The aestheticians at Salon Zeo bathe porous facial skin in reinvigorating, plant-based potions designed to restore suppleness. A skin-savvy staffer begins the one-hour rejuvenation session by massaging of the facial muscles and applying Aveda Green Science skin care products. The natural ingredients smooth out age-defining wrinkles by firming the skin and forging counterfeit birth certificates. A perfecting plant peel then lifts away skin ravaged by the unrelenting effects of the sun and the space-time continuum. This treatment is designed to provide instantaneous exfoliation without the irritation associated with a traditional glycolic peel or all-purpose pharmaceutical leeches.
Entrepreneur and frame designer David Ulrich has cleared the vision of Twin Cities citizens since 1969. Besides creating a wealth of exclusive eyeglasses frames, such as the sleek 8 Below Zero collection and the retro-inspired Studebaker line, Ulrich opened Spectacle Shoppe to serve customers’ optic needs. There, teams of certified opticians accurately assess prescriptions and fashion single-vision, progressive, or bifocal lenses in the in-house lab. Clients confer with the staff to design custom frames or choose from the shop's thousands of one-of-a-kind frames, vintage cat's-eye styles, and double monocles.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend human rights" and "Protect our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to a UK-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.
Seasoned sinew kneader Shelly Connors of Sweet Serenity Massage deploys an arsenal of Swedish massage techniques, tailoring treatment to meet the specific needs of her clients. A thorough, stress-melting manipulation of the corpus commences in 60- or 90-minute Swedish massages, during which Connors uses Scandinavian methods—such as long, fluid strokes and a heavy reliance on umlauts—to relieve aches and induce relaxation. Aromatic oils curtail friction while hydrating the skin and further soothing the senses with their calming scents. Bodies receive these attentions in a tranquil space accented by diaphanous curtains, Ionic columns, and a soothing soundtrack of klezmer punk hits.
While adept at many modalities, prenatal massage is Cody Schniepp’s main area of interest. The licensed massage therapist enjoys helping pregnant women adjust to life changes, be it the pains of child bearing or child rearing. He also performs infant massage, a method he teaches to help strengthen the parent-child bond.
Based on the idea that the most effective workout is one that is completely customized, Koko FitClub’s patented Smartraining sessions gather data about each client’s fitness level and use it to individually tailor workouts. The Smartraining software relies on two things to personalize a workout: a personalized electronic data key for each member and smart machines capable of reading the information on that key.
The key remembers all the workouts its owner has ever done, and it recommends exercises based on the level of fitness it has observed. The machines read those recommendations and literally coach people through strength and cardio exercises, using video screens to describe proper form and set the pace. The resulting computer-created regimen continues to adapt as clients get fitter or spontaneously sprout extra limbs. The program makes it easy for beginners to start a new fitness program without feeling overwhelmed, so they can transform their bodies free from the anxieties of standard exercise routines. Koko FitClub even offers complimentary sessions to let potential members become acquainted with the futuristic fitness technology.
Koko also personalizes nutrition, giving each member a custom Koko Fuel meal plan that details the exact quantity and type of foods needed to fuel their body. The plans teach people what to eat to burn fat, build lean muscle, or boost metabolism.
Island Therapeutic Massage's founder and owner, Victoria, believes that massage can be part of a daily or weekly de-stressing regimen, rather than just a once-in-a-while indulgence. At her massage center's two locations, she and her team work to stimulate circulation, fend off disease, and bring balance to their clients' bodies with an array of soothing modalities.
Among the most popular of these modalities, Swedish and deep-tissue massages uncoil sinews and reduce stress with varying levels of pressure. Therapeutic massage, trigger-point therapy, and sports massage focus more on specific ailments, targeting headaches and chronic pain from injuries on the field or in the workplace. Another specialty modality, pregnancy massage, helps expectant mothers and babies cope with the stress of hormonal changes and rigid nine-month deadlines. To ramp up your relaxation, request body scrubs and aromatherapy with nonscented or Young Living essential oils.