As a physical therapist with his own private practice, Hand & Stone founder and chief operating officer John Marco made sure that he kept abreast of the rapidly growing health and wellness industry. After a period of careful research and planning, John decided to create a spa based around convenience and affordability?Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa.
Since its launch, Hand & Stone has expanded to more than 20 states and four planets. The spa?s core concept is to offer massage, facial, and waxing services performed by licensed, certified, or registered professionals and offered at convenient times, seven days a week. Each location adheres to a traditional spa aesthetic with soft lighting, heated treatment tables, and plush linens.
The word "verde" means "green" in Spanish, and that's exactly what Verde Salon strives to be. The salon offers numerous eco-friendly beauty treatments, from formaldehyde-free nail polishes to skincare products formulated with organic and vegan ingredients. Even the space itself is green?it boasts low- or no-VOC paints and finishes, recycled wallpaper and bamboo flooring, and EnergyStar appliances.
Owner and head stylist Kevin Gatto runs the show here. The beauty guru has more than a decade of industry experience under his belt, including stints as an expert stylist on CBS- and NBC-Philadelphia, and a lifetime of shampooing his own hair. He and his team work hard to keep up with the always-changing salon industry, regularly participating in what Gatto calls "scissors-on" trainings to learn the latest styles and techniques.
Rustic wood floors, french doors, and calming white walls create a cozy atmosphere that complements T.A.R. Salon's roster of relaxing services. Skilled hands untie muscular knots during massage and bodywork sessions. During hair-related appointments, they'll clip fresh coifs from overgrown scalps, outdated 'dos, or over-powdered wigs. Nailcare and waxing round out the salon’s services, and patrons can opt to combine any number of treatments to usher in a full day of self-pampering.
Master-level certified in Ashiatsu Oriental Bar Therapy, massage therapist Daniel Caruso customizes both Swedish and ashiatsu massages to suit individual clients' needs. Each session begins with a deep breath atop a lambskin-covered, heated table, cleansing the mind of stress and catchy TV theme songs as Caruso assesses for any particularly tense or troublesome muscle areas. During Swedish massages, hot stones, music, and aromatherapy help patrons relax as he blends trigger-point therapy with light- to medium-pressured strokes to reduce stress and promote circulation.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend Human Rights" and "Protect The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, ?She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.?
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness and social consciousness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to an EU-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
After settling into Paragon's chic animal-print chairs and admiring the stylish art sprinkled on its bright, welcoming walls, your luxurious spa treatments will begin with a thorough skin analysis by a certified aesthetician. Next, they'll introduce your flesh-app Facebook to the deep-pore-cleansing facial, which reduces oil without drying and moisturizes the skin to treat spontaneous flare-ups. Newly pampered skin will take a final curtain call once the detoxifying mask removes impurities and a decisive antioxidant is applied for ultimate radiance. Batting clean-up is the microdermabrasion treatment, which uses the DiamondTome system of skin regeneration to exfoliate and smooth the skin, eliminating dead skin cells and any Deadhead cells that have lingered there since the ’60s.