As a child, Dannielli Marcelino never wanted to be a princess—she aimed straight for the title of queen. Her visits to Brazil's many salons and spas drew her attention to the meticulous waxers, whose dexterity and knack for imparting confidence resonated with her and inspired her to become an expert in their delicate art. After 15 years as a licensed aesthetician and laser technician, Dannielli has cemented that reputation at her business, Rio Wax Salon, where she is known as the Queen of Waxing.
Although deftness is an essential part of her success, Dannielli knows that the breeziest Brazilian and bikini waxes require more than seasoned hands. She has developed an exclusive formula—part hard wax, part royal pink wax, and part honey wax—to make hair removal virtually painless.
Each licensed aesthetician at the salon can deliver a quick and comfortable waxing experience, since each is trained by Dannielli herself. All waxing services adhere to the spa's strict no-double-dipping policy, meaning that no spatula ever re-enters a pot of wax, ensuring a safe and hygienic service for each new client.
Attitude plays another role, and Dannielli was praised for her calming warmth by AzCentral.com's Best, in which Rio Wax Salon won Best Place for a Bikini Wax in 2011. Her royal standing has also led to multiple appearances in media outlets such as Good Morning Arizona and Perfectify magazine.
Rio Wax Salon's licensed aestheticians are not exclusively waxers, however. They perform a range of beauty and wellness treatments in their verdant garden getaway, including laser hair removal, custom facials, and massages. To further boost their skin's beach-ready look or prepare for an office swimsuit competition, clients can step into a VersaSpa sunless tanning booth or browse a selection of sultry bikinis Dannielli has brought from Brazil.
Inner Radiance Spa, a "Best of Groupon" in 2011, knows the key to achieving and maintaining healthy skin: treating it with non-toxic products. To that end, the specialists rely on organic products from the Hungarian Eminence Organic Skin Care line, which incorporates ingredients such as flowers, herbs, and fruits instead of harsh chemicals.
But the spa's earth-friendly approach doesn't just benefit faces—its commitment to sustainabile practices includes using biodegradable cleaning supplies, recycling, and serving fair-trade tea. The business even utilizes a water filtration system that prevents staff from having to buy bottled water or squeeze a cactus till it cries. This green approach was spearheaded by founder Shaly Vassigh, who recalls her education at the Southwest Institute of Natural Aesthetics and experience as a holistic skincare practitioner to offer spa treatments that nourish both the skin and the earth.
The sound of a glass-wall waterfall lends a zen-like feel to Compliments at A Hilton Salon & Spa. Inside, a team of aestheticians, stylists, and massage therapists stands ready to pamper and polish. Stylists call upon the knowledge gleaned from ongoing monthly training sessions as they craft custom looks with cuts and coloring treatments. Technicians point the way toward pipeless, sanitized whirlpool tubs and heated massage chairs where manicures, microdermabrasion treatments, and other skincare services vivify complexions. The spa also offers airbrush tanning and waxing, as well as extended evening hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Named after owner and stylist Alison Hilton, the boutique is affiliated neither with Hilton Hotels and Resorts nor World War II–code-breaking mathematician Peter John Hilton
Lisa Benson Smith—or “Lisa B,” as she prefers—has a knack for making people happy. When not cavorting around Phoenix working double-time as a revered event planner and personal assistant, the nail technician gussies up hands and feet at her salon, Nail Pristique. Here, she buffs and shapes finger- and toenails and grooms overgrown cuticles. Armed with soothing aromatherapy lotions, Lisa massages hands, feet, arms and legs or takes relaxation a step further with hot-towel neck wraps, organic green tea, lemongrass serums, and sugar scrubs. The artistic technician concludes her tantalizing sessions by crowning appendages with gel polish, natural finishes, or gilded zills.
The talented and friendly team at R Salon aims to exceed client expectations as it performs transformative treatments—including hair services, massages, facials, and nailcare. Stylists nourish hair with products from top names such as Moroccan Oil and Alterna as they edge fringe into trendy asymmetrical cuts and pull off custom color treatments, enriching natural shades, or enhancing them with cheetah spots. The salon's loft-style space is designed to evoke an edgy New York vibe, complete with electric-blue furniture, lime-green walls, nightly performances of Cats, and a snack bar that keeps customers comfortably hydrated with refreshments.
As an Aveda salon, Salon Embellish amasses nourishing, plant-based Aveda products to fuel each of its beauty services. Natural and aromatic essential oils help therapists’ fingers glide over sore muscles during massage sessions, which can incorporate gentle or intense pressure, depending on the client’s needs. Gentle Aveda dyes maintain hair health during color treatments, and stylists can also repair previous damage by snipping off split ends or applying a restorative hair mask. Skin soaks up nutrients during a range of facial and body treatments, including a back facial that can make it look like you don’t even have a face on your back.