With Black Friday a few days away and the rest of the holidays just around the corner, many of us are starting to plan our upcoming holiday shopping outings and festivities. In keeping with the holiday spirit, I was delighted to partner with Lifestyle and Shopping Destination Downtown Santa Monica (DTSM) and curate a fabulous wellness and beauty itinerary that showcases some of the best healthy lifestyle offerings that you should consider taking advantage of when you visit DTSM this upcoming holiday season. What impressed me the most while doing my research for this article, was that although I have been frequenting DTSM and Third Street Promenade for years, I had somehow overlooked the plethora of health oriented retailers and services that are available in this bustling urban destination.
Before sharing the wonderful array of healthy lifestyle offerings in DTSM, I wanted to share some important information I uncovered about the wellness challenges that many of us face during this festive season. Did you know that 75% of the annual US weight gain tends to take place between Halloween and the New Year? And even though the average American only gains 1-2 pounds during that time, if you put on just two pounds a year over the course of 10 years, you’ll gain 20 pounds! Yikes!
The holidays are filled with numerous temptations that are hard to avoid, so I reached out to Healthy Living Expert and Clinical and Holistic Nutritionist Marlyn Diaz and asked her for some sage words of advice to help us all get through the festive season. Marlyn uses such beautiful concepts to get her messages across, like this simple yet wonderful advice to think about while imbibing this holiday season.
“Don’t focus on the idea of depriving yourself during the holiday season; instead just reframe it and think about it more like ‘Thriving Through the Holidays’. Instead of consuming sweet chemical-laden drinks while party hopping this season, opt for cleaner versions like vodka with a splash of sparkling water and lots of fresh squeezed lemon or lime for a Vitamin C beauty pump, or create your own delicious antioxidant spritzer with a splash of pomegranate juice, chia seeds, and fresh mint. These healthier festive drink choices will give you greater energy, increased endurance and reduced inflammation.” Cheers to that!
Now that we are armed with some useful holiday wellness tips, I wanted to share the highlights of my fabulous day visiting DTSM and tell you about the wonderful retailers and beauty services that I had the pleasure of experiencing.
My day began with a healthy start by stopping by Nekter Juice Bar at 1422 2nd Street in Downtown Santa Monica. Nekter offers freshly made smoothies, juices and acai bowls as well as grab ‘n go bottles of fresh pressed juices. I chose one of the house favorite smoothies called Popeye’s Acai made with acai, banana, spinach, housemade vanilla cashew milk and agave nectar blended with ice. It was refreshing tasty yet not too sweet and totally satisfying. While I was at Nekter, I also spied their seasonal Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, which would make the perfect healthier treat to indulge in while you are holiday shopping in DTSM this season. FYI Pumpkin is packed with vitamins and antioxidants!
Next, and admittedly the highlight of my day, I visited SIX:02 powered by Foot Locker at 1329 3rd St Promenade Santa Monica, for a Pretty Woman-like shopping and styling session. SIX:02 is an inspired new lifestyle retail concept store catering to today’s active, busy modern woman. Yes, it’s a beautifully designed and inviting store that sells an amazing assortment of stylish well-known and hard-to-find fitness apparel along with a killer assortment of fitness shoes
However, it’s the mood, tone, vibe and staff that set this store apart from others in the category. SIX:02 is all about a mindset, it’s all about that time of day when you feel your most inspired; it’s your personal ‘sweet spot’ when you feel like you can accomplish anything, make the most of your workout or set your sights on new ambitions. That’s what the brand calls your #SIX02Moment, LOVE THAT! And the best thing about shopping here is that all the wonderful people that work for the brand totally emulate this ‘anything is possible’ vibe. They are a very inspiring bunch!
So you can imagine what fun I had being styled by the SIX:02 gang! The team made me feel so confidant, empowered and stylish while they had me try on different looks and model for them. I tried on many fabulous pieces during my visit and finally chose the urban chic super comfy outfit that I am wearing below, which really showcases the variety of brands and styles carried at the Santa Monica SIX:02. This is the perfect store to shop at for the fitness lover in your life or for you to take advantage of their variety of free in-store monthly workouts!
Now that I was sporting a comfy hip fitness outfit that embodied the perfect laid back Santa Monica vibe, I was ready to workout. So, I decided to checkout the much raved about Hot 8 Yoga at 1422 Second Street in Santa Monica. I took a Hot Yoga-1 hour class, which is a foundational class consisting of 26 static postures balancing every system of the body at temperatures between 105-109 degrees. I adore hot yoga so I am used to the hot temps, but this class was a Bikram style class which is somewhat different than my usual classes. There was no music and it was more focused, intense and serious and loved every cleansing moment of it!
My teacher Chelsea was top notch, very encouraging and her words of wisdom really resonated with me; I loved the large gong she played to symbolize the end of class; the studio was comfortable and clean; the staff was nice and helpful and probably my favorite extra touch at this Hot 8 Yoga studio was the cold eucalyptus towels that they have available to refresh yourself after this intensely sweaty workout. FAB! It’s the perfect place for you to sweat out those excess holiday toxins and they welcome beginners!
And being a skincare obsessed beauty maven, I decided to wrap up my day in DTSM with my all time favorite beauty indulgence, a professional facial at The ARCONA Studio at 425 Broadway, Santa Monica. Because it’s the holiday season, I chose Arcona’s Brightening Facial ($125 for a 50 minute facial), which is designed to address uneven skin tone and pigmentation and give you a swooth-worthy radiant glow. In this relaxing facial, they use a variety of organic fruit enzymes as well as lactic and kojic acids to refine and brighten your skin. I think this is the perfect facial for the holiday season because it freshens and illuminates your skin and will make it look radiant for the party hopping season.
What I adore most about Arcona is how gentle yet results oriented their facials are, that it’s a SoCal based brand, and that at the end of every facial they send you home with some adorable petite size skincare samples to try and see how your skin reacts before committing to purchase them. I’m obsessed with their rejuvenating Wine Oil and love the cinnamon smell!
I hope you enjoyed my beauty and wellness journey through DTSM! I hope that I enticed you to visit this amazing SoCal destination and take advantage of all the wonderful healthy lifestyle offerings during the upcoming festive season of shopping and indulgence.
Disclosure: I partnered with DTSM to curate this holiday wellness post, however all opinions, insights and festive healthy experiences are my own. For more of my beauty and lifestyle musings, subscribe to my blog www.romyraves.com and follow me on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook