At Natural Nail Care Salon, manicures are both a soothing indulgence and a step toward healthier hands. The technicians conduct mani-pedi services for natural nails exclusively, grooming and buffing them with Swedish Mavala products that enhance nails' flexibility and strength. Just as the techs avoid artificial nails, their products eschew synthetics: Mavala formulas contain no harsh chemicals, and the salon's Essie and Zoya polishes are formaldehyde-free. Clients sit at a sprawling nail bar that seats up to nine for hand treatments, then retire to pedicure chairs, where stainless-steel foot tubs ensure clean soaks. The attention of the seasoned staff often ensures that polish stays bright for weeks on end, instead of flaking when anxious friends ask to borrow nails for biting.
Nails may be the salon's focus, but each technician also boasts an additional specialty. Salon owner Jessica Stannard channels her hairstyling background with cut, color, and texturizing treatments, and licensed aesthetician Amanda Ancell nourishes complexions. Amanda's facials and chemical peels use personalized combinations of products based on the client's skin type and conditions, and each treatment includes a massage to relieve muscular tension around the cheekbones. The spa menu also includes waxing, eyelash extensions, and permanent-makeup applications.
The Eastern art of brow threading has become wildly popular in the United States, a trend aesthetician Almas Karowalia astutely followed, enabling her to open 15 locations of Perfect Brow Bar across the Midwest, Texas, and Louisiana. At each outpost, practitioners clean up uneven brows and hairlines with strands of twisted thread that can remove multiple rows of hair with a single pass. Her teams boast that they can complete brows in as little as 5 minutes and require only 10–15 minutes to thread an entire face. The expedient technique generally results in less pain and irritation than other hair-removal methods, though at Perfect Brow Bar patrons can also opt for traditional waxing services. In addition to hair removal, aestheticians dress up skin with makeup applications, lash extensions, and henna tattoos of tuxedos or ball gowns.
Ron Crider is a licensed massage therapist with practiced hands and a single focus. He conquers stress and tension at The Trove Salon, a hair studio specializing in chic and trendy styling. While his colleagues help The Trove's guests look good, Ron's task is to make them feel good, which he does through Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot stone massages.His Swedish massages use light pressure and long strokes to soothe stress and facilitate all-around relaxation, and deep-tissue massages target specific pains or points of tension. The hot stone massages combine elements of relaxation and deep-tissue massage, resulting in a soothing treatment that loosens the muscles enough to play the limbo against action figures.
If you walk into Blanc Studio planning to color your hair, you may just walk out with a brand new purse. After coloring 100 clients, the studio draws the name of one of those 100 clients and gifts them a Coach bag. This commitment to go above and beyond for a good experience becomes evident in other ways as well. A 52-inch television equipped with Netflix and a gaming system entertains kids as their parents relax in the stylists’ chair, and the studio’s master stylist approves each coiffure before clients depart or stay to use the Wii.
Founder Todd Beckman opened the first Tan Company location, then called The St. Louis Tan Company, in 1994 with a pair of average-size sun retreats. After perfecting a superstore concept with multiple levels of tanning beds and an intrepid-reporter alter ego, Beckman's bronzing business now spans 53 locations in 8 states, including 39 locations in the St. Louis area. Todd ensures each salon keeps the same high standards that won the 2010 award for Best Tanning in St. Louis from CityVoter.
A knowledgeable staff maintains each bright, highly sanitized environment and stocks shelves with Australian Gold, Swedish Beauty, and Designer Skin tanning products. The Tan Company also fashions UV-free tans with Mystic Tan standup booths that evenly spritz bodies with a paraben-free DHA solution infused with aloe vera.
Hannah Gonzales's workspace—Salon De Capello—is almost as posh as the flattering 'dos she creates there. The waiting area’s leather chairs and bearskin rug create a homey feel, though the salon’s corrugated-metal accents add an industrial-chic twist. Hannah cuts, colors, and highlights manes at a minimalistic styling station with a full-length mirror that doubles as a portal to a world where most people are left-handed. Here she also arranges tresses into delicate updos for weddings and proms.