The deft hands of Debra Florio, the owner of Contour Body Works and a licensed massage therapist in her own right, alternate between firm pressures and gentle strokes as they sweep over backs in relaxing massage sessions. Debra and her team of therapists rely on a mix of Eastern and Western techniques—from the gentle, full-body strokes of Swedish massage to the shiatsu acupressure and sliding bamboo shoots of bamboossage—to drive away tension accumulated while hanging from cliffs or betting whether strangers are left-handed.
Contour Body Works’ relaxing spa services don’t end with massage. The center’s licensed facial specialists cleanse pores of dirt and oil during European facials that include steaming, extractions, and a mask tailored to each client’s skin type. Dead Sea salt exfoliates skin during salt-glow sessions, and alternative treatments such as mud wraps and infrared-sauna sessions penetrate the skin’s superficial layers to expel toxins and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Similarly innovative treatments include magnetic therapy, which draws on the science of polarity to balance the body’s vibrations and realign the needles on wonky internal compasses.
From within Queens' Club Fitness, Infinity Spa Salon strikes an effective balance between natural skincare and advanced aesthetic treatments. Located a short distance from New York City, aestheticians clear and brighten complexions with seven types of facials infused with vitamin C and hydroquinone-free lightening ingredients, and they also use the exfoliating powers of mechanical microdermabrasion. Unwanted hairs can be effortlessly removed using an all-natural, beeswax-infused formula from GiGi or the advanced technology of an Alma Soprano XL laser, which permanently removes hair from any skin type including ghosts' see-through complexions. In massage treatment rooms, therapists rely on 10 different modalities, including the ancient techniques of Thai massage and shiatsu, to release tight muscles and improve circulation.
Infinity's focus on harmony is also apparent in the salon and spa's interior design, which melds contemporary decor with natural earth elements, such as bamboo plants and warm brown walls.
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, as in 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.
Combining botanicals and Obagi skincare products with state-of-the-art medical tools, the staff at Natalie's Skin Solutions help clients achieve glowing, blemish-free skin for all skin types. They pare down body hair and firm sagging textures with virtually pain-free Alma Soprano XL laser technology that's good for all skin types. A slate of facials⎯featuring nourishing doses of chocolate, green-tea enzymes, and antioxidants⎯chisels years off of clients' complexions, and microdermabrasions bring radiant skin to the fore of the face by sloughing away dead cells. Rounding out the service menu, Jessner peels, body wraps, and eyebrow and lash tinting further rekindle beauty and instill the confidence needed to practice trombone in a library. The staff also impart at-home plans to help clients sustain the results of their treatments long after they've left the studio.
Guests entering the Bernard Anthony Salon take in the elegance of vanilla walls offset by mocha-stained wood flooring and styling stations perched before full-length mirrors. After a complimentary consultation, beauty specialists cut and curl hair or reimagine it entirely with coloring treatments defined by Pureology hues. Frizzy locks fall into line during Keratin Complex therapies, and Moroccanoil conditions locks of any texture. To combat signs of aging and voter fraud committed by dead skin cells, aestheticians slather the skin with moisturizing facials and tend to the digits with manicure and pedicure treatments.
In place of barber chairs, Bananas Salon for Kids parks tricked-out sports cars or Barbie mobiles at each of its haircutting stations. In the driver's seat, each youngster barrels down an imaginary highway and lets imaginary winds race through his or her ever-shortening hair. Friendly, talented stylists play along and keep the mood fun as they impart Disney-star style onto domes with trendy cuts, intricate braids, or fancy updos. Spa treatments introduce the art of advanced hygiene with manicures and more. Parties literally celebrate in style with beauty packages, snacks, and goodie bags.