After graduating from massage therapy school and learning Swedish and pregnancy massage, Sarah Merickel continued her education and studied more advanced forms such as neuromuscular massage, orthopedic cupping, and myofascial release. On top of that, she took concentrated classes that focused on individual areas of the body: the low back and hip, neck, and upper back regions, to name a few. Now, she parlays all of her studies into customized massages at Olympic Avenue Massage. Sarah uses oils and lotions during her treatments, homing in on problem areas so that every client’s massage is tailored to relieve their own set of pains and discomforts.
Brittani, the licensed massage therapist behind Pain Away Massage, tailors her treatments to her individual clients' needs. Deep-tissue massages soothe chronic pain, sports massages keep muscles healthy and limber, and gentle Swedish-style strokes induce physical and mental relaxation. Add-ons such as aromatic oils and warm stones complete the pampering experience.
Salon Michelle's legion of experienced stylists clips new cuts and shades them to materialize each client's envisioned look. Amid the salon's chicly austere, wood-floored confines, haircuts commence with a soothing shampoo enacted with opulent I.C.O.N. and Keune products. Next, a fluent hair whisperer tames tangles into desired shapes such as a sleek bob, staggered layers, or an icosidodecahedron. Each strand-centric service caps with a blow-dry and style to impart finishing polish on locks.
The exuberant exfoliators at Royale European Skin Care wipe out no-good skin cells with thorough multistep treatments that leave epidermises enlivened. The go-to spa facial polishes peeper chrome with a basic cleansing, a pH balancing, and a moisturizing mask finish ($84), and the intense glow advanced facial targets dry, sensitive, or oily skin types with an aromatherapy-based remedy ($94). The warm algae wrap treats trunks by blanketing bodies in vitamin-rich seaweed smoothies for 25 minutes to detoxify and hydrate hides ($99). Guests sip tea in the sitting room between services, relaxing before rooting out unwanted follicle flowers with full face ($40) or Brazilian bikini ($55) waxing services. Stop being mistaken for squiggly-mouthed emoticons with the hydrating lip treatment, which rinses out wrinkles and reshapes kisser contours ($15).
At Antonio Melani Salon & Spa, there’s more to a haircut than trimming off split ends. Before each treatment, stylists fire off questions to garner information about their clients' visions for their hair, their lifestyles, and their daily routines. They then analyze their face shapes, hair types, and skin tones so they can design a look that accents their features, in addition to their personalities. And after all that, they still don’t start cutting until they treat scalps to a sudsy shampoo and purge stress from the shoulders and neck with a soothing massage. From there, their creativity and hair-cutting talent shines, as they take into account everything gathered from the consultation to create a chic, yet practical style. After ribboning locks with foil highlights or glosses, they style strands with Aveda products and teach clients how to re-create the looks at home or in a telephone booth during a superhero mission.
Though hair is clearly the bread and butter of Antonio Melani, the beauty team also caters to the skin and body with several treatments, including a gentleman’s facial featuring licorice root and hot-stone massages. The aestheticians also smooth skin with sugaring—a gentler and tastier alternative to traditional wax.
Owners Eric and Cristina Richerson care deeply for their salon and it shows in the hospitality. Their upscale barbershop Jonn Laurenz Fine Cuts specializes in precise men's scissor cuts tailored to the needs of the individual. Clients may also solicit the shop for a facial-hair trim or uber-close lineup with a classic straight razor.
Downtown Banya looks and feels like an old-world bathhouse, but it's blessed with some distinctly new-world amenities, including a bistro that serves dumplings and beer and spa services such as massages and facials. The main draw is a sauna composed of two rooms—Russian and dry. A third-generation Russian stove maker crafted the Russian sauna, which has a low-humidity environment that allows temperatures to soar higher than they could in other types of saunas. The wet sauna, meanwhile, dangles the prospect of aromatherapy—clients may buy herbs in the lobby and waft them throughout the room so that no one will question why their hair smells like chicken fingers. After they’re done loafing around the sauna rooms, clients can dip into cold pools that help the skin maintain elasticity. Or instead, they can sink into a warm jacuzzi equipped with a flat-screen plasma TV overhead.