CEO John Chang established the first Dashing Diva in 2003. His concept was quick, affordable mani-pedis performed in a highly sanitized environment by expert nail technicians. Now with 30 locations across the United States, Japan, and China, the Dashing Diva has gained accolades in a number of media outlets including Allure, InStyle, and the New York Post.
Three levels of nail technicians (junior, senior, and master) beautify hands and feet with high-quality lotions and scrubs, Dashing Diva’s own brand of nail polishes, and their own Virtual Nails, which are nail coverings that looks like real polish. All technicians have very high sanitation standards and kick bacteria to the curb by cleaning tools with effective autoclave machines, washing ceramic pedicure sinks with a hospital-grade disinfectant, and providing clients with personal manicure kits that include a nail file and re-sealable bag.
Eyelash Parlor Lavilash’s owner, Kiki, found inspiration for the business in her own beauty routine, which she squeezed in between triathlons and martial-arts classes. That was in 2005, and Kiki had already accrued more than six years of experience performing eyelash perms and teaching the technique throughout southeast Asia. Her business plan quickly came into focus. She opened a studio devoted to infusing eyelashes with a curl that lasts four–six weeks through weather and hard wear, dispatching with the need for daily mascara application and damaging mechanical curling or extensions.
The procedure is surprisingly similar to a salon visit. After the mild perm cream coats eyelashes, a silicone roller—chosen from a collection of 42 options—shapes the eyelashes into arcs ranging from demure to diva, and a complimentary collagen treatment conditions each tendril to a high gloss. Kiki works with a team of technicians to safely create new looks and correct unsuccessful perms perpetrated by other salons. She also teaches the method to professional aestheticians and lay folk hoping to streamline their own makeup routine.
The founder of Shen Tao Studio, William Hedberg, named his business after a Chinese phrase evoking the wisdom acquired from studying the mind and body. His own studies began with an investigation of dance, gymnastics, athletics, and martial arts. William integrated his findings into a series of movement classes and a line of custom-built training equipment designed to leave you with “the simple experience of your own body." The studio's classes, workshops, and rehabilitation therapies lean on these minimalistic, modular structures to strengthen the mind-body connection in a playful style.
Shen Tao Studio holds its group and personal training sessions in a spacious studio with picture windows and hardwood floors unhindered by columns or cardboard cutouts of Star Wars bounty hunters. The space’s 14-foot ceilings amplify crystal-clear sonics projected by a Bose audio system.
Soluna Holistic Spa's owner Susu features an array of soothing services conducted using only chemical-free and certified-organic products. The welcoming staff strives to leave a small carbon footprint as they tiptoe toward guests with a cup of herbal tea or fruit-infused water, setting a relaxing mood with the scents of jasmine and myrrh and soft lighting. In addition to relaxing Swedish and detoxifying aromatherapy lymphatic techniques, licensed massage therapists perform a variety of signature bodywork treatments.
In keeping with the spa's green philosophy, Susu revitalizes skin with the fruit- and herb-filled Éminence Organic Skin Care line during facials and peels. Patrons can absorb the spa's natural surroundings from the gazebo that looks out to a tranquil garden behind the spa—an ideal spot to perfect bird calls.
From Cameron Diaz to Drew Barrymore, Stella Akilova is sought after for her waxing prowess. When she decided to leave her post at the posh Bliss Spa in favor of opening her own establishment, her clients flocked to her new digs at TQ Spa by the dozens. There, Akilova splurges on top-of-the-line products such as lavender-infused wax and plant-based Decléor skincare serums. She pairs them with seaweed extracts and anti-inflammatory agents in a retinue of facials that brighten the skin and evict blemishes. TQ also has a talented staff of massage therapists that soothes clients' bodies with Swedish and deep-tissue massages and brings about a whole-body glow with scrubs and self-tanning milks. Rounding out Akilova's luxurious menu is a buffet of mani-pedi treatments that incorporates hot stones and reflexology to reward fingers and toes for their nightly puppet performances.
When you think of a spa, it’s likely that you think of a tranquil refuge women escape to for hours of pampering. Why Not Men’s Spa is on a mission to towel whip that stereotype into submission with an indulgent spa menu for nature’s Y-chromosome carriers.
The men’s spa’s staff still hopes to pamper its clients just as much as a traditional spa, though. Body treatment rooms envelop clients in a warm hug as soothing music gently plays in the background and candlelight softly lights a cozy padded table. Here, a skilled aesthetician performs Alpha-Vital skin-resurfacing treatments or paints faces in 24-karat gold to improve skin’s luminosity. During massages, therapists draw on firm tui na pressure and reflexology techniques to ease chronic pain. Specialty ear-candling treatments are also available, as are waxing treatments and mani-pedis.
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