The best massages in Melbourne
We all need a little TLC every now and then. Leave your worries at the door and check yourself into the city's best massage parlours
The best spas and bath houses
No time for a holiday? Take yourself on a mini-getaway at Melbourne's best spas and bath houses
We tried six alternative health and wellbeing treatments
The Time Out team gets some TLC with these left-field restorative treatments
The best health food stores in Melbourne
Eat healthy and feel better with these top stores around Melbourne
Beauty in Melbourne
The Nail Art Shakedown
From likenesses of your favourite pet to burgers you've loved, you can get nearly anything painted on your digits these days. Nail art became popular in the ’80s and ’90s, but it was also super tacky (hello, claw hands). Luckily, things have progressed since then, and Melbourne has embraced the nail art revival, hard. But does one nail art salon hold the upper hand? For more pampering and primping, visit our guides to Melbourne's best massages and waxing salons.
The best cosmetic clinics in Melbourne
If there's one thing that anti-wrinkle injections, laser treatments, tattoo removal and chemical peels have in common, it's that you wouldn't want to put your faith in the wrong hands. We've searched the city to bring you the most reputable and bang-for-buck cosmetics clinics in Melbourne – now all you have to do is make an appointment. For more pampering ideas, try these top massage parlours and spas and bath houses.
The best waxing salons in Melbourne
Waxing is a delicate operation – you're dealing with sensitive areas and hot products, not to mention the fact that you don't want to be pencilling in your brows forever after because some overzealous beauty therapist went wax-happy on your face. It goes without saying that a good waxing establishment needs to be hygienic – that's a given, but diplomacy and skill are also essential. If you're in the need of some post-wax relaxation, you may want to visit one of our favourite bath houses and spas. Or maybe you just need a quiet beverage, in which case check out our guide to Melbourne's best bars.
Where to get pierced in Melbourne
Thinking of adding to your collection of stylish piercings? Finally ready to brave your first? Melbourne is full of body mod salons, but these are our favourites. If you love rocking a unique style, then check out our fave alternative fashion shops.
Wellbeing in Melbourne
Where to try hot yoga in Melbourne
What is it? Yoga, practiced in a room heated to 37-40°C. Usually it will be Bikram Yoga – that 90-minute, unvarying set of 26 postures – but there are studios popping up where you can also sweat through a little Hatha and Iyengar. You'll need to drink two litres of water before class and it will all end up on your towel. Bring a spare for showering, or rent one along with a mat, and wear as little clothing as possible. It sounds awful, why should I do it?Hot thighs! Better discipline! All of your skin sloughed off in a tidal wave of sweat! Some yogis claim Bikram doesn't have enough inversions and that the hot room makes you push dangerously beyond your natural flexibility. But the whole idea of yoga – any kind – is to have your own journey, and to work sympathetically with your body's abilities. So tell them to suck it. We like it hot because warmer muscles really are bendier muscles (so you can get your rear closer to your face), and because the sweat session leaves you as smooth and soft as a mango pancake. Also because we'd rate this on par with bear wrestling in terms of exercise extremity, yet we always feel some inner-peace despite the outer turmoil.
Amara Wellness Centre
Dr Zara Celik is passionate about holistic health and wellness, and believes that beauty is reflection of our inner wellbeing and health. She believes in organic, natural, non-invasive treatments that aims to improve wellbeing and health of individuals and makes them beautiful as a result. The rear of her Amara Wellness Centre in Brunswick is a hammam, providing a nurturing steam, massage and bathing ritual to Melbourne’s tired and weary, in time-honoured Turkish tradition. The front section is all about skin renewal and tightening, courtesy of the LPG Endermotherapie and Endermolift treatments. The hammam After a day of first-world problems I’m feeling pretty drained and not in any mood to be taking my clothes off. Thank god I’m here to do a job, because after three hours in this Sydney Road hammam, experiencing an authentic and wellness Turkish and Moroccan bathing ritual is now top of my advise-everyone-to-do list. Zara Celik, a chiropractic doctor, came to Australia from Turkey when she was 15 years old, and found she missed the ancient bathing rituals of her country. Determined to introduce the experience to a wider Australian audience, she toiled away on creating this beautiful hammam, decorated from top to bottom with intricate mosaic tiling (Zara looks a bit pale when we speculate on how long that must have taken). Each steam room has domed ceilings and heated marble slabs on which to lie. Customers strip down to a bikini – or shorts – and are joined in the ro
Have you ever felt truly, and absolutely, weightless? When staying afloat takes no effort at all, to the point that you begin to lose any sense of your own body? If you’ve visited the Dead Sea, then these feelings might be familiar. But add total darkness, silence and stillness into the equation and things start to get a little more… interesting. I find Beyond Rest in an alleyway just off Chapel Street, where I’m greeted by owners Nick and Ben Dunin. The space – clean, curved lines, low lighting and scented candles – imbues a sense of calm that the brothers have taken care to create using principles of 'sacred geometry' (patterns found in nature that make up all living things). I’m led through this temple of relaxation until I reach my private room, which is dominated by a huge, white tank, filled with 1000l of purified water and 500kg of Epsom salt and magnesium sulphate. The door locks behind me. I take a deep breath. Floatation tanks haven’t always enjoyed the best (or most accurate) reputation. The concept was developed in 1954 by American neurophysicist Dr John C Lilly, who was interested in the meditative effects of sensory deprivation achieved by floating in ‘isolation tanks’ (and, to be fair, by taking LSD). Dolphins were also involved; I’ll let you Google that one yourself. Floatation theory became popular in the ’70s, but took a downturn in the ’80s during the AIDS crisis, when public health fears caused public pools, spas and tanks to shut down. In the mainstrea
Natural beauty tips from Richie Angelo
A hardcore beauty regime feels like an efficient way to keep your skin in good nick, but when you can find some of the same ingredients in manufacturing processes – it can’t be good, right? Richie Angelo, an experienced beauty therapist and natural skincare expert, says no. Richie’s passion for natural and organic skin care coincided with her first pregnancy. First, she became more interested in what she was ingesting and later curious about what she was absorbing through her skin. Her journey led her to become an advocate for natural skin care – skin care made from naturally occurring ingredients as opposed to compounds made in a lab. Richie primarily uses Sodashi and MV Organic products, both of which are high performance Aussie brands that use only plant-derived ingredients and no synthetic chemicals – no parabens, petrochemicals, preservatives or fragrances. Richie shares some of her skin care wisdom with us. Tip #1: Your nan was right You’ve gotta be regular. “You need to poo daily,” Richie says. “A lot of skin issues, especially acne, happen because your body is not eliminating as it should. If you’re not having a daily poo, toxins get reabsorbed and expelled through the skin.” Tip #2: Don’t strip your skin It’s oddly satisfying to wash your face until it squeaks, but don’t do it. “If you use skin care that over-strips your skin you remove the natural oils that your skin is supposed to have and it creates a pretty chaotic chain reaction,” Richie explains. “A clean
Beauty and grooming for men
The best barber shops in Melbourne
Finding the right barber can be a lifelong search. Thankfully, there are experts in this area who excel in getting the discerning man’s ‘do’ just right
The best male grooming services in Melbourne
For men who take pride in their appearance and well being, regular facials and massages do wonders for the body and mind
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Drink to spring at Loretta's
Loretta's has shaken off the Melbourne chill and welcomed spring with a new cocktail menu to accompany the warmer(ish) month. Ex-Eau de Vie head bartender Oscar Eastman, who now heads Loretta's in Fitzroy North, has devised a beautiful cocktail menu inspired by the concept 'Tabloid Nightmare' – the demise of print media. Taste test cocktails like Pulque-mon Go: a fragrant mix of Calle 23 Tequila, horchata, chamomile, honey and Sierra Nevada Cactus and grapefruit Gose beer that uses the tart beer to balance the cocktail. There are plenty more interesting flavour combinations in the rest of the menu, and many more to come when the summer cocktail menu comes out in a few months for post-Edinburgh Gardens sessions. If cocktails aren't for you, the Loretta's team also know a great whisky (or whiskey) when they see one, with plenty of American options alongside classics from the Scottish isles. Hungry? Bluebonnet Barbecue is serving up smoky meats cooked low-and-slow from Loretta's neighbouring kitchen, so you won't have to go far for some sustenance.
Coburg Night Market
Coburg Night Market get better every year and it's little wonder, considering that it was founded by the team behind the Queen Victoria Night Market in 2010. Every Friday night from November 25 to December 16, Coburg Night Market will come alive with more than 85 food and artisan stalls, as well as live music and interactive entertainment. Melbourne’s diverse community is truly on show with the versatile dishes served up by the street food vendors. Run by Moreland City Council, over 30 food vendors including Cypriot Kitchen, Bun Cornidios and Perla Tacos, Indigenous Street Feast and Babaji’s Kitchen will be dishing up delicious street food at the weekly night market. There will be vegan, vegetarian and halal-friendly options available too. Much like the food available, music and entertainment have also been sourced from Melbourne's global communities. Each Friday, the night market will present a different style and sound, from 1950s harmonies by local band Bobby and the Pins, Latin beats from Mariachi Los Romanticos, and roaming bands like Uptown Brown and The Whoopee Project, and Cyclo Illuminato. The market has been scheduled before Christmas, giving shoppers a great chance to pick up some artisanal gifts.
Open up your night with the Night Network
Melbourne is fast becoming a 24-hour city: you can eat out at great restaurants at 1am, see late-night shows, and dance until 4am, then catch public transport home on the weekend. Whether you're burning the midnight oil at work, celebrating a special occasion in the city, or simply experiencing everything Melbourne has to offer until the wee hours, you can now stay out late without having to worry about finding your way home with the Night Network. The Night Network trial provides train, tram, bus and coach services to Melbourne and regional Victoria all night on Fridays and Saturdays. You can open up your night with services including the Night Trains, which run direct to and from Flinders Street Station every 60 minutes on all lines except Stony Point and Flemington Racecourse. If you're heading in or out of the inner-city areas, Night Trams run every 30 minutes on routes 19, 67, 75, 86, 96, and 109. Night Buses operate on 21 routes covering other parts of the city, some departing every 30 minutes from the CBD, and others connecting with trains at suburban stations. Live further out from Melbourne's city centre? Leave the car at home and trust the Night Network to get you home safely with Night Coaches, departing at 2am from Southern Cross Station's Coach Terminal to Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Seymour and Traralgon. With public transport running around the clock on Fridays and Saturdays, late night dwellers and night workers clocking off in the early hours can depend o
Celebrate Christmas at Station Hotel
Head out west this Christmas where The Station hotel will be serving a three-course feast. Open throughout the festive season, the Station Hotel's Christmas Day feast will feature the pub's famous steaks (available in scotch, rostbiff and porterhouse), traditional ham and turkey with all the trimmings, and roast pork loin with your favourite Christmas sides like chat potatoes, gravy and apple sauce. Save room for the Christmas pudding and brandy anglaise sauce at the end, or a fresh summer berry parfait is you prefer something tangy. Lunch seatings are available from 11.30am and 2pm. Bookings are essential, $110pp adults and $35pp kids.