Archive for the ‘Spa’ Category

Beauty Spot: Curves ahead

October 1st, 2010

Nadine Kam photos
Our test subject Kaoru lost 10-3/4 inches around her waist and one leg through Beauty Elements Body Contour Treatment. The before and after photos show the difference in size and skin tone. Sorry if the color looks different. That’s just me using a consumer-grade camera and no tripod, so it looks a little blurred. I also don’t know how to use Photoshop, so it’s not doctored.

Let’s face it, human beings evolved to be efficient fat storing machines. As hard as we try, the layers keep building up as a matter of survival. Never mind that fat and sugary foods are easy to find these days.

But, what if I told you that you could lose a few inches without doing much; in fact, you can just lie down.

That is what Izumi Montenero of Beauty Elements promises with her Body Contour Treatment. “If you don’t like to work out, we do the workout for you,” is her promise.

The “workout” starts with 20 minutes of sauna, when you’re wrapped in foil and buried under blankets to induce perspiration, with lymphatic massage to distract from the discomfort of heat. This is followed by 45 minutes of vigorous massage, then another sauna session.

Montenero says the heat generated from the initial sauna helps to soften stored fat, while the massage helps speed its removal through the lymphatic system. I got the feeling that if you have any muscle pain before starting the treatment, it would hurt. No pain, no gain again.

Link for iPhone

First time clients are measured at five body points, starting at the ankles, calves and thighs, and into the midsection. Then they’re measured afterward to see the result of the treatment.

In the two hours, our guinea pig Kaoru Raness lost a total of 10-3/4 inches on a single leg and her mid-section. The total lost from her waistline was about 7 inches, with the greatest changes being 2 -1/8 inches lost at a point 2 inches below her navel, and 2-5/8 inches lost 2 inches above it.

Measurements were taken only for one leg, so if we were counting both, inches lost there would probably have been doubled, from 3 inches on one leg to 6 for both.

Montenero said before the treatment started that people typically lose 10 inches, and this time it was more. That’s what makes the treatment so popular with models and beauty queens, when they need quick toning before a pageant, when rubbing out a few inches could give them the confidence that leads to a win.

This should not be misinterpreted to mean the end of exercise. It just means that if someone feels stuck or if they’ve hit a plateau with their regimen, that sometimes a little improvement in appearance could provide the right boost and incentive to continue and work even harder at diet and fitness regimens.

Sessions are $260. You can learn more at or by calling 551-5416.

Ayako Abfalter performs lymphatic massage before the body contouring begins.

Inside Marciano and the Moana Lani Spa

October 1st, 2008


Nadine Kam photos
A peek inside the Marciano boutique, which opened this morning at Royal Hawaiian Center.

Ventured into Waikiki this morning for a peek inside the newly open Marciano boutique, the first in Hawaii, at Royal Hawaiian Center.

marciano dress

The brand is known for glamorous, sexy clothing, and a spot check on prices revealed dresses at about $188 and tops starting at $40. The palette is strong on red, black and hunter green and there was also a selection of lace tops suitable for the soon-to-arrive holidays. Just thought I’d remind you of those. Somehow, the span between October and December always feels condensed, and always a fine time for a little stress relief, which brings me to:



An ahhh! moment: Agasa Yamana, left, and Reiko Tokushige Rogers, CEO and Executive Producer of Studio Rim Hawaii, Inc., relax in the women’s lounge at Moana Lani Spa. Or, try to. Reiko is recording her thoughts about the palatial spa.

The Moana Surfrider’s celebration of the opening of its Moana Lani Spa this morning. I was stressed getting out the door this morning, thinking of the eight stories I have due by Friday (actually three are due Sunday but do I want to work Saturday?), but all that faded away just walking through the spa, which may be the biggest on this island, covering 16,000 square feet. Only Ihilani may be bigger, and I’m sure someone will correct me if it is.

There was a huge crowd waiting to get in the door, but once in, seriously, the place is so big that exploring the rooms, I rarely saw more than six people at once.

the view

The view from one of the men’s massage therapy rooms; likely the last I’ll see of it. Don’t worry. The views are just as good from the women’s rooms.

The amenities:
>> 2 Oceanfront couples treatment suites
>> 8 massage therapy rooms
>> 2 body treatment rooms
>> 1 Vichy shower water therapy room
>> 3 facial rooms

The Westin WorkOut fitness center is built, but the last step is placing the machines which I was told would arrive today. Exercisers will have a view of Kalakaua Avenue, which can be just as entertaining as anything on TV, making workout time fly by.


Orchids at the pedicure station.

Most of the rooms have incredible views of the beach, and I didn’t want to leave, threatening to come back with my laptop computer, only to be told no computers are allowed in the spa. For good reason! Work has been presented as a “lifestyle” to those of us who can’t separate the two, but even when it’s fun, the wear and tear is there.

If you need to relax, call 237-2535 or visit

starting young

Jovana Ihilani Ignjatovic visited the spa with her parents. Her first two names translate as “majestic heavenly splendor.” Her last name is Serbian. She was most interested in a nearby Jacuzzi but her parents thought it was best to keep her away from the water.


The spa carries Kauai-based Malie spa therapy products, as well as ComfortZone products. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Hawaii director of public relations Candice Kraughto shows her stash of ComfortZone lip products, at $24 to $25 each. She may be the only person to carry her cosmetics in a Tiffany box instead of a makeup pouch. I’ve known Candice a long time. She’s one of the few who remember I once had a vintage/consignment shop called Hippie Chicks. She always bought the most beautiful things and I asked before if she kept any of it. She didn’t, but if she did, I’d probably buy it back! Iguess some things never change. She’s carrying a Louis Vuitton Alma bag in ivory.