Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Spa Utopia

Another Christmas season is upon us and everyone is busy with holiday parties and events, baking cookies and other festive treats, and shopping for presents for under the tree. With all of the preparations and planning that goes into this season, it is sometimes easy to forget the reason we do all of it for - and that reason is always for family.

Today, while the turkey is in the oven, and all the wrapping paper and bows are undone, we hope that you take a moment to enjoy all the happiness that this season brings to you and yours. A time to be together, with family and friends, and enjoy so much love, laughter and joy.

For those of you who may still need a last minute gift, remember that you can still purchase instant certificates online! Click on the link below and be transported to a classic gift instantly. Choose a holiday themed certificate or personalize it by uploading a photo of your own. Simply follow the purchase procedure and in minutes you will be printing a certificate straight from your home computer.

Instant Certificate:

For all of our spa guests, please note that we will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Yes, New Years Eve is right around the corner and we are open until 3:00 PM for all your health & wellness needs. Don't forget to book your hair and makeup reservation today so that you can ring in the New Year in style.

From our family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

~Spa Utopia  Health &  Wellness Center

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Giving Back and Giving Thanks

All the year through we strive to be mindful of the blessings in our life, but it is at this time of year that we are reminded especially to give thanks. This Thanksgiving, you may have similar reflections on our collective fortunes and encourage your family to express all the things in their life that they are thankful for. It is in this tradition of giving thanks that we are reminded that so many others in the world are not as privileged as us.

At Spa Utopia, we believe in the importance of helping others and it is in that spirit that we created The Utopia Foundation in 2007. Since that time, The Utopia Foundation has raised over $250,000 for global and local charities. As part of our contributions, The Utopia Foundation teamed up with The Ben Sawatzky Foundation to help build houses in the Dominican Republic.  

In total, The Utopia Foundation was able to build 11 houses in Paradise Village and in doing so helped to change the lives of 11 deserving families. In 2012, two of the Utopia Foundation Administrators (including yours truly) traveled to the Dominican Republic, alongside four of Spa Utopia’s owners, to see the results of our employees’ generous donation of time, money and energy. And what an experience it was!

Paradise Village is a thriving community in the Dominican Republic and a welcome refuge for so many families. Families are offered a house at no cost, access to a medical center, an opportunity to send their kids to school, and a chance to learn a new trade such as hair design, sewing or wood work. On the day of our visit, the village was in full celebration welcoming us and other sponsors as their guests while a number of families received the keys to their new homes for the first time. 

We were embraced by the community and especially by the children, who wanted to show us their village, learn our names, share our candies and braid our hair. After the ceremony was complete, the children led us through the village to find the homes that we helped to build. One by one, we were introduced to the families living in these homes and learned their stories. Some families had only one parent, some families had lots of children, but all families had a common thread – genuine gratitude. Although we were there to give to them, it was truly us who received the gift, as it is undeniable how fortunate we were to experience something so significant.

The families that make up this community meet several requirements before a house is granted. First, they must show that they are in need; secondly, that they are a family (one or two parents with kids); and thirdly that they will be a productive part of the community by not engaging in criminal activity. The family is given the home rent-free, and after several years as community members, the mother receives the deed to the house. As you may not know (we didn't)  people have to actually pay rent to stay in the shacks that are scattered across the landscape. This takes a sizable amount of money from their meager earnings and makes it nearly impossible for families to move forward. 

We heard many inspiring stories during our visit, but one of the most impressive is that of a man who was given a house 20 years ago. At that time he was living in a shack with his wife and barely surviving. After being given his new home rent free he was able to use his earnings to buy a cab, and then another. As he prospered, he added a second level to his home and turned the entry level into a grocery store. With this opportunity he was able to provide for his family and send both his children to university where one of them is studying today to become a doctor. The gift of that home literally changed his life and that of his family which is truly inspiring.

On another day in the Dominican Republic, we visited the shacks (pictured above) where so many people spend their lives. On this day, we watched as a family packed up their few belongings and prepared to make the journey to their new home in Paradise Village. These shacks are little more than a few walls, made from different materials, and bundled together to make a structure, with a cold dirt floor and few comforts of home. It was heart warming to see these people receive a home, complete with four cement walls and a tin roof, and reminded us of how lucky we were to have our own homes with all the modern day luxuries of indoor plumbing and hot water heating. 

On our return to the village we received the first glimpse of the soon-to-be completed Paradise Garden. With the help of donations, families will receive a plot of land on which they can grow their own herbs and vegetables. On that same day, the sewing school had its first session (with so many applicants that their next class is already full), we took a tour of the soon-to-be opened Utopia Academy where students will learn hair design, and we learnt about all the children in the village who run home after school and pass on what they have learned to their mothers who relish the opportunity for knowledge.

All of these experiences and opportunities are possible because people cared enough to help. The employees and owners at Spa Utopia who helped to make this project possible are grateful that they had the opportunity to truly make a difference in someone else’s life. And as we gather around the dinner table this weekend, dressing the table with autumn decorations and carving the turkey, we remember the importance of giving thanks and giving back.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Introducing Jane Iredale BB Cream

We are pleased to present a guest blogger this week: Rebecca - a Makeup Artist form our Langley location. She is here to tell you all about the new arrival from our Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup Collection.

BREAKING BEAUTY NEWS: Jane Iredale Cosmetics launches new Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream!
Spa Utopia Makeup Artists recently had the opportunity to preview the new BB creams and are loving the full coverage and smooth finish. In keeping with Jane Iredale’s “the Skin Care Makeup®” tag line, these BB creams nourish and treat your skin while covering imperfections. But what is a BB cream and how do you know if it’s right for you?
The formulation for BB cream was originally developed by a German dermatologist for use by clients having laser procedures. Years later it became the biggest beauty trend in Southeast Asia and started gaining attention world wide. The acronym B.B. stands for Beauty Balm or Blemish Balm as it is known for helping to brighten the complexion and smooth the surface of the skin. 
Jane Iredale Cosmetics, Spa Utopia’s makeup of choice, is now offering a full range of BB creams. This product, like all of Jane’s cosmetics, is all-natural, mineral based, and never tested on animals. It also offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection with SPF 25 and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. Natural anti-aging ingredients such as white tea leaf, green tea leaf, grapefruit, and other extracts, help control oil and minimize environmental damage to your skin.
Compared to the sheer finish of the Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals foundation, the new BB creams offer full coverage of redness and blemishes and help to minimize pores and wrinkles. Despite their powerful coverage ability, these creams are hypo-allergenic and non-comedogenic. Each of the six shades, from BB1 (fair) to BB11 (very dark), adjusts to your unique skin tone.
Jane Iredale Glow Time Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream might be right for your makeup bag if:
  • you want full coverage from your makeup
  • you prefer a cream texture rather than a powder
  • you are concerned about enlarged pores or fine lines/wrinkles

Even if you love your current Jane Iredale foundation and aren't looking for a change, there’s exciting news for you too! Along with the new BB creams, Jane is also introducing Smooth Affair Facial Primer and Brightener. This primer can be used under any foundation for a smoothing and brightening effect that gets better every time you use it. 

These much anticipated new products are now beginning to arrive at all Spa Utopia locations. Feel free to ask any Spa Utopia Makeup Artist for details. We will be happy to help you find the perfect shade for your skin tone and show you exactly how to use it. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Back-to-School Survival Guide

There is something nostalgic about this time of year when the leaves begin to turn, the sun seems to set earlier and earlier, and we begin to feel that old familiar chill in the air. For many of us, old and young alike, we are reminded that this time of year heralds in the autumn and with it a return to classes. 

As the long lazy days of summer come to a close, we cling to the few precious days remaining, and begin to make plans for the academic year ahead. We repeat the same rituals each year at this time – from shopping for school supplies to picking out a new fall wardrobe – and in doing so we begin to dream of all the possibilities of the year ahead. 

In many homes, beach mats and camping gear is pushed aside to make way for lunch bags and backpacks. All the back-to-school essentials are at the ready: the papers and binders are neatly organized, a tote is stuffed full of new pens and pencils, and the outfit for the first day of school is carefully selected.

Parents and teenagers everywhere are beginning to plan for a year of activities – complete with school dances, soccer games, study sessions and sweet sixteens. But beyond the bagged lunches, car rides, and guidance and support, there is something else we can do to help our teens put their best foot forward this coming year. Why not book her for a Utopia Teens Package? 

A series of treatments specially designed for teens, this package includes a Designed For U Facial, Classic Essential Manicure and Brow Shape. As teenagers grow and develop, the fluctuation of hormones affects their skin which makes them in need of customized attention. A facial carefully designed for her unique skin type and needs will help to brighten and clarify the skin allowing her to step forward with confidence. To further enhance her beautiful features, the Skin Care Therapist will perform an expert Brow Shape. Well groomed brows make such a difference in how the face is framed and many teens make the mistake of over plucking or not following the natural arch of the brow. 

To finish, your teen will be treated to a professional manicure session in which the Skin Care Therapist will groom and clean her cuticles, file her nails uniformly, exfoliate and moisturize the skin and complete the treatment with an exquisite polish from our vegan SpaRituals line of lacquers. Just imagine that as she looks down at her manicured hands on the first day of school she will feel confident in herself and exude that feeling to others.

Another area that teenagers experiment with is makeup. It is as a teen that we begin to play with our look and learn how we can express ourselves through our style. At Spa Utopia Health and Wellness Center, our Makeup Artists offer Makeup Lessons in which they provide customized colour matching, expert makeup application tips and tricks, and demonstrate how to achieve different day and evening makeup looks. 

This session is ideal for all age groups – for teenagers who are learning the basic essentials to experienced makeup users who know it’s never too late to learn new techniques to highlight their favourite features. Parents can also rest assured when their teens use our Jane Iredale makeup because it is a mineral makeup that is recommended by Dermatologists and the Skin Cancer Foundation, won’t clog pores and provides a polished look every time.

With all the routines and rituals that we share this time of year, why not start a new one and book your teenager in for this package before the big day? Better yet, share the experience together by enjoying in suite facials or side-by-side manicures. Then every year, you will look forward to the special time you spend together as you reflect on all the goals and dreams of the year ahead.

At Spa Utopia, we wish you and your family a successful and happy back to school season.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Love Your Skin

For all that we put our skin through in a day it’s important that we remember to take care of it – and to do that we need more than a little soap and water. Every day our skin is burdened with the damaging effects of dirt, oil, pollution, and free radicals. All these factors, combined with stress and aging, means that our skin needs the right products to help look after it. So whether you are busy with business meetings, looking after the kids, or studying inschool, using a great skin care regimen morning and night will help to give back to your skin all that it gives to you – luminosity and protection. And we can help you to do just that.

At Spa Utopia Health & Wellness Center we use a variety of professional skin care products including Comfort Zone – a product line from Italy that we have used since the inception of our spa. We are proud to use Comfort Zone’sexquisite products in our treatments and offer it to purchase for home care use because we are confident in its innovative approach to skin care and commitment to health and beauty.
Perhaps you have never tried Comfort Zone products, or maybe you have been a loyal fan for years, but either way now is a great time to stop by and take advantage of a fantastic promotion. Twice a year, Comfort Zone releases a super-sized duo set of their Everyday Cleanser & Tonic and Active Pureness Cleanser & Tonic. Our guests and spa partners alike get excited when they see the beautiful duo packs displayed proudly on our retail stands. That’s because each duo pack includes a 400ml size of both the cleanser and tonic for a total of $88. Regularly, each item is 200ml and each sell separately for $45 & 46 respectively. That is more than double the savings!

Both the Everyday and Active Pureness series help to address different skin needs and offer an array of health benefits. The Everyday series is ideal for dry, sensitive and mature skin and has excellent softening properties. The Active Pureness series is great for deep cleansing and oil control and offers superior balancing effects. Not sure which one is right for you? Just visit any of our Spa Utopia Health & Wellness Centers and one of our Skin Care Therapists or Makeup Artists would be happy to assist you in finding the product that is best suited for your skin. We also offer complimentary consultations if you are seeking advice for your skin care routine or perhaps are considering a facial treatment. Comfort Zone also offers extensive product information on their website at http://www.comfortzone.it/en/home to find out more.

What’s more, when you stop in to pick up a set for yourself why not get a second one for a friend or family member? The duo comes in a beautifully decorated bag which makes it ideal for gift giving. Hard as it is to imagine given the beautiful sunshine outside, the holiday season is only months away which makes now a great time to start stocking up, especially when you can take advantage of of such a great offer. Imagine what a wonderful gift the duo will make under the tree – but if it ends up being unwrapped early in your own bathroom, that’s okay to0! Whatever you decide, don’t wait too long because this offer is only good for as long as the stock stays on the shelves – which won’t be long!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Our Langley Lounge: Reimagined

At Spa Utopia Health & Wellness Center, we love to welcome you to our spa just as we would welcome a friend into our home. It is with that spirit that we designed our relaxation lounges for you to enjoy before and after your treatment. Enjoy a cool glass of cucumber water or a warm Spa Utopia Signature beverage (a guest favourite) while you relax. Each location includes one of our beautifully designed lounges, complete with burning candles, magazines and fresh snacks, all which are sure to entice you to stay awhile.

We invite you to arrive early to enjoy time in our lounge as part of your spa experience. For our guests who enjoy our Langley location, we are very pleased to showcase our newly redesigned lounge - complete with new luxurious furnishings and decor.

We look forward to your next visit with us.

The Beauty of Water

Water: it is 60% of what we are made of and covers 70% of the world’s surface. It has many therapeutic properties, a plethora of uses, and is paramount to our survival. It is clean, pure, and refreshing – but it might not be depending on your water bottle.

As we all know, it is important to drink water every day, but it is just as important to ensure you are getting it from the right source. All of the plastic bottles, and even many of the reusable containers, contain dangerous chemicals that can leach into our water and lead to health conditions. The term BPA has now become common place in our social dialogue and many people are concerned about its effects on themselves and their families.  This has led many people to forgo the plastic bottles which do harm to our bodies and the earth. But how does one get water on the go? Green enthusiasts everywhere can now rejoice: the bkr® bottle is here.

No more plastic water bottles, no more environmental damage, the bkr® bottle is made of one of the earth’s most remarkable materials – glass. These beautiful and ergonomic glass water bottles are chemical free and great for the environment as the glass and its protective silicone sleeve are both 100% recyclable. Not to be outdone, these stylish bottles come in an array of eye catching colours. Check out the new summer colours at any of our spa locations: yellow, neon coral, bright purple, apple green and tropical blue. You will want to proudly display the bkr® bottle in your kitchen, mount it on your bike, or carry it with you on your next walk.

These lovely bottles might be made of glass but that doesn’t mean they are too fragile for daily use! Just listen to the story from our beloved Marketing Director: she loves her bkr® bottle and takes it with her everywhere. Recently, after enjoying an afternoon of cycling with her husband, the couple mounted their bicycles on their truck for the return trip home. As they did, she rested her trusty companion, the bkr® bottle, on the truck’s bumper. 
Satisfied from the bike ride, they set about their drive home by traversing ten minutes across the freeway and then climbing the long, steep hill up to their mountain side house. Quenched, she reached for her bkr® bottle and immediately realized she had left it on the bumper. She turned to her husband, and hoping it had somehow found a soft landing in the grass, asked him to drive back to the park to retrieve it. As the devoted husband he is, he turned around, patiently as ever, and began to drive but then suggested to her that maybe she should check the bumper, to which she exclaimed “seriously, there is no way it will still be there!” But just to appease him, she hopped out of the truck and ran back to the bumper – and there it was! Her husband was likely just as surprised as she was when she returned to the passenger seat drinking from her bottle.

Of course, her story doesn't end there. As any creature of habit will do, she returned her bkr® bottle to the bumper as she unloaded the bikes from the bike rack. As she lifted the truck’s hatch to retrieve their helmets, the door knocked her bkr® bottle to the sloped, paved driveway and it was all she could do to watch her bkr® roll away from her...and then stop, perfectly intact, at the driveway’s edge. Not only had her bkr® bottle managed to stay glued to the bumper for their drive home but it then survived a fall in the end. Even though she could rest assured that her bkr® would be replaced if it should break, she grew even more fond of her treasured, and remarkable, bkr®.

Come to Spa Utopia Health & Wellness Center today and choose a bkr® bottle for your own adventure! Because whether it is at your desk, in your car, or out in nature’s playground, it is always important to stay hydrated. Remember to be kind to your body and yourself by drinking lots of water from a clean and chemical free source. We only have one body, and one earth, and we need to be good to both!

Friday, August 3, 2012

BC Long Weekend!

Spa Utopia Health & Wellness Center 
will be closed on 
Monday August 6th. 

Enjoy the long weekend everyone... be safe, protect your skin and stay hydrated...it's going to be a hot one! 

"The Utopians" Complete Rush!

We are pleased to present this week's guest blogger - Stephanie from our North Vancouver location - and the story of her team's spa adventure:

On Saturday June 23, our Spa Utopia Health & Wellness Center North Vancouver team members Diane (General Manager) and Stephanie (Assistant Spa Manager) took to the streets of Vancouver to compete in RUSH - The Race and Urban Scavenger Hunt in support of the BC Lung Association.

It all began with a friendly challenge from fellow Spa team member Tom (Massage Department Head). The contest: enter the 6 hour charity race around the city and just TRY to beat "Team Turtle"   (Tom and his fiancé, Billie, a former Spa employee). Diane and Steph never back down from a challenge...and so it was on!

  In the days leading up to the race there was a buzz in the staff room at the Spa. Fundraising efforts were underway (which included homemade marshmallow sales - yum yum!) and you couldn't miss the friendly banter between the teams. Spa employees were rallying behind "The Utopians", who adopted the unofficial name "Team Beat Tom!"

 The morning of the race "The Utopians" were fired up and ready to decipher clues to help them complete 10 Checkpoint Challenges at unknown locations throughout the city. All of the challenges of the day were designed to test teams' limits, both mentally and physically, while also being fun and entertaining.

 Throughout the day "The Utopians" raced around Vancouver by foot and public transit, completing 10 challenges as they went - mixing drinks, solving a murder mystery, partaking in a boot camp, testing their math skills, participating in their very own Hunger Games - and much more! They worked together as a team and RUSHED through the finish line with mere seconds remaining!

  While "Team Turtle" crossed the finish line first (they placed 8th out of 140 teams!), BOTH teams were winners. Team work, community involvement, and having fun is important for all staff at Spa Utopia - and that's what this day was all about!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A perfect photo shoot for the "perfect mom"

When Langley native, Amber S., realized she wasn't able to be home for Mother's Day this year, she wanted to do something special for her mother. So the media and communications specialist—who resides in Mississippi—set about planning a vintage photo shoot. With the help of Langley Spa Utopia hair stylists and makeup artist, Amber's plans went off without a hitch.

"The inspiration for this vintage 1950s shoot came from the purchase of a 1956 Chevy Belair by my mother's husband," Amber explains. "The car shares the same year of birth as my mom. It is immaculate, classic and special, just like her. We wanted to do something different and fun, and the shoot with the suitcases was a perfect fit for my for my 'living out of a suitcase' career."

After a visit to Gastown, where they were fitted out from head to toe in authentic 1950s attire by DeLuxe Vintage, Amber and her mother were styled by Spa Utopia's Master Designer, James Riyad (Amber's colour and cut), Charlene Arciaga (Amber's hairstyles), Chris Erikson (Amber's Mother's hairstyle) and Cheryl Sawyer, makeup artist—with special talents in the achievement of vintage looks.

Then it was over to Vancouver photographer, Lauren Joan, to make it all happen...

We were especially pleased to read Amber's final words on the note she sent us:

"My travels throughout the world have brought me into many spas and salons. The experience I receive at Spa Utopia Langley is consistently professional, and regardless of the service or treatment, I leave feeling beautiful and relaxed."

Thank you, Amber, for sharing with us this extra special and memorable day! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New products just for you!

Dam Good Soap: Visually appealing, wonderfully scented and perfect for your skin, Dam Good Soap is created locally in Steveston, BC, and sold in all Spa Utopia locations. With a base of pure olive oil, each soap is enhanced with specialty skin care oils, beneficial botanicals, organic honey and milks, raw silk, aloe, herbs and spices, organic grains and raw cocoa butter, earth clays, mineral pigments and fresh-pressed vegetable purées. To further your sensory pleasure, each soap tablet is perfumed with pure essential plant essences and quality fragrance oils. That's a lot of goodness in just one soap bar!

All ingredients in Dam Good Soap bars are ethically sourced and the bars are free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), pthalates, triethanolamine (TEA), propylene glycol, triclosan and other questionable chemicals.

Alessandro® Hands! Up: All you need to keep your hands looking (and smelling) sensational.  

Hands! Up Cream Rich lifting hand cream contains Biopearl Complex to stimulate cell metabolism, while Biowhite™ fades pigmentation marks and prevents their reappearance. After consistent use, this anti-aging hand cream will help increase skin elasticity for a more youthful appearance.

Hands! Up Magic Manicure Complete is an exceptional product that contains sea salt (scrub) to open the pores and remove impurities and dead skin. Together with emollient shea butter, vitamin E and almond oil, your hands are left silky smooth, with a youthful glow.

Hands! Up Flower Bar hand creams contain shea butter, macadamia oil, allantoin and panthenol to soothe and moisturize the skin. Choose from four fabulous scents—Amazonia, Jasmine, Lavender and Pashmina.

Comfort Zone Skin Defender: This hand cream represents a new beauty treatment for hardworking hands. Rich in emollients such as vitamin E and karité butter, it protects the skin from harsh external conditions, including contact with water. The consistent use of this nourishing, antioxidant formula will help protect the hands, while hydrating and repairing surface skin damage. Unlike many hand creams that are nourishing, Comfort Zone Skin Defender is easily absorbed.

You can find all these fabulous new products at your local
Spa Utopia.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Father's Day from Spa Utopia

Sunday, June 17, is Father's Day and—aside from hoping for some sunshine—you'll be wanting to show that extra special dad just how much you appreciate all that he has done for you over the years. (Very little people may also want to show how much they appreciate all that will be done for them!)

To help you give your special dad the best Father's Day ever, we would like to suggest a few spa treatments. 

Spa Utopia has a number of services just for men, (who, by the way, now account for more than 30 per cent of spa visits). Our exclusive-to-men treatments include the Equalizer Facial to purify and rebalance hard-working skin; the Anti-Stress Facial to soothe skin exposed to harsh elements and reverse the dehydration caused by frequent flying or sun exposure, and the Age Performer Facial to encourage a more youthful appearance. Nail Grooming for Hands and Nail Grooming for Feet are also popular treatments designed just for men. And is there a hard-working dad anywhere who doesn't love the idea of a stress-reducing, game-improving massage?

If more than one dad will be celebrated in your family, what could be more fun for the guys than sharing time at the spa, enjoying a signature rooibos cocktail perhaps, and spending a relaxing time in the steam bath? (Our Pan Pacific location also has a dry sauna.)  For busy dads whose schedules are booked around Father's Day, a gift certificate is the ideal way to say, "Thanks for being the person you are," and is available for instant purchase and printing here on our website. Gift cards are also available for pick-up or delivery.

To learn more about Spa Utopia treatments for deserving dads, or to book online, please visit our website, or call your local
Spa Utopia. We wish a wonderful Father's Day to all!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Acai Berry Antioxidant Skin Care

The Acai Berry is gaining recognition for its high nutritional value along with its many health benefits. This berry has been noted to be “one of the best superfoods in the world” by Dr. Nicholas Perricone, as it has been found to be packed with vital antioxidants.  It grows on the Acai Palm in the Amazon Rainforest, and has been used by the aboriginal people for centuries as a key part of their diet.

Ancient Secrets Inc., developers of the Beauty Through Balance spa line, has captured the antioxidant power of this berry in their new Acai Berry Series of products used to target signs of aging caused by exposure to harsh environmental conditions.  It’s an ideal product to use all year round, including the summer, when skin can become dry, dehydrated and sun-damaged.

Free radicals play a central role in the aging process, causing changes on the cellular level. The use of skin care products that offer a high level of antioxidant activity is a key component to targeting signs of age.  Sherina Jamal, founder of Ancient Secrets explains that clinical studies have shown the Organic Bio-functional Acai Extract used by her company in the development of their Acai Berry Series, to have exceptionally high antioxidant levels. These antioxidants can help combat signs of aging caused from exposure to harsh environmental conditions. 

The Acai berry has been found to contain:

• Essential fatty acids: Omegas 3, 6 and 9, beneficial in cell
    rejuvenation and healthy skin

Phytosterols – a rich source of Vitamin C
• Flavonoids
• Remarkable skin revitalizing and renewal properties

High levels of antioxidants and essential fatty acids have been documented to have a positive impact on overall cell health, resulting in smoother, more supple, and glowing skin. Both these are found in pure acai berries, and form a key part of the benefits gained from the use of Beauty Through Balance Acai Berry Series of spa products.

Are all Acai Berry ingredients and products the same?  One challenge developers of skin care products often face in the natural/organic ingredient marketplace is ensuring that the nutritional value of the ingredient is maintained after processing and extraction. The harvesting and processing of indigenous ingredients such as the Acai Berry play a key role in how effective the end-product will be. This applies to both cosmetic products and juices.

In the development of the Acai Berry Series, Ancient Secrets has worked with experienced and certified harvesters. These men and women have developed specialized processes to ensure the natural value of the raw ingredient is retained. This ensures the final product will be highly effective and result-oriented. The harvesters have also been recognized and awarded for their sustainable harvesting practices and bio-diversity programs for the Rainforest and the aboriginal people.

The Acai Berry Series developed by Ancient Secrets combines the effectiveness of both Organic Acai Extract and Acai Pulp Bioscrub in their unique face and body formulas.  Added to these are Olivate from pure olive oil, Capuacau Butter (also from the Rainforest), and pure exotic essential oils.  

 Products in the series include:
  • Acai Whipped Body Polish
  • Acai Anti-oxidant Body Emulsion

The Acai Berry Amazon Body Wrap can now be experienced at Spa Utopia's North Vancouver, Langley and Vancouver (Pan Pacific Hotel) locations.  Read more about the Acai Body Wrap here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Introducing Orly GELFX™ vitamin-infused gel manicure system

Tired of nail polish that just doesn't last? We feel your pain—especially when your freshly-painted nails, as dry as you think they are, dive into your purse to help you find your lipstick and re-emerge smudged beyond recognition and covered with a layer of lint. We've all been there—and that's precisely why Orly invented the GELFX™ vitamin infused gel manicure system.

Orly's popular nail lacquers and are free from unpleasant ingredients like toluene, DBP and formaldehyde. We know you'll just love the selection of colours, whether your style is classical/sophisticated or trendy/fun.

During your GELFX manicure, your nails will be treated with a three-in-one vitamin-infused cleanser, primer and basecoat. (The vitamins include theantioxidants A and E and pro-vitamin B5 to help promote healthy keratin and protect the structure of the natural nail). This revolutionary formula nourishes your nails with ingredients that promote durability, strength and shine. After your chosen colour has been applied, it is cured in a non-UV, LED device. Finally, your nail colour will be followed with a topcoat to preserve the high gloss finish, and again cured for superior durability.

Spa guests who have tried GELFX™ have been thrilled by its high shine and the fact their manicures don't chip or flake. They have also commented about the fine appearance and lack of  "plasticky" effect common to some nail gels. Most of all, they are impressed with the durability, and the fact they don't have to worry about their nails for a very long time! 

The GELFX system is perfect for brides and in advance of a  special occasion or vacation. Although most guests tell us it lasts over two weeks, we guarantee it for four days.

A special offer just for you

Be sure to watch for our eBlast the morning of Tuesday, May 1, for our special offer:

1 GELFX manicure

Regularly priced at $49.50 (plus applicable taxes)

Special pricing: $37.13 (plus applicable taxes)

A saving of 25%

(some conditions apply)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Protect your hands and nails...

beautiful hands and nails is something we all wish for, but don't always succeed in achieving—hardly surprising since our hands are our primary tools for working, preparing food, creating art and craft projects and just about every other action you can think of. This means that they are constantly exposed to the elements, as well as subjected to physical and chemical onslaughts that can damage their structure and appearance.

Protecting your hands:
Let's first take a look at the hands themselves, and what you can do to enhance their beauty.

First on the list of to-do's is to wear sunscreen daily. Just like the skin on your face, the skin of your hands is easily damaged by exposure to UV light. Over time, this exposure can cause leathery skin, wrinkles and the dreaded brown spots we associate with aging. Since you wash your hands throughout the day, be sure to carry your sunscreen with you and reapply it often.

Next on the list of hand beautifiers is to moisturize regularly and always before going to sleep. Our bodies lose moisture during the night and that includes the hands. Using a cuticle cream and moisturizer is a must to keep your skin silky smooth and to prevent ragged cuticles. (We highly recommend Spa Ritual® cuticle care elixirs, which are vegan, free from harmful chemicals, and contain the most effective natural ingredients for enhancing cuticle health and nail growth. Cuti-Clean® Cuticle & Stain Remover will help moisturize and remove stains from the cuticles, Cuti-Cocktail® Nail and Cuticle Oil will condition and encourage healthy nail development, Cuti-Treat™ Cuticle Gel will provide natural growth support for thin, weak nails, and the popular Cuti-Cocktail® Pen & Pusher is a great way to moisturize cuticles when on-the-go.)

Cuti-Treat™ Cuticle Gel

You will also find many high quality handcreams at Spa Utopia, including those by MOR and Barefoot Venus.

The third essential for maintaining beautiful hands and nails is to use gloves whenever you are performing a task or artistic pursuit that involves immersing your hands in water. Appropriate gloves (you can buy very thin ones at hardware and $ stores) will also protect your hands and nails from paints, inks and dyes. If you are washing dishes or other objects in hot water, apply handcream before your cotton-lined rubber gloves, and the heat will encourage the cream to soak into your hands for enhanced moisturization.

If you have areas of hyperpigmentation (brown spots) on your hands, you may want to use an over-the-counter cosmetic skin product specially formulated to break up the melanin that causes this discolouration. If the hyperpigmentation is heavy, we suggest you discuss this with your doctor, who can write you a prescription for 4% hydroquinone cream or gel.

Protecting your nails:
Practically everyone has experienced the annoyance of a broken nail, which invariably happens right after your professional manicure, and before an important date. Tapping keyboards (although purported to encourage nail growth), picking off seals and stickers from new vitamin bottles and tubes of lipstick, removing lids from bottles, pulling on tight jeggings or using the fingers as makeshift shoe-horns can be hazardous to the nails. Always wear gloves if you are immersing your nails in water as contact with water actually dehydrates the nailbed. Be sure to use scissors or a knife (exercising great care, of course) to remove stickers and labels.

Keeping your nails as short and squared off as possible will help prevent the wear and tear from keyboards and keypads. (Since iPads, iPods and iPhones do not respond to fingernail touch, they are a great incentive to keep the nails shorter and well shaped.)

When filing your nails at home, never use a metal file as these can generate heat and cause splitting. Instead, use an emery board, and always file in one direction—from the edge to the centre of the nail. This reduces friction and associated heat.

Unfortunately, there is no truth to the belief that gelatin strengthens the nails, or that biotin or any other vitamin can cause the nails to grow thicker and/or faster.

Last, but definitely not least, we recommend you have a regular Spa Utopia professional manicure to help keep your hands and nails in tip-top shape. The combination of professional products  (we use Sparitual®) and skilled techniques can truly work wonders for the appearance of your hands and nails!

A special offer just for you

Be sure to watch for our eBlast the morning of Tuesday, March 13, for our special offer:

4 Spa Utopia Classic Manicures or Nail Grooming for Hands (men)

Regularly priced at $252.00 (plus applicable taxes)

Special pricing: $189.00 (plus applicable taxes)

A saving of 25%

(some conditions apply)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spa Utopia wins coveted spAWARD

In today's post, we're proud to report that Spa Utopia at the Pan Pacific has been recognized for excellence in the health and wellness industry by receiving the Top 50 Spas in Canada spAWARD.

The "best of" spAWARDS were created to highlight the success and accomplishments of the top names in the industry. Serving as a guide for consumers, the spAWARDS categories help facilitate informed decisions when choosing a spa or health and wellness centre.

The 2012 Canadian winners were selected from a pool of more than 500 potential nominations. Criteria for the awards include website creativity, ease in booking appointments, online reservations, gift cards or loyalty programs, innovative spa treatments, unique marketing programs and overall guest satisfaction.

“It’s such an honour to be recognized as one of the Top 50 Spas in Canada,” says Beverly Loewen, General Manager for Spa Utopia at the Pan Pacific. “ This award belongs to each and every one of the amazing team of dedicated employees who consistently and passionately provide exceptional care and service to our spa guests.”

Most services provided at the Spa Utopia Pan Pacific location are also offered at our Langley and North Vancouver locations.  You can read more about our services—and book online—on our website.
Spa Utopia Pan Pacific:
Tel: 604-641-1351
Toll Free: 1-866-700-9008
Spa Utopia Langey:
Toll-free: 1-866-890-8772

Spa Utopia North Vancouver:
Toll-free: 1-866-980-3977

Monday, February 27, 2012

Two friends discuss Bella Contour

Spa Utopia co-founder Awni Abu-Ulba and Bella Contour guru Moshe Ben-Shlomo chat with Studio 4 host Fanny Kiefer about the Middle East, coming to Canada, and why the Bella Contour is an incredibly effective tool for trimming fat and looking great...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The many benefits of massage

How often have you heard someone exclaim, "I need a massage!" when caught up in the pressures of everyday life? It's a common sentiment and one that you may be nodding in agreement with. On the other hand, you might never have experienced a massage and may be wondering what it actually feels like and how it can possibly halt you in your stressed-out tracks.

So just how does a professional massage benefit you?

Researchers at McMaster University found that massage affects the activity of specific genes, reducing inflammation in the muscles and increasing their ability to recover from exercise. (This is the same effect as taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as Aspirin.) The researchers determined that massage sets in motion a series of molecular events within the muscles that helps reverse the discomfort caused by exercise. The activity of pain-causing proteins known as inflammatory cytokines is dampened, and levels of proteins that signal the muscles to produce more energy-producing mitochondria within the cells is enhanced. This helps the muscles to recover quicker.

Different types of massage are employed to benefit specific health conditions, and we have briefly explained these below.

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, many people enjoy massage because it involves caring and comfort and can generate a sense of empowerment leading to better stress management.

A variety of massage treatments

Spa Utopia offers a number of specialized massage treatments including:

Utopia Royal Massage - a 100 minute, full body Swedish massage employing hot stones, towels and steam to completely relax body and mind.
Utopia Siesta Massage - a 75 minute Swedish massage using our signature Siesta massage oil, that prepares you for sleep.
Utopia Deep Tissue Massage -  a 50 or 75 minute deep treatment massage that targets areas of muscular stress and tension.
Utopia Signature Massage - a 75 minute treatment using hot stones, aromatherapy. A foot massage
is included.
Utopia Hot Stone Massage - this 75 minute massage employs hot stones and the skill of your massage therapist to produce complete relaxation.
Utopia Classic Swedish Full Body Massage  - a 50 or 75 minute treatment that will leave you relaxed and refreshed. A perfect introduction to the pleasures of massage.
Utopia Classic Swedish Back, Neck Shoulders - a  relaxing 50-minute treatment focusing on areas of the body that are frequently tense.

All these services may be viewed on our website.

Massage services may be provided by a Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) or non-registered Massage Therapist. (All
Spa Utopia massage practitioners have received the highest level of education in their specialty. (RMTs registered in BC must have completed a minimum of 3,000 hours of training, the most comprehensive in North America. In addition, Spa Utopia massage practitioners are required to successfully complete in-house training—a process that can take several weeks.)

In addition to the above massage services, Spa Utopia also offers Advanced Therapeutic Massage designed to ameliorate specific conditions such as headaches, arthritis, lower back pain, sciatica, and neck/shoulder pain. To determine what type of massage is best for you, we offer a free consultation with one of our Registered Massage Therapists (usually prior to your first scheduled treatment). 

Advanced Therapeutic Massage treatments include the following:

A 50 or 80 minute Designed for U massage, focusing on your specific health condition. Conditions addressed include pain, anxiety, insomnia and stress related to conditions such as asthma and diabetes.

A 50 or 80 minute Sports Massage is recommended for both elite athletes and weekend warriors. A variety of stretching, deep tissue massage, and specific rehabilitative techniques are employed to get you back on the playing field faster.

A 50 or 80 minute Postural Restoration session ideal for people who spend long hours sitting at a computer, driving long distances or spending their day in ways that may affect the posture.

A 50 or 80 minute Tension Headaches massage which decreases musculoskeletal tissue tension resulting from work and life stressors.

A 50 or 80 minute Easy Breath session is recommended for those with shallow breathing or shortness of breath associated with sore neck and shoulders, anxiety and panic episodes, headache, frequent cough and colds, allergies, bronchitis, trouble sleeping, and injuries to the ribs.

A 50 or 80 minute Easy Digest massage treatment is helpful for those experiencing constipation, and conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, nervous stomach, abdominal bloating, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction.

You can read more about Advanced Therapeutic Massage options on our website.

A special offer just for you

Be sure to watch for our eBlast the morning of Tuesday, February 14, for our special  offer:

A 50 minute Utopia™ Classic Full Body Swedish Massage
Regularly priced at $110. (plus applicable taxes)
Special pricing: $83.60 ( plus applicable taxes )
A savings of 24%
(Some conditions apply)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dry brushing for beautiful skin

Merben Sisal Body Brush (also available without handle)
It takes only minutes a day, but its results are long lasting.

Dry brushing the skin improves the circulation, and stimulates the lymphatic system to more effectively remove toxins. Over time, this can improve the immune response and help us keep healthy. Dry brushing also delays skin aging.  As we age, our bodies become less effective in shedding outer layers of dead skin cells. This build-up of dead skin can result in a thick, dry and somewhat leathery look, particularly on the back of the arms. The act of brushing removes older, keratinized skin cells, and encourages the skin's basal layer to produce more fresh, new cells. In this sense, dry brushing is rejuvenating. In addition to exfoliating this outer layer, dry skin brushing also stimulates the sweat and oil glands, helping to keep the skin more moist. It also helps keep young skin fresh, vibrant and free of breakouts. Some women say that regular, daily brushing can help control cellulite.

As well as exfoliating the outer layer of the skin, dry skin brushing also stimulates the sweat and oil glands, more effectively removing toxins and allowing the skin to better retain needed moisture. It can also help keep young skin fresh, vibrant and free of breakouts.

When dry brushing your skin, it is important to use the right brush. A back-scrubbing bath and shower brush is not as effective as a natural fibre brush designed especially for dry brushing.

Most people choose to dry brush right before their shower or bath. When beginning to dry brush, you should leave a couple of days in between brushings. You can then work up to three or four times weekly, or even every day if you choose.

How to dry brush effectively

1. Beginning with your feet, moving in gentle circular motions, moving towards the heart. Some people prefer to brush in longer, more sweeping strokes towards the heart, so experiment to see what feels best to you. You might prefer to do long, sweeping strokes on the arms and legs, and smaller circular motions everywhere else. Begin with the soles of the feet, and then the insteps.

2. Brush each leg, one at a time, first the back of the leg, then over the derrière. Move the brush to the front of the leg and repeat, up to your groin. If you have very delicate skin on the inner thighs, use a lighter touch and fewer brushings.

3. Now, you'll dry brush the hands and arms, again one at a time, starting with the palms and back of the hands and moving up both sides of the wrist, forearm, and upper arm. Pay particular attention to the back of the upper arms, which often have rough, dry skin that requires more attention.

4. Next, dry brush your back, from the shoulders down to the waist, one side at a time. Now move to the front of the trunk and, beginning at the groin, gently work upwards to the neck, being very careful of the nipples.

5. Shower or bath as usual.

Tips for better brushing

■ Avoid sensitive areas like the face and neck. Most dry brushes are too rough for fine, sensitive skin.

■ Use a brush designed for the purpose of dry brushing the bikini line to help prevent ingrown hairs. Spa Utopia carries the Merben Bikini Brush—with soft jute bristles that won't cause irritation.

Merben Bikini Brush

■ Dry brushing in the shower, with the water turned off, is a good idea to prevent skin cells from landing all over your bathroom! When you're finished, simply shower off.

■ Brush for a total of 3 - 5 minutes.

And for a change of pace...

Don't forget our wonderful Spa Utopia Body Scrub & Polish! This gentle body exfoliator will leave your skin feeling silky smooth and touchable. (So get working on your skin today to be super soft for Valentine's Day!)

The natural pumice in this formula gently sloughs off dead skin cells to reveal fresh new skin underneath, while Moor Mud hydrates and detoxifies, leaving you fresh and moisturized. Hemp Seed Oil in the formulation further protects your skin from dryness, leaving it silky and comfortable.

Spa Utopia Body Scrub & Polish

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Spa Utopia introduces Bella Contour

As featured in InStyle magazine

Non-surgical body contouring—also known as body sculpting—has become increasingly popular in recent years. It allows a person to smoothe cellulite, reduce pregnancy fat, enjoy tighter skin and achieve smaller body circumferences, without diet or exercise and without invasive surgical techniques like liposuction.
You can trust Spa Utopia to bring you the very latest treatments to help you reach your ideal body shape. But first, we must be sure that the treatments we offer are both comfortable, safe and effective.

This is why we have been watching the Bella Contour non-invasive cellulite and fat reduction treatment system very closely... and are now making this exciting new service available to you.

Bella Contour offers the ultimate body contouring experience—non-invasive, painless circumference reduction that delivers real, measurable results from the first session!

One thing that none of us can achieve through diet and exercise alone is losing fat inches where we need to. But now this is possible. Safe and painless Bella Contour technology and body contouring allows you to target stubborn fat below the neck, including the abdomen, hips, buttocks and thighs. So women can say goodbye to unsightly muffin tops and men to love handles and excess fat deposits on the pectoral (breast) area, as well as diminish annoying fatty tissue elsewhere on the body. Even better, say thousands of happy Bella Contour customers, is the fact that skin texture is significantly enhanced, and the orange-peel texture of cellulite greatly reduced.

This client achieved a 5cm loss in body circumference
after just five sessions.

So how exactly does this impressive reduction treatment work?

Bella Contour employs three distinct technologies to help you achieve targeted fat loss: resonant ultrasound, interferential (electric field) therapy and vacuum massage. The treatment stimulates fat cells, causing them to release fatty acids which are then removed from the body as part of the natural metabolism. This mimics the natural physiological processes that occur during exercise. The difference is, the Bella Contour targets specific zones, allowing you to choose where you lose inches. The procedure is completely painless and the device FDA and CE approved. Best of all, it has been shown to achieve a reduction in body circumference of at least 4cm in 92 per cent of clients, with recorded losses of up to 16 cm.
The Bella Contour

We at Spa Utopia are so sure you will be thrilled with your results, that we guarantee them. Financing is available through Medicard, on approved credit. You can read more about Bella Contour here (and link to Medicard if you wish).


Be sure to watch for our eBlast the morning of Tuesday, January 17, for our special introductory offer:

Introductory Bella Contour session regular cost $375 (before taxes)

Special pricing $150 (before taxes)
(a savings of 60%).
This offer is only available for a limited time.