After years of struggling with acne as a teen, Joyce Brown was unsure of how to properly care for her skin. One day, when she was in her early 20s, that all changed—the day she received a facial. This ignited a lifelong passion for skincare, and with the help of her mother, Joyce saved enough money to attend the Von Lee International School of Aesthetics and learned to nourish and nurture the delicate skin of the face. Joyce finished her skincare training with big dreams of starting her own business, but motherhood and a professional career—she has a master’s degree in social work—kept her goals at bay. After years of hard work and watching tear-jerking facial documentaries, Joyce finally took a leap of faith, resigning from her job and opening Elaina Joi Skincare, a studio in a quaint second-floor walkup.
Joyce translates the people skills she mastered during her former life in social work to establish a strong rapport with her clients and their specific skin concerns. With the aid of DermaQuest—a dermatologist-recommended skincare line created without animal testing—and Face Reality Skin Care–specially designed for clients with acne– Joyce attends to each client’s visage with a detailed, diligent approach. Sessions conclude when the specialist charts an at-home skincare regimen to ensure continued care and to keep pores out of the Pringles stash.
Apothecary Wellness Spa's service menu may be long and diverse, but every treatment has one thing in common: holistic, eco-friendly products and techniques that calm the mind and reveal beauty naturally. Facials rely on formulas from Naturopathica and Ilike Organic Skincare to purify and revitalize complexions through fully personalized treatments, each of which include soothing massages and a bounty of hot towels. Custom-massage sessions benefit from the addition of individually blended essential oils, and body treatments soften the skin by imparting essences of wholesome fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Even the waxing treatments take a natural approach by using Nufree, a plant-based, hair-removal formula that's naturally antibacterial and free of waxes and sugars, resulting in less skin irritation than the hard waxes or recently-lit birthday candles used by other spas.
Parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, and genetically modified ingredients don't belong in any of the skincare products used by master aesthetician Shelley Birnbaum. Driven by a passion for eco-friendly practices, as well as a dedication to providing effective spa treatments, Shelley decided to only stock and employ balms and salves made from organically derived materials. But she wasn't content to merely vend these products—she began making them herself.
Along with her ReNew Botanicals Organic & Vegan line, Shelley draws on a handful of other trusted brands to naturally treat a wide range of skincare concerns. Her facials soothe complexions and address signs of aging with such earth-loving components as grape seed oil, olive leaf powder, and odes addressed "To That Really Nice Field." Many of her treatments are vegan, ensuring any client can stop by for a refreshing pick-me-up.
There is no such thing as a typical treatment at Sky Lounge Skin Care. The spa’s skilled team of aestheticians makes sure of that by personalizing skin remedies to address each client’s individual needs. Comprehensive skin analyses conducted before each treatment allow staffers to modify facials and peels to better treat acne, discoloration, or frown lines from sending hundreds of unreturned letters to the North Pole. The spa also carries a full line of botanically derived Only YouRx products, which clients can stock up on to continue their skincare regimens at home. Along with skin treatments, the staff regularly holds skincare seminars and offers waxing, manicures, cosmetic treatments, and massages.
Aestheticians Melissa Jacobson and Stephanie Casey employ only organic ingredients within their candlelit beauty studio. Jacobson, a certified reiki master, and Casey, a certified aromatherapist, believe in treating the whole body and all of its manifestations in alternate universes. They excel at cultivating a sense of total peace, whether they're performing body wraps, deep-tissue massages, ear candling, or makeup applications.
While working at other peoples' salons, Shelly Spann yearned for something of her own. "I wanted to get my name out there," she says. One day, while watching reality TV, Shelly was struck by an idea. All of the shows were "centered around women and hanging out together, so I thought, 'Oh my God, how awesome would it be if we did that?'" Shelly masterminded a business that beautifies brows on location at get-togethers as partygoers sip champagne and wine. "It takes a little bit of the edge off of waxing," she says with a laugh.
Now Shelly divides her hours between mobile services and time at her full-body-waxing headquarters. She uses Nufree Nudesse, a sugar-free wax alternative that removes hair with less pain, irritation, and grumbling from cranky candles. Clients can also request numbing creams to keep procedures even less uncomfortable.
Waxing and brow sculpting aren’t Shelly’s only specialties, though. The fully licensed aesthetician also beautifies her clients’ complexions with a selection of exfoliating and hydrating facials. Her treatments range from mini and teen versions of her signature facial to custom European facials that take their cues from individual skin types.