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The Floating Lotus
Get Some Face Time
by Nirmala Nataraj on May 08, 2010
When it comes to spoiling your mother, you don’t need a special day as an excuse to make her feel beautiful. While mani-pedis might sound like a great way to get some girl time, celebrating core vitality with all-natural beauty solutions is the way to go if you want to make her feel young year-round. Consider The Floating Lotus.
A yoga studio may not seem like the most obvious place to get pampered, but that is exactly where founder Monica Nicole Fine has created a cozy little bodega of wellness. Just walk into the Birkram Yoga studio on Mission Street, and hang a left at the studio’s front desk to find her.
“The work I do is a holistic service that complements what you would get out of something like yoga,” says Fine, who got her start studying holistic skincare at Cinta Aveda Institute. “This is not a luxury service, and the term ‘facial’ is kind of dated. A more suitable term is ‘botanical skin detoxification.’”
Fine’s comprehensive knowledge of what makes skin tick at a molecular level is part and parcel of untarnishing your pores at the Floating Lotus. All of her customized treatments include ambrosial products from her eco-certified custom line, Shalom Organics — profuse with botanical treatments and pure plant oils, which are “the key to perfect skin.”
Fine, who is currently studying to be a master herbalist and aromatherapist with renowned aromatherapy savant Jeanne Rose, has the kind of head-spinning knowledge of botanical properties that makes her products an easy and obvious sell.
“I’m all about getting people to stop using synthetic products and to get to know their local product lines,” says Fine. “About 80 percent of my clients walk out the door with my products … some people still go to the drugstore, but I’m a big proponent of the fact that natural doesn’t need to be super-expensive.”
Introductory rates for facials are offered to those who frequent the yoga studio, and in general, Fine’s services are a steal. A 90-minute botanical facial is a jaw-dropping $90.
Aside from seasonal body care, skincare and scrubs, Fine also makes custom aromatherapy blends for people that address a host of emotional, physical and spiritual needs. And because her products change from season to season, Fine works with over 150 different oils.
“I’ve absorbed a great deal of knowledge through my studies, and it’s important for me to keep everything seasonal,” she says. “It’s a vital way to stay connected with the earth.”
Because traditional aromatherapy and herbal studies stress the importance of balancing our ailments and lifestyles with the changing seasons, a customized treatment at the Floating Lotus will never be the same from one facial to the next.
While Fine’s current treatments are more florally based for spring, I received a luxurious winter-based service that included a healthy slathering of 100% pure Moor Mud, which plies the skin with essential minerals and nutrients while also pulling out impurities.
A variety of herb-based cleansers, poultices, scrubs, and masks also helped slough away dead skin, brightening my face and invigorating my senses in the process. A custom aromatherapy blend combined with Fine’s foot, arm, hand, face and scalp massage, complemented a thorough treatment with some highly appreciated extravagance.
Fine’s detailed attention to the manner in which the chemical properties of different plants work together has made her certain that “skin reacts best to a variety of different products, since different plants are capable of doing different things.”
Fine also stresses to clients that while quick results to immaculate skin may be ideal, “herbs take commitment. You can’t use them for two weeks and think they aren’t working. There’s only a certain amount that your body can process at any given time, so if you stick to it, that build-up helps tone your system.”
Fine’s work is all about helping people fortify their core vitality by tuning into their bodies and the world around them; this much is obvious, given the extra, unexpected dose of ardor and energy I feel after 90 minutes of yummy inactivity on Fine’s facial bed.
“It isn’t the kind of facial you feel sleepy at the end of, which is completely fitting to the environment [busy Mission Street] and the yoga studio in general,” Fine says. “By the time most people get out of here, they feel alive and vigorous and ready to go.”
by Nirmala Nataraj on May 08, 2010