This post is for those who enjoy to be pampered whenever they can. 😉 There are so many beauty salons in Vancouver, some cheap and others too pricey. Here are my recommendations for your aesthetic needs in Vancouver in no particular order:
Absolute Spa – Downtown (2) & Richmond (3 – 2 within the airport)
There is a very good reason why this is Canada’s #1 spa. As soon as you enter, you are warmly welcomed and asked to fill out a form prior to the service you select (e.g. a massage or manicure). When booking with Absolute Spa, I highly recommend reserving at least half your day for a spa treatment. Why? Most of these locations include a relaxation lounge (where one can have tea or lemon water and lie on one of the single sofas), a eucalyptus steam room (open up the pores!), and even a gym or pool. Moreover, after every treatment, guests are treated to a complimentary healthy meal (salad with chicken, for example) in the dining room. Absolute Spa is like a mini getaway for locals, tourists, or business travellers. As it is one of the most expensive salons, it’s definitely more of a once in a year treat unless part of your company’s health insurance covers the massage treatments. I’ve only visited the Century Plaza (for a massage) and Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (for a manicure) locations. Between the two, Century Plaza was definitely the best in terms of facilities provided and space to relax.
Dona Lucia – Downtown & Kitsilano
This charming two-floor salon provides waxing, threading, facials, manicures, pedicures, and even Henna. I liked going to Punam to thread my eyebrows since she had been a cosmetologist in India for years and knew what to do with my sparse and often thinned-out eyebrows. Eyebrow threading costs $10. DL has been voted as the most pain-free place for body waxing and while I concur, I also think SWB (see below) is the best place to go. For facials, DL uses Eminence (made in Hungary).
Deux Chic – Kitsilano
This brocade-wallpapered salon on W Broadway has a mini chandelier over every ‘booth’. The women here always do a phenomenal job. A quick brow massage with aloe gel can be requested at no additional cost if need be. Eyebrow threading is usually $7 here but there is a weekly special on Tuesdays for $5! Just make sure you book an appointment on Tuesdays as they’re very popular. Deux Chic also offers waxing, manicures and pedicures, and facials. I once got a pedicure here and the lady helped me wrap my newly painted toes in saran wrap, put on my socks, and helped me into my shoes. Top service!
Blink Brow Bar – Coal Harbour
This small salon is located in Coal Harbour and is similar to Bombay Brow Bar but blue-themed. Guests will receive consultation on brow shaping, receive a relaxing eyebrow and head massage with aloe or rosewater gel, and also a cup of chai tea. Given the $21 fee for brow threading, this might be rather pricey for a biweekly fix for many of us. However, it’s definitely nice to feel pampered every so often! Blink also offers full-body waxing.
Stripped Wax Bar – Yaletown & Kitsilano & North Vancouver
As the name suggests, this is mainly for waxing services. Brows can be shaped for $15. This wax bar was suggested to me by my friend’s friend who had previously worked here. It is great for those who have sensitive skin or who are afraid of pain. SWB offers hard wax (for coarse hair or sensitive areas; removed without the aid of a cloth) and also their signature wax which contains tea-tree oil. The latter gives the most pain-free wax as it is the gentlest formula ever used on me. The staff here are very skilled and quick in their work so don’t you fret!