Though I think of myself as a low-maintenance person, I am no stranger to facials and massages, and I’ve been coming to Seven salon.spa, at Seven South Street, Stockbridge, for my hair since it opened six years ago. But this is the first time that I have ascended to its spa – several generously sized, well-appointed, and immaculate treatment rooms on Seven’s second floor. Ascended seems the right word: this facial and the massage that follows it make me feel as though I’m floating on a cloud.
Au courant with the latest trends in healthful hair, skin, and spa products, Seven offers organic single-process hair coloring with Herbatint, products by John Masters and others, skin care products by Pangea and Comfort Zone, and Jane Iredale makeup, the purest mineral cosmetics on the planet. It also offers manicures, including long-lasting shellac solutions, and a range of skin and body treatments, including facials, massages, peels, waxing, makeup application and lessons, complimentary private steam baths for spa clients, and myotonolgy (described as a nonsurgical facelift – note to self: mark for future reference), even tarot and readings by intuitive Sheilaa Hite.
“We have a gamut of clients – women, men, kids, actresses, and elderly ladies, and try to serve all of them with a good range of prices for services,” Johnson says. “We respect our employees, and they have their own creative control over what they do. Good quality people always look for that. We’re lucky to have the staff that we have.”
Johnson still works in New York City two days a week at Space, the first high-end salon established in SoHo. Having trained with Vidal Sassoon, he spent four years doing magazine and runway work before deciding to work in the real world as a cutter and colorist. “It’s just much more fulfilling,” he explains. “What we do for our clients makes a lasting impact on their looks, and they’re living with the results of what we do day and night.” A great stylist combines mastery of technique with a high level of taste, and Johnson has both. The one thing that is missing at Seven is a diva-esque attitude among its employees and its clientele, and that’s a breath of fresh Berkshire air.
Today, I am breathing deep, as esthetician Nicole Troiano slathers my face with gentle exfoliating, deep cleansing, and rich moisturizing masks from Comfort Zone’s botanical, bio-organic Sacred Nature line. While the second mask penetrates, she treats my feet and calves to a massage and moisturizing treatment. Fifty minutes later, the facialist’s ministrations, a succession of eucalyptus-scented hot towels, and sybaritic potions of borage oil, ylang ylang, sandalwood, and jojoba oil have left my skin feeling luscious and looking radiant. “How often can I do this?” this formerly low-maintenance client asks Troinano. She recommends once every four to six weeks, the length of time it takes normal skin cells to replace themselves. In time, she explains, with these bioorganic treatments, the skin will become noticeably better in quality and tone. A few days later, I return to one of Seven’s massage rooms, where masseuse Lori Meek personalizes her treatments to the preferences of the client, from deep tissue work with lots of strong pressure to the more rhythmic and flowing motions of the Swedish massage. I opt for the latter, relaxing into a meditative zone while my neuromuscular and lymphatic systems bask in satisfied waves of contentment. Soothing percussive chords play quietly in the background, as the therapist kneads my back with an all-organic scentless, non-oily blend of jojoba and shea butter. “The more relaxed the client is, the deeper the massage can go,” Meek explains. With nine years under her fingertips, she and Alex Vinogradov, the other lead member of Seven’s massage team, offer a total of 34 years of experience, way above the industry’s three-year norm. In addition to individual treatments, they team up for couples massages. “Massages break up adhesions, move fluid in the tissue, and bring blood into the muscles, so over time, the body becomes more supple,” Meek says. “People move differently and look younger.”
I certainly feel that way. My complexion is radiant without makeup, my stride is somehow longer and looser, and my shoulders and back feel amazing. Deconstruct the word “treatment,” and what you get is “treat,” something we all deserve.
Seven salon.spa, 7 South Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262, (413) 298-0117, www.sevensalonspa.com.
~ A full-time real estate agent with The Kinderhook Group, based in Stockbridge, Gladys Montgomery specializes in architecturally significant properties, including historic ones in all price ranges. She is an award-winning writer and editor who was founding editor of Berkshire Living Home & Garden and is the author of five books and hundreds of magazine feature articles in the shelter and lifestyle field.