Magictan Studios draws on both traditional UV-tanning beds and the VersaSpa sunless-tanning system to convert fair-skinned physiques into beach-ready bods. A friendly, professional staff ensconces clients in their choice of Level 1, 2, or 3 beds, depending on their preference for a light toasting, medium bronzing, or phoenix-like rebirth. For the UV-shy, the VersaSpa sunless-tanning system not only bronzes skin, but hydrates and smoothes as well, resulting in a silky, polished tan in just a few minutes. A hydromassage bed keeps with Magictan Studios' emphasis on customization, relinquishing touchscreen control to clients as warm jets of water massage muscles before flowing back into the river of dreams.
Splashers brightens up the chore of washing clothes with an on-site snack bar that serves bottled beer, tanning beds, a big-screen TV, and free WiFi. The washery offers same- or next-day service on drop-off laundry, tending to T-shirts, pants, blouses, and Santa suits based on owner specifications. Those who opt for self-service laundry can sling dirty duds into professional Dexter front-load washers ($2.49/cycle for 20-pound load; $8.39 for 80-pound load) and dryers ($0.25–$0.75 for 7 minutes). For added convenience, machine use is paid for with an easy swipe card instead of quarters plucked from behind a stranger's ear.
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.
The beauty experts at Answer Day Spa revamp iffy appearances through the careful application of scissors and files. Skilled stylists quell split ends over the course of approximately 35-minute haircuts (a $25 value), using sheers to reshape frenzied follicles, trained eyes to mold them sharply, and occasional ghost stories to add volume sans gel. During 45-minute Shellac manicures (a $35 value), techs file nails to pleasing lengths before clipping cuticles and applying goose-down-free coats of color. The shellac polish is long lasting and resistant to chipping, designed to stay fresh for up to two weeks.
At each of its locations throughout the South and Midwest, the beauty techs of Perfect Brow Bar deftly shape brows using the ancient Indian art of threading. During each session, a brow stylist twists two pieces of thread into a double strand-resembling a rope doll's DNA-that is used to quickly and precisely remove hairs from their follicular bases. The method can be less painful than other hair-removal techniques while avoiding other depilation pitfalls, such as redness and ingrown hairs. The skilled crews also handcraft intricate henna tattoos.
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.
Sun and Sea Tanning brings bronzing rays to customers whenever it’s convenient for them. Seven days a week and until 9 p.m. on weekdays, clients can hop into one of four different tanning beds for shade-shifting sessions that last between 10 and 20 minutes. The Sapphire, Lumina, and Cadillac beds bestow a natural-looking shade as customers comfortably recline, and the Delta booth allows customers to stay standing, eliminating tan lines from all six sides of the body. The salon also houses a Mystic Tan booth, which mists clients with a UV-free formula, available in three different levels to suit varying skin types.