As an aesthetician with more than 20 years of experience and a former chemist with Christian Dior, Helene Lawless knows a thing or two about skincare. The French native opened Be Smooth after growing tired of lengthy spa visits that left a dent in her own wallet. She decided to offer affordable treatments with products and equipment that she has found to be effective over her years as an aesthetician and spa-goer. As a result, she and her team nourish skin using the with organic plant extracts in the Pevonia Botanica line, natural Nuxe products, and Shea Terra Organics with fair-trade shea butters and argan oils. Lawless has also tracked down innovative aesthetic techniques such as VIP Complex's infrared and microcurrent treatments, IPL photofacials with light heat energy (LHE), and hair removal with the gel-based Depilar System.
Lawless prides herself not only on the budget-friendliness of her services, but also on the unintimidating “non-spa” ambience of her beauty haven. Guests relax at a white-on-white facial bar for a deep cleansing, and a boutique area offers European-style gifts such as fragrant Aquiesse soy candles and jewelry by Miravidi and Caracol. According to a 2011 article in the Oregonian, "even the music that can be heard from the front door is French." Just as charming is Lawless' French accent, which, like a lullaby sung by a lemur, is both soothing and exotic.
From their cushy styling chairs, clients of Amoré Salon and Spa can watch shoppers bustle through the upscale Pearl District outside the studio's ample, sun-soaked windows. But in here, no one is in any hurry. With careful attention, the salon's artistic, fashion-forward hairstylists create one-of-a-kind coifs that run the gamut from multicolored punk looks to timeless bobs and long styles achieved with Great Lengths hair extensions. The extensions are crafted with real, ethically sourced human hair, and attach to existing locks with bonds that expand and contract just like the wearer's natural hair or peacock-like plumage.
In the spa realm, aestheticians revamp complexions with Jan Marini facials that target severe acne, dryness, or unsanctioned games of pore whack-a-mole. Waxing specialists don’t skimp on skincare either—in addition to using gentle Cirepil wax, facial-inspired treatments for backs and bikini lines reverse blemishes and discomfort caused by ingrown hairs. Nail specialists, meanwhile, make sure their art stays intact by finishing a number of manicures and pedicures with CND Shellac lacquers, which dry under a UV light to leave a mirrorlike finish that lasts up to 14 days.
A scrub, steam, and hydrating mask all sound like the components of a relaxing facial. But at Bliss Salon & Day Spa, they're part of the spa pedicure, which the menu aptly describes as "a facial for your soles." The pedicure begins with an aromatherapy foot soak, then segues into cuticle care and an extensive massage. It's not the only service at the spa that combines different indulgences into one—a 90-minute Divine Bliss Luxury facial includes a foot massage, and an Aromatouch massage often mixes the calming scents of doTERRA essential oils with Reiki or other energy work.
Meanwhile, the stylists in the salon fashion hairdos to fit any lifestyle and help prepare for special events, such as weddings in which baseball caps aren't allowed. Though they can all expertly cut and color hair, they also have their own go-to specialties—lead stylist Amber Rae, for instance, is a maestro of color-correction and keratin smoothing treatments, and Skyi loves to work with curls. As they develop new looks in Bliss's boutique-like setting, the team utilizes products from Moroccanoil and Bumble and bumble.
Hannah hails from Los Angeles, and Leigh from New York. Together, the experienced aestheticians bring their hometowns' best cosmetic products and nearly two decades of beauty-industry experience to their Portland space, LA/NY Skin. Tucked inside Prima Salon, the beauty haven surrounds clients in warm and comforting elegance. Walls drenched in mocha hues are offset by sparkly accents, including dangly beaded chandeliers and posters of Vanilla Ice. Within this softly lit oasis, the duo dispenses a range of beauty and skin services, from tanning to facials.
Using an organic and paraben-free solution, they customize airbrush tans to suit each client’s skin tone and desired level of bronze, hiding cellulite, freckles, and age spots in the process. At the makeup bar, they enhance features with Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics and pump up flutterers with mink lash extensions or waterproof lash dipping that lasts up to six weeks. A range of chemical peels, facials, and microdermabrasion treatments rejuvenate face and body, and the team enlists both hard and soft waxes to wisp away hair from brows, bikini areas, and heads after they lose a bet.
The mission at Organic Bronze Bar is to provide a consistent and enjoyable experience where clients get their needs heard and are always provided with cutting edge options. The talented professionals prides themselves on designing beautiful hair by merging up-to-date hair technologies and fashion trends in color, cuts and hair products that create the best results. The salon boasts high-end product lines such as Moroccanoil, Bumble & Bumble, Inoa Organics and Matrix.
Instead of relying on harmful rays, Organic Bronze Bar’s organic, paraben-free formulas call upon natural ingredients such as walnuts, antioxidants, and pure botanicals to deliver a safe, natural-looking glow. Eschewing a “one size fits all” experience, the staff custom blends each solution to suit differing skin types and applies it by hand to ensure even and streak-free coverage that dries instantly. The odorless solutions can be further enhanced with the addition of SPF, hydrating solutions, or bear repellent. Tans typically last 5–10 days with proper upkeep.
For more than 10 years, the staff of Bodyfirm has sharpened its skills with advanced equipment to banish cellulite and create even, healthy complexions. LPG Endermologie and Lipomassage units employ mechanized rollers to iron out fat deposits, and Dermosonic equipment follows a similar noninvasive approach enhanced by ultrasound waves. Facial Endermologie treatments stimulate collagen production to even out complexions plagued by fine lines, sagging skin, and cheeks filled with marbles.
Bodyfirm also works hand in hand with Mind, Body, and Spirit Holistic Center’s skilled massage therapists, who help ease tight spines and restless minds with custom massages. Therapists normally attack muscles with Swedish, deep-tissue, sports, and myofascial modalities. Specialized spa massages incorporate accessories such as hot stones or, in the Lava Bambū modality, authentic bamboo stalks harvested in China for their combination of strength and flexibility.:m]]