The tall white Doric columns that flank the entrance to Diamond Salon and Spa give a not-so-subtle hint to the similarly stately interior. This Chestnut Hill establishment, flowing with natural light from the large, curved front windows, keeps an understated tan-and-cream color scheme, with lots of comfortable seating and a few leafy touches. Appealingly room, Diamond Salon and Spa provides a waiting area, a section dedicated to manicures and pedicures and a massage/waxing space, discretely tucked away behind doors. Diamond Salon carries Dermalogica Skincare products and the Youngblood mineral makeup line, which the salon uses exclusively for its facials and applications. Appointments are welcomed here seven days a week, with limited walk-in availability.
On Girard Avenue in Brewerytown, Luxxe Nail Spa caters to a wide range of clients, from those who want a simple polish to anyone looking for more elaborate designs. Manicures, pedicures and even eyelash dyeing options are available inside this simple space, where pastel lavender walls are painted with uplifting sayings like “Cherish yesterday, dream tomorrow, live today” and “Life is art, live yours in color.” Clients have been known to take their own art to extremes, even bringing in photos of trendy nailwork to see if the Luxxe staff can pull off the looks. The sweet, friendly atmosphere isn’t surprising considering owner Mimi Lim, who likes to post photos of rescue dogs on the salon’s Facebook page next to the pictures of fabulous nails she’s created.
Relaxation is a key concept at Genesis Nail Salon in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. Orchids line the windows and bright Easter-colored walls vary from one wall to the next to make this salon a cozy place. A well-conceived variety of manicures and pedicures means that each customer can receive the service of their choice. Genesis offers waxing as well as massages, and don’t be surprised if you’re offered a short complimentary neck massage while waiting for your nails to dry. Genesis is less about flash and more about attentiveness and overall customer support; you can even sign up for a membership, where for every dollar you spend, you’ll accumulate points to earn free services.
The gals at Salon Tenshi promote hair health with restorative steam treatments that repair, hydrate, volumize, or color protect hair. From inside their chic salon they also offer haircuts, color and highlights, as well as keratin treatments that combat frizz.
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.
On Ridge Avenue’s merchant strip in East Falls, Koco Nail Salon and Wax Studio infuses a bit of whimsy into the usual salon setup. Manicures are given clever names such as the Limoncello, which features a citrus scrub, and the Koco Truffle, with a chocolate scrub and a paraffin treatment. For the pedicure called the Arnold Palmer, geared toward athletes, the lucky recipient gets a green tea and lemon footbath and a brown-sugar scrub. There are numerous options to get your nails bedazzled – Swarovski crystals, anyone? – though less flashy treatments might include facials. This friendly spot, with its clean white space accented by greens and browns, even offers an array of waxing choices from eyebrows to Brazilians.