It's quiet in Aqua the Day Spa. No cell phones or pagers are allowed to remain active in either of the two locations, so all you hear is your pulse slowing to a steady, soothing beat and the tiny noises made as expert hands open bottles of designer beauty products. Open since 1998, owners Susan and Ralph Barnette struck the right, Enya-like chord in 2003, when they first earned the title of Best Day Spa in the Jackson Free Press's annual "Best Of" roundup. The team of aestheticians and massage therapists have swept that title every year since, deflating the competition in proportion to lifting spirits. Paraben-free Skin Authority and scented Tokyomilk tonics nourish skin with vitamin-rich Moroccan clay and soothing mango, or exfoliate dead cells with bamboo salves scented with ylang-ylang. The staff's nimble hands blend these into custom treatments, including those to combat aging and the strange shadows creeping over men's skin, and work aromatherapeutic elixirs into muscles with nine different massage modalities. OPI and Shellac nail polish transform hands and feet into fashion accessories, a project helped along by smoothing wax.
The team at Willis Day Spa strives to build an environment where visitors can forget their daily stresses and pamper themselves for an afternoon. Massage therapists alleviate pent-up tension using a variety of massage techniques ranging from long, sweeping Swedish strokes to firm deep-tissue kneads. During mani-pedis, nail technicians shape, buff, and polish nails, and can sweeten sessions by incorporating exfoliating scrubs or heated stones. Facials cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate skin with a customized blend of products, while waxing sessions remove unwanted hair or moss growing on the north side of the body.
At Spa Beca, award-winning aestheticians and massage therapists tend to bodies in a tranquil spa exclusively devoted to massage and body-therapy services. A staff member ushers guests into private treatment rooms, where low lighting casts a warm glow on blond terra-cotta walls and soothing decor, such as bronze sculptures and landscape murals. The spa's treatments range from individual services?such as massage, nail services, facials, and body wraps?to packages that stretch across an entire day and combine several detoxification and rejuvenation treatments typically reserved for returning cosmonauts.
Skin on the neck ages seven times as quickly as the skin on the face. The team at Body Anew Medical Spa are all knowledgeable skin experts, whose collective passion for skincare extends all over the body. They also use nonsurgical services, including facials and chemical peels, as ways to combat acne, sun spots, and fine lines. To refine the rest of the body, the team calls on non-wax depilatories to whisk away unwanted hair and lasers to zap spider veins while leaving surrounding skin as undisturbed as a kitten napping in a baseball glove.
Voted “one of the best salons in the state” in 2010 by Mississippi Magazine readers, Kosmos Hair Designers offers a jellybean-jar variety of beautifying spa and salon services. Your straightening treatment infuses keratin—a protein naturally found in skin, hair, and nails—deep into hair follicles, eviscerating frizz and curl from your head space and leaving hair smooth, shiny, and temptingly touchable. Unlike alternative salon processes, keratin treatment boosts hair health instead of knocking it down with a steel wrecking ball. Results last three to five months, depending on your hair’s texture and its propensity for running away with seductive Don Juan mop tops.
When tension builds up in the feet, it leaves behind tiny crystalline deposits that block the flow of life energy and can cause even more troublesome symptoms fatigue and stress. The therapists at MS Relax Feet are trained to detect these deposits, and work to break them up by pushing on them with their knuckles and thumbs at specific points. A typical session first begins with the client stretching back on a leather reclining bed. Feet plunge into a hot herbal-tea bath as the therapist eases tension from the shoulders up. Once the feet are warmed up, the foot rub begins, and the therapist focuses on the feet's 65 reflex points instead of just playing This Little Piggy with the feet's 10 toes. To wrap up the session, acupressure and chinese deep-tissue techniques massage the body and cause tension to disappear.