A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas?its more than 250 locations blanket 36 states and eight countries?Planet Beach Spa 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. The range of services include total skincare, wellness, weight management, relaxation and renewal treatments. 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.
The Retreat secludes patrons in a soothing atmosphere accented with earthy tones, tranquil water features, and sleek slate tiles for relaxing and beautifying services. During the microdermabrasion treatment, guests settle back as an experienced aesthetician blasts interloping layers from the skin’s surface using a targeted jet of fine micronized crystals, creating a clearer complexion and a softer exfoliation than rubbing faces with soccer cleats. This gentle treatment is known to effectively minimize the appearance of brown spots, fine lines, and light scarring. Afterward, a revitalizing facial enhances smile canvases by flushing dirt, oil, and microscopic sand castles from pores.
In addition to skin-care treatments such as Botox and services with the Obagi Skin product line, Calvine Urgent Care is open 365 days a year to usher in a flurry of ailing patients so that the board-certified doctors and nurse practitioners can work their medical magic on non-life-threatening symptoms, from fevers to broken arms. Neutral-toned chairs and a flat-screen TV distract patients before Calvine's friendly team fixes them up with medical equipment, including x-rays, ultrasounds, and a full range of diagnostic tests for drugs, pregnancy, or hemoglobin. In case patients cross into more serious medical territory, the clinic's fully loaded procedure rooms come filled with intubation kits, EKGs, crash carts, and defibrillators for restarting hearts and toasting marshmallows. The office's staff helps urgent medical patients by taking them within 30 minutes of their arrival, as well as offering ZipPass, an online appointment scheduler.
Dr. Tareq Ali, a board-certified physician, has been practicing emergency and family medicine since 1993, realized one of his lifelong dreams when he opened Manasra Medical Spa. The 2009 Patients' Choice award recipient was touring his new medical spa's facility, listening to the soothing sound of the water tinkling down his indoor waterfall and checking each room's personal air-conditioning unit. Dr. Ali even stopped to relax on one of the waiting room's luxurious leather couches.
Practicing aesthetic medicine since 2006, Dr. Ali has perfected his laser skills at Mansara Medical Spa, using concentrated beams of light to eliminate unwanted body hair or battle hyperpigmentation and spider veins across the body. He has also acquired the innovative microdermabrasion technology DermaSweep. The patented technology infuses faces with essential vitamins while exfoliating and smoothing skin. Manasra also offers more traditional spa treatments, such as massages, facials, and chemical peels.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rex Moulton-Barrett and his staff of hair whisperers use Sciton laser beams to smooth bewhiskered skins. In three sessions of small-area laser hair removal (a $107/treatment value), the laser's pulsating light heats the inside of hair follicles until their own melanin destroys them, much as lion tamers are destroyed by their own love of practical jokes. Small areas eligible for liberation from follicle tyranny include the chin, eyebrows and forehead, underarms, sideburns, back of the neck, upper lip, and standard bikini line.
The Blinks and Brows team makes no secret of what they do best: adding length and volume to lashes and shaping brows into elegant arches. Their exact methods, however, might need some additional explanation. Eyebrow shaping can be accomplished with traditional wax or with a process known as threading, which lassos and plucks out stray hairs with a cotton thread. Henna ink or permanent tattoos can fill in sparse or overplucked brows, while special dyes are available to match your brow shade to the color of your hair or purse. As for the other half of the business, technicians apply synthetic lashes that add thickness and length to existing fringe. But that's hardly everything on the menu; the boutique also employs a registered nurse, who dispenses Botox injections and dermal fillers to smooth fine lines.