Best of Santa Fe

Best of Santa Fe—Personal Services

For intimate services from head to toe

Best Aesthetic Treatment

1. Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

We hear often about the need for self-care, but when looking for real skin improvements in the high and dry UV desert, you’ve got to get more proactive. Not only renowned for integrative healing, they’re also highly regarded for their pampering and renewing dermal services. Schedule a customized botanical facial from Corinna Levy, a liscensed esthetician, who enjoys pairing the proper potions and high-tech tools for each person’s unique skin goals. Repair discolored, scarred or aged skin with FDA-approved MicroNeedling devices.

303 Paseo de Peralta, 1348 Pacheco St., (505) 988-2449

2. Eldorado Skin Care

For those keeping track, Eldorado Skin Care turns 10 this year, and in the decade since proprietor Dawn Carter left Texas for the more temperate climes of Santa Fe’s outskirts, the company has built a robust following for facials, nail services, hand treatments and more. We feel refreshed already.

5 Caliente Road, Eldorado, (505) 819-7210

3. Santa Fe Lash & Beauty Bar

Owner Lisa Murphy boasts over three decades of skin and lash experience, and with a menu of services featuring more than a dozen facial, lash, brow and nail services, it’s no wonder this is where Santa Fe goes to look nice and feel great.

1012 Marquez Place, (505) 988-8923

Best Barber

1. The Center Barber & Beauty Shop

True story: The Center Barber Shop’s Laura Rivera cuts our culture editor’s hair on the regular, and it’s not just because she literally helped him find and rent a house one time. It’s because the entire staff of the Cordova Road shop knows what to do after 66 years in business. For the old-timers, find straight-razor shaves and the kind of clean cut you could set a watch to; for the younger folks, hip styles, respectful cutters and an array of hair products that’ll make you the envy of lesser hairdos everywhere.

503 W Cordova Road, (505) 982-1020

2. Klean Cut Kenny

Hear the song of barber Kenny Tapia, who bleeds local love and cuts hair for children’s cancer fundraisers. He’s the kind of guy you know and trust with your coif—a Santa Fean’s Santa Fean.

3600 Cerrillos Road, Ste. 404 A, (505) 920-2864

3. Guys and Dolls Hair Collective

A powerful collective of receptive stylists who think like a collective but snip-snip like the pros they are. We’ve heard A.J. Quintana is the one to see, but with six other pros to choose from, you’re sure to find your perfect partner.

1583 Pacheco St., (505) 984-2887

Best Facial


If Ten Thousand Waves were just a place to quietly contemplate the mountains and nature at large, it would be enough. If Ten Thousand Waves merely had stunning outdoor tubs in which to unwind and de-stress, it would be enough. If Izanami were only a world-class restaurant that didn’t care about you coming in wearing a robe, it would be enough. But with myriad spa treatments—and now Santa Fe’s official favorite facials—we’ve erred into more than enough territory. And it’s divine.

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, (505) 982-9304

2. Santa Fe Lash & Beauty Bar

Seems you’re loving everything owner Lisa Murphy and crew are cooking up, and you trust them to shape those brows, lengthen those lashes and make your face the glowing testament to first impressions you always knew it could be.

1012 Marquez Place, (505) 988-8923

3. Eldorado Skin Care

Next time you’re out in Eldo catching the long, gorgeous views toward the horizon, remember you can spiff up that face with the finest creams and tools around. You’re gonna look great.

5 Caliente Road, Eldorado, (505) 819-7210

Best Hair Salon

1. Rock Paper Scissor

You’ve loved ‘em for years, Santa Fe. Like, for 15 years in a row. If Rock Paper Scissor’s first-place BOSF wins were a person, they’d be learning to drive right about now. Much of it is thanks to proprietor Melodi Wyss, who tells SFR, “After such a difficult year dealing with COVID restrictions, the support of our fans is both extraordinary and humbling.” But with blowout service, a dedicated short cut operation called The Buzz and a reputation for the best coloring, it might just plain be about follicle magic.

DeVargas Center, 187 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 955-8500

2. The Color Bar

Say congrats to owner Nikki Martinez for 10 years of hair and color plus nails, reflexology, skincare and, frankly, being rad. This also marks Martinez’s second year in the top three—congrats!

1005 S St. Francis Drive, Ste. 115, (505) 310-4903

3. Salon Del Mar

Santa Feans swear by this stalwart shop in the Baca Street Railyard area for its expertise, range of products and services and, when a pandemic isn’t mucking things up, a bona fide stylist academy. Stay tuned to the website for more details as they emerge.

1221 Flagman Way, (505) 490-2278

Best Massage

1. Ten Thousand Waves

If you’ve never made the drive up the mountain to that bastion of Japanese style and utter relaxation, this last year or so would probably be a good enough reason to finally make it happen. Whether you want to be touched softly, hard or even just swaddled up in something soft and aromatic, this is the spot—and has been since the 1980s. Go ahead, Santa’ve been through enough.

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, (505) 982-9304

2. High Desert Healthcare & Massage

Owners Catherine Peck, Jill Gerber and Tracy Conrad opened up this iconic Santa Fe massage spot in 1992, and have since spent the years making it one of our readers’ go-to faves with affordable pricing and superior kindness.

644 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 984-8830

3. Mountain Spirit Integrative Medicine

Oh, had you not realized the medicinal benefits of massage? It can be a real lifesaver for stress and pain relief, particularly from this knowledgeable and helpful staff of over a dozen licensed professional bodyworkers.

303 Paseo de Peralta, 1348 Pacheco St., (505) 988-2449

Best Nail Salon

1. Serenity Nail Spa

Beautiful nails are an art unto themselves, and the committed team at Santa Fe’s Serenity Nail Spa knows this. They also know that meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations is the way to go, which is why the shop has been swimming in repeat business and referrals from longtime customers forever. As we all make our way back into polite company once more, there’s no shame in gussying up those nails and feeling fancy. Go ahead. Make ‘em shine. Feel the serenity now.

4056 Cerrillos Road, (505) 471-2106

2. Santa Fe Lash & Beauty Bar

Owner Lisa Murphy boasts over three decades of skin and lash experience, and with a menu of services featuring more than a dozen facial, lash, brow and nail services, it’s no wonder this is where Santa Fe goes to look nice and feel great.

1012 Marquez Place, (505) 988-8923

3. Nail Experts

Just look at the name, Santa Fe—they’re nail EXPERTS. So when you’re ready to take this show from your passable homemade nail techniques to the more professional side of things, remember the experts.

2438 Cerrillos Road, (505) 474-6183

Best Self-Defense Classes

1. Resolve

One can never be too careful these days, but with some of the most popular and longest-running self-defense classes in town, Resolve teaches locals that they need not be afraid, either. Classes are experiential and break down methods for setting boundaries both verbal and physical should the worst happen, and since Resolve is a nonprofit, you know its instructors and admins only have what’s best for the citizenry at heart. Plus, there are multiple options and commitment levels, so you’re bound to find the right class in a jiff.

313 Camino Alire, (505) 992-8833

2. Jeff Speakman’s Kenpo 5.0

Not only can you find Jeff Speakman in movies like Perfect Weapon and The Expert, you can learn how to fend off would-be attackers through his rigorous martial arts programs. Sounds cool to us.

5984 Airport Road, (505) 930-0556

3. Tai Chi Chuan Institute

You’d be shocked how many options this Triangle District dojo has for styles, ages and ability levels. Basically, if you’re looking to learn martial arts, try here.

1808 Second St., Ste. E, (505) 310-8356

Best Spa

1. Ten Thousand Waves

At the risk of sounding too colloquial, might we just say...duh? There simply is no beating Ten Thousand Waves’ mountainside environs, whether it be a cool summer night or a gorgeous snowy evening. Throw in a mountain of services, knowledgeable staff and the promise of countless sake choices at nearby Izanami and you’ve got a mecca to all things self-care, relaxation and aesthetic. Smell the pines, Santa Fe—you’re home.

21 Ten Thousand Waves Way, (505) 982-9304

2. Ojo Caliente

Even though Santa Fe’s former Sunrise Springs just outside town is now an Ojo satellite spot, the drive to the spa’s original location in the town of Ojo Caliente is more than worth it for the services, mineral springs and more.

50 Las Banos Drive, (888) 939-0007

3. Eldorado Skin Care

Locals love pretty much everything about this Eldorado spot, and its myriad services don’t disappoint or break the bank. Go ahead and while away some time here, Santa Fe. You deserve it.

5 Caliente Road, Eldorado, (505) 819-7210

Best Tattoo Shop

1. The Dungeon Tattoo & Piercing

If you can hack it, they can tack it. This marks year three at least at No. 1 for the Cerrillos Road tattoo shop and piercing studio, where multiple tattooers and piercers make your wildest body modification dreams come true. Remember to be clear and collaborative with your artist, and to tip huge when you’re getting that amazing back piece from anyone on this popular team.

1632 Cerrillos Road, (505) 983-8262

2. Four Star Tattoo

The oldest shop in town is also one of its finest as owner/artist Mark Vigil and crew pump out the sick ‘toos like there’s no tomorrow. Find experts in traditional, Japanese, contemporary, lettering and more.

825 Topeka St., (505) 984-9131

3. Dawn’s Custom Tattoo

An apprentice of the late, great tattooer Bill Wissman, Dawn Purnell’s Japanese and portrait work is legendary. Toss in a killer staff and you’ve found a great option for your next piece.

1100 Hickox St., (505) 986-0002

Best Waxing

1. Waxing the City

When Santa Feans just totally need to have all the hair off their person, this new Southside shop has won their hearts. Featuring numerous products, styles and licensed purveyors, Waxing the City makes things happen in the quickest and most painless way possible. We know a lot of folks let things go a little wild during the pandemic, and this’ll get you back to your dolphin-smooth best.

4386 Cerrillos Road, (505) 474-2994

2. Gypsy Santa Fe

Oh, they’ll wax you, alright, but you’ll also find hair and color services, plus a place to donate hair to kids facing cancer. Feel good, do good, say goodbye to body hair.

1305 Luisa St., Ste. A, (505) 670-3617

3. Dulce Vita Facials

With one of the broadest selections of spa treatments in Santa Fe, Dulce Vita’s waxing services are so many, you could easily smooth it all out.

551 Cordova Road, (505) 699-9948

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