Inside the Ayres Hotel and Spa in Mission Viejo, Athena Spa is a calming oasis with large and spacious cream-colored rooms. The full-service spa upgrades traditional spa treatments with deluxe add-ons. Facials, for example, intensify with the addition of freeze-dried seaweed compresses or the rejuvenating extracts of caviar and pearls. The contents of body wraps appear to be plucked from a five-star restaurant, with ingredients such as crème fraîche, papaya, pineapple-salt mousse, and pomegranate. In their signature massage, therapists don’t restrict customers to a single style of touch, but combine several modalities, including Swedish, shiatsu, deep tissue, and the grizzly-bear womp. In addition to these aesthetic treatments, an onsite yoga studio invites customers to relax from the inside out.
Timea Tokes’s built her 20-year career on the belief that what touches your skin matters. At Timea’s European Skin Care, she and aesthetician Andrea Kramer put that belief to practice by judiciously choosing the tools and products that power their facial and waxing services. For example, their signature facial revitalizes skin with ingredients from Éminence Organic Skin Care products, and the Repêchage facial adds moisture back into parched surfaces with multiple layers of European seaweed. The spa duo also dabbles in tech-savvy components, including the FSD microphototherapy’s light and heat energy and the Bio-Ultimate firming facial’s microcurrents and robot tears.
A trio of physicians?a dermatologist, an ophthalmic surgeon, and a plastic surgeon?keeps watch over both DermaBare offices, warding off signs of aging from wrinkles to cellulite. Registered nurses aim to obliterate unwanted hair at the root using one of three advanced laser hair-removal machines: the Lumenis LightSheer Duet, Candela GentleLase, and GentleLase Pro. Heated energy rays can also be pointed at faces to help encourage collagen production or send spider veins scattering off of legs and underneath the floorboards. DermaBare's other aesthetic treatments include dermal fillers, chemical peels, and plastic surgery treatments such as breast augmentation and rhinoplasty.
Certified cosmetic procedure and skincare specialist Natalia Ryndin has spent more than two decades refining her craft. Now at Ilana Botox and Beauty Boutiques, she halts facial aging with Botox and dermal filler injections, especially when she hosts Botox parties for bridal showers or birthdays, along with chemical peels, Ulthera, and CoolSculpting. To the same end, her friendly staff coats faces in peels from top brands such as Elta MD, Skin Medica, Obagi or Vivit?.
It’s at the midpoint of a session at Luscious Lashes that clients can most see the difference. One eye’s worth of lashes are strikingly longer and more voluminous with a full set of synthetic lashes bonded to each natural lash. Luscious Lashes’ fleet of licensed aestheticians and certified specialists painstakingly adheres the silky lashes, leaving clients looking freshly made-up without the use of mascara. The lashes shed when natural ones do, giving the extensions about a three-week lifespan before they take to the wind like a baby bird.
Robin Mikayla Brooks, owner of Victoria's Salon and Spa, has been in the hair-and-beauty biz for three decades and prides herself on beautifying clients. She and her team perform precision cuts and color services with nontoxic, ammonia-free product, in addition to European facials, waxing, nail services, and eyelash extensions. A blowout bar is also available.