Roca Salon & Spa’s roots draw upon more than 35 years of styling history, adventure, and love. It began with Vidal Sassoon–trained hairstylist Rod Cavner running a small Main Street salon named Blondie’s, where he was joined by his soon-to-be wife, and fellow Vidal Sassoon–trained hairstylist, Rhonda. After marrying and moving to Hawaii for four years, the duo returned with innovative new services, design concepts, and island-themed nicknames for friends. The result was Rhonda's three-year makeover of the space, which now includes eco-friendly, energy-efficient lighting and appliances as well as eye-catching decor.
The couple's time spent island hopping is evident in the pedicure room, where bamboo reaches up toward a sparkling chandelier that shines upon backlit purple-and-pink glass basins, in which toes bask in hot stones and Hawaiian mud. Stacey Soble of Salon Today interviewed Rhonda when the salon was named the third runner-up in the magazine's Salon of the Year design competition. Cavner said, "The bonus wow factor is the entire styling area floor has embedded phosphorescent chips which cause the floor to glow in the dark when the lights suddenly go off!”
But the decor isn't the only thing that earned the company recognition as one of KC Magazine’s best Kansas City salons in 2012. The talented team includes hair colorists who have trained in London, Paris, and Beverly Hills, as well as skilled aestheticians, massage therapists, and nail technicians. The color experts work their magic in an elegant, modern area with see-through chairs, potted white orchids, and long strings of crystal beads that divide the space and give visiting Spider-Men an easy way to reach the ceiling.
At Glow Salon Spa, every aesthetician, hairstylist, and nail technician has an additional specialty: customer service. Manager Sandy Suter explains in her Patch video feature that all members of her small team undergo coaching to ensure that they emanate approachable warmth. Whether pampering hands with a sweet-almond and salt treatment or customizing a Redken conditioning regimen, they balance their expertise with intuition for the guest's aesthetic. Their tag line, "Define yourself," speaks to this personalized approach as well as a desire to exponentially increase the size of Webster's Dictionary.
The cosmetic team radiates a playful attitude as it adds fresh flair to primping rituals. Manicures and pedicures often conclude with nail art, which decorates digits in designs from swimming fish to polka dots, whereas hairstylists delight in adhering feather extensions and applying bold colors. Yet apart from aesthetics, the spa focuses on health—both for individuals and the community. Massage therapists unknot tense muscles and ease aches with Swedish and prenatal modalities, and hairstylists participate in community-bolstering programs, such as Locks of Love and cut-a-thons to benefit St. Louis Children's Hospital.
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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 The Planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while ultimately expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in over 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 and social consciousness 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 an EU-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 brand’s iconic body butters, facial products, and gift collections often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, Lucky, Seventeen and other national publications.
Claiming adherence to FDA?approved medications and using disposable equipment, Dr. Raveill and Dr. Caresio free patients from the blight of varicose and spider veins. Beginning with a free screening consultation, the doctors perform diagnostics to identify the optimal ultrasound-guided, minimally invasive treatment, which may include injections, laser-fiber therapy, or microextraction. By favoring nonsurgical procedures, The Vein Doctor's vascular vanguards cosmetically enhance epidermises, relieve vein pressure, and untie blood vessels bound in bows with minimal risk of scarring or bleeding.
When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Laser Center. There, a team of seven board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other clients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
Laser Lipo & Vein Center's vein specialist and phlebologist, the board-certified Dr. Thomas Wright, has marked nearly every step of his career with an award. As a student at the University of Missouri's School of Medicine, his leadership and academic performance in the top quarter of his class got him elected to the venerable Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. After graduation, his voracious appetite for knowledge earned him a Physician Recognition Award from the American Medical Association, which recognizes doctors who average at least 50 credits of educational activities and swallow one textbook like a vitamin each year. Dr. Wright has also studied tumescent liposuction under the tutelage of its inventor, Dr. Jeffrey Klein. He also contributes original research to the American College of Phlebology, teaches classes at the American Society of Nonsurgical Aesthetics, and invests heavily in his patients. Impressed by his compassion and decade of expertise with cosmetic procedures, they honored him with Patients' Choice Awards in 2010 and 2011.
The center reflects his primary interests in vein disease and liposuction that only requires local anesthesia. Vein therapies are determined by an ultrasound evaluation, which could lead to a noninvasive treatment that heals with radio waves and the sterile affection of a grandmother robot. Lasers round out the practice's aesthetic side, as they can assist in liposuction and provide a gentle alternative to cosmetic injections. In addition to routing hair from the skin's surface, they penetrate below it to rejuvenate aging skin and zap veins.