When Christine Goodness opened the original Classical Concepts Salon & Spa in 1995, the 300-square-foot salon had just three styling stations. Today, though her business has expanded, she seeks to continue the connection with nature that inspired her to go into business in the first place. Her pair of Aveda concept salons was mentioned in Salon Today in an article on environmentally friendly beauty. “Our salon was designed by a green architect and we have energy-efficient appliances and green building materials,” she told the magazine.
At both locations, Goodness's staff of stylists launches the happy purr of busy shears and the subtle fragrances of Aveda products. Inside private-treatment rooms, aestheticians spread layers of natural-plant waxes infused with essential oils to whisk away unwanted facial and body hair and apply soothing facials packed with botanical ingredients and minerals. To combat stress from posing as twin investment bankers, massage therapists ease muscle tension in clients with hot-stone, reflexology, and chakra-balancing massage techniques. After emerging from treatments designed to lull them into relaxation, clients browse the rows of Aveda products available to recreate treatments at home. Christine works among the potted bamboo and meditating statues, considering further eco-friendly measures and arranging free services for patients undergoing treatment at The Saratoga Radiation Oncology Center.
At The Skin Bar at Panacea Day Spa, esthetician Jessica Carney beautifies visages with an assortment of holistic and results-oriented treatments. She whisks away dead skin cells with natural-enzyme facials or performs a jin shin do acupressure facial to strengthen façades, promoting improved circulation, the free flow of energy, and the ability to bench-press a pillow with one's eyelashes. Carney also waxes brows into refined arches and airbrushes bodies with a spray-tanning formula free of harmful chemicals and artificial fragrances.
Kelly Rae leads the trio of staff members at her namesake salon, inspiring the whole crew with her advanced Paul Mitchell color training and cutting skills. Accompanied by fellow stylist Lesley Darling, both transform their clients' coifs with highlights, keratin smoothing treatments, and formal hairstyles. Nail tech Tina Mone, who's been beautifying hands for more than 10 years, applies chip-resistant Shellac and Gelish polishes as well as soothes palms with aromatherapy massages that relieve tension after high-fiving competitions. The salon also sells hand-painted wine and martini glasses, helping clients to continue to treat themselves once at home.
Head Games's talented team of aesthetic architects dresses elegant physiques and head tops. Today’s deal grants a hair-styling session ($45) at the hands of Kirsten Hellert, an independent hair designer who specializes in men’s and women’s hair shaping, as well as coloring and formal hair design. After briefly discussing their mane-management plans with Kirsten, clients can relax while she molds their skull coverings into fashionably new shapes or applies partial highlights ($55) to color their follicles hues of their choosing, such as green and brown to match full-body camouflage tattoos that make it easy to be seen in the middle of all-white office kitchens.
Salon owner Shannon Santagato has vivid memories of when, as a young girl, her grandmother would squeeze her cheeks and say "Faccia bella, Shannon." The term, which means "beautiful face" in Italian, stuck with her, and today it graces the sign outside of her Paul Mitchell Focus Salon. It's a fitting touch since Shannon and her staff strive to make clients feel just as beautiful as her grandmother did for her as a child. But they’re not just pinching cheeks. As Paul Mitchell trained stylists, they know how to snip the locks of men, women, and children into attractive styles. They also flex their muscles by providing color and straightening treatments and by bench-pressing bags of hair clippings at the end of the day.