Cure winter woes with a little spa treatment

by Beacon Staff • December 6, 2006

You've finally given up on your flip-flops and neatly manicured toes, opting instead to stuff your feet into thick socks and warm winter boots, leaving them neglected until spring. Your hands are dry and cracked from winter's biting air and your highly heated dorm room dehydrates your skin.

Instead of suffering through the season with battered hands and feet, head over to one of the many spas and nail salons Boston has to offer for a quick winter pick-and-pretty-me-up.

Although you must consider factors such as price, products and proximity when choosing the location for your next manicure or pedicure, health and safety must not be forgotten.

Health Web site HealingWell.com lists several ways you can stay safe and healthy while still getting that pampering session you need.

The site suggests washing your hands before a manicure and having your nail technician do the same, requesting that your cuticles be pushed back instead of cut, being sure that all tubs contain new, clean water and checking that all tools are properly sanitized.

Ideally, purchase your own personal set of tools and bring them with you if possible.

Here are a few local spots that will help you put your best foot forward.

LA DOLCE VITA SALON DAY SPA 569 Boylston St., 2nd Floor

Less than a mile away from Emerson's campus, La Dolce Vita offers a variety of services ranging from $12 to $75. Simple nail polishing for fingers and toes runs the cheapest, while the spa manicures and pedicures will end up costing a little more. The 90-minute spa pedicure ($75) includes a whirlpool foot soak, cuticle and nail shaping, exfoliation, foot and leg massage, and polish application. But if you're a little more pressed for time and cash, try the mini pedicure ($35) which gets you a foot soak, nail and cuticle trim, and nail polish in about 45 minutes.

G SPA 35 Newbury St.

This spa has been featured in Vogue, Glamour, Elle, Lucky and Allure as Boston's "newest and hippest beauty boutique." G Spa's two-floor stretch offers a wide variety of "quickies" and "splurges," depending on the amount of time and money you are interested in spending. Choices include Quickie Hand Pleasures ($10 to $15 manicure), Quickie Sexy Soles ($20 to $40 pedicure), and Fuzz-Buster Waxing Services ($15 to $70). Junior marketing communication major Whitney DiStefano began frequenting this Newbury Street hot spot after reading a review in Allure and was pleased with the experience. "I loved the way it was decorated, and there was a very welcoming atmosphere," she said. "They sell my favorite brand of makeup, Trish McEvoy, there are always refreshments for the customers, and everyone is always extremely friendly." A fan of the Quickie manicure and pedicure, DiStefano recommends the spa to other students. "The manicurist does a wonderful job ... I think students would be extremely pleased with the results, especially for how much they'd be paying."

NEWBURY DAY SPA 8 Newbury St.

The winner of two "Best Of" awards at CitySearch.com, the Newbury Day Spa lists services from a polish change and paraffin hand treatment ($12 each) to a full set of tips with a manicure ($65). Catie Cullari, a junior TV/video major, recently visited the salon with a friend for her birthday. After choosing the $17 manicure and $39 pedicure, Cullari was pleased. "The best part was probably the pedicure. It was very relaxing," she said. She did note one minor flaw, however. "They didn't have the dryers to put our nails under after our manicures and it took a really long time for our nails to air dry."

SONDA NAIL SPA 16 Temple Place

When sophomore broadcast journalism major Elyce Taylor was choosing a nail salon, she looked for one in close proximity to her dorm. Sonda Nail Spa on Temple Place, right off of Tremont Street near the heart of Downtown Crossing, proved a good choice. "I went there because it was close by," she said. "I got acrylics and the prices range from about $17 to $22. It was good service, so I thought it was reasonable." The friendly staff and short waiting time added to the positive experience, she said. "The d