A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Fantastic Sams is a full-service salon for the whole family that sculpts wilted hair into a look-twice hot commodity. All cuts start with a soothing shampoo using Fantastic Sams' signature line of products. With today's deal, tired tresses will also be treated to a moisture-melding deep-conditioning treatment to seal in shine and undo dryness and damage from sandbox headstands. After stray strands are snipped away, the lush remaining locks are blown dry as hair is sculpted into an irresistibly manicured mane. Each of Fantastic Sams’ confidence-renewal centers is staffed with follicle fanatics who will whisk worries away with precision and kindness.
Shear Illusions boasts a cadre of stylistic mavens that comfortably cater to the hair-sculpting and follicle needs of men and women alike. Stylists unsheath their blades to slice, reshape, and trim head-fronds into an alluring face-framing form with a haircut (up to $30 value). Highlights of the client's choosing create a look interwoven with single or multicolored hues ($70 value one color, $80 value for two), from natural reds and blondes to LSU purples and golds. A deep-conditioning treatment hydrates parched hair, imbuing it with a silky sheen envied by ambitious silkworms the world over ($10 value). After a finishing style to puff, slick, or gently cajole hair into its peak state of beauty, stylists whirl their clients out of the chair and out into a world in which birds let out catcalls over exceptionally coiffed heads.
The Eastern art of brow threading has become wildly popular in the United States, a trend aesthetician Almas Karowalia astutely followed, enabling her to open 15 locations of Perfect Brow Bar across the Midwest, Texas, and Louisiana. At each outpost, practitioners clean up uneven brows and hairlines with strands of twisted thread that can remove multiple rows of hair with a single pass. Her teams boast that they can complete brows in as little as 5 minutes and require only 10–15 minutes to thread an entire face. The expedient technique generally results in less pain and irritation than other hair-removal methods, though at Perfect Brow Bar patrons can also opt for traditional waxing services. In addition to hair removal, aestheticians dress up skin with makeup applications, lash extensions, and henna tattoos of tuxedos or ball gowns.
Sheena D. Gilmore studied at the Aveda Institute before opening her own shop, Vintage Hair Salon. Now she crafts polished looks with hint of vintage hollywood glamor, reflected in her salon's tagline—"where classic beauty meets modern style." The certified Lavish Lashes artist adds natural-looking drama to eyes by applying synthetic lashes one at a time with a medical-grade glue. She also lengthens manes with natural human hair extensions by UltraTress and smooths them with keratin treatments. Sheena rounds out her service menu with masques featuring ingredients that range from 24-karat gold to fragments from Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus."
Brands Used: SkinCeuticals, Jane Iredale, Baby Foot
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Medical-grade skincare with the perks of a spa. That's the kind of service that Fresh Skin Care & Aesthetics' staff brings to the table. Overseen by Dr. Rani Whitfield, the team smoothes and purifies skin with facials and chemical peels and helps wax away unwanted hair. They also apply tanning spray by hand to give clients even, natural-looking tans that will have friends wondering how you score so much vacation time. They pair those services with beauty treatments seldom found outside of doctors' offices, which include injectables like Botox.