Back in 1991, Kevin McKinley was in the middle of his last day as a banker, his future career path uncertain. Just before punching out, he found himself in conversation with a customer sporting an array of piercings. The man told Kevin about each of his piercings, where he got them, and what they meant to him. An admirer of free-spirited creativity, Kevin was immediately intrigued by the piercing philosophy.
"It's all about feel," he explains. "With change, there's pain. With pain, there's clarity."
More than three decades after piercing his first client, Kevin helms a team of 30 tattoo artists, piercers, and laser technicians at Body Piercing Unlimited. He calls the team a collective “jack of all trades,” with the ability to craft or alter virtually any tattoo or remove unwanted ink altogether. His studios combine modern inks, needles, and lasers with a vintage atmosphere that displays antique bicycles and wall panels bearing artistic works. The black-and-white checkered floors reflect Kevin's reverence for tradition, harking back, he says, to the East Coast tattoo parlors of the 1970s and their legendary face-offs between Garry Kasparov and a computer.
At Pure Essentials Day Spa, therapist Yencid Hiller surrounds bodies in a 27-ingredient wrap that nourishes and detoxifies tissues. Just as an Italian mother swaddles her young in lasagna noodles, Yencid blankets clients in a quilt of herbs and allows each curative element to soothe and slim the figure. During the 90-minute treatment, clients lie supine in a serene pastel-colored room as toxins exit fat cells. After a cocooning, clients can lose upwards of 20 inches, resulting in a svelte figure that easily shimmies into packed elevators and tucks behind trees during hide-and-seek.
Board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Stephen H. Sutley oversees the implementation of Lumenis lasers designed to safely remove hair with zero downtime and zero anesthetics. During treatment, a vacuum-assisted device draws the skin closer toward the focused laser beams, enhancing the follicles' absorption of the light waves and sucking up any old popcorn kernels lodged within them. The laser then causes strands of body fuzz to heat up, deadening the roots to prevent further germination and allow the hair to gently brush away. Due to varying degrees of growth, several treatments and strongly written eviction notices are necessary to thoroughly banish unwanted hair. Lumenis lasers work with multiple skin and hair types, although clients with lighter hair may not see results.