Travel

Santa Monica Health & Beauty

Establishment neighborhood
Altus Health
1934 14th St., Santa Monica
If you didn’t know it was there (right off Pico), you could entirely miss Altus. It’s less a gym and more a healthy-lifestyle community hub that comes with trainers, chiropractors, alignment experts, massage therapists, and more. They take it seriously: Altus requires a membership, so you need to commit. Once you’re signed up, expect a full-body assessment followed by a thorough exploration of your goals and how to achieve them. Far from being terrifying, Altus adopts more of an old-school, hand-holding approach. They don’t want long-term members: Once you’ve gotten to where you personally want to be health-wise, you’re set free.
Breedlove Beauty Lab
1728 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica
Infrared saunas are an incredible way to get a great sweat. At Breedlove Beauty Lab, each sauna is customizable, so you are in complete control of your experience. We love sweating it out in the Sunlighten 3-in-1 mPulse infrared saunas, and Breedlove has three of these. There is also chromotherapy—or light therapy—which draws on the hypothesis that color affects how we feel. Before you leave, check out the bright and airy apothecary—it stocks plenty of aromatherapy, beauty, and wellness products.
Cocoon
1030C Montana Ave., Santa Monica
This is a one-stop shop for healing—whether you are in the market for Reiki, craniosacral bodywork, or even just taking a group napping class. Amanda, co-founder and Reiki Master will meet you where you are in journey of self-exploration. Jenny is an amazing bodywork practitioner focusing on craniosacral therapy. And, it’s never too early to learn to take care of yourself—Cocoon has Body Care for Newborns class as well Self Care for Girls (so your daughter can come). Nourish your soul, evolve and transform in this beautiful environment.
Face Haus Santa Monica
1426 Montana Ave., Santa Monica
The idea and execution here are brilliant: Face Haus is a facial bar with treatment chairs spaced evenly apart in one huge, airy room. The therapies are excellent and varied, ranging from peels and eye-area pampering add-ons to more intense sessions that include LED light and microdermabrasion. Renowned Beverly Hills–based dermatologist Harold Lancer is the consulting physician, so you can rest assured your face is in great hands. Bonus: You can rent out the whole place for private bridal and baby shower facial parties. (The OG location is in West Hollywood.)
Plumb Line
1913 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Allison Oswald wants to help women feel better. As a physical therapist, a board-certified women’s clinical specialist, and certified Pilates instructor, she’s uniquely equipped to take on that task. Many of her clients find their way to her bright, whitewashed studio with pelvic health issues, often during the postpartum period. She works with clients one-on-one and for as long as it takes to get them feeling confident and pain-free. Once they feel up to it, she—or one of Plumb Line’s excellent instructors—may suggest clients keep up their work with a Pilates regimen.
Alchemie Spa
2021 Main St., Santa Monica
The space is an eco-haven, designed with renewable, sustainable flourishes (the walls are made of cork, seagrass, and recycled wood)—and the facials are healing, pampering, and just: beyond. The Custom Superfood Facial floods skin with nutrients from tamarind, acai, turmeric, and manuka honey, while the Enlightening Ormus treatment’s miracle trifecta of microcurrent, LED light, and nurturing essential oil blends thoroughly revives skin. The infrared saunas are each tucked into a cozy private room with a shower—and they aren’t hooked up to Bluetooth, which means the promise of a genuine digital detox, too.
Speir Pilates
1427 7th St., Santa Monica
With only nine Reformer beds, classes at this beloved Pilates studio are small—which means plenty of attention from instructors despite the fact that classes are almost always fully booked. The space is sun-soaked and tranquil; the only wall not filled with mirrors or windows displays a white neon sign that aptly reads “sweat + good vibes.” Andrea Speir teaches many of the classes herself; they vary in purpose and intensity but all share the same challenging but gentle ethos (and heart-rate-upping playlists). Every instructor here is great, but we love Kit’s early morning cardio class prework, and Dane’s evening barre class if you require some extra motivation to push yourself after a long day. Also note: There’s usually plenty of free street parking before 8 a.m., and at any other time, you can park into the public garage underneath the Santa Monica Public Library a block away. For one-on-one instruction, book time at the private studio a couple of doors down.
Plumb Line Pilates
1913 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
Plumb Line Pilates is like traditional Pilates, but with special attention paid to the female anatomy. Let’s back up: It was founded by women’s health physical therapist Allison Oswald to combine traditional Pilates with personalized physical therapy or pre- and postnatal care treatments. With a focus on pelvic health, Oswald and her staff take a highly individualized and holistic approach to each client’s specific needs. There is also a certified lymphedema therapist on site to target a sluggish immune system, hormonal imbalance, stress, or really any combination thereof.
Shirley Lipner
Shirley's first career was in comedy, and so she brings a certain amount of levity to her readings (in fact, she played the role of Psychic Housewife on a call-in comedy show back in the day). Her incredibly precise readings are both light-hearted and profound, and full of astute insight and advice. She's particularly great at relationship and career advice, as she will evaluate the auras of everyone who surrounds you and highlight the most favorable path forward. She typically reads in person at her space in Santa Monica, though don't be offended at the lack of eye contact as she will be reading your aura and not your face. She also reads Tarot, though she uses them to offer a loose framework, rather than a more literal description of what might be going on.
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