The word "verde" means "green" in Spanish, and that's exactly what Verde Salon strives to be. The salon offers numerous eco-friendly beauty treatments, from formaldehyde-free nail polishes to skincare products formulated with organic and vegan ingredients. Even the space itself is green—it boasts low- or no-VOC paints and finishes, recycled wallpaper and bamboo flooring, and EnergyStar appliances.
Owner and head stylist Kevin Gatto runs the show here. The beauty guru has more than a decade of industry experience under his belt, including stints as an expert stylist on CBS- and NBC-Philadelphia, and a lifetime of shampooing his own hair. He and his team work hard to keep up with the always-changing salon industry, regularly participating in what Gatto calls "scissors-on" trainings to learn the latest styles and techniques.
Master-level certified in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, massage therapist Daniel Caruso customizes both Swedish and ashiatsu massages to suit individual clients' needs. Each session begins with a deep breath atop a lambskin-covered, heated table, cleansing the mind of stress and catchy TV theme songs as Caruso assesses for any particularly tense or troublesome muscle areas. During Swedish massages, hot stones, music, and aromatherapy help patrons relax as he blends trigger-point therapy with light- to medium-pressured strokes to reduce stress and promote circulation.
Those arriving to Enigma Medi Spa for the first time might be struck by the chic, contemporary decor, which mixes modern chandeliers and sleek furniture with Asian-inspired accents. But the spa doesn’t just look pretty––behind each beautiful treatment room door lies the latest aesthetic technology, administered under the watch of medical director Dr. Oleg Volchonok, a double board-certified specialist in gastroenterology and internal medicine.
Using a computerized skin-analysis system, Dr. Volchonok’s staff can customize a skincare regimen unique to each client’s needs and goals and steer them toward treatments that might include IPL photorejuvenation, microcurrent facelifts, or a 24K gold facial. Beyond customized skincare treatments and slim-down plans, the mei spa also offers laser body contouring and a Himalayan salt sauna, which can help stressed bodies and asthma suffers breathe easier. They've also been helping clients acquire smooth, hair-free physiques for six years. Under doctor supervision, techs use Candela GentleMax lasers to permanently reduce unwanted hair on all skin types and tones. The med spa is home to five FDA-approved laser hair-removal devices that speedily target and remove unwanted hair with the precision of a Whac-A-Mole champion.
Mani-pedis are one of the most requested services at Spa East, according to the Philadelphia Tribune, and for good reason. The spa specializes in Minx nails, which are thin, flexible coverings that add vibrant color while strengthening the nail, helping the look last longer. Add on a hot-stone massage and an exfoliating, homemade foot mask, and you've got the luxe chocolate-and-champagne Minx mani-pedi, which was named as the Best of Philly by Philadelphia Magazine in 2010.
But expertise at Spa East extends far beyond a single service. Owner Samiyyah Staten has dedicated more than 10 years to studying aesthetics and massage, focusing largely on Eastern practices that combine natural and holistic elements. Her staff draws on lifetimes of training and experience to administer treatments from green-tea facials to reflexology, reiki, and shiatsu. Besides channeling ancient Asian traditions, the aestheticians tailor their services to each client's needs, such as dry skin, ingrown hairs, or eyebrows that are unable to convey the emotion of wistful.
Hands In Motion owner Deborah Alexander-Kouassi folds her background in athletic training into each massage as she helps to restore range of motion, relieve tension, and dispel stress. Soothing heat flows from electric massage tables as hands iron out knots and boost circulation from foot to crown during Swedish massages. During therapeutic deep-tissue bodywork, firm pressure subdues spasms, calms inflammation, and knits decorative patches of muscle fiber to repair damaged soft tissue in bodies prone to chronic pain. Warm towels embrace weary feet and backs at the start of every session, and organic scents from Danielle and Company soothe both mind and body with calming essences of oat, ivy, and lavender. An aloe-vera-infused body wrap stimulates a detoxification reaction that can result in the loss of girth over fatty areas, as well as smoother and firmer skin. The candlelit serenity inside Hands In Motion relaxes clients in a way unfelt since the nine-month yoga session leading up to their birth.
In spacious exercise zones and studios with floor-to-ceiling windows, Weston Fitness augments its trove of cardio, strength, and resistance machines with atypical fitness classes. Instructors keep muscles guessing with circuit training in H30 Turbo, teach cardio and strength choreography during trampoline-based Urban Rebounder classes, or meld martial arts with sinuous dance movements at capoeira class. The gym's innovative approach to health extends to its original M.A.P.P. (metabolic analysis program planning) method, which outlines several pathways for clients to achieve their toning goals under a personal trainer's supervision. After workout sessions, guests retrieve their possessions from the oversized locker rooms, depart the gym's office-building locale, and return to work or grab a meal amid the bustling atmosphere of Market Street.