Back to School, Back to You
By Gretta Monahan
The back-to-school insanity is now almost over. And whether you have kids or not, it’s an action-packed time of year that ultimately ends with a huge sigh of relief. All the vacations are over, and everyone’s back from their time at the beach. The fall clothes and supplies have all been bought, and everyone’s getting settled securely back into their routines.
Whew. So that can only mean one thing: Now that everyone else is taken care of, back to school can finally mean back to you. By that I mean it’s time to focus on getting yourself relaxed and groomed after summer with some key RX treatments and products, so you’re completely ready for a brand new season.
I see the need for this constantly in my spas and salons right about now, as do my staffs at them. Take G Spa at Foxwoods Resort and Casino, which just this past week received the “Best Casino” award from Connecticut Magazine. (I’m so proud off them, I couldn’t help but give ‘em a shout-out!) Last week the spa was filled to the brim with so many people—couples with young children, grandparents, singles—coming in and saying they needed a break. The spa is 21 and over, which for many, already makes it an oasis of adults. “Some people have come in and told us, ‘After this summer, I can’t hear ‘Marco Polo’ one more time right now,” chuckles the spa director, Charisse Duroure. “They need a little R&R from taking care of everyone else.”
But they’re also there for practical reasons: “Often they’ve been away from their own usual self-care routines, and need get back on track,” she says. So she fixes them up with treatments like the Ultimate Aromatherapy Ritual. It uses dry exfoliation to slough off the skin that sun has parched, along with a 50- or 80- minute massage, complete with an essential oil. “If someone’s tired, we go for a peppermint oil. If they’re stressed, we use lavender,” she explains.
“People at the beginning of fall are suddenly pressed for time, but still trying to find a moment to get themselves together,” says Renee Gwaltney, salon and spa manager at my Gretta Cole Copley location.
Hair often takes the biggest beating over summer; it gets dried out and your color fades from being out in the sun, which is why she sees so many coming in for a glaze and to get it refreshed. “We do all kinds of helpful hair masks,” says Gwaltney. “Kerastase has great ones—whether you need more body or to enrich a color or a moisturizing treatment to prolong the integrity of the hair.”
Now’s also an ideal time to improve the color itself. “Maybe you want to go for a richer color for fall,” she says. “Or if you have highlights, it’s time to start thinking about lowlights.” Duroure points out that all-too-common, post-summer syndrome: the brassy blonde. “It’s about containing the damage of summer,” she says. “Time to tone things down. Put a glaze on there and get my ash back. And while I’m at it, trim it and freshen it up.”
That same renewed freshness goes for our faces, too. After months of using everything from sunscreen to bug spray, our pores just simply get clogged up. “A really good cleansing facial will remove the buildup of products on skin that just don’t need to be there,” says Gwaltney. For anyone pressed even further for time, at G Spa we offer a 25-minute Hydrafacial as an add-on service. “We all need something to clean out our skin and let it breathe right now,” agrees Duroure.
And for a finishing touch, don’t forget to switch color palettes for nails for fall. The extremely chic and clever cosmetics line Smith & Cult has come out with some great colors for the new season. “I love the new deep green,” says Gwaltney. It’s a tiny bit gutsy, she says, “but what better way to get back to taking care of yourself?”