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."
Adhering to a holistic healing philosophy, Kinetic Waves' staff pampers guests with noninvasive treatments designed to bolster skin health and relieve stress without the use of harmful chemicals. The specialists administer a variety of complexion-clearing and anti-aging facials, treating mugs to Hujan Natural Skin Care products, which are free of parabens, gluten, artificial fragrances, and dyes. Guests can also revel in relaxation during holistic treatments, such as reiki and craniosacral-therapy sessions, and massage, in which therapists knead away muscular tension with their experienced hands or mastery of telekinesis.
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.
When they first cut the ribbon on Milvali Salon & Cosmetics' namesake location in Mill Valley, beauty experts and best friends Jessika Adams de Vazquez and Deb Monti couldn't have guessed where their partnership would lead. In the nearly 10 years since, the dynamic duo has opened a second location in San Francisco and guided the salons through three expansions. The pair also filled both locations’ shelves with their own signature line of mineral- and botanical-based skincare products, which their experienced team of aestheticians incorporates into a variety of custom facials.
But skincare isn't the only thing that Milvali is renowned for. The salon was voted the best place to go for hair extensions on the 2012 Bay Area A-List and was a finalist in the Best Bikini Wax category. To earn this regard, the beauty gurus specialize in Brazilian bikini waxes, using imported wax from Italy that is delicate enough to use on sensitive skin or between the Mona Lisa’s eyebrows.
A massage practitioner for more than two decades, Dalila Cunha passionately pursues a nontoxic lifestyle for herself and a nontoxic massage experience for her clients. During custom massages, she soothes battered bodies and applies concentrated pressure to help reverse the individual's particular ailments, such as fatigue, stress, or anxiety over whether to eat a sweet or savory brunch. Fair-trade candles made of beeswax and palm-wax burn softly as clients rest on organic linens. Organic goods ensconce guests at every level—from organic oils and lotions applied during the massage to a stock of organic tea in the waiting room.
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