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Only in Los Angeles would a pedicure purport to have anything to do with spirituality. But in the City of Angels it’s somehow not that much of a stretch. Bellacures, the franchise of luxe nail salons with locations around the city and clientele including Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Lea Michelle and Jordana Brewster, has made that New Age-y nail care connection a reality with the latest treatment on its menu: the Spiritual Awakening Pedicure ($65).
The just-launched ritual is not just a run-of-the-mill pedicure with a trendy name — it’s a full-on experience complete with crystals, essential oils and an exercise in releasing negativity. According to Bellacures founder Samira Far, “Throughout the course of a day we can accumulate negative thoughts and feelings, so letting go and releasing that negative energy, along with setting positive intentions, is so crucial to a happy and healthy life.” Given the proliferation of alternative medicine and wellness practices in Hollywood right now — meditation, yoga, breath work, tarot card readings and crystals — it’s not a surprising turn.
The treatment promises to relax, release, re-energize and refocus. It is, of course, customizable. To start, the nail tech asked me to choose an essential oil from six options that come with a different intention: focus, peace and love, relaxing, magic, purification and sleep. I chose the jasmine, ylang-ylang, bergamot and rose blend for magic, which admittedly did create a tingly, relaxed feeling throughout my body after a deep inhale. The next step: Writing negative thoughts and stressful, anxiety-inducing feelings on a sheet of “vanishing” paper made of rice. I folded it up and placed it in a small muslin bag for later.
Before the pedicure proper could begin, the tech asked me to select a crystal: smoky quartz, a protection stone that cleanses negative energy; rose quartz, the famous love stone that supposedly opens the heart chakra; or aventurine, which is said to be good for luck, creativity, intellect and imagination. She instructed me to hold my rose quartz crystal in one hand and “activate” it by thinking about positive intentions.
Then came all the usual steps for a leisurely pedicure, including a drawn-out, incredibly relaxing and detoxifying foot scrub using Bellacures’ own sea salt scrub, and then a 10-minute foot and lower-leg massage with the brand’s Butter Cream, during which I zoned out blissfully. The paint job is standard, but at the end, before the technician carried away the foot bath, I was encouraged to release all the negativity from earlier. The vanishing paper went into the tub, where it dissolved in soapy water, the ink separating from the page and melting away.
Did I feel healed? Hard to say. But it’s a lot cheaper than a therapy session, or an appointment with Venice’s best aura healer. And it’s a twofer: You get a pedicure done at the same time.
Brentwood Village, 11712 Barrington Court, Los Angeles, CA 90049, bellacures.com.
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