The friendly team at Native Sun Tanning & Spa are Smart Tan–certified, but they're more than just tanning technicians; each staff member helps clients select an array of skin-nourishing spa services. Skin specialists recommend a session in the infrared heat and nutrient-infused steam of the Hydro-Derma Fusion machine, as it can extend tanning results and leave skin more moisturized than Gene Kelly's umbrella made of sponges. Both high-pressure and stand-up UV beds are featured in the salon, as well as fast-acting Mystic booths. To help shed stress, guests can sink into the relaxing jets of the AquaMassage pod to revitalize muscles and enhance circulation better than a hug from a manatee. The spa's purple, yellow, and orange reception area has shelves lined with neat rows of moisturizing products.
There once was a time where the only way to get a gilded glow was to expose skin to harmful UV rays. Thanks to advances in spray-tan technology, the staff members at Bronze Ambition Custom Airbrush Tanning have honed their skills at the safe, effective alternative—sunless tanning. These trained professionals use the top-of-the-line South Seas solution, which coats the skin with a customized hue tailored to each client's individual skin tone. The result is a tan that looks natural and lasts for up to 10 days. A trip to Bronze Ambition goes by as quickly as the time Einstein took his SATs, as the application of formula can take as little as five minutes.
Unlike more traditional how-we-met stories, the chance meeting of Natalie Gordon and Rachel Shrader eventually led them to many, many weddings. That’s because the two met while working on the beauty team for a three-day Indian wedding in 2009, and they knew they had an artistic connection; shortly thereafter, they founded Avenue 42 Style Studio. Each woman brings extensive experience to their business: Natalie has completed more than 130 hours of professional training and is an adjunct professor at the Virginia Cinema Makeup School, whereas Rachel has worked as a stylist for 10 years. Their mission began as a bride-centric one, and business boomed by 300% in their first year together. When they realized they couldn’t handle demand on their own, they brought stylists Sarah Bell and Gracia Triplett on board. In 2012, the opening of a permanent Avenue 42 Style Studio downtown solidified their presence in Richmond as not just wedding stylists but everyday stylists.
Today, the four-woman team at Avenue 42 Style Studio specializes in beauty services that cater to both the glam-seeking bride and the man, woman, child, or chow chow in search of a simple haircut. They hand-select hair color from lines by Schwarzkopf and Aveda, brushing color over roots to touch them up or creating ombre highlights. The styling team can also craft updos for formal occasions, as well as extend manes with Hairlocs, which adhere to the head without glue, heat, or forcing strands that just met to hug. As for aesthetics, their expertise now extends into organic airbrush tanning, airbrush makeup, and airbrush tattoo cover-up. Their on-location bridal services continue to flourish and have been featured in Southern Weddings magazine, among other publications.
Hairport West employs crack staffers who perform swift UV-free airbrush tans using organic Ventura Tan products, all infused with an all-natural botanical solution. The salon’s full-body bronzes put an end to bashful games of beach volleyball played in full suits of armor, and targeted tanning to the face, arms, and torso deftly combats seasonal sallowness. A sun-kissed quartet of custom colors is also available, allowing customers to oscillate between subtle sheens and toasty glows.
The 10 tanning beds at The Perfect Tanning Salon bronze bodies with four levels of UV rays seven days a week. Before customers slip into their illumination chambers, they can discover new ways to protect their eyes and skin by perusing the tanning lotions and goggles that line the salon's mint-green walls. For a sun-kissed glow without the heat, staffers can airbrush epidermises by hand, which helps achieve a more subtle tan than riding through the painting section of a Mr. Potato Head assembly line.
The staff at Hawaiian Bronze makes sure that clients use the right bed and products for their skin with a level of care that hasn't gone unnoticed. Playboy and Maxim model Nikki Cantell, an occasional customer, says, "I love Hawaiian Bronze, I've tried so many salons over the years and all I did was burn. At HB, they clearly use top-of-the-line machines and offer the best lotions for my sensitive skin."
The salon's collection of beds includes lie-down and standup units, tanning contraptions just for the legs or face, and a powerful 360-degree Italian-made model. Airbrush artists spritz on natural-looking hues in less than three minutes, and red light therapy stimulates skin to produce natural smoothing collagen. Infrared body wraps also help get bodies ready for trips to the beach or attempts to climb through silhouette-shaped holes in the wall from high school.