Brandi Nuttall, the owner of Dolce Salon & Spa, must believe that you can never have too much of a good thing. Expanding upon her first and second Dolce locations, which measure in at 12,000 and 13,000 square feet, respectively, she opened the third hub in 2007, and now there is a fourth. The 30,000-square-foot behemoth built in 2007 houses 62 styling stations, 21 spa rooms, 14 pedicure thrones, a makeup counter, a brow bar, and manicure stations. All four locations boast the same services—though at different scales—as well as men’s hair and spa treatments and bridal styling. Unlike hotels that charge extra for doorknobs and oxygen, the salons have a generous streak. They provide hairstyling services to those who donate to Locks of Love, spa services to local foster children, and hair clippings to areas affected by oil spills.
Occasionally, Mood Swings Aveda Salon and Skin Spa moonlights as a studio. Sometimes camera-toting members of the media stop by to check out this season’s trends or new hair products. Other times, models strut or flutter from imaginary wind gusts during Urban Tribe and other fashion photo shoots. Perhaps most importantly, Mood Swings periodic studio space hosts educational seminars for its talented team of stylists, who learn advanced tips in coloring and other techniques from Aveda professional instructors.
This commitment to the art and science of hair justifies Arizona Foothills magazine selecting Mood Swings Aveda Salon and Skin Spa as its best salon of 2011. The praise coincides with that from AZCentral.com, which named Mood Swings Best Trendy Salon for “translating cool, avant-garde styles into wearable, everyday looks.” Stylists craft these looks with natural, plant-based products from Aveda, and supplement the service with pampering that can include a complimentary scalp massage, hand facial, and finishing touches to clients’ makeup. A comprehensive services menu treats the entire body, ranging from natural skin products that rejuvenate complexions to pedicures that soothe feet with a dual-jet therapeutic whirlpool after unsuccessful attempts to walk barefoot across a hot charcoal grill.
Kalologie 360 Spa's expert beauty gurus offer a first-class selection of pampering services, earning the franchise a spot on Elle magazine's 2008 list of Top 10 Beauty Boutiques. The staff exfoliates faces with more than 10 varieties of facials and peels, using the boutique's own line of products custom formulated from medical-grade ingredients free of parabens and sulfates. Therapists also treat clients with massage modalities such as Swedish, shiatsu, and deep-tissue, as well as waxing treatments that use specially formulated hard and soft wax for all areas of the body. Airbrush spray tans round out the menu of services, leaving bodies with a bronze hue similar to that achieved by bathing in a tub of melted-down doorknobs.
Beneath the shine of 20 Lounge Nail Bar and Boutique, a singular purpose pushes it forward: to bring high-end luxury to the masses. Like a beauty-conscious cousin of Johnny Appleseed, the ever-expanding franchise has planted locations throughout California and Arizona, always pampering its clients with the same menu of services. Therapists, for instance, perform facials using Dermalogica's MicroZone products, which wash away acne, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, or exfoliate the skin. Mani-pedis, on the other hand, polish and dress nails in a rainbow of available colors, rendering their surfaces complementary to freshly waxed legs or accessories such as a freshly opened box of crayons.
Heidi Lamar didn't know much about spas when she first purchased Spa Lamar. As she explained to reporters from Skin Inc., "not coming from a spa background, there were things I didn't know I couldn't do." Unhindered by industry conventions or previously fixed ideas, Heidi set about filling her 14,000-square-foot spa with innovative amenities—from a luxurious waterfall-fed pool to an onsite yoga and dance studio. She also cultivates locals instead of the typical resort crowd, banishing cacti from the decor in favor of a Caribbean-style ambiance that, as she told the Arizona Republic, caters to those who already live in Arizona and want to get away to a tropical island. Today, her media-lauded spa is the largest privately owned spa in Scottsdale and is frequented by locals, including members of the Phoenix Suns Dancers.
Before treatments that include massages, acupuncture, mani-pedis, and facials, guests garbed in fluffy complimentary robes duck into the steam room. They sample wholesome lunches and fruit plates from the tropical tea bar and relax in the sauna while waiting for a haircut or warm algae wrap. Sunbathers float around the pool on loungers, whereas others simmer in a bubbling whirlpool. Unlike many traditional spas, Spa Lamar is completely coed, making it an ideal place for couples that are on a first date or permanently trapped together inside a horse costume with a broken zipper.
Olimpia Nandin has studied hair since she was 16 and traveled the world before coming back to her Arizona hairstyling roots. All this experience has given her a knack for creating just the look her clients want. When working with clients, she takes all aspects of their look into account—their features, lifestyle, and personality—and only then does she take scissors to their hair. In addition to haircuts, Olimpia keeps current with the best hair-coloring practices and specializes in Japanese strengthening techniques to ensure hair can still bench-press hair clippings. Olimpia works out of Sachi Salon & Spa’s sprawling 12,000-square-foot facility, complete with warm, earth-toned tiles, woodgrain cabinetry, and individual stylist stations.
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