Josephine Ramos can't turn back time; however, she can restore a healthy, youthful glow to her clients' skin by concealing the blemishes and signs of aging that gradually appear. In addition to performing facials for virtually all ages and skin types—clearing pores, hydrating the epidermal layers, and applying custom masks—Josephine uses microcurrent technology or microdermabrasion wands to dramatically improve tone and texture. She also boosts her clients' confidence in their looks by applying a natural-looking airbrush tan and by waxing unwanted stubble.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all 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 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.
South Beach is known for its signature art-deco designs, pristine beaches, and energetic nightlife. Taking a cue from that dynamic locale, the staff members of South Beach Tanning Company have decorated their various locations in the spirit of South Beach and pride themselves on their upbeat, lounge-like vibe. Inside each salon, cheery lighting and bright purple, blue, and red walls augment the high-quality equipment and shelves of handpicked lotions, and high ceilings stop newly acquired tans from floating off just-bronzed bodies.
There's more than one way to get bronzed at Mandalay Mist, and none of them involve the sun's rays. Mist tanning booths take just 60 seconds to coat the body in a choice of three different darkness levels. Custom airbrush tans go beyond a spray-down from a professional technician, incorporating an exfoliation and skin-balancing treatment as well. Coats of fresh nail polish set off golden skin tones, and the scented lotions used in these mani-pedis make birthday suits smell as tasty as they look.
Derm Aroma's seasoned aestheticians reboot skin back to factory conditions with the soothing ministrations of the salon's rejuvenating facials. The fragrant aromatherapy facial utilizes a massage of custom products blended with essential oils to treat a range of skin woes and boost spirits in a treatment as uplifting as a tour with an inspirational speaker in a hot air balloon. Arid complexions find relief in the moisturizing remedies of the hydrating facial, which coats visages in creams that enhance daily skincare effectiveness while increasing circulation. The cream supplies faces with skin-reviving oxygen that renders demeanors soft and youthful. Under the glow of muted lighting, both spa sessions free patrons of their woes while the soft hum of music gently playing in the spa or in their minds creates a feeling of complete relaxation.