A good spa will transport its guests to a time and place where everyday stresses are forgotten. American Image Salon & Spa can take you to a rainforest waterfall, for example—its monsoon massage sends the gentle mist of a Vichy shower cascading onto backs and shoulders. If you'd prefer a steamier setting, opt for the hot-stone massage, during which a therapist banishes tension with kneads and strategically placed lava rocks. There are also packages that provide even longer, more luxurious escapes, such as the 6.5-hour Day of Beauty: a Clarisonic facial, massage, mani-pedi, shampoo, makeup application, and lunch.
Sometimes, however, a visit to the spa or salon is a quick reward in the middle of the day. That's why the staff here administers most of the standard treatments for the hair, nails, and body. Stylists trim new 'dos and flatten frizz with Chi Enviro smoothing formulas, or nourish the skin with specialized facials. Manicures might feature add-ons from a seaweed mask to a layer of eco-paraffin, a more environmentally friendly way to soften the hands than by wrapping them in live ferrets. Gentlemen are hardly neglected, either. Their services include haircuts as well as mustache- and beard-tinting.
In 2004, Rhonda Larkins underwent a lumbar laminectomy to fix a herniated disc, an injury she obtained while working as a package handler. Even after the surgery, she was left with pain and a lingering numbness in her left leg. Though physical therapy helped, she noticed that she felt particularly good after getting a massage. This observation led her to study Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy?a type of massage in which the practitioner uses bare feet to deliver flowing, effleurage strokes?under the practice?s founder, Ruthie Piper Hardee. Rhonda is currently on the mastery level of this modality.
At Prolong Symmetry, Rhonda and her team of licensed massage therapists specialize in more than 10 types of massage. Services range from more traditional Swedish and deep-tissue massages to Hawaiian lomi-lomi, an ancient healing practice during which therapists stimulate the body?s pressure points with their thumbs, elbows, and thoughts on early Dada filmmaking.
To foster healthy, radiant skin, the aestheticians at SkinSpa at Salon Escape rely on the Dermalogica face-mapping system––a unique form of skin analysis that is only available at Dermalogica-authorized facilities. During the 5- to 10-minute procedure, a skin expert examines each of the face's 14 zones inch by inch using both sight and touch, noting each zone's unique characteristics and average rainfall on a prescription sheet. This sheet then serves as a visual guide for both client and staff as they decide on a suitable treatment plan, whether it be an ultracalming facial for irritated or inflamed skin or a photofacial for reducing fine lines and wrinkles. Though they spend much of their time focusing on the face, the aestheticians also tend to skin below the neck with custom massages and exfoliating body polishes and can wax away unwanted hair wherever it sprouts.
A Redken Premier school, The Salon Professional Academy staffs an elite team of certified teachers, each of whom boasts more than 10 years of industry experience and a passion for education. Director of Education Chris Gould garnered 16 years of experience training with well-known brands such as Vidal Sassoon, Jacques Dessange, and Yosh Toya, before opening the academy to share her savvy with top local talent. Up-and-coming hair stylists, cosmetologists, and aestheticians meet for full-time, hands-on classes that dispense wisdom on products, body treatments, and the most effective way to relax tense mannequins. Armed with scissors, enthusiasm, and on-trend taste, advanced students head onto the floor to perform salon services on real clients under the watchful eyes of their teachers.
Todd Beckman founded MassageLuXe with the notion that five-star service should not be limited to pricey hotels. Today, the spa's team of massage therapists and aestheticians continues to realize and build upon Todd's initial aspirations. A spa day at MassageLuXe includes all the perks one might expect from a vacation resort, from facials and massages to full-body waxing and baths in warm, effervescent champagne. The company's services tend to exceed expectations in other ways, too; along with standard massages such as Swedish and deep tissue, therapists are proficient in specialty modalities such as bio-mat, reflexology, and aromatherapy.
Hair-removing lasers, dermal fillers, and minimally invasive liposuction all populate the list of cosmetic services offered at Clayton Med Spa. The aestheticians are putting faces at ease as they pose for skin-rejuvenating photofacials or bidding dullness adieu during diamond-tipped microdermabrasions. Those hoping to correct sagging skin sans surgery can ask about FDA-approved ReFirme skin tightening, which draws upon infrared light and bipolar radio frequencies to stimulate collagen production. Injectables such as Botox, Juvéderm, and Restylane help fill in fine lines caused by aging or falling asleep atop a subway grate.