Skin Bliss is a boutique Day Spa in Bellingen, “a place to come and forget the outside world for a while,” says owner Liz Ostini. “The focus is on the therapeutic edge and caring for the whole person each and every time they walk in the door.” Liz has had more than 20 years experience in the health, wellness and beauty industry. Treatments offered include quality massage, body treatments, spa treatments, facials, skin care, aromatherapy and waxing all in a healing environment. “Our therapists have an intimate approach to your skin, health and beauty needs using quality therapy and organic products where possible. We strive to create a safe space for our clients to simply just be and hopefully send them home a little more nurtured, even if they just called by for an eyebrow wax.”
Skin Bliss recently welcomed spa therapist Carmen Bertlin to the clinic. Carmen is an experienced aromatherapist, yoga instructor and energetic healer and brings years of experience from working in Endota and other spa and health retreats. “She is a perfect fit for Skin Bliss as our philosophy is always about treating the whole person, about creating a healing environment and giving our clients tools to take home, whether that be yoga stretches or an essential oil blend to maintain their health.”
Rod entered Skin Bliss with some trepidation to find out more about this popular Day Spa and find out a few of Liz Ostini’s home truths.
So Liz, are men like me actually welcome here?
Men are very welcome at Skin Bliss. I started in the health industry as a sports and remedial therapist treating first grade footballers, so I’m definitely used to treating male clients.
People say I look a bit like Ernest Borgnine. What are my chances of walking out of here looking like Ryan Gosling?
I’m good but not that good.
Any plans for the future of Skin Bliss?
We have currently just expanded with an extra therapy room and an aromatherapy dispensary. Clients can receive custom-made essential oils blends, body oils, face serums and body butters from our dispensary. We do have many more plans for the future but that would be giving away some of our secrets so all I can say is watch this space.
Does that mean I can look like Ryan in the future?
So how can potential clients find you?
We are located in Hyde Street, the main street of Bellingen, on the first floor of a beautiful federation building. Just head up the stars between the Bellingen Sweet Shop and the Bellingen Video Store. Check out our website www.skinbliss.com.au with links to our Facebook page (Skin Bliss in Bellingen) and Instagram account (skinbliss_bellingen). Buy someone you love a gift voucher- make their day.
I’m interested in the person behind the skin care. Ready for some questions?
How would your friends describe you?
I think my friends would describe me as inspired, loyal and positive with a fun, creative and spontaneous side.
Your best childhood memory?
I was lucky enough to grow up on a working sheep farm and all my favourite childhood memories are of that place. It was a boisterous, hard working childhood with loads of siblings and extended family. If I had to pick one memory it would probably be shearing time. It was always alive with mustering on horseback, the smell of lanolin, yarns from the shearers, and home-made cakes at smoko.
Is there anything you try to avoid in life?
False drama -life has enough with out creating it them!
What are you reading right now?
A novel by Anthony Doerr-All The Light We Cannot See. I recently had a session reading The Selected Poems of Robert Gray, not because I’m particularly arty and keep up to date with such things, but because I was cleaning the floor of my teenage daughter’s room and found myself lost in the power of poems, sitting on her floor where I found the book.
Your last big belly laugh was?
I do laugh often and loud and with a snort that can begin the laughter all over again. Its rare for me to not have a day that involves a good belly laugh I tend to surround myself with loved ones that can make me laugh. The last big laugh was probably at my hubby as we headed to the beach, when I realised I had just brought the most ghosting sunscreen known to man- a little schadenfreude I know but he looked hilarious.
If you had the top job what would you do?
I would love a complete overhaul in the way we care for our elderly. Inspired affordable Aged Care is so lacking in this country. I visit a lot of aged care facilities delivering massage therapy for many people who never get touched. There are so, so, so many areas we could improve on in caring for our elderly.
I often think ‘if I had oodles of money what I would do.’ One area would be a health retreat for the overworked and under privileged. Existing facilities are fabulous but totally out of reach financially for those that need them most.
What made you come to Bellingen?
My husband, two children and I were relocating back to the East Coast after spending eight years in Broome and the Kimberleys. Broome is a vibrant colourful town with community at its heart. We wanted to try and replicate that here on the East coast and that lead us to Bellingen. We have a small farm out by the Bellinger river and we simply love this place. For the first time since leaving my own family farm I feel a true sense of home, not just a temporary place to live for a while.
What project are you currently working on?
At Skin Bliss we are currently producing an aromatherapy line of body oils, serums, and body butters. I love the alchemy of blending, it’s definitely a happy place for me. In life I’m preparing for a wilderness ride into the Guy Fawkes National Park on horse back.
Is there anyone who gives you inspiration?
I tend to find inspiration mostly from the people around me, friends or family members. Life can sometimes be incredibly challenging and its how we find strength and the resilience to somehow pull through these challenges that inspire me. Currently, I have two bright lights that are overcoming some incredible challenges in their lives.
What is your favourite Bellingen eatery?
We have so many, I just feel blessed we can live rurally and be so spoilt.
Best coffee in town?
Ahh, again we are so spoilt for choice, although my go to would be Hyde or Purple Carrot. But also 5 Church Street and Heathfire See, like I said, spoilt for choice!!
If I was watching with my husband “About Time”, if I was watching with my daughter, “The Devil Wears Prada”, if I was watching with my mum or grandmother, “On Golden Pond.”
Riding! From growing up on my family farm to now having my own small farm, horses and horsemanship have always been a big passion of mine.
Your best holiday experience?
We are campers, immerse me in nature and I am completely content.