Tucked away on West Broadway and Manitoba Street, Lady Orchids day spa seems just as unassuming as its surrounding Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. The atmosphere inside is unpretentious with its clean, straightforward premises and relatively simple purple-and-gold decor schema. Lady Orchids has been open since fall 2010, but I hadn't heard of it until I was invited to experience their signature 'Posh Mount P' facial for myself. The facial promises to steam and clean while making you dream: exfoliation, steam treatment, plus European massage techniques to de-stress. I've had a pretty hectic start to the new year, so all of it sounded good to me.
Jennifer Lomax inside one of Lady Orchids's back rooms
My esthetician, Jennifer Lomax, ushered me into one of the back rooms where I draped a towel around my shoulders and prepared myself. Most of the products that were used contained natural gentle ingredients meant to bring out skin's natural glow. A gentle oil cleansing preceded an exfoliation treatment using a rice bran pineapple papaya product (the enzymes do wonders to slough off dead skin cells). Then it was time for a steam treatment, a pink rejuvenating mask, and a scalp massage. At regular intervals, hot towels (fresh from the towel sterilizer next to the bed) were placed on my face to further open pores. The whole point of the Posh Mount P is relaxation, so there wasn't a lot of talking and she didn't do any extractions. But silence is golden, and pretty soon I was half dozing.
Jennifer also used the Up5 machine, a state-of-the-art facial apparatus imported from Korea, on me as an additional treatment. The machine features different facial modes and pulses to massage and firm skin. Even if you're skeptical about its claims, the Up5 is worth using for the hilarity of the automated female voice that chirps "Eye zone mode!" and "Massage mode!" as it switches to the next phase.
As a new salon, Lady Orchids is not without its growing pains. During my facial, the power went out because of ongoing construction upstairs. Jennifer and her colleague spent a good 15-20 minutes figuring out how to turn the power back on and left me alone with a face mask on. But they handled the snafu with professionalism and grace, and it didn't interfere greatly with my spa experience. I still emerged from it feeling calm and blissful.
A big thank you to the staff of Lady Orchids for my relaxing facial. For more information about their services and products, or to book a treatment, visit their website.