Tova Yaron brings 40 years of international skincare training to her full-service health and wellness spas. Tova has spent her time perfecting her skills in the beauty industry before opening Tova Day Spa in early 2000. Less than a decade later, she established a second location in The Fairmont Hotel, where her team pampers clients from all walks of life—including locals, tourists, and celebrities such as Jon Lovitz, Carrie Fisher, and Jay Mohr.
From within the tranquil spa, aestheticians keep skin radiant by employing 11 types of facials along with a roster of skin enhancements—from an exfoliating peel to wrinkle-reducing LED light therapy. Antioxidant-rich ingredients such as green tea and Dead Sea mineral mud draw out toxins during body wraps, and a complimentary scalp massage squashes tension and errant thought bubbles. The staff also tends to nails and coifs, and combines many treatments for full-day spa experiences. Between sessions, guests can make use of the spa's luxurious facilities, which include men and women's locker rooms, relaxation lounge, heated whirlpools, steam rooms, and sauna.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines spray tan skin and massage muscles, while teeth-whitening kits brighten chompers.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
After working at other beauty establishments, aesthetician Angelica Carr wanted to create a space where she could both pamper her guests and pay homage to her Mexican heritage. She has accomplished both of those goals at La Choza Day Spa. As she told KRON 4 in 2009, La Choza—which translates to "the little hut"—is meant to recreate the ambience of a cozy, south-of-the-border village. In the reception area, red Spanish-tile accents and paintings of cacti and beachside scenes promote an atmosphere of rustic tranquility.
Besides offering facials, massages, nail services, and body treatments individually, Carr and her team bundle them into spa packages; for example, the romance package for two includes spa pedicures and candlelit side-by-side massages on rose-petal-dappled treatment beds. And there are treatments for all ages here—together with her daughter, Carr designed a menu of teen services specifically designed to combat issues such as stress or acne caused by thinking about algebra too much.
The family team at A Youthful Reflection—named one of the region's best day spas by voters of the ABC7 Bay Area A-List—infuses its med spa with an intimate, casual atmosphere for its roster of services. Amid the welcoming environs, registered nurses unholster high-tech laser equipment to diminish acne and scare off unwanted body hair. A resident chiropractor and massage therapists lend their soothing skills to round out the lineup of aesthetic treatments.
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At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That’s because the business’s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media, each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for around 45 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, offers high-end products and tools available for purchase, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
Technicians at Barbarella Beauty greet guests with a snack and complimentary wine or coffee as they sink into Human Touch massage chairs. During pedicures, feet soak in an elegant crystal bowl and pipe-less jet whirlpool technology are designed for both comfort and cleanliness. Because the team members only service natural nails, they avoid the chemical vapors often associated with synthetic applications, so guests won't have to cringe at unpleasant odors. After feet have been citrus scrubbed or peppermint masked, the staff can finish them with a Rockstar glitter-toes look that is as dazzling as the salon's sparkly ceiling.
As their polish dries, clients can explore the boutique's selection of eye-catching jewelry and accessories. Alternatively, they can take advantage of the crew's other talents, including body waxing, facials, and haircuts performed in front of makeup mirrors that are reminiscent of a celebrity's dressing room.
A full-service spa dedicated to providing customers with an escape from everyday life, Bella Donna Day Spa pampers hands, feet, and skin with a slate of relaxing, beautifying services. Their trained and experienced technicians tend to cuticles and nail plates with manicures and pedicures, providing vitamin-infused paraffin dips, aromatherapy soaks, and colorful polish to guests positioned on spacious pedicure couches. They also perform facial treatments aimed to help clients fight acne, hydrate dry skin, or clean out pores filled with dirt, grime, and miniscule Doritos crumbs. On massage tables, firm hands utilize modalities such as deep-tissue, stone, or Swedish massage to evict stress and aches from back muscles, while wax treatments aim to evict unwanted body hair.
Green Beauty Creation's eclectic list of services reads like a grab bag of all things aesthetic. Wreaths of sample acrylic nails fan out behind the manicure station, beckoning to unadorned nails with neon french tips, tiny painted flowers, checkerboards, and other patterns. A salt-crystal lamp purifies the air, whisking away whiffs of polish and the ghosts of slugs, and guests dip their toes into swirling warm water surrounding raised cushioned pedicure chairs. Across the room, mirrors topped with festive flowers reflect stylists as they cut, color, and style 'dos for women and men. Green Beauty Creation also nourishes complexions with facials, relieves tense muscles with massages, and beautifies skin with specialty scrubs and bronzing treatments.
The Land Down Under is a continent set beneath a scorching sun—Australian Tan knows, just like Australians, how to harness the light to achieve glowing, bronzy skin. The salon’s faux sun comes from six different tanning booths. The most basic bed imparts a base tan in 20 minutes, while the Instant 770 imparts a rich, long-lasting hue in as few as 10. Meanwhile, the sunless spray-tanning booth houses an automatic system that sprays on UV-free color. Regardless of the chosen bed, the staff can complement sessions with bronzing lotions that enhance acquired tans or help an old trophy get through a midlife crisis with a refreshed façade. Each member of the staff goes through 35 hours of training prior to working in the salon, so they can easily tailor tanning plans to each customer.
Angela’s Salon & Boutique’s stylists have garnered a base of loyal regulars thanks to their commitment to maintaining their customers’ comfort and privacy from the moment they walk through the salon doors. The coiffeurs regularly hone their skills with ongoing training, ensuring that their menu of services features trendy treatments such as MoroccanOil hair masks alongside timeless salon staples including hair extensions. Throughout the day, staffers can be found buzzing about their styling stations, gilding strands with multidimensional highlights or wrangling drooping locks and thought bubbles into elegant updos. The team complements its hair-ameliorating services with treatments such as airbrush makeup applications, facial waxing, and eyelash extensions.
As its name suggests, Beyond The Spa has more going for it than relaxing facials, massages, and permanent-makeup applications. Owner Eileen strives to elevate her clients’ experience with complimentary amenities, such as a tea lounge that harbors teapots and cups from around the world. Eileen shares something in common with this cross-cultural collection of porcelain; she began her career halfway across the globe in Taiwan and China, helping manage her family's 23 spas throughout that country. Her most recent stateside endeavor has attracted notable clientele such as KRON4 news anchors and former Cupertino Mayor Kris Wang. They come for the stress-relieving treatments, though it doesn’t hurt that the spa is located inside a historic mansion on The Alameda that regularly hosts stuffed-animal tea parties.
Owner, stylist, and 22-year industry veteran Ray Caballero helms Casa R. Caballero Salon, Spa & Boutique with an eye for style and a preference for experienced team members. Ray's styling chairs are flanked by numerous beauty and wellness experts, including stylist 25-year veteran stylist Yolie Kelly, 15-year veteran massage therapist and master aesthetician Stacy Glass and 10-year veteran nail tech Mickie Trieu. Leveraging products from Lanza Healing Haircare, Pravana, Redken OPI, and Essie, team members assist clients in achieving their aesthetic aspirations with salon and spa services ranging from waxing to feather extensions to facials. They also keep the door open until as late as 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday to accommodate those who work, sleep, or sleepwork during the day.
At Strada Salon & Day Spa, expert stylists trim, color, and style hair in the main salon. In the spa, technicians ease muscular aches with 10 varieties of massage, such as Swedish, aromatherapy, and lymphatic drainage. A team of aestheticians rejuvenates complexions with facials, treats nails to manicures and pedicures, and whitens teeth with 45-minute Theraglo treatments. Meanwhile, double-board-certified Dr. Gul A. Zikria oversees Strada's med-spa wing, where certified physician's assistants help him polish up external beauty with Botox, fat grafts, laser hair removal, and other medical treatments.
Former celebrity hairstylist Rico Villalba-Navarette came back to the beauty industry after fighting cancer because he wanted to "create beauty for those that forgot how beautiful they are within and on the outside." As the current creative director at Salon NV, a J Beverly Hills concept salon, he has teamed up with various experienced stylists and aestheticians to do just that. The team paints on color with balayage highlights and brightens tips for an ombre effect. They smooth strands with keratin, help brides glow with makeup application, and use J Beverly Hills products to give each client damage control or achieve the type of perfect finish not seen since Willy dove over the animal-rights activist disguised as a little boy.
Willow Glen Massage's owner and head therapist Casey Amaral knows that physical activity and soreness often go hand in hand. That's why in addition to leading personal training sessions, Mr. Amaral creates custom massages that cobble together techniques from various modalities. Honing in on a host of benefits, he or one of the certified therapists on his team may draw from a retinue of deep-tissue techniques, Swedish massage, or trigger-point therapy. Mr. Amaral also wages a full-scale conquest of stress outside of his clinic. He delivers chair massages at local offices and teaches clients various stretches, which they can use to maintain their health or perfect their impersonations of salt-water taffy.