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 that 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.
In Louisiana, all aestheticians endure at least 750 grueling hours of cosmetology schooling before they can obtain a license. Difficult scientific classes aren’t part of the required curriculum, but they were essential for Elite Skin Suite’s Lessie. After obtaining her cosmetology license back in 1978, the aesthetician became completely enamored with skin. So she headed to Tulane College and enrolled in classes such as genetics, mutation, and cellular biology, all in hopes of truly understanding the ins and outs of her favorite organ.
So far, her schooling has served Lessie well. For more than 30 years, she has helped clients of all ages maintain healthy skin with treatments tailored to their individual needs. Every service at Elite Skin Suite begins with a complimentary assessment, which gives Lessie the knowledge she needs to administer any one of a dozen or so of the facial treatments in her repertoire, including glycolic-acid peels, LED therapy, and detoxifying acne facials. And though most spas and licking puppies tend to focus on the face, Lessie focuses her aesthetic eye on the whole body with cellulite wraps, coconut-infused hydration treatments, and waxing.
Surrounded by the waterfall and tree displays of The Wellness Experience's tropically themed studio, guests begin to relax before they've even chosen a spa service. The calming decor buries stressful thoughts beneath soothing sounds and sensations?the holistic goal that guides each pampering option. From body wraps to hydrotherapy to deep-tissue massage, the treatments strive to release tension from both mind and body. The Wellness Experience staff believe that putting one's self at ease opens a window to better health, simultaneously shutting the door that admits ulcer fairies.
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Peppermint and pure sugar cane are on the menu, but they're not for eating. The peppermint fragrances a warm footbath, and the pure sugar cane acts as scrub for lips or tongues with no self-control. These indulgent ingredients appear in various services at Serenity Day Spa and Gifts, where guests can spend up to a full day relaxing and beautifying with spa packages that combine mani-pedis, facials, and massages. Body-contouring wraps detoxify while they tighten and tone skin, and specially designed facials address the common skincare concerns of men, women, and teens.
Treatments at Bodhisattva Tea Spa work to soothe away clients' stress from the inside out. Sauna sessions use infrared radiation to warm bodies from within, helping to banish toxins, chemicals, and heavy metals via relaxing sweat. Massage therapies evict deep-seated tension caused by hard labor, improper posture, and serving as an Atlas statue in public gardens. Alternatively, aesthetic services such as facials and waxing rejuvenate the outermost layers of the face and body. Patrons can complement any spa treatment with sips of warm, flavorful tea
Floor-to-ceiling windows bathe The Doll House Hair Salon in natural light, illuminating the team of stylists as they make over clients. Full-length mirrors reflect each step of the transformation as the beauty experts maneuver around cushy black salon chairs and snip strands into trendy, classic, or elegant 'dos. For extra attention, they employ Paul Mitchell products to color strands and administer deep-conditioning treatments that infuse hair with the strength of professional wrestler's ponytail.