Though Franciska Fokkinga has been a jack-of-all-trades in the beauty industry for more than 33 years, in the last decade, she's focused her skills on skincare. In her role as a Bio-Therapeutics educator, she trains doctors, licensed aestheticians, and nurses in using microcurrent technology to noninvasively lift and tighten clients' faces, and employs it at her own studio.
Before each treatment, she sets a relaxing tone by lighting candles, turning on soothing music, and spritzing the room with a light aromatherapy spray infused with essential oils. Purple accents pop against her private studio's silvery walls, and her easygoing yet professional attitude makes the intimate atmosphere comfortable. But it's not just a relaxing experience—she says the main benefit is "actual, visual improvement in the skin."
"It's more than a froufrou facial, but it's not in a medical setting," she says. "I listen to the client and provide a comfortable setting for them, as well as a very effective facial." She selects custom products from brands such as Bio-Therapeutic to best care for her clients' skin types. At the end of appointments, she educates each client with personalized skincare recommendations.
In addition to her high-tech microcurrent and hydrodermabrasion treatments, she offers facials including a men's fitness facial and a classic European facial. Her services extend to facial and bikini waxing. She banishes strands from brows, chins, and lips with a lavender facial wax, and for bikini areas, she uses mild GiGi Honee wax, an all-purpose wax that doesn't burn, cause peeling, or jump ship to become a candlestick.
Symmetry Therapeutic Massage Spa sprang from the dream of two friends and fellow massage therapists who sought to demonstrate that massage could be used to better physical health. They started small, with a one-room office behind a Pilates studio. Soon, however, they found themselves juggling more appointments than they could handle. Just two years later, they moved into a sprawling new sports-partnered studio, creating a new source of relief for athletes whose massages previously consisted of lying in the middle of the turf during a game.
Today, Symmetry's founding pair leads 30 other licensed therapists, each with her own unique background and specialty. These practitioners treat clients with more than a dozen massage modalities, including neuromuscular massage, which relies on static pressure to relieve area-specific pain, and Thai Yoga. Services such as soothing steam therapy and invigorating dry body-brushing augment the offerings.
During the studio's semi-private workshops, including couples' workshops, the therapists teach clients how to perform their massage techniques at home. This allows clients to connect with their partners during couples massages whenever they have some private time at home or a long wait in a grocery-store line together.
If you traveled back in time to see Shelly Rewinkle when she was a little girl, you probably wouldn't expect her to become a hairstylist. That's because she spent most of her time playing with boys and riding dirt bikes in California. But ever since the late 80s, this tomboy-turned-stylist has strengthened her skills by working in salons and training with brands such as Aveda and American Crew.
As the owner of Grand Salon, Shelly leads a team of stylists, who tend to manes and pour complimentary glasses of wine and cucumber water. In addition to their expert services, they have been known to go above and beyond by feeding clients' meters, grabbing their lunch, and videotaping their children's clarinet recitals. All of this takes place inside an old plant warehouse, where 20 skylights illumine the cavernous space. Before opening, Shelly brought in craftsmen to build tabletops out of old wood. By mixing these natural elements with the industrial feel of the building, she created a modern ambiance that still feels warm and inviting. At the front of salon, a boutique displays art and accessories alongside products by Bumble and bumble and Kerastase.
The husband-and-wife team behind Wellness Spa on 5th Avenue knows firsthand how debilitating toxins can be. Bobbi Thompson attributes allergen sensitivities and weight challenges to her childhood mercury exposure from amalgam fillings and pesticides. Now a registered nurse and colon hydrotherapy practitioner, Thompson has dedicated her life to healing herself and others. Her spouse, Jerry Besing, can attest to her passion. After suffering a major health challenge in 2003, he became increasingly interested in detoxifying treatments, and took a wellness-coaching class at The School of Integrative Healing, directed by Thompson. He is now trained in services ranging from cellulite reduction to lymphatic drainage.
Each relaxing, impurity-targeting treatment takes place within a quaint, Victorian-style house. The crew also sells nontoxic pet products that keep dog, cats, and cherished pet rocks healthy without harming the environment.
Within Asana Body Mind Hot Yoga’s cozy studio, overhead panels generate the heat that makes students sweat in temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius. Since each panel warms only the students and their mats—rather than the air itself—the heat can better penetrate their skin, encouraging healthy perspiration to oust bodily toxins.
Employing the skills he learned while studying in the Indian province of Kerala, studio director Jason Campbell leads yogis through series of poses during a variety of hot-yoga classes, helping them hone their internal rhythm and stretch their bodies while building peace of mind. Jason and the other instructors walk students through each pose and adjust their postures as needed as they bend and sway atop springy cork floors designed to minimize the impact on joints and keep students afloat on the sea of sweat. To encourage a sense of community within the studio, students are encouraged to socialize after class, and staffers serve shots of nutrient-rich wheatgrass juice upon request before and after each session.
At Studio A Collective of Stylists, a team of hair experts hand-picked by owner Andrea Tucker stays abreast of the latest trends and advises clients with up-to-the-minute style advice gleaned through regular trainings. Wielding products from Screen, Phyto, and Sebastian, the stylists tend locks with cuts, deep-conditioning treatments, and coloring services that include semipermanent dyes and glosses––treatments that lack the permanent hold of traditional dyes or bubblegum colorings. Stylists also color-coordinate nails to outfits with durable Shellac manicures and pedicures, and protect skin from unwanted hair with a slew of facial-waxing services. Styling tips for time between appointments foster long-lasting chic and protection from bedhead epidemics, as do complimentary maintenance trims in the salon, where walls brim with the creative wares of a rotating featured artist.:m.]]