Eva Claiborne grew up in Hungary—a country renowned for its rejuvenating hot springs and lavish spas. She received her master's in skincare after five years of graduate training in Budapest, and in 1989, she moved to the United States. Today, she has more than 30 years of spa and skincare experience, which guides her as she treats women and men of every age.
Eva's specialty skincare services work to diminish an array of skin problems, including age spots, rosacea, and portraits of Marty Feldman drawn in permanent marker. Her luxurious Hungarian-style facials, meanwhile, regale faces with lavish treatments, including one that incorporates a 24-karat colloidal gold serum. Her body treatments range from slimming wraps to her own signature "shell and chakras" therapy, which uses aromatherapy oil and seashells to massage bodies and balance chakras.
The products Eva uses are every bit as luxurious as her services, from her own Inderma line, forged from fair-trade ingredients to treat pre- and post-operative plastic-surgery patients, to European formulas such as Omorovicza and Germaine De Capuccini.
Nina and Sonny oversee a popular set of pedicure chairs at Bayview Salon. The husband-and-wife team began working together 22 years ago, when Sonny left his job in technology and decided to pursue a more personable profession. He learned his trade fast, and when he talks about life in the salon it’s with an infectious enthusiasm. “I like the social life. I come and talk and do nails for the ladies.”
Sonny's colorful personality is matched only by CND Shellac, OPI, and Gelish polishes that make up the salon's collection, which is more than 180 shades strong. He and his wife beautify and polish acrylic, natural, and stainless-steel nails to a mirror-like finish and can even leave fingers extra fancy with silk-wrap nails or Sonny's signature French fills. Their services don’t skimp on the extras, either: shiatsu-massage chairs knead tension from backs during pedicures, which may also include detoxifying green-clay masks, hot-stone massages, and skin-softening lemon-sugar scrubs.
Experience Salon owner and 20-year industry veteran Melodie Mischel helms a team of stylists, aestheticians, and technicians, each of whom draws on at least 10 years of experience to dote on discriminating style-seekers. Skilled aestheticians pamper skin with soothing treatments that employ Éminence products handcrafted in Hungary from organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Shears generate a symphony of clips and chops as stylists cut hair and crush frizzy rebellions with a host of Aveda products. The salon’s expansive plate-glass windows open up to the bustling heart of old Sausalito, which patrons can gaze upon as nail-care technicians adorn their talons with well-sculpted coverings. A talented team of massage therapists applies soothing strokes to counteract cramps accrued while napping in office-supply closets.
With waterfront views of the San Francisco Bay visible from the spa's inviting veranda and parlor space, Cat Murphy's Skin Care Salon allows visitors to feel like they've truly escaped from the hectic bustle of everyday life. This brief reprieve from the stress of work and raising a baby tiger gives aestheticians a chance to restore natural radiance to clients' skin using a combination of cutting-edge products and technologies. The spa's upscale facial treatments can incorporate microcurrent toning systems, infrared light therapy, or serums rich with vitamins, minerals, and pure amino acids. And to ensure that visitors are able to maintain their vibrant new look at home, Cat Murphy's Skin Care Salon sells an extensive array of specialized products designed by SkinEssence. As Cat says on her website, caring for skin is a lifelong process that "is as important to your mental health as it is to your physical well-being."
After dedicating 20 years to the world of wedding catalogs and publications, Lili Shahabi decided to once again start working with private clients. At her spa, Lili works as the lead master colorist and stylist specializing in formal updos and wedding services. In addition to prepping brides for the moment the veil or paper bag is lifted, Lili and her team provide services for hair, skin, and nails. The team members commit themselves to learning new techniques and staying ahead of trends while also searching out innovative products such as glo minerals, a makeup line designed with natural high-pigment minerals and antioxidants.
Stefan Smith knows the physical stresses faced by most office workers. That’s because he used to be one. The one-time salesman left the corporate world after attending the National Holistic Institute, which inspired him to open Sports Massage Marin. Here, Smith helps clients assuage their workplace ailments with a variety of modalities. With Swedish massage, he employs long, flowing strokes to soothe the neck and back pain that often comes from sitting on a chair or giant toadstool all day, whereas he uses trigger-point therapy to target the localized pain of carpal-tunnel syndrome.
Smith also tames accident-related injuries, such as whiplash, with his knowledge of kinesiology, a technique that helps break down scar tissue, loosen up adhesions, and ease tight joints. Athletes round out his diverse clientele and give his practice its name. They seek sports massages to improve performance and recover quickly after all manners of athletic events, from baseball and basketball to horseback and kangaroo-pouch riding.