Inside a spacious home office warmed by a crackling fire, Venus Salon and Day Spa's three-person team uses products from brand names such as Schwarzkopf and Bioelements to restore softness and glow to clients’ hair and skin. In the salon, stylist Amanda Smart draws upon more than 10 years of experience to fashion updos, condition tresses, or permanently or temporarily imbue hair with custom color.
Meanwhile, licensed aesthetician Andrea exfoliates bodies with chocolate cherry sugar scrubs and faces with diamond microdermabrasions. She can also treat men’s skin concerns, removing blackheads and uncaught baseballs from pores during custom facials. Licensed massage therapist Mark kneads muscles with four variations on massage, including prenatal and hot stone.
Tonia Reed's first salon was modest. With only two stations and one other stylist, the beauty specialist found that her burgeoning skills and thriving client base were becoming too much for the space to handle. In 2004, she became enamored of a large Victorian-style home, and the site of In Vogue Salon & Spa was born. Decked in stately chandeliers and dark-wood bureaus, the salon surrounds its experienced hair, skin, and massage professionals with the same vintage inspiration that originally took hold of its owner. Clients take in a cup of flavored coffee or tea before basking in a massage or facial in a private treatment room or gazing into gilded mirrors as stylists sculpt locks and enrich them with vibrant colors. To polish the rest of clients' statures, technicians wax away unwanted hair and pull from a shelf of OPI products to groom and shape fingernails before they start biting themselves.
Spa on The River's menu of Old World Italian–themed services are inspired by owner Judith Santimaw's world travels, which have included stops in Rome, Milan, Tokyo, and Singapore. Her cross-country and international journeys uncover the latest spa treatments and techniques, ranging from raindrop therapy with essential oils to Roman-style "Sistine Chapel" paraffin treatments that leave hands soft and free from paint chips. Santimaw shares her discoveries not only with her team of aestheticians, stylists, and massage therapists, but also with students at the Phillips Hairstyling Institute, where she earned professional degrees in nail specialty and cosmetology.
Guests can relax into salon stations or pedicure thrones flanked by Romanesque statues as the soothing sound of water comes from a lion-faced fountain inside and the Seneca River outside. Behind them, a full-wall mural depicts a lush garden scene complete with a grandiose fountain. Clients dry newly painted nails by the fireplace or head to the dock behind the spa to give any lingering stress a Viking funeral.
With nail, facial, and body treatments in their arsenal, the skilled staffers at Fresh Spa Lounge lavish bodies with customizable treatments that may include sugar scrubs and oils, and prioritize safety and hygienic practices. They call upon botanical ingredients to soothe and beautify bodies and faces. Highly skilled skin care clinicians perform custom-blended facials for each individual's skin type.
The elite troop of stylists and aestheticians at La Tresse by Renee sprinkles patrons with top-name products during services that improve nails' appearances and clients' moods. During the 60- to 90-minute spa mani-pedi, a skilled nail technician shapes unruly talons in a flurry of precision clips. Extremities then bathe in a salt scrub, which sloughs away extraneous cells and rough, flaky patches. Talented fingers massage hands and feet, and hot towels make their nerves tingle with warmth. Paws then slip into a soothing moisture mask that leaves skin as soft as James Taylor’s bathrobe. A coat of polish dresses and strengthens nails for strolls through the yellow pages or fraudulent jaunts across the keys of a player piano.
When walking into CC's Hair Affair, you might catch a faint whiff of ginger, peppermint, or lavender?key ingredients in many of the shop's styling products and shampoos. What you probably won't smell is ammonia, as the team uses ammonia-free Paul Mitchell products for its perms, and a low-ammonia permanent hair color, also by Paul Mitchell, which offers superior gray coverage while conditioning strands with a natural beeswax base. In fact, high-quality Paul Mitchell and Matrix products are used in the majority of the treatments here, each chosen for its ability to help hair look its best without stripping it of moisture or covering it with a lamp shade.
Of course, hair isn't the only thing body part that benefits from the staff's attention to detail. Nail experts lavish attention onto hands and feet during indulgent mani-pedis, while facials reveal smoother, softer complexions, and eyelashes get a boost from extensions.