A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach 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 that 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.
At Tan Factory, patrons slip from standup Saturn tanning beds or lie-down units, their skin warm and bronzed. The UVA-based high-pressure beds leave bodies with golden hues, and red-light-therapy beds hum as they generously spread a glow to stimulate collagen-producing fibroblasts during 15-minute sessions. As the light penetrates epidermal layers, it activates the body’s natural processes to reduce the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, and scars, restoring youthful sleekness and an ability to make convincing shadow puppets of dolphins. Those seeking to augment skin with sunless color step into a Mystic Tan or VersaSpa Spray booth and emerge 60 seconds later with fully toasted coats that last up to eight days.
Owner and proprietor Christina founded Designer Shades in 2009 as a response to the overpriced, unnatural-looking spray tans she was used to getting from competitors. To improve on these lesser-quality tans, she partnered with Norvell and South Seas Skincare, whose shades regularly coat the distinguished pelts of Kim Kardashian, Carrie Underwood, and many Dancing with the Stars celebrities. Christina and her team treat each client who wanders in front of their running spray nozzles like a celebrity. They gift all hue-changing patrons with a free pH balancer and tan-extender application, which not only protects skin from drying and aging, but also works to firm skin for days at the beach or months spent in dunk tanks.
The staff at All Styles are experts in all methods of pampering. Stylists perform all manner of hair services from cuts to perms to coloring. Along with haircare, stylists also remove unwanted hair from brows, chins, lips, and the face by deftly applying wax.
Convenience comes first at Celebrity Tanning, where a plethora of metro locations, extended hours, and a large lineup of tanning equipment ensure clients can achieve a sun-kissed glow with minimum fuss. Four tiers of UV beds offer escalating amenities that add to the comfort and efficacy of tanning sessions, incorporating extra facial tanners, aromatherapy, MP3 hookups, and inspirational posters of famous suns from other galaxies. For more immediate results, the salon’s automated Mystic Tan booth sends sweeping jets of misted bronzer over bodies to create a streak-free tan that lasts 7–10 days after one 60-second session. The staff of tanning specialists can help customers choose the right type of session for their skin or budget, answering any questions that may come up. Tan-prolonging lotions from brands such as Australian Gold and California Tan are also available to enhance the depth and duration of a tan without equipping clothes with UVA bulbs.
Permanent Cosmetic Center's permanent-makeup artist, Denise Stockdale, has been enhancing eyes, brows, and beauty marks for more than a decade. By using natural-looking hues—and offering eyebrow designs—her tattoos enhance natural beauty. Whether clients choose permanent eyeliner or another form or permanent makeup, the service is ideal for anyone who is allergic to traditional cosmetics or who needs more time in the morning to transform waffle cones back into breakfast waffles.
Denise's studio lies inside a Tijuana Tan, whose main service is also to beautify bodies, albeit impermanently. Instead, lie-down tanning beds and stand-up booths bronze skin with high-pressure technology that filters out all but UVA rays.