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HANDOUTS

Nothing sparks debate quite like the rules of tipping in restaurants. And where aesthetic and wellness treatments are concerned, standards of financial etiquette become even murkier.

In spas and salons in Canada, it’s customary to tip at least 10 per cent for standard service, 15 per cent for good personalization or above-the-norm service and 20 per cent for stellar service with extra touches, Vancouver-based etiquette expert Margaret Page says. Page recommends clarifying any tipping expectations when you book your appointment. Some salons only accept cash, some will include an automatic gratuity and others may not permit gratuities at all.

If the person providing the service is the owner of the business, tip as you would normally. “Leave it to the owner to tell you if they prefer you do not tip,” Page says. If your treatment involves multiple therapists, a cut and colour, for example, tip both accordingly. For services performed by professionals such as registered nurses or registered massage therapists, tipping is not expected.

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Whatever the reason for your salon or spa visit – maintenance, relaxation or pampering – a job well done should always be acknowledged. Page says it’s always important to give feedback to the management, good or bad, as well as a gratuity. “If service providers make us feel comfortable with the level of care of our bodies, the way we look and the environment in which the care happens, why not show your appreciation?”

What to try

A new addition to the menu at the recently renovated Spa at Four Seasons Toronto, this massage uses organic whipped shea butter and warm salt stones to relax and rejuvenate.

The Spa at Four Seasons Toronto Himalayan Salt Stone Massage, $200 for 60 minutes/$325 for 90 minutes through 416-963-6006.

Immerse yourself in halotherapy, also known as salt therapy, at the Salt Cave at Windsor Arms. The Himalayan salt-covered cave releases cleansed water vapour into the air that’s said to have a host of benefits, including lowering stress.

The Spa at Windsor Arms The Salt Cave, $45 for 45 minutes through 416-934-6031.

This facial at the newly opened Radford salon in Toronto’s Yorkville Village features the Ionzyme DF Machine, which uses sound waves and electrical currents to enhance the effects of the vitamin-blend customized by owner Victoria Radford.

Radford The Hollywood Facial, $275 for 60 minutes through www.victoriaradford.com.