Best of Marin 2015: Beauty and style

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1ST YEAR HALL OF FAME: BEST DAY SPA

The philosophy at Evo Spa centers on “self-EVOlution,” and the idea that one’s body can heal itself when provided with nurturing therapies. A place where you can put your worries aside, relax and unwind, Evo offers everything from facials and massage to waxing, spray tans, acupuncture and Chinese medicine. They even have an oxygen aroma bar. “We’re always perfecting and enhancing our services,” says Elizabeth Bevil, spa director. Asia Thorpe, lead esthetician, says that she’s very grateful that Evo has landed in the Hall of Fame. “We’re excited to keep growing as a company and as a family,” she says. “We really just want to nurture each other to be the best that we can be, so that we can give back to the community.”

Evo Spa

800 Redwood Hwy., Suite 216, Mill Valley, 415/383-3223, evo-spa.com

 

2ND YEAR HALL OF FAME: BEST BEAUTY SUPPLY COMPANY

Located in Novato’s Vintage Oaks shopping center and in downtown San Rafael’s Montecito Plaza, Marin Beauty Company is a family-owned business that was established in 1988. Marin Beauty Company boasts a 1,000 square-foot retail floor and a 1,000 square-foot full-service hair salon. As their website says, “We have everything you need from head to toe … have it done, or to go.” The hair stylists and colorists have a combined total of more than 50 years of experience, so it’s safe to say that you’re in good hands.

Marin Beauty Company

140 Vintage Way, G-11, Vintage Oaks, Novato, 415/892-3600 and 417 Third Street, Montecito Plaza, San Rafael, 415/454-4500, marinbeautycompany.com

 

BEST NAIL CARE

Lavande Nail Spa offers nail care services, facials, waxing and massage, so after a visit, you’ll be looking fresh, and ready to take on the world. All natural manicure baths—consisting of lavender, rose petals, milk protein and fresh mint—will soften your hands and refresh your cuticles, and anti-aging peels—including those made with blueberry and pomegranate antioxidants—will rejuvenate your face. A menu of massages—Swedish, deep-tissue, aroma-nirvana, hot stone, reflexology and sport— includes an enticing couple’s treatment.

Lavande Nail Spa

800 Redwood Hwy., #803, Strawberry Village Center, Mill Valley, 415/388-6699. Various other locations throughout California, lavandenailspa.com

2ND Three Sisters Salon, San Rafael

3RD Happy Nails, San Rafael

 

BEST HAIR SALON

“We can do any style, from classic to off-the-charts edgy,” says Monica Brewer Goodell, one of 22 professionally trained hair designers at  Brewer Phillips Hair Design. The regular Best of Marin winner offers customers world-class cuts, color and keratin treatments, and a creative, energetic, family-friendly environment that makes everyone from small children to the elderly feel welcome. Classes are frequently offered so that hair designers can stay on top of the current trends, the work of local artists is featured on the walls and the salon donates to nonprofits that are close to the hearts of the owners. “Thank you for making me look and feel better,” hair designers often hear from customers. “We’re very honored, and thankful for our loyal clients and friends,” Brewer Goodell says.

Brewer Phillips Hair Design

906 Fourth St., San Rafael, 415/485-1437, brewerphillips.com

2ND Hairfax Studio, Fairfax

3RD Edward’s Salon, Mill Valley

 

BEST BEAUTY SUPPLY COMPANY

For all of your hair and body care needs and more, Northgate Beauty Shop & Salon is the place to go. They offer haircuts and color, manicures and pedicures and waxing services, and a great selection of beauty supplies—all at amazingly reasonable prices. “Not only are Lee and Kim absolutely adorable and professional, but both give terrific haircuts for a reasonable price,” says a customer. “I’ve paid three to four times as much in posh beauty salons (often too chatty and crowded) and have not been nearly as satisfied with the results.” The Northgate Mall location makes it easy to combine a beauty outing with a shopping spree.

Northgate Beauty Shop & Salon

5800 Northgate Mall, Level 1, San Rafael, 415/ 479-8112,

shopatnorthgate.com

2ND Beauty Store & Salon, Novato

3RD Gateway Beauty Supply, Sausalito

 

BEST MASSAGE

Hall-of-Famer Evo Spa makes an appearance this year as the winner of both the best massage in Marin and the best facial. So what sets them apart? “Five-star service,” says Asia Thorpe, lead esthetician. “Top-of-the-line products, treatment and a highly trained staff,” adds Elizabeth Bevil, spa director. Appreciative of a loyal, dedicated clientele, the 12-year-old business offers clients massages that include therapeutic, deep-tissue and hot stone, along with a special “Tension Tamer” massage, chair massage and a “For the Mother-to-Be” massage. Evo uses only organic, vegan massage cream and oil, and all massages are performed on a BioMat that utilizes far-infrared rays for deep-penetrating heat. When customers leave after a massage, Thorpe says that they often tell the staff that it was the best massage they’ve ever had. “They’re blissed out,” she says.

 Evo Spa

800 Redwood Hwy., Suite 216, Mill Valley, 415/383-3223, evo-spa.com

2ND Mill Valley Massage, Mill Valley

3RD Stellar Spa, Corte Madera

 

BEST FACIAL

Evo Spa does it again! “It’s about healing and transformation,” says Ashally Park, front desk lead at the spa. Clients range in age from 13 to 90, and experiences are tailored to the needs and wants of each and every person who walks in. Facials include cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, nourishment with botanical extracts and serums, massage, masque and moisturizing. Natural face-lifting treatments and anti-aging facials are also offered, as well as tinting and make-up application. Every month, Evo highlights a treatment and a product line, so you’ll always be offered new and exciting experiences.

Evo Spa

800 Redwood Hwy., Suite 216, Mill Valley, 415/383-3223, evo-spa.com

2ND Stellar Spa, Corte Madera

3RD Champagne Salon & Day Spa, Tiburon

 

BEST DAY SPA

A room with a view: That’s what you get when you visit the Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point, located on the scenic and tranquil grounds of historic Fort Baker. The spa designs their own treatments that director Jenny Helling says are “effective, therapeutic and impactful, and true to the natural world,” and include massage, facials, aromatherapy, body treatments and water therapies. The treatment rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, and in summer the doors are open, giving the place a tropical feel. A tea bar with healthy snacks is featured, and you can find your bliss beneath the pines at a heated outdoor meditation pool. The staff members say that they are treated very well, and that this good cheer extends out to guests. What’s not to like?

Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point

601 Murray Circle, Sausalito, 415/339-4767, cavallopoint.com

2ND Stellar Spa, Corte Madera

3RD Frogs Hot Tubs, Fairfax

 

BEST FLORIST

Few things can brighten up someone’s day like a bouquet of freshly cut flowers, and this year, Natalie & Daria’s Flowers and Gifts was voted as a cut above the rest. The family-owned and operated business serves Novato, San Rafael, Greenbrae, Larkspur and Terra Linda. The team creates arrangements for any occasion, and offers fast and convenient ordering through a floral app. Rare and exotic flora can be paired with chocolates, fruit baskets, candles and a plush animal toy to customize a unique gift. A “deal of the day” makes it easy to find the right flowers at a price you can afford.

Natalie & Daria’s Flowers and Gifts

479 Entrada Dr., Novato, 415/883-0522, natalieanddarias.com

2ND Linda’s Flower Box, San Anselmo

3RD Hearts & Flowers, Belvedere, Tiburon

 

BEST GLASSES AND EYEWEAR

If you’re looking for eyewear that won’t make you look trendy, Mill Valley’s Rims & Goggles is the ticket. In the past couple of years, the independently owned optical boutique has been investing in more “independent eyewear.” So in addition to carrying big-brand names like Prada and Coco Chanel, the store carries their very own brand called Rims & Goggles Eyewear. These independently made glasses are designed by artisans in Italy, so you’ll be looking fashionable and unique.

Rims & Goggles

606 Strawberry Village, Mill Valley, 415/383-9480, rimsandgoggles.com

2ND 20/20 Optical, San Rafael, Novato

3RD Mill Valley Optometry, Mill Valley

 

BEST JEWELER

Julianna, along with her daughter, Judy, first opened Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in The Village at Corte Madera when the mall was established nearly 27 years ago. Four years later, jewelry-maker and designer Jean-Louis Van Den Bosch joined the team. Today, their boutique houses more than 20 fine jewelry brand names, as well as an array of Swiss-made watches, including Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Raymond Weil and Luminox. For brides- and grooms-to-be, Julianna’s showcases nine distinct bridal jewelry designers.

Julianna’s Fine Jewelry

1632 Redwood Hwy., Corte Madera, 415/924-9711, juliannasfinejewelry.com

2ND Johann Paul Jewelers, Greenbrae

3RD Gold Rush Jewelers, San Rafael

 

BEST LINGERIE STORE

Feeling a little naughty? Want to feed your inner sex god or goddess? Then Pleasures of the Heart should be your next shopping destination. This very liberating shop sells lingerie, costumes, erotica, accessories and sex toys for men and women. Owner Erika Bowker, who was once a safe-sex advisor, believes that sex is one of the basic parts of humanity, but that it is subjugated in this culture, which is wrong. “It is a good shop for men and women of any age who want to experiment, but have never been in this kind of store,” Bowker says. She adds that her customers even include women and men in their 60s who have been referred by doctors to deal with sexual dysfunction. “When many people first come in, they are often shy and nervous, but once they relax and let go of shame, they blossom sexually and develop a new sense of health and confidence, and their lives improve in every way,” she says.

Pleasures of the Heart

1310 Fourth St., San Rafael, 415/482-9899, pleasuresoftheheart.com

2ND Chadwick’s of London, Mill Valley

3RD The Lingerie Shoppe, Larkspur

 

BEST SHOES

If you’re looking for the right shoe to fit, Sole Desire Shoes is the place to go. Selling fashionable European products, the store won’t let you down when it comes to scoring the coziest flats or heels. In addition to shoes, the 25-year-old business sells sunglasses, handbags, wallets and more to help complete any outfit. Comfort and style is always a winning combination.

Sole Desire Shoes

5800 Northgate Mall, San Rafael, 415/472-1202, and 184 Bon Air Center, Greenbrae, 415/419-8130. Various other locations throughout California, soledesire.com

2ND Lark Shoes & Repair, Larkspur

3RD Red Hill Shoe Repair, San Anselmo

 

BEST MEN’S CLOTHIER

Time to freshen up your wardrobe, gentlemen? For more than 60 years, Louis Thomas Fine Men’s Apparel has been specializing in providing stylish and well-made apparel for men. They have everything you need to look like the gentleman you are, including sportswear, formalwear, suits, accessories and any kind of custom and made-to-measure clothing (including ties). They also rent formalwear and tuxedos for special occasions. Check them out at either of their two locations—Corte Madera and Petaluma.

Louis Thomas Fine Men’s Apparel

211 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, 415/924-1715 and 115 Kentucky St., Petaluma, 707/765-1715, louisthomas.com

2ND Gene Hiller Menswear, Sausalito

3RD Unionmade, Larkspur

 

BEST WOMEN’S BOUTIQUE

“Effortless fashion.” That’s how Viva Diva Boutique manager Bri Lindemulder sums up why Viva Diva was voted Marin’s Best Women’s Boutique. Owner Amy Anderson opened the contemporary, wearable fashion boutique 17 years ago by accident. “I was a waitress and irreparably injured my wrist, so I got a job as a clothing rep—hated it—and quit,” Anderson says. And by some kismet-like coincidence, Lindemulder found her way into Viva Diva after having to quit her full-time job cutting hair, due to a back injury she had sustained in a car crash. Both credit their unexpected turn of events for why their customer service is “hardcore.” “We just have fun; we’re here to style you, not just sell clothes,” Lindemulder says. And the style is “L.A. bohemian with New York rocker edge,” thanks to sourcing directly from each coastline. Designer brands such as AG and Hudson jeans, Tart Collections and Ella Moss are fresh, feel-good and a great fit for all ages.

Viva Diva Boutique

1327 Fourth St., San Rafael, 415/256-8380, vivadivaboutique.com

2ND Alice Becker Inc., Novato

3RD Bella, San Rafael

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