is uncovered!

It is a well known fact that the skin’s primary function is not its beauty and attractiveness but the barrier function between the environment and inner body system. The better we take care of the skin functioning, the safer our Body feels and as a result, performs better.

People tend to use heavy creams to protect skin from the wind and cold. It is important to remember that as a living organism, the skin needs to BREATH, ventilate…! It becomes even more important under the extreme weather conditions. That is why it is a big NO-NO to clog the skin with oils, waxes and any type of extracts that are foreign to it. These ingredients simply suffocate the skin, damaging its primary purpose (the Body Guard) thus jeopardizing the whole Body functioning, not to mention causing premature aging and other skin related problems….

BIONOVA offers a HEALTHY solution to the skin by enhancing the skin barrier function. In addition, the scientists at BIONOVA know that the skin goes through different stages in its life, just as you do. That is why they have created a complete range of customized skincare to target the skin and its issues in each and every stage of your life.

There are very simple steps to protect your skin from the severe weather conditions:

Step 1: After cleansing your face and eye area apply (twice a week):

The Scrub Alternative (Oil free Massage Cream)
The Mask of your skin type
These two steps clean and purify your skin, enhancing natural skin barrier function. They contain a large group of antioxidants, essential vitamins, natural skin purified agents balanced for the skin…

Step 2: Treatment Products (twice a day):

Proceed with your regular BIONOVA treatment regimen.

Each BIONOVA Treatment product contains from 150 to 300 ingredients (depending on age group, skin type, skin problem..) the very same way that exists in the skin. These ingredients interact with each other and can perform at their highest level only while working simultaneously.

All treatment products ENHANCE the skin barrier system. Since there is no oil, waxes and other foreign to the body ingredients, the skin is not clogged and can breathe/ventilate.

As a result, being the Safe and strong Body Guard, the skin starts looking Healthy and Beautiful!

BIONOVA is currently available at Shibumi Day Spa

Soli’s Blog: Get that movie star glow!

Angelina Jolie at the 2011 Golden Globes (Getty)

Award season just started and I know you must be seeing your favorite celebrities on the red carpet and admiring their glow. It isn’t just genes that cause Angelina’s skin to look like it’s radiating from within. Great skincare and professional treatments play their parts too.

You can give yourself the same star treatment for a fraction of the cost by taking advantage of Shibumi Spa’s Spa Week specials until the end of this month. As a bonus, you get to work up a sweat in the gym, relax in the sauna or steam room and by the time you’re done with our spa treatments you’ll have graduated from star to royalty.

Guess what? We’re so generous we’ll even give you a tip! Here it is: maintain glowing, healthy skin by doing one thing: EXFOLIATE! It gets rid of dead skin, smoothes your skin and allows it to reflect light – just in case you’re faced with the paparazzi like Angelina.

SOLI’s top 3 product picks to maintain that glow:
- BIONOVA Exfoliating cleanser
- BIONOVA massage cream/scrub alternative (Shibumi Spa’s best-selling product!)
- BIONOVA facial mask for dry skin

Love, light and laughter

Soli’s blog: Starting the New Year!

Stressed out? Soli's here to help.

So many times the New Year is full of resolutions, projects and declarations – big and
small. Change no matter how welcome is stressful!

At Shibumi Spa, our resolution is to maintain our standard of providing a sanctuary and treatments that help you return to the best of yourself.

We have created specials that we hope will entice you to keep that resolution to put yourself on your own to do list. Remember that taking the time to take care of yourself helps you to be better, and take better care of the ones your love!

With your mouth slightly open, run your tongue on the outside of your teeth on your upper jaw- touching your back molars to create an internal circle. Do 5 repeats on your upper jaw and then 5 times on your lower jaw, then reverse direction and from your lower jaw first repeat the circle 5 times and then go back to your upper jaw.

If you grind or clench your teeth you should actually feel and hear your jaw release, do this just before going to bed and when you wake up and you’ll feel a difference in your neck and shoulders in a few days.

Spa Week raves about Soli’s Magic Touch

Soli’s Magic Touch: 90 Minute Facial + Reflexology

The CEO of Spa Week Media Group just tasked me with the duty of booking her the best massage in New York for this Saturday. I booked her 90 minutes with none other than Soli Davis, the spa director at Shibumi Spa.

Soli is admittedly a science geek. She takes nothing at face value (including facials), always researching health claims that pop up in the news, and often seeing right through them. It’s why editors call her all the time for quotes; Soli knows her stuff. She uses all Bionova skincare products, a brand rooted deeply in Biology. For the science geek in us all, I’ve included reflexology charts below, all of which Soli could map out blindfolded. She also signs off her emails with “love, light and laughter,” all of which you will feel in Soli’s warm presence.

With a mix of sass and science-based spa techniques, Soli Davis gave me her famous 90 Minute Facial with Reflexology peppered with facts and tips to give my brain a massage to boot. Literally.

Soli’s treatment, which uses a hybrid of modalities and that she’s crafted meticulously over the years, includes all the typical checkpoints of a great facial: exfoliating, extractions, a peel mask, moisturizer, etc. But what’s particularly notable was everything else that came with it: Her fingers dug deep my scalp, neck, shoulders, forehead and jaw, kneading out all tension with pinpoint accuracy, treating not just my face, but everything that surrounds it and mobilizes it.

Many good facialists include a foot massage while a mask is setting, but Soli turns it up a notch—her facial is not complete without the reflexology that goes with it. The difference between reflexology and a regular foot rub is that therapists who specialize in reflexology can efficiently target various parts of your body by way of your feet, and that’s exactly what Soli did. “This is your neck, these are your sinuses…” she explained as she worked her way through my face and body via the soles of my feet. She also did reflexology on my hands and ears, offering a similar full body therapy.

To read the entire article, go to: