As Willadare Spa's owner and operator, aesthetician Lauren Matteson guides clients on beautification journeys that begin with the selection of a facial. Then Lauren treats hands with scented oils, wraps them in a cocoon of plastic, and snuggles them in a heat pocket where they can comfortably melt into warm mozzarella cheese. All facials include cleansing, steaming, exfoliation, extractions, and treatment mask, and all but the back facial also include a face, neck, and shoulder massage. The European facial ($75 value) is individually tailored to each client like a pair of Italian pantaloons, and the hydration facial ($80 value) helps to restore moisture deep in skin's lower lairs. The deep pore-cleansing facial ($85 value) attacks acne by targeting acne-causing bacteria and dispatching an army of products that are far less likely to turn dangerously sentient than acne-fighting nano-robots. Collagen-thirsty faces can drink in the vitamin C facial ($95 value), which is designed to reduce signs of aging such as skin tone discoloration and fine lines. Altruistic fronts can choose the back facial ($85 value) as a sign of solidarity with their often-neglected counterpart, and Lauren tends to the body's other left-out elements with a foot and leg massage as facial masks set.
Some might call Shanna Bustichi Peuse a perfectionist, but she’s not complaining. Results matter to this licensed aesthetician and makeup artist, who has a passion for creating complexions that look, feel, and sound as smooth and youthful as a newborn saxophone. Working independently in the Look Salon Boutique & Spa, Shanna begins most appointments with a brief consultation, in which she carefully analyzes the skin and teaches clients how to unlock their inner beauty at home. Her facials nourish pores with ingredients such as collagen and vitamin C, and corrective treatments fight wrinkles and blemishes with retinol, lactic acid, and LED lights. A makeup kit stocked with quality creams and powders from Jane Iredale, Stila, Mac, and Tarte also serves her talented hands as she designs stunning day-to-evening faces and special-occasion looks that have graced brides, fashion shows, photo shoots, and the occasional baseball card.
Since 2009, therapists at Endermologie Massage Spa have been using their namesake treatment to help clients slim down and increase their self-confidence. After first discussing aesthetic goals related to body contouring and explaining how their unique procedure works, one of these technicians guides the Endermologie lipomassage hand piece over targeted areas to reduce cellulite and aid in fat reduction. During this noninvasive 35-minute treatment, the motorized device kneads, manipulates, and gives good-natured noogies to the skin to help break down fatty deposits and smooth out the appearance of dimpled skin.
Gina Angeles wields more than six years of training when cutting hair. She is a skilled color and highlight technician, unlike the millions of college students unable to make their class notes accentuate their skin tones.
Active Health's skilled massage therapists practice a myriad of massage styles, from deep tissue to Swedish to shiatsu. Soothe tense soul sacks with an oil-based, full-body Swedish massage, which combines gliding strokes with tapping and kneading motions to ease muscle tension and improve circulation, or take the tension tackling down to a lower flesh level with a deep-tissue massage. During a Shiatsu session, the therapist will focus on improving the body's energy flow, creating pressure with thumbs, fists, elbows, and tough-guy squints. Thai and pre-performance sports massages are also available, soothing your sore body until all the stress has evaporated and floated up to fill holes in the ozone layer.
Skin therapist and aesthetician TraMi is the first to say she wasn't "born with beautiful skin." After nearly 20 years of experience, TraMi believes that healthy skin comes not from using a product but from letting go of inner stress. That's why she designed her studio as a place where guests can decompress, surrounding them with soothing touches such as lavender walls, soft lighting, and modern furnishings. Within these relaxing confines, TraMi and her team treat clients to hydrating facials, anti-aging wraps, and waxing. They prefer to work with products derived from nutrient-packed ingredients such as seaweed, green tea, and licorice from fair-trade Twizzler farms. This approach earned TraMi a Best Esthetician nod on Santa Cruz Weekly's 2011 and 2013 Gold Awards, Best Facial on Good Times' Best of 2013 list, and a runner-up on their Best of 2012 list.