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.
The experienced aestheticians and massage therapists at GreenLeaf Day Spa perform a spectrum of services to wash away everyday stresses and unpretty frowns. During a massage, a licensed massage therapist employs essential oils and lotions to help release tension in muscles and joints. Alternatively, facials infuse skin surfaces with a combination of organic ingredients from GreenLeaf’s signature product line. Waxing treatments can remove unwanted hair without the hassle of shaving or rolling in a pile of duct tape, and ionic foot detoxification draws out detritus and stale sawdust from the body. Acupuncture, makeup applications, and manicures ensure that clients look and feel their best when going out into the world or singing "You Are My Sunshine" to their boss.
The palm tree-lined campus at Sunstate Academy betrays its function by appearing on the surface to be an upscale salon. Yet, instead of performing the services themselves, the professionals inside are teaching and observing students as they put into practice their knowledge of cosmetology at the school's Salon Solaris. At pristine styling and wash stations, they cut, relax, color, perm, and condition hair. With the diversity of student interest comes diversity of services, and patrons might be pleasantly surprised to find dreadlocks, candy curls, finger waves, and elephant ears on the menu. The apprentices also dabble in nail and spa services, performing mani-pedis, and facials.
The Classic Face owner Kathryn Belasco, a registered nurse who wields a license to apply permanent makeup with micropigmentation techniques, headlines a roster of beauty boosters that have a knack for making over clients from the neck up. While applying permanent makeup, Belasco and her techs use their tools to enhance the natural shape of clients’ eyebrows, eyelids, and lips according to the unique features of each customer, rather than festooning faces with makeup styles that will eventually fall out of fashion or aggravate territorial mimes. During their dermal-rolling treatments, they use small handheld rollers with tiny needles to help tighten loose skin, stimulate collagen production, and reduce scars and stretch marks. Once faces have been thoroughly prettified, the salon’s hairstylists can sculpt strands into flattering, face-framing coiffures.
Most people squeeze honey into milk because they want a rich, soothing drink. At Tranquility Spa, the staff uses the concoction to create organic footbaths for their pedicures. This sort of pampering is felt elsewhere, too. The massage therapists mash stress with Swedish or deep-tissue kneads and optional cold stones, and the aestheticians revamp complexions during facials and microdermabrasions that fill each pore with a sparkly 24-carat diamond.
Licensed massage therapist and Reiki master Kandace Blevin marries two of the best-known types of massage: Swedish and Therapeutic deep tissue. Her hybrid massage features both flowing Swedish strokes and intense deep-tissue pressure for bodywork that soothes from head to toe. Clients can also feel free to direct Kandace to specific injuries or opt for the energy-healing art of Reiki instead of, or in conjunction with, massage.