Clotilde Barnes's passion for holistic healthcare and nutrition has led her around the globe. After graduating from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, the native of Veracruz, Mexico, went on to train at the Western College for Medical Assistance and the San Francisco School of Massage while becoming a licensed medical aesthetician. Her journey to the U.S. in 2000 drew her deeper into the medical field, affording her the opportunity to work with family doctors, dermatologists, and chiropractors. Barnes has pooled everything that science and ancient traditions have taught her, and has owned her own business since 2008.
Barnes promotes health and well-being with alternative therapies such as reflexology sessions, which balance bodily energy via pressure points in the feet. Organic chemical peels exfoliate skin with gentle enzymes and minerals to diminish fine lines. She also performs photofacials that employ light-emitting diodes, diachronic lamps, or Lite-Brite pins to boost collagen production and combat signs of aging.
Led by owner Kimberly Thompson, an entrepreneur, mother, writer, and former model, the clinical staff at Shangri-la Medispa helps busy clients to look and feel their best. A physician tends to both their inner and outer needs by administering cosmetic fillers and overseeing the weight-management program. An experienced medical aesthetician fine-tunes appearances with laser and microcurrent treatments, chemical peels, and waxing. The medispa has also developed its own product line, Shangri-La Skin By Kim. The team also includes a registered nurse who can advise patients on their treatment options or answer any questions, from “how much downtime is required?” to “is the human appendix an extraterrestrial tracking device?”
The crew performs services in whimsically themed treatment rooms filled with shabby-chic tables and dressers. Clients can relax in spaces decorated with such touches as a colorful London sign and lamps that resemble the Eiffel Tower and an antique streetlamp. In the black-and-white facial room, a picture of Marilyn Monroe glamorously oversees skincare treatments.
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, such as 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.
Cindy Barshop may have a familiar face. She gained reality-TV fame as a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, but she found success much earlier when the Madison Avenue spa she founded more than 10 years ago grew into a hair-removal brand known throughout the country. Completely Bare’s waxing specialists dab bikini lines with the shop’s proprietary blend of ouch-less wax, which adheres to hair instead of skin to avoid the painful pull that often accompanies a waxing session. The blend is hypoallergenic and does not cause acne, which makes it ideal for depilating sensitive skin and touchy bodily zones. Routine waxing sessions add extra sparkle with the salon’s vajazzling service, which bedecks newly hair-free spots with up to 70 Swarovski crystals arranged into such shapes as hearts, stars, peace signs, and MPAA ratings. The spa specialists also migrate beyond the below-the-belt area to polish the rest of the body with facials, laser hair removal, spray tanning, and teeth whitening.
Dr. Otto Huertas is not just a board-certified gynecological and pelvic surgeon—he's also a TV star once removed. Dr. Huertas trained under Dr. Matlock from the reality show Dr. 90210, honing the techniques he learned at Beverly Hills and New Jersey's Pelosi Institute for Cosmetic Surgery.
Nowadays, Dr. Huertas helms his own practice, CosmeticGyn Center, where he beautifies his clients with a variety of surgical treatments and several strategically placed pieces of glitter. His PowerX liposuction procedures suck fat out of the body, and unlike traditional liposuction procedures, they only require a local anesthetic and result in minimal downtime. Dr. Huertas has perfected his liposuction technique by performing more than 1,000 of them over the last 15 years. He can also help new moms lose baby weight with Mommy Makeovers, which may include tummy tucks, liposuction, vaginal rejuvenation, and Brazilian butt lifts.
Anthony Capasso, a board-certified doctor of internal medicine, has channeled his more than 15 years of experience treating weight-related ailments into developing medication-free approaches to weight loss at Thin Centers MD. At each location, clients start their medical weight-loss regimens with an initial consultation that uses various health metrics—including medical history and a blood evaluation—to determine which approach fits them best. Dr. Capasso’s diets come tailored to various lifestyles, ranging from those that work for avid cooks to diets for people with hectic schedules. Each of the programs can also be enhanced with the fat-melting technology of an FDA-approved Zerona laser. Weekly follow-up visits with the medical staff help patients track their weight-loss progress, stamp their diet journal with the words “Private—This Means You, Mom,” and make any necessary changes to their program.