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, piña-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 team at Ageless Reflection Medspa and Wellness Center, which includes a board-certified doctor and licensed aesthetician, enhances its clients' beauty with a retinue of cosmetic treatments. Botox and Juvederm fillers restore the skin's smooth, youthful appearance, while IPL skin rejuvenation, medical microdermabrasions, and chemical peels call upon state-of-the-art technologies and NeoStrata skincare products to chase away various imperfections. Staff members harnesses the power of the FDA-approved eMax laser system to usher away unwanted body hair, and they help clients shed pounds by providing nutritional counseling, customized weight-loss plans, and purèed cauliflower disguised as ice cream.
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.
Within Oracle Massage and Wellness Center, licensed massage therapists draw from Eastern and Western massage philosophies to eradicate muscle tension and stress in private treatment rooms. Along with classic Swedish and deep-tissue techniques, the staff draw on the radiant warmth of hot-stone massage with rocks sourced from only the most peacefully burbling rivers. Staff might also turn to holistic methods with reiki, a Japanese method that combines traditional massage with energy-balancing techniques.