Glow Skin Boutique Spa excels at traditional services, securing awards for "best facial" and "best wax" by CityVoter in Philly. But owner and head aesthetician Kristen Stone ensure that her clients won't endure the annoying trappings of a traditional salon or spa. Clients won’t find noisy hairdryers, boisterous chit-chat, or “snooty spa etiquette.” Rather, her tranquil treatment rooms are a place for total relaxation and unapologetic indulgence. Trained by the International Dermal Institute, Kristen specializes in corrective skincare services for men, women, and teens, from medicated blemish-clearing facials to Jessner peels and microdermabrasion. Though they excel at refining dull, aging, and uneven skin, Kristen and her staff of master aestheticians don’t stop at reparative treatments—they also ready bodies for the beach or birthday suit fashion shows with body waxing and airbrush tans, and savvy therapists loosen sore muscles with relaxing Swedish massages.
Two things helped New Concepts Med Spa to earn the title of CityVoter’s 2012 Best Medical Spa: technological prowess and a peaceful spa atmosphere. The spa's status as a state-of-the-art beauty center is unquestionable, since its equipment includes everything from a medical-grade microdermabrasion machine to a laser skin-rejuvenation system. But the surprising thing is how homey the clinic is. At this new location, visitors enter to see decorative lamps and throw pillows napping on upholstered chairs. Once outfitted in a downy robe, guests can make their way to private treatment rooms complete with sheer curtains and a deep-purple-and-blue color scheme. It's here that spa professionals assuage muscles with massages or revitalize complexions with facials as soothing music plays and firecrackers don't go off.
Salon Fiber's skilled stylists trim and style manes before infusing them with vibrant color, and also accent them with feathers. Through diligent snipping, scissors reframe hair art to give it the swirling texture of van Gogh's The Starry Night before stylists dye it a rich post-Impressionist blue. Alternately, feather extensions bring avian charm to hair nests, attracting compliments from passing joggers and attempts to relocate on top of heads from passing pelicans. All of Salon Fiber's beautifying services are done in a modern setting accented with energetic colors and grounded with sleek wood flooring.
The eponymous and licensed massage therapist Mark Liskey helms Mark Liskey Massage, where he utilizes his own brand of massage therapy. Named PressurePerfect, his massage techniques emphasize deep relaxation and pain relief via customized strokes and pressure. Liskey also offers neuromuscular massage, which uses a combination of gliding and pressing motions to treat tight muscle spots.
Gateway Bodyworks owner Lisa Firey believes deeply in the power of holistic treatments, as she has seen remarkable results firsthand. When her beloved dog, Porter, came down with an immune disease, doctors attempted to treat the symptoms with Western medicine. She suspected the medicines were weakening Porter’s immune system, so she began to research alternative methods. Soon she was treating her dog with vitamin C, nasturtium, and dandelion root, as well as massage. This method reenergized Porter and prolonged his life. Impassioned by this discovery, Lisa went on to earn a degree in muscle therapy and is now pursuing a doctorate in natural health.
Today, Lisa employs a staff of 20 experts to practice holistic healing methods. Within her garage-turned-spa space, her team focuses on acupuncture, bodywork, and massage. During reflexology treatments, therapists push pressure points on the feet, relieving stress and removing stuck-on shoe inserts. Acupuncturists treat everything from fatigue to autoimmune disorders and suggest herbal remedies. Alternatively, massage therapists use the long, languid strokes of the Swedish modality, and can also alleviate pain related to sports injuries, pregnancy, and postpregnancy. To round out the center, Lisa also set up a yoga studio with classes such as Hatha, Mommy & Me, and Kundalini.