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.
Since Artur Kirsh founded The Studio CL in 2005, the best-of list in Philadelphia magazine and other media mentions have lauded his salon for its creative cuts. He and his team of extensively trained stylists clip hair with a dry-cutting method, which allows them to sculpt locks into custom ‘dos that retain their shape as they grow out. Along with these unique cuts, Artur’s stylists glide on new hues and rejuvenate shine and smoothness with keratin or Nigelle HY treatments. The beauty crew also specializes in bridal styling, which includes in-studio hair and makeup testing, pampering on the day of the ceremony, and hair treatments that stay in place even when the bride cuts the cake with the traditional wedding chainsaw. After each appointment, clients can maintain their chic new looks by stocking up on brand-name haircare products, including the salon’s exclusive ARTUR line.
Donna Scott has been to the Oscars. Though she's not a thespian, the longtime medical aesthetician and certified laser skincare expert transported her handpicked products and know-how to the Academy Awards earlier this year, setting up shop at the Donna Scott Celebrity Spa Lounge. Scott, the recipient of InStyle magazine's Beauty Black Book distinction for the best facials in Philadelphia, delivers results by grounding her treatments in science. Where Philadelphia specifically lauds her glycolic peel with vitamin C, noting that it yields "remarkably brighter skin" by lifting away superficial cells. Scott has performed this and other rejuvenating treatments for celebrities at New York Fashion Week and the MTV Movie Awards, but she spends most of her time enhancing the natural beauty of everyday people, such as working moms who have reared spelling-bee champions. By customizing a suite of products for each individual, she treats and assuages skin issues such as rosacea, acne, and hyperpigmentation.
At Hot Looks Hair Salon, stylists aim to discover each client's personality and create a haircut that tells his or her story. Led by 30-year industry expert Carol Colantuono, the team specializes in adding texture and shape with razor cuts and accentuating natural hues with color and highlighting techniques. Colantuono designs clients' looks with a sense of style influenced by her apprenticeship with stylist Barry Leonard at Crimper, one of the top salons in Center City, and all of her staff have undergone extensive training in the Vidal Sassoon and Sexy Hair lines. She hands clients a complimentary cup of coffee or glass of wine before beginning specialty treatments such as hair extensions that add length and volume or feather extensions that help clients blend in with migrating flocks of ornithologists.
At Oasis Tanning Salon, visitors deepen their complexions with both UV tanning and sunless spray tans. Before entering either lie-down or standup beds, patrons glaze their pelts with lotions from California Tan and Swedish Beauty that maximize the effect of the UV bulbs' emissions. Tanners can purchase UV tans a la carte or by the month, or they can invest in VIP memberships that reward them with deeply discounted rates for six-month, one-year, or 15-generation contracts. During five-minute airbrush-tanning sessions held in private rooms, certified technicians mist guests with a personalized hue harvested entirely from natural ingredients. Customers trapped in padlocked pants can elect to be airbrushed from the waist up or just on the face and neck, and tanners can augment their freshly misted bods with a cocktail tan, which supplements spray sessions with up to five minutes in a standup UV bed.
Lauded live on Dr. Oz for reducing inflammation and helping patients manage pain, Cryotek's Cryosauna envelopes clients in an open-top standup booth that surrounds the body with temperatures up -250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cryotek's researchers believe this exposure to cold—known as cryotherapy—during two- to three-minute sessions delivers many positive effects, including aiding clients with weight loss, cellulite reduction, and injury recovery. They also claim the Cryosauna supports other areas of physiological and even psychological health including reducing inflammation from arthritis, soothing irritation from psoriasis, reducing stress, and restoring libido. An FAQ page addresses queries ranging from what the treatment feels like to how it differs from kissing a snowman.