Simplicity is key when you want to add that upscale spa feel to your basic pedicure, says industry consultant Bonnie Canavino of Park Ridge, Ill.-based Spa Specifics. Small adjustments to your traditional treatments and to the salon environment will raise your services to a new level. The key is appealing to your clients’ senses.

Here are her tips:

  • Esthetics make a spa impression. Change the containers of volume-used products like foot soaks, creams, and masks into sensible but decorative jars and bottles. Select containers that match your decor and salon culture.
  • For a rich look and feel, try bubbles. Add a drop or two of liquid detergent to your foot and hand soaks — it gets the bubbles going. It’s also antibacterial, softening, and gets rid of any product ring. Of course, don’t leave the original container out — put it in a fancy bottle for dispensing.
  • Teas make great scents. OK, we usually grab for the candles and essential oils. Another option is using an electric teapot to brew strong smelling teas like cinnamon and honey Experiment with a variety of teas and have fun.
  • Create that cozy feeling. While the client first sits down, place an essential oil mixture on her pulse points. Mix chamomile or lavender essential oil with a grapeseed or hazelnut oil base and keep a premixed bottle at your station for easy access. Then place a warm towel that has been wrapped or slid into a flannel pouch around the client’s neck and shoulders. At the end of the service, massage her shoulders briefly before she gets up to dry.

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