Chuan Spa Auckland – bliss!

Do you remember the olden days when a hotel or motel would advertise it had a spa and you’d get there find they meant a spa pool! And how we were thrilled with the idea that you got the key from reception, let yourself into a fenced-off area and wallowed in bubbling water with strangers. Well thank goodness New Zealand caught up with the rest of the world and now we know what a spa is!

Auckland’s newest and best spa has opened at the Langham Auckland. I know the superlatives are true because I had a 3-hour treatment there (for professional purposes you understand!) Chuan Spa is the Langham spa brand and is based on the 5 Chinese elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water.


Chuan means ‘flowing water’ and you should arrive early so you can take advantage of the watery pre-spa options: the snail shower with jets firing everywhere; an ice station where shaved ice falls into a huge bowl that you cover yourself in to freeze your yin; and the herbal steam room to heat your yang (or something like that).

I stayed overnight in one of the new Chuan Havens after my decadent 3-hour Five Element Rebalance. This started with a foot soak, then a muscle-melting hot bath with Thalgo sea salts to swish around. Then an hour and a half’s stone massage which included hot and cold stones. Then it finished with a foot and calf massage and pedicure from which I emerged sporting siren red toenails.

My therapist had come here from Cape Kidnappers spa in Hawkes Bay and turns out we went to the same school – albeit a generation apart!! She told me some funny stories too – like accidentally massaging Tom Jones’s fake tan off before his concert at the Mission.

My haven – conveniently located just across the hallway so I could toddle in fluffy bathrobe – had a huge flatscreen TV in the bedroom, another in the lounge, snacks awaiting me and an infinity bath that lured me for even more relaxation. We’d had a lot of rain in Auckland so I didn’t feel toooo guilty about filling the tub until it overflowed into infinity. Ironically, having positioned the TV so I could watch it from the bath whilst eating chocolate covered strawberries. I was watching CSI when, ironically/spookily, they discovered a dead body in a bathtub.

It did make me wonder how long it would take to be discovered. But I’m happy to report, I’m still here.


Eyelash extensions are the new blue-black

Eyelash extensions are the smart girl's accessory.

Just when I had jumped onto the eyelash perming bandwagon and wowed my friends with curly Betty Boop lashes, the fad moved! (And some people bang on about how fast the IT world changes – guys you want to try and keep up with beauty!)

Eyelash tinting these days is as common as a blow dry after your hair cut, and the next craze was the perm. Takes about 45 minutes and makes even the shortest lashes look long and luscious, curled up like a gerbera. But there have been mutterings in the secret world of Girl Stuff about eyelash extensions so this afternoon I went and checked it out…

As luck would have it Cerise Makeup and Lash Bar is right across the road so I called Rebecca and begged her to squeeze me in today. She did. I high tailed it over, lay on the beauty bed and she tinted my lashes and brows first (that was extra and only what I usually get done so that my blonde lashes don’t make my eyes look like p*ss holes in the snow – as a girlfriend once eloquently described them to me). Then she got a set of 20 sweeping synthetic lashes for each eye (made in Korea) and began to individually glue them onto my own lashes. Most are on the outer edge and a few are scattered across so I don’t look too odd. I love them! I feel like blinking in slow motion and I can see their shadow across my keyboard as I type.

The maintenance might be another issue – no washing face with water all over my eyes (she even suggested washing hair with goggles on). I’ll have to adopt a careful eye makeup cleansing routine and then they should last about 4 weeks. Hmmm, we shall see. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile if you have any eyelash tips or advice let me know. It’s a whole new day!

Cerise Makeup & Lash Bar, Shop 3/ 386 Richmond Rd, Grey Lynn, Auckland. 09 361 6336