When Maureen Schantz founded Alternative Health Associates more than two decades ago, she did so with a simple concept in mind: bring together professionals who can tend to customers’ every aesthetic need. She and her staff do just that with a wide range of cosmetic services, ranging from Maureen’s specialty, electrolysis, to Botox and waxing. But their services also extend into aspects of health. Swedish and deep-tissue massages disperse aches, and a protein-oriented weight-loss program builds muscle and gets rid of fat faster than a firm handshake from a really muscular cousin.
Master aesthetician Maria Conde rarely encounters a pair of legs that she can't make as smooth as silk, or a pair of eyebrows that she can't shape into elegant arches. The hair-removal expert specializes in swift waxing and sugaring treatments for women as well as for men. But that's not all she offers at Maria Body Image Studio. Conde also cleanses pores with exfoliating facials and promotes detoxification with mineral body wraps. Her eyelash extensions add length and volume for weeks on end, staying in place until they fall out naturally or are plucked for an emergency wish.
Dr. Ahmad Ellini, MD, received aesthetic training under the esteemed Dr. Zein E. Obagi and Dr. Patrick Bitter Jr., the founding fathers of the Obagi Skin Health Institute and the photofacial, respectively. Relying on his expertise, Dr. Ellini and his team carefully examine each patient’s pores so that they can recommend the most suitable facial, peel, laser treatment, or dose of injectables. The aestheticians on staff are well-versed in exfoliation and hair-removal techniques, as well as mineral-makeup application.
A regal lobby welcomes guests into Georgetown Electrolysis Skin Care, with swirled wallpaper accenting a corner fireplace, around which a chaise, an ottoman, and plush couches are situated. As they pass under a crystal-dripped chandelier and into private treatment rooms, guests will discover that the staff members who perform each service mirror the coziness of their confines. The spa’s specialties include deep-cleansing facials, massage, and body wraps that battle cellulite and unwanted inches. Staff members also use electrolysis and laser hair removal to permanently oust unwanted fuzz from the body, as well as from sheep who plan to retire to the Caribbean.
Boloco aspires to delight diners with the unexpected and strives to take care of its employees and the planet in the process. The Boston-based business first opened in 1997 as Under Wraps. But in 2005, it changed its name to Boloco, realizing wraps incited some terrible feelings - often involving alfalfa sprouts. With the fresh name came a new mantra, "Globally Inspired Burritos."
Despite winning an award for "stupidest name change", Boloco's menu has steadfastly offered customers globally inspired burritos and burrito bowls alongside smoothies and shakes, such as the Jimmy Carter, infused with all-natural peanut butter and premium ice cream. Boloco also uses eco-friendly practices, recognizing that today that might mean corn cups and utensils, but tomorrow it could mean driving to work in cars fueled by guacamole.
Be forewarned: Simply Bliss Salon is not your average frou-frou, super-chic upper Northwest haircut and style salon. Located on the lower floor of a massive apartment building, some who enter might be put off by the initial aesthetics of the place, which nearly-bare walls and simple floors. But just as beauty is more than skin deep, don’t let first impressions fool you; customers who stay for a service tend to walk out the door feeling quite lovely. Cuts and color are specialties here, offered at discounted prices when compared to many of the high-end spaces that exist around the city. Stylists work primarily with organic coloring products that maintain the natural moisture and protein balance of the hair, and Brazilian keratin treatments are also available, as are waxing services.