Antique Balinese fountains, crimson wall hangings, and verdant plants enliven the luxurious confines of Pacific Tan, a go-to bronzing destination for 29 years. Boasting attentive customer service and the vibe of an exotic getaway, the tanning emporium ushers clients into its elegant space for traditional UV tans in state-of-the-art beds, including the Garden of Eden, which customizes a tan for each individual using an optical sensor, and the Shangri-La, a high-pressure bed that delivers a dark tan in minutes. Alternatively, natural-looking, flawless airbrush tans are administered by skilled and certified technicians using a safe, all-natural paraben-free solution.
Though the exterior of Alfons Skin Care?a European Tudor?style house?gives the appearance of a modest country home, the services provided within the two-decade-old spa are anything but quaint. Inside two private treatment rooms, aestheticians armed with Pevonia, Reviderm, and Jan Marini products cleanse and hydrate complexions with a combination of Mediterranean techniques and European facial treatments. Ladies select from five facial options, each accompanied by an enzyme exfoliation and customized mask. They also do eyelash extensions and undergo Clarisonic Opal eye and lip treatments.
As with locker rooms and Olympic egg-carton stomping, men have their own domain; they can indulge in a soothing scalp massage or facial-hair tinting for beards that have gone gray. But both parties can benefit from body waxing?which uses sugar, creamy lavender, and green hard wax?as well as such advanced med-spa services as Dr. Lam Probe Therapy, which removes skin tags and thread veins using radio and high-frequency technology.
When they first cut the ribbon on Milvali Salon & Cosmetics' namesake location in Mill Valley, beauty experts and best friends Jessika Adams de Vazquez and Deb Monti couldn't have guessed where their partnership would lead. In the nearly 10 years since, the dynamic duo has opened a second location in San Francisco and guided the salons through three expansions. The pair also filled both locations? shelves with their own signature line of mineral- and botanical-based skincare products, which their experienced team of aestheticians incorporates into a variety of custom facials.
But skincare isn't the only thing that Milvali is renowned for. The salon may be most celebrated for its hair extensions,
and its estheticians also excel in bikini waxes. Their specialty? Brazilians, using imported wax from Italy that is delicate enough to use on sensitive skin or between the Mona Lisa?s eyebrows.
Having successfully airbrushed more than 7,000 customers, Lucky Bumble’s founder and master airbrush artist Chiara Serpa is an expert at imparting natural-looking golden hues. Her customized airbrush sessions leave clients with a full-body tan that lasts for up to 10 days.
In Focus: Skin City
Motto: “An Urban Skincare Oasis”
Specialties: facials, peels, and head-to-toe waxing
Types of products used: botanical and organic (many of which are also for sale)
When skin became a city: Native San Franciscan Brigitta Burr-Melendy opened the spa in 1995, just two short years after she entered the aesthetician trade.
How she counts two decades in business: with several hundred regulars that she and her talented team have won over the years
The staff’s favorite facial: Skin City’s Signature—90 minutes of relaxation that unfolds with a deep-pore cleanse, enzymatic steam, extractions, and custom mask
When to start preparing for a bikini wax: three days prior, using the housemade Bright Blends (sold exclusively at the spa) to prevent ingrown hairs
The finishing touch to your beach-ready look a UV- and scent-free airbrush tan
Within a private chamber in Nob Hill, the team and high-tech equipment at Costa Del Sol Tanning help clients gild and streamline their guises. UV beds, both lie-down and standup, coax out melanin stores with four levels of lamp strength, and clients shunning the sun can enlist a master technician to custom-mist their pelt with an Infinity Sun tanning spray. The airbrush system emits a fog of natural botanicals that resist streaking and discoloring, delivering a more natural-looking tan than even the freshest Crayola markers. Slim-it body wraps work to tighten, firm, and detoxify sagging skin with far-infrared heat and specialized creams.