More than 30 years after its inception, Cactus Salon & Spa and its team of continually educated stylists have not lost their edge?they earned the Long Island Press's designation as Best Hair Salon and Best Day Spa in 2011 and 2012. It's not surprising, then, that the salon has enjoyed such impressive growth over the years, with more than two dozen separate spa and salon locations.
Although hair is still the focus?stylists craft 'dos that reflect everyday ease or fashion-forward thinking?the repertoire has expanded to include everything from nail treatments and massages to permanent cosmetics and laser services. Since the roster is so broad, many clients take advantage of Cactus Club memberships, which give them the flexibility to try multiple services and products by deactivating the force fields between treatment rooms and granting a 33% discount on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
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 The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 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 and social consciousness 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 an EU-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 brand?s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
After a car accident left Kelly Kreis with a painful neck injury, she found relief through a combination of Western medicine and holistic healing techniques such as massage and acupuncture. Today, Kelly works to bring others the same relief at Renova Therapeutic Massage. Drawing on her background as a registered nurse and a licensed massage therapist, she performs treatments that range from relaxing Swedish massages to treatments that target connective tissues and central nervous system with CranioSacral therapy.
While Lisa Boyd's career as a massage therapist has spanned a decade, Valentine’s Day of 2012 marked a special milestone—the opening of Bella Amore Day Spa. She works alongside her team of spa technicians to coax knots from muscles with a variety of massage modalities. The staff also offers acupuncture, facials, body wraps, and spa parties, in which guests get pampered as a group and then eat a cake that looks like a glass of cucumber water.
Desiree Chmura was a featured aesthetician at the 2010 Aesthetic Everything Oscar Gifting Suite, and, as she pampered famous pores before the Academy Awards, she realized she wanted to open up her own med spa. She's trained in a sweeping array of medical-grade skincare and cosmetic disciplines and has advised listeners on Cosmo's XM radio show on how to reduce inches with a seaweed wrap and how to ensnare a crush with a pair of tweezers.
To create her spa, Desiree corralled a staff of nurses and aestheticians. With treatments that range from deep-cleansing facials and ear candling to dermal fillers and photofacials, guests of all beautification goals can find a service right for them.
Although they moved to new, larger digs in April 2012, the team of expert stylists at Renaissance Salon still delivers the same trusted cuts, colors, and salon services that they've been doling out since 2007. Senior colorists Jennifer and Jessica excel at enriching locks with dimensional color, whereas bridal expert Krista dominates when it comes to readying clients for weddings. Michelle issues precision snips that transform played-out looks into fashionable 'dos, and trendsetter Julie remains ever-vigilant in the hunt for the most adventurous styles. The senior teams is joined by a crew of five fellow stylists and two assistants, but no matter their relative experience levels, their training expectation remains the same; all staff members at Renaissance Salon are required to attend at least two advanced-training seminars annually.