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Mani/Pedi Havens

Vanity Beauty Lounge and Silk Nail Salon

Guys and gals, take note. We all know beauty must-doís like trimming the topiary even when it isnít 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 itís 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 shouldnít be part of the seasonal doldrums. Certainly, turtlenecks donít preclude pampering yourself with a leisurely mani/pedi combo, so here are two nail spas that specialize in making it feel like sandal weather year round.

Vanity Beauty Lounge
With its monochromatic coolness (i.e., a tastefully minimal palette of pewter, jet black, cream, and cranberry red), floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and glammy ambience, Vanity Beauty Lounge is one of the prime oases when it comes to mitigating harum-scarum FiDi days and taking a lunchtime breather. Itís the sort of haven where you might expect to find execs and sophisticates treating their tattered hands and feet over martinis and phone luncheons -- but thankfully, mobiles and Ďtudes are (at least figuratively) checked at the door.

Owner Jade Goransonís m.o. at this diminutive yet classy Embarcadero Center day spa is that hours and hours of highrolling might be nice, but theyíre scarcely doable for those of us chained to work and other pampering-unfriendly responsibilities. Clients who are pressed for time can opt for 30-minute facials, simultaneous mani/pedis, and 10-minute chair massages; of course, if you donít mind making your 1 oíclock wait a bit, thankfully, Vanity values service over speed.

Vanity exercises the most persnickety sanitation standards, so donít fret over ooky whirlpool foot tubs -- opt for the signature Vanity French Lavender mani/pedi combo, which includes a judiciously administered exfoliating rub and warm crŤme massage. While youíre getting the rock star treatment, you can relax over a complimentary glass of wine with a heated neck wrap as your ring gets cleaned. (Be sure to check out the spaís specialty rack of one-of-a-kind designer colors before settling into your chair). Of course, if youíve got time to kill, you may want to look into a post-pedi brow shaping or bikini wax. At the very least, the shoulder massage youíll get while waiting for your fingers and toes to dry makes Vanity one of the most highly touted cubicle respites in town.

Silk Hands & Feet Spa
If you were to die and go to pedicure heaven, Silk Nail Salon is the place youíd be. This unassuming Japantown/Cathedral Hill haven has been launched into the local spa stratosphere largely due to word-of-mouth praise. Impeccable service, affordable treatments (though, admittedly, its growing popularity and the continuous onslaught of new customers has made for a few price adjustments), and oh-so-relaxing manis and pedis that manage to last for weeks before wearing off are some of the things that make beauty extremists swear by Silk.

What the airy Franklin Street spa lacks in ambience (i.e., no over-the-top chandeliers or gimmicky interior accents), it more than makes up for in service. Weekends are a bitch when it comes to nabbing a pedi throne, but complimentary refreshments for Saturday morning customers certainly sweeten the wait.

While the spa includes separate areas for full-service waxing and massage, the hour-long pedicure gets the most takers, meaning that even on a lazy Tuesday morning, youíre apt to see a gaggle of takers waiting their turn. And itís no wonder -- vigorous massage with warm lotion, a fluffy foot bath with marbles to soothe worn soles, plenty of hot towels, and lots of attention to shaping, buffing, and smoothing, make Silk a favorite among meticulous pedi aficionados. The extensive service menu might be a bit dizzying, but the decadent and deeply moisturizing Milk & Honey pedicure is where itís at; this includes a delectable aromatherapy massage cream made from jojoba oil, lavender essential oil, almond meal, peppermint, and honey -- as well as a foot mask concocted from avocado and buttermilk. The high-end polishes and occasional customer appreciation parties are just icing on an already satisfying cake.