Even writing that title sounds indulgent. A day of head to toe pampering sounds so luxurious that I couldn’t help but mention it in passing, to as many people as would listen. “Oh I can’t meet you for spin class, I have a spa day at Akari.” Obnoxious, yes; necessary to my mind, body, and soul, absolutely.

In reality, a day full of spa treatments, (even at the heaven that is Akari), can be a bit daunting. I’m a type-A personality, which means I leave salons with smudged nails that definitely needed the “10 more minutes” of dry time the manicurist suggested. Spending an entire afternoon at a spa? Would I get antsy? Would I bring out the phone to tackle work emails halfway through my services? Then there is the Irish Catholic guilt I hold onto. I don’t need a whole day of treatments! That’s too much!  Maybe I could call and see if I could share the sessions with my sister? Rest assured my fellow type As, type Bs and whatever else you may be, Akari’s Signature Spa Day is pure bliss and yes, you deserve it!

The bath and body massage oil product used by Akari for Christine's treatmentThe first service of the day was an hour-long massage with a CBD oil treatment. Now, I’m someone who thinks any massage is a treat, but a massage with Anna is a game-changer. The CBD oil smelled of a subtle peppermint with hints of citrus, but that doesn’t do it justice. As Anna was easing the tension in my muscles, working in the oil, all I could think was, “This is what calm smells like.” With every inhaled breath, I became more and more appreciative of this add on. Having Anna explain the properties and benefits of the oil made me feel comfortable with the process, and understand the value of this service. During the treatment, extra time was spent on my shoulders where I’m told most of us hold our stress. By the time the hour was up, the knots in my back were gone and I felt completely relaxed.

Bundling up in my robe and slippers, I was greeted outside my massage door by Amanda, who would be giving me both a facial and reiki treatment. If you haven’t seen the facial rooms upstairs you should schedule an appointment just to see them. The enormous ceilings, with the white-washed brick wall, is second only to the full-length windows draped with plush curtains. The room has a minimalist yet comfortable feel, with subtle touches that hint at Akari’s medi-spa background.

There was nothing superficial about Amanda’s treatment of my skin. She analyzed skin to see what it needed, making sure to ask me what I was looking for in my service. When a stylist asks you what you are looking for, it can be a vague question. “I don’t know, what do you think?” is my usual reply. Amanda encouraged me to discuss what my skincare routine looks like at home. How was my skin feeling today? How would I describe my skin? She helped me determine what I needed instead of telling me what would be done to it.

The Airelle Hydrating Complex product used during Christine's facialAfter a cleanse and steam treatment, she turned to the Airelle skincare to pamper and soothe my skin. I wanted my skin to look hydrated. Natural ingredients that wouldn’t be too aggressive were important to me as well and the products were a perfect fit. Akari sells the Airelle skincare line, so it was nice to know they had confidence in that brand. I was also excited to attempt to recreate the treatment later at home. Walking out of the room I caught my reflection in the mirror and was stunned. If ever there was a time for a #makeupfree, #keepingitnatural selfie, this was it! I went for it. I didn’t even use a filter! That alone should tell you how beautiful my skin glowed

I felt positively radiant and for that, I’ll credit to Amanda’s reiki treatment. Her touch gave me goosebumps all the way up my back and back down to my toes. I highly suggest this little bit of extra indulgence.

Christine getting a pedicure massageMy mani/pedi was up next. As I sipped on a mimosa, watching the iconic Breakfast Club on the movie screen, I was straight up giggly. This is how I am spending my Monday? Thank you, thank you, thank you! As Lauren hydrated my legs with a eucalyptus, spearmint mask, I realized how just how much I needed some nail love. Between the beach, pool, and endless gardening duties my nails were rough. I try to keep them short and tidy as best as I can, but I can’t help feeling like a kid who is always hiding her nails at nice events. Elegant nails ooze class to me, and I forever seem to be lacking. By the time Lauren was done with me, the “Desert Poppy” on my toes gave me a punch of color that screamed summer. She managed to salvage my poor fingernails and give them life too. “Put in Neutral” was her color suggestion for me and may officially become my new go-to pick.

Rounding out my day was a blowout with Bonnie. When I say she gave me the best blowout ever, I’m not kidding. In fact, I’ll say it again. Best. Blowout. Ever. My hair went from soaked to sleek without endless time under her hairdryer. Again, my type-A self notices things like the amount of time stylists can spend drying your hair. But if every blowout made my hair look as “extra” as Bonnie’s did, I swear I would stay forever. Bonnie’s blowout was the perfect end to my day. She made me laugh and instantly feel like I had been a regular of hers for years. The Bumble and Bumble “Thickening Great Body Blow Dry Creme” protected my hair from the frizz that our humid summers seem to ensure. She shared tips on how to part my hair and gave me the comb to try myself. I won’t pretend it looked as good as when she did it and it wasn’t as easy, but I’ll get there!

For those of you that frequent Akari, you know there’s something that makes it a little different. It’s professional, inviting with a beautiful ambiance but there is something extra that makes it stand out…it’s the Akari stylists, aestheticians, massage therapists, and nail technicians. They are truly passionate about what they do. They enjoy talking about the intention behind their process. They check in with you throughout your time with them. Their goal is to make you happy and feel great about yourself, which in this world is hard to find.

As a woman, I know that we beat ourselves up. We max ourselves out with responsibilities, say “yes” to more things than we can manage, and can be our own worst critics. Everyone deserves to feel as beautiful and nourished as I did as I walked out the doors of Akari. Do yourself a favor, and make the next “yes” be something for you.

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