Best Facial 2018
Dry skin. Aging skin. Sun-damaged skin. When your visage—and your spirit—need a boost, there's no place better than this cozy spa, situated on the ground floor of a Tremont Street townhouse. Offering not one but 11 unique, glow-inducing facials,étant's detail-oriented aestheticians make sure no clogged pore, blemish, or wrinkle is overlooked (bonus points for the incredibly soothing upper-body massage). Purchase a pack of six or 12 and make this a habit, not an occasional indulgence.
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TNGG - The Next Great Generation
Pamper yourself at these 5 Boston-area spas
étant - This trendy spa is known for its quality services, from massage therapy to microdermabrasion, body treatments, and facials; superior staff; and simple, unpretentious, and mellow ambiance. Guys, spas are made for you, too, and étant offers a customized facial for different skin types, incorporating exfoliation, hydration, and deep pore cleansing, plus brow, ear, and neck grooming.
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For many, though, it's the simple luxuries in life: a perfectly poured martini, that flawless little black dress, a nice, long nap. The folks at étant certainly seem to subscribe to that philosophy, what with their "Power Nap" Specialty Package ($145). Indulge in the 90-minute treatment, which offers an upper body massage, a moisturizing facial, and a paraffin hand treatment, and we swear you won't be able to wipe that blissed-out smile off your face for days.
The Improper Bostonian
Pie in the Face: Most folks crave a slice of pie come autumn. We prefer to slather the stuff on our face. Pumpkins are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A (retinol) and C (antioxidant) , which are said to cleanse, soothe and soften skin. But you needn't smash the squash yourself. étant, A Spa for Well Being serves up a Natural Exfoliating Pumpkin Peel with Aromatherapy facial year round!
Best Day Spa/Massage
The South End's favorite day spa and purveyors of massage, etant, opened on Shawmut eight and a half years ago, and moved to a well-lit and welcoming space - with a patio courtyard, no less - on Tremont five years ago. etant offers all kinds of massage as well as acupuncture, reflexology and polarity therapy. The first time we got a massage here we felt so good we practically bounced all the way home. etant offers a number of other special services, including ear candling, which sounds, well gross, but people swear by it. And don't miss spa staples like facials and waxing.
Stuff at Night
The Beauty Issue
Beauty Branches Out.
After your shopping spree, head around the corner to etant for some pampering. A neighborhood favorite for years, the spa offers both traditional and holistic treatments in a serene setting that feels far removed from hopping Tremont Street. If you're feeling experimental, give the Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture a go. Or if a straight-up indulgence is all you ask, not much can top a Four Handed Massage. Got plenty of time? Go for both.
The Healing Touch
étant, on Tremont Street, is a rare reasonably priced spa that focuses almost exclusively on health. "We don't do hair, nails, cellulite, weight loss body wraps, temporary fixes," says founder Scott St. Cyr, who started étant a decade ago and whose clients are now mostly regulars. "I wanted a place where people could focus on maintaining health." étant offers massage, acupuncture, polarity therapy, and in a latter-day concession to beauty - facials and waxing. The atmosphere is nurturing.
Flyura Bernstein, the acupuncturist is a delight, thrilled by her work and its benefits to clients. "Your lungs are dry," she observes. "Your liver is suppressed." And she wants to know, do I express my emotions?" "It is good for you to do that," she notes, since holding them in would exacerbate depressed organs.
Berstein infused energy into everything she touches. "It's beautiful, isn't it?" she asks with a smile as she shoves a needle into my scalp and explains about chi, which she is unblocking in meridians that involve my respiratory system, among others.
St. Cyr demonstrates Polarity Therapy. "We're working with five elements - earth, water, fire, air and ether," he says. "If you have a headache, I move the heat from your head to your feet. If we balance it out your feet aren't going to hurt. But I'm in such good shape after acupuncture that St. Cyr encounters little to work on. His massage feels great, though, St. Cyr has gifted hands. étant's no frills approach attracts a diverse clientele, say St. Cyr, including a population underrepresented at spas: men. Since I see more men arriving for appointments that I've ever seen at a spa I believe it.
The Improper Bostonian
Boston's Best Massage
The staff at étant take massage seriously: its purpose is not only to knead you into a blissed-out, relaxed puddle on the floor, but also to align and balance you, taking into account any medical conditions you may have. If you're an athlete, they can relieve the lactic acid built up in your sore, overworked muscles. If you have chronic back problems, they can temporarily relieve your pain. But for the rest of us, they are there to banish the stress of everyday life. Sitting in front of a computer or lifting children can leave you tight, and they tenderly or deeply work it right out of you. In our touch deprived society, their magic fingers are just what we need.
"in touch" Day Spas
A trail of incense mellows my senses as Jeanne Olivier invites me to lie clothed on a well- padded table in one of étant's treatment rooms. Placing a clear quartz crystal over my heart and third eye, she tells me the Personal Energetic Alignment session will help "align me with my highest potential." I am willing to give it a try. Borrowing from several energy modalities in a personal prescription unique to each recipient, my journey includes craniosacral holds, foot reflexology, and a body-tingling reiki and polarity therapy combination. Olivier "brings my water and fire elements into balance" with light touches from head to toe. Then, using some manual pressure and her focused intention, she aligns my chakras with polarity by placing her hands along specific energy pathways. I turn over and receive a lineup of crystals along my spine before I drift off - until the ringing of a crystal bowl revives me. After this other-worldly treatment, if feels almost unnatural to sit upright again, but moments later, I'm tranquil as a tree.
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Stuff @ Night
"Gimme 10 - Go for a Massage and let the fingers do the walking..."
South Enders who are too hip to be seen on Newbury Street rely on this hidden gem for all their spa-tacular needs. When that need is to be kneaded, there's no shortage of premier services. Massages are available in hour and hour-and-a-half time slots, and include Swedish full body (with aromatherapy to enhance the deep relaxation), Integrative (a combination of techniques and modalities from deep tissue to energy balancing), Sports Massage (a vigorous and individualized service), Couples Massage (so you can be rubbed while someone you love is right next to you), Four-Handed (the tag team for double the relief), Reflexology (for pressure-point-based massage), and Aromatherapy Hand and Foot Massage. Other services include polarity therapies, acupuncture, Reiki, mud therapies, and an assortment of body polishes and wraps.
The Improper Bostonian
Boston's Best Massage
Everyone has a favorite Beatle or cast member from Sex and the City, but you can still recognize the brilliance of the whole ensemble, which is what this award is about. Each member of the staff at this South End Day Spa is utterly devoted to your well being, and together they represent the full range of massage options period. For sore, tight bodies there is deep tissue and sports massage, focusing on specific muscle groups. Clients wanting a total mind and body experience have the option of integrative massage (which heightens body awareness), massage for energy balance, Swedish aromatherapy, and stretching for body alignment. For extra attention, choose the four-handed massage and get two masseurs to work out your kinks. Reiki, acupuncture and reflexology are also available. A sanctuary for those in need of some laying on of hands.
The Improper Bostonian
The Spas of Life
Bored with the same old facial, pedicure routine? Shake things up with out-of-the ordinary offerings at local Spas. Polarity Therapy at étant Polarity therapy sounds like something you'd see a shrink for, but it is actually a massage treatment developed by Dr. Randolph Stone to balance the body's energy systems (water, heat and air) and release blocked energy. I begin my hour-long session at étant lying on a massage table, fully clothed, minus shoes and socks. Spa owner and polarity therapist Scott St. Cyr cradled my head in his hands and gently pulled to stretch my neck and create space in my upper vertebrae, and then moved to my feet, so I could feel the stretch in my back. After a head, neck, shoulder, foot and ankle massage, he told me he was using his positive and negative poles to move blocked energy. Translation: he applied light pressure to the center of my palms and the bases of my feet, and then again to my upper arm and upper thigh. Next, I rolled onto my stomach and he worked his way up my back, squeezing each vertebra individually. On my way out, St. Cyr imparted words of wisdom, which felt kind of like a horoscope reading. Apparently I'm easily intimidated and give my power away. How he knew that from a little massage is beyond me. Regardless, I left feeling relaxed and centered.
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Get ready for summer, in the best spas from SoHo to San Francisco
"This is my secret weapon," Quinn Declared, holding a jar of cream-based wax." It won't harden like clear waxes do, so it's not as painful." The gray concoction felt comfortable on us, and Quinn's efficient movements meant the hair was history before we could wince. We left feeling as sleek as a seal, and certain that her weapon of choice wouldn't be a secret for long.
The Improper Bostonian
Short of developing an addiction to prescription drugs, there's no more reliable way to remain stress-free than with a regular visit to this South End House of Soothing. There's no need to schedule with a specific therapist because every member of the staff is outstanding,whether you need knots worked out with a deep-tissue sports massage or merely a relaxing rubdown (the Swedish Massage). The surroundings are pleasant and the services superb, with a minimum of New Age mumbo jumbo that makes so many other massage places unbearable. In short, they've got just the right touch.
Stuff @ Night Magazine
I know people who prioritize their weekly massages above their kid's swimming lessons. While I don't necessarily think that that represents a healthy perspective on life, it may be understandable. When faced with the question regarding the best massage in Boston, the first name on everyone's lips was étant. So what more can we say?
The Boston Globe
Go ahead, guys, make your day
Spoil yourself with a facial or a Swedish massage. It's OK. Really.
Owner Scott St. Cyr says what distinguishes a massage at the South End's étant Day Spa is that the therapists touch your face, not just your back and shoulders. Without warning, he plants two warm, meaty hands on my cheeks. I'm startled, even a bit uneasy. But then I feel the muscles in my shoulders and upper back release. It's like my whole body's exhaled.
Most men don't really have their faces touched, St. Cyr acknowledges. Unless someone draws attention to a problem, you may not even know it's there. Once they do, men realize that their faces aren't getting the attention they need.
étant offers its patrons many different styles of massage. Just want to unwind and relax? Try the Swedish massage. Need to work out the kinks? Deep-tissue massage will wring the knots from your muscles. Struggling with a sports-related injury? Your massage will be tailored to your injury and get you back in the game.
"Most men come in with issues with their legs," St. Cyr explains. "Hamstrings are a big deal. The upper back and neck are also big. It's the briefcases and laptops that they carry. And it's not just a male issue anymore. Women have it too."
Men not only get massages at étant, but also give them. "I heard over and over that it's difficult for a man to be a massage therapist," says St. Cyr. "Because men are nervous coming to men and women are nervous coming to men. None of us bought into that when we were going through massage school."
St. Cyr wants his spa to be homey and welcoming, where both men and women feel at ease (his clientele is 60-40 men).
"We've never really had to gear our business to men," he explains. "We don't have a lot of attitude or glitz . . . I purposely didn't do white walls, bright lights and mirrors. Men just come here and feel relaxed." étant must have the right touch as it's looking to move to bigger digs. But St. Cyr promises to retain the same storefront coziness.
The Improper Bostonian
"Maven - The service at étant was the best I have received in Boston, thus far. I was greeted as if I were a regular, and whisked away to Bernadette who skillfully waxed my brows. She did a fabulous job, careful not to overdo it (a pet peeve). During my massage with John, I realized that this is a well selected staff of exceptionally talented, unpretentious people who make me feel comfortable from the beginning to the end."
"Usually I feel like a clueless interloper in spas, but this unassuming place was so warm and friendly, they practically had to kick me out. The eyebrow waxing was a tad painful, but only instantaneously, and Bernadette skillfully shaped my uncooperative brows. After Scott gave me the first full body massage of my life, I almost didn't care that my car had just been booted."
If someone asked you if you've cleaned your ears with 'candling,' and you reply 'Sure my Bimmer has great handling,' then you're probably a good candidate for the treatment. Here's how it works: While you lie on your side, a hollow candle is stuck in your ear, then it's lit. This creates a vacuum in your ear, which causes all the wax and dead bugs and sand (if youre a surfer dude) in your ear canal to flow into the candle. It doesn't feel like anything is happening, and yet when the candle is cut open afterwards, you find that you've just had enough wax removed to make your own statue of Jimmy Hoffa (who, incidentally, may just have been discovered). In addition to the fun of seeing all the gross stuff that's been hiding inside your ear, you can actually hear better, too.
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Scott, the owner and hand wonder, took the time to explain this unique treatment to me. The indulgence started with a massage, where Scott used an aromatic lotion and his strong hands to make my cab ride a thing of the past. The next step was the very warm towel wrap. The foil and the towels, allowed the moisturizing lotion to penetrate my body. An hour later, Scott gently woke me out of my relaxed stupor. My skin felt soft, smooth, and cared for, a sensation that lasted through two crazy days, and as many showers. Impressive.
Holistic Center to Open Soon
Feeling down? Is the tension of the work-a-day world getting to you? Instead of booking yourselves into an overpriced spa in Arizona, South Enders can now head down Shawmut Avenue to the neighborhood's first holistic health business.
The new place is called étant (French for "being"), a holistic and alternative therapy center at 251 Shawmut Ave., that will open next month, according to owner Scott St. Cyr.
The former retail manager who dropped out of a 80-hours-a-week rat race five years ago to become a massage therapist and polarity realization specialist, St. Cyr is closing down his practices in Ipswich and Malden, and moving to Bay Village to be close to his new shop.
The location will provide massage therapy, herbal wraps, reflexology, aroma therapy and polarity. What could be better than having your body coated in oil and herbs for three quarters of an hour or having a private session where the elements in your body are aligned after a hard day ?
"It will be a conglomerate of a lot of different therapies, and we hope that will meet the needs of everyone", said St. Cyr.
In addition, the store will have a small retail section where oils and creams will be sold and other products "on wellness and well-being". The 1,200 square-foot site will feature three consultation rooms and a small area for reflexology.