Nirmala Nataraj

SF Station Writer

Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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Treatments for a Charmed Life
By Nirmala Nataraj (Feb 08, 2007)
Ever since I was old enough to appreciate those 80s Calgon commercials and young enough to have only a meager comprehension of the word “stress” I was wholly entranced by the concept of pampering. I got my first manicure at age 16 and was 21 when I got my first facial (and the rest is, as they say, history), but the delayed gratification was out of this world. After all, I grew up daydreaming about perfume bottles with glass stoppers, mysterious fragrant potions that lay beyond reach in my mother’s armoire, and tubs fitted with frothy beds of bubbles. More »
A Bit of Schadenfreude You Can Live With
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jan 23, 2007)
Fifty years ago, playwrights like Harold Pinter were amassing scathing reviews and death threats, but now the thespian trademark of self-conscious menace and making spectators squirm in their seats is just par for the course. After all, it’s inarguable -- awash as we are in pop culture froth and the constantly impending threat of censorship -- that schadenfreude and shock value are the unspoken standards of modern theater. More »
A Refuge for the Old-Fashioned Romantic
By Nirmala Nataraj (Jan 15, 2007)
Weekends away from the city are too often tailored for the harried professionals. Wagering a guess that there are loads of you out there who feel the same, I’m about to let you in on a little secret: there is, indeed, a place where you can momentarily shelve your stresses, breathe deep some blessed “there’s no one around for miles” air, and take comfort in the fact that your mobile phones are completely useless here. It’s a little cul-de-sac tucked just off Highway One, and they call it Elk Cove Inn. More »
An Urban Oasis Awaits You
By Nirmala Nataraj (Dec 18, 2007)
On an unassuming Tuesday afternoon, I find myself in the waiting lounge of Spa Bar, tucked away on a busy vestibule of 2nd Street. The atmosphere certainly seems to spell out “deluxe digs for the urban primadonna” but something about the ambience is casual enough to make me want to take a deep breath (perhaps with the help of their signature oxygen bar) and leisurely stretch my limbs out to the loft ceilings or, perhaps, curl up on the sprawling couch with the latest issue of [b]Vogue[/b] and do some shameless people-watching More »
Undiscovered Terrain for Spa Babies
By Nirmala Nataraj (Nov 27, 2006)
Personally, I’m so [i]over[/i] overstimulation of the senses. I attribute that to relentless marketing and, of course, the advent of the holiday “gimmes”. Everywhere I go, I can count more iPods, Blackberries, and other fun gadgets with completely useless vestigial features than I can count people. That’s why I thank the deities of beauty and health for Oakland’s FLOAT – Flotation Center and Art Gallery, for offering some respite from all the madness. More »
Spa Therapy for Your Toes
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 30, 2006)
If you thought smooth, callus-free feet and perfectly polished toenails were beauty considerations strictly confined to warmer months, think again. For the sake of hygiene and, well, hygiene -- do your tootsies a favor this winter season and give them some preventive care against the humid confines of boots and sneakers. Recently, I stumbled upon a couple of new favorites, who dispense with the fast, factory-line pedicure treatment and add some sanitary know-how to the brew of indulgence. More »
Beauty Made Simple
By Nirmala Nataraj (Oct 09, 2006)
As much as I love the science of beauty, frequenting the typical med spa isn’t really my idea of a good time. The vision that springs to mind when I think of med spas usually involves antiseptic, staid environments; poker-faced doctors in lab coats, plying patients with machines that look like they were built specifically to inflict pain; and plasticky debutantes itching for their next Botox fix. Sure, this isn’t a picture that’s altogether accurate or unbiased, but that’s exactly why places like Aura Skin Spa exist -- to school the ignorant (including me) out of their beauty prejudices. More »
Customized Skincare
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 26, 2006)
Lisa Bradbury and Shirley Lau have been in business at Fillmore Street’s Lisa Bradbury Skincare for six years -- and quite simply, they’re in the business of making your skin the best it can possibly be. More »
A Scion of Good, Old-Fashioned Decadence
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 19, 2006)
Chicago-based Silent Theatre Company understands the appeal of classic celluloid, which they ape to sublime ends in their piece "Lulu", an adaptation of German playwright Frank Wedekind’s 1894 Lulu cycle, comprising "Earth Spirit" and "Pandora’s Box", but bearing more of a resemblance to G.W. Pabst’s 1928 film revision starring über-vamp Louise Brooks. More »
An Outpost for All Your Autumn Skincare Needs
By Nirmala Nataraj (Sep 19, 2006)
Soothe (formerly London Elise Skin Care) is one of those cozy home-away-from-home establishments that make full-scale spas seem bland and passé in comparison. A modest one-room organic skincare and body healing clinic, it also happens to be one of the best-kept beauty secrets in the Upper Haight. More »
Nirmala Nataraj's Articles
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