Within the mint-green embrace of a sun-soaked waiting area, clients await their pampering in plush leather chairs while a flat-screen TV broadcasts soothing images. Vivid Skin Rejuvenation?s owner Nataly Dimitrova draws on her 17 years of experience to guide her aesthetic team and administer facials, exfoliating scrubs, detoxifying wraps, and gentle massages. For added convenience, ample parking eliminates long walks and tuck-and-roll exits.
The Haven Spa's aestheticians pamper men, women, and teens with custom skin treatments. Patrons can relax and sip tea in harmony with new acquaintances. In the evenings, aestheticians transform the spa into a festive refuge for groups of friends with spa parties.
Angela's Nail & Spa's eponymous owner greets every salon guest with a smile, manning the finger-revamping fort as staff technicians transform nails into 10-piece hand and foot accessories. Both levels of mani-pedi include the application of a conditioning oil to reduce cuticle invasions while a shaping reworks nails into rounded arches, squared tips, or glowing orbs designed to foster heartfelt moments with estranged extraterrestrials.
Donna Shari started out as an early childhood teacher whose hobby was painting pottery. At first, she was a familiar face at a paint-your-own-pottery studio. Then she started attending seminars on pouring molds and glazing bisque, until she’d been to more than 250. After an injury cut her teaching career short and the owner of the pottery studio announced his plans to close the place, Donna jumped at the chance to “make my hobby, my passion, into my business,” and took over the studio.
Donna’s new career taps into her talents as both a teacher and an artist as she helps painters of all ages choose plates, figurines, and mugs to personalize with paint, glaze, and territorial tongue licks. After artists perfect their creations, they leave the masterpieces for Donna to fire in a kiln and pick them about up a week later. Donna also teaches students to manipulate clay as it whirls atop a potter’s wheel or a pirouetting ballerina’s head.
From the bar to the dining area, South of the Border is bedecked with sombreros and colorful blankets that pay homage to the menu full of Mexican dishes. To create the classic handhelds, chefs fashion tortillas into quesadillas, tacos, and tostadas filled with ingredients such as steak, avocado, and shrimp. They also whip up chicken enchiladas slathered in melted cheese and poblano sauce; wrap burritos around chili con carne or scallops, crabmeat, calamari, and shrimp; and grill half-pound bacon cheeseburgers topped with jalape?os. A handful of the dishes are built without the traditional tortilla, such as pollo mole poblano, a recipe that flavors chicken with a sauce of dry peppers, almonds, and unsweetened Ibarra chocolate. Meals can be paired with equally Mexican-inspired drinks, such as margaritas and beer served in a glass or plastic bag, and dessert like fried ice cream and cheesecake.
At X-Treme Tanning's two locations, cutting-edge tanning booths darken skintone. During a 12-minute session in the Silver Bullet, high-powered air conditioning sweeps over the body, dampening the heat that brims from facial and shoulder lamps. Available at the Thornwood location, the I Bed takes tanning to a new level: In addition to air conditioning and facial lamps, the lay-down bed effuses aromatic scents and links with iPods. Among stand-up booths, the Super Sonic ranks as the most powerful option—it has a 7-minute max and an upgraded sound system, which means that tanners can add a new level of color after listening to Bohemian Rhapsody just 1.183 times.