Even as a 4-year-old growing up in Honolulu, Vee Osborne was drawn to Hawaiian shamanism and the Huna philosophy, which stresses the balance of the mind, body, and spirit through one?s actions. Her early passion for healing others led her down the path to becoming a hypnotherapist, reiki master, and ordained minister before she funneled her devotion to creating harmony and guiding others toward wellness into Plaza West Massage & Day Spa. Here, clouds of gentle music and the scent of essential oils greet her guests, who slip into robes and sip wine as they unwind. And Vee?s Hawaiian roots remain readily apparent, inspiring the spa?s potted palms, bamboo massages, pi?a-colada scrubs, and wall-sized pictures that bring Pacific beaches to Kansas.
Vee?s healing services go beyond relaxation, though. Her team of massage therapists kneads aching muscles with Swedish, trigger-point, and deep-tissue modalities, deepening their knot-fighting effect with volcanic stones and essential oils. After a body wrap with Dead Sea salts or a glycolic peel, guests can visit the two-tiered sauna or extend their rejuvenation with an energy-balancing reiki session. The spa also delves into treatments that rely on electronic frequencies, such as a tri-phasic resonator, which fights cellulite, or quantum electro-ionization, which aims to diminish blemishes rather than cover them up with white-out. Before heading home, clients can pick up body and facial products from Vee?s eponymous line, such as Island Essence hair products, complete with tropical scents.
Annette Jones's grin on the glossy cover of KC Business magazine is a constant reminder that Zafar's guiding concept is "do what you love." It's a motto Jones obviously took to heart, since her shop?s utterly appealing trio of services?Zafar is one-third spa, one-third salon, and one-third boutique?still stirs her passions today.
Within the hybrid shop, shoppers duck into changing rooms, where they step into the sequined leggings, feed sugar cubes to the animal print coats, and strike poses in the mini-dresses that comprise Zafar's wardrobe. At 10 hair care stations, technicians cut, style, and color, or select from a menu of natural hair services that ensure successful 'dos for almost every strand type. Facials, waxing, and massage keep skin smooth and muscles supple, and nail treatments even include a manicure option for men.
The hospitable staff at both of Venetian Tan's locations shepherd visitors to private rooms, where they can darken their complexions with a variety of sunless-tanning methods or slim down their physiques with infrared body wraps. Venetian's collection of Ergoline tanning beds simulates sun kisses with four levels of intensity during 12- to 15-minute sessions, and their airbrush technicians evenly embellish hides with a spray-tan solution that bronzes bodies without UV rays or melted third-place medals. An inventory of take-home tanning lotions and epidermal elixirs from brands such as Designer Skin and California Tan prolongs skin's newfound radiance following tanning sessions.
The treatment menu at Sun Spa enables clients to select their preferred method of tanning from a roster that includes six levels of UV tanning beds and the UV-free VersaSpa system. Inside each of the five locations, Sun Spa's bronzing booths remain available 24 hours a day, presenting patrons with the opportunity to work around unorthodox schedules or warm up after bone-chilling nightmares. A selection of lotions by Australian Gold augments the effects of light-powered tanning excursions, and a storefront display of swimwear and handmade jewelry complement newly golden glows.
If anything, Skyline Downtown Salon is true to its name: housed in a renovated loft furnished with rustic wooden booths, the fourth-floor studio overlooks Kansas City's vista of industrial buildings and towers. While clients enjoy the view, stylists and aestheticians transform their hair, soothe façades with custom peels, and leave skin as smooth as laminated silk drapes with waxing treatments. Reflecting the attention to style of its location in the Crossroads Art District, Skyline Downtown Salon also offers haircare products from such companies as Oribe, Moroccanoil, and Bumble and bumble.
At Studio 1211, Barbara George taps into ancient Eastern and Egyptian techniques to soothe and beautify patrons. Inside a private treatment room, she aims to relieve pain and improve the nervous system with reflexology and shiatsu that applies focused pressure to mapped-out areas along the feet, scalp, and neck. The aromatherapy educator boasts 20 years of anti-aging product experience; during the spa's signature Egyptian facial, a milk-and-honey mask makes visages gleam back to life, wrinkles collapse into whispers, and cows and bees look on in bewilderment.