Back in 1999, brothers David and Rick Kueber noticed a lag in business at their chain of video-rental shops during the summer months, when no one wanted to be cooped up inside watching movies. The two put their heads together and found a rather unconventional solution to their problem: tanning beds. They installed a new fleet of skin-bronzing machines and sat back as so many clients flocked to their shop that the brothers were forced to open an entire store just to cater to their clients? tanning demands. This was the birth of Sun Tan City. Today, what started as an experimental side business boasts more than 200 locations across 16 states.
The staff at each location maintains a meticulously clean space, where they show clients to UV beds dubbed fast, faster, fastest, and instant. The beds include features such as facial tanners and self-contained air conditioners. Alternatively, clients can opt for the UV-free, automated VersaSpa system, which swathes physiques in a DHA, plant-based bronzing solution. The liquid reacts naturally with skin?s amino acids, creating an even coat as radiant as the high beams on Helios?s chariot within 46 seconds.
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.
The team at European Spa Boutique administers a thoughtful blend of naturally derived and technologically advanced treatments. A less-irritating, antiseptic wax made from soybeans is used for hair removal, and heated lava stones warm achy muscles during body treatments. For the extensive selection of facials, aestheticians call upon both methods of treatment: botanical extracts calm acned skin, chemical peels are harvested from chocolate and berries, and microcurrent and LED-light therapies are designed to increase collagen production and dissipate fine lines.
The relaxation experts at Natural Healing Massage combat stress and tension with soothing massages and body wraps. They use the healing power of touch to improve range of motion in creaky joints and untie knots lurking deep within muscles, much like the hope deep within your heart. More intense pressure targets chronic pain, and therapeutic stretching eases tightness.
Captivation Hair Design's savvy stylists and aestheticians deliver classic and on-trend haircuts for clients of all ages, along with a full complement of relaxing spa services. During in-depth consultations, hairstylists confer with clients about their lifestyle and desired look before analyzing hair texture and face shape to engineer a haircut as unique as white-tiger paw prints. Stylists whip new coiffeurs into fresh-from-the-salon shape with a boost from products such as Big Sexy Hair, Moroccanoil, and Bed Head. The salon floor, adorned with hanging art and divided into individual styling booths, boasts a private spa treatment area set apart by heavy draped curtains. Clients relax in secluded massage rooms and pedicure chairs to enjoy restorative body-pampering services to rival napping in a bed of shea-butter-glazed marshmallows.
At Bella Bronze Studio, tanning technicians grace hides with hand-applied bronze hues. They wield airbrushes to mist skin with a Norvell DHA-based solution that leaves skin tan for up to two weeks —just as a calendar tattoo leaves skin current for up to 31 days. The team also presides over a collection of six different tanning beds. Not content merely to darken the skin, the staff also performs massage services to smooth tightly wound muscle mass below its surface.