Zena's Spa and Salon is only a hop, skip, and a jump from the University of Baltimore, where it's been a fixture of historic Mount Vernon for more than two decades. Restoration initiatives have kept the neighborhood youthful, which is fitting, since Zena's is best known for its age-defying beauty treatments. In the elegant salon area, stylists transform tresses with cut and color services, while in the spa area, aestheticians deftly rehab skin with exfoliating facials and full-body scrubs. Guests may also retreat to a private treatment room for a relaxing Swedish massage or hot stone therapy, which improves circulation and provides ammo for throwing at glass houses.
Aestheticians Melissa Jacobson and Stephanie Casey employ only organic ingredients within their candlelit beauty studio. Jacobson and Casey, a certified aromatherapist, believe in treating the whole body and all of its manifestations in alternate universes. They excel at cultivating a sense of total peace, whether they're performing facials, body wraps, deep-tissue massages, airbrush tanning, and showcasing their custom blended product lab.
While working at other peoples' salons, Shelly Spann yearned for something of her own. "I wanted to get my name out there," she says. One day, while watching reality TV, Shelly was struck by an idea. All of the shows were "centered around women and hanging out together, so I thought, 'Oh my God, how awesome would it be if we did that?'" Shelly masterminded a business that beautifies brows on location at get-togethers as partygoers sip champagne and wine. "It takes a little bit of the edge off of waxing," she says with a laugh.
Now Shelly divides her hours between mobile services and time at her full-body-waxing headquarters. She uses Nufree Nudesse, a sugar-free wax alternative that removes hair with less pain, irritation, and grumbling from cranky candles. Clients can also request numbing creams to keep procedures even less uncomfortable.
Waxing and brow sculpting aren’t Shelly’s only specialties, though. The fully licensed aesthetician also beautifies her clients’ complexions with a selection of exfoliating and hydrating facials. Her treatments range from mini and teen versions of her signature facial to custom European facials that take their cues from individual skin types.
Shelley, the owner behind Salon Styles by Shelley at Dolce' Hair Salon, works to emphasize her clients' most flattering features with haircuts of all lengths and vibrant color. To do this, she balances technical pedigree with a personalized approach, drawing from the men and women who sit in her styling chair—their features, goals, amount of poisonous snakes guarding their locks—and her training with J Beverly Hills and Kevin.Murphy. As the proud owner of curly hair, Shelley also prides herself on working with spiral strands, teaching women to wear their ringlets in fun styles instead of just using them as backup wine corkscrews.
Modern technology and holistic mindsets are equally valued by Nora Holloway. After personally struggling with the blemishes and outbreaks caused by acne, Nora decided to learn as much as she could about skincare and skin maintenance. She eventually decided to put this knowledge to work by becoming a licensed aesthetician and founding Holistic Solutions. Instead of allowing her expertise to rely on experience and past education alone, Nora routinely seeks out training with the latest advancements in the skincare industry. This willingness to embrace new techniques and new technologies allows Nora to better accomplish her goal of offering customized treatments tailored to each client.
Advanced technology figures prominently into many of the services at Holistic Solutions. Ultrasonic microdermabrasion systems smooth out the skin's texture, and pulses of light and heat energy can help fade hyperpigmented blemishes ranging from sun spots to especially stubborn temporary tattoos. Even when performing more traditional facials, waxing services, and chemical peels, the team still customizes every facet of the treatment in order to ensure the most dramatic results possible.