Walking through the minimal, dimly lit interiors of Invidia Salon and Spa may feel like walking through a dream. Ultramodern floral wall sconces and chandeliers fashioned from branches illuminate hardwood-floored hallways that split off into dark rooms filled with plush couches. In the central hall, studio lights cast dramatic beams onto swiveling salon chairs positioned in front of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, each aligned in two rows flanking a central stone fireplace.
Here in the multimillion dollar 10,000-square-foot facility, stylists sculpt new ’dos and colorists add hues to locks. Aestheticians smooth skin with customizable facials rich in vitamins and natural extracts, and laser technicians boost collagen with LED light therapy and laser facials.
In private spa rooms, equipped with fireplaces and temperature-controlled beds, therapists imbue a sense of calm with massages and Reiki. In the Vichy shower, clients treated with mud or fruit body wraps recline on a cushioned bed while multiple showerheads work to clean their skin.
For licensed massage therapist Joy Clarkson, healing is more than just kneading away muscle knots. As a 13-year massage-therapy veteran, she's grown to incorporate meditation and sound into her practice at Enjoy Holistic Healing. Sessions may use gongs and Tibetan singing bowls, as well as her voice; this may include chanting, toning, or speaking the phone book very slowly. However, because she tailors these sessions to each individual, she may use as few or as many of these methods during massages, alongside lomilomi, reflexology, and other modalities.
Caroline Harris has always been fascinated by the relationship between mind, body, and spirit—a relationship she's forged through her experiences as a professional dancer and psychology student. She strives to heal all three facets with her deep-tissue, Swedish, and Thai massages. As she kneads out mental and corporeal aches and stresses, her nimble hands also help to increase circulation, stimulate the lymphatic system, and improve range of motion.
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.
Although it's not an NFL place kicker's living room, Mozi Foot Spa pays tons of attention to the feet and happens to air sports games on its flat-screen TVs. The staff pays ample attention to kicking tools by using ancient Chinese reflexology techniques—massage therapists apply their kneading techniques to the feet, stimulating blood circulation and promoting detoxification. They enhance foot-spa treatments with soothing soaks that include the relaxing power of jets and a steam, followed by a bunny spooning with your ankle. The massage therapists also help guests relax with a variety of bodywork, including Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages.
The salon's decor promotes serenity as much as the services. Plush off-white treatment love seats are divided by flowing white curtains, and pink flowers loom overhead.