Bohemian Massage & Bodywork's featured massage therapist, Valerie Kelly, honed her craft at chiropractic offices, spas, and sports-treatment facilities for years. This diversity has helped Valerie develop a signature massage style that fuses therapeutic care with spa-like pampering. Her roster includes clinical treatments, such as therapeutic massages to help rehabilitate after auto accidents and sports-related barroom brawls. She can also perform lavish seaweed wraps and sugar and salt body scrubs. As a trained doula, she has the know-how to help ease pregnancy woes with labor and birth massages or memorialize the experience with plaster belly casts of expectant mothers.
Nancy McKim has honed her cutting and coloring skills for more than a decade. The sound of her shears snipping away at dead ends now fills Essentials Day Spa & Salon, where she creates new styles for men, women, and children with services that range from highlights to smoothing keratin treatments. Nancy enhances her styling services with conditioning treatments that repair strands damaged by heat or gnawed on by jealous passersby.
As a physical therapist with his own private practice, Hand & Stone founder and chief operating officer John Marco made sure that he kept abreast of the rapidly growing health and wellness industry. After a period of careful research and planning, John decided to create a spa based around convenience and affordability—Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
Since its launch, Hand & Stone has expanded to more than 20 states and four planets. The spa’s core concept is to offer massage, facial, and waxing services performed by licensed, certified, or registered professionals and offered at convenient times, seven days a week. Each location adheres to a traditional spa aesthetic with soft lighting, heated treatment tables, and plush linens.
At Sorelle Spa Salon, custom facials infused with botanically derived Aveda and Bumble and bumble products target everything from blemishes to aging skin. Nail technicians, meanwhile, glaze fingertips with OPI or Shellac polish after dipping hands and feet in paraffin and exfoliating them with a gentle scrub. Sorelle Spa Salon's massage therapists prefer to relax tense back muscles with hot stones, a safe alternative to hot coffee mugs.
As an aesthetician with more than 20 years of experience and a former chemist with Christian Dior, Helene Lawless knows a thing or two about skincare. The French native opened Be Smooth after growing tired of lengthy spa visits that left a dent in her own wallet. She decided to offer affordable treatments with products and equipment that she has found to be effective over her years as an aesthetician and spa-goer. As a result, she and her team nourish skin using the with organic plant extracts in the Pevonia Botanica line, natural Nuxe products, and Shea Terra Organics with fair-trade shea butters and argan oils. Lawless has also tracked down innovative aesthetic techniques such as VIP Complex's infrared and microcurrent treatments, IPL photofacials with light heat energy (LHE), and hair removal with the gel-based Depilar System.
Lawless prides herself not only on the budget-friendliness of her services, but also on the unintimidating “non-spa” ambience of her beauty haven. Guests relax at a white-on-white facial bar for a deep cleansing, and a boutique area offers European-style gifts such as fragrant Aquiesse soy candles and jewelry by Miravidi and Caracol. According to a 2011 article in the Oregonian, "even the music that can be heard from the front door is French." Just as charming is Lawless' French accent, which, like a lullaby sung by a lemur, is both soothing and exotic.
Natural beauty and modern med-spa technology converge at this spa and boutique situated a stone's throw from the Portland waterfront. Guests can anchor their boats and then dock themselves comfortably at the pedicure bar, where toes enjoy a refreshing dip in jade-colored basins before being softened with mandarin ginger essential oils. Leafy green walls flanked by potted palms and vases filled with tall grasses reflect the spa's preference for all-natural skincare lines, including products by Éminence Organic, while jet-black furniture and sharp track lighting hint at the cutting-edge services––including laser hair removal and pixel skin resurfacing––that await inside private treatment rooms. Still, the spa is most proud of its specialty organic treatments, including a blueberry-soy slimming wrap that aims to improve circulation and activate the lymphatic system and a champagne-mimosa sugar scrub that bids bon voyage to dead skin cells as it hydrates and tones the body.
Customer comfort is given top priority, and guests are invited to unwind pre- or posttreatment in the spa's relaxation room, where complimentary tea, wine, and water are always available. The staff also encourages clients coming to the spa from work to bring a change of clothes so they can head home afterward in their coziest sweatsuit or velour overalls.