In 2001, the first iTan Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal—to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 20 branches around San Diego, each offering a slightly different assortment of tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and mechanical spa services.
The Smart Tan–certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure and the need to wear a beekeeper suit to detract from a burn. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays or tan crayons, and mechanical spa machines dispense relaxing red-light treatments, infrared-energy body wraps, and aqua massages.
Anousheh Motamedi began styling hair in Germany and France, prepping models' mops for Europe's glitzy runway shows, according to 92131 magazine. After arriving in the United States, she set up shop with her accomplice Nadi Dadsetan, but her focus soon became distinctly local. Finding that the city's beauty-school graduates lacked a solid hands-on foundation, the two snapped up the most promising San Diego stylists, instituting on-the-job training to hone their skills. Today that local focus remains, with the studio acting as a community in itself and regularly throwing its support behind charities and local women's shelters.
Inside the salon, Motamedi and Dadsetan work alongside their 11 associates as they beautify bodies from the head down. Shimmering metal dividers entice the eye with irregular oval holes while eclectic chandeliers hang from above the styling stations where experts snip hair into new 'dos. Color and deep-conditioning treatments leave each strand looking its best, complementing new beauty brought out by facials, nailcare, and hair removal. Bridal packages can also primp wedding parties with updos and cosmetics to ensure brides look their best and bridesmaids don't leave makeup on the cake when they dive in face first.
Even though pink is her favorite color, salon owner Kat Daniels designed her salon to cater to the pampering needs of both men and women. The result is a cozy, balanced mix of masculine and feminine elements, including mocha-tinted walls, sleek styling chairs, animal-print accents, and the occasional tasteful pop of fuchsia. Ladies and gents can both appreciate the attention to detail Kat and her staff bring to haircuts, mani-pedis, and skin services such as microcurrent facials, as well as the shop's arsenal of top-of-the-line products bearing names such as Redken, Pureology, and Dermalogica. The staff goes above and beyond with indulgent extras such as head, neck, and shoulder massages and men's hot-towel treatments, but above all else, they pride themselves on creating a peaceful, quiet atmosphere where clients can escape from day-to-day stress and door-to-door salesmen.
Everyday Miracles’ cofounders, Ta’mus and Susan, tailor each of their holistic healing sessions in order to “plant dreams and grow miracles”—that is, mend the body’s smaller issues in order to achieve whole-body health. Services such as cranial-sacral therapy incorporate the simple techniques of light massage and energy-flow analysis to ease dysfunctions that can manifest as headaches, chronic fatigue, or TMJ. A selection of massage treatments calls upon Swedish, deep-tissue, or Thai techniques, each of which can be fueled by signature scents that Ta’mus personally creates by grinding whole botanicals and liquefying scratch 'n' sniff stickers. Qigong sessions invoke the 800-year-old remedies of Chinese monks to calm bodies with a blend of movement, breathing techniques, and meditation.
Holistic health practitioner Tracey Stolle uses her expertly trained hands to help clients let go of pain and recover after serious injuries. Her specialty in therapeutic massage makes her especially sensitive to pain from chronic injuries or everyday stresses. She can craft 30-, 50-, or 80-minute massages to relieve discomfort using a variety of modalities such as reflexology and deep tissue. When she's not kneading tension away at one of her two locations, Tracey shares her industry knowledge by teaching in MiraCosta College's massage program and slyly turning handshakes into hand-massage sessions.
Inside Effess salon, Paul Mitchell–certified cosmetologist London Armstrong-Adame keeps hands and feet polished with meticulous manicures and pedicures. Beyond doling out basic cuticle care and enhancing tips with gel add-ons, London gives toenails the RockStar treatment, covering them with glitzy, glittery designs that will draw attention from adoring fans and avid scrapbookers for up to six weeks.