By Fiona McKim
Spas have opened again - much to our delight!
And as we get ready for the return of the weekend retreat, have a chuckle at some of these typical spa moments. Get planning that spa break with our amazing spa deals...
We all have different concepts of relaxing music, and never is this more clear than when your mid-treatment zen is shattered by an exuberant pan pipe solo that even Phil Collins would deem 'a bit much'. Still, it could be worse, as one W&H staffer recently discovered while enduring 60 minutes of yodeling during an Austrian massage.
There aren't any situations in which the phrase "I'm going to cleanse your aura with a lacquered goat horn" wouldn't make us snort with laughter - and that includes during a facial.
Spas and alternative therapies go together like Mystic Meg and her crystal ball, but some of the more 'out there' practices still leave us feeling more "umm?" than "ohm"
The paper pants
Enough said. Just remember to put them on the right way round, it's all you can do to salvage a little dignity from the situation.
Your massage therapist is a professional. She's seen it all in her time and does not judge you based on your body or grooming habits. That said, the realisation that you haven't depilated in months and working against the grain of the resulting leg foliage probably feels like stroking a doormat could destroy your chi somewhat.
You're probably with friends, you're possibly celebrating, and you'redefinitely looking to indulge yourself. To us, this means wine or cake (ideally both) and yet everyone around you seems satisfied with a sliver of quiche, hot water and lemon. Hmmm.
We say feel no guilt, order your bubbles and black forest gateau anyway. Those aren't judgmental glances from your fellow diners, they're envious stares.
The couple's treatment
You can see why your sister thought it was a lovely gift, but the reality of sharing a treatment room with your other half and facing the horror of matching paper pants (see above) is just plain weird. As for etiquette - should you chat about your day? Make eye contact?
Or, as one W&H staffer pondered as she was left alone in a bath for 20 minutes with her (gay) male friend, are you expected to get up to something else entirely? Shudder.
Have you ever heard a woman say she loves her feet? Thought not. Putting your unloved hooves in the hands of a professional is the best thing you can do for them, but that doesn't stop us feeling mighty uncomfortable about what bad nick they're in.
A member of the W&H team still cringes about the time a therapist had to use so much force on her dry heels, she accidentally smacked herself in the face with the foot file. She left a generous tip and never returned.
The post-facial panda
It doesn't matter how many ways you face is cleansed, scrubbed and buffed during a facial, you will still end up in the relaxation room, herbal tea in hand with half of that morning's mascara on your cheeks. It will remain there until your friend sees you and howls with laughter.
We've been told to "take plenty of water", so why is the only source doling out rations that would leave a guinea pig wanting more? Cue five trips to the cooler per hour, frenziedly trying to knock back paper cones of brain-freezingly cold H2O with an impatient queue forming behind.
The many moods of massage
Massages can vary wildly from spa to spa, which means all sorts of awkward things can happen in the course of 90 minutes!
A selection from team W&H includes grunting male masseurs, strange bodily noises - my stomach ALWAYS rumbles mid treatment - giggling therapists, overdeveloped reflexes making legs and arms lash out when touched and a strictly enforced 'no knickers' rule in a busy Budapest spa while on a trip with colleagues.
Understanding your sexual anxiety - plus, how to overcome it, according to an expert
Sexual anxiety may be normal but, thankfully, you don't have to live with it forever...
By Faye M Smith •
Prince Louis’ birthday celebrated with adorable unseen photo taken by Kate Middleton—and he’s reached a huge milestone
Prince Louis is following in his brother and sister’s footsteps!
By Emma Shacklock •
Ultherapy: all the facts about this 'no-scalpel facelift'
Ultherapy is the skin-tightening treatment everyone's talking about
By Fiona McKim •
What does ‘clean beauty’ actually mean?
Are clean beauty products pseudoscience or genuinely safer?
By Emma North •
Amazon opens its first hair salon and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced
Augmented reality hair consultations are now a thing
By Danielle Valente •
The ultimate eco-friendly beauty guide: our favorite sustainable makeup, skincare, and haircare products to shop
Highlighting our favorite top brands that consistently move the needle in sustainability, transparency, and environmental integrity
By Dominique McIntee •
Natural hairstyles: 21 inspirational looks for women embracing their curly textures
From short, medium, to long, these natural hairstyles for women with curly hair are sure to inspire
By Victoria Smith •
The ultimate natural makeup look - here are the products you need and our favorite looks to inspire
Want a fuss-free natural makeup look? This guide has got you covered
By Fiona McKim •
'80s makeup is back, and we're actually loving these wildly flattering looks
Surprise: '80s makeup is trending again, and we're all about these unapologetically bold and beautiful takes on color and contour
By Courtney Leiva •
This celebrity make-up artist can’t get enough of this skin brightener
Celebrity makeup artist Tim Quinn swears by this vitamin C skin brightener to lighten dark spots, acne scars, and more
By Rylee Johnston •