Raw honey, cucumber, and vitamin C might sound like the ingredients of a refreshing summer cocktail, and at Namaste Day Spa, that cocktail will be splashed on your face. These are just some of the ingredients of the desert facial, a treatment that aims to hydrate skin and combat sun damage. Other services have similarly delicious elements, such as the Ultimate Manicure with a cream massage, or the Ultimate Namaste Pedicure with a peppermint foot mask, which can soften soles more effectively than a pair of sandpaper sandals.
Despite all the edible ingredients, the spa hardly resembles a restaurant. Filled with decorative plants and bright white walls, it's more likely to bring to mind a tranquil beach oasis. Here, every pedicure takes place on a private couch heaped with colorful pillows. In other rooms, aestheticians customize procedures to different skin types and wax away unwanted body hair as massage therapists unknot muscles with a combination of Swedish kneads, guided stretching, reflexology, and aromatherapy. Throughout every service, the calming environment and decor conspire to put guests fully at ease.
Rene and Natalie of Solstice Studio execute cuts, color services, and keratin treatments using professional-quality haircare products. To imbue dos with rich hues, they use Ian Zachary color, and to de-frizz tresses and leave them shiny and strong, they apply La Brasiliana keratin treatments. They also use the plant-extract-infused products of Smart Solutions by Dennis Bernard to protect hair and infuse it with antioxidants.
The deft hands of Debra Florio, the owner of Contour Body Works and a licensed massage therapist in her own right, alternate between firm pressures and gentle strokes as they sweep over backs in relaxing massage sessions. Debra and her team of therapists rely on a mix of Eastern and Western techniques—from the gentle, full-body strokes of Swedish massage to the shiatsu acupressure and sliding bamboo shoots of bamboossage—to drive away tension accumulated while hanging from cliffs or betting whether strangers are left-handed.
Contour Body Works’ relaxing spa services don’t end with massage. The center’s licensed facial specialists cleanse pores of dirt and oil during European facials that include steaming, extractions, and a mask tailored to each client’s skin type. Dead Sea salt exfoliates skin during salt-glow sessions, and alternative treatments such as mud wraps and infrared-sauna sessions penetrate the skin’s superficial layers to expel toxins and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Similarly innovative treatments include magnetic therapy, which draws on the science of polarity to balance the body’s vibrations and realign the needles on wonky internal compasses.
From within Queens' Club Fitness, Infinity Spa Salon strikes an effective balance between natural skincare and advanced aesthetic treatments. Located a short distance from New York City, aestheticians clear and brighten complexions with seven types of facials infused with vitamin C and hydroquinone-free lightening ingredients, and they also use the exfoliating powers of mechanical microdermabrasion. Unwanted hairs can be effortlessly removed using an all-natural, beeswax-infused formula from GiGi or the advanced technology of an Alma Soprano XL laser, which permanently removes hair from any skin type including ghosts' see-through complexions. In massage treatment rooms, therapists rely on 10 different modalities, including the ancient techniques of Thai massage and shiatsu, to release tight muscles and improve circulation.
Infinity's focus on harmony is also apparent in the salon and spa's interior design, which melds contemporary decor with natural earth elements, such as bamboo plants and warm brown walls.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Combining botanicals and Obagi skincare products with state-of-the-art medical tools, the staff at Natalie's Skin Solutions help clients achieve glowing, blemish-free skin for all skin types. They pare down body hair and firm sagging textures with virtually pain-free Alma Soprano XL laser technology that's good for all skin types. A slate of facials⎯featuring nourishing doses of chocolate, green-tea enzymes, and antioxidants⎯chisels years off of clients' complexions, and microdermabrasions bring radiant skin to the fore of the face by sloughing away dead cells. Rounding out the service menu, Jessner peels, body wraps, and eyebrow and lash tinting further rekindle beauty and instill the confidence needed to practice trombone in a library. The staff also impart at-home plans to help clients sustain the results of their treatments long after they've left the studio.