PURE + SIMPLE
27 Bellair, 416-924-6555; 2375 Yonge, 416-481-2081, www.pureandsimple.ca
Pure + Simple's spa staff use its line of natural and organic skin care products during treatments like detox facials. Our favourite is the Urban Renewal service that deep-cleans city living from your pores.
TAZ HAIR CO.
11 Yorkville, 416-922-6060, www.tazhair.com
We're admitting this is where we get our hair cut (and no, it ain't gonna be free after this shout-out). Taz is a laid-back Yorkville anomaly where septuagenarian Rosedale ladies, young families and style-discerning young 'uns mingle at the hair-washing sinks before being coiffed into classic dos and trendy hair-show styles.
20 Camden, suite B2, 416-203-0014, www.polishbeautybar.com
There is no shortage of nail bars in Toronto where you can get a quick budget mani or pedi, but for the sheer indulgence of its nail service experience, we pick Polish. Events like Thursday-night Music, Manicures And Martinis and Stroller Tuesday pamper urban beauty junkies.
Cosmopolitan Hotel, 8 Colborne, 416-350-2424, www.shizenspa.com
Hidden away on the Cosmo's fourth floor is the miniature but marvellous Shizen Spa. The Zen space only has three treatment rooms, so you'll never feel like another anonymous knotty back. Treatments include aromatherapy, hot stone and reflexology massages and the classic Swedish rubdown.
471 Adelaide West, 416-364-0400, www.bodyblitz.ca
Body Blitz took Toronto spa culture to a whole new level this year with its luxurious water bath circuit. Pools are spiked with sea salt and green tea, and a dip is usually followed by a spa service like the Body, Bake And Beyond, which includes a mud treatment, face mask and full massage for $195.
SHOP BOBBY FIVE
1239 Queen West, 416-538-6528, www.bobbyfive.ca
It doesn't look like your typical tat shop -- the sleek-looking studio doubles as a gallery with rotating monthly shows -- and Rob Coutts and Dave Glantz ain't your typical skin-jabbers. These art school grads specialize in custom work -- traditional Japanese and American designs mixed with classical influences and art nouveau. For something off-the-wall, go somewhere else. If you want a kickass piece of art on your arm, this is the place. But make an appointment, Bobby Five books weeks, even months in advance because yes, they're that good. Body Blitz's luxurious water bath feels like nothing else. kathryn gaitens