Founded with the goal of outfitting its pupils with the skills necessary to excel in the spa and salon industries, Milan Institute of Cosmetology deploys a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes professionalism and hands-on learning to train fledgling cosmetologists and aestheticians around the country. As the most important aspect of the course of study, student salons and spas serve as a real-world classroom wherein nascent beauticians—under the careful supervision of their instructors—can practice their newly minted skills on humans or sentient mannequins. The beauty apprentices gussy up patrons head to toe via sundry lavish salon and spa services—specific to each location—that may include nail services, haircare, facials therapeutic massages, or nourishing body wraps.
The staff at Evo Aesthetic Center and Wellness Spa strives to create holistic balance through relaxing and confidence-boosting cosmetic services. Composed of a physician, a registered nurse, and a crew of aestheticians, the team embraces a broad range of services and specialties. They also work to keep clients informed by collaborating with them to select a treatment regimen and a voice actor to narrate its steps in a reassuring baritone.
Their services range from familiar spa treatments—including facials with vitamin- and antioxidant-rich products—to advanced, medically inspired procedures. These can utilize microdermabrasion technology or chemical peels with fruit acids to create younger-looking skin or conceal the appearance of minor scarring.
When Martha Millan says, "Beauty shouldn't hurt," she's not peddling a slogan—her first job in the beauty industry literally caused her pain. Working at an upscale salon, her exposure to common hair and makeup products triggered hives and headaches. While searching for more natural goods for personal use, her research revealed unsettling truths about many industry product lines that often use irritating perfumes to mask the underlying odors of harsh chemicals. Feeling that everyone should have the opportunity to look beautiful without fear of harming health, she bought a salon and transformed it into Salon O Day Spa.
Amid Salon O Day's industrial decor, Millan and her team of stylists, aestheticians, and a massage therapist use products so natural that some are even edible, though Millan imagines the taste would leave something to be desired: barbecue sauce. Among the array of certified-organic, not-tested-on-animals, gluten- and chemical-free products, Millan's favorites include Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare, developed by an American physician who advocates against overexfoliation. For hair, stylists use products from lines including Surface Hair and Organic Color Systems, and during nail services, technicians use natural products from SpaRitual in tandem with scrubs made in-house from ingredients bought at a local co-op.
Seven Treasures Healing Arts heals and soothes patients with a blend of acupuncture, specialized Asian bodywork, herbs, and nutrition and lifestyle guidance. A Diplomate of Oriental Medicine from the NCCAOM, acupuncturist, zen shiatsu practitioner, and Reiki master Susan L. Ondrasek treats allergies, chronic pain, digestive issues, anxiety, and more, but not before starting the two-hour session with an in-depth system analysis. After diagnosing any issues, clients receive Asian bodywork, either zen shiatsu bodywork or tui na—Chinese manipulative body therapy—both of which attempt to balance the body's yin, yang, and yammer.
Signature Service: Deep-tissue and Swedish massage
Brands Used: Dr. Singha's Mustard Rub
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Besides making clients happy, what do you like most about your job?
I love the joy of giving customized rejuvenation time. Every client has the opportunity for introspection and is in charge of their own therapy, so I can better facilitate their pathway to more functional muscle health. Each person is unique and offers me new insights about bodywork in my practice. I'm really blessed to have such a fulfilling career where I can explore new techniques and have fun doing what I love.
How did you get started in the beauty industry? Did you have an "ah-ha" moment in life?
Around 2006 I was completely directionless about what i wanted to do with my life. All of my friends, family, and acquaintances were in agreement that I was calm and centered, and into holistic information and application, so they suggested massage as the perfect career for me.
I was rather taken aback. [At the time], I had only received one or two [massages], which was quite a luxury for me. I hadn't thought of massage as a "health" avenue, but as a option for the elite. I took a risk and signed up for massage school when college didn't pan out for me. I couldn't be more happy with the choice I made. I am still learning so much. The new modalities and practical applications never end, which is what keeps me enthusiastic about my massage and bodywork practice.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
I am absolutely passionate about the organic lifestyle. I live and breathe it to the point of obnoxiousness to some. However, it is a subject that deserves more public education than I alone can give it. The world must soon see the importance of a toxic-free environment for all.
I believe with all my heart we as people don't vote at the polls, but with our dollars. This is why I will only use the highest quality organic massage oils, essential oil blends, and even organic cotton sheets in my practice. I also hand make organic exfoliating and deep cleansing salt scrubs. We all deserve the best and purest from nature, and to ensure we keep getting it, I, for one, will continue to buy organic no matter the cost. The more who join in, the less toxic our planet will end up for future generations.
Getting walked all over has a negative connotation, but the massage therapists at Therapies Massage render it positively therapeutic. During Ashiatsu massage, they walk on clients' backs with their clean, bare feet while holding overheard parallel bars for balance. They also stretch clients into assisted yoga poses during Thai Yoga Massage, a style that incorporates reflexology's focus on the hands and feet. For more traditional kneads, clients can also opt for flowing Swedish strokes, more intense deep tissue massages, or the warmth of strategically-placed hot stones, which are more effective than a microwaved Mancala set.