Whole Body

Channeling Your Inner Beauty

Take some time out from your hectic holiday schedule to indulge and recharge at a Portsmouth salon and spa


No matter how hard you try, the holidays are always a hectic time of year. Shopping, wrapping, moving the darn elf from shelf to shelf, baking and collapsing from exhaustion are just a few ways I celebrate the season. Knowing that the next two months were going to be fast-paced with little time for “me” time, I booked a day of beauty at BeYouTiful.

Kimberly, the house esthetician, was the first to welcome me in the airy salon. She walks me to her private room for my first appointment, an eyebrow shaping. Kim has a full menu of services ranging from custom facials to body treatments, and one of her specialties is soy hair removal. She delicately and precisely applied the soy wax on my brows and gently removed the pieces. After about 15 minutes, my brows were impeccably arched and trimmed.

Next up was a pedicure with Janet, who also offers hot stone treatments and reflexology. Billed simply as the Spa Pedicure, the experience was anything but basic. Dimmed lights, soothing music and essential oils wafting through the air set the mood for extreme relaxation. “Just pretend you’re on the beach,” she said, laughing. Janet applied her own homemade sugar scrub on my feet and legs then scrubbed and filed away. Once my feet were tidy and smooth, she dimmed the lights even lower for the massage portion. But this was not your average massage. Not even close.

Janet pulled out an ottoman type cushion and fitted it on top of the tub. My legs stretched across while a warm sinus mask went on my face and a heated wrap around my neck. Hot stones were placed under each palm and on my back, and an amethyst crystal on my forehead. A weighted warmed blanket across my entire body went on last “to keep you from floating off the chair,” she said. I’m not sure if I can describe what happened next. Massage on my feet and legs? Yes, that happened. Sound therapy with a Tibetan brass bowl? Uh-huh. Lifted from Portsmouth and dropped on a Tahitian beach? I’m pretty sure.

For my last service, I sat in a chair while Liz Wall, the salon-spa owner, tossed my hair in her fingers. Outgrown roots, brassy highlights and a lifted permanent color had my hair looking frazzled. We decided on adding three colors via foils – the brown base, an amber highlight and a cinnamon lowlight – to add a more natural looking dimensions. The salon exclusively uses Goldwell color, an industry-leading dye that has richer and longer-lasting results, and Aveda hair products. “Using better products goes a long way,” Liz explained. “Your hair will be shinier and there’s just better coverage.”

Liz met Kim and Janet years ago when they all worked at the famed Judy’s Oasis Salon in Middletown. The now-closed salon was not only a celebrity hotspot, but also a stomping ground for up-and-coming professionals. “I wanted to create a place that I love, that a professional team loves and that the clients love,” Liz said. She realized her dream in May when she opened her full service salon and spa in Clock Tower Square.

“It’s all about being your own beautiful, about being your own pretty,” Liz says. A mom of a teenage daughter, Liz is all too aware of the mounting pressure of looking perfectly airbrushed. “It’s not about looking like someone else. It’s about coming here and feeling fully welcome, to enjoy your experience and to leave with self-confidence.”

After a blowout with a round brush, my hair was a bouncy, shimmery brownish red. My day was exactly what I wanted it to be with a few surprises. I left relaxed, looking great and positively energized. It was a much needed attitude adjustment just in time for the holidays.


200 Clock Tower Square, Portsmouth