Insider's Guide to Spas
Photography by Utkamandarinka


Lip Love & Other Stuff

Mary Bemis

I had a great time talking spa and makeup trends with Janell Geason, Global Artistic Director, Aveda Makeup, who created some subtly cool (with just the right metallic touch) looks for the Hellessy Spring 2017 show that included a sexy, subdued lip in Sheer Clover Smoothing Lip Color, topped off with Chuparosa, a new sheer orange-red Nourish-Mint Lip Shine.

But, if you’re like me and you like to play it super-safe with lip colors, opt for Aveda’s spa-like Pink Lupine Nourish-Mint Lip Shine, a “beautiful natural light beige-y pink,” as Geason describes it, or the creamy lip color in Sheer Primrose, a natural pink that works for many different skin tones, and a color I’ve been wearing for a while. It’s a spa-girl’s must-have when it comes to barely there lip color.

“Spa makeup is all about subtle enhancements and making someone look beautiful,” says Geason. And she’s right. I’ve long espoused that (natural) makeup has a real place in the spa environment—but this is one category that has never really taken off. There are a few reasons why: For one, makeup options (brands) are very limited in the spa world, and for another, many spas just don’t understand it—and let guests walk out the door after a facial or face-mushing massage without a simple touch-up or even an option for one.

“You want your guests to leave looking amazing. It’s about having them stay in their comfort zone with fresh soft shades. A little does so much and connects them back to the amazing service they just had,” shares Geason.

Here are some more of my favorite soft spa-like shades for the lips, plus a few little helpers.

Antonym Certified Natural Lipstick Pencil One of my all-time favorite lip finds, thanks to a certain French friend of mine. If you’re a makeup minimalist like I am, this may be the only lip color you need. Beautiful creamy texture, easy to apply, and lasts long enough. Available in three colors: Koral, Pinkish, and Naturelle. $17, antonymcosmetics

Tata Harper Volumizing Lip & Cheek Tint Who doesn’t love a multi-tasker? This smooth number blends perfectly onto lips or cheeks and comes packaged in a sweet little pot. Another great find that delivers an instant dose of pretty, natural color with the sweep of a finger tip. Choose from five colors, Very Naughty (ruby red), Very Charming (petal pink), Very Popular (warm rose), Very Sweet (shimmering pink), or Very Nice (pinkish-nude). $36, tataharper

Juice Beauty Phyto-Pigments Satin Lip Cream There’s a lot to love about this moisturizing lip cream, including its exclusive Phyto-Pigment blend of rose, moringa, and eclipta daisy. Available in eight shades, my go-to is Blush, a nude-pink hue. $24, juice beauty

SpaRitual Lip Gloss I’ve been carrying Clarity with me for some time—a beautiful shimmery nude shade with just the right amount of shine. I like the feeling of the vial-like tube and the way that it fits into my hand. The fact that it’s flavored with fruit oil doesn’t hurt, either. Other subtle and comforting colors to pick from include Calm, a sheer pink, and Inner Smile, a shimmering rose. $19, sparitual

Pevonia Lip Renew Plump & De-Age Treatment Another multitasking product, this little lip helper is new to the brand and formulated to help smooth fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth and lips, while moisturizing (thanks to hyaluronic acid and shea butter) and revving up the circulation for temporary plumping. Easy to dispense, I found it slightly tingly. Good to have on hand in colder climes.  $55, pevonia

ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment Part gloss, part treatment, this is another nice newcomer that’s formulated for double duty with ingredients that include raspberry and pomegranate seed omega oils. Pack this in your carry-on for long flights. $32, espa






Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis

Mary Bemis is editorial director of She is an award-winning spa journalist, honored with Folio's Top Women in Media Award, and the distinguished ISPA Dedicated Contributor Award. In 1997, she launched American Spa magazine, and in 2007, Mary co-founded Organic Spa magazine. A pioneer in the sustainable spa and beauty worlds, Mary is co-curator of Cosmoprof North America's Discover Green Pavilion. She sits on the board of Wellness Warrior, is a Global Wellness Day Advisor and a co-founder of the Washington Spa Alliance.