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The Best Facials
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jan 23, 2009)
New Year’s resolutions are no longer a novelty, but for lots of indulgence-deprived folks, facials are. Certainly, juggling your beauty needs against a mile-long list of other priorities (beating the recession, for one) is going to take some practice, but as seasonal wear and tear takes its toll, you might find yourself using those Starbucks dollars for a loftier cause. Here are three aestheticians whose innovative approaches to skincare have many a guy and gal thanking the gods of glowing complexions. More
Gifts for the Naughty and Nice
By Nirmala Nataraj (Dec 19, 2008)
Yep, it’s that time of year again, and if you’re anything like me, the hedonist in you will spring for only the finest products and services for loved ones and obligatory giftees alike. Certainly, it’s the thought that counts…but what could be more thoughtful than exclusive spa treatments and beauty items that don’t scream “mass production”? Your generosity will be remembered for years to come… More
Vanity Beauty Lounge and Silk Nail Salon
By Nirmala Nataraj (Dec 12, 2008)
Guys and gals, take note. We all know beauty must-do’s like trimming the topiary even when it isn’t bikini season and keeping bright colors in our wardrobe despite the descent into dismal weather are no-brainers. So why do so many of us think it’s necessary to wait till porch-lounging, margarita-sipping conditions roll around before we pay attention to our tips and toes? No matter how you spin it, cracked, callused feet and hangnails shouldn’t be part of the seasonal doldrums. Here are two nail spas that specialize in making it feel like sandal weather year round. More
Beauty: Skin Deep, As Usual
By Tracie Broom (Dec 5, 2008)
When a new spa opens in San Francisco, especially one touting itself as a high-end luxury escape, the perfectly plucked brows of spa mavens perk up across the city. But as a seasoned spa-goer can attest, there can be a pretty big difference between the PR hype and the naked reality. More
Rustic Perfection
By Nirmala Nataraj (Nov 21, 2008)
The Northern California resort town of Calistoga is known for its historic hot springs (whose therapeutic properties have been soaked up by locals and vacationers for centuries, dating back to the indigenous Americans who discovered the springs’ healing potential) and Main Street soda-fountain charm, which makes this unassuming little hamlet of hedonism all the more appealing. And when it comes to luxury getaways in Calistoga, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Nestled in a private canyon with a view of the majestic Mayacama Mountains, Calistoga Ranch is an exclusive resort that tips its hat to the location’s built-in rusticity. More
Best Beauty Sojourns for the Fall
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 24, 2008)
Cracked cuticles, flakey or sensitive skin, severely overworked muscles, the onset of seasonal affective disorder (aptly known as SAD)… these are just a few of the symptoms that tend to beset us as we march inevitably toward winter. But if 'tis the season to tie up loose ends before the new year sneaks up on us, 'tis also the season to get pampered pronto, and prettify yourself in the not-so-flattering darkening months. Here are some pampering mainstays -- ranging from holistic to deservedly froufy -- that’ll allow you to pack in a few good hours of spaah-induced bliss before, you know, taking care of all your less urgent seasonal duties. More
Get Your Spa On - Together!
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 26, 2008)
From foreplay-inducing couples massage to candlelit baths for two, romantic spa havens for lovebirds abound in San Francisco. But what about those days when you’re looking to meld the practical with the sentimental and don’t necessarily want to wait for a special weekend to treat yourselves to a little well-deserved pampering? Here are three places to help you get your spa on--between errands, after work, or whenever you just plain feel like it -- at a margin of the cost you might incur at other places boasting the right ambience for amorous encounters. More
Four Weeks to Perfect Skin
By Nirmala Nataraj (Aug 29, 2008)
This is a story about adult acne. Well, sort of. Since I’m a regular beauty and spa reviewer, you’d think I’d be a veritable compendium of information on how to prevent and quickly annihilate unseemly blemishes, but the truth is that I’ve never stuck to a regimen long enough to see hard and fast results. More
Inspired Skincare and Primrose Natural Skincare
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 25, 2008)
As summer gives way to days that are alternately balmy and windblown, you can certainly combat the unpredictability of the season by taking just a wee bit more care with what you choose to slather on your face or put in your body -- not to mention with whom you decide to entrust all your beauty needs. Don’t know? Well, whether your métier is gentle organics or thorough medical facials, here are two skincare specialists who deliver on their promise to bring distressed visages back to pH balance and dewy impeccability. More
Blue Turtle Spa and Le Sanctuaire
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jul 11, 2008)
As you’ve likely experienced, summer in the city can be muy caliente, which also means that sunbathing in your bikini with a margarita in hand can lead to parched, dehydrated, and generally woebegone skin. Not to worry, though; the two skincare specialists below, who have dispensed their knowledge to cadres of satisfied clients over the years, are happy to help you maintain that dewy radiance and garner envious comments, to boot. More
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