With many locations throughout Washington, Tan Republic outfits their salons with sleek, modern designs and earth-toned walls, filling private tanning rooms with a suite of melanin-conjuring machines. Guests can choose from Mystic Tan and VersaSpa spray-tanning booths, high-pressure tanning beds, or jars full of fireflies that can be held against the skin for a natural glow. The salons also offer six varieties of lotion, each formulated for specific bronzing needs.
At Tan Republic, the staff doesn't just sit by while you tan?they advocate for responsible tanning. They carefully oversee the use of the Mystic Tan and VersaSpa spray-tanning booths as well as the high-pressure tanning beds, controlling clients' exposure to UV rays and cosmetic tanning compounds. They also ensure that every tanner uses FDA-compliant protective eyewear, and prevent any one visitor from wearing multiple pairs and making everyone else feel uncool. They even enhance their clients' tans with six varieties of lotion, each designed to produce a different intensity of bronze.
With gentle hands and focus, Heather beautifies and clarifies skin with facials using products not tested on animals. It's all in a day's work for the aesthetician, who doesn't just do facials but also waxes unruly hair, performs, microdermabrasion treatments, and applies makeup. Esthetics by Heather is part of the family-run Big J’s Bikes & Pain, an eclectic venture that specializes in aesthetics, motorcycles, and tattoos.
If the atmosphere inside The Cat's Meow strikes first-time visitors as particularly familial, the reason may be that the salon’s proprietors share more than aesthetic expertise—all three of them are sisters. For more than 20 years, Melissa Raynak, Pixie Melton, and Meghan Mowbray—along with their team of aestheticians and nail technicians—have pampered skin and nails with treatments that range from basic facials and express pedicures to all-inclusive spa-day packages. In each of their skin-therapy treatments, the spa’s aestheticians employ professional products that eschew mineral oil, lanolin, and allergens such as gluten to ensure that skin responds positively. Armed with bottles of OPI polish and paraffin wax, they turn their attention to fingers and toes to soften calluses and fluff nail beds.
The lustrous pearl that shines at the center of Perle Holistic Skincare’s logo signifies more than an obvious homophone—a rare symbol of perfection in nature, the gleaming object hints at the spa’s reliance on organic, natural products to cultivate flawless skin tones. The spa’s aesthetician shares a holistic philosophy that acknowledges the importance of the mind and spirit in effective body treatments, which explains why they eschew artificial products for plant- and flower-based cleansers, toners, and moisturizers from Dr. Hauschka. Specifically formulated to support life-giving cycles and strengthen the face’s rhythmic systems, these blends seep into pores to promote a glowing complexion and clear skin of oil after a museum visit spent head-butting portraits of smug Victorian ministers.
Bushwackers Waxing Studio owner Debi Botz believes that Brazilian waxes take specialized skill and that not every waxing technician should be performing them. She should know—throughout her 15 years of experience, she has led classes that help others learn how to correctly remove hair from those sensitive areas. This high standard of quality speaks to Botz's overall meticulous, professional approach: she never double-dips. She uses generously thick coats of hard wax on delicate areas to help reduce irritation. And she consults with clients before waxing services to talk about what to expect—especially if it's their first time.