Davis Beauty and Wellness beautifies its clients inside and out with a menu of spa treatments that includes facials, microdermabrasions, and waxing coupled with nutritional guidance. Licensed aesthetician Maryanne Davis draws upon 15 years of skincare experience when exfoliating the pores of her male and female clients. Armed with products from Cellular Laboratories, she fights signs of aging from fine lines and wrinkles that resemble cassette-tape ribbons. Dietary coaching and weight-management programs balance out their list of services and attempt to help patrons achieve long-term health.
What would make the owner of a successful tanning salon consider selling his business to a 20-year-old upstart? Robert Paolini may have been young, but he’d earned his bronze-colored stripes; since he was 16 years old, he’d worked long hours at the salon, and his friendly manner put customers at ease. When the sale fell through, Robert put together his own business plan, gathered investors—some of whom were former tanning clients—and opened his own salon, The Hot Spot Tanning Co.
The salon has since weathered a boom in the tanning business, and Robert attributes the company’s survival to an amicable staff, who have created an atmosphere he compares to the show Cheers. “People who tan visit the salon three to four times a week, more often than they go to the grocery store,” says Robert. “They want to go where they feel comfortable.” So in each private room, tanners can stow their gear safely on sturdy shelves, hang clothing on hooks, and refresh after sessions with deodorant, makeup remover, and hand wipes.
Warm-skinned patrons slip from high-pressure tanning booths, which coax out melanin with lights designed to avert burns and lend credence to claims that one is a model in a water-wings catalog. Against the hushed hiss of a Mystic Tan booth, Robert presides over a selection of supplements, sports drinks, and shakes, and draws on a certification in sports nutrition while guiding clients through health and weight-loss programs.
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 Eastlake 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 a red light therapy bed, which does a red light treatment on the full body. 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. A Saunatox and other machines whiten teeth, and spray tan skin.
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.
Rare Accents Salon & Day Spa's skin-soothers rejuvenate clients' faces with gentle, exfoliating microdermabrasion treatments and soothing facials. Crystal-tipped wands and gentle suction expel dead cells from the skin's surface, aiming to ramp up cell production, bolster circulation, and shake loose spare change left behind ears by absent-minded magician uncles. The treatment includes a hydration facial and customized mask to further erase fine lines, diminish scars, and even out discoloration. Afterward, clients can peruse Rare Accents' professional skincare and makeup products from brands such as Azure and Glo, taking 20% off essential at-home beautifying aids.
As a young man, John McKenna realized he had a talent for hairstyling, eventually moving from New York to the beaches of Florida to open his own salon. In addition to transforming the hair of clients ranging from mothers to teens, McKenna styled Miss Tampa's hair and won a reader-nominated runner-up award in 2010's Best of the Bay. Within his European-style salon, an exposed-brick accent wall adds a splash of warmth to furniture's sleek design, much like the cardigans that zoologists fit over the cheetahs they study. Behind their stations, certified color specialists paint tresses with golden highlights or lowlights and cover grays with Matrix honey-based color cream, which the salon guarantees will completely mask the offending strands. Stylists consult with clients before taking the first scissors swipes, determining the best shapes, lengths, and hues to fit each client's style. McKenna personally assures clients that "how you look is as important to us as it is to you."
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular service: Shellac
Brands Used: OPI and others
Paradise Nails & Spa is awash with golden walls and executive-style manicure and pedicure chairs. The plush seating adds to the relaxing experience as technicians clip, file, and buff nails before painting nails in a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues. Clients can opt for regular polish or special Shellac polish, which protects nails against chips or graffiti for up to two weeks, as well as pink and white nail sets and sugar hand scrubs. During mani-pedis,technicians also exfoliate and moisturize calves, feet, and hands while clients sip on complimentary soda or wine.