At more than 30 locations in the Houston area, clients check in at marble-fronted reception desks to meet with a member of Darque Tan's International Smart Tan Network—staff trained to determine the best path to their bronzing goals. Sessions take place in private rooms that line a column-flanked hallway, where five different levels of UV beds give skin the perfect level of tanning. Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless-tanning systems imbue clients with a hydrating, natural-looking glow, which can be customized according to skin tone, desired shade, and spirit animal. A full-time cleaning staff keeps each center in pristine conditions by referencing a 50-point inspection system. Most locations have books, televisions, and kids’ play areas to keep children entertained while adults are bronzing.
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 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.
Aveda Institute graduate Kandice is the brains behind the beautification at ikandi Skin and Lash Studio. Fueled by Image Skincare products, her facial treatments cater to visages, whether they need moisturizing, exfoliating, or smoothing. Fuller eyelashes complement dewy skin after Kandice enhances them with semi-permanent synthetic mink lashes, for a thicker look without brushing on mascara or force-feeding each lash. Conversely, she'll also remove hair where it has outstayed its welcome with waxing sessions.
For a long time, getting a much sought after sun-kissed glow meant lying outside for hours or taking tedious trips to the tanning salon. At Maquillage Pro Beauty’s three locations, they’ve discovered a better way. There, trained technicians skillfully wield airbrushes, custom-crafting natural-looking tans that don’t require exposure to the harmful effects of UV-rays. In addition to their traditional spray tans, they also offer sessions with the Evolv. system, which mitigate the chilly nature of most airbrushing systems with a heated, tea-tree-oil-enriched solution.