As the old saying goes, “If you want something done well, do it yourself.” That's exactly what TropiTANa owner Alex Friedrichsen did. After 20 years spent tanning at indoor facilities and lamenting the lack of a quality, high-end tanning spa in the Mt. Juliet area, Friedrichsen decided to build one himself, and in 2006, the doors of TropiTANa were officially opened.
Inside, lofty ceilings provide cool ventilation for 15 private rooms, each stocked with fresh towels and trimmed in sea-foam green and wood paneling. Fourteen beds comprise six levels of tanning perfect for establishing or building on a solid base tan, and a VersaSpa booth mists pelts with a carefully calibrated spray that eschews the orange glow typically caused by Velveeta-based formulas. Perhaps most importantly, the tanning spa is staffed by a team of Smart Tan–certified crew members, each of whom has been trained to advise clients on the best tanning choices for their skin type and needs, and to clean each room according to a checklist to ensure sanitary surroundings after each session.
A few wisps of smoke from an extinguished candle hang in the air, along with the lingering fragrance of aromatic oils and the soft strains of jazz or nature sounds. One of the licensed massage therapists at Mona Lisa's Massage & Wellness has completed another relaxing session, easing muscle tension and stress with modalities such as hot-stone therapy, pregnancy or sports massage, or reflexology. The center's practitioners operate in an intimate and tranquil four-room suite complete with a mani-pedi station. In the couples room, pairs enjoying a Yin + Yang massage nosh on chocolate-covered strawberries and discuss how to install electric handlebar warmers on a tandem bike.
The crew exfoliates skin with coconut-lime-scented scrubs and detoxifies bodies with wraps that include a session in the steam sauna. They also aim to clear complexions with 10 different anti-aging facial treatments and peels.
Sun Tan City’s trained tanning consultants help clients get bronzed via UV-free tanning booths and ergonomic tanning beds. Guests can schedule a single visit to touch up an existing tan, purchase a multivisit package to get a discounted rate, or become a member to take advantage of the salon’s 100% guarantee.
Silver Bee Photography's head shutterbug, Hillarry, believes the best way to capture a new mother's radiant glow, a young child's puckish grin, or a fleeing yeti's lustrous silver fur is with good, clean natural light. As such, she recommends choosing a sunny outdoor location rather than a condemned warehouse for your hour of cheese-saying (a $120 value). After snapping away a slew of natural, vitamin D–enriched shots of your happy family, Hillarry will upload 25 to 50 high-resolution images of the standouts onto a DVD (a $200 value). You'll also receive a full release to print so that you can print photos at home, on the Internet, or in the boss’s office you use as a darkroom during lunch.
The MVP haircut is reserved for guys who want the brawn of a chiseled cut with the extreme adrenaline rush of a pleasant pampering. Following careful instructions or expert intuition, stylists can clean up the edges without sacrificing any degree of edginess. A thorough shampoo and scalp massage ensures an itch-free walk off, while a neck and shoulder massage with steamed towel leaves cleaned-up batters with the zonal focus to connect on any upcoming office pitch.
At Salon Galleria, which is divided into private suites, there's no danger of stylists running into each other on their trips to the shelf. Brittney Byrum prizes the intimacy that her studio affords, saying that the salon "gives our guest the ‘homey’ feeling." With hardwood floors and carved cabinets, her suite has a slightly Victorian vibe, which acts as a counterbalance to the modern 'dos she produces.
Brittney's specialty is multidimensional color—she loves to transform the tints of her clients' hair with new all-over shades as well as carefully applied highlights. She has also mastered the ombre trend, which gradually shifts the hair's hue at the ends for a bold, two-toned look more chic than simply wearing a chessboard as a hat. Brittney uses Redken and Pureology products to help nourish strands as she works, and sometimes, she even sells decorative headbands to complement her styles. Whether she's administering a simple trim or a complex wedding updo, her goal remains the same: to ratchet up her clients’ confidence.