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FACE OFF! Indie Spa Facial vs. Chain Spa Facial




Spa: Spa Gregorie’s
Facial: Gemstone Facial
Vitals: 30 minutes, $65
Esthetician: Cami

The ambience: In Del Mar’s Flower Hill Promenade, Spa Gregorie’s has the requisite flute music and dim lighting.

The gist: The Gemstone Facial is new to San Diego: ice-cold rose quartz placed on my chakras; on my face, the edges of the flat stones were pressed in circular movements. Plus: steaming, exfoliation, aromatherapy, and a massage from my shoulders to my fingers.

The highlights: During the cleansing portion, she performed a 10-minute cheek-and-jowl massage. Ah-mazing!

The results: I was oily-looking after, but the next day, smooth as a baby’s bottom.

The bottom line: No extractions, just total relaxation. Great for a lunchtime facial when you need to de-stress. Or when you need a little flute music.

2710 Via De La Valle, 858-481-6672, spagregories.com

THE WINNER: spaViolet. Granted, their facial was three times the duration (and twice the price) of the other, but frankly, I didn’t notice any effects from the healing stones at Spa Gregorie’s, and spaViolet’s facial incorporated major effleurage. Plus, I felt at home. I mean, there was a kitchen, a backyard… and wine.


Spa: spaViolet
Facial: Fly Me to the Moon
Vitals: 1.5 hour, $120
Esthetician: Elisabeth

The ambience: spaViolet is an unmarked house on South Cedros in Solana Beach. Inside, a woman named Cindy served me a glass of wine. (Hello! 50 points!)

The gist: I began with a hand massage (instead of foot), then my hands were placed in hot mittens so I had smooth hands when I left. (When ever are your hands free to moisturize for 1.5 hours? Elisabeth fed me the wine.) Face: steam, cleanse, exfoliate, extract, and mask (but I got a peel).

The highlights: I loved the heavy-handed effleurage and the pressure point thing on my neck, décolletage, shoulders, arms, and back. Oh, and also the scalp massage.
The results: Skin is super soft and complexion is clear the next day.

The bottom line: I left spaViolet in the most amazing stupor ever. Really. I stumbled out of there. I plan on stumbling back.
735 S. Cedros Ave., 858-356-9943, spaviolet.com

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