At more than 30 locations in the Houston area, clients check in at marble-fronted reception desks to meet with a member of Darque Tan's International Smart Tan Network—staff trained to determine the best path to their bronzing goals. 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.
As 2009 Miss Houston USA Angy Torres knows, it doesn’t take a discriminating judge to spot the streaks of an imperfect spray tan. That’s why she counts herself among the many clients who trust Body Brushed, an airbrush-tanning studio whose trained professionals could fool even the sun with their golden, UV-free tans.
Body Brushed’s specialists carefully coat their clients' skin with a DHA-infused solution formulated to create a golden tan that can last for up to 10 days with regular moisturizing and proper maintenance. The studio’s in-office and mobile services aren’t limited to sunless tans; they can also customize bodies with airbrushed makeup, tattoos, and full tuxedos.
A 2012 pick for The Knot’s Best of Weddings, Fashion Face beautifies brides, bridesmaids, or wedding crashers for their big day with hairstyling and professional makeup services that include 16-hour foundations and tattoo cover-ups. Branching out beyond weddings, the salon also enhances everyday beauty with cuts and colors from experienced stylists and deep-cleansing facials that exfoliate and moisturize the skin. Custom airbrush tanning provides a natural-looking bronze without harsh chemicals or exposure to UV rays. Technicians apply the botanical solution by hand, adding darker hues to specific areas to create the look of a more toned physique.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Originally from North Carolina, Houston SkinSaver's owner and medical skin therapist Darlena has made Houston her home, where she works tirelessly to manage clients' skincare needs. Darlena draws on more than 20 years of experience in health and wellness fields and specializes in corrective skin therapy, cosmeceutical spray tanning and laser skin treatments treating an array of conditions such as acneic and aging skin. Wielding PCA Skin products, Darlena performs everything from waxing and facials to microdermabrasion and intensive peels for acne- or diabetes-affected visages, helping clients achieve a radiant epidermis that doesn't scream when splashed with cold water. Darlena finishes waxing treatments with an antibacterial aloe vera and anti-redness treatment.
Aesthetica Skin Spa puts complexions first, drawing on the powers of high-quality skincare products from brands such as Éminence Organic, Dermaquest, and M’lis to pamper clients inside its soothing confines. Those solutions form the basis of luxurious services, including facials and body wraps that nourish skin more effectively than attempting to insert the food pyramid into every pore. Resurfacing treatments can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles thanks to the power of alpha peptide and fruit acids, while spray tanning and waxing services ready guests for a day at the beach. The upscale beautifying emporium also offers up a membership program that grants its participants discounts, upgrades, and retail promotions.