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.
Guests at the Integrative Healing Spa can make a day of their favorite pampering procedures by indulging in customized treatments and lounging in a well-equipped relaxation haven. During the hot-stone pedicure, a back rub eases muscle tension, and soaking toenails play Marco Polo with departing stress. Licensed technicians administer an exfoliating scrub to jettison calluses, then follow that with a hot-stone massage for weary arches. Nail nurses apply a final coat of lotion and polish or buff nails to make them bright enough to signal aircraft to pick up some milk on their way back to the hangar.
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.
The aestheticians at New You Skin Solutions and Massage focus on doing one thing, and doing it well: skincare. Their expertise in wrinkles, acne, and sun spots yields custom treatments that range from basic facials to anti-aging masks. In addition to these classic spa offerings, the professionals have embraced contemporary technology. Microcurrent treatments, microdermabrasion, and both red- and blue-light therapies lessen the appearance of laugh lines and frown lines obtained from watching a clown throw a cream pie then realizing that was your cream pie. The experts renew skin amid the soothing taupes and creams of private rooms, which also set the stage for the spa’s massage therapists, who relieve aching muscles with Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal massages. Small additions such as hot stones or paraffin hand treatments augment the pampering sessions.
Stacey, the proprietor of Stacey's Permanent Solutions, first opened the doors to her own salon 25 years ago. From humble beginnings, the business has expanded to a 1,000-square-foot salon with four additional stylists. Stacey's philosophy of “beauty from the inside out” and her own allergies undergird the salon’s use of natural, organic JKS, Holistix, and Retrohair salon products instead of harsh styling methods employing heavy-duty chemicals or belt sanders.
Stacey believes that her job isn't just about cutting, coloring, and conditioning hair. “It’s psychology, too,” she says, describing her way of setting clients at ease with conversation and soothing essential oils as she transforms their appearance. Her conviction that everyone should have the chance to both look and feel good has even inspired Stacey to offer at-home services for clients with special needs.