Violet Skin Boutique has been the go-to spot for Boston complexions since 2004, but its story actually starts about 30 years prior. In 1975, Violet Mkhitaryan first began concocting skin products in her native Armenia. She cracked open old books to mine eastern European recipes for inspiration, and when she wasn't whisking oils and herbs into face-rejuvenating salves, she was running spas. Over the following decades, Violet helmed spas in Armenia and Moscow, all while earning degrees in aesthetics and biochemistry, and finally staked her claim in Boston.
Violet's products have appeared not only on customers' faces but in numerous press outlets, including the pages of Martha Stewart's Whole Living and the Improper Bostonian, which called her line the city's best local beauty products. She makes her lauded serums surrounded by glass jugs, dried flower petals, and everything nice in a lab that the Boston Globe described as resembling a pastry chef's kitchen. At her spa's two locations, she beautifies her clients with facials and body treatments celebrated by Every Day with Rachel Ray.
On the tree-lined, bustling Beacon Street, a stately brownstone located at the St. Mary's T-Stop, three blocks from Fenway Park, and a 10-minute walk from the Longwood Medical area offers sanctuary from the frenetic outside world. Here, Southwest Day Spa cossets bodies and minds with more than 30 pampering spa treatments. Its lava-shell massage brushes bodies with polished shells from the Philippines that therapists have gently heated and combined with minerals, algae, salt water, and essential oils. The desert-heat body wrap, with its zinc compound, helps tone and smooth skin by scrubbing, wrapping, and then rinsing in a four-jet steam shower. The zinc compound is also an effective treatment for painful joints and muscles. Plant-stem-cell facials work to delay the appearance of aging much better than denial, and microcurrent technology fades wrinkles. Spa packages include special options for brides, couples, and those who, like NFL linebackers, just want to be pretty and pampered. Additionally, FDA-approved SmartLipo treatments take aim at stubborn fat cells, while laser hair removal banishes unwanted hair for all skin types.
During every appointment, licensed massage therapist Sujata Russell unites the worlds of East and West with her bare hands. She channels her expertise in the Chinese art of tui na to augment modalities such as Swedish and deep-tissue massage, blending the styles into a customized treatment for unknotting muscles. She employs this multicultural combination to remedy both acute and chronic aches, rather than only temporarily fixing symptoms by ordering clients to go to sleep. Her massages' other benefits include stress reduction, a boost in circulation, and increased mobility. Clients can schedule massages in increments that range from 30 to 120 minutes, and may also inquire about Sujata's other certifications: qi gong and cupping.
Soul Flower Wellness owner Lindsey Walsh helps her clients find relief from aches and tension with her collection of bodywork services. She boasts traditional offerings, including Swedish and deep-tissue massage, but also draws upon training in Asian modalities, such as shiatsu and thai massage. Mothers-to-be escape swelling, back soreness, and cravings for cheese-flavored ice cream during Lindsey’s special prenatal massages, and athletes find respite from post-game strains during her sports massages.
Nine out of 10 older brothers recommend that the best way to alleviate bodily pain is to punch some other part of your body. Today's deal gives you a more effective alternative: for $45, new clients get a one-hour massage at Sollievo Massage and Bodywork in Cambridge (an $80 value). You must redeem your Groupon within five months. Call ahead or go online to schedule your appointment.
Licensed aesthetician and massage therapist BZ refreshes mugs with Dermalogica products from inside Novita Salon and Spa. She also cleans up bodies during waxing services and evaporates stress using Swedish, deep-tissue, and trigger-point massage techniques.