Nails, Spas: Bliss San Francisco Spa; Hot Milk and Almond Pedicure

Published in: Nails, Product Reviews, Spas

I went to the Bliss Spa at the W Hotel in San Francisco to get a pedicure yesterday, and all I have to say is the place effing rules.

I briefly thought about keeping it as a secret and not blogging about it, but then I’d be doing all women with jacked-up feet in the SF Bay Area a serious disservice.


Here’s the “after” picture of my feet post-Hot Milk and Almond Pedicure ($65.00), the most popular pedicure on the Bliss spa menu. I almost put up the “before” pic of my feet, but decided to spare humanity the horror.



Where to begin? First of all, the entire place is pretty, comfy and very modern chic. The white and blue surroundings set a hip, yet relaxed tone. bliss-sf-reception

But it’s when you sit your bum down in the nail chair when the real fun begins.

First they bring you snacks: cheese and crackers and even brownies if ya want. Note to file: I like any place that brings me queso.

Second, they’ve got TV’s positioned on the wall right above the nail-tech’s head, so you can watch any episode of Sex and the City that you want. You just pop on some headphones and then bam, you’re hanging with Carrie and the girls.

Can I just say I really appreciate this touch? Believe it or not, beauty blogging requires plenty o’ networking and socializing, so I spend a lot of time in person or on the phone with industry people. And although I love the social aspect of the business, I also appreciate having downtime to myself.

So when I go get my nails done or my hair did, I view the time as “my” time. I don’t want to have to make small talk about god knows what. I lurve that I can just put on the headphones at the Bliss spa and just enjoy the experience of having my toes done without having to interact. To be able to just sit and not feel “on” is the ultimate form of relaxation for me.

Save Your Feet, Save the World

The pedicure treatment was fantastic. It lasts an hour, and includes a hot foot soak in steamed whole milk with moisturizing almond oil; an exfoliating scrub on your lower legs and feet; and a super mega session with a foot cheese grater thingy. It’s described on the Web site as “a fierce diamond-sided flexible fiberglass callus fighter,” and it’s no joke. The nail tech removed what looked like a half a pound of grated Parmesan from my feet.

After all of this soaking, buffing and scrubbing, the end result was a pair of feet smoother than a politician trying to get elected to office.

The nail tech did a great job with the dark, vampy shade I picked out. The final result looked deep and dark, shiny (she used a Seche Vite topcoat, my personal fave) and very pretty.

The color selection on hand at the spa consists of Essie polishes, which tend to be a bit more conservative in color, so if you’re a crazy color polish person then bring your own.

If you forget to bring flip flops they give you a temporary pair. Don’t plan on hoofing it anywhere far though, because the bottoms are kind of thin. If you bring your own flip-flops the staff gives you a cute lil’ bag to store your shoes in.

They do spa parties here, too. I’m going to force my friend J-Money to go in the name of “research” for her bachlorette party festivities. I also think that I’m going to go here by myself often, as a treat after a long day of meetings or shopping in downtown SF. I can’t wait to go back!

The Bliss Spa San Francisco is located on the fourth floor of the W Hotel at Third and Howard. They are open 7 days a week from 9am-9pm. Call (415) 281-0990 to book an appointment.


Tonight I’m heading to the City with some girlfriends. We’re taking a pole dancing class together, oy. Although the pole dancing class doesn’t really have me stressed out (I’ve got good upper body strength), I’m pretty stressed about having to wear BOOTY SHORTS to class. Allegedly they help one’s thighs grip the pole. Umm… for me booty shorts were 20 pounds and 10 years ago. Ugh.

Afterwards we’re doing a girl’s night out with dinner and drinks, and then dancing. Most of the clubs in SF will be doing a Halloween-themed night so we’re going to dress up in cute costumes before we go out. I’ve got some cat ears, which is costume enough for me!

I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend so far and that you’ve got fun plans for tonight.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 19 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Christine says:

    Ohh, nice! I love a good pedicure, because nothing is more self-indulgent. Really. Even a manicure doesn’t cut it.

  2. Karen,
    needs some help, i cant choose between coco bar LLL and brassbeat, i want a chocolate liner, but i want it to look brown not blackish brown…im so confused:/ help!!!

    AND I AM SO JEALOUS OF UR PEDICURE, ur feet r adorable!!!! LOL steer away entertainer:P

  3. Vanessa says:

    You have cute toes! haha and I love those shoes! I am in desperate need of a manicure AND a pedicure! I was hoping the winds and slightly cold weather would save me from shaving my legs all the time and wearing flip flops, so I can just hide behind pants and socks but turns out I have to do both regardless…sigh, I guess I’ll try and fix myself up tomorrow. 🙂

  4. Erusa says:

    Now, I’m dirty jealous. (^-‘)

  5. kia says:

    Sounds like you experienced a piece of heaven… what essie shade is that on your toes?

  6. Eleanor says:

    I love Bliss! Used to go all the time in NYC. Hmmm…didn’t know they had one in SF.

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Christine,

    Next time we go to the city save your pennies so we can sneak one if at the spa. It’ll be fun. And brownies, hello. I know you can’t say no…

  8. Karen says:

    Hi I Love MAC,

    I hope you get this in time! If not, which one did you decide to go with?

    I’m not a big Liquidlast Fan, but I just looked online and I’m guessing that you should get whichever one isn’t grey based. I learned from Victor Cembellin, one of the MAC artists at SF Fashion week, that warmer browns (think Soft Brown Matte shadow) are generally more flattering on the skin than grey browns. Based on the online desriptions I’d prolly go with Brassbeat, just because it sounds like it has more dimension.

  9. Karen says:

    Hey Vanessa,

    Funny, I was actually really mortified when the nail tech started scrubbing my lower legs because I hadn’t shaved in about two weeks. I didn’t anticipate a leg scrubbing at all so my legs were all hairy and Teen Wolf-ed out and it was not cute, ha!

    And believe it or not, those shoes are actually AEROSOLES, ha! They are three inch heels and they’re surprisngly very comfy.

  10. Karen says:

    Hi Erusa!

    Well, when you visit SF we’ll just have to go get pedicures together, won’t we?

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Miss Kia,

    Unfortunately I didn’t bother to check. 🙁 Hopefully when I go back (soon!) I’ll have the good sense to check.

  12. Karen says:

    ELEANOR! Yay! Nice to see you. Hmmm, maybe next time I’m downtown (and you’re not too busy making funny youtube videos) we’ll head down there together, catch up, and talk about bridal makeup!

  13. I think Im going with Brassbeat Karen!!!!

  14. nilla cookie says:

    Karen I love the nail color! I always thought that Bliss was too shi shi for me so I never tried manis and pedis there. But after your review, I think I want to go! If I can relax and watch TV without having to worry about making small talk with the technicians while I’m just trying to get my nails did or worry that they are going to talk smack about me in Vietnamese thinking that I’m Chinese or Korean. I gotta tell you, this really happens and boy is it a shock to them when it comes up in small talk that I AM Vietnamese and can understand everything! LOL 😉

    Hope you had a great weekend too and stay dry this week in the Bay! 😀

  15. Karen says:

    I hope it works out I Love Mac!

  16. Karen says:

    Hi Lilan,

    You know, I do appreciate those corner shop nail places where you sit there and they clearly talk smack about you to your face in another language. Sometimes I need economy. It suits the need. Bliss is cool though, I think you’ll enjoy it. It’s a nice splurge.

    Have a good one!

  17. Christine says:

    How many pennies do I need? What’s the cost of the bliss spa experience?

    I have a whole tub-o-brownies here. Have you ever had the brownie bites from Costco? Delicious.

  18. Karen says:

    Can one put a price tag on crusty, nasty feet?

    It’s 65 bones, oy!

    I want some brownies right now. I won’t tell if you order brownies for breakfast when we go to the Nordie’s at the CRACK O DAWN in a few weeks.

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