In what seems to be a brilliant branding maneuver and just a really clever idea, Elle--the magazine--is opening a spa at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach. In an attempt to bring the magazine to life and give guests a “taste of the Elle lifestyle”, Elle editors hand-picked everything from the products in the spa to the items for sale, right down to the flip flops. (Disclosure: I occasionally write for Elle.com, but I have no involvement with this spa. Unfortunately.)
I spoke to Emily Dougherty, Elle’s beauty and fitness director, and she told me that they want to “take the stories in the book and make them come alive for the readers.” To that end, the spa offers services which mimic features in the magazine, like “Doctor’s Orders.”
Speaking of doctors, dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, who treats a good chunk of Elle’s staff, developed many of the facials. (You can get his amazing Alpha Beta Peel over-the-counter at stores like Sephora--I am addicted to the tingle and glow of this fantastic product. But I digress.) Tammy Fender, a GOOP-approved holistic and natural esthetician developed the signature facial; you can even book her personally.
Essie developed special edition nail colors for the spa dubbed Eden (neon pink) and Roc (neon coral). Eden is a “cooler version” of the discontinued hot pink Short Shorts. The Elle staff tried the colors and Emily assured me the neons are flattering on all skin tones. They hope to rotate more seasonal colors in, and indeed, will rotate treatments in general to match the content of the magazine.
The body treatments include skin detox, a variety of massages, and a custom scrub bar. The spa’s signature fragrance, formulated exclusively for Elle by Red Flower, is light and citrusy, with notes of lemon peel, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, amber and ylang ylang. (I sprinkled it liberally through my apartment in hopes of forgetting about the piles of unfolded laundry everywhere.) When asked about taking the spa totally green, Emily echoed the sentiments of her readers saying, “If you poll the editors we’re much more likely to go super eco from the neck down, but on our faces [we’re] ok with extra chemicals as long as [they] make us look younger.” Amen.
Other Elle staffers, like market editor Jade Frampton and accessories director Kate Davidson Hudson, were involved in everything from the swimsuits and fashion in the shop, to the soundtrack played in the spa. And if the Miami location is successful, Elle hopes to go national and even global with the concept, with treatments tailored to the location.
Eventually all the Elle spa-exclusive products will be available via e-commerce, but until then, you’ll have to visit the spa. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it?