Along with her partner, Arturo Diaz, Paola Salamanca decided to open Studio Spa Garden of Healing in 2009, located in a renovated two-story cottage lit by ample windows. The spa—winner of MyCityBeauty magazine's Best Spa in Orlando award—represents a tripartite marriage of Paola's interests in television and film, her family's work in the beauty industry, and Arturo's career in acupuncture and natural medicine.
This harmony among diverse elements becomes apparent as soon as one walks in the spa’s front door and encounters, amid shades of pale lilac, Arturo crafting herbal remedies or redirecting energy pathways with acupuncture. Not far off, beyond a skin bar stocked with Dermalogica products, guests sip sangria or herbal tea in a dimmed relaxation room as they await appointments for facials or a variety of massages, including deep tissue, Thai massage, and "tui na," a Chinese therapeutic massage.
Having traveled abroad to locales such as Spain, Colombia, and India, the spa’s staff boasts knowledge of basic skincare techniques as well as advanced or alternative methods such as vacuum therapy and fire cupping. For her part, Paola works with actors and models and often travels on-set to share her wisdom—a fact that may explain her penchant for adding a dramatic musical score to each of her treatments back at the spa.
When you’ve been styling hair for more than 35 years, it can be easy to fall into a routine. That’s why Hairs 2 U owner and master stylist Toni Staskus continues to attend classes and hair shows whenever she can, ensuring she stays up-to-date on the latest trends and techniques. Her commitment to education has led Toni to earn master hair-colorist certification from Wella, Clairol, and Redken, as well as certifications in hot-fusion hair extensions and KeraGreen organic hair straightening.
Inside the lavender-walled salon, pop-art paintings and magazine clippings inspire clients to request classic cuts or the modern, asymmetrical looks favored by most Picasso models. Beyond relaxing, texturizing, and perming tresses, Toni and her staff also weave in glitz in the form of feather, tinsel, or party-color extensions and can lend their coloring expertise to tint eyelashes or freshly shaped brows.
For co-owners Catherine Imbesi and Arlene Webber, Salon Ciseaux hasn’t just been a place to use their talents as master stylists: it’s also a place to share their passions with others. For Imbesi, that means showing off her strong work ethic, one she formed when opening her own salon and simultaneously finishing her college degree. Webber, on the other hand, uses her global experiences and people skills to make the salon a welcoming space for clients of different cultures. Together, the curly-haired owners tame tendrils in their certified Ouidad curly-hair-specialist salon and helm a team of stylists who craft new hairdos, remove unwanted hair, and meticulously groom nails. The duo has also shown off their hair skills on the runway, having been handpicked by designer Juan Carlos Obando to style his model’s hair during New York Fashion Week in 2008.
Both the body and the mind find nourishment at Exclusiff Euro Massage & Spa. Clients enjoy a combination of massage, bodywork, and skincare services, each overseen by the spa owner, a licensed massage therapist with more than 20 years of industry experience. She boosts her know-how with biannual trips to European and Asian skincare trade shows, and she abides by a philosophy that regimens should balance modern and classic techniques. Though she offers some of the latest advancements in the dermatological and beauty industry, including noninvasive fat-reduction treatments that use advanced laser technology, she also relies heavily on the healing powers of Swiss Cosmolab’s all-natural products, which are made without any artificial fragrances.
The licensed massage therapist at Studio V Salon & Spa administers therapeutic and deep de-stressing massages to clients' tensed muscles, working alongside a brigade of ace stylists, nail technicians, and medical practitioners that beautifies and pampers patients with spa and salon services. The registered nurse practitioner wields lasers to perform hair removal, photofacials, and skin resurfacing, and Sjolie personalized spray tans coat skin in botanically extracted ingredients free of preservatives. Elsewhere, manicures and pedicures reshape nails, keratin and styling sessions soften and sculpt tresses, and a pumpkin facial coats epidermises in a pumpkin-enzyme scrub that briefly transforms noses into elegant carriages.
The experienced wax technicians at Divine Wax & Skin believe that a Brazilian wax should evoke minimal discomfort and take no more than 10 minutes. It starts with the wax. Not trusting domestic strip waxes that can pull the skin, the staff members use professional-grade hard wax from Belgium, which is designed to grip each hair shaft without sticking to the skin. They apply the wax with fresh new sticks each time and never reuse material—like a good comedian or a terrible schoolteacher. The technicians also educate clients on care and maintenance to help skin stay smooth for up to three weeks. Apart from its signature waxes, the staff glamorizes bodies with Norvell airbrush tans and dresses up down-unders with vajazzling services.