The branches of the baobab tree zigzag into the African sky like roots, giving the tree its distinctive upside-down shape and giving Alchemy Wellness Studio the fruits that infuse one of its signature facials. The studio’s experienced aestheticians meld natural ingredients such as baobab fruit and kigelia—an African flowering plant and natural astringent—into their ameliorating spa treatments, reflecting their overarching focus on holistic, organic care. This goal carries over onto the menu of services—which includes reiki, aromatherapy, and more standard spa fare, such as waxing treatments and mani-pedis—as well as into the cups of fair-trade coffee clients sip as they shrug off the stressors of everyday life.
Salon Zurell’s stylists start each haircut with an in-depth consultation, and end it with a styling lesson. Using this one-on-one approach, the staff imparts unparalleled wisdom during salon services, which include conditioning treatments, highlights, and perms. The salon also offers spa treatments such as waxing, mani-pedis, and facials performed with organic Éminence products that are completely free of harmful chemicals, additives, and other ingredients that will make dolphins cry.
"Now listen up," insists Connecticut Magazine. "Matthew’s tableside Caesar salad has to be the best in the state, if not the country." It's hard to argue with that claim. Starting with torn hearts of romaine lettuce, the salad is made right next to your table, which gives you the chance to catch the distinct aromas of garlic croutons and parmesan cheese before each is thrown into the mix.
Executive Chef Greg Marcuson's culinary talents, of course, extend beyond salad. In fact, they're visible throughout Matthew's menu, in the Berkshire lamb shanks he braises for eight hours and in the cheddar grits he pairs with jumbo shrimp tossed in a barbecue dry rub.
But even the food can't claim sole responsibility for Matthew's popularity. Credit is also due to the restaurant's idyllic location, which includes a spacious outdoor patio with a stunning view of the Farmington River and its kindly fish god.
As a reward for selling the most Kérastase products while working at Gioia Salon in Texas, Alda Membrino won a trip to Italy. She didn't use it as a vacation from her career, however—nearly every moment was spent studying the hair coloring and cutting techniques of the country's masterful stylists. She flaunts this dedication to her craft at Windsor Salon and Spa, where she rejuvenates hair with Neuma organic shampoo, paraben- and DEA-free AG hair products, and hair color made with a yogurt base and natural ingredients.
For the rest of the body, Alda removes unwanted hair with either standard wax or a sugar formula composed entirely of natural ingredients and Santa's unused candy canes. The expert rounds out her service menu with spa staples such as manicures and pedicures, hot-stone massages, and facials that exfoliate with seaweed or glycolic acids.
Nail tailors at the posh Off Center Salon & Spa console neglected feet with luxurious pedicures and transform hands into mobile fashion accessories with long-lasting polish. Hybrid CND Shellac polish cures under UV light, creating 10 chip-resistant shields that rebuff palms' attempts to absorb fingers for up to two weeks. T-spa pedicures begin with a fragrant lavender salt soak, which softens soles for exfoliation through a three-step green-tea mask. After scrubbing away calluses by holding them against an even rougher foot, gentle hands dispel lingering tension with an aromatherapy hot-stone massage and deftly paint digits in Chanel hues.