Peppermint and pure sugar cane are on the menu, but they're not for eating. The peppermint fragrances a warm footbath, and the pure sugar cane acts as scrub for lips or tongues with no self-control. These indulgent ingredients appear in various services at Serenity Day Spa and Gifts, where guests can spend up to a full day relaxing and beautifying with spa packages that combine mani-pedis, facials, and massages. Body-contouring wraps detoxify while they tighten and tone skin, and specially designed facials address the common skincare concerns of men, women, and teens.
Calling on skin-safe supplies such as cosmeceutical-grade serums from Image like their Ormedic organic formulas, paramedical aesthetician Michele Gordy tends to clients' faces with services that include facials, peels, and microdermabrasion treatments. From her post within Victoria's Regal Nails, Michele begins every appointment with a consultation and detailed skin analysis to understand the unique issues and individual needs of each client's skin. She then tailors her services to treat conditions ranging from unsightly acne to stubborn paint left on former Blue Man Group members.
Salon Maia owner Melissa Maia and makeup artist Kelly LeBlanc specialize in making brides' wedding-day visions a reality. The duo performs on-location, preceremony transformations and has collaborated on bridal showcases for New Orleans Bride magazine. Within the magazine's pages, Maia and Leblanc have offered tips for brides-to-be, such as trying out a variety of lipstick colors, deep-conditioning hair six weeks before the wedding, and securing updos with a hairspray that is specifically designed to repel rice.
Within the art-covered, bright blue and white walls of the salon itself, Maia and her team of stylists nourish clients' hair with high-quality products. They use the Pureology and Redken lines to cleanse, condition, and color, and the sought-after Agadir Argan oil spray treatment to repair and protect damaged strands.
With speedy waxologists and specially formulated European waxes made just for its clients, it's no wonder that Bombshell Waxing opened a second location just one year after its inception in 2010. That's also largely due to the passion of owner Shelly Reagon, who is very hands-on with her business and who can often be found in scrubs and an apron herself.
She writes in Sophisticated Woman Magazine that it's important for women to go to a reputable salon for a wax, one that never double-dips its waxes and knows eyebrows aren't just caterpillars napping on the forehead. She also talks about her belief that brows are "sisters, not twins"—that it's most natural and beautiful if brows both look polished, but they don't need to be identical. Another revolutionary idea of hers is that waxing should be an experience a client looks forward to, so her salons offer vajazzling services and onsite boutiques where clients can shop for lingerie that shows off freshly bare skin.
In 1987, after just three years of shearing locks, Robert Jeffery Williamson earned an invitation that would shape the course of his career. After competing with more than 300 eager stylists, he was one of 14 picked to study under dramatic hair artists Irvine and Rita Rusk in Scotland. After this training, Jeff returned to tour the United States, where he shared the latest styling techniques at hair shows, became a Rusk Senior Master Designer, and still found time to open his eponymous salon. Today, Jeff has hung up his traveling shoes in order to devote his time to that salon and the skills of the stylists within. His stylists carry on the lessons of his past, employing Rusk products as they snip and color tresses. Yet Jeff continues learning and evolving, and his recent training with Screen Hair Care inspired him to expand the salon’s arsenal with Screen products.
The studio space itself draws on the themes of stardom. Director-style chairs let guests await their appointment in style, and paintings of moviemakers and jazz musicians lend color and inspiration. While there, clients can also visit cosmetics professionals who help them custom-blend their own shades of lipstick, eyeliner, and nail polish so they can match an evening gown or the bush from which they spy on their neighbors.
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 that 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.