In 2001, the first iTAN Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal?to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 30 Southern California franchises, each offering a slightly different assortment of teeth whitening, tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and self-serve spa offerings.
The Smart Tan?certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays, and self-administered spa treatments dispense relaxing red-light facials, infrared-heat bodywraps, and aqua massages.
Upon walking through the drapes that frame Bella Sareena’s entrance, visitors might feel as though they’ve wandered into a Moroccan parlor. Under the glow of a colorful lantern sits a table strewn with makeup and colorful pottery. Beyond that, a banquette cushioned with colorful throw pillows stretches beneath a triptych of arced mirrors. Here, patrons await treatments selected from a service menu that blends Old World rituals with modern beauty techniques. In one room, instructors lead belly dance classes that shimmy in time with the jingling coined sashes tied around their students’ waists; in another, aestheticians who speak four different languages administer Nuface facials that stimulate collagen production with electrical currents. Before or after treatments or classes, guests can sip on beverages in the Moroccan tea room as they surf the complimentary WiFi for help translating the message formed by the tea leaves in the bottom of their cups.
Loraine-Dale Hall had packed away more than a decade of experience and numerous awards as an aesthetician and cosmetic tattoo artist before she created spaViolet, a beauty haven bent on having fun while maintaining a no-nonsense approach to skincare. The freewheeling revelry visitors experience has led the spa to devise a list of house rules, which include tongue-in-cheek warnings to refrain from karaoke in the eucalyptus steam room and foam parties in the six-head Vichy shower. The spa's signature violet hue anoints every inch of the cottage-inspired space, where extra embellishments of potted flowers and pastel pillows lure clients in for a soothing escape. In this beauty-centered retreat, Hall helms a team of skin specialists whose skills have landed them on the glossy pages of 944 Magazine and a victory in a face-off against a chain spa conducted by San Diego Magazine. The menu also packs in body scrubs, lash and brow tinting, nail services, and happy-hour waxing, which grants discounts every Thursday and Friday afternoon. Clients can further enjoy their spa experience with complimentary almonds, brownies, tea, and wine, which keep bored tongues from licking off newly applied skin serums when the staff isn't looking.
Dubbed the “pale skin fighters,” Sunless Revolution’s tanning technicians bronze their clients through UV-free methods performed in their industrial-style salon or on the road. With top automated misting booths such as Mystic HD and VersaSpa, customers can stop in for quick self-service tans that offer perks such as a pH-balancing spray. Alternatively, airbrush tans applied by hand give human canvases a custom glow.
At Naked Tan, obtaining glowing bronze skin is a comfortable experience no matter which method clients use to do so. If they choose to tan in one of the salon's five levels of tanning beds, they'll be treated to such comforts as misting jets of water to stay cool, built-in headphone jacks for entertainment, and special facial and shoulder tanning lamps to speed up the tanning process. And if they instead decide on a sunless tan, they enjoy privacy inside a Mystic Tan or VersaSpa booth, both of which feature automatic drying so clients don't feel sticky after the application. Often clients combine the two approaches into a "double dip" package?a bed tanning session immediately followed by a spray tan. The two-pronged approach particularly appeals to people who need to develop a tan quickly before a special event, such as a wedding or a big speech where they tell off those nitwits at the Nobel Committee once and for all.
Aztec Tan’s technicians ensure clients achieve the perfect natural, sun-kissed look using an arsenal of tanning technology that includes UV-free systems. The selection of beds spans five tanning levels, from the introductory Sundash to the Sunboard XTT, which houses cooperative baby supernovas. To deliver beach-ready radiance without UV rays, technicians use airbrush and Mystic Tan systems to imbue skin with a natural, bronzed look that lasts for up to seven days. To enhance a rich tan, the center offers Twilight Teeth whitening technology, which harnesses heat and light to leave smiles as bright as an elevator full of halogen flashlights. Services such as the FIT bodywrap and the Formostar infrared body wrap help to break down fat tissue and detoxify the body.