A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach 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 the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. 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. Other machines whiten teeth, spray-tan skin, and massage muscles.
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.
Aesthetician Tassie Small believes that a glowing exterior is made possible by a healthy interior. After earning a license in aesthetics and building her knowledge of holistic health and detoxification, she opened Restorations Holistic Skincare to blend her multiple passions. At Restorations, she helps her clients achieve their beauty goals by addressing the needs of the whole body. Ultrasonic and far-infrared procedures rejuvenate faces and bodies, whereas ionic footbaths help expel toxins. Facials and microdermabrasion treatments, meanwhile, sweep away dead skin to reveal façades more youthful than the attendees at a Nickelodeon stockholders meeting. Tassie is also the creator and formulator of Tacia Essentials, a line of natural and organic skin and hair products that she uses at her spa. During regular workshops, she teaches her secrets to guests, guiding them through the creation of their very own perfumes and bath products.
At Elle Hair & Skin Spa, the staff strives for perfection. They want their customers to end each visit feeling refreshed, pampered, and excited to return. This is a lofty goal, but they hope to achieve it by only offering the best, in terms of both products and services. The team relies on products from renowned brands, such as Keratase and gloMinerals, to infuse hair with volume and to brighten complexions. They also use organic Eminence skincare products when performing customized facials and Nufree wax when removing unwanted fuzz from the face, the limbs, or the kiwi you packed for lunch. The salon will also gladly exchange any product or remedy any service to ensure that customers achieve total satisfaction.
Glam Lounge’s stylists have beautified celebrities from Rashida Jones to Kellan Lutz of Twilight, and owner Dawn Carrington crafted a TV-quality makeover for TLC’s A Perfect Proposal. At their Raleigh salon, the Hollywood-ready stylists trim men’s and women’s tresses into face-flattering shapes and construct custom bridal updos to match locks with the elegance of the ceremony. In hands-on workshops, they impart professional techniques for brushing, updo building, and heat styling with flat irons and curling irons rather than bike helmets fitted with glowing coals. Glam Lounge's line of hair products, Glam, helps clients to upkeep styled tresses at home with luxurious formulas.
Through a façade of tall windows, past a front desk made of repurposed wood beams, and beyond rows of glittering jewelry, stylists deftly manipulate shears inside Shag & Garnish's bright, semiprivate stations. Lofty steel beams reach upward to meet with the high ceiling, while an interior nearly entirely compose of items made from recycled, repurposed materials stretches below. The salon's team of attentive stylists sculpt the coifs of men, women, and children, and supplement trims with prismatic color applications, Brazilian-straightening treatments, and up-do stylings that provide extra storage when carrying a small purse. In addition to offering a variety of hair-centric services, the salon also curates a collection of vintage and modern jewelry, and accessories.
After earning her bachelor's degree in health sciences, Kneaded Relief owner Sarah Satterwhite felt another passion tugging at her life—her passion for massage therapy. So, she went back to school and earned her certification as a massage therapist before settling down and starting her family. Today, she has returned to the massage world with other skills in hand, including those necessary to render facials and body treatments. Sarah specializes in three modalities: relaxation and its firm but soothing touch, therapeutic and its fast-paced medium-pressure strokes, and deep tissue, which coaxes out feelings of stress caused by their boss, the brain—or as the nervous system calls it, the lead singer of the E Street Band.