When it comes to the latest that's-so-L.A. moment in beauty, the clues may be coming from the stars — not Hollywood ones but the ones from the great beyond.
At Bellacures, a high-end nail salon with SoCal locations that include Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Pasadena and South Bay, there's a new service: the Spiritual Awakening Pedicure, which brings together elements centered on the cosmetic and the cosmic.
Bellacures' new pedicure was created by the nail salon's founder Samira Far, who intended for the foot service to elevate the standard pedicure to a higher level of relaxation and self-pampering by combining aromatherapy, crystals and intention-setting.
Far's passion for energy healing, meditation and crystals led her to create the Spiritual Awakening Pedicure, which was introduced in January at Bellacures, whose clients include Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba and Lea Michele. The Spiritual Awakening Pedicure, which takes about 50 minutes, is $65; other pedicures range from $50 to $75.
"I've done a lot of different types of work that take you into your inner self," Far says. "You don't think [this type of work] is relevant to a pedicure because it's so abstract, but we've taken a ritual people are already doing and are elevating it, engaging all of the senses and trying to transform any negative energy."
After taking a seat in a salon chair, customers seeking a spiritually minded pedicure select six essential oils (with names such as Focus, Peace and Love, Relaxing, Magic, Purification or Sleep) to inhale or apply to pulse points.
Then three jars of crystals are presented to clients, who must select the type of stone that best captures the intention they want to set at the beginning of the pedicure. (Rose quartz is used to open the heart chakra, while smoky quartz is used to cleanse negative energy and a vibrant green aventurine stone is said to help with creativity and imagination.) And why use the crystals?
"Crystals are mineral compounds that have uniform geometric molecular formations that allow the crystal to give off high frequencies of healing vibrations," says Kristin Matoba, a Los Angeles-based energy healer and Reiki master. "Placed in water, the crystals' vibrations are amplified because the water becomes an energy conductor much like copper wiring."
In the case of the Bellacures pedicure, the customer acts as that energy conductor by holding onto a crystal to activate it with a positive intention.
Also, part of the treatment involves a sheet of "vanishing wish paper" on which the client writes down negative thoughts and feelings before it's tossed into the water of the foot bath, where it disappears upon contact.
The "wish paper" is a product Far found through a pool supply company, which uses it to test chemicals. She said the paper felt like the ideal tool for the pedicure and for helping clients rid themselves of negative thoughts.
"Writing is a really big part of my life, I write every day as a way of getting my thoughts out into the world," says Far. "In the world of shamanism, [shamans] burn a lot of what is written down, and I wanted to take that practice and apply it. I then wondered if there was a way to make it disappear."
After the paper is in the water, a nail technician gives the client a lengthy foot massage with an exfoliating scrub developed by Bellacures. The service continues with the typical steps of a general pedicure, including nail and cuticle cutting, applying lotion to the feet — in this case, it's Bellacures' Butter Cream — and polishing.
Now whether having a spiritual pedicure will enlighten a client is personal, but the service does reinforce the meaning of "me time."
Matoba says that the biggest benefit of services such as a Spiritual Awakening Pedicure is being able to customize the experience.
"Taking typically surface beauty practices and elevating them with customized treatments like setting intentions, scents and crystals helps raise a person's frequency and can bring the experience to a whole other level," she says.