Licensed massage therapist Deborah Hunter's massages are so revitalizing, they might make you want to take her everywhere you go. That was especially true for one client, who loved her treatments so much that she flew her out to Tuscany to provide massages for her house guests. This effect might be due to the fact that her skills in the art of bodywork combine with a natural intuition, thanks to her social-work experience. She uses that dual knowledge to ease customers' aches and knead away stress during Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages. Fragrant aromatherapy oils bolster relaxation without attracting bees, and hot towels melt tension from muscles.
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When owner Giovanni Finocchiaro picked up the phone at Face It Spa, he heard one of his clients sobbing. She had been preparing for a presentation at work, and in the process, her skin had broken out so badly that Finocchiaro recalls her lamenting, "I just can't do it. I have to see you." Finocchiaro, who once dreamed of being a counselor, told her to come in immediately. "When you help people look better on the outside, it really does make them feel better inward, too," he says.
When his distraught client arrived, he tailored a peel for her sensitive skin that helped kill bacteria and calm inflammation. Within a few days, he says, "she couldn't believe … how [her complexion] was already turning around."
Inside his recently remodeled boutique, Finocchiaro caters to each of his clients in the same way. He offers them complimentary water or tea before leading them across dark hardwood floors to a candlelit treatment room. After cleansing their face, he uses a lighted magnifier to analyze their skin type, then employs PCA products and a wide arsenal of customizable facial treatments to help them reach specific beauty goals or the center of the Earth.
Gary Hopkins can divide his mid-20s in two parts: the time before he discovered self-healing, and the time after he discovered self-healing. Before, overwhelming stress and overworking caused him to suffer from anxiety, insomnia, spinal misalignments, and gout. Then, he started meditating, practicing tai chi and energy healing, and taking natural supplements. Not only did these practices help remedy his ailments, but they also led him to a new career as an intuitive healer. Continuing these studies into his 30s, he added such holistic healing methods as Thai massage and reflexology to his regimen.
For more than 10 years, he’s shared his knowledge through a private practice and at Light Path Discovery Center. He is dedicated to helping others conquer physical, psychological, and emotional issues with carefully honed skills and several bodywork methods he developed on his own. For those unable to visit him personally, Gary has penned two books— The Master Within and Axiatonal Integration —that guide readers as they attempt to unlock their happiness, which is usually kept in a safe and buried under their childhood home.
Though they can both claim illustrious careers in the hairstyling industry, Joey and Nikki followed very different paths to get to where they are today. Joey trained with Aveda in 1989 and then took his scissors on the road, snipping strands in salons from Nashville to LA. Nikki, on the other hand, has spent most of her 35-year career honing her management skills as the owner of a successful Cincinnati salon. In 2007, they joined forces to create Joey & Roman Salon—Roman is Nikki’s last name—a Kérastase Paris salon specializing in cuts, color, and keratin hair-smoothing treatments.
The salon is also home to stylists Chris and Jon, each of whom has spent at least one year training under Joey, learning to execute the latest styles and refining scissor-hand agility by clipping a blizzard of paper snowflakes. Industrial touches permeate the ultramodern space: stylists store their haircare products and equipment in heavy-duty Craftsman tool cabinets and sheets of corrugated tin line the slate-gray walls.
Dr. Mark Mandell-Brown, a triple-board-certified cosmetic surgeon, calls upon 25 years of experience to perform facial plastic and body cosmetic surgery that include face-lifts, tummy tucks, and rhinoplasty, earning inclusion in Cincinnati Magazine's Top Doctors list for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery in 2013 and Plastic Surgery Practice’s Best of 2012 Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeons list. Dr. Mandell-Brown and medical aestheticians Erin Noplis and Debra Mauro boost patients' appearances with facials, waxing, and laser hair-removal. Amid earth-tone walls and elegant décor with modern paintings and sculptures, the practice offers the familiarity and confidentiality of a private office paired with the amenities of a hospital. As an expert in many areas, Dr. Mandell-Brown also performs breast augmentations and reconstructive surgeries, for which he is nationally known.
The warm, earthy tones of Inner Peace
Center swaddle clients with a sense of tranquility that permeates the on-site Thai reflexology room, yoga studio, and nail stations. The staff handpicks a variety of high-end products—from the organic, biodynamic, and botanical-based Éminence skincare products to the vegan, formaldehyde-free nailcare products from SpaRitual. They also use Premierlash eyelash extensions crafted from 100% cruelty-free mink fur or nylon-based materials.
Going below the surface, Inner Peace
Center indulges guests with spiritual services administered by a Reiki master, hypnotherapist, yoga instructor, holistic life coach, and clairvoyant. The retired nurse who oversees and performs these services aims to assist clients in navigating their life path, demagnetizing the needle of anyone’s internal compass.
The stylists at Mitchell's Salon & Day Spa have beautified Cincinnati-area clients for the past 30 years. During that time, the staff has grown to more than 400 employees across five locations. They've also garnered several press mentions, including their most recent victory in The Knot's Best of Weddings 2013. These accolades are all possible because of the meticulous care that the salon pours into both its posh ambiance and soothing treatments. Stylists perfect 'dos with haircuts and smoothing keratin treatments, and aestheticians perform antioxidant facials, which make the skin more resilient against hazards such as environmental damage and cheek-pinching aunts.
Sunlight pours onto the hardwood floors and exposed brick walls of BeneFit Studio, creating a serene backdrop for a diverse range of wellness services. Cardio and strength-training equipment speckle the studio, challenging trainees as they work their way through personal-training, boot-camp, and yoga sessions. Just beyond the training rooms, soft white curtains shroud the salon and Aveda spa, where guests perch upon cushy chairs as aestheticians dole out cuts, colors, and manicures, as well as facials and professional BEAM spray tans. Massage therapists also revitalize clients with Swedish and sports massages. And for ongoing wellness, a staff nutritionist crafts custom meal plans based on the goals and shadow heights of individual clients.
Lasers are widely known for their ability to eliminate unwanted hair, but they also have a lesser-known ability: promoting hair’s growth. By boosting blood flow and tissue repair, lasers gently revive dormant follicles. Low-level laser therapy is just one of the treatments offered at Cirrus Hair Centers, though it’s hard to say which is the most sophisticated. Consider that their hair transplants use customized chisel blades, matching the size of the client’s follicular units so that new locks blend in seamlessly. Each treatment is performed by a licensed cosmetologist, who is also a certified hair-replacement technician, a dual title that can only be earned by helping a foppish judge pick a new powdered wig.
Permanent Perfection Permanent Cosmetics’ licensed beauticians upgrade clients' appearances with classic and uncommon spa services. During therapeutic cupping treatments, staffers create small pockets of suction to gently increase lymphatic flow, reduce toxins, contour bodies, and ameliorate scarring. To mold shapelier frames, technicians swaddle guests with slimming body wraps or melt fat with ultrasound liposuction. In addition to body treatments, the clinic offers teeth-whitening, facials, and permanent-makeup applications. Permanent Perfection's techs can also remove tattoos by using advanced technology or traveling back in time and trapping your past self in a net.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor hard or clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively café, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.
At Spaaaah! for Medical Wellness, a team of chiropractors and massage therapists works tirelessly to assuage muscles and strengthen spines with a comprehensive menu of chiropractic and massage-therapy services. Chiropractic services help to treat all types of backs, from those suffering from chronic pain to those recovering from injury, helping restore bodily well-being without prescription drugs. For relief from muscular tension, therapists tailor each massage to the back in question, using a variety of techniques that can include everything from Swedish and deep-tissue massage to hot-stone massage.
Directed by James Kahl, M.D. and anti-aging specialist Jean Clark, Sanctuary DermaSpa offers a range of medically supervised aesthetic treatments and spa services. As a registered nurse, Clark synthesizes her passions for both beauty and medicine while earning glowing endorsements from _A-Line Magazine_’s Elle Morris, who writes that she “delivers incredible medical-grade procedures.” Clark and a team of licensed aestheticians also nurture complexions with microdermabrasion, remove unwanted hair with waxing, and eliminate the need to always wear a Zorro mask with permanent-makeup application.
When she entered the beauty industry 30 years ago, Shari Renfro dreamed of channeling her creative energy into her own salon, where she could help clients to create new looks and rebuild their damaged strands. After a decade of hard work and dedication, she actualized her aspirations and opened Giggles on Main, where today she leads a staff of Aveda– and Framesi–trained stylists. The team softens and enriches strands by introducing rich botanicals and vibrant coloring formulas rather than marshmallow fluff. When they aren't arranging manes, staff members happily perform facials, Aveda mani-pedis, and Opi polishes.
Amid calming environs swathed in rich earth tones, Elon Salon's seasoned stylists cultivate flattering, contemporary coiffures. Brands such as Kenra, Aquage, and Tigi headline their well-stocked arsenal of products, which they brandish while sculpting, coloring, conditioning, and whispering encouraging sonnets to manes. They flaunt their skills alongside resident aestheticians, who further enhance physiques with waxing, makeup applications, airbrush tanning, and mani-pedis that utilize OPI and Creative Nail Design polishes.