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Motherís Day Spas

Treat Your Mama Right!

Okay, we know that when it comes to the scoop on where to get the best pedicure, massage or facial, youíre pretty much keeping mum unless one of your really close friends begs you hard enough for the name of the person responsible for your glowing visage. Normally, Iím all for keeping your beauty secrets on the D.L., but considering that Motherís Day is coming up, itís time to share the wealth with the person responsible for ensuring you have any sort of aesthetic inclinations at all.

Intimate spas with innovative, restorative therapies dot the city, offering countless opportunities for personal attention to Momís pampering. Hereís just a sampling of the many places you can take Mom for a truly unforgettable Motherís Day experience thatíll show her just how much you care.

Chakra SalonSpa
Chakra SalonSpa is a trendy Union Square outpost and one of many Aveda concept spas across the nation. Itís also the largest one, boasting nearly 4,000 square feet of sun-drenched hardwood floors and thousands of aromas that beckon to you from the potions on the shelves. Aveda is one of the most respected organic cosmetic stalwarts in the world, and its focus is one of equilibrium and inner harmony, perfect for the harried mother.

The downstairs salon area of Chakra overflows with floor-to-ceiling windows, a splash of earthy colors and Zen-inspired rock gardens -- in addition to walls stocked with Aveda skin and hair care products. In keeping with Avedaís wholesome philosophy, salon stylists only use products with conditioning plant extracts. Mom can settle down to a glass of red wine or Avedaís incomparable Reconfortant tea -- a tantalizing blend of licorice and peppermint -- before she heads up to the smaller, quieter spa treatment area upstairs. The spa area itself is a dimly lit refuge consisting of seven treatment rooms that branch off into long hallways lined with smooth pebbles, neutral lighting and portraits of beautiful people.

Aveda products are super-gentle, and the Chakra folks have a magic touch, avoiding harsh chemical scrubs that strip your skin of nutrients, or cause your face to break out days after the treatment. Mom can opt for a personalized aromatherapy massage (the scent options are dizzying in number) or a customized elemental nature facial, which uses Ayurveda-inspired essential oils to cater to different skin types. You might also want to pick up the Tourmaline Charged Hydrating CrŤme and the Caribbean Therapy Flower Water (doused with organic basil, mandarin, neroli, and orange), so either you or Mom can continue to savor the luxury of Chakra at home.

Spa Fusion
Tucked away in the basement of the Hilton Hotel in San Franciscoís bustling Union Square neighborhood, Spa Fusion provides a den of relaxation and renewal. Walk Mom into the chandeliered, gaudily accented lobby of the hotel, and you might both think youíre in the heart of corporate Americana--filled to the brim with tasteful yet unimaginative trimmings. But take a detour to the elevators, press the button that whisks you to the spa level, and youíll both be in for a treat: an unpretentious and quiet haven full of the cityís most rejuvenating services.

Luxury-seeking vacationers and locals alike come to Spa Fusion for its medley of beautifying, detoxifying treatments, which blend eastern know-how with western panache. If you really want to give Mom a treat, particularly if sheís well-acquainted with spa pampering, opt for the Massage Cupping. In a mere 50-minutes, this massage is likely to be more therapeutic than any other sheís received. Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice used by acupuncturists, in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced by suctioning out air so that the skin and superficial muscle layer are drawn into and held in the cup. Cupping is applied to acupuncture points and regions of the body affected by pain to help soften and loosen tight muscles. The Spa Fusion version employs gliding cupping, in which the cup is moved while the suction of skin is active. Therapists might warn you that itíll be an intense sensation, but if Momís a fan of deep tissue, this is the way to go.

Fruition Day Spa
Fruition Day Spa is one of those places city-phobic mothers will love. Itís far away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, occupying a cozy alcove of the West Portal district. The spa isnít exactly large, but the waiting area is warm and comforting, and festooned with chocolate lounging chairs and carpets, and whitish-pink walls that add to the rustic, tranquil ambience. Overall, Fruitionís dťcor is feminine but not flashy; the treatment rooms range in shades from earthy green to regal pink. Best of all, itís an intimate space that makes one feel as if they are the only person being treated (despite the fact that the other six or so treatment rooms are likely to be full).

Mom will love the chocolate rose facial, Ďcause itís as soothing as itís yummy. The facial includes cocoa powder and red rose in liberal amounts, and the facial massage that comes with the treatment promotes circulation and cell renewal. Overall, itís a treatment thatís purifying and refreshingly absent of all the harsh add-ons that your typical facial might consist of.