Best of Marin 2017: Beauty, Health & Wellness

Going to the doctor isn’t always a party. In most cases, a visit to someone in a white coat means that you’re sick or injured, and all you want to do is curl up in a little ball in bed. But having a nasty flu, a broken toe, eyes that need new glasses or a chronic back injury doesn’t have to be a drag in Marin. This year’s winners prove that no matter what ails you, a dedicated health care professional is just around the corner, ready to make you feel better. And once you’re cured, there are plenty of pampering spas that can’t wait to show you your reflection.—M.O.

Time to Indulge

Tucked away in the Strawberry Village Shopping Center, Best Spray Tan winner EVO Spa is also your overall choice for Best Spa—but it’s more than that. Offering everything from herbal facials to infra-red saunas, EVO is a destination for all things indulgent. What makes their spray tan so awesome? Just the fact that it follows a sunless, un-hazardous DHA formula and delivers a sun-kissed, just-back-from-vacation tan, rather than a weird orange glow, a-la Trump. According to the spa, the formula is anti-aging as well, packed with antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients including organic aloe, DHA, vitamins A, C and E, Co-Q10 and Matrixyl 3000. What more could you ask for?

800 Redwood Hwy. Frontage Road, #216, Mill Valley; 415.383.3223.

Way of Life

The moment you walk into Gathering Thyme, this year’s winner in the Best Holistic Herbal Shop slot, you feel the urge to shed all unhealthy habits and embrace a better way of life. The San Rafael institution is always there for our readers when they need organic soap, sulfate-free shampoo or homeopathic medicine, and the array of spices is truly dazzling. With a nutritionist, herbalist, chiropractor and holistic psychotherapist on staff, Gathering Thyme takes holistic medicine very seriously, with classes, workshops and plenty of reading material on hand for those who may be just entering this fascinating world. And if you’re interested in diving deep into the topic, books await (so do delicious snacks and gifts).

1447 Fourth St., Ste. B, San Rafael; 415.524.8693.

Wax Off

Who loves to talk about waxing? That’s right—no one. So let’s just put it out there quietly: La Jolie, a San Rafael salon, is the winner for Best Waxing Studio. While going to the local JCC to get your bikini line in order may sound strange at first, clients can’t seem to get enough of La Jolie’s fast and on-point services, and love to compensate themselves, after an especially fierce waxing experience, with a quickie facial or a sauna. It’s a win-win.

200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael; 415.272.8108.

‘Me Time’

Doing your nails can be an everyday, mundane task, or a dazzling beauty experience—depends on where you go. With Lavande Spa & Boutique, Mill Valley’s leading nail salon, manicures are never dull. Another Strawberry Village hit, Lavande is the winner in the Best Nail Services category, and for a good reason; it always goes the extra mile (or inch) for the clients’ toes. The signature ‘extra’ manicure includes, what else, a lavender soak, and the pedicure includes a lavender aromatherapy bath. In addition to regular treatments, Lavande offers facials, reflexology and other fun add-ons, turning a weekly chore into some pampering ‘me time.’

800 Redwood Hwy., Frontage Road, #803, Mill Valley; 415.388.6699.

Rock Solid

You’re either completely obsessed with Spirit Rock Meditation Center, or know nothing about it—and it seems that the readers who voted it to be the Best Retreat Center belong to the first category. Hidden in the West Marin hills, Spirit Rock is all fields, buddha statues, attractive buildings with lots of natural sunlight and, most importantly, serenity and tranquility that stand out even in Marin County’s relatively peaceful surroundings. On the menu are meditation retreats with sitting and walking meditation, drop-in retreats, online courses and a comprehensive bookstore, plus friendly volunteers and staff. Whether you’re going for the big transformation or just a quick weekend recharge, Spirit Rock has the community’s back. It is, no pun intended, a rock.

5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Woodacre; 415.488.0164.

Pristine Precision

Facials are all about precision and the little things. Using Dermalogica products and mastering an aura of calm, Aura Beauty Lounge is your worthy pick for the Best Facial in Marin. Pristine and welcoming, the lounge offers free 20-minute consultations and a dazzling array of treatments, all delivered by calm and collected professionals. Clients love Aura’s attention to beauty and cosmetic trends, such as ‘energy-charged’ treatments and touch therapy, as well as its loyalty to returning customers and their needs. At the end of the day, what could be better than checking into an airy, stylish place guaranteed to return the glow to your face? That’s right—nothing.

61 Camino Alto, Ste. 101-B, Mill Valley; 415.384.9857.

Batting Lashes

Larkspur, on its own, is a little haven of esthetic pleasure and Instagram-friendly luxury. The winner in the Best Eyelash Extensions and/or Brow Enhancements category, Gloss Beauty, is no exception, mixing the cutest wallpaper with chandeliers, rich rugs and other swoon-worthy touches. But while the surroundings will make you feel pretty, the eyelash and brow services are unparalleled. You might not even feel that eyelashes and eyebrows are there, but once something goes wrong, your whole face goes south. At Gloss Beauty, in addition to life-changing facials, the estheticians prevent disasters, fix your mistakes and enhance faces with their expertise. And after the perfect lash extensions, it only makes sense to take a selfie with the colorful birds wallpaper.

1127 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur; 415.457.3067.

Against the Grain

Hair salons are often tricky—a cat in a bag, if you will, as so many nuances and circumstances collide in the making of a perfect haircut. In our winner’s case, the name says it all: Altogether Different Hair Design, your pick in the Best Hair Salon category, is indeed a different breed. The personal attention and the openness to walk-ins is second to none at this humble Corte Madera salon, and clients’ favorites Kim and Barbara never do a hack job. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that no matter what you’re after—highlights, a men’s haircut or styling, and more—they do it all with equal zeal and precision. Then, the big dilemma becomes—do you recommend this great place or keep it a secret? The secret is out.

47 Tamal Vista Blvd., Ste. B, Corte Madera; 415.945.8873.

Good Humor

You really must trust someone to lay down on a table, eyes closed and let them cover you with a myriad of tiny needles. In a small and cozy space in downtown San Rafael, the winner of our Best Acupuncturist category, Jennifer Jackson, has clearly earned your trust, and has worked her magic over satisfied clients for a number of years now. Rooted in classical Chinese medicine and influenced by Master Jeffrey Yuen, Jackson treats anything from muscular pain to menstrual cramps, and, according to her clientele, never fails to show compassion and a sense of humor. If you let someone puncture you, they better be funny.

706 D St., Ste. C, San Rafael; 415.686.6077.

Flora Tsapovsky

The full list of Best of Marin 2017 Beauty, Health & Wellness winners:

Best Acupuncturist
Jennifer Jackson
706 D St., Ste. C, San Rafael.
415.686.6077.

Best Allergist
Schuman Tam, MD
1000 S. Eliseo Drive, Ste. 101, Greenbrae.
415.461.8909.

Best Beauty Supply Store
Novato Beauty Supply
140 Vintage Way, G11, Novato.

Best Chiropractor
Marilyn Britton, DC
300 Tamal Plaza, Ste. 100, Corte Madera.
415.924.1327.

Best Dentist
Bruce Davey, DDS
30 Caledonia St., Sausalito.
415.332.4011.

Best Dermatologist
David Laub, MD
591 Redwood Hwy., Ste. 2210, Mill Valley.
415.381.6661.

Best Ear, Nose & Throat Physician
Romeo Agbayani Jr., MD
1000 S. Eliseo Drive, Ste. 103, Greenbrae.
415.461.9770.

Best Endodontist
Darron Rishwain, DDS
1526 Fifth Ave., San Rafael.
415.457.3002.

Best ER Doctor
Jeffrey Jim Dietz, Marin General Hospital
250 Bon Air Road, Greenbrae.
415.925.7203.

Best Esthetic Dentist
James A. McDowell, DDS
1447 Fourth St., San Rafael.
415.453.4720.

Best Esthetician
La Jolie Marin
200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael.
415.272.8108.

Best Eyelash Extensions and/or Brow Enhancements
Gloss Beauty
1127 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur.
415.457.3067.

Best Facial
Aura Beauty Lounge
61 Camino Alto, Ste. 101-B, Mill Valley.
415.384.9857.

Best Family Practitioner
Curtis F. Robinson, MD
619 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley.
415.388.2801.

Best Full-Service Beauty Salon
D&O Salon
800 Redwood Hwy. #220, Mill Valley.
415.389.8000.

Best General Practice Physician
Barry S. Landfield, MD
900 E. Eliseo Drive, Ste. 202, Greenbrae.
415.461.3500.

Best Hair Salon
Altogether Different Hair Design
47 Tamal Vista Blvd., Ste. B, Corte Madera.
415.945.8873.

Best Heart Surgeon
Joel Sklar, MD
2 Bon Air Road, Larkspur.
415.927.0666.

Best Holistic Health Center
Preventive Medical Center of Marin
4340 Redwood Hwy., Ste. A-22, San Rafael.
415.472.2343.

Best Holistic Herbal Shop
Gathering Thyme
1447 Fourth St., Ste. B, San Rafael.
415.524.8693.

Best Holistic Practitioner
Elson Haas, MD
4340 Redwood Hwy., Ste. A-22, San Rafael.
415.472.2343.

Best Hospital/Health Care Clinic
Kaiser Permanente
healthy.kaiserpermanente.org

Best Internal Medicine Physician
Sajot S. Grewal, MD
23 Reed Blvd., Ste. 120, Mill Valley.
415.795.7000.

Best Laser Surgery Center
The Laser Center of Marin
770 Tamalpais Drive, Ste. 301, Corte Madera.
415.945.9314.

Best Lasik Eye Surgery
Marin Eyes
165 Rowland Way, #207, Novato.
415.892.0111.

Best Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Kathy Jarosz, LCSW
Couplescounselingworks.com.

Best Marriage and Family Therapist
Benjamin Russack, MFT
Benjaminrussack.com.

Best Massage Services
Mill Valley Massage
61 Camino Alto, Ste. 102, Mill Valley.
415.381.1855.
1007 C St., San Rafael.
415.460.1855.

Best Midwife
Joan Green, Heart Wisdom Midwifery
Marinmidwife.com.

Best Nail Services
Lavande Spa & Boutique
800 Redwood Hwy. Frontage Road, #803, Mill Valley.
415.388.6699.

Best OB/GYN
Sally Boero, MD
100 Drakes Landing Road, #225, Greenbrae.
415.461.7800.

Best Oncologist
Dr. Bobbie Head
1350 S. Eliseo Drive, #200, Greenbrae.
415.925.5000.

Best Ophthalmologist
Robert R. Anderson, MD
900 S. Eliseo Drive, #102, Greenbrae.
415.461.8200.

Best Oral Surgeon
Alex Kashef, MD, DDS
770 Tamalpais Drive, Ste. 408, Corte Madera.
415.924.6936.

Best Orthodontist
Bales Orthodontics
1713 Novato Blvd., Novato.
415.897.3141.

Best Orthopedic Surgeon
Michael J. Oechsel, MD
18 Bon Air Rd., Larkspur.
415.927.5300.

Best Pediatrician
Michael Matsumoto, MD
97 San Marin Drive, Novato.
415.899.7414.

Best Pharmacy
Jack’s Drug Store & Medical Supplies
121 Tunstead Ave., San Anselmo.
415.454.1451.

Best Physical Therapist
Katherine Manning, Marin Physical Therapy
165 N. Redwood Drive, Ste. #120, San Rafael.
415.499.0278.

Best Plastic Surgeon
Stanley G. Poulos, MD
350 Bon Air Road, #300, Greenbrae.
415.925.2880.

Best Podiatrist
Catherine Cheung, DPM
599 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ste. 102, Greenbrae
415.785.3843.

Best Psychiatrist
Adam Nelson, MD
45 Camino Alto, #200, Mill Valley.
415.460.6710.

Best Psychologist
Patricia Kunstenaar, PhD
163 Miller Ave., Ste. 4, Mill Valley.
415.488.4673.

Best Retreat Center
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
5000 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Woodacre.
415.488.0164.

Best Spa
EVO Spa
800 Redwood Hwy. Frontage Road, #216, Mill Valley.
415.383.3223.

Best Spray Tan
EVO Spa
800 Redwood Hwy. Frontage Road, #216, Mill Valley.
415.383.3223.

Best Urgent Care Center
Golden Gate Urgent Care
750 Redwood Hwy., #1204, Mill Valley.
415.384.4778.

Best Urologist
R. James Yu, MD
1000 S. Eliseo Dr., Ste. 201, Greenbrae.
415.461.4000.

Best Waxing Studio
La Jolie Marin
200 N. San Pedro Road, San Rafael.
415.272.8108.