A Best of the Bay 2010 Viewer?s Choice winner, Herbal Mineral?s four California locations couple a devotion to recapturing youth with a commitment to cruelty-free and environmentally friendly products and practices. An arsenal of vegan, earth-friendly beauty products speaks to their commitment to bettering the planet, and visitors sip fair-trade-certified tea that helps to fund landslide restoration and reforestation. The staff?s diverse palette of skills runs the gamut from waxing and organic facials to candling and herbal body contouring, the latter of which can help shape silhouettes into comely hourglasses or vertical representations of the New York skyline.
The lighting is soft, but the touch is firm. That's the case during Vanity SpaSalon's signature treatment, a combination of massage modalities that includes hot-stone, Swedish, and shiatsu techniques, all administered in a private room where candles and small table lamps toss light across burgundy walls. The color scheme and relaxation spill over into the salon, where stylists begin each haircut with an upper-body massage that relieves shoulders of the strain of shrugging off bossy stoplights. Strands then nibble on the proteins and carbs that infuse Redken's men's products, or smell the fragrant notes of naturally derived blends from Carol's Daughter.
The pumpkin refresher, the pineapple express, and the green tea are just a few items on menu—but they aren't drinks. They’re specialized, nourishing facials offered at Jolie Skin & Body Care, nestled inside of Buschi Salon. During skincare treatments, which include body waxing and tinting in addition to decadent facials, customization comes first. Aestheticians take inventory of unique skin-type needs before launching any chosen procedure, ensuring that clients leave the spa feeling more beautiful than the day they wore a half-geode as a bike helmet. Massage therapists also personalize treatments, which may revolve around Swedish, sports, or shiatsu core techniques.
Scattered throughout the peninsula, Natalie Salon Inc.'s five locations each house a team of specialists who pamper and beautify guests during nail, waxing, hair, and facial services. Staffers make over bodies from head to toe, rejuvenating faces with facials and treating dull talons to manicures and pedicures. They hone in on hair all over the body, waxing away unwanted fur, arranging lackluster strands into stylish coiffures, and tinting eyebrows to match recently dyed locks or recently dry-cleaned banana suits.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Once inside RiaVida, you might wonder whether you've wandered into a spa or a luxury cabin. Cream-colored walls reflect natural lighting streaming in from windows, and greenery brings a touch of nature to the picture. A glass of complimentary tea or lemon-infused water may find its way into your hand. There's nothing about this space that isn't relaxing, and that's exactly how the staff hopes its clients feel when going into treatment rooms. With 10 in-house aestheticians, the group not only is adept at facials and body scrubs, but also has a range of specialties for men and women, including waxing. All facial treatments start with a personalized approach based on skin type and use organic products made in the US. Beyond skincare, clients can opt for eyelash extensions, body sculpting, and body wraps.
At Just Perfect Threading & Salon, many customers are left wondering how they hadn’t tried out threading earlier. After all, unlike waxing treatments, threading doesn’t cause the delicate skin around the eye to wrinkle. The skin-friendliness of threading is only one of the benefits of this ancient Eastern technique practiced here, where trained aestheticians loop and pull out rows of hair to skillfully shape eyebrows and swiftly remove unwanted hair from the face and body. Much like the world’s most accomplished marlin fishermen, the only tools these aestheticians use are a cotton string and a trained eye. They also accent newly smooth skin with henna tattoos, adding a fun, temporary design to hands, feet, or your skin area of choice.