When the staffers at Desert Sun Tanning Salons say they can fix your problems with a cocktail, they’re not talking about libations. Instead, they’re referring to a method that combines two types of bronzing styles. After lying in a traditional sunbed, patrons pop into an automatic spray-tanning booth. The idea is that the UV rays in the bed trigger melanin production and open the pores so that the spray tan goes on darker and lasts longer. Of course, customers can indulge in either of these options separately, choosing from a fleet of machinery that includes Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless tanning booths and silver-, gold-, and platinum-level sunbeds.
They can also undergo a session that doesn’t change the skin’s tone, but, rather, tones it. Red-light therapy drenches the skin in fluorescent light that boosts collagen production in order to firm skin, tighten muscles, and transform sagging bloomers into boxer briefs. Regular salon visitors can consider purchasing a membership, which entitles them to tanning-bed upgrades and discounts on skincare products.
Bright red curtains and framed pictures of red evening gowns add a pop of color to the sleek gray walls and natural tile floors inside Little Red Dress Salon & Boutique. Two shampooing bowls and four styling stations complete the interior—the small space allows stylists to focus their whole attention on each client. In addition to haircuts for children, women, and men, they perform a full range of coloring services as well as perms, keratin hair-smoothing treatments, and updos that shape hair to resemble the client’s favorite vegetable.
Each of Seattle Sun Tan's 39 locations spans between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet of space dedicated solely to the art of un-sunbathing. Washington-state tanners strut down immaculate hallways dotted with framed original paintings and contemporary artwork before settling into private rooms where they may acquire their desired shade while enjoying the sounds of their own music or prerecorded subliminal messages piped in through the iPod dock perched near each bed. The Smart Tan–certified staff guides clients in selecting which of the five levels of UV bed best fits their tanning needs and whether they desire a short tan time, prefer to stand up or lie down, or wish to bask beneath high-pressure face lamps. Shop shelves offer home tanners quality products from Australian Gold and Swedish Beauty, whereas spray-tanning options from VersaSpa and SunFX both impart a natural-looking faux glow that takes mere minutes to apply and lasts for days.
Sip champagne while your feet soak in a warm whirlpool bath. Relax as a hydrating mask softens your skin and a massage loosens your muscles. Feel the tingle of raw epson salts and essential oils as they rejuvenate your skin during a full-body scrub. All of the above—and plenty more—is possible at Studio J Salon & Day Spa, a full-service beauty haven where nothing takes a backseat to relaxation.
That's not to say that relaxation is all this place has to offer. A team of hairstylists offers cuts and coloring treatments along with conditioning services that give locks some added oomph. And aestheticians draw from dozens of facials to address chronic skin issues such as acne, dryness, and seasonal molting. Speaking of skin, the spa even features an experienced tattoo artist who can create custom designs to complete a total makeover.
The sun seems to shine even within Tuscan Salon’s walls, which stay true to their name with earthy tones and a painted Roman column enshrouded by leafy branches. The decor is hardly the only element that recalls a relaxing Italian retreat, however. While the full-service salon’s aestheticians and therapists pamper clients with facials and massages, stylists snip away at hair and the hemlines of overlong togas. On the other side of the expansive salon, spa technicians gently swipe away unwanted fuzz with body sugaring, the ancient practice of removing hair with an all-natural sugar paste.
Clients at Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa receive a completely customized service, down to the lighting and sound levels that transform treatment rooms into relaxing oases. As they tuck into the clean linens that bedeck heated tables, they divulge their chronic aches to massage therapists or their skin concerns to aestheticians. With each visit, the staff updates a client’s regimen so that a treatment remains effective in soothing aches or clean pores that are terrified of extractions.