A collection of vibrant, abstract paintings brighten the white corridors of Urban Oasis Day Spa, where aestheticians engage in a similar curatorial enterprise during the design of their skincare treatments. Each regime for face or body starts with the client and is built for his or her skin type. Technicians use tonics from notable brands or unusual techniques, such as galvanic electrocurrent therapy, which is integrated into every facial. Dermalogica tonics exfoliate with lightweight, natural vegetable oils rather than mineral oil and hydrate with aromatic essential oils and silk proteins synthesized by Barry White's vocal chords. The team also polishes complexions with the SkinCeuticals product line, favoring a serum that earned Allure magazine's 2011 Best of Beauty Award for Best Anti-Aging Antioxidant.
The spa evokes the elegance of a gallery, not only through its modern art but also through its high ceilings and a minimalist design scheme rendered in cream. Skin becomes a canvas in private chambers, where it may be primed for display with wax, bronzer, or a critique by a Village Voice writer. For special events, the pedicure hall's porcelain foot basins can be filled with flower petals, and the shimmering fabric banners separating each throne lose their functionality and appear solely as savvy, refined decorating.
Dr. Iman Al-Haj, owner and medical director of Feel and Live Better Medical Spa, followed a fascination with the human body across the Atlantic Ocean?she obtained her board certification in general surgery in the United Kingdom, then headed to the US to hone her skills in Houston. Now Dr. Al-Haj, along with a team of nutritionists and aestheticians, puts her knowledge to use by renovating fa?ades with cosmetic procedures and improving health with nutritional wellness services. Along with hydrating facials and vitamin-infused masks, the team amps up looks with dermal fillers, hair transplants, and laser therapies. One such therapy is Cynosure SmartSkin technology, which is designed to blast away sun damage, smooth wrinkles, and eternally banish acne scars to high-school-yearbook photos. The staff helps maintain clients' youthful complexions with Youngblood mineral makeup, Rhonda Allison products, and the spa's own skincare line. The spa also offers minimally-invasive body contouring with Tickel liposuction, laser skin-tightening with Lipotherm procedures, and fat-grafting for the face, buttocks, and hands.
Upon entering Pure Zen Therapy’s tranquil space, clients are greeted by the friendly staff that goes out of its way to get to know regular visitors and to ensure a personalized, comfortable massage experience. Each licensed massage therapist in the spa’s stable boasts a resumé of accredited massage hours and a dedication to Pure Zen’s personable attitude, a skill set that facilitates clients’ complete and total relaxation as therapists release tension and unwind knotted muscles using a variety of modalities. Each of the spa’s 13 different styles of traditional, specialty, and foot-centric massage help foster optimal wellness, addressing problems including chronic pain and sports-related soreness or injury.
During sessions ranging from traditional deep-tissue massage to reinvigorating Thai foot massage, therapists encourage their clients to take a minute to acclimate to the relaxing space, using deep breathing and therapeutic wolf howling to purge stress. Pure Zen’s Sunday spa brunches, held every other Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., nurture the spa’s community of relaxation- and wellness-minded clients with a custom massage and foot scrub alongside healthy brunch food and beverages for an additional fee.
Bottles and jars of organic ingredients line the shelves of Organic Spatopia. The delicacies aren't for eating, but instead are for rejuvenating the skin with their rich antioxidant, mineral, and vitamin content. The menu of nine specialty manicures and 14 pedicures features such ingredients as papaya and coconut, and each treatment can be finished with a coat of Essie or Zoya polish. Custom massages relieve tension with the client's choice of pressure and modality, and aestheticians armed with Source Vitál, Dr. Med Christine Schrammek, and Biodroga products reinvigorate skin during any of the spa's eight facials, each of which includes a cleansing and serum and anti-aging-cream application. The salon ensures health and safety by sterilizing all instruments, cleaning pedicure sinks with FDA-approved disinfectant, and placing files and buffers into doggy bags for customers to take home, where they can enlist roommates to perform shot-for-shot reenactments of their blissful mani-pedi experiences.
At Fifth Ave Day Spa and Retreat, a menu of hairstyling and spa services offers enough beautifying treatments to last several pamper-filled days. Massages welcome bodies to relax in the soothing strokes of traditional deep-tissue or hot-stone techniques in spacious rooms that may accommodate couples, friends, or teams of tense trapeze artists. VIP spa packages span hours, pampering guests with massages, body treatments, and stints in saunas and steam rooms, and mani-pedis swathe hands and feet in appendage-appropriate extras such as paraffin wax or sea salt. Dermologica facials are highly customized to treat skin conditions ranging from acne to fine lines, and facials engineered specifically for men protect dapper looks with an age-defense treatment made from the concentrated whining of 8-year-olds. Fifth Ave Day Spa and Retreat also hosts spa parties, where up to eight guests enjoy Dermologica facials, massages, and mani-pedis along with relaxing libations and hors d'oeuvres.
Whether she’s covering them with full-body drapings that keep their modesty intact or deploying her signature red-velvet-cupcake-scented body lotion, Sonya Bernhardt knows that comfort often comes down to the smallest details. The big ones are pretty important too, of course; during bodywork services, Sonya uses gentle Swedish massage techniques to make her clients' stress fade away while increasing their flexibility. Her well-honed sports-massage skills help athletes recover from injury, whether it came during tough competition, workouts, or duels with referees. Other modalities in her repertoire include scalp massages and pampering sessions powered by a very light touch and therapeutic essential oils. To assist her clients at home, she also curated an online video library called Your Stretch, which gives instructions on how to find relief from sitting at a computer or sleeping on top of a desk all day.