Thursday, October 27, 2016Overcast 6°C
Fashion & Style

20 essential beauty shops and salons in Toronto

Posted by Robyn Urback / November 23, 2012

beauty torontoThe most essential beauty shops and salons in Toronto offer products and services you can't find at your corner barber, never mind at your corner store. These are places you'll find that cruelty- paraben- and sulphate-free shampoo to which you've grown loyal, that essential oil bubble bath to help you escape your day, and where you'll find the only person in the world you'll trust to mend your broken (read: over-plucked) eyebrows.

These essential beauty spots include hair salons, body shops, beauty bars, and green-minded spas, all of which share share the characteristic of leaving you feeling great (unfortunately, the same usually can't be said for your wallet).

Here's my list of 20 essential beauty shops and salons in Toronto.

Beauty without unnecessary chemicals, additives, or guilty labour practices. The body essentials you'll find at this shop may come with a bit of a higher price than most mainstream options, but such is the cost of donkey's milk lotion from Switzerland and premium anti-aging serum from France.

The Brow House
If you want a makeover that's limited to just above the eyes, this is your spot. We've all done terrible things with tweezers in our teens, and this is the spot to get it fixed. Brow shaping is done with tweezing, not waxing, and regulars swear by The Brow House's maintenance program.

Jacob & Sebastian
Jacob & Sebastian is all about pampering with bubble baths, aromatherapy candles, treatment oils, and countless lotions and potions. The Queen West shop has a healthy assortment of natural and cruelty-free products, with options such as Rahua hair products and Sprout skincare.

Fuzz Wax Bar
No nails, no makeup, no blow-dries, no blush. Fuzz Wax Bar is waxing, and waxing only. The shop offers maintenance packages for the gifted hair-grower, and welcomes walk-ins for a last-minute groom. Plenty of products, too, to "soothe" your visit.

Demo Soap
Soaps that smell (and some that look) good enough to eat; but please don't. Handmade from vegetable oil glycerin, Demo Soap has everything from Patchouli & Blood Orange soap, to Avocado Mint, to Cinnamon Roll soap, to Toronto Maple Leaf soap (despite the lockout). The Liberty Village shop also offers a line of certified organic soaps and oils.

Body Blitz
Um, this place has its own Dead Sea salt pool. Do I really need to say anything else? Well, in any case, the Blitz full body scrub is definitely a fan favourite, along with the spa's acclaimed lineup of sweet ginger and moroccan spice body glows. But the therapeutic waters definitely top the Blitz experience.

Doll Bar Inc.
As long as women love long hair (and don't have the patience to grow it out) Doll Bar will thrive. This salon is about extensions first and foremost, offering full head hair extensions, micro links, micro loc weaves, and customized clip-ins. Stylists will also apply hair that you bring in yourself, and help with the inevitable time-consuming extension removal.

bodyFood Aromatherapy Boutique
Using pure essential oils, bodyFood offers its own line of aromatherapy and natural body care products. The Liberty Village shop is your source for bodyFood jojoba bead face scrum and lemongrass foaming body butter, plus personal consultations and seminars for the enthused essential-oil shopper.

6 by Gee Beauty
The only place in the city (or country, for that matter) with its own Le Labo fragrance bar to custom-create your own perfume. Because who buys a bottle off the shelf these days? For a quick grab-and-go, however, 6 by Gee Beauty has plenty of shower gels, massage oils, body lotions and bath oils by Le Labo ready to take home.

Cooney for Hair
For those who look east (yes, past Leslieville) for hair inspiration, Cooney for Hair specializes in cuts, styles, and colours from Japan, plus products you can't find just anywhere. This salon is pretty unique in that you'll often find men in the salon chairs — notably those men, however, who like to keep a little length.

Colour Lab 12
A salon that's strictly all about colour. Tint, highlight, tone or treat — anything that pretty much doesn't involve scissors. And a lineup of iPads to play with while the colour sets.

Pinky's Nails
For the ostentatiously painted nail, few do it better than Pinky's Nails. This Richmond Street "professional nail art studio" does every type of intricate design, from holiday-inspired nail prints to custom thumb to pinky creation. Matte colour? Pft.

Not an obscure name, by any means, but still one of the best. Blo is your off-the-menu, quick dry and style boutique, with several additional services including extensions, treatments, and up-do's. But for a reliable and consistent "Wash Blow Go," Blo is it.

Eye Love Brow and Beauty Bar
Eyebrow aid for the west end. Operated by a former Brow House employee, Eye Love Brow and Beauty Bar offers brow shaping, tinting, shaping, and general rescue, plus full face makeup and application tutorials. Manscaping is also available to the overly-browed gent.

Lush & Lavish
A certified Eminence Green spa with waxing, nails, and hair all on the roster. The shampoos and conditioners here are all paraben- and sulphate-free, with eco-friendly nail polishes and lotions that are natural enough to eat. Not that ingestion is recommended, mind you.

Navigate Space
A pretty run-of-the-mill salon by all accounts, but I have to ask one question: is there anyone who has ever uttered a bad word about this place?! Anyone? John Taccone and his team seem to elicit nothing but positive reviews for their cuts, blow outs, and styles, justifying their slightly higher-priced service list. Is it something in the water down on The Esplanade?

The Ten Spot
The Ten Spot is your answer to no-fuss beauty. This spa caters to the active woman who just wants to get her nails done, rather than waste away the afternoon looking at floating rose petals by her feet. The Ten Spot does express facials, waxing, nails, and the works.

Pure + Simple
The name pretty such says it all. Well — maybe just the "pure" part. It does get a little complicated when you start digging into the science of "Aquabrasion" or "Pine Resin" waxing, but just know the Pure + Simple spas are focused on clean, natural, and holistic. Most offer the house line of products, as well as other natural beauty items to take home.

MYNC Lash Lounge & Brow Bar
Lash tints, lash falsies, lash perms, and individual applications. MYNC does all sorts of lash makeovers, including its "Pretty In Mink" lash overhaul with 60 lashes per eye and semi-permanent upper and lower lash mascara, because morning-after raccoon eyes is out (not that it was ever in). Brow shaping and body waxing too.

These are my essential Toronto beauty spots. What are yours? Add your favourites to the comment thread below.



Me / November 23, 2012 at 01:44 pm
Essential? Oh what an entitled society we've become. HAHAHAHAHAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
PL replying to a comment from Me / November 23, 2012 at 01:57 pm
Beauty bars as a whole are not necessarily essential but if you're reading this post as a frequenter of beauty bars, then these may, in fact, be essential to you. I think this is a very informative post and I found some great looking places: I especially like the spas that have a very specific focus - the brow spots, for example. They wouldn't stay in business if they didn't know brows! Thanks for the excellent post.
Joey / November 23, 2012 at 02:37 pm
I'm very glad that Jacob & Sebastian made the list!
rosebud / November 23, 2012 at 04:10 pm
I went to Pinky's when it was a couple of weeks old and asked for acrylics. Unfortunately, the lovely girl who did my nails was not experienced at all and they were a terrible mess. She even had trouble applying the nail polish. They also use kits that you can get at the pharmacy (Nailene)

but i follow their tumblr and their manicures are super sweet. hopefully she's gotten better at acrylics. she was a really sweet girl and i didn't give her any trouble. i get my fakes done in a regular salon but i think i will go to Pinky's soon for a sweet design on the gel ones i have on.
anag / November 23, 2012 at 04:47 pm
Maybe that's the trouble with, Navigate Space. "Is there anyone who has ever uttered a bad word about this place?! Anyone? " I couldn't find anyone, last year when I went in for the most expensive and horrifying hair cut of my life. John had friends in from out of town, and with all the inside jokes and chatting I felt more like an intruder at someone's dinner party then like a paying client at a salon. I left with what is best described as the love child between a mullet and a bob. This has taken 18 months and several stylists to fix. Maybe more people should provide feedback about this place I can't believe I'm the only one.
sean / November 23, 2012 at 05:42 pm
Essential? Maybe if you only live on Queen/King Street West. There are so many better options in Toronto.
Janet / November 23, 2012 at 10:39 pm
I love this list!!!!!!!!!! YES
jackie / November 23, 2012 at 10:46 pm
love the brow house and i'm so happy they made this list!
Sarah / November 24, 2012 at 02:00 am
I am so glad someone else has commented on Navigate Space and how negative their experience was. I had my hair done there back in March and I am STILL paying for that mistake. It is now almost December, almost 9 months later. Worst haircut of my life. Seriously.
JD replying to a comment from Joey / November 24, 2012 at 02:15 am
Thank you so much.
Donna Prima replying to a comment from Joey / November 24, 2012 at 02:18 am
Just went to Jacob & Sebastian yesterday... totally agree! Also, I LOVEEE Pinky's! Good list, I might add a few other too though. Also. YES.... these places are %100 essentials to some :)
sully pasty replying to a comment from sean / November 24, 2012 at 02:19 am
you're a loser.
laney / November 24, 2012 at 07:36 pm
It doesn't even say what shop is pictured.... Which on is that one? Since I'm newish to Toronto I appreciate this list. Thx
Tatyana / December 18, 2012 at 12:14 am
Guys don't forget online shops.
Before you buy just check the prices then go online make a research and you will notice that many things are cheaper and in most cases FREE delivery. Save time and money.
Ok. Tip N-1 (I know that you will say that you need to smell and touch before you will buy - make sens- so go ahead and do that just don't buy right away, just go online and you already know what exactly you want to buy , because you just had it in your hands).
And for a few people only who will respond to this post I will discover a few little tricks on how to save extra 4 to 8% from the same products that you buy online.
Mina / July 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Glad to know I'm not the only one who got a bad service from Navigate. I came in with a picture of what I wanted, when I left it looked like I was wearing a wig. My friends who are inexperienced in hair even agreed it looked nothing like it. It took a good year for my hair to even out and now I've learned to do it myself. He was also very rude about my feedback and his hands smelled like cigarettes cutting my hair. Never again, please learn to have consistency and see things from the customer's point of view.

Love the Lavish shop though, I go there regularly and I'm making another trip next week!
Ann-Marie / November 21, 2013 at 09:24 pm
I'd like to see a best of list of beauty (esp hair) services for women of colour.
janet replying to a comment from laney / November 21, 2013 at 09:39 pm
It's Jacob & Sebastian!!! / November 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm
Hurrah! In the end I got a blog from where I can really
take helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.
fabs / November 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm
Cooney for Hair is really not good. Had the worst hair cuts there. Staff turnover makes it impossible to have a hair cut with the same person more than once. Also, most of the staff speaks little or no english, communication is a huge problem.
Lizzie replying to a comment from rosebud / November 22, 2013 at 03:28 pm
Hey sweetie! Thanks for piping up. Yes, when we first opened, we were juniors and we had to rely on kind first-timers such as yourself to help us understand this new world we were entering as nail artists.

Since your visit, we have all done extensive training and I think you will find that our extensions are now some of the best in the business. We provide Gel, Fiberglass, and Acrylic extensions now and no more beginners kits (which we only used in our first 2 weeks, when we were waiting for troublesome orders to make their way to us when we had no mailbox).

Because of the fairness in which you described your experience and the fact you've returned, I can see you're a valuable customer to have back. Please email me at anytime and I'd love to offer you a complimentary fill or extension appointment to show you how far we've come in our first 18 months as Toronto's main nail art emporium.

All the best, and happy nailing,
Lizzie Renaud
Owner/Sole Proprietor of Pinky's Nails
Anna / November 23, 2013 at 02:07 pm
I used to see Erica at The 10 Spot, (great place - totally deserves to be on this list) but she recently moved to a spa on Bloor called Pause Beauty. It's great for me because there's finally a spa closer to home, and the girls there are really professional, knowledgeable, and really good at what they do. It won't be long before they find themselves on 'best-of' lists, I'm sure!
Jennifer Anns / July 30, 2014 at 08:24 pm
I would like to recommend The Merchandise Building Salon at church/dundas in the merchandise lofts, fantastic color with Tony. Maureen then blow-dry my hair it was my forth time there, I loved it!
hair salon toronto / September 7, 2014 at 07:09 pm
You guys totally forgot about my fav stylist: Tony Shamas from The Merchandise Building Salon on church / dundas!!
Mars / October 16, 2014 at 12:05 am
{The Detox Market} at 367 King St. W houses the best selection of all natural, toxic-free beauty and lifestyle products.

Totally agree with both Body Blitz and Eye Love Brow & Beauty Bar being on the list!
dog / December 31, 2014 at 05:31 pm
Everything is very open with a precise clarification of the challenges.
It was really informative. Your site is useful. Many thanks for
double chin / January 13, 2015 at 03:18 pm
I think the admin of this web site is inn fact working hard in support of his website, because here every data is quality based information.
porno / January 13, 2015 at 07:35 pm
I am now not positive where you are getting your info, but
great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or working out more.
Thanks for fantastic info I was in search of this info for my mission.
read / January 14, 2015 at 03:56 pm
My family all the time say that I am killing my time here at web,
but I know I am getting know-how every day by reading thes goid
artticles or reviews.
xxx / January 17, 2015 at 12:55 am
always i used to read smaller posts that as well clear their motive, and that is
also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading at this time.
قران نت / January 24, 2015 at 02:18 am
قران نت
Zelma / February 1, 2015 at 02:51 am
Gingko Biloba has been used by the Chinese for centuries to treat various ailments and is now thought
to be an effective natural treatment for tinnitus.
For more information, just visit Tinnitus Cure Revealed dot Info.
3 inches, which makes it the largest known beetle species
in the Amazon.
Madelaine / February 5, 2015 at 02:30 pm
You can enjoy this honeymoons adventurous trip with your newly-wedded
spouse is something which will help you with your beloved one
the romantic spots and places as picked up out there. From a completely relaxing beach
based luxury honeymoon on a white table with cucumbers over your eyes getting a
super-deep massage. You can plan your trip accordingly.
Marita / February 6, 2015 at 12:04 am
You can not build a multi billion dollar free enterprise with friendss and family.

The very first tning a homeowner is encouraged to do to stop vermin from invading in his home is to construct fencing aroundd his property.
Yes, I checked it days later annd the info was still the same but the date had changed.
Kirsten / February 10, 2015 at 07:57 pm
We offer a full range of solutions including commercial sectional garage doors and commercial rolling steel doors.
You can check about the services they provide and the money they charge for these services.
To know more about this, you should see the instruction manual provided with
the door accessories.
Merry / February 24, 2015 at 04:20 am
From there, speend some time going to each website and even trying the lessons
to determine which one is the best foor your business needs.
You can even find events related to interactive martketing and for abyone looking to promote websites or online articles Sphinn is a useful resource.
With that data, highlight strengths and weaknesses
of each competitor aand identify sources of competitive advantage and applicable key
przydatne informacje odpowiedni Jadlospis / February 25, 2015 at 09:55 am
May I just say what a relief to uncover somebody that really understands what they are discussing on the web.

You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
A lot more people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story.
I was surprised you aren't more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.
Deb / March 6, 2015 at 09:57 am
They will range fro basic informational guides, much like this article, tto
very detailed and specific content about one aspect of the business.
It is also better if youu can prsent testimonials from people who have used your products.
Checking your email multiple times per day or changing your Facebolk status is
greaat to do in your downtime, buut remember that
becoming a successful affiliate is not downtime.
collagen / March 19, 2015 at 07:06 am
I quite like looking through a post that will
make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!
Allana / March 31, 2015 at 02:50 am
Luxury On-Site Hair, Makeup & Eyelash Extensions in Toronto!!
Other Cities: Montreal