In his early days as a massage therapist, Sean Struxness was struck by the stark contrasts in quality between high-end and low-end spas, noticing a large gap between the two. He founded The Massage Spot to fill that gap, partly because he no longer wanted to mow the gap's out-of-control grass. Though it forgoes the locker rooms and showers that full day spas may offer, Struxness's mini day spa doesn't skimp on the tranquil atmosphere, as it features flickering candles, soothing music, and a relaxing zen area. The service menu isn't lacking, either; The Massage Spot's team of professionals performs haircuts and deep conditionings, nine types of facials, spa pedicures with aromatherapy soaks, and Western and Eastern styles of massage therapy.
A bright yellow accent wall lends a sunny feel to Sugar Rays' all-white interior—as does the fact that many customers emerge with fresh tans. Their tans are sunless, however; a product of the salon's organic sugar cane spray tan formula. Imbued with aloe and vitamin E, it nourishes skin while leaving behind a natural, even glow. The salon complements these organic tans with eco-friendly services, from waterless pedicures to nails imprinted with 1,000-word essays on the benefits of hugging a tree.
U-CA-TAN is an area favorite, earning second place for Best Tanning in 2008 from CityVoters. Its Mystic Tan is the original and patented spray tan, bronzing and gilding bodies without UV in 30 seconds. Once a person steps into the booth, his or her whole body will be immediately saturated with an aloe-vera-based solution that bronzes humans like a pair of baby shoes. Around six hours later, the spray-on-awesome will develop into a golden, natural-looking tan that will inspire envy from beach bums and pool hobos. With proper care, hides can remain tanned and toned for several days, giving clients a temporary color that's better for the skin than standard sunning.
Darque Tan's arsenal of beds, booths, and nourishing lotions infuses visiting bodies with sun-kissed color. Along with at least 20 tanning beds, each location brims with tan-savvy staff members—each certified through the International Smart Tan Network—who can work with you to customize a program based on your tanning goals, skin type, and relation to black-and-white movie starlets. Sessions take place in private rooms that line a column-flanked hallway, where five different levels of UV beds give skin the perfect level of tanning. Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless-tanning systems imbue clients with a hydrating, natural-looking glow, which can be customized according to skin tone, desired shade, and spirit animal. A full-time cleaning staff keeps each center in pristine conditions by referencing a 50-point inspection system. Most locations have books, televisions, and kids’ play areas to keep children entertained while adults are bronzing.
Without an ounce of help from the sun, staffers at The Glo Studio turn pallid bodies into golden temples. A solution concocted from 100% organic DHA and 95% all-natural ingredients imbues skin with sun-kissed color, leaving youthful tissues untouched by UV rays or sentient beach castles. In around 15 minutes, an airbrush artisan cloaks clients in a custom tanning blend, transforming human pelts with a choice of natural-looking light, medium, or dark hues.