Where to shop: Fresh at NorthPark Center

Fresh 01Towards the end of my LA days, a friend of mine introduced me to SpaWeek. If you’ve not heard of or participated in SpaWeek, you really should; I’ve taken full advantage of it then in LA and several times since in Dallas. Twice a year, in April and October, participating locations offer around three of their signature services for only $50 each. It’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toe in the spa waters (literally or figuratively) if you’ve never done so. Or, if you’re addicted like a lot of us, it’s the chance to try out some of the more pricier establishments you normally wouldn’t dare. This is how I was introduced to Hiatus Spa in Inwood Village (and became a member) and the Fresh store at NorthPark.

According to their website, there are only 14 standalone Fresh stores in the world; the majority are of course in New York. NorthPark has the only one in Texas, which isn’t a surprise to anyone familiar with the magnificent place that it is. People fly in from all over the globe just to shop at NorthPark, it’s THAT awesome. It’s Texas’s version of South Coast Plaza (for my SoCal friends) and without a doubt my favorite place in the city. It was late one SpaWeek that I decided I needed to partake of it before it was over, but knew I couldn’t get an appointment at any of the actual spas, so I thought I would give Fresh a try. I figured since it was a retail store and at the mall (NorthPark despises being called a mall, by the way) and late on a Friday I had a shot. And I was right. It’s a super tiny store on the first level near the escalators one takes to AMC or the food court, you might overlook it but I dare say you won’t once you actually go in there. They have, without a doubt, the best customer service of any store I’ve ever been into from New York to Los Angeles. My first experience that SpaWeek was great and I was super pleased to find out whatever you spend on the facial (SpaWeek is $50, otherwise it’s more) you actually get back in credit towards product. It’s a win-win situation and definitely not something other places offer!

Last year three of my girlfriends and I decided to do a Fresh facial party for my birthday. The year before is when I’d broken my ankle leaving my birthday party, so we figured a spa day was much more safe. Fresh blocked out an entire Saturday morning for us and pretty much rolled out the red carpet. They had mimosas, a fruit and cheese platter and delicious cake balls. Who doesn’t love cake balls? If I recall, they made around $1,000 from us that day. Every single dollar was worth it and we’ve all continued to buy their products. They even had little gift bags full of samples for each of us and for me, a gift box full of even more. Screw Tiffany turquoise, Fresh powder blue is officially my favorite blue box or bag to get now! (Please note, I will not turn down the turquoise…)

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What to make: homemade body scrub

blood-orange_white-pepper-sugar-scrub_grandeI don’t know a girl out there who doesn’t love to be pampered. One of the first frivolous expenses I got rid of when I found out my company was being sold was my spa membership. It wasn’t as extravagant as it sounds, I promise. But it did allow me a facial and/or massage once a month. And it was lovely. And oh  my, numerous products I’ve tried at home. So many masks, scrubs, serums, soaps, lotions…if only I was getting paid to try them all! I’m currently going through a drawer full of samples, follow me on Instagram (crazylillady) for additional reviews and recommendations.

Though I probably don’t use them as often as I should (I tend to more if there’s a boy in the picture, naturally) I love a good body scrub. You’ll quickly learn I am an enormous fan of both Fresh and Bliss. Specifically the Fresh at NorthPark and the Bliss Spa at the W Hotel. More on both of those heavenly places later, cause let’s just say I’ve been mayor of both places on Foursquare. I’m kind of a big deal, y’all. Anyhow, as you might be aware, both of these brands can be pricey addictions. I think they are totally worth it, but neither have been in my budget recently.

fef990b2077dd1818c6ef27924fb016bSaving money should never mean a decline in personal luxuries. This is where Pinterest comes in handy. Well, let’s be honest, Pinterest comes in handy for many reasons, including that beach house and dream wedding I may or may not ever have (a girl can hope!) And seriously, Pinterest, thank you for the secret boards…I mean really. I don’t need to display ALL my crazy for the world to see. Anyhow, recently I saw a pin for homemade lavender scrub (as pictured) thanks to my friend Rachel, so I saved it to try. I have a ridiculous amount of boards on Pinterest and putting them to increased use is overdue.

photo 4To make this project even more cost friendly, I actually picked up the ingredients at a “dollar” store. A 4 lb. bag of sugar was $2.50 and the baby wash and oil $1.50 each. So a grand total of $5 plus tax. I did the math, if you got two bags of sugar instead of one you could make a total of eight batches, which comes out to…$1 a piece. Come ON. A check on Sephora’s website (which includes both Fresh and Bliss) will show you body scrubs run $20-$65 each. I’m sure there are cheaper brands at Target, Wal-mart, etc. But making your own is still cheaper plus super easy, quick and fun! It seriously took just a few minutes. I was also pleased to discover one batch fit perfectly in a used Bliss scrub container I’d cleaned up. The Dollar General brands I personally used created a creamy, snowy white mixture. The original creation is from the blog Pocketful of Motherhood; she used actual Johnson’s products, so it came out a lavender color. Perfect for gifts. And I know you’re wondering…it feels FABULOUS. Skin so smooth!

bethenny bath saltReally and truly if you had the sugar and baby oil you could use any body wash you wanted…the combinations are endless. If you prefer bath salts (I don’t use those often) Bethenny had a great segment this week on making your own. I’ve included her recipe as well. Either way, salts or scrubs, run a tub of cozy hot water, relax and enjoy! Single or married, working or not, a little girly time does us all some good and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Xo, Nikki