Though Franciska Fokkinga has been a jack-of-all-trades in the beauty industry for more than 33 years, in the last decade, she's focused her skills on skincare. In her role as a Bio-Therapeutics educator, she trains doctors, licensed aestheticians, and nurses in using microcurrent technology to noninvasively lift and tighten clients' faces, and employs it at her own studio.
Before each treatment, she sets a relaxing tone by lighting candles, turning on soothing music, and spritzing the room with a light aromatherapy spray infused with essential oils. Purple accents pop against her private studio's silvery walls, and her easygoing yet professional attitude makes the intimate atmosphere comfortable. But it's not just a relaxing experience—she says the main benefit is "actual, visual improvement in the skin."
"It's more than a froufrou facial, but it's not in a medical setting," she says. "I listen to the client and provide a comfortable setting for them, as well as a very effective facial." She selects custom products from brands such as Bio-Therapeutic to best care for her clients' skin types. At the end of appointments, she educates each client with personalized skincare recommendations.
In addition to her high-tech microcurrent and hydrodermabrasion treatments, she offers facials including a men's fitness facial and a classic European facial. Her services extend to facial and bikini waxing. She banishes strands from brows, chins, and lips with a lavender facial wax, and for bikini areas, she uses mild GiGi Honee wax, an all-purpose wax that doesn't burn, cause peeling, or jump ship to become a candlestick.
Certified personal trainer Mechelle Haflich is familiar with both the highs and lows of physical health. As a bodybuilder, she has won competitions focused on superior strength, and as a registered massage therapist, she has eased injured muscles back into action. Both titles have proven essential in planning FitBody Studio, where she takes a holistic view on wellness through fitness, massage, and spa services. Alongside a team of highly credentialed instructors, therapists, and aestheticians, Mechelle's team adjusts her programs to suit each client's ambitions, which range from losing inches to being able to deadlift a locomotive.
On the exercise side of the curriculum, private training sessions and group classes build endurance—Vinyasa yoga and kickboxing sessions round out the stair climbs and cardio drills of the Bleachers class, which takes place inside the Colorado College football stadium. To repair overworked deltoids, the studio's massage programs relax tendons and target injuries with a mix of modalities. After workouts sculpt bodies, FitBody Studio’s spa polishes them smooth with waxing services and custom facials.
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 the 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 that 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.
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.
Symmetry Therapeutic Massage Spa sprang from the dream of two friends and fellow massage therapists who sought to demonstrate that massage could be used to better physical health. They started small, with a one-room office behind a Pilates studio. Soon, however, they found themselves juggling more appointments than they could handle. Just two years later, they moved into a sprawling new sports-partnered studio, creating a new source of relief for athletes whose massages previously consisted of lying in the middle of the turf during a game.
Today, Symmetry's founding pair leads 30 other licensed therapists, each with her own unique background and specialty. These practitioners treat clients with more than a dozen massage modalities, including neuromuscular massage, which relies on static pressure to relieve area-specific pain, and Thai Yoga. Services such as soothing steam therapy and invigorating dry body-brushing augment the offerings.
During the studio's semi-private workshops, including couples' workshops, the therapists teach clients how to perform their massage techniques at home. This allows clients to connect with their partners during couples massages whenever they have some private time at home or a long wait in a grocery-store line together.
Over the course of her career, Venus Eyelash Extensions owner Amanda Salas has revamped lashes of every length, thickness, and texture. She uses her ample know-how to give her clients a look that's bold, yet natural in appearance. Using a semipermanent glue that won't irritate the skin or impede flirtatious winking, she attaches extensions one by one, beautifying clients with either synthetic, mink, or color-enhanced varieties.