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 skilled tress tamers at Chocolates, Cherries & Blondes shear, shade, and mold manes with singular products in an upbeat, airy setting. Lemon walls envelop the studio's hanging mirrors as clients’ frazzled follicles receive a stress-relieving complimentary head massage before each treatment. During a one-hour haircut, a stylist shampoos out oil, dirt, and fruit headdresses to invigorate scalps, then clips and reconstructs head hedges with face-framing layers, a reverse Bobby Darin, or an eye-catching tri-hawk ($20+ for men, $30+ for women). Transform ’dos with a mini foil ($40+), vibrant all-over color ($60+), or partial-foil ($70+) or full-foil treatments ($90+), generating radiant locks that give off sparks when placed inside a microwave.
Under the expert guidance of Dr. Cynthia L. Cote, the staff at MD Cote Medical, Laser & Spa harness the FDA-approved Zerona cold-laser technology, designed to reduce corporeal circumferences by an average of 3.5 inches. During each session, clients relax beneath a beam-slinging apparatus for 40 minutes as it glides low-light lasers over their waistline, back, hips, and thighs, emulsifying adipose tissue so that fat can sneak its way out of the body. The disintegrated lipid depots can then be absorbed by the body’s obsessively tidy lymphatic system and expelled through the body’s natural detoxification process and complex system of water-slides. The noninvasive treatment does not require any recovery time.
Aesthetician and Elite Skin & Esthetics owner Paula O'Fallon knows the most important element of running a successful med spa: teamwork. That's why her staffers—including a doctor with a degree in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery—work together to cater to the specific needs of each individual client. The multitalented group of specialists helps clients realize their aesthetic potential with services including facials and deep sea algae wraps. They employ medical-grade products from lines such as Epionce, which helps treat rosacea and acne, and Jane Iredale Mineral Makeup, which is recommended by the American Cancer Foundation for its skin-protecting ingredients. In addition, the spa specialists hold degrees from the Euro Institute of Skin Care, a renowned institution that grants students advanced skincare knowledge and especially charming accents.
Starting in 1985 with a single location on Pacific Highway, Stan Parente proceeded to build a large client base at his eponymous salon, eventually expanding to his current locations in Federal Way, Maple Valley, and Bellevue. Despite the steady march of his hair empire, Parente remains true to the fundamentals that led to his initial success. He still works onsite in each salon and keeps shelves stocked with products from quality brands such as Oribe Hair Care and Bumble and bumble. Professional seminars and practice sessions hone stylists' skills until they can make unkempt hair arrange itself with a single, intimidating glance. Each location boasts its own unique aesthetic: Federal Way is decked out in vibrant yellow walls and high ceilings, Maple Valley sports rich wooden floors and brick walls, and the newly remodeled Bellevue branch is kitted out with corrugated-metal stations and unvarnished, wooden walls.
Even though she’s the owner of Auburn Electrology & Skin Care, Carol Ray still heads to work each day with the same enthusiasm as when she first started her career in aesthetics. She constantly enhances her expertise by attending continuing-education classes and writing pop-quiz questions on her herbal body wraps. She displays her ever-sharpening skills to clients as she removes hair and red veins with electrolysis, extends lashes for up to three months with Xtreme Lashes eyelash extensions, and clears out pores with European facials. She draws from an arsenal of products that include Dermalogica skincare formulas and Relax & Wax No-Scream Cream—also available for purchase.