The beauty team at Villager Salon and Spa pampers and primps clients in a combined spa and salon setting. On the salon side of the facility, a small band of experienced hair stylists with years of experience bestows hair sculptures with a parade of high-end hair and beauty products by Paul Mitchell, Coppola, and Kenra. Villager's equally tight-knit spa technicians carry out their own collection of services, each with a diverse skill set that encompasses trigger-point massage techniques, waxing, and the use of hot stones for massages and extreme juggling.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, such as the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
Somewhere in a desert cavern in Arizona, mineral-rich ionite clay is being harvested from the ground in smooth, silky batches. It's destined for exclusive Pavay services and take-home Pavay organic exfoliating cleansers and essential-oil-imbued cleansing bars, sold exclusively at Salon Avé dayspa • medspa. The day spa's aestheticians use the spa’s signature line of all-natural, organic skincare products during custom facials, body wraps, and relaxing mani-pedis. According to a 2009 Press Publications article, the Pavay product owners and formulators earn enthusiastic high-fives from Mother Nature by producing the line locally using recyclable and partially biodegradable packaging materials.
But skincare isn't the only thing the Salon Avé dayspa • medspa team does well, as evidenced by their 2013 Talk of the Town News Customer Satisfaction Award. They also design new hairdos and loosen muscles with hot-stone massages, and relieve lines and wrinkles with full line of injectables. To enhance beauty from the inside out, they offer body-slimming Zerona treatments. One client’s Zerona success story was even featured on Twin Cities Live and in her mom’s Christmas letter that year.
Author and Juut SalonSpa owner David Wagner channels a childhood spent watching nature’s beauty into his Aveda salon’s eight locations. The studio stylists and other staff members, many of whom benefit from the company’s extensive training program, perform services beneath shelves laden with Aveda products. The botanically sourced elixirs repair and sculpt hair naturally without subjecting it to other products’ unpleasant chemicals or a robot hairdresser’s endless questions about love.
The professionals at Captive Tan caramelize customers' canvases with 14 UV-tanning beds and introductory tanning packages, which include one Ultra, Elite, Super, and Premium tanning session. Ultra tanning hammocks, fraught with high-pressure bulbs that, like ripened sunflowers, emit 99.9% UVA rays, illuminate hides with an even bronze glow. Alternatively, the Elite light bunks emit undulating rays with high-pressure facial bulbs and medium-pressure body bulbs. A Super bed packs miniature suns along the sides of its upright shell to accommodate vertical sleepers, and a Premium tanning bed uses classic, low-pressure bulbs to nudge skin into a more seasonal shade of brown.
A massage can already be a vulnerable experience, so the question of how much pressure for the therapist to apply can be tough to answer, especially given that everyone experiences pressure differently. Fortunately, there are basically three possible responses—light, medium, or firm—and considering the following factors may help you decide:
Pain Tolerance: If you find yourself extremely sensitive to touch, request light pressure. Likewise, people who can tolerate rigorous—possibly even uncomfortable—pressure should choose firm to get the most out of the muscle manipulation. Always trust your body; if firm pressure feels too intense, ask the therapist to ease up.
Why Are You Here?: If your top priority is relaxation, then light or medium pressure is for you. If you want to work out knots, relieve concentrated tension, or pop the balloon animal you swallowed, then firm pressure may be required. If you're looking for a mix of outcomes, explain them in detail, pointing out specific areas and desired results. For instance, you might say, "I want to loosen my back muscles but break up knots in my shoulders," each of which requires a different amount of pressure.
Don't Sweat It: Massage therapy is designed to improve the body's overall function, whether by promoting relaxation or relieving aches and pains. So even if you choose a pressure level at the start of a massage, you're not locked into it—you can request lighter or firmer pressure at any point during treatment. A good massage therapist appreciates and responds to feedback, which helps them develop a personalized session that feels good and fulfills your expectations.