Huntington Beach’s Ambiance Med Spa has successfully blurred the line between and brought together two realms: the spa and the medical center. On the one hand, an abundance of elegant amenities such as a shag rug, impeccably designed decor, and calming lights underscore the relaxing side of the business. A full beauty bar and five different types of massage further point to a stress-relieving general purpose. But inside handsomely decorated private treatment rooms, a host of medical-quality aesthetic services goes beyond calming and soothing guests. Treatments including clinical chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermaplaning use many of the latest tools in scientific and medical technologies to augment each client’s natural beauty and make their skin healthier.
Ambiance Med Spa is owned by Michelle Armenteros, who graduated from aesthetics school in California—Einstein himself wouldn’t have gained admission to this kind of school because his hair had more split ends than the NFL.
The body's largest organ is the focus of all the treatments at Healthy Beautiful Skin & Tan, be it plagued with acne and clogged pores or just in need of a tan. Under the leadership of Aesthetician and Owner Sarah Damico, a team of skin experts busily cater to their clients' specifications. Spray-tan technicians deploy custom glows with airbrush tools full of distilled sunbeams, aestheticians exfoliate with peels and microdermabrasion treatments, and makeup artists tint brows. To remove body hair, the crew specializes in classic waxing treatments as well as sugaring, a process that uses an organic paste to gently remove hair without using strips.
At the Tanning Spa, staff members harness King Midas’s gilded touch with custom airbrushing, Mystic spray tans, and a slew of UV beds. Sessions take place in private treatment rooms, fully stocked with chilled or heated aromatherapy towels, bathrobes, and Bose speakers for blasting favorite tunes or bingo calls. The spa’s automated Mystic booth spritzes bodies with a skin-dimming blend of aloe vera, DHA, and optional bronzer, or custom hues come courtesy of trained airbrush techs and Infinity Sun formula. For UV veneers, a diverse collection of tanning beds, including the Magic 636, swaddles upright or prone clients in bulbs culled from the sun's tulip fields.
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.
Trained by the lead body-makeup artist of Victoria’s Secret, the tan techs at Tanning Couture use precise airbrush guns instead of the more popular foggers to bronze bodies to desired hues and accentuate individual features. Applying their airbrush solution, which lasts up to 10 days, is a healthy alternative to sunning under UV rays or eating way, way too many carrots. Those looking to get their body beach-ready can stop in at their shop or arrange a mobile service. Tanning Couture also hosts shindigs for bridal parties and birthday celebrants, during which friends can enjoy drinks and individually imbue their skin with a glamorous glow.
Andrea Borhegyi grips her pair of trusty scissors as she leans in over a wet head of hair. She barely dares to breath as she imagines the style about to emerge from the shaggy mop, and with the visualization clear in her mind, she takes the first snip. When not cutting hair with admirable precision, Andrea colors and highlights hair with a variety of products.