889 Yonge What to expect: A gorgeous eco space operated with sustainable materials, home to a yoga studio and holistic spa. Must-have treatment: The holistic facial performed by beauty therapist Julie Royal, a specialist in Ayurvedic Medicine and skin and dermal therapy. Price range: From $125 Insider’s secret: The holistic clinical approach addresses all complexion issues individually, offering various techniques and treatments such as a deep tissue massage, which rebalances the facial muscles. —Emily Huggard
Where: 942 Kingston Rd. T:416-686-3125. What to expect: This petite nail and beauty spa in the east-end offers some of the most thorough and budget-friendly treatments in the city. Must-have treatment: The mani/pedi includes a mini massage to relieve tired muscles. Price range: With manicures starting at $15, pedicures starting at $28 and a mani/pedi for $40, you can pamper yourself guilt-free. Insider’s secret: Snag a coveted appointment with Monica (you can thank us later!). Her attention to detail means your feet will be scrubbed, buffed and polished like never before. —L.F.
What to expect: Two convenient downtown locations allow clients to discreetly slip into this sleek space for skin care and hair removal treatments ranging from spider vein removal to microdermabrasion. Must-have treatment: Fraxel skin resurfacing. The latest FDA-approved treatment to improve wrinkles, pigmentation, stretch marks and surgical scars, it even boasts a shorter-than-normal recovery time. Price range: Fraxel treatments start at $400 and bikini area laser hair removal starts at just $120. Make an appointment to determine what treatments are best for you. Insider’s secret: First-time clients benefit from 20% off.
What to expect: You know that glow you have after a visit to the spa? That blissed-out, totally relaxed feeling? Grab some respite from a hectic day at Elements Wellness + Medispa. Stop by for a Vichy shower (hydrotherapy water massage) or a sea salt buffer (energizing body treatment) to get back to gorgeous when feeling frazzled and rundown. Helmed by Dr. Ali Adibfar, Elements Wellness + Medispa is a boutique spa in the heart of Yorkville specializing in beauty and medical treatments for all skin types. Fraxel treatments are a client favourite, using lasers to stimulate the skin’s natural healing process and rejuvenate damaged skin.
For beauty junkies who want to add more oomph to their exfoliating routine, check out microdermabrasion. With no downtime, it smooths tiny wrinkles and tones up collagen for a healthier glow. —Laura Flanagan
Elmwood Spa Contact:www.elmwoodspa.com (877) 284-6348 Location: 18 Elm Street What to expect: A recent multi-million dollar renovation has ensured the Elmwood Spa is one of Toronto’s most luxe getaways. With four floors of stylish space, they offer a wide variety of treatments including water therapy, massage, facials, manicures, pedicures and a hair salon. Two on-site restaurants allow you to enjoy the day with the luxuries of home.
What to expect: A truly “boutique” gallery-inspired hotspot. Get snipped and coloured while you sip on a complimentary martini, glass of wine or herbal tea. Top it off with a shoulder, neck and hand massage, free with all services. Must-have treatment: The Bumble and Bumble Deep Conditioning Treatment. Price range: Cuts start at $70 (students $60). Colour starts at $70 and foil highlights at $95. Colour corrections by consulation available. Insider’s secret: Spoil your hair with Bumble & Bumble, the salon’s exclusive brand. —Emily Huggard
What to expect: With over 20 years experience as a stylist, John Taccone launched this salon in fall 2007. Tucked into the pretty courtyard at 250 The Esplanade, Navigate’s serene atmosphere is a refreshing change from the high-brow attitude and hectic atmosphere of some salons (Don’t forget to enjoy an herbal tea when you arrive). During salon off-hours, half of the 1,700 sq. ft. salon space is used for Pilates and yoga classes. Must-have treatment: Push—a technique where a gentle change in hair tone and colour level gives your locks fullness and depth. Price range: Cuts start at $68 and colour starts at $85. Insider’s secret: Become a return client, and if you’re lucky, you may receive a loyalty card that gets you a discount on your services. —Karen Kwan
Where: 6 Ossington Avenue, T: 647-345-6663. What to expect: This new little salon off west Queen West caters to downtown hipsters and uptown stylistas alike. Stop by to get an outrageous do or simply a modern update, the three pro stylists and colourist will refresh your style in no time. Parlour exclusively uses the luxe Kevin Murphy line of hair products. Must-have treatment: Visit Sergio and you may as well kiss your old hairdresser goodbye. The classic shapes and strong lines of his cuts mean you’ll perpetually be asked, Who’s your stylist? Price range: Cuts start at $58; colouring starts at $80. Insider’s secret: First-time clients are offered a free hair treatment. Choose from volume, shine, moisture or repair. —Laura Flanagan
Where: 705 King Street West, T: 416-629-6936. What to expect: This private studio was one of the first in the city to specialize in synthetic eyelash extensions, so you can count on expert application and high-quality false lashes that mimic the look and feel of real lashes with zero glue or clumping in sight. Must-have service: The Superlush for mega volume and length that’ll last five to eight weeks (or longer if you pop in every three to four weeks for a “refill”). The extra: Take it up a notch with Swarovski crystals (placed along the lash line) or a set of sparkly or coloured lashes. Prices: From $80 (for a Partial set or refill) to $250 (for the Superlush set). —Janna Zittrer
What to expect: If you live in the GTA and haven’t heard of Pure + Simple yet, you either live under a rock or you’re a spa virgin. Either way, we suggest heading to one of their three Toronto locations ASAP.
Their philosophy is simple: no fuss and completely thorough. All services are free of chemicals, fragrances and preservatives. But don’t mistake purity for a granola-like experience.
Our fave (and the highly-effective treatment they’re famous for) is the Urban Renewal Facial. Esthetician Tamila (at the King St. location) is a doll who knows her stuff when it comes to energizing city-ravaged skin. (The proof: the bf noticed our newly glowing skin right away!)
For a complexion pick-me-up to take home, superpower all-natural lines by Jurlique, Dr. Hauschka, John Masters and Jane Iredale are sold at all locations. The best perk may be Pure + Simple’s monthly emails, filled with specials and discounts on facials and products—a little reminder to pamper yourself regularly.
Location: 793 King Street West, T: 416-306-0040. What to expect: With a nail bar, tanning salon and spa, this trendy downtown spot is your all-service stop. Brides-to-be can relax knowing everything from wedding day hair and makeup to manis and waxing will be looked after under one roof. Must-have treatment: Get ready for your big day (and night!) with one of Ritual’s famous Brazilian waxes. They guarantee to have you in and out in 10 minutes flat. Price range: Brazilian, $47; Bridal packages start at $150. Insider’s secret: Check out their sister salon, Ritual 2, just down the street at 787 King Street West. Their Blow & Go Bar is perfect for a bad-hair-day quick fix. —Elyse Goody
Salvatore Leonetti Salon Contact: (416)849-9385 Location: 69 Yorkville Avenue
This 9-months young salon comes with serious pedigree. Co-owners Salvatore Leonetti, the tress master, and Wendy Cho, the pro aesthetician, bring experience from Salon Jie, Salon Daniel and Tony Chaar Salon, to their own digs in the chi-chi Yorkville neighbourhood.
Their approach became evident during my blow-out (which looked still fresh and gorgeous for a wedding I went to the next day) and manicure (Wendy pampered my cuticles and finger tips while Sal got busy on my hair). They’re friendly yet chic; uptown but comfortable. And from hair wash to cuticle pushing, I wasn’t witness to one painful tug, push or pull (we all know this happens way more than it should, even at the best salons). Seduced by the team’s easy manner and expert work, I’m almost tempted to cheat on my regular salon stylist and manicurist.
I’m especially impressed with their offering of facial hair threading. Still a little known practice of removing hair using sewing thread and the twist of the wrist (and hard to come by in posh salons across the country), it’s the best way to get rid of those baby hairs that a tweezer and waxing always leave behind.
So if you’re a young socialite in training, a seasoned society girl who’s looking for a change, or just a gal who wants a sexy hair cut and style without the attitude, get gussied up with Sal and Wendy. It’s money—and time—well spent.
What to expect: The best of both worlds. SKIN Medical Spa focuses on improving the health of your skin and your overall wellbeing by using the principles of traditional Western medicine and an Eastern holistic approach. Services range from peels to microdermabrasion, laser hair removal and even vein therapy. Must-have treatment: Organic Ayurvedic Medi-Facial Price range: Organic Ayurvedic Medi-Facial, starts at $150; Microdermabrasion + Treatment Peel starts at $150; Intense Pulsed Light Skin Rejuvenation Therapy, starts at $375 Insider’s secret: On your first visit you’ll meet with a SKIN Medical therapist who analyzes your skin and creates an individual Personal Skin Program (PSP) to achieve your skin goals. —Laura Flanagan
What to expect: 8,000 square feet of spa space, including an indoor saline pool, a Himalayan salt hot tub and steam room, fitness facilities and a private terrace where you can Zen-out with a view of the CN Tower. Must-have treatment: Key Senses, a 90-minute holistic treatment incorporating aromatherapy, hot stones and a customized massage. Price range: The Signature Key Senses Treatment, $250; facials starting at $105 (Deep Cleanse); Spa Manicure, $55. Insider’s secret: Fans of all things eco will love that this spa uses Jurlique organic skincare, Spa Ritual vegan nail care, and Jane Iredale natural mineral makeup in their treatments. —Carlene Higgins
What to expect: This cute Danforth Ave. nail bar is all about fun. From our first moment in the door, the amiable and professional staff made us feel right at home. Must-have treatment: Let’s just say we’ve got a girl crush on Rita; her manis and pedi are killer (read: chip-proof and no bubbles!). Price range: Manicures start at $15, pedicures start at $30 and add on a paraffin treatment for just $8. Massages and exfoliation treatments are $75 each. Insider’s secret: Book a spa party and get your girls together for a night of gossip, bubbly and spa treatments. Is there a better way to spend your time? —Laura Flanagan
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