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A Home for Beauty :: Boston’s Beaucage Spa

by Kilian Melloy
Thursday May 17, 2012
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Beaucage Spa is a tidy, well-appointed space on the fourth floor at 73 Newbury Street in Boston. (Beaucage Salon, a separate business, is located on the second floor.) Manicurists’ stations are located near the window that overlooks one of the country’s most famous shopping districts; at the opposite end of the space is a pleasant room housing several comfy chairs where clients receive pedicures. Four treatment rooms offer individual oases of calm in which facials take place to a soothing selection of classical music. One of the rooms is used for massage appointments on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays.

The space also features an array of upscale skincare products for sale: creams, moisturizers, exfoliants, masques, and eye treatments from Dermalogica and Environ, as well as Biobliss and Archipelago Botanicals. "Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up," a sign placed among the product packages declared.

Beaucage was recently the site of a bloggers’ event, with specially priced services available to those wishing to sample what the spa has to offer. EDGE was present at the event as well; as it happened, EDGE was the only male to attend, other than spa owner Dean Boudreau, a charming, 50ish man with a youthful demeanor, and a master hair stylist in his own right.

Boudreau praised his staff, noting their upbeat, welcoming energy. The sort of attitude that a practitioner brings into a room with her, Boudreau noted, makes all the difference; in the case of his staff, it was all about creating a welcoming space where relaxation was not only possible, but also unavoidable.

The event brought an extra element of festivity into the spa, with catered sandwiches (delicious looking) and plenty of wine, both red and white. A cluster of bloggers chatted and laughed in one corner near a manicurist’s table; nearby, another blogger looked on with a smile, her hands being expertly attended. Monica, an esthetician who does facials for the spa, approached.

"We’ll be doing an express facial tonight," Monica explained. "That basically means no extraction." In other words, Monica would not be cleaning out EDGE’s pores by squeezing blackheads out of them.

A facial generally takes about 50 minutes, though appointments are doled out in hour-long blocks. The express facial would only take about half that long. Monica led EDGE to one of the individual treatment rooms, then stepped out to give her client time to prepare. This amounted to taking off shoes and T-shirt, and slipping beneath a cozy blanket. A few minutes later, Monica knocked at the door and entered the room.

"We’ll be using Environ products tonight," she said. "Environ is a vitamin A and D-based product line." Working the first round of cleanser, Monica added, "You have beautiful skin."

"Well, this is my profession, and trust me: You have beautiful skin," Monica said with kindly firmness. This was clearly someone who knew how to make her clients glow inside as well as out.

EDGE copped to having recently turned 48.

"I’d never have known it," Monica said.

EDGE, in a confessional mood, went on to admit to being from New Mexico, a state reputed to be the "skin cancer capital of the world."

"Well, this is my profession, and trust me: You have beautiful skin," Monica said with kindly firmness. This was clearly someone who knew how to make her clients glow inside as well as out.

Monica’s hands were sure and her technique flawless as she went on to tone, exfoliate, massage, and apply a masque, using warm towels in between times. She also deployed chamomile and lavender eye pads. "Now, you snooze for a few minutes," she invited, and stepped out of the room.

What bliss it was to lay there, snug and coddled, for the next ten minutes. Monica returned to finish up with some additional attention to her client’s eyes (and eyebrows: "Would you like me to trim those?" she asked. As it turned out, for the months of May and June, complimentary eye therapy is part of the spa’s Environ facials). Monica also provided moisturizer, and a final mini-massage. EDGE was on a cloud.

"Wow," said this correspondent’s husband upon his return home. "You are radiant!"

Make that Cloud 9.

Beaucage Spa is located at 71 Newbury Street in Boston. Phone number: 617-437-7171. Website: http://www.beaucage.com

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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