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.
A member of the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, Deborah Barrolaza prides herself on adding a lifelong glow to her patients' faces via permanent-makeup application. She applies color to the eyes and lips, and can shape eyebrows so clients never look shocked no matter how many times they walk in on their parents reading Twilight. She also offers camouflage treatments as an option for those who wish to hide scars or alter previous cosmetic makeup.
Stylist Iran Razi keeps strands looking neat at Cherry Blossom Salon, which has been a fixture in downtown San Rafael since 1994. Haircuts, highlights, and color treatments instill beauty and self-confidence in the wearer, but Iran and the staff at Cherry Blossom take hair care one step further. In addition to hair design, they concern themselves with hair health, which is why they use only natural and organic products by brands such as Hemp Natural Strength and encourage clients to brush their hairs after every meal.