by Stacia Friedman
There are two ways of getting an authentic Parisian facial. You can take a seven-hour flight to France, check into a pricey hotel and reserve an appointment at a tony salon. Or you can put yourself in the experienced hands of Chrissy Dress, owner of Cure de Repos (“rest cure”), the newest spa in Chestnut Hill, located at 8133 Germantown Ave.
“I studied French facial technique at Biologique Recherche (Biological Research) on the Champs d’Elysee in Paris,” said Dress. “It was intensive training in what they call ‘manual lift,’ using the fingers and palms to stimulate facial muscles and circulation. It’s very different from the traditional American facial.”
Dress, 40, brings more than skilled hands to her new salon. She also brings Lola, her adorable Chihuahua, and a glamorous resume. She grew up in Bucks County, and after getting an associate’s degree in Fashion Marketing at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, she was assistant manager at Blue Mercury, an upscale spa in Center City.
“I did makeup for Philly’s elite, women attending galas and hosting events.” This included doing makeup for TV and film shoots, including Fox Good Morning News and MTV.
Eager to take her career to the next level, Dress attainted a professional esthetician license, then set her sights on Scottsdale, Arizona. “That’s where the most advanced luxury spa resorts are,” she said. After apprenticing in the southwest for two years, Dress came back east and went straight to the top, working at the Ritz Carlton Spa and at Rescue Rittenhouse Spa in Center City. Somewhere along the line, she also packed in lots of frequent flier miles with stops in Italy, India and France.
After living and working in Center City for several years, Dress decided to move to Mt. Airy four years ago and add yet another degree to her resume. This time, she earned a Bachelor of Science at Philadelphia University. So how did this rising star in the beauty biz become an entrepreneur?
“One misty night last May I was walking along the Avenue and saw a For Lease sign in a storefront,” she said. “I wasn’t serious at the time. Just curious. So I called.” As it turned out, the storefront had been empty for four years, waiting for just the right business to come along. “I presented my business plan to Richard Snowden, and he said I was a good fit.”
At the time, the store’s walls were green, the ceiling gray and don’t ask about the carpet. Dress and her father gave it a total makeover with new flooring, sinks and chandeliers. They must’ve also sprinkled the premises with fairy dust because the new spa was voted “Best of Philly 2017,” only four months after it opened.
Dress carries an exclusive German line called Doctor Babor, a company that has been coveted by European women since 1956. Dress is also one of only two sites in North America that sell Meder premium skincare products.
When designer Zac Posen recently hyped the brand on social media, Dress’s website blew up. “We sold over 1,000 orders in one night,” she said. “We do makeup for weddings and proms. We also help women who have lost eyebrows due to cancer or aging by providing microblading which tattoos new, feathery eyebrows that look completely natural … Eventually, I want to expand Cure de Repos to seven locations.”
In addition to Dress, the Cure team includes Geri Massott, massage therapist; Jessica Saint, a licensed esthetician; and Janine Slater, who specializes in lash extensions, micro-blading and micro-needling.
Cure de Repos’ menu of services also includes massage therapy, hot stone therapy, organic spray tan, waxing, microderm facials, Swiss hydra-fill facials, lash and brow tinting, and makeup application.
For more information, visit www.curederepos.com