Though La'Sonia Nicole Salon and Spa is a new establishment, the center's technicians use time-tested treatments to beautify their clients. Massage therapists rely on the traditional techniques of Swedish massage, which features long, flowing strokes that ease muscle aches and release tension. During a classic European facial, aestheticians deeply cleanse skin to brighten and smooth the complexion, and a spa pedicure leaves digits more polished than a dog that’s been taught to bark with a British accent.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend human rights" and "Protect our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to a UK-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.
Sweet Pea Day Spa for Kids may sparkle like the average girls’ salon, but an aim much deeper than beautification lies behind its bubblegum-pink and purple walls. For the friendly staff, children’s spa services represent a chance to boost the confidence of their clients⎯aged 4 to 14⎯and instill a penchant for self-care early on. Creativity and fun are the main ingredients in age-appropriate mani-pedis and facials, which use nontoxic, water-based products designed specifically for kids and adults prone to eating nail polish. The spa treatments come together in a swirl of girly fun at themed parties or pillowcase craft sessions during presleepover hours.
Heavenly Hands Massage Ministries’ owner, Charnette K. Davis, has diligently worked to master the art of massage, as her local and national accreditations can attest. She’s also a certified reflexologist and is CPR/first-aid certified to boot. Proficient in everything from Swedish to hot-stone massage, Charnette maximizes health benefits by customizing standard massages with additional techniques drawn from her vast repertoire.
The staff at Flawless Serenity are merely enhancers of natural beauty. They wax off unwanted hair from brows and upper lips and clear out clogged pores during facials. Clean canvases pop with professional makeup applications for daytime, weddings, and proms. And refreshed visages are completed with lash- and brow-tinting services. To make sure clients feel confident, Flawless Serenity also provides an FAQ page with helpful answers to questions such as "What products do you use?" and "What makes clouds stay up?"
The crew at My Lil’ Princess Day Spa shuttles itself about the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area and administers kid-friendly spa treatments to make girls feel like royalty. With an eye toward glamorizing get-togethers, the entertaining experts oversee birthday parties, administer mini mani-pedis, and apply nail-art designs ranging from hearts to zebra prints.
Apsara Day Spa & Threading's licensed aestheticians liberate bodies from unflattering fuzz with both waxing and threading treatments at their Cockeysville and Catonsville locations. Clients revamp expressive visages for upcoming mime calisthenics drills with facial waxing, or oust facial fibers with Indian techniques of deft string handling and threading. Brazilian waxes leave skin smooth from the navel down, and egyptian waxes evict strands from betwixt hips with an all-natural, sugar-based formula, which clings to individual hairs without irritating the skin.
In addition, multitalented staff members further beautification with spa services such as massages, hairstyling, and facials. One-on-one yoga sessions boost circulation and flexibility as well as building self-esteem by allowing clients to boast about being the top student.