Founder Todd Beckman opened the first Tan Company location, then called The St. Louis Tan Company, in 1994 with a pair of average-size sun retreats. After perfecting a superstore concept with multiple levels of tanning beds and an intrepid-reporter alter ego, Beckman's bronzing business now spans 53 locations in 8 states, including 39 locations in the St. Louis area. Todd ensures each salon keeps the same high standards that won the 2010 award for Best Tanning in St. Louis from CityVoter.
A knowledgeable staff maintains each bright, highly sanitized environment and stocks shelves with Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, and Designer Skin tanning products. The Tan Company also fashions UV-free tans with Mystic Tan standup booths that evenly spritz bodies with a paraben-free DHA solution infused with aloe vera.
As the weather outside grows colder, Bella D’ora Spa rolls out the cookie dough—or, at least, the smell of baking cookies. The seasonal sugar-cookie massage incorporates a brown-sugar hand-and-foot scrub into a sweet-smelling massage. The staff also provide an equal level of pampering year-round through warm-stone massages, organic facials, and body wraps that work to rid skin of toxins that may have been absorbed during baths in the chemical vats at a local soft-drink factory. Clients can bundle services for spa parties or bridal parties, which come with optional hors d’oeuvres or lunch plates that easily sate high-noon cravings.
Tessa grew up with scissors in her hand. Her father’s salon was a staple of her Missouri community for 25 years, and there she learned the ins and outs of cutting hair to face shape and blending luxurious color highlights. Today she continues her father’s legacy, employing Matrix and American Crew brand products to transform tresses in Genesis Salon. Amid the studio's industrial-inspired décor, she joins four other stylists in crafting contemporary styles designed to work with each client's lifestyle and fashion tastes.
At Natural Nail Care Salon, manicures are both a soothing indulgence and a step toward healthier hands. The technicians conduct mani-pedi services for natural nails exclusively, grooming and buffing them with Swedish Mavala products that enhance nails' flexibility and strength. Just as the techs avoid artificial nails, their products eschew synthetics: Mavala formulas contain no harsh chemicals, and the salon's Essie and Zoya polishes are formaldehyde-free. Clients sit at a sprawling nail bar that seats up to nine for hand treatments, then retire to pedicure chairs, where stainless-steel foot tubs ensure clean soaks. The attention of the seasoned staff often ensures that polish stays bright for weeks on end, instead of flaking when anxious friends ask to borrow nails for biting.
Nails may be the salon's focus, but each technician also boasts an additional specialty. Salon owner Jessica Stannard channels her hairstyling background with cut, color, and texturizing treatments, and licensed aesthetician Amanda Ancell nourishes complexions. Amanda's facials and chemical peels use personalized combinations of products based on the client's skin type and conditions, and each treatment includes a massage to relieve muscular tension around the cheekbones. The spa menu also includes waxing, eyelash extensions, and permanent-makeup applications.
The nail technicians at Glamour Nails & Spa festoon hands and feet with manicures and pedicures. For a long-lasting look that's easier than super-gluing actual crayons to fingertips, they'll apply Shellac polish during manicures. The team also applies acrylic sets, and their 15 pedicure chairs ensure their ability to handle any sudden influxes of clients—they can give pedicures to three sets of pro-basketball starters at once.
Stylist Dove Rowe mans the styling chair in her hair-centric niche inside Sun and Sea Tanning. Here, she helps patrons to update locks, encouraging them to bring in photos of their desired style, or select from a specialized menu of salon treatments. Using her scissors, hair-coloring brush, and wax applicator, Dove pampers guests from the neck up, artfully accenting bone structure and skin tone. A selection of texture-wave treatments rounds out the service menu, helping patrons to achieve a look of eye-catching glamour without taping a Marilyn Monroe movie poster to their chest.