We tried it: Chocolate manicure and pedicure

If you are the kind of person that enjoys using tingling body lotions in tanning booths, this treatment is for you.

I’m no chocolate connoisseur, but you’ll find everything from chocolate truffles to chocolate covered potato chips stocked in my snack drawer.

So when I got word of a chocolate manicure and pedicure treatment offered in the heart of the Main Line I was thrilled.

A snowy morning, a nip in the air, could there be anything better than an opulent chocolate body treatment?

When I stepped foot inside Millennium Hair & Day Spa in Wynnewood, I was greeted with, what appeared to be, an outdated ‘Valentine’s Day Gift Certificates’ sign but thought it was quaint and cute.  Little did I know, the rest of my experience would be just as passé as the sign itself.

The reception staff was extremely friendly and welcoming as they ushered me to a back room to begin my pedicure and my pedicurist began treating my neglected winter feet skillfully. She began by placing my feet in a chocolate mineral footbath, followed by a chocolate scrub that smelled delightful. After attentively cleansing feet that haven’t seen the light of day since September, she moved on to the core of the treatment--- the chocolate mousse mask.

According to owner Maximo Zylberdrut, Max ‘Z’ for short, the treatment was devised from concepts taken straight from the infamous Hershey Spa. That, and the healing powers of cocoa for the skin were the ideas behind offering the posh treatment in Wynnewood.

She covered my legs and feet with a cold, muddy chocolate substance, grayish in color that smelled like rich dark chocolate and felt sublime after a hot soak. She proceeded to wrap my feet in plastic and then wrap my legs in warm towels. Next, she left me there to sit for five painful minutes.            

If you are the kind of person that enjoys using tingling body lotions in tanning booths, this treatment is for you.

My legs began to ease into a harsh tingle that almost felt like burning about three minutes in. Because I was left there alone, I could not ask anyone to remove the hot towels that seemed to be numbing whatever mousse substance was coating my legs. I really almost pulled them off myself, but instead decided to lay back and try to enjoy the jarring tingle.

The owner of the salon himself had told me this was a very popular treatment around Valentine’s Day and that the cocoa did wonders for your skin so I thought, “Okay people must enjoy this, just try to relax.”

I have never been so excited for a pedicurist to remove the hot towels off my legs. I asked her if it was supposed to be tingling like that. She insured me that it was, so I tried not to worry. But then my feet felt icy cold, even though they were not. I even leaned over myself to feel them because they felt numb, but they were hot on the exterior from being wrapped in the warm towels.

She then massaged my legs with chocolate butter cream and I tried to absorb every ounce of heat she transferred from her hands into my legs. Pulling my pant legs down at the end never felt so good.

For a manicure and pedicure treatment done on the same day, I particularly enjoy when a separate manicurist works on your hands while your feet are being treated just to speed up the process a bit. And, not to mention, it makes you feel like a pampered princess.

Luckily, I had nothing on my plate for the rest of the day because when all was said and done, the manicure and pedicure took two and a half hours.

We proceeded to the manicure station and I prayed that the same tingling would not happen to my hands. Perhaps my legs only tingled so badly from shaving the night before.

My hands experienced the same treatment as the toes, minus the mineral bath. The scrub was again delightful, and the thick butter cream body lotion at the end was wonderful. Sadly, the chocolate mousse mask was a killer once more.

She wrapped my hands in warm towels with the mousse mask covering my skin and left me there to sit in pain. The same burning sensation overwhelmed my hands and I was so relieved when she came back to remove the towels.

That said, the polish job on both my fingers and toes was satisfactory and my manicurist/pedicurist was very vigilant. She made sure I sat under the dryers for a full 16 minutes even though I insisted I had to go.

Overall, I would’ve enjoyed the manicure and pedicure much better without the chocolate mousse mask. Next time, I think I’ll visit the chocolate spa at the Hershey Hotel instead.