"We love being creative, but we'll always follow your lead." This is how Spa Villa team members describe their approach. When it comes to hair, they're just as happy to apply sleek, classic extensions as they are to stripe locks with purple and pink. Nearby, nail techs wield OPI, CND, and Shellac brushes to coat nails in a single color or festoon them with abstract shapes and glitter.
"Say goodbye to cookie-cutter treatments," they say, pointing to the customizability of Dermalogica products along with face-mapping sessions that pinpoint the unique needs of each client. Body scrubs, steam sessions, and massages can also be tailored for optimal stress relief or minimal funny bone tickling. And for those interested in hair restoration, private, one-on-one consultations can lead to the design of custom hairpieces.
Technicians at Clearly Beautiful Nails use the 1064 Yag Laser to painlessly rid feet of infections, warts, and nail fungus. In addition to treating toes, the office rents and sells laser units and also creates foot-centered marketing materials for display in waiting rooms.
Mani-pedis are one of the most requested services at Spa East, according to the Philadelphia Tribune, and for good reason. The spa specializes in Minx nails, which are thin, flexible coverings that add vibrant color while strengthening the nail, helping the look last longer. Add on a hot-stone massage and an exfoliating, homemade foot mask, and you've got the luxe chocolate-and-champagne Minx mani-pedi, which was named as the Best of Philly by Philadelphia Magazine in 2010.
But expertise at Spa East extends far beyond a single service. Owner Samiyyah Staten has dedicated more than 10 years to studying aesthetics and massage, focusing largely on Eastern practices that combine natural and holistic elements. Her staff draws on lifetimes of training and experience to administer treatments from green-tea facials to reflexology, reiki, and shiatsu. Besides channeling ancient Asian traditions, the aestheticians tailor their services to each client's needs, such as dry skin, ingrown hairs, or eyebrows that are unable to convey the emotion of wistful.
On Ridge Avenue’s merchant strip in East Falls, Koco Nail Salon and Wax Studio infuses a bit of whimsy into the usual salon setup. Manicures are given clever names such as the Limoncello, which features a citrus scrub, and the Koco Truffle, with a chocolate scrub and a paraffin treatment. For the pedicure called the Arnold Palmer, geared toward athletes, the lucky recipient gets a green tea and lemon footbath and a brown-sugar scrub. There are numerous options to get your nails bedazzled – Swarovski crystals, anyone? – though less flashy treatments might include facials. This friendly spot, with its clean white space accented by greens and browns, even offers an array of waxing choices from eyebrows to Brazilians.
Thick, red, floral-print cushions top a purple bench looking down at the pedicure stations where feet luxuriate in warm, bubbling water. Nearby, a glossy spectrum of OPI and Essie polishes sit poised on white cubed shelves, ready to lay claim to newly groomed nails. While guests relax amid the modern décor at Polish Nail Salon, licensed and trained nail technicians clean and shape nails before lacquering them in glossy hues and Shellac polishes, which won't chip for up to 14 days, no matter how much the anxious person in the airplane seat next to you chews on them. The staff also gussies up faces with eyebrow shaping and eyelash extensions.
Posh Nail Studio’s nail technicians furbish fingers and toes with manicures and pedicures that pamper skin with botanicals such as aloe juice, peppermint oil, soybean oil, and cucumber heel cream. Instead of posing like a flamingo during spa pedicures, clients unwind in a massage chair as a technician cleanses and files each toe-shield and removes dull skin cells with an exfoliating sand scrub. Hot-rock massages melt tension from legs and feet during treatments such as Rock the Posh and the Milk Me pedicure, and hot towels envelop hooves in warmth more soothing than a lullaby sung by someone with cough-drop breath.