Next to beauty, health and safety are top priorities at King Nail Spa, which is why it recently renovated and added a room dedicated solely to sanitizing all its equipment in accordance with the standards of the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology and a team of overbearing mothers. In front of a rose-colored wall, rows of plush chairs encourage relaxation while skilled technicians file, trim, and buff fingers and toes, topping them off with glossy finishes from products such as OPI and China Glaze.
Not many people would think to perm their eyelashes or slather their faces in caviar to fight signs of aging, but the aestheticians at Beauty Queen help their clients do just that. With more than 10 types of facials, they perform everything from diamond peels to airbrushing skin with a blend of oxygen and anti-aging serum. Though the staff often takes a modern approach, many of their services are still rooted in beauty tradition. They can apply makeup for special occasions or groom nails in express treatments that fly by with the speed of Alex Trebek's beautiful, beautiful mind.
Three thriving locations and a slew of press from outlets such as Teen Vogue and Fox News make a strong case for the success of LaBelle Day Spas & Salons. But the true testament to the salon and spa's success lies, quite literally, in the hands of owner and skincare specialist Bella Schneider. Bella is the winner of the Les Nouvelles Esthetiques Crystal Award and has spent almost four decades helping clients including Audrey Hepburn and Michelle Pfeiffer, obtain healthy, glowing complexions.
Her humble European background led her to the salon where she would receive an apprenticeship at the young age of 14. This moment became the catalyst to her skincare career, which included earning an Economics degree in the States before opening the first LaBelle Day Spa and Salon in 1976. And even though she added two more locations by the late 1980's, the mission for each beauty haven has remained the same: to provide European-quality treatments that are science-based.
Bella and her team—which includes her daughter and grandson—use her personally-formulated line of products to ensure effective results during each service, which range from vitamin-infused facials to mani-pedis enhanced by essential oils and advanced body-contouring Endermologie treatments. LaBella's team also guarantees an exceptional experience by offering spa guests a relaxing foot soak. In the salons, master stylists and colorists customized hair services by using advanced balayage and precision cutting techniques, while Pilates instructors teach private lessons so clients can perfect their posture, alignment, and grace.
"I stepped out of the pod feeling almost absurdly peaceful and relaxed, wanting to do nothing more than just sit in a park somewhere and be happy and grateful." So said Mark Lukach of 7x7 after two float sessions in the 30% Epsom-salts water at Float Matrix. Named the Best Place to Alter Your Consciousness in 2010 by SF Weekly, the center lets visitors unburden themselves of stress in a soundproof, lightproof pod designed to simulate weightlessness and send brainwave patterns into a soothing theta state. The process has been scientifically researched and is based on a phenomenon called Restricted Environmental Stimulation Technique, or REST?a deeply relaxed state in which the body is believed to divert freed-up resources to address cognitive function, creativity, and conditions such as pain and broken telekinesis actuators.
Owner Kane Mantyla told Lukach, "Floating is a lot like experiencing ?nothing,? and there is no set narrative for ?nothing? in our culture.? Mantyla was inspired to found the center in 2006, after experiencing a profound healing from his own pain. He has since facilitated more than 10,000 floats, helping clients share in the blissful nothingness in a tranquil, clean environment. The saltwater?which is mostly sterile to begin with?is sanitized after each session with compound filtration, ozone, and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Not content to only provide one path to relaxation, the center also promotes wellness via infrared-sauna sessions.
If you walked into Diva Nail Lounge with a blindfold on, your nose might mistake the salon for a farmers market. The scents of mint, papaya, chocolate, and avocado drift through the space, wafting from natural scrubs and masks. Feet steep in milk baths dappled with rose petals and slices of citrus fruits, and lavender and rose essential oils condition cuticles. Technicians aren't employing the organic ingredients for their aromas alone—they choose them for their nourishing properties, such as antioxidants that combat aging and proteins that hydrate the skin.
The technicians' devotion to earth-friendly formulas is matched by their commitment to hygiene. The salon doesn't stock spa chairs because of sanitary concerns, and the staff throws away disposable tools after a single use. For example, during each Diva house treatment, techs buff calluses with a new pumice stone. To preserve more durable utensils, they sterilize their surfaces with hospital-grade treatments.
The menu covers luxurious mani-pedi services and add-ons that range from paraffin dips to peppermint clay masks. Treatments typically culminate in vibrant coats of nail polish, including the hues of SpaRitual nail lacquer—shades that avoid synthetic dyes in favor of all-natural colors harvested from the inside of kaleidoscopes.
Mixing beauty and business comes as naturally to Trang Warden as it does to any dealer of fine art. Her father was a man of great entrepreneurial spirit, and her mother was the owner of a San Francisco salon, giving Trang the seeds of two complementary passions. After earning her business degree and gaining a job at a Fortune 500 company, she still worked weekends at a spa with her sister, honing a talent she’d discovered with a part-time manicurist position at age 17. Today, she continues to blend commerce with cosmetic savvy—though now in one place: Zen Day Spa.
At the wheel of her beauty haven, Trang pampers hands, feet, and faces with an extensive treatment menu that relies on botanically sourced products from brands such as Epicuren, Murad, and Yonka-Paris. Tropical scents waft from mani-pedi stations, where toes soak in a signature jelly bath sprinkled with rose petals and nail technicians massage limbs with a papaya-pineapple scrub. Other body therapies incorporate volcanic clay and propolis mined from plants and flowers by bees wearing hardhats in Brazilian rainforests.