In 2002, beauty-school graduate Paula took everything she had—$5,000 and a dream of combining beauty services with holistic healing—and opened A Harmony Nail Spa. She even poured countless hours into hand-building many of the spa's unique furniture pieces and cyborg employees. Since the humble beginning, she and her fully licensed staff have pampered the minds and bodies of numerous clients with drastically different needs, from cancer patients seeking meditation classes to hardworking mothers overdue for an indulgent manicure. Upon entering the approximately 2,000-square-foot facility, guests waltz through the gift shop's aisles before entering one of the spa's specific treatment areas. In the nail studio, clients lounge on purple thrones shaped like purple hands and dip their feet into soothing pedicure sinks. A Harmony Nail Spa also houses a garden café with free beverages, an Internet cafe with free WiFi, and a meditation lounge with freedom to close your eyes without sleeping.
If a jack of all trades is a master of none, then the aestheticians at Eyebrow Hub can safely call themselves masters of the art of eyebrow threading. They rid hirsute foreheads of unwanted stragglers, leaving behind gorgeously arched brows, but none of the redness, swelling, or amorous bees left by waxing. Despite the name, the threadsters also apply their hair-removal services to other areas, including upper lips, chins, and legs. Guests with a mind to supplement their threading, can go in for henna tattoos, eyelash extensions, and microdermabrasion.
As part of the Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa, one of California's first sustainable, green hotels, Spa Gaia indulges clients with skin and body treatments equally inspired by natural ingredients and Eastern philosophies. With the Bali Spice, for example, clients have their back exfoliated before sipping ginger tea in a spiced bath and finishing with a spiced-oil massage. Sometimes, those natural ingredients are even found locally, as with The Crush, an exfoliation and massage done with crushed cabernet grapes. The menu also includes facials for various skin types, as well as organic mani-pedis with food-grade paraffin that would probably still be rude to eat.
Eyelashes crafted from synthetic material or mink fur find their place on the faces of Bliss Esthetics' clients. Aestheticians' steady hands apply lashes one at a time to bulk up existing fringe and help firefighters extinguish small fires. Though they specialize in revamping eyes, the squad of aestheticians also refurbishes faces with microdermabrasions, eyebrow waxes, and permanent eyeliner applications.
If it weren't for the bright sign out front, it would be easy to mistake The Courtyard Salon for a woodland cottage or a scene from a commercial where everyone has a happier camping trip thanks to insect repellent. The cozy salon is tucked away in a lush garden, with leafy trees, fragrant flowers, and rustic patio furniture. And the charm doesn't stop at the door. Sunlight trickles in through soft curtains and casts a warm glow on dark hardwood floors, golden walls, and comfy red armchairs. Instead of the princesses and singing bunnies you might expect from such a fairy-tale scene, the salon buzzes with a staff of skilled stylists, nail technicians, and spa specialists. They perform a sweeping array of beauty services, including haircuts, meticulous mani-pedis, and tension-blasting massages, all with the help of advanced skin and hair-care products from top purveyors like Pureology, Kendra, and Onesta.
Felecia Rincon knows that sugar can do a lot more than sweeten her coffee and stand in for snow on a ski slope. At Bare Sugaring Studio, she uses it to remove unwanted hair, practicing a spa treatment that goes back centuries. Applied opposite the direction of hair growth, her sugar-based paste sinks deep within the follicle, deeper than wax, to grip the hair at its root. When Felecia removes the paste, she takes with it the short, fine hairs that other epilation techniques miss, and even removes dead skin, leaving the legs, chests, chin, or any other body area, smooth and sleek.