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, as in 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 that 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.
Having successfully airbrushed more than 7,000 customers, Lucky Bumble’s founder and master airbrush artist Chiara Serpa is an expert at imparting natural-looking golden hues. Her customized airbrush sessions leave clients with a full-body tan that lasts for up to 10 days.
Antique Balinese fountains, crimson wall hangings, and verdant plants enliven the luxurious confines of Pacific Tan, a go-to bronzing destination for 27 years. Boasting attentive customer service and the vibe of an exotic getaway, the tanning emporium ushers clients into its elegant space for traditional UV tans in state-of-the-art beds, including the Garden of Eden, which customizes a tan for each individual using an optical sensor, and the Shangri-La, a high-pressure bed that delivers a dark tan in minutes. Alternatively, natural-looking, flawless airbrush tans are administered by skilled and certified technicians using a safe, all-natural paraben-free solution.
When they first cut the ribbon on Milvali Salon & Cosmetics' namesake location in Mill Valley, beauty experts and best friends Jessika Adams de Vazquez and Deb Monti couldn't have guessed where their partnership would lead. In the nearly 10 years since, the dynamic duo has opened a second location in San Francisco and guided the salons through three expansions. The pair also filled both locations’ shelves with their own signature line of mineral- and botanical-based skincare products, which their experienced team of aestheticians incorporates into a variety of custom facials.
But skincare isn't the only thing that Milvali is renowned for. The salon was voted the best place to go for hair extensions on the 2012 Bay Area A-List and was a finalist in the Best Bikini Wax category. To earn this regard, the beauty gurus specialize in Brazilian bikini waxes, using imported wax from Italy that is delicate enough to use on sensitive skin or between the Mona Lisa’s eyebrows.
Alfons Skin Care tend to gnarled toes and smooth burly calluses using Footlogix products designed to maximize moisture. During the treatment, licensed aestheticians linger toes for up to seven minutes in a fragrant lavender soak in order to soften dead skin and ensure cleanliness. Tootsies dry before they bathe in a mist of callus softener gentle enough to be absorbed by the skin, and a a stainless steel medical grade file removes callus areas and the urge to stomp sand castles. Aestheticians then execute soothing leg-massage techniques, drenching the lower limbs in Footlogix Massage Formula. Follow a cobbled walkway up the vine-covered steps to the Tudor-style salon, where french doors open to a private chamber for pampering.
The pro pamperers at Endless Summer Salon LLC brighten faces with a seamless fusion of Old World beauty traditions and modern techniques during a one-hour European facial. Once knowledgeable beauty gurus choose suitable supplements from a trove of top-shelf skin elixirs, pores surrender their hoarded impurities to a firm but gentle exfoliating scrub. A coddling hydrating or refining mask blankets squeaky-clean cells with protective barriers against future dehydration, textural unevenness, and complexion-defiling grease from insurgent french fries before gentle massage strokes expel delinquent tension from the face, the scalp, and the shoulders.
Prepping for a big event usually requires multiple salon stops: one for the updo, another for the nails, and the last for a spray tan. Not so at Solar Flair, where stylists perform all these services and more. They bring about bronzy glows with a choice between 11 tanning beds or a UV-free Mystic spray-tan booth. The full-service salon also polishes exteriors with glycolic peels and waxing treatments. This one-stop beautification frees up time before big events for relaxing at home or making googly eyes at the mirror’s handsome new reflection.