2012 Jersey Choice: The Best of NJ—Health and Beauty

New Jersey is replete with day spas, salons, health and beauty shops, exercise studios, fitness clubs, and biking trails. But which ones do our readers favor? You'll find the answers here.

Depasquale in Morris Plains, winner of the best hair salon in North Jersey.
Depasquale in Morris Plains, winner of the best hair salon in North Jersey.

“My father is a hair dresser at heart, but he envisioned something more than just haircutting,” says Justin Depasquale, co-owner of Depasquale and son of its founder, Carmen Depasquale. “He wanted a place that provided superior-quality artistry and superlative customer service.” The 24,000-square-foot Morris Plains salon and spa’s team of 160 treat an average of 2,200 clients a week. “The services are always excellent, and the comfortable relaxation room with delicious complimentary refreshments is a true oasis and temporary escape from reality,” raves client Sheri Burkat of Randolph. The Depasquales are in the process of building a state-of-the-art beauty bar that will include brow-sculpting, faux eyelashes, express skin treatments, braiding and blow-drys. (Rt 10 E; 973-538-3811; depasqualethespa.com).
RUNNERS-UP: Milagro, Red Bank/Manasquan; Fountain Day Spa, Ramsey; Cape May Day Spa, Cape May

When Patricia A. Laus took ownership of the Atlantic Club in Manasquan in 1981, she transformed the 17-court racquetball facility into a health and fitness club. In 2002, she opened a second club in Red Bank. Both offer more than 200 group exercise classes each week, including Zumba, TRX, yoga, Pilates, water aerobics, tennis, raquetball and more. “There is something for everyone,” says Laus. (theatlanticclub.com)
Full-Time Fitness, Morristown
Workout World, 10 NJ locations

Salon Pure co-owner Amy Kaczowski says the secret to her salon’s success lies with her team.  “Our staff is so talented. They’re so professional and warm. There are no egos here,” she says. While the Princeton salon also offers nail services, Kaczowski says the focus is on hair. “If you really concentrate on something, you excel in it.” (31A Hulfish St; 609-683-8384; salonpureprinceton.com)
Depasquale, Morris Plains
Shear Glamour, Toms River

Dean Nelson, owner of Dean’s Natural Food Market in Ocean and Shrewsbury, is passionate about educating his customers about nutritional wellness. “It’s a rewarding experience to provide products, services and knowledge to people every day to give them an opportunity to experience spiritual, nutritional and physical wellness,” he says. Both locations have 100 percent organic produce departments, organic juice bars and certified nutritionists on location. (deansnaturalfoodmarket.com)
Grass Roots Natural Market, Denville
Healthfair Natural & Organic Foods Market, Little Silver

Susan Kang opened Nails Plus in 2000. This Red Bank salon specializes in acrylic nails, acrylic-nail supplies and professional-nail drills. (62 English Plaza; 732-530-3513; nailsplusspa.com)
Depasquale, Morris Plains
Milagro, Red Bank/Manasquan
Simply Skin; Toms River

Anara MedSpa & Cosmetic Laser Center in Piscataway offers cosmetic and laser treatments, including laser hair removal, laser facial, chemical peels, medical microdermabrasion, Botox, Slimdome and more. “Our goal is to enhance the beauty and self-esteem everyone is inherently endowed with and also help subtract years from their age,” says owner Dr. Ram Chandra. (1140 Stelton Rd, Suite 102; 732-777-9577; anaramedspa.com)
Radiance Med Spa at LoVerme Center, Verona
Reflections Center for Skin & Body, Livingston/Martinsville

Amy Hendricks, the main Pilates instructor at Pro Physical Therapy, has taught Pilates for more than 10 years and has been with the Randolph facility since 2008. She and two other instructors offer mat classes every day, as well as specialty classes for seniors, pre/post natal moms, athletes, partners, teens and others. “If anyone has a specific health condition, we work closely with their physical therapist to ensure the safest way to reach their fitness goals,” Hendricks says. (2 Emery Ave; 973-895-9925; proptnj.com)
Core Mind & Body, Maplewood
The Pilates Perspective, Wall
Pilates by the Bay, Toms River

Before 2002, there were no hot yoga studios in Hoboken, where Gagan Bhutani and Reetu Jaukhane lived. “We opened Surya Yoga Academy because we had to go to New York City to take Bikram classes,” Bhutani says. In 2005, they opened a Summit location because they sensed a need in that community as well.  Summit reader Mary Anne Flippo raves: “Amazing, encouraging, insightful and talented instructors.” (suryayogaacademy.com)
Shine Yoga Center, Cliffside Park
Baker Street Yoga, Maplewood
Yoga Basin, Asbury Park
Devotion Yoga, Hoboken/ Ship Bottom

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