As an aesthetician with more than 20 years of experience and a former chemist with Christian Dior, Helene Lawless knows a thing or two about skincare. The French native opened Be Smooth after growing tired of lengthy spa visits that left a dent in her own wallet. She decided to offer affordable treatments with products and equipment that she has found to be effective over her years as an aesthetician and spa-goer. As a result, she and her team nourish skin using the with organic plant extracts in the Pevonia Botanica line, natural Nuxe products, and Shea Terra Organics with fair-trade shea butters and argan oils. Lawless has also tracked down innovative aesthetic techniques such as VIP Complex's infrared and microcurrent treatments, IPL photofacials with light heat energy (LHE), and hair removal with the gel-based Depilar System.
Lawless prides herself not only on the budget-friendliness of her services, but also on the unintimidating “non-spa” ambience of her beauty haven. Guests relax at a white-on-white facial bar for a deep cleansing, and a boutique area offers European-style gifts such as fragrant Aquiesse soy candles and jewelry by Miravidi and Caracol. According to a 2011 article in the Oregonian, "even the music that can be heard from the front door is French." Just as charming is Lawless' French accent, which, like a lullaby sung by a lemur, is both soothing and exotic.
Jeanne knows firsthand the power of anti-aging treatments. Though the aesthetician admits to being of a certain age, she?s maintained a youthful appearance with the help of hydropeptides. After her first treatment, Jeanne thought, ?Oh my God?if it works for me at this age, it can work for anyone else.?
Beyond appreciating skincare's results, Jeanne understands how it works. She knows that keeping skin in top shape requires more than just a facial every once in a while. That?s why she couples all of her treatments with skincare tips, such as what ingredients to look for in skincare products, nutrition tips for healthy complexions, and which microdermabrasion crystals make for the prettiest earrings. ?I want them to be knowledgeable,? she says of her clients. ?I want them to have the power and know what?s going on.?
It’s 2008 and Tobie Theis is thinking about her next move. For 15 years she’s been sharpening her hair- and nail-styling skills while working in a number of different salons. But, she wants the autonomy to fulfill her potential and make her vision for a salon real. Together with her husband Joe, the two set off to finally achieve a mutual lifelong dream: owning their own salon.
Since that bold step, Tobie has overseen the blossoming of Eden's Apple Salon & Day Spa into a full-service beauty oasis that offers everything from haircuts and extensions to massages and tanning. Within three months, Tobie and Joe had completely renovated the interior of the salon, filling it out with arched thresholds, shelves full of salon products, and a wall-sized mural of a beautiful woman. In time, her team also grew, now including eight hairstylists, two aestheticians, a licensed massage therapist, a nail technician, and the woman in the mural—whose large eyes can spot any aesthetic imperfections.
Since 1977, Cascade Athletic Clubs have distinguished themselves from typical gyms with their vast array of amenities, which range from big-screen TVs to a seasonal waterpark. In their fitness studios, instructors boost students’ flexibility during Pilates workouts, lead seniors through age-appropriate workout techniques during Silver Sneakers classes, or teach students how to dance to fast-paced music during Zumba. The dedicated team of personal trainers, meanwhile, help athletes stay motivated on a one-on-one basis, and tailor their regimens to individual goals that range from weight loss to preparing for an upcoming marathon. For independent workouts, athletes can play pick up games on the gyms’ basketball, tennis, and racquetball courts or swim laps in the indoor salt-water pools. They can also bulk up with Life Fitness machines, free weights, and Stair Masters designed to build strong enough leg muscles to conquer even the most daunting out-of-order escalator.
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. Helpful assistants are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
At Oasis Tanning Salon, visitors deepen their complexions with both UV tanning and sunless spray tans. Before entering either lie-down or standup beds, patrons glaze their pelts with lotions from California Tan and Swedish Beauty that maximize the effect of the UV bulbs' emissions. Tanners can purchase UV tans a la carte or by the month, or they can invest in VIP memberships that reward them with deeply discounted rates for six-month, one-year, or 15-generation contracts. During five-minute airbrush-tanning sessions held in private rooms, certified technicians mist guests with a personalized hue harvested entirely from natural ingredients. Customers trapped in padlocked pants can elect to be airbrushed from the waist up or just on the face and neck, and tanners can augment their freshly misted bods with a cocktail tan, which supplements spray sessions with up to five minutes in a standup UV bed.