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.
Thick, red, floral-print cushions top a purple bench looking down at the pedicure stations where feet luxuriate in warm, bubbling water. Nearby, a glossy spectrum of OPI and Essie polishes sit poised on white cubed shelves, ready to lay claim to newly groomed nails. While guests relax amid the modern décor at Polish Nail Salon, licensed and trained nail technicians clean and shape nails before lacquering them in glossy hues and Shellac polishes, which won't chip for up to 14 days, no matter how much the anxious person in the airplane seat next to you chews on them. The staff also gussies up faces with eyebrow shaping and eyelash extensions.
Posh Nail Studio’s nail technicians furbish fingers and toes with manicures and pedicures that pamper skin with botanicals such as aloe juice, peppermint oil, soybean oil, and cucumber heel cream. Instead of posing like a flamingo during spa pedicures, clients unwind in a massage chair as a technician cleanses and files each toe-shield and removes dull skin cells with an exfoliating sand scrub. Hot-rock massages melt tension from legs and feet during treatments such as Rock the Posh and the Milk Me pedicure, and hot towels envelop hooves in warmth more soothing than a lullaby sung by someone with cough-drop breath.
At Rejuve Nail & Skin Day Spa, the technicians, aestheticians, and massage therapists work together to pool their expertise and offer head-to-toe pampering. Oversized black pedicure chairs stand in a row as guests kick back and a technician tops their toes in vibrant polish colors. Customers can also opt for hot-stone massages, which help melt away tension in muscles after playing catch with a stockless anchor, and a pumpkin exfoliating facial that helps refresh skin.
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.