R&R at Chicago’s Cowshed Spa

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It may sound cliché, but taking a personal breather at the spa can really serve to clear one’s mind and alleviate exhaustion on all levels. As a mother of two young boys, treating myself to a spa moment is not only spiritually rewarding, but beneficial as I’m better able to carry on with daily responsibilities as a mother and wife.

I recently had the chance to experience the relatively new Cowshed Spa, nestled inside design-splendor, Soho House Chicago. Cowshed’s unique spa space is utterly inviting — boasting both a luxurious feel and down-home charm.

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Offering signature facials and massages alongside a plethora of personal grooming services and products — the spa and its staff are superbly inviting. Cowshed is distinctly different than other spas as it provides opportunities for both relaxation and socialization. Products are derived from natural plant oils, proteins, essential fatty acids and vitamins, containing a high ratio of premium quality essential oils renowned for their therapeutic benefits.

Being treated to their signature Cowshed Facial was the ultimate in mind-body relaxation. The slow and appeasing introduction of facial services really helped me settle into some me time and get re-acquainted with my skin. Personalized and precise, my facial began with a proper skin analysis to evaluate my needs. My facialist then designed a relaxing cleanse, steam experience and non-irritating exfoliation treatment.

I made a “Note To Self that I needed to do this more often while receiving a hand and shoulder massage at the end of my hour-long facial treatment.

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Aside from recommending fantastic Cowshed products tailor made for my skin, my facialist also provided this insanely awesome, at-home DIY spa tip:

Take two cotton squares and soak them in eucalyptus oil. Next, warm them in a warming towel caddy (a great spa device to keep at home — great for colds, everyday aches and relaxation) and lay them over the eyes to soothe tension and help fight fatigue. Another great tip is to store a stash of the same pre-made soaked cotton squares in the fridge and have them ready for cooling-relief or at your fingertips for warming.

(Personal tip: A warming towel caddy would make a great Christmas gift! Until I get mine, I’m going to be using my son’s extra baby wipe warmer.)

Christina Russillo, Director of Cowshed, offered another unique beauty tip of combining your facial oil and night cream to combat dry winter skin. Her favorites are the Raspberry Seed facial oil and the Rose Replenishing night cream.

I had the chance to talk a bit further with Christina about the history of Cowshed and what women love most about it.

Darling Magazine: Can you tell us about Cowshed’s spa principles and the story behind its name?

Christina Russillo: Cowshed was founded in the English countryside in 1998 at Babington House where they began doing spa services in a former working cowshed, hence the name. Soho House Founder and CEO Nick Jones couldn’t find the right product on the market to use in the spa, so he decided to create his own range of natural products and the product line was born.

Cowshed is a British beauty and lifestyle brand with sociable grooming at its core, meaning you can come in with your girlfriends for a spa day and have a laugh, enjoy some bubbly and not worry about being quiet. It is also a relaxing and rejuvenating space where you are welcome to tune out and de-stress with our personal, wireless headsets and retro televisions.

DM: Tell us about Cowshed’s signature services and products.

Christina: All of our signature treatments use the Cowshed product line, which is 100% natural and uses 100% pure essential oils. The products are also all made in England, which keeps us true to our British heritage. Signature treatments include the Cowshed Facial, Cowshed Moody Massage and the Cowshed Pedicure.

All of our signature treatments use the Cowshed product line, which is 100% natural and uses 100% pure essential oils.

Our pedicures really set us apart because of the special drill we use to exfoliate the feet. We brought it over from the UK and it is a perfect cylinder so it exfoliates the feet without hurting the skin. It makes our pedicures last longer and your feet feel baby soft.

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DM: It’s hard to choose if you want to relax or reenergize during a spa visit. As busy women —especially us moms — we tend to want both. Tell us more about the spa services that target a little bit of each.

Christina: I am also a mother so I can absolutely relate and I think all Cowshed treatments offer a bit of both the relaxation and rejuvenation factors. Whether it’s our Cowshed moody massage where you can choose from one of six moods such as knackered, wild, lazy, grumpy, etc., to match your own state of mind, or our Salt Scrub that exfoliates the body with peppermint oil, or our mani-pedi to make you feel polished and ready to conquer the day ahead, I think the key is making the time for yourself to feel good.

I think women love the Cowshed lifestyle. It’s very approachable and offers a high quality product from the treatments to the product line. It’s a very thoughtful product line and lifestyle and I think that really resonates with women.

DM: We love your ‘home away from home’ aesthetic. Please share your reasoning behind it and what makes your spa’s vibe so unique.

Christina: Cowshed is designed for our sociable grooming lifestyle, creating a cozy, welcoming space where everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. The combination of the reclaimed Midwestern barn wood with the crystal chandeliers offers a rustic yet luxurious vibe and furniture pieces like the tufted sofa in French blue, the leather wingback chairs for mani/pedis and colorful lounge seating in the dressing areas creates that home away from home feeling.

Images courtesy of Cowshed

Maritza is a published hair guru, beauty editor and beauty instructor. Via Beauty For Bloggers she teaches beauty skill workshops, web design classes for the beauty-focused blogger and beauty entrepreneur and contributes regularly to online beauty bibles.

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