A day at the spa grants sweet respite from a fast-paced world of errands, deadlines, and books on tape read by auctioneers. Savor serenity without speediness, thanks to today's Groupon: for $49, you get $125 worth of spa services at Balensi's Institute Skin Care & Spa in Chula Vista.
Under the direction of licensed aesthetician Lorena Balensi, the knowledgeable staff at Balensi's Institute performs facials, massages, permanent-makeup treatments, spa peels, and other body-boosting services in a renovated old home with French Mediterranean accents. Stone-therapy massage ($85) loosens limbs by placing them under the weight of heated mountain crumbs, and the four-layer facial ($80) hydrates and firms mugs with leaves of seaweed plucked fresh from backyard sea gardens. For the clay body mask ($85), mud manipulators slather bodies from neck to toe in purifying red clay dug from the shores of France, thereby excavating clogged pores in order to improve overall skin tone. Permanent-makeup treatments fancify faces, inserting deposits of pigment between lashes to create more dramatic eyelines ($125 for upper lid, $100 for lower) or redrawing lip lines ($125) gradually erased by years of chewing on the ends of pencils.
Earthen tones dominate five treatment rooms, where dark wooden cabinets cling to sand-shaded walls. Chocolate-colored sheets wrap bodies in warmth and nougat during treatments, and saffron tiles embrace relaxed feet.
Balensi's Institute Skin Care & Spa
Featured at two star-studded award ceremonies in 2011, Balensi's Institute Skin Care & Spa makes everyday clients feel like VIPs with luxurious spa services. Guest pass by a water fountain and tropical plants as they enter a cozy, renovated bungalow that dates back to 1910, the same year that the Great Sphinx had her first microdermabrasion. Medical aesthetician Lorena Balensi performs most treatments—from facials to enzyme peels—with pharmaceutical-grade products. For more than 10 years, certified medical assistant Jean-Michel Balensi has applied principles of color theory, facial geometry, design/application, skin health and wound healing, anatomy and physiology to all aspects of his craft, servicing more than 3,000 clients. Applied one by one, his ocular artistry of eyelash extensions give eyelids the volume and length to attract compliments or entire butterfly colonies. Massage therapies include relaxing and healing modalities such as Swedish, deep tissue, stone, pre-natel, and sports massage. Garden fountains perform a liquid symphony for patrons who relax at a shaded outdoor patio.
Central Chula Vista
280 Landis Ave.
Chula Vista, California 91910