The circumstances that led Johnny Ray to open Private Practice Carino Massage are peculiar, to say the least. It began when an airplane crashed into Johnny's Hollywood apartment building in 2003. It got worse when he suffered a three-story fall as a result of that crash. It got better, physically, when Johnny sustained emergency surgery and took time off from his job as a certified massage therapist to recover. And it got better, spiritually, when he used that time off to visit a healer in his family's home country of El Salvador. The healer's Mayan and Pipil techniques restored Johnny's sense of holistic alignment and gave him a new perspective on the role that bodywork treatments could play in helping clients find relief from pain.
With over 26 years of experience, the one-on-one private treatments at Carino Massage combine these ancient Mesoamerican techniques with modern modalities, including Swedish, reflexology, and shiatsu methods. In addition to using his palms, knuckles, and fingers to soothe tense musculature with the help of water-based, hypoallergenic lotions, Johnny Ray also leads clients through a series of integrated breathing exercises that promote a state of calm, introspective focus. These treatments share the common goal of alleviating stress, although Johnny Ray takes care to modify each session so that he is better able to address each client's particular needs.
For mother-and-daughter team Pamela and Teal, beauty is a family tradition. Pamela—an aesthetician, shiatsu therapist, and makeup artist—has taught skincare seminars around the world, mentoring many successful makeup artists and working with celebs such as Eric Roberts, Beau Bridges, and Stacy Keach. Teal—an on-location makeup artist influenced by both her mother's experience and her uncle's work for film and TV—has freshened many famous faces herself in her more-than-10-year career. Working on numerous films, music videos, and fashion shows, she found herself enhancing the features of Shannon Elizabeth, Salma Hayek, and Christina Ricci, among others, and her work has been featured in the print work of famous photographers such as Michel Comte and Jamais Vu.
Together with a team of licensed aestheticians, mom and daughter embrace an approach that blends natural and organic products with cutting-edge services, including LED light therapy, microdermabrasion, and Intraceuticals oxygen-infusion treatments. The spa's own eco-friendly brand of organic skincare products includes apothecary-style blended masks, firming gels, and moisturizers worthy of nourishing celebrity visages or their wax-based likenesses. And, to nourish the environment, all products are packaged in recycled plastic containers featuring labels printed with soy ink.
“Marylle Koken is fantastic at performing major transformations with ease," says InStyle magazine. "Koken is one of the nation’s top performing media artists in hair making today," raves SalonCity. While most salon owners would revel in a single glowing review, The Harlot Salon’s owner, Marylle Koken, has had them rolling in since her career began at the tender age of 19. After growing up in Holland and training in France, she traveled to the United States to embark upon a storied career. Now, thanks to her reputation for spellbinding styles, she counts The Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Juliette Binoche, Claudia Schiffer, and Jack Nicholson as clients at her Parisian-themed salon.
Complimentary cookies, champagne, and cappuccino welcome guests into The Harlot, where they kick back in soft, leather chairs as they await treatments with Marylle or one of the salon’s other star stylists. Not to be outdone by their lauded leader, the staff also flaunts impressive resumés that include styling for LA Fashion Week and fitting the Hollywood sign for its new wig. With the help of Sebastian Professional and Moroccanoil products, they perform a traditional list of hair services with untraditional flair.
Guests arriving to The Raven Spa may find themselves feeling like they've traveled a thousand miles away from their everyday cares. The aesthetic is both spiritual and indulgent, with stone statues that stand sentinel beside a plush purple couch and lush, sun-drenched drapes and glistening chandeliers holding court over an eastern-inspired communal massage chamber. A colorful patio overflowing with exotic flowers welcomes visitors to sit and soak in sunlight streaming between red and white umbrellas, creating a peaceful oasis for quiet reading or self-reflection. "Whoever comes here feels like it's their own," a front desk manager told LX TV's 1st Look, "Our whole goal is to take you away from whatever's out there."
The spa's international decor also mirrors its diverse menu of services, which includes acupuncture, facials, and hammam––a traditional Turkish soak that corrals plant extracts and herbs to nourish and detoxify the body. Therapists work out imbedded muscle kinks through seven varieties of massage including traditional Thai massage, which combines rhythmic kneads with yoga-like stretches and Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, which often sees practitioners using their elbows to nudge tension until it gets the hint and leaves.
Most gyms don't limit their membership enrollment, which is why Meridian's Bodies in Motion does. By managing their member count, the workout areas are less crowded and visitors can step right up to machines without wasting precious calorie-burning minutes waiting in line. The staff can focus on keeping the facility clean and getting acquainted with clients, adding personal touches such as greeting members by name every time they enter and swipe their membership card, which means "hello" in several languages.
At each facility, a team of certified fitness instructors encourages exercise efforts during an array of group classes, including Zumba, spin, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and cross-training. The certified personal trainers devise customized workout routines and monitor exercisers' forms as they carve muscles lifting free weights and slim down on cardio and strength-training equipment from Icarian, Hammer Strength, Precor, and FreeMotion. Special features—such as racquetball courts, swimming pools, saunas, indoor basketball courts, boxing rings, childcare, and cuddly kitten pits—vary depending on location.
Old, tired, and done: these words are banished from Martha Weinstein's vocabulary. The energetic 87-year-old's career, which includes hosting makeover shows in Buenos Aires, recording a fitness album in the 1950s, and penning skincare encyclopedias in the 1970s, adds evidence to the adage that you are as young as you feel. She brings this belief to Body Allure Day Spa, an intimate beauty haven.
Here, Weinstein and her skilled staffers—who nicknamed her "The Oracle of Brentwood"—employ anti-aging facials and signature skincare services, detoxifying body treatments, and soothing lullabies to foster youthful complexions. But the real rejuvenating secret on the menu is the facial toning treatment, which Weinstein invented herself. This painless, 30-minute service utilizes nanocurrent technology, which works to stimulate cellular activity while strengthening facial muscles and firming sagging skin. Weinstein also created the Stay Young System, which allows her clients to perform the treatment in the privacy of their own homes or carpool lanes.