This past September was one for the books—I packed up my laptop and headed to France where I spent the entire month living, working and most importantly—eating croissants and baguettes every day. I’ve always wanted to go on a working holiday, so to spend a month in one of my favorite countries was an incredible experience.
I spent most of my time in Paris and decided to do some “work research” (love my job!) at some of the most luxurious pampering spots in the city. If you’re planning to visit Paris in the near future, consider visiting one of these incredible spas and institutes to make your trip even more memorable!
Biologique Recherche Ambassade de la Beauté
32 Avenue des Champs-Élysées
75008 Paris, France
I was recently introduced to Biologique Recherche, one of the world’s most prestigious and covetable skincare brands, so I knew I wanted to visit the flagship institute in Paris to get the full experience. Celebrities, models and editors flock to Biologique Recherche for their innovative products, highly-active formulas and holistic approach to skin health (they were already booked up for Paris Fashion Week which was taking place a few weeks later).
Biologique Recherche’s unique philosophy involves analyzing the skin to get an idea of an individual’s “Skin Instant”—the current condition of the skin. They then customize the treatment to deliver exactly what the skin needs at that moment to improve its condition and optimize the delivery of actives. It’s a very scientific approach and the results speak for themselves.
The Ambassade de la Beauté was one of the most beautiful spas I’ve ever been to, conveniently located right on the Champs-Élysées (but also tucked away down a quiet coridor). First, my skin was analyzed to reveal my Skin Instant (dehydrated and sensitized, as expected) and then I was lead to my dressing room. Everything was so elegant, so grand—I thought the dressing room was a communal one because it was so big but it was in fact just for me.
Then I entered my treatment room and I was in awe. I truly felt like royalty in my massive suite. The treatment was equal parts relaxing and stimulating; the techniques used to apply the products were soothing like a massage but also felt like a medical appointment or physio session. After cleansing and preparing the skin, I was given a lifting face massage that left my skin looking incredibly smooth, even and glowing—it was like magic! The treatment finished off with a soothing mask then serum, eye cream and moisturizer.
How much it costs: €205 (about $225 USD) for a Skin Instant Lab, 1-Hour Facial and a 30-minute Face Remodelling booster.
If you can’t make it to Paris: There are a number of spas across the country that are trained in Biologique Recherche techniques and offer a similar treatment experience with their products (click here to inquire about a location near you).
Heavenly Hair Spa
Rene Furterer Institute
15 Place de la Madeleine
75008 Paris, France
I’ve had my fair share of incredible blow-outs (they’re actually one of my favorite ways to get pampered), but nothing compares to the incredible experience I had at the Rene Furterer Institute in Paris. Conveniently located yet still secluded and private, it’s the perfect mid-day getaway that will leave you feeling like a million bucks. Beautiful hair starts with a healthy scalp and that is exactly what Rene Furterer focuses on with their essential oils and hair care products.
I received their signature Hair Spa treatment, which began with a comprehensive scalp examination using a high-tech Capilliscope (basically a microscope to analyze your hair follicles and scalp). After a few questions about my current routine and hair type, I was given a personalized product regime that was used throughout the treatment.
We moved from the diagnostic room to my personal treatment room, which felt like a private spa room you would receive a massage or facial in (not like a blow out bar where seats are crammed together). The treatment began with an hour-long essential oil scalp massage (they used their popular Complexe 5 treatment), followed by a shampoo, mask and vinegar rinse. Yes, I fell asleep—it was that relaxing. The treatment finished with a lovely blow out (still in my own private room) and I left with the most beautiful, bouncy hair I’ve ever had.
I went home with a bottle of Complexe 5 and have been diligent about giving myself bi-weekly scalp massages (although it really is SO much better when someone else does it for you). I also fell in love with the Lumicia vinegar rinse, which leaves my hair looking extra shiny and vibrant without any other styling products.
How much it costs: €150 (about $165 USD) for a scalp analysis, personalized treatment and finishing blow dry.
If you can’t make it to Paris: You can purchase Rene Furterer products at various salons and some even offer a comparable Hair Spa treatment experience.
Caudalie Paris Le Marais
8 Rue Des Francs-Bourgeois
75003 Paris, France
It’s no secret the French love their wine—and Caudalie is known for taking that love one step further and infusing the natural goodness of vines and grapes into their beauty products (the term “caudalie” is actually a measurement of a wine’s flavor). I visited their cute boutique in Le Marais, one of my favorite districts in Paris, to receive one of their most popular signature Vinothérapie treatments; a Crushed Cabernet Scrub. It’s designed to restore skin’s radiance and softness as well as diminishing the look of cellulite.
The location is perfect for popping in and indulging in a treatment after a busy day of shopping. Although the boutique is quite small, the treatment room upstairs was substantial in size and really felt like a luxurious hotel spa instead.
The one-hour treatment was incredible—first the Crushed Cabernet Scrub is applied all over the body to slough away dead skin with grape seed, brown sugar and essential oils. I’ve never had a full-body scrub before, but it’s such a satisfying sensation (think of how great a back scratch feels, but ALL over the body)! After a quick rinse in the private, in-room shower, the Nourishing Body Lotion is combined with Caudalie’s Contouring Concentrate, a firming dry body oil, and applied all over the body.
I felt so relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards and my skin was baby soft for days. It was a really lovely alternative to a massage, which I would usually opt for. I also took home their jar of Crushed Cabernet Scrub so I can indulge over and over again at home (they also have a great Holiday set available right now)!
How much it costs: €80 (about $90 USD)
If you can’t make it to Paris: Caudalie has Vinothérapie spas and treatment boutiques all around the world. Click here to see a list.