Luxury wellness hub in the historic heart of Perth

Inner city yoga studios are opening just about everywhere these days, offering city slickers the chance to escape from the hustle and bustle of the 9-5 with some conveniently located zen. New on the list for Perth is COMO Shambhala Urban Escape… 

COMO Shambhala Urban Escape is centrally located in historic heart of Perth at the newly restored State Buildings which, gave the eastern end of the Perth CBD a new lease on life on opening late last year. Part of the State Buildings restoration saw COMO Hotels open the (luxurious) doors to their first Australian property, COMO The Treasury, which is now home to this stunning wellness sanctuary.

COMO Shambhala Urban Escape comprises two blissful locations, the spa, which is tucked away in the hotel, and the wellness studio, fronting St Georges Terrace at the southern end of the State Buildings. Both are open to the public offering sublime spa and beauty treatments (trust me…) and holistic yoga, pilates, fitness and mindfulness.

Christina Ong, owner of COMO Hotels and Resorts, opened the first COMO Shambhala retreat at Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos. There are now over seven COMO Shambhala locations worldwide including the residential retreat in Bali and Urban Escape in Singapore.

COMO Shambhala follows a healthy living philosophy that takes its inspiration from mythological roots: in ancient Buddhist texts, ‘Shambhala’ refers to a sacred place of bliss.

COMO Shambhala proposes that such tranquillity need not to be found in any specific location but with the right tools, it can be discovered within oneself, by exploring body, mind and spirit.

– COMO Shambhala

Stepping off St Georges Terrace and into the wellness center is like entering into another world, the hum of traffic and city life melts into the background as a wave of calm just washes over you. The contemporary luxe studio is simply stunning, with travertine floors throughout reception, beautiful white floor length curtains in the yoga room and stylishly appointed bathrooms (complete with COMO Shambhala amenities), you’ll never want to leave.

Extend your post-Vinyasa bliss with a visit to Post restaurant upstairs and dine on the COMO Shambhala cuisine. Hot tip: the “real toast” is to die for!

COMO Shambhala Urban Escape
1 Cathedral Ave Perth | Open daily | +61 8 6168 7878
Website | FacebookInstagram
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Photos courtesy of COMO Shambhala Urban Escape

Review: Limón Health & Beauty Spa

Hands up whose feeling that end of year stress? Totally run down, exhausted and under the weather? Yep, I hear you. This time of year is always a little bit crazy as we rush to finish everything off before the Christmas break. Last week I spent a few hours at one of Perth’s newest and most gorgeous urban escapes, and discovered it was just what the doctor ordered.

Limón Health and Beauty Spa opened its doors three months ago on Oxford Street in Leederville and is quickly becoming the go-to destination for inner city relaxation. Owned and operated by Julianna Horváth, Limón’s approach is that of natural, holistic beauty and providing the ultimate relaxation experience for each and every guest. Julianna describes it as:

“A spa where there is a genuine passion for the wellbeing of each and every guest. A place filled with pure and organic products of the highest quality that don’t come at the expense of the environment. Carefully thought out treatments and techniques that feel incredible and have lasting benefits. A place that is welcoming where everyone who comes in feels at ease, relaxed and cared for.”

Limón offers a range of treatments including massage, facials, beauty treatments, detox packages and products. If that wasn’t enticing enough, all products used for body therapy services are handmade in house including delicious massage gels and body balms.

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I was recently treated to the Azul package, a 2.5 hour heavenly experience that totally relaxed, rejuvenated and energised me. I arrived at Limón’s serene spa on a scorching 37-degree Perth day and sipped on lemon water as I filled in a client form and prepared to switch off from the world for a while. My therapist Nellie appeared and led me down the candlelit hallway to the treatment room. Nellie has had over ten years experience in the beauty and skincare industry, having worked at a number of beautiful day spas around Perth so I knew I was in good hands! The treatment began with a peppermint foot soak and scrub, complete with Limón’s bespoke lemon scrub. This was just heavenly, and allowed for Nellie to have a quick chat with me before the serious stuff began to find out what I was hoping to get out of the treatment.

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Following this, I was left to get comfortable for a full body lymphatic massage, aimed at draining toxins, relaxing the nervous system and aiding the body’s immunity system. This gentle, whole body treatment was just bliss and I’m pretty sure I melted right into the bed as Nellie used a gel enriched with coconut and jojoba for the massage.

After the massage, I enjoyed a hydrating signature facial and Limón head massage. Mukti is the product of choice for all facials at Limón and this divine organic range of skincare products are formulated with some of the best bioactive native Australian extracts to deliver chemical free products that really work.

For my facial, Nellie chose to work with the antioxidant rich products from the Mukti range which, combined with a gentle steam, really helped to actively clarify and brighten the complexion. Specifically for me, stimulation from the steam, the Antioxidant Facial Serum and Deep Cleanse Antioxidant Masque all worked together to really inject some life back into my skin, while still enabling me to get some rest and relaxation throughout the facial. Antioxidants are an absolute no-brainer when it comes to skincare because they give an immediate, visible result and promote long term improvement for the skin tissue. It’s no wonder I had comments on my “glowing complexion” all weekend!

After my facial was over, I reluctantly peeled myself up from the bed and got ready to head back out into reality. I met Nellie in the tranquil reception area, beautifully designed with pared back timber and soft cushions, to have a chat about her top tips for getting your skin and body ready for summer.

What are the most important steps to getting skin and body ready for summer?
Some of the most common issues we see are related to body acne and seasonal facial breakouts, so its really important to prepare the skin with exfoliation. Using a salt scrub on the body and a combination of steam, enzymatic and granular facial exfoliation will smooth and prepare the skin to absorb the maximum benefits of any skincare treatment. Choices such as wearing natural fibres, drinking plenty of water and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake can also make a real difference to the condition and texture of the skin.

It’s also important to protect the skin from the sun and from lifestyle. Late nights, stresses or a few too many indulgences all leave their mark on the skin. An SPF is vital in moisturisers to deflect or neutralise any harmful UV and prevent photodamage to the skin in the form of pigmentation, capillary damage and uneven tone. Zinc based sunscreens are an excellent choice as they provide a physical barrier to the sun’s rays. A tinted moisturiser for the face is a great way to protect the skin as many cosmetic minerals also have a low SPF of their own.

What treatments do you recommend to get ready for summer?
At Limón, we recommend our Deep Cleansing Facial as the first stop for summer facial prep. This enables us to get a ‘straight edge’ and an accurate idea of the condition of the skin and adapt the skincare regime to suit your needs, personality and lifestyle. During the 90 minutes we treat every single blocked pores and bumps on the face and decolletage and back if it is needed. Steaming and extractions helps to clean and clarify the skin and the customised organic masks will soothe and calm down the redness. Depending on the skin needs and the person it is recommended  (4-6 weeks) to visit us for any of our customised signature facials to keep the skin healthy and under control.

For the body, the Limón Full Body Massage and Exfoliation is recommended as a great way to enliven the skin and soothe the muscles simultaneously. We do make our own scrubs, massage oils and body balms in house, this way we can make everything nice and fresh, without preservatives, and be able to change the ingredients if someone has allergy or sensitivity.

Limon Health & Beauty Spa
5/226 Oxford Street, Leederville
Web: limonspa.com.au
Phone: 08 9444 8154
Facebook: facebook.com/limonhealthandbeautyspa
Instagram: instagram.com/limonspa

*Lucy was a guest of Limon Health and Beauty Spa

 

 

 

 

See Concept: reading glasses, reimagined

You know you need to pick up your game when your parents start telling you about the latest trends. So it was only natural that my dad would introduce me to See Concept, a stylish new range of eyewear for the fashion forward.

See Concept was imagined by a trio of designers hailing from Lyon, France whose, ahem, vision is to “facilitate eyesight on a daily basis”. They each witnessed their parents constantly misplacing their glasses (I can relate) so set about creating a line of chic, ready-to-wear reading glasses and sunglasses to make life just that little bit easier.

It’s a fact, we’ll all need glasses at some point in our lives, so why not look great wearing them? Now featured in fashion retailers in some of the world’s leading sartorial capitals including Paris, New York and London, See Concept’s products are functional, affordable and fun.

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I road tested a pair of reading glasses and sunglasses from See Concept and can’t imagine my life without them. For the shortsighted among us, the dream of reaching for a pair of fashionable sunnies complete with magnified lens is now a reality and my tortoise specs have become a handbag staple. My favourite features are the flexible hinges, meaning you don’t need to worry about snapping the arms of your glasses off (but be careful, they aren’t completely immortal!), the lightweight nature of the glasses and the 100% UV protection.

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I went for a slightly more rectangle shape in the reading glasses, opting for Style B, otherwise known as Let Me See in white. It was like the fog had cleared when I put these on and I’ve had countless compliments from work colleagues about how great they look.

See Concept are available in Australia through online distributor Until – (02) 9119 8700.

See Concept Glasses

Top 10 Places to Eat and Drink in Adelaide

The last few years have seen massive growth and change for the little city of Adelaide. Australia’s wine capital is now teeming with some super cool bars, restaurants and cafes to please even the most discerning food and wine connoisseur. I recently spent a week in the city of churches, bar and restaurant hopping like never before and have curated a list of my absolute “must visit” spots.

La Moka
Tucked away on trendy Peel Street in the CBD, La Moka is the perfect spot for your morning coffee, lunch or an aperitif. This suave Italian cafe is serving up some seriously good coffee, which, paired with a fresh pastry makes for the perfect start to the day.

La Moka Peel Street Adelaide

 

Argos Espresso
Hit up Argos for a delicious meal with a healthy twist. Located on The Parade, Norwood, Argos is always packed so make sure you get down early, especially if you want breakfast. Their coffee and food is certainly worth the wait though. My breakfast recommendation is the french toast with caramelised banana…heaven.

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Image courtesy Argos Espresso

 

Gin Long Canteen
Chow down on the best South East Asian food in town at Gin Long Canteen on O’Connell Street in North Adelaide. This super trendy eatery serves up modern Asian street food with Thai influences, some smashing cocktails (try the Gin Long) and a buzzing atmosphere to boot. If you’re dining with a group, definitely opt for the banquet option and prepared to be seriously impressed.

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Image courtesy Lisa Eats World


Hispanic Mechanic
Savour every last bite at Hispanic Mechanic. The Latin American/Mexican inspired restaurant is located on Glen Osmond Road in Frewville and is dishing up the best tacos going around. This is another menu where the banquet option is a must, you’ll have the opportunity to try the very best of the menu. The service at Hispanic Mechanic is second to none and is the perfect spot for a night out with friends.

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2KW
Take in the best view of Adelaide from its newest hot spot, 2KW. Located at 2 King William Street in the city this rooftop restaurant and bar is frequented by chic clientele that perfectly match the trendy, upmarket style of the place. It was great to see that Adelaide’s chilly weather doesn’t impact the city’s nightlife as we enjoyed cocktails in the very busy bar, made all the more enjoyable with heaters, rugs and cosy arm chairs!

2KW Adelaide


Maybe Mae

This hidden underground bar is the perfect spot for an evening tipple before heading upstairs to feast on Bread and Bone’s famous burgers. This cozy but opulent bar is art deco inspired and oozes that speakeasy feel. Boasting an impressive drinks list, including some dangerously addictive cocktails (try the Lady Lou) and delicious bar snacks, Maybe Mae is an absolute must for locals and visitors alike.

Maybe Mae Adelaide

Image courtesy Five Thousand


Bread and Bone

Head upstairs from Maybe Mae to one of the most in demand eateries in Adelaide’s CBD – Bread and Bone. Specialising in burgers, hot dogs and wood grill offering’s, Bread and Bone features long share tables, moody lighting and a view over Peel Street. Get in early to avoid waiting long for a table!

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Electra House

A world class culinary experience in Adelaide’s historic Electra House. Recently brought back to life, the former electric lift and telephone exchange has been transformed into three levels of eating, drinking and sharing. Situated on the ground floor is the Bar and Beer Garden which is absolutely worth a visit. Enjoy craft beer, local and international wines and cocktails in a fun, buzzing atmosphere.

Electra House Bar

Image courtesy Electra House


Hains and Co.

Another one of Adelaide’s hidden gems is this nautical themed gin and rum bar, secretly tucked away off Hindley Street on Gilbert Place. The service here is quick and friendly and the bar staff know their stuff. Not sure what you want? Just explain a couple of flavours and you’ll find the perfectly curated cocktail appear before your very eyes. Perch outside at one of the high tables or inside at one of the booths and watch the nightlife go by.

Hains and Co

Image courtesy Five Thousand

La Buvette

I felt like I’d stepped right off the streets of Paris when I walked into La Buvette. This charming French wine and aperitif bar is like something out of a movie; romantic lighting, quirky artwork, delicious snacks and divine French men. Not to mention the drinks which are second to none – not one to venture out of my comfort zone with international wines, the list available at La Buvette is both affordable and delightful. Try the Miam Miam red from the Loire Valley – très bien!

La Buvette

Image courtesy City Mag – Brendan Homan

 

Winter Beauty Edit: Haircare

Don’t let the wet weather dampen your spirit; you can still achieve good head when it’s pouring and windy. Just stock up on these hair heroes and say hello to good hair days all season long.

Winter hair products

1. Evo Gluttony Shampoo

I’ve tried a lot of volumising shampoos in my time but this gem from Evo delivers the goods. My hair is fine and requires a bit of grit to get the volume going but since using Evo’s Gluttony Shampoo I’ve discovered that clean hair and volume can be achieved. Seems I can have my cake and eat it too.

2. Aveda Phomollient Styling Foam

Finally a mousse that doesn’t leave hair sticky and stiff. Aveda’s Phomollient mousse is light, provides a gorgeous texture and is the perfect tool for any styling routine. My tip: wash your hair at night, work product through damp hair, blow dry and wake up with some seriously good volume. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!

3. Coles Large Radial Brush

There’s no need to spend a fortune on hair tools, I’ve found some of the best brushes at supermarkets and chemists. This barrel brush from Coles (of all places!) is perfect for blow-drying because its light and the perfect diameter for creating loose waves.

4. VS Sassoon Ultimate Salon 2200 Hairdryer

No girl should ever be forced to go through winter without a hairdryer. The summer months don’t call for daily blow drying as much but when the colder weather takes over wet hair is a bit hard to deal with. The VS Sassoon Ultimate Salon is my best friend at the moment; it’s powerful, dries my hair in minutes and comes with a diffusing nozzle for gorgeous natural curls.

5. Toni & Guy Casual Hairspray

Finish off the look with this fabulously lightweight, texturizing spray. Toni & Guy’s entire Casual range is the perfect toolkit to creating messy, relaxed waves and the hairspray is a standout product for me. Like Aveda’s Phomollient, this spray won’t leave your hair stiff and feel like its full of product. It’s easily brushed out too!

 

 

Winter Beauty Edit: Makeup

I’m big on favouritism when it comes to makeup. I know what I like, what works for me and while I love trying new products, nothing beats your old faithful bits and pieces that just work every time. Check out my makeup staples for winter. Tried, tested and forever cherished.

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1. Bare Minerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation

I love this lightweight, silky smooth formula that creates the perfect natural effect. Coverage can be adjusted easily and the built in brightening serum packed with Vitamin C means your skin appears luminous always, even on the gloomiest of winter days. Its affordable and lasts for ages, as only the smallest amount is required for a day’s coverage.

2. MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo

You can’t go wrong with a bold lip colour in the middle of winter and this MAC shade is perfect for glamming up your workwear and for sporting long into the night. This matte formula is great for staying put all day, and with a little bit of lip balm underneath, lips stay hydrated. I love the creamy texture of this lippy, just as much as I love its deep red hue.

3. Mecca Cosmetica Nail Polish in Boadacia

Mecca never fails to impress with their Artistry Nail Polish range. Colours range from subtle nudes to bright and bold and I am just loving this deep burgundy shade for cooler days. Mecca Cosmetica nail polish is great because it glides on easily and lasts forever. Polish up this season with this daring varnish.

4. NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna

The bronzing hero of the beauty world never fails to disappoint. NARS have nailed it with the globally award winning bronzing compact that creates a beautifully natural, sun-kissed glow to even the fairest of them all. Add some colour to your mug with this absolute champion.

5. NARS Highlighting Blush in Albatross

This little beauty is loaded with shimmer to add instant radiance to your complexion. What I love most about this illuminating powder is how light it is, blending easily into the skin adding the most subtle glow. Wear alone or with other cheek products to add some dimension.

Review: Bodhi J Wellness Spa

Tucked away in East Perth, is a little place I like to call heaven. Bodhi J Wellness Spa recently opened its beautiful doors on Pier Street, a new destination of tranquility and restoration. If you have experienced pampering at their sister spa in Wembley, then you’ll know what you are in for at their new locale.

Bodhi J East Perth

I was treated to a Pure Radiance Facial at the beautiful Bodhi J Wellness Spa last week and had the most amazing experience. The moment I stepped beyond the gorgeous wooden gates (custom made in Indonesia no less) I felt the hustle and bustle of my workday quickly disappear and a sense of total relaxation come over me. The spa features nine beautifully appointed treatment rooms including twin treatment rooms, raindrop showers and hydrotherapy spas. I was also blown away by the relaxing manicure and pedicure lounge which I will definitely be back to enjoy. Bodhi J also features a relaxation lounge as well as an outdoor courtyard for guests to unwind pre or post treatment.

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Bodji J Courtyard

Bodhi J also features a Yoga studio, with beautiful Vinyasa Flow classes taught Monday – Saturday. Suitable for all levels (including beginners) these classes aim to stretch, strengthen, tone and flex the body. Only nine places are available per class, so clients are guaranteed personal guidance through each class. Click here to find out more and book.

Upon arrival, I was asked to fill in a form detailing my stress levels, how I was feeling that day and indicating any preferences for massage pressure and extra treatments. I was then led to the guest change rooms where I left my things and slipped into a warm, fluffy white robe and slippers and was taken to the treatment room. The Bodhi J treatment rooms have been perfectly designed to help guests switch off and focus on being pampered – serenely lit, stylishly appointed and the gentle lilt of soothing music is just pure relaxation.

My beauty therapist was Alice who provided an initial consultation on any problems I was having with my skin and how she could address them. For me, tackling dehydration was a major concern and luckily this facial is perfect for just that. Exposure to harsher weather conditions and air conditioners in winter strips skin of its natural moisture leaving it dehydrated and dull. Using the luxurious Sodashi Pure Radiance range, this treatment aims to balance, hydrate and refresh skin – just what the doctor ordered.

The facial included a double cleanse, exfoliate, masque, moisturise and a soothing massage (I chose neck and shoulders). I had also opted for a divine Sodashi Scalp Treatment as an add on to my facial which left my locks super nourished and shiny.

Following my hour of absolute bliss, I slipped back into my robe and headed to the relaxation lounge to enjoy some herbal tea and fresh fruit while slowly coming back to reality. Alice sat down with me and we debriefed on any particular skincare concerns I had to address – changing my cleanser being one of them! I then reluctantly returned to the change rooms to collect my things and headed back out into the real world.

Bodhi J Massage

My experience at Bodhi J was absolutely blissful and I would recommend to anyone looking for a little bit of time out from the daily grind. There is something for everyone at Bodhi J with a treatment menu that spans from Express 30 Minute Massage to full day pamper packages.

The service at Bodhi J is second to none, as part of their mission statement is to “strive to surpass any previous spa experience – every single time” – needless to say, I’m looking forward to my next experience at the hands of Bodhi J.

Sodashi Pure Radiance Facial – $130

Bodhi J Wellness Spa
317 – 319 Pier Street, Perth
Web: www.bodhij.com.au
Phone: 08 9466 8260
Instagram: www.instagram.com/bodhijspa

*Lucy was a guest of Bodhi J Wellness Spa. Photos courtesy of Bodhi J.