Angelina Umansky is a 4th generation complexion- perfecting magician. The doors of her iconic company, Spa Radiance, are constantly swinging as San Francisco’s elite and devotees from all over the world vie for a coveted seat in her chair and her highly honed skills.
Three stories of true magic happen in the stunning Victorian that reigns supreme on San Francisco’s pristine Fillmore St, the Spa sparkles and shines like a jewel box and after even one visit, your skin will too!
We we able to sneak in a chat with the ever-booked Umansky to get the low down on the most effective treatments, her global travels to discover the most decadent, hard to find brands and her favorite ways to travel in style.
DLX: We hear that you have an anniversary coming up….
Angelina Umansky: We are really excited about our 40th Anniversary and we will officially be celebrating later this year so stay tuned, we look forward to seeing Destination Luxury there!
DLX: When did you know that the world of spa and beauty would be your career?
Angelina Umansky: I was born into it. My mother, grandmother and great grandmother all took care of skin. But, I really got the most inspired in the nineties when peels and technology came into the picture.
DLX: What are your can’t-live-without products?
Angelina Umansky: I’m obsessed with the Biologique Recherche Crème Masque Vernix. It really performs on such a high level for all skin types. It’s a potent healer for sensitive, irritated, post-procedure and dry skin. I also love Biologique Recherche Lotion P50. It exfoliates and balances the skin and if you stick with it, you will see real results.
DLX: What is the most popular services at Spa Radiance?
DLX: You are an infamous world traveler, ever scouring the planet for the very best products and technologies- tell us more about your process and stand out products and services that Spa Radiance offers.
Angelina Umansky: I am always researching to find the most innovative technologies and treatments on the market. I also travel to Europe 2-3 times a year to visit different spas, go to trade shows, and investigate brands that I’m interested in working with at the spa. I have met so many people in the industry since I started in 1984 that I have a real sense when there is something special. I get leads from strong sources and I follow them. Then, we will bring in the potential products and equipment for all the estheticians to test. Most of the time I’m not impressed, but there have been exceptions like the True Botanicals Pacific line and Vintner’s Daughter – both really perform.
DLX: What is the most luxurious treatment that you provide?
Angelina Umansky: We are famous for our Grand Luxe Red Carpet Facial — a three-hour treatment that includes every anti-aging tool in our arsenal: micro-currents, Diamond Derm-Abrasion, beautiful luxurious masks, LED lights, constant massage.
DLX: What do you suggest before a big event or appearance?
Angelina Umansky: Two weeks before, get LED treatments every 48 hours – you will really see a difference. Also apply a hydrating / healing mask every day for those two weeks prior.
DLX: Spa Radiance is well known for its luxurious treatment rooms and stunning interior- tell us more about how you approach and exceed most spa standards with comfort and luxury.
Angelina Umansky: I have been working with Jay (Jeffers) since 1997 and we just have fun by continuing to push the envelope. I was always clear that I didn’t want Spa Radiance to look like other spas. When clients enter our spa we want them to feel like they are getting beauty treatments in a well-appointed Parisian home – and I feel like our décor really reflects that.
DLX: Back to the topic of travel- it is obvious by the standard of luxury that you create at Spa Radiance that you must demand the same level of elegance and service when you travel. Tell us more about your favorite services and experiences around the world.
Angelina Umansky: I learn something valuable everywhere I go. I just came back from Paris and I learned a great massage technique. I went to Bali and learned natural skin care. It’s important to realize that you can learn every day you are alive. I meet so many people in my field that think they know everything so they never evolve – they are doing their clients a disservice. I love that when I travel I notice unique experiences that I can translate to the spa and little things that I can incorporate that will make treatments better.
DLX: In your experience, how is beauty perceived differently around the world?
Angelina Umansky: I noticed it’s perceived as a necessity in France – every woman automatically takes care of her skin, no matter what it takes. In America it’s all about finding that one easy magic product that will change your skin.
DLX: What are your favorite hotels on each Continent and stand out features?
Angelina Umansky: I love the Four Seasons on every Continent. The staff is highly trained and makes every person feel important (even if they’re not).
DLX: Do you have a preferred airline? What amenities set them apart?
Angelina Umansky: Air France. The new wing in Paris airport has the best shops and a Biologique spa.
DLX: Tell us about the best VIP lounges and why.
Angelina Umansky: The Air France VIP Lounge in London feels like a hip high-end hotel – cool décor and restaurants and they give massages.
DLX: What is the most “valuable” travel perk to you?
Angelina Umansky: An upgrade:)
DLX: What is the most unique spa experience outside of the United States?
Angelina Umansky: Definitely the Biologique spa in Paris – there is nothing like it.
We look forward to catching up with Angelina at the 40th Anniversary party of Spa Radiance.
Contributor Hillary Clark is a Los Angeles based celebrity makeup artist and beauty editor. She has been featured in Allure, Allure Bride, The New York Times, Marie Claire, Cosmo, Bazaar and InStyle Magazines.