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
We're giving away ten beauty pampering packages!
Including a Missy Lui manicure, a Miss Chic beauty spray tan and an express facial from Nourish Body & Skin
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
Melbourne’s best tattoo parlours
Find the artist who suits your needs and taste with our guide to Melbourne's best places to get your first (or 50th!) tattoo
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Heineken City Shapers Festival
Heineken is inviting Melburnians with a taste for mystery and world travel to a brand new event on Thursday August 4. Heineken City Shapers Festival will see guests boarding an exclusive Heineken train to be transported to a hidden warehouse. Here, they’ll find a dynamic festival space packed with unique experiences that channel the spirit of a number of vibrant cities of the world. Savour food, music and art and entertainment from around the globe. Experience the vibe of a bustling Asian city and a chic New York jazz club. Witness dazzling performances and unexpected reveals. Enjoy a climactic performance from a surprise international act. To get tickets to what’s destined to be one of the biggest parties of 2016, all you have to do is head to the event page at www.heinekencitiesfestival.com.au. In partnership with the festival, Time Out is activating similar events in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, all of them inspired by the cities of the world that have shaped each Australian city's dining scene, music and nightlife. Keep up to date with the Heineken City Shapers Festival by following @Heineken_au and the hashtags #CityShapersFestival #OpenYourCity.
RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride – a rolling bike festival
Experience Victoria as you never have before at the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride, where you'll ride through Victoria's beautiful scenery from the Grampians to the Great Ocean Road. The annual bike ride has been running for 30 years and is quite possibly the best-kept secret in local travel, for two unbeatable reasons: you can experience great scenery by day and a party atmosphere by night. Riders can opt to do a three, five or nine-day ride across Victoria. The three-day option (188km) runs along the coast from Apollo Bay, Bellbrae, Queenscliff to Geelong from December 1-4. The five-day course (339km) runs from the historic town of Halls Gap and winds down to the coast past the Twelve Apostles to finish at Apollo Bay from November 26 to December 1. For riders who are in it for the long haul, there's the nine-day ride from Halls Gap to Geelong (527km) from November 26 to December 4. This event is open to riders of all ages (children included), though a reasonable level of fitness is expected. While the rides will cover plenty of distance, full support and service from the RACV Great Victorian Bike Ride will ensure no one gets left behind. Everything is included in the ticket price: the support team will provide three meals a day, toilets, hot showers at the campsites and luggage transfers. Don't have a tent? There are rental options available. It's not all about the riding either – once you get off the saddle, the evenings will take on a festival atmosphere with live mu
Why we're excited about the Alfred Dining Precinct
Most of the time, it feels like we have everything in this town. But there are still some dining institutions in other cities that inspire dining envy – and recently, two of those were Sydney dining staples Fratelli Fresh and The Cut. Happily, both have now claimed a home in Melbourne's heritage beauty, Alfred Place. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Fratelli Fresh’s reputation stems from its fresh, slightly rustic, hearty and not-too-pricey Italian fare. Think primo pastas, pizzas and risottos, washed down with fresh OJ and Campari and capped off with a good, strong espresso. The Cut, a New York-style steakhouse, brings a more fine dining offering – think parquetry floors and custom-made leather banquettes. Basically, it’s a meat-lovers daydream, featuring ten different cuts of Aussie beef and its own glass-walled dry-aging facility, which allows patrons to have a gander at the prime cuts mellowing and tenderising over time. With an increasing public interest in farm to table, it’s a good chance to get more familiar with your food. The lamb and seafood choices are equally plentiful, including highly sought-after Hidden Cove oysters from Tasmania. To round out The Alfred offering are two new bars. The Fratelli Bar rings in an aperitivo happy hour between 3pm and 6pm daily, featuring five buck spirits, beer and wine and spritzers and a Negroni on tap for a tenner. The Library, adjacent to The Cut, is a cocktail bar which also boasts an impressive global wine list of ove