This summer, here at Byrdie, we're pretty much over the usual conversation surrounding dieting. We don't want to lose weight to fit into some ideal dreamed up decades ago. We know the beach doesn't care what kind of bodies relax on top of its sand. And, as such, we're working on no longer worrying about how others view our stretch marks, cellulite, thighs, and boobs. Our bodies are our own, made up of limbs and flesh, just as much as strength and confidence. So while we care about how we feel (and still, admittedly, how we look), we're making sure our own personal opinion comes first.
In a new series, Clothing Optional, we're researching ways to look and feel like our best self that have nothing to do with dieting or working out and that have everything to do with products, treatments, and more. From in-office treatments to at-home wonders, we'll report on and test all the latest and greatest in the body space. To get the ball rolling, I tried Bliss Spa's Scrub & Color ($185), a 70-minute body treatment that includes a skin-smoothing scrub and painted-on faux-tan application.
To start, this treatment is the ultimate in summer luxury. As a spray-tan devotee, I often find myself with left-over, faded self-tanner and dry, scaly skin. I try my best to exfoliate and moisturize, but my execution isn't always flawless. In fact, it's often lazy or nonexistent. This treatment takes care of everything for you. First, a stimulating scrub to increase blood flow and increase circulation in your body. It works to bring fresh, oxygenated blood to your entire body, while it flushes out toxins and makes your skin look fresh and rejuvenated. And it warms upon contact. That would honestly be enough. But afterward, post-polish and hydration, the aesthetician hand-paints your body with an all-natural self-tanner to keep everything even and glowy.
The exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells until your entire body feels softer than you could ever imagine. I felt like a seal—slippery, glossy, and hydrated. On top of that, the treatment itself (application, massage, the works) induces this unbelievably deep relaxation. I felt less stressed and certainly less sore (I had lingering aches and pains from a previous yoga class). I'll be honest: It takes a long time. But the results are pretty unbelievable.
Once I was done, I peeled myself off the spa table and checked myself out, naked, in the mirror. I was properly pleased—let's be real. My body looked tighter, more radiant, and emitted this ridiculous glow. I dressed slowly, staring at myself in the mirror still, and was even happier when I got back to my apartment. The tan had started to reveal itself, deepening over the minutes it took to commute, and I couldn't stop posing in front of the mirror. My body looked good. And, to be clear, I don't feel that way very often. This treatment made me happier, more confident, and kept me in minimal clothing for a week. Cheers to that.
FYI: These smoothing products also help you look better naked (and you can apply them in the comfort of your own home).