Some may wonder why Regina Collins left an 11-year career in the marketing field to empty her 401K and open her own spa, but the answer is clear from her upbringing. The daughter of a cosmetologist with decades of experience, Regina knew exactly what she could do when the stress of working in the corporate sphere grew too great. She decided to train as a massage therapist, and today, Simple Serenity Spa stands as a relaxing destination for massages, body wraps, and facials. Regina stocks the spa with her own paraben-free skincare line Cellz + Skin Care. These 22 products are color-coded so customers can pick formulas to suit their needs with yellow products for sensitive complexions, blue for mature skin, and tie-dyed for chameleons.
After years of struggling with a negative body image and experimenting with fad diets in an attempt to control her weight, Cindy Blair packed her bags and set off on a health retreat that would change the course of her life. Thanks to a course of detoxifying treatments and adjustments to her nutritional habits, the retreat led to a revolution in Cindy’s self-perception. What she lost in weight, she gained in a curiosity for holistic health that would lead her to the National Holistic Institute of Hawaii and, later, to a certification in colon hydrotherapy. Thirteen years later, as the owner of Pure Body Spa, Cindy helms a wellness staff that repairs rifts between minds, bodies, and spirits with a litany of holistic services. Massage therapy manipulates muscles to release latent anxieties, and infrared sauna sessions permeate the body’s tissues with heat to flush away toxins in beads of sweat. Ionic footbaths push pollutants out through gaps between the toes, and colon hydrotherapy cleanses the intestines with a stream of filtered water that picks up waste and accidentally swallowed tooth fairies on its way out.
There’s always plenty to learn. Licensed acupuncturist Adina Robinson has taken this truism to heart, and continually delves deeper into her passion and chosen profession. Adina has traveled the world to learn more about traditional Chinese medicine, participating in an intensive program of study in Wanzhou, China. Along the way, she has earned certifications in acupuncture face-lifts, aromatherapy, Acugems facial rejuvenation, and Nambudripads Allergy Elimination Technique. She uses these techniques, along with cupping and moxibustion, to move her clients toward a state of balanced health.
In addition to continually adding to her knowledge base through study and frequent doses of library air, Adina has learned that confidence and comfort are important components of her sessions. Sterile, single-use needles ensure that all procedures are safe, and her deft techniques prevent pain and discomfort in almost all situations.
Twelve-year-old Maria Biundo lifts her little sister onto the top of a hamper in their parents' bathroom. She leans in, bringing her face close to the 8-year-old tot's, as she begins to work—sweeping blush across cheeks, shadow over eyelids, and a vibrant hue on lips. After the transformation is complete, Maria steps back to observe her sister's beautified features, and a broad smile spreads across both their faces. The right makeup, she realizes, can make one feel good inside and out. Today, Maria—now a licensed aesthetician—designs the services at Escape & Unwind Salon Spa to emphasize beauty's uplifting effects. She brings homemade chocolate-chip cookies into work each day, pressing them upon clients between facials, massages, manicures, and waxing and makeup services. She also insists that her team undergoes training with reps from skincare and makeup lines such as Jan Marini, Moroccanoil, and DermaQuest to ensure they're using the latest beauty techniques. For maximum pampering, she even hires a professional chef to cater services for bridal parties and other groups with light, healthy food.
Having returned to the mainland from Hawaii, stylist Mica Popovich didn't travel light. His head was—and still is—brimming with techniques and ideas instilled from his professional training. Like many of the team members at Fusion Salon and Spa, he learned his craft under masters at places such as Vidal Sassoon and Bumble and bumble, practicing the creation of both classic and innovative cuts.
Fusion channels his and others' talents into highly personalized services. Trims, blow-dries, and conditioning treatments refresh 'dos, whereas color and highlights enliven locks with new shades. To fashion straighter hair, the staff administers Brazilian blowouts and Japanese permanent straightening procedures, which flatten frizz more practically than strictly avoiding the use of all electricity. Airbrush tanning, skincare, and mani-pedis complete comprehensive makeovers. Unlike the vibe at many high-end salons, Fusion's atmosphere is hardly competitive. Instead, it's welcoming, thanks to the supportive artists, all of whom encourage one another to develop lasting relationships with their clients.
Rozlyn, owner of De La Muse Salon and Spa, got her start in the ultra-trendy salons of San Francisco's Union Square. When the time came to start her own salon, she wanted to bring the bustling neighborhood’s feeling of fun, experimentation, and style to Folsom. So she lined up a deep bench of stylists (not to mention makeup artists, nail technicians, and massage therapists) in an elegantly appointed venue hung with lustrous metallic curtains.
Stylish as the surroundings are, Rozlyn strives to make every client feel at home. "Communication is key to a great outcome, and I love to chat," she says on the salon’s website. That focus on communication extends to client education: among the services at De La Muse is a one-on-one makeup lesson with the owner of makeup line Scene Cosmetics to help women figure out which products work for everyday use and which lipsticks taste the best.
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