Category Archives: Spa

My Bachelorette – A Day at Spa Utopia and An Overnight at The Pan Pacific Hotel

Checking out the Pan Pacific Club Floor Rooms With My Ladies

It’s been so much about the wedding lately that I still have to catch up on writing about lots of adventures I had before the big day. I was sick with a terrible flu just before what was supposed to be the girls weekend at Whistler, so had to cancel that journey, and we had to rethink how to celebrate my last days of being single (not that I was heading into some sort of terrible married life or anything!). Thanks to the Pan Pacific Hotel I had a gift cert for a night’s stay, so Tess and I booked one of the newly renovated rooms on the Pacific Club floor, which had plenty of room to invite a few other pals for pre-dinner wine sipping and appies in our room.

The Pan Pacific Hotel bills the club floors as a “hotel within a hotel”, as they have access to the Pacific Club Lounge, complete with stunning views, a private check-in and check-out, personalized concierge services, complimentary continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres, an honour bar and many other amenities!

pacific club city suite parlour

The rooms are modern and spacious, ours had a King bed and a pull out couch, a little bar and sink area where we laid out our wine, some cheese and crackers we brought from home and also a couple of the the tasty bites from the lounge’s complimentary appie selection. They are designed with an elegant feel with hues of blues and grey, with warm sandy tones against a dark maple.  Wish we could have stayed longer, but I actually was eager to get home to Michael in the morning. I miss that man when I’m away, big sap, I know.

pacific club city suite king bedroom

We met up at Spa Utopia, the spa conveniently located right in the hotel, in the early afternoon to fully prepare and pamper for the evening ahead. I signed up for the Skin Regimen Body Scrub,  an anti-aging body treatment the is designed to oxygenate and nourish the skin, stimulate circulation and collagen production. The scrub left my skin velvety smooth and it definitely feeling tighter. I need all the anti-aging I can get these days. The treatment was so relaxing I almost fell asleep several times.

spa utopiaSpa Utopia


I also got a blow out and a make up application and I really felt my best when I was done. The hairdresser was so quick taming my unruly curls (I really hate when I have to sit still forever) and the make up artist really did some magical things with contouring and accentuating my eyes. Why can’t have these ladies visit me daily? Some of my friends got pedi’s and others also went for the massage I did and were equally pleased. I wish I’d arrived earlier to thoroughly enjoy the lounge, steam room and pools, but I was rushing through life once again so missed this. Make sure you don’t! They even serve wine after your treatment.

Looks it’s me with Rosana, Nanci and Maria!


We headed up to our room at the Pan Pacific Hotel for some pre-dinner fun and then out to Hy’s Steakhouse for dinner, meeting up with a few more ladies. Great food and service here, I hope we weren’t too loud as there were a few of us and we were seated in the middle of the room! Yikes.Hy's

I had to have the steak tartare, as it’s one of the best in the city and love the wine list here, going for a bottle of the La Frenz Chardonnay, right from the Naramata Bench.

pacific club lounge pan pacific vancouver1

pacclub brkfst

I got back to the room a little before Tess and unfortunately star-fished the bed, so thank god for the couch, as I can’t be moved apparently! We had a nice breakfast before checking out even met some interesting people over coffee in the lounge. A most excellent adventure indeed.

Alfa Renaissance and the HydraFacial MD Treatment

Start Fresh With a HydraFacial

When you are choosing a skin care provider, especially when it involves procedures on the most visible and sensitive part of your body, your face, it’s essential that you choose someone very reputable and a clinic that explains everything to you extremely thoroughly.

There’s a lot of “deals” out there and some are very worthwhile, but a lot of them are merely a hook to get you into more and are the clinics rush so they can fit more clients in to cover their costs. I’ve had a few of these experiences, so when it came to planning on a spring skin regime in preparation for my wedding I wanted to deal with someone who could see the whole picture, and not just the short term fix that could ultimately cause longer term problems.


I met with Eva from Alfa Renaissance, conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, to discuss my concerns, and the goal of looking the freshest for April 29th, for our wedding day. Originally I thought that laser would serve me best, as I want to reduce the redness in my face from rosacea and broken capillaries, and I’d been for one treatment already elsewhere. After we met, she explained it would take longer that a couple treatments to get the results I wanted, and there were better ways of putting my best face forward. IPL Photo Rejeneration isn’t recommended once spring hits as if you do go in the sun your skin can react negatively, so we decided to put this off to the fall. Alfa Renaissance recommended firstly a HydraFacial to start with a clean base and then a few skin Tightening and Clear Lift Treatments as the best way to get the maximum results.

My first treatment, the HydraFacial MD, is good for all skin types,  improves overall skin health, and is also excellent for remedying Fine Lines and Wrinkles, and improving Elasticity & Firmness, Skin Tone Evenness & Vibrancy, Skin Texture, Brown Spots, and treating Oily/Congested, Enlarged Pores, and Signs of Aging.

hydrafacial treatment delhi

It’s a unique multi-step treatment that first cleanses, then evenly exfoliates and extracts to remove impurities and dead skin cells and then replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid. Thanks to the devices’ superior delivery system, these performing ingredients are able to more effectively reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles for results you can see and feel instantly.

Step one is Exfoliation with a serum removing dead skin cells to uncover healthy skin, then a Peel with a serum, that is a mixture of Glycolic and Salicylic Acids delivers the benefits of a peel without post-peel flaking. Step three is Extraction and four deliver a dermabuilder, skin re-builder to minimize fine lines, and improve skin tone evenness and texture. Finally a serum is delivered to nourish and protect skin with Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid.

The procedure is pain free and you feel a slight suction of your face, and I was a bit red afterwards, but my skin calmed down within an hour or so. The next day I looked healthier, and was even told I was glowing. This can be done as often as once a month, so we’ll be getting another treatment in before the wedding as a refresher.

Alfa Renaissance has a number specials on right now for HydraFacials, IPL and skin tightening, so I’ll report back once I’ve tried a few more treatments. Wedding countdown is on!

Rush Hair Salon – Where My Hair Gets Glam!

Rush Hair Salon Arbutus Walk

Rush Hair Salon opened about a year and half ago at 2652 Arbutus, between 10th and 11th Avenue. Those who follow me know that a. this is my neighbourhood, and b. my hair and I are in a constant struggle to look like something other than a cast member of Fraggle Rock. Having a salon in the neighbourhood that gets me, and is not overly pricey is exactly what I need.
Rush Hair Salon
Stacy Minkova and Susie Vo opened Rush Hair Salon after they met at Sukis in Richmond and wanted to start something new and more community based.
rush hair salon
I see Stacy there and she’s more than just someone that does my hair, she’s the kind of stylist that fixes my hair issues and is also happy to weigh in on many other decisions I throw her way. We’ve become friends and it’s always great to catch up with her, while getting my hair done. It’s like having a favourite bartender, but you leave looking better, not worse!
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It’s a small salon with that personal touch; there are four people there for now, Stacy, Susie and William do haircuts and styles and Ester does only colour. They are experts on colour here, I’ve had a more few things done now over and above the grey touch ups and I’ve come out looking fab and my hair is far from easy to get right! My latest is the highlights pictured below, Stacy took my hair from black to this much softer colour.  As a bonus their hair products are sulfate-free and never tested on animals; they carry Bumble and Bumble, La Biosthetique and Pureology.
 Rush Hair Salon
If you’re looking for something less corporate, while still getting top of the line treatment, do check Stacy and the team out.
Just look at the difference they can make! LOL. That’s Stacy and I having some fun as we always do!

Rush Hair Salon

Face Mapping with Dermalogica

Face Mapping Skin Analysis – Prescription For Skincare

Do you ever fall asleep without taking off your make-up or neglect your skincare routine? I have to admit I sometimes get so busy and tired that I fall asleep on the couch, later crawling into bed and neglect my skincare. Once in a while I have to kick-start my self-care, so I do a check in at a spa for a facial and take some me time.

My latest facial was at Demalogica’s training center where I tried out their the newish technique, based on ancient practices, Face Mapping.


Face Mapping® is Dermalogica’s unique skin analysis that provides insight into your skin’s past and present, and with the information gathered, the technician prescribes a home care regime crafted especially for your skin.

Rather than analyzing the skin in general terms, the therapist uses Face Mapping® to divide the face into fourteen zones. Each zone is examined inch-by-inch through touch and sight, and findings are notated on a prescription sheet. The sheet serves as a customized visual guide, and notes conditions including congestion, breakouts, dehydration, and/or hyper-pigmentation are present.

My biggest concerns are aging (damn wrinkles), rosacea and the occasional blackheads and whiteheads (yuck!!). My therapist, Cory mapped my face and came up with suggestions for skin care in the “UltraCalming” line of skin care. I’ve been using the UltraCalming cleanser, UltraCalming Sensitive Tint with SPF30, and a Microfoliant to prevent the skin from clogging and my skins doing a ton better. I still have issues with rosacea and broken capillaries, but I think that will take some laser treatments to deal with, such as IPL or some sort of zapping. Looking into that.



Face Mapping® is only available from Dermalogica skin care professionals at authorized skin treatment centers, salons and spas worldwide. Want to get mapped? Find your nearest location here.

Wedding Count Down – Skin Prep at Vital Wellness/Margo Dalinghaus

Wedding Count Down Is On

After attending the wedding of my very good friends this past weekend, I am suddenly acutely aware that I better get planning my own! We’re going to be covering a few things in our new wedding count down series.

Dhillon Giesbrecht

My amazing friend, Summer Dhillon, looked like royalty alongside her king, Patrick Giesbrecht, and I am sure she had a few facials and make-up sessions along the way, and I had better ask her for some pre-wedding advice soon, but I fear I need far more sprucing, and I’ve got to put a plan in place.

stress free wedding planning

There is lots to do, as every bride knows, in order to get to that day feeling you’ve put you are at your best. I haven’t even really picked a date or location, but we’re looking at February of 2017 or November or August 2016! and likely Mexico  Bahamas or Kelowna. This changes daily it seems. It’s a way out (or not!) but I have a big list, including fitness and weight loss goals, skin primping, finding a wedding dress (yikes), wedding rings, and then of course day of hair, make up, jewelry and nails. AND all the logistics of day of, of course, but that seems like the easy part!

Wedding Stress

Beauty starts from the inside out, as they say, so I’ve been to Vital Wellness Clinic before for some fantastic nutritional advice from the lovely Patti Smyth, had some check ins and therapy with Rebekkah Stainton, reflexology with Coko Mayuko, and Qi Gong with Caroline MacGillivray. The clinic is also a full medical clinic with family physician and nurses, and you can actually schedule your drop-in appointments; super handy.


The latest addition to the team is Margo Dalinghaus, a Hormone and Aesthetic Registered Nurse, who has been trained by, and has trained some of the best Injectors from around the globe. Her style is “less is more” and her goal is to restore ones natural beauty, so I wasn’t afraid of leaving with lips that looked like they’d been hit by a frying pan, when I decided to have some touch ups done.

I went for a soft lift which combines the use of neuromodulators (similar to botox)  and dermal fillers.  Fillers were injected in and around my lips and in my cheeks.

Margo describes the treatment as such:

Neuromodulators typically work in the upper fact to relax muscles by preventing the release of acetylcholine which is responsible for muscle contraction. As the muscles around the frown lines, crow’s feet and forehead relax, moderate to deeper lines soften for a refreshed appearance. Dermal fillers are used in combination with the neuromodulators (Botox) to replace volume. With volume loss we lose hyaluronic acid and hydration – so, shadows and deflations can make us look more tired than we actually feel. Replacement of lost volume with dermal fillers improves hydration and also plumps up the skin from the inside out so that the skin is moisturized and smoother to reflect light and radiance. As shadows are reduced with replaced volume, skin appears more harmonious and fresh.

Both neuromodulators and dermal fillers are corrective treatments and do need to be repeated – Botox, every three months, and fillers every 9-12 months depending on product and how you metabolize it.

The neuromodulator used are Xeomin and a botulinum toxin type A, just like Botox, but it is known to be cleaner and produce less side effects. If used regularly every 3-4 months, you can soften the muscles on the upper face to prevent the formation of deeper lines in the face.

Cassandra Anderton

Since I have been in December I have received huge compliments on my improved looks and been described by my friends by the word glowing, over and over.

Caroline MacGillivray

Caroline MacGillivray on vital silks (she teaches this too).

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Vital Wellness even had a party to announce their new services and invited some local VIP’s to help spread the news. There’s another one coming up soon, and I can’t wait to hear what they are unveiling next.

Wedding Planning

Do note that there was some bruising, which sometimes happens, so be sure to leave lots of time before the big day for this treatment. Wedding count down is on! Now to work on that fitness and weight loss. At least there’s hiking and biking on my next trip; I’m off tomorrow to California wine country!

CND Flirtation and Spa Collection Premiers at Onyx Aesthetics

Testing Out The New CND Beauty Collections

Last fall I discovered Onyx Aesthetics Studio at 425 Abbott Street in Gastown and was thrilled (yes nails thrill me!) to return for the unvailing of a new collection of my favourite nail polish brand, CND.

cnd 4

CND has the Shellac Brand, which tend to last about 2 weeks and the home Vinylux weekly polish. If you are in the salon there’s no reason not to get the Shellac, especially since you can take it off a home if you are patient with their nail polish removal system. This does takes patience, and I have failed at this several times and chewed off my nails and therefor damaged them. Don’t be a fool like me and your nails won’t get damaged. Pictured above is one of the fall colours, with some silver gift wrapping in celebration of the upcoming holiday season.

cnd spring 2016 art vandal 788x350

The Top 5 reasons why you should pick SHELLAC® Brand 
1 14+ days of high-performance wear
2 Stunning crystal shine
3 Zero dry time
4 Amazing 5-minute removal
5 No nail damage (if you do it properly!!!!)

Spring nails @cndcanada #lovecdn @onyxaesthetics ready for valentine's day. #nailart #gastown #nails #beauty #fashion #twitter

A photo posted by Cassandra Anderton (@goodlifevan) on

The ladies at Onyx are amaze and it’s a pleasure to sit still for the brief time it takesto paint and decorate my nails. I actually relax and am reluctant to leave even when I’m done.  They use all CND products and are now stocked up with the new Flirtation Collection as well as the Spa 4-step Collection of soaks, scrubs, masques and lotions.

cnd spa collection gardenia woods bright citron 821x570

I loved the Bright Citron fragrence best, but the Gardenia, and Cucumber smell divine as well. I’m using the scrub in the shower and my skin is feeling ultra-smooth (please don’t picture that).

I was good this time and went back to the salon and had my polish removed and changed with special Wine Festival theme nail art. Some say the Italian Wines were the star of the show at this year’s festival, others were pretty impressed with these nails.

cnd nails2

Selfology Head Spa

Sometimes your whole body needs the spa, and sometimes it’s just your head. We are always worrying about how our hair looks, but often overlook the actual scalp. At SELFOLOGY, on South Granville, the team is addressing the scalp itself, in addition to your hair and the rest of you, with a specific scalp treatment.

The Selfology Hairstyling & Scalp Detox Head Spa is a 90 minute treatment with a head massage and treatment with a specific oil that addresses the source of healthy hair, the scalp.


This salon is one of my favourite places to be, just walking in relaxes me, and this particular treatment completely recharged my scalp and in the days after my hair was in far less dry, with more shine and curl. Love the Selfology Head Spa treatment!

The thirty minute scalp massage is done with Rene Furterer Complex 5 oil, a botanical formula formulated with pure essential oils of orange and lavender, and a regenerating plant extract. This “head spa” massage and detox improves the circulation in the scalp and relaxes those tired muscles in the face and neck, lifting the skin.

The hair massage is followed by a shampoo and very deep conditioner and then a cut and style of your choice.

Selfology Spa Salon

Selfology also offers everything from full body massage, to amazing hair colour and cuts. This is an exceptional spa and one I’ll be returning to, hopefully soon.

Additional treatments I’ve experienced can be viewed on this site too.


Selfology Hair Colour

Selfology Wrap and Facial

Sea Flora Facial

Selfology Spa Does Exceptional Hair

“The Best You in The Best World” is the mantra of Selfology Spa, located conveniently near my Kitsilano home at 16th and Granville. I certainly do feel so much better each time I visit. Aren’t we all working on being our best, even if we forget to think of ourselves and our mental and physical health some of the time? So many things pull and tug me away from being my best!

I’ve been spoiled at Selfology Spa in the past and would return their weekly, or more, if I could. I’ve had an amazing Seaflora facial and lymphatic detox massage, a firming and slimming facial and scalp massage, and an renewing seaweed body wrap. The last time I was in I was envious of the hair clients, as they left with their shiny and colourful new hair! Since mine has been straight black for far too long, I decided to go in for a change.

There are a number of hair stylists, including Mia (check her work out on facebook) and the lovely Kei who took care of me for the many hours it took to transform my look into something pretty darn spectacular.

Selfology goes behind a hair style, by combining Hair Art , Hair Wellness, and wholeperson Spa wellness; they remind us to think of the scalp as the other skin we might be ignoring.  The focus of this spa  is to be a Cultural, Natural, Holistic, and Artful place.

two tarts

The Café next to the spa (Two Tarts) is a healthy and delicious way to fuel up and they’ll happily feed you should you need a snack. Being the best, after all, starts with what you do, and do not, put in your body.


After we went over my goals and what I am capable of keeping up once I leave the spa/salon. I reclined in the massage chairs for a scalp treatment and shampoo.


My transformation included a cut, colour and then straightening treatment. Afterwards Jessica, the spa owner, also did my make up.

I think the before and after pretty much tells you how talented this crew is! It’s been a month since I’ve been in (I’ve been in a writing funk – more about that another time).


I’ve now just retouched the roots and my hairs still looking fab! Thanks Kei, Peter and Jessica for all the encouragement along my journey. If you are smart, you’ll also make them part of yours!

Selfology Spa Salon Medi-Spa Package

Selfology Spa is a modern spa and salon  at Granville and 16th in Vancouver who’s primary goal is to nurture you towards better health. Their treatments range from skin care to massage and makeup, as well as hair cuts and styling. This is my second very excellent visit to this spot! There is an awesome SocialShopper deal on now too!

Selfology Spa Salon

It’s a comfortable place with natural wood accents and the treatment rooms enable you to escape for an hour or two and enjoy a variety of healing treatments.

Selfology Spa Treatment Room

My latest adventure at Selfology a including firming and slimming facial using the natural Sea Flora line of products, along with a scalp massage and a detox-massage and heated Sea Flora seaweed body wrap.

The Sea Flora products are made up of marine and thalassotherapy elements of wild seaweed, ocean mud and marine minerals and they are so soothing I’ve started to use them at home.

The facial massage left my skin tight and glowing and the seaweed body wrap in the infrared heat blanket is said to opens pores, and ease sore muscles. It gets a bit hot in the wrap, but you can definitely feel these affects as if fat is melting away! My body felt deep cleaned and after I rinsed off the seaweed in their amazing shower, I emerged feeling a new energy had been unleashed.

All products used at this high-end, modern spa are 100% organic and their professionally trained therapists provide customized treatments should this particular one not be for you.

I will be back soon, as I’m due for a mani and pedi so I can slip into my summer footwear without embarrassment!


Company Website
8 – 3195 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC
V6H 3K2

Selfology Spa Salon

This is a place where miracles seem to occur and luckily SocialShopper currently has two deals for you for:

– Option 1: $82 for 90-minute head to toe medi-spa package for one person, including firming or slimming facial with scalp massage, medi-body contouring or detox-massage and heated body wrap (value $308)

– Option 2: $155 for 90-minute head to toe medi-spa package for two people, including firming or slimming facial with scalp massage, medi-body contouring or detox-massage and heated body wrap (value $614)

*Selfology spa provided the treatments mentioned, but, as always, we only recommend products and services we truly love.


Aging Gracefully

Now that I’m in my 40’s, I have other issues than when I was I was oh so fresh and young. My skin was pretty good to me growing up, however, now if I stare too long in the mirror, I notice the skin on my face is a little, or perhaps, a lot less tight. I value myself more now on other things other than looks, thankfully, but still, if I can freshen up, I will.

Some may say “age gracefully”. But grace has never been my forte, so when I heard I could have a little “facelift” without actually going under the knife, I was all for it.

The procedure? The Non-invasive Lift

So what did I do? It’s called Ultherapy and it’s offered at Ideal Image in Vancouver on South Granville.  It’s the only non-invasive procedure FDA-cleared to lift skin on the neck, under the chin and on the eyebrow. It was billed and delivered as safe ultrasound without surgery.

How it works

Ultherapy uses ultrasound to transform the brow, chin, neck and chest. I went in and a certified nurse performed this ultrasound on my chin.  Is there a downside? Yes. It hurt a bit, almost like an elastic band snapping on your skin, and there  was bruising afterwards for a good week, but it was cover-able by makeup. Pain is forgettable though, and  six months later, I definitely had a tighter jawline and the photos below are my own and unaltered and prove it. Cost = approximately $2000 but varies depending on what you need.