"We love being creative, but we'll always follow your lead." This is how Spa Villa team members describe their approach. When it comes to hair, they're just as happy to apply sleek, classic extensions as they are to stripe locks with purple and pink. Nearby, nail techs wield OPI, CND, and Shellac brushes to coat nails in a single color or festoon them with abstract shapes and glitter.
"Say goodbye to cookie-cutter treatments," they say, pointing to the customizability of Dermalogica products along with face-mapping sessions that pinpoint the unique needs of each client. Body scrubs, steam sessions, and massages can also be tailored for optimal stress relief or minimal funny bone tickling. And for those interested in hair restoration, private, one-on-one consultations can lead to the design of custom hairpieces.
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.
Oregon Beauty’s attentive nail technicians tend to appendages through scrubs, nail-shaping sessions, warm soaks, and polishes. Paraffin skin treatments augmented with balms infuse worn surfaces with moisture. UV-cured gels slather nails with hues resilient to the scourges of daily life at the archaeological excavation site.
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.
In a warm-yet-airy atmosphere of stone walls and high ceilings – plus exposed beams for the fully rustic effect – Spa Elysium in Chestnut Hill will take care of your hair, face and nail needs. Brighten your look with hair color or highlights at this sunny shop, or peruse the complete menu of manicure, pedicure and facial options, including the signature Elysium Radiance facial. Each are perfect pampering treats, while a detoxifying seaweed wrap nourishes and soothes the entire body, for a more rejuvenating experience. The area near the spa’s entrance is given over to a retail section with artful greeting cards, scented candles and colorful, trendy jewelry, plus hair care products by the likes of Aveda and Bumble & bumble.