It all began with a quest to find makeup without harmful ingredients that would also look good on camera. COR Cosmetics owner Amber Brophy-Mock worked diligently with chemists to create a 100% vegan mineral foundation composed of only four ingredients and free of irritants such as talc, carmine, bismuth oxychloride, and bottled Fran Drescher sound bites. The makeup and skincare expert has given interviews to numerous media publications and wrote a beauty column for the Anchorage Style Guide. She and her team of makeup artists have assembled an impressive portfolio of work while enhancing faces at weddings, fashion shows, and on the celebrity-studded sets of television shows and movies.
Patrons can find the skin-friendly products online or get an in-person application within the bright fuchsia and purple walls of the Wax, Lash & Cosmetics Boutique. At the spa, Brophy-Mock's staff of licensed aestheticians perform facials with products ranging from clinical PCA Skin peels to 100% Pure's organic and vegan formulas. They also offer organic waxing services and eyelash extensions with certified experts.
At Pure Essentials Day Spa, therapist Yencid Hiller surrounds bodies in a 27-ingredient wrap that nourishes and detoxifies tissues. Just as an Italian mother swaddles her young in lasagna noodles, Yencid blankets clients in a quilt of herbs and allows each curative element to soothe and slim the figure. During the 90-minute treatment, clients lie supine in a serene pastel-colored room as toxins exit fat cells. After a cocooning, clients can lose upwards of 20 inches, resulting in a svelte figure that easily shimmies into packed elevators and tucks behind trees during hide-and-seek.
The licensed massage therapists at Massage Alaska vaporize stress with a menu of both soothing and rehabilitative body treatments acted out within a powder-blue room. The list of modalities extends from basic relaxation massage to more intense deep- tissue massage and myofascial release. Natural aids such as hot stones, warm canes of bamboo, and badgers with velvet gloves suffuse the homey studio with the serenity of the forest. Nail techs also groom men’s and women's fingers and toes, evincing Massage Alaska's dedication to hygiene by using disposable implements.
At Bare Skin Spa, the staff’s chief philosophy likens your face to your physique; if you want it to appear firm and fit you'd better have a regular fitness routine—just as if you want your face to appear more youthful and healthy you’d better have a regular skincare regimen. Much like personal trainers, the staffers customize their services to suit various goals and body types. They draw from a lineup of products, including Éminence Organics, Dermalogica, and glo therapeutics, to combat skin ailments from acne to fine lines and incorporate natural ingredients, such as paprika, blueberries, and pumpkin, into their peels. Further beautifying their clients, they conduct waxing treatments and microcurrent facelifts, which strive to smooth away wrinkles without surgery or the hassles of ironing your face every morning.
With the spa's membership program, they take the gym analogy even further, rewarding participants with discounts and a monthly facial, peel, or microdermabrasion appointment.
Swedish and deep-tissue massage are two bodywork approaches that render very different benefits. Read our guide to choose the best option for you.
The relationship between deep-tissue and Swedish massage is much like that between DayQuil and NyQuil. Both are designed to help you feel better, but the one that makes the most sense depends on your individual needs. Here's what to expect from each of the two modalities:
Swedish massage combines four distinct motions?effleurage, petrissage, friction, and tapotement?to help relieve muscle tension and stimulate blood flow, thereby energizing the body and soothing the mind during a single relaxing session. The four phases are easy enough to distinguish. Effleurage refers to the smooth, gliding strokes that help relax soft tissues at the beginning of the treatment, followed by the squeezing, rolling, or kneading gestures of petrissage. Deep, circular motions make up the friction phase, in which layers of tissue rub against one another to boost circulation. Therapists conclude the massage with tapotement, a rapid cadence of percussive taps performed with cupped hands, fingers, or the edge of the hand.
Whereas Swedish massage focuses on relieving mental and physical tension, deep-tissue massage has more specific concerns. Due to stress and other factors, the layer of connective tissue that covers and interpenetrates the body's muscles and bones?the fascia?often tenses up, resulting in muscle knots and a painful buildup of lactic acid. Deep-tissue massage aims to warm up the fascia and release the accumulated toxins. To achieve this, the therapist?s fingers, thumbs, and elbows move along the body in slow, deliberate strokes, applying pressure to penetrate beyond superficial muscle layers. Although the intensity can produce some discomfort, deep-tissue massage should still be relaxing; the goal, after all, is to relieve the tension between muscles and their weird roommate, the skeleton.