As if to complement its view of the harbor, Aria Salon & Spa immerses guests in oceanic serenity. One of its body treatments begins with exfoliating salts from the Dead Sea, then cocoons clients in a Hawaiian seaweed mask. The ocean even appears on the massage table: a detoxifying back massage employs marine products that refresh the back, scalp, feet, and fin.
Of course, not every treatment calls upon briny remedies. The salon segment of the venue administers blow-dries, haircuts, and color treatments. Makeup artists highlight features with Aveda products, whereas estheticians combat acne and signs of aging with a menu of facials. The Radiant facial, for example, evens out the skin's surface with botanical extracts and the mineral tourmaline, providing a gentler alternative to microdermabrasion or practicing your eskimo-kisses on a tree.
The practitioners at Therapeutic Healing and Massage have designed each room to be just as relaxing as the treatment itself. Soft music plays in each warm, comfortable room, as specially designed beds and expert massage therapists await to heal clients with soothing massages. They deftly deal out Swedish, hot stone, and deep tissue, as well as other modalities such as pregnancy massage. Therapists perform additional treatments such as the Barefoot Bliss, during which technicians caress the feet with eucalyptus, lavender, basil, and rose oils, sealing in the potion with hot paraffin wax. They also customize treatments with add-ons such as aromatherapy oils, scalp massage, and paraffin baths for hands.
With over 250 locations across 11 countries, including outposts in the fashion capitals of Paris, Milan, London, and Moscow, Camille Albane Paris has been a force in the upscale salon sector for more than four decades. That's all thanks to the vision and ingenuity of the founder and namesake, who established herself as a world-class hairdresser at the tender age of 20 and opened her first salon in 1990s, on the Left Bank of Paris. Today, with beachheads in Boston, Dallas, and Minneapolis, the chain brings French beauty standards and styles stateside, offering hair designs for men and women as well as makeup, mani-pedis, and waxing services.
In Focus: Grettacole
What it is: a full-service salon and day spa in an elegant, yet unpretentious setting
Number of locations: 2, with one in Copley Place and the other in Wellesley Center
What they’re most-known for: hair styling and coloring
Most-delicious sounding facial: the kiwi and pomegranate hydrator, which leaves dry skin feeling fresh and radiant
Massage modalities available: Swedish, hot stone, sports maternity, and reflexology
Other treatments: manicures, pedicures, waxing, and eyelash extensions
Stacy Winick and Sofia Golberg may have been from two different parts of the world, but the beauty industry brought them together 20 years ago and has kept them in partnership ever since. The aesthetician from Russia who trained in Israel and the manicurist and past beauty shop owner from Boston met at a South Shore salon—a salon the co-owners thought they could surpass with their business plan. So they opened a beauty destination and named it after the French words for “beautiful face”—what Napoleon stamped on 63% of his soldiers' cheeks.
At the newly renovated Belle Visage Day Spa, Stacy and Sofia highlight their clients' natural beauty with manicures and pedicures, massages, makeup services, and specialized facials. Their diamond-tipped microdermabrasion tool clears dead skin cells to stimulate growth of healthier skin during the diamond peel, and their services don’t stop with the skin. Stacy and Sofia also present massages for knotted muscles and mani-pedis for hands and feet that just clawed a wedding ring out of the lint trap.
On the tree-lined, bustling Beacon Street, a stately brownstone located at the St. Mary's T-Stop, three blocks from Fenway Park, and a 10-minute walk from the Longwood Medical area offers sanctuary from the frenetic outside world. Here, Southwest Day Spa cossets bodies and minds with more than 30 pampering spa treatments. Its lava-shell massage brushes bodies with polished shells from the Philippines that therapists have gently heated and combined with minerals, algae, salt water, and essential oils. The desert-heat body wrap, with its zinc compound, helps tone and smooth skin by scrubbing, wrapping, and then rinsing in a four-jet steam shower. The zinc compound is also an effective treatment for painful joints and muscles. Plant-stem-cell facials work to delay the appearance of aging much better than denial, and microcurrent technology fades wrinkles. Spa packages include special options for brides, couples, and those who, like NFL linebackers, just want to be pretty and pampered. Additionally, FDA-approved SmartLipo treatments take aim at stubborn fat cells, while laser hair removal banishes unwanted hair for all skin types.