Summer Guide 2014 Shops & Services: Foot feat-ish

Accomplish a lot by blowing even more on mani-pedis

photo by wes davis

When it comes to spending money, I have something of a split personality. On the one hand, I'm loathe to spend money on pricey things—designer shoes, handbags, jeans, etc.

On the other hand, I can easily burn through my paycheck on a stack of books or an armful of records.

In other words, I have maxed out a credit card or two in my day.

And yet, although music and books are essential, sometimes it just all seems so fleeting, this material pursuit of happiness.

What does it all mean? Why are we here? What’s next?

There’s no one right answer to such existential questions, but sometimes if one ponders the vast unknown by spending money on that which gives you no tangible return, only spiritual, you just might feel a little better about your place in this big, crazy universe.

Whether indulging in a full-day treatment or dropping in for a quickie service, a little time and money spent at a spa or salon can do wonders for the soul—and often without too much damage to the ol’ credit line.

A pedicure, for example, is the ultimate bad-mood eraser. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a gift certificate for a chichi place like Salon Cuvee & Day Spa in East Sacramento. Comfy oversized chairs, freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies and the bonus leg massage make for a truly indulgent soul-saving sole treatment. The salon also does full-body massages, waxing and fancy hair stuff.

But, at about $100 a session (for the pedicure, that is, including tip), it’s definitely not a regular budget-friendly excursion. For that, I hit up Golden Nails in Land Park (across from C.K. McClatchy High School). This family-run business is totally no-frills (well, the chairs do have those built-in massagey things, but those kind of freak me out) but legit. Fork over $30 (including tip) and get a “deluxe” pedicure treatment that comes with an aromatic salt-scrub treatment and your very own copy of last week’s People magazine. Bliss.

Or, strike a happy medium between rich-people pampering and everyday-utilitarian schlub. Sacramento boasts a number of foot-massage spas that sell—and this isn’t hyperbole, I swear—love, self-actualization and physical transcendence. I particularly love Happy Day Spa in south Sacramento. It offers a menu of indulgent massages—Swedish oil, hot stone, foot reflexology—all at superaffordable prices. An hourlong foot massage, for example, costs less than $30 and includes a neck and shoulder treatment as well. Sorry, no pedicures here, but honestly, once you’re done, you won’t care one bit about how janky and chipped your toenail polish is looking these days.

Salon Cuvee & Day Spa, 4601 H Street; (916) 452-4600;; Golden Nails, 3057 Freeport Boulevard; (916) 492-2454; Happy Day Spa, 6911 Stockton Boulevard, Suite 500; (916) 428-8880;