After years of working together in the salons of others, longtime friends and coworkers Sonia Lefebvre and Eve Parr joined forces to realize their dreams of opening their own business, working tirelessly to build 53 Karat from the ground up. Since opening 53 Karat in January of 2009, Sonia and Eve—backed by the talents and passion of their close-knit team of massage therapists, stylists, and aestheticians—have steadfastly tackled the challenges and revelled in the joys of their work, their infectious excitement evident to all those who step through their doors. Bustling about their elegant styling stations forged from unfinished wood, coiffeurs bedizen hair with flattering highlights, and muscle manipulators in wood-floored private treatment rooms revive bodies weary from catapulting to work with tension-erasing massages. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the spacious salon and spa with natural light, and the chic warehouse-like space retains a welcoming warmth thanks to rich red walls and cheery plants.
Pür Styliste's salon experts carefully make over bodies during rejuvenating spa packages. While clients lounge in comfortable chairs, fingernails look on enviously as pedicurists smooth soles and clip cuticles to spruce up toes with a spa pedicure. During the 30-minute massage, clients recline on massage tables while deft hands gently apply pressure to a variety of body areas. The skilled massage therapists give close attention to pressure points and tense sections while relaxing muscles and releasing stress. Like a box of Double Stuf Oreos, the entire package may be enjoyed in a single outing or split up into two visits.
Though their service menu runs the gamut from simple manicures to high-tech cellulite treatments, Soho Esthétique pursues a single mission: to make clients feel more confident. An aesthetician with more than a decade of experience heads up the center’s staff to answer client questions and offer informed recommendations in English, French, and charades. Once treatment regimens have been customized to clients’ individual needs, the image experts call on products from G.M. Collin, Xtreme Lashes, and Medicam to bring their goals to fruition.
Perhaps it’s because she’s a professor of aesthetics at Algonquin College and knows a thing or two about exemplary skincare lines, or that her ongoing education keeps her abreast of the most effective serums on the market, but whatever the reason, Beauty Mark Esthetics owner Lee-Ann Zanelli is pretty particular about the spa products she uses. She and her team employ Yon-Ka products from France and organic Éminence products from Hungary during their facials, which can draw from the healing properties of pineapple enzymes, spicy paprika, or tea bags full of shredded band-aids. In the centre’s treatment rooms and lobby, sky-blue walls with chocolate-brown accents and decorative reeds evoke an oceanic feel, which is reinforced by decals of water running over pebbles.
Aqua Spa’s team of multitalented staff—whose aesthetic, massage, and hairstyling prowess is evident in the varied menu of salon and spa services they perform—toil ceaselessly in their quest to beautify bodies from top to tiptoe. Amid the salon’s shining wooden floors and plush black chairs, stylists sidle up to their sleek asymmetrical styling stations and snip away unruly split ends. Aqua Spa also provides facials, mani-pedis, and microdermabrasion services. Away from the hustle and bustle of the salon floor, two private rooms enable technicians to perform advanced electrolysis treatments and therapists to ease tension with massage treatments. The interiors of Aqua Spa’s 6,000-square-foot space brim with swaying greenery and decor culled from India, Greece, and Spain. The bubbling waters of the spa’s hot tub chortle warmly and give guests a calming space in which to practice synchronized-swimming routines.