Each of Seattle Sun Tan's 39 locations spans between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet of space dedicated solely to the art of un-sunbathing. Washington-state tanners strut down immaculate hallways dotted with framed original paintings and contemporary artwork before settling into private rooms where they may acquire their desired shade while enjoying the sounds of their own music or prerecorded subliminal messages piped in through the iPod dock perched near each bed. The Smart Tan–certified staff guides clients in selecting which of the five levels of UV bed best fits their tanning needs and whether they desire a short tan time, prefer to stand up or lie down, or wish to bask beneath high-pressure face lamps. Shop shelves offer home tanners quality products from Australian Gold and Swedish Beauty, whereas spray-tanning options from VersaSpa and SunFX both impart a natural-looking faux glow that takes mere minutes to apply and lasts for days.
The staff at Desert Sun Tanning work to tone the face and body, detoxify, and increase metabolism through red-light-therapy sessions and infrared body wraps. Some Desert Sun Tanning locations employ the far-infrared-heat body wrap in 50-minute treatments, during which heat-activated silicone treatment pads latch onto thighs, hips, abdomen, and arms. At other locations, patrons lie inside the Fit Bodywrap's sleeping-bag-like device for 60 minutes, gossiping and stifling giggles as the infrared rays sink in. Both wraps yield the same results, aiming to purge the body of toxins, increase metabolism, and burn calories lurking in the shadows of love handles. Fifteen-minute red-light-therapy sessions bathe the entire body in red-light waves measuring 633 nanometers, designed to attract nanoscopic surfers who trigger collagen production and reduce wrinkles with their laid-back lingo.
The Beauty Lab's menu of facials, PCA skin treatments, and hair-removal services actually acts as more of a jumping-off point than a rigid list. That's because all these treatments—not just the custom ones—use products tailored to the client's skin and personal preferences.
Facials rely on specialized masks and serums to fight signs of aging, combat acne, or keep the skin looking as dewy as a blade of grass in a plants pin-up calendar. Different PCA peel ingredients can be blended together and enhanced with a collagen-boosting retinol if the client needs it. And because many people have sensitive skin or simply distrust soft wax, The Beauty Lab offers two more hair-removal agents in addition to traditional soft wax—hard wax and a sugar paste mixed by an onsite aesthetician.
The massage therapists at Edmonds Massage Center untie deep-tissue knots and de-stress bodies with their array of treatments. A series of kneads and deliberate strokes ease muscles plagued by subcutaneous stress during the 30-minute deep-tissue massage, effectively working to remedy a host of maladies including circulatory problems, lower-back pain, and the stress of battling incognito robots. The 30-minute relaxation massage coaxes tight muscles into submission and helps aches and pains to melt faster than an ice-cream cake lit on fire.
In ancient Greek mythology, Apollo was the god of music and one of the most popular sons of Zeus. His esteemed name now adorns Apollo Hair, Health & Beauty as a sign of the divine service clients receive. Guests can book time with a skilled stylist for voluminous layers, or a request a specialty facial to renew the complexion. The salon also offers an array of hair-replacement services that Medusa would have been wise to consider.
Bright lights and an energetic vibe pulsate inside each of Rock Star Tan Bar's three locations. Clients can treat themselves to a bevy of tanning options from horizontal and vertical tanning beds to UV-free spray tans, which augment skin tone without the harmful side effects that come with tanning in the actual sun.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend human rights" and "Protect our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to a UK-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.