Under the expertise of owner and board-certified aesthetician Nancy Young, skincare professionals at dbts Skin Bar-Corporate use zone-by-zone facial mapping to create custom skin therapy. With high-end Dermalogica products in tow, staffers fight a variety of dermal foes, including acne blemishes, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and scars in the shape of ATM PINs. Using a blend of antioxidants, glycolic acids, and fruit acids, treatments such as advanced rejuvenating chemical peels strip away the exterior layer of skin to promote collagen production and unearth healthier new skin. Other skin-therapy treatments diminish hyperpigmentation or slow the process of aging. Not only do the specialty treatments leave skin smoother, but the light-based hair-removal services contribute to a sleeker façade.
When the Douglas J Aveda Institute opened in Knoxville in 2011, it joined a family of institutes and salons that Douglas Weaver started in the 1960s. Here, Aveda students pursue certification in cosmetology and esthiology while practicing their craft on real clients under the supervision of licensed educators. And because students perform the services, the rates are lower than at traditional salons. The Knoxville treatment menu includes hair design—cuts, color, retexturizing—as well as Aveda’s Elemental Nature facials, pedicures, and manicures.
The Institute is inside the historic S&W Grand building, a handsome art-deco landmark that, like a compassionate fairy-tale prince, is equally handsome on the inside. The spa rooms have a rustic balance of exposed brick and wood paneling, and the salon’s geometric light fixtures gleam upon checkerboard tile floors and industrial shelving lined with Aveda’s signature products.
Jessica Elkins's eponymous spa is a tribute to her love of plants, nature, and beauty. During her aesthetics training, Jessica worked in the bodycare department of a natural-foods market, assisting clients as they selected lotions, rinses, or cucumbers. She then turned her attention to biochemistry, a field of study that explores the chemical processes in living organisms. By learning how cellular components interact, Jessica broadened her ability to resolve or diminish skin conditions with specific products. At the spa, Jessica works alongside aestheticians who perform custom facials with natural ingredients from Europe or minerals from the mines of Moria. Wax technicians specialize in Brazilian and eyebrow services, and cosmetologists perform makeup applications with mineral pigments.
Beneath a lofted zenith of upward-sloping walls that converge overhead to give the space a quaint yet roomy feel, stylists work diligently at their chairs, expertly snipping locks and coloring coifs. A lineup of waxing services—or a magnet for clients whose hair is literally cobalt—de-fuzzes physiques from eyebrows to bikini line to legs. Cream-colored walls, punctuated by light that drifts in from a trio of windows, lend an air of serenity to the full-service salon and spa. Aestheticians tucked away in private rooms cleanse and exfoliate complexions with six different types of customized facials. Massage services focus on hands, feet, and backs during reflexology treatments and dorsal kneading sessions that, like explaining to a child how one knows what one knows, lasts up to 90 minutes.
Staffers at Pura Vida Color Studio strive to live up to their name—which means "pure life"—by using sustainable, earth-friendly Davines products. The Davines concept salon also specializes in flamboyage highlights, a technique that uses adhesive strips, rather than foil or court orders, to separate small sections of hair. The careful process results in natural-looking wisps and currents of color.
The salon's subdued decor turns eyes' focus toward vibrant tresses. Stylists can judge and calibrate colors in the abundant natural light from wide windows, or glance in black-bordered mirrors as they style hair with Paul Mitchell products. The salon's neutral-colored walls echo the burble of the storefront fountain and the footfalls of the well-coiffed elves who live inside the potted plants.
The beauty experts at Advanced Esthetics draw from more than 50 years of combined experience to deliver a gamut of beautifying services. After a complimentary consultation to determine the best approach for issues such as rosacea, fine lines, or skin laxity, a licensed aesthetician may recommend a rejuvenating, saline-based JetPeel or a noninvasive radio-frequency treatment to enhance both collagen growth and the ability to tune out infomercials. Advanced Esthetics' master skin technicians can also reduce spider veins and lift unwanted hair, and a team of licensed massage therapists eases tension and stress with long, gliding Swedish strokes.