A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all 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 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.
To Dana Conrado, skincare is a universal language. Her nearly two-decades-long career has encompassed international training in both London and Canada, as well as a stint spent doing freelance make-up for a Japanese company. Along the way, she picked up certifications in multiple services—acne and rosacea treatments, microdermabrasion, and RejuvaLight therapy, to name a few—and established rapport with many dermatologists and plastic surgeons while undergoing training in medical-grade skincare and chemical peels.
Upon opening Cezanne Skin Group in 1996, she became one of the first on the West Coast to offer sugaring, a kind of hair removal that uses natural and organic ingredients in place of hot wax strips or repurposed bumper stickers. Together with aesthetician Amanda Ward, Dana transforms appearances and enhances relaxation through massage services, body wraps, and facials, often blending in high-quality restoratives from brands such as Dermalogica and Pevonia Botanica.
Conversations with strangers usually don't lead to newfound good looks, unless those strangers are the amiable sextet helming Vanity Lounge Beauty Boutique. Amid lavender-hued walls and potted orchids, the stylists involve each client thoroughly in the beautification process, discussing individual aesthetic wishes at length before delving into any procedure or genie-bottle rubdown. As the professional prettifiers work, they instruct clients on how to re-create new looks at home, sharing wisdom gained in training from Goldwell and Sebastian.
Walking past the kaleidoscopic ranks of bottles from brands such as Sebastian, Crew, and Number 4 lining the walls, patrons reach a range of boutique accessories such as jewelry, clutches, and hair doodads. Excited chatter drifts back and forth between the stylists and guests planning private beauty parties, which include refreshments and hair dryers trained to drown out dull stories.
From styling celebrity hair to revitalizing complexions with relaxing facials, the team at Willo Aveda, an Aveda concept salon, aims to fill local mirrors with visions of beauty. Stylists of five different experience levels wash and rinse hair before breathing new life into languishing strands with a tailored cut and blow-dry. Alternatively, hair artisans can deploy Aveda's 97%?99% naturally derived formulas to refresh hair with a single-process color or nourish locks with conditioning plant oils that leave hair shinier than a freshly licked ring pop. The stylists at Willo Aveda also stay engaged with their clients through an active blog that celebrates lauded hair happenings. Most recently, the business collaborated with other Aveda salons to help set a Guinness World Record for the most money raised for charity in 24 hours through haircuts alone.
Run by a duo of longtime friends with a mutual love for baking, Cupcake Craving rocketed to popularity from its modest beginnings?within a year of the first store?s grand opening, Sacramento Magazine awarded it the Diners? Choice Award for the area?s best cupcake. Since then, the bakery has become a mainstay on CityVoters and KCRA 3's top-five dessert lists, and its handcrafted creations continue to earn new fans. Artful swirls of buttercream or cream-cheese frosting top the bakery?s diminutive cupcakes, which come in more than 20 traditional and signature flavors. The bakery can also handle orders for large parties and special occasions; an on-site artist designs custom cupcake cakes with special flavors and decorations to celebrate birthdays and welcome new gallons of milk into the home.
Every spa client that enters Esthetics by Jeanette is encouraged to slip into a robe. This act is more than just a formality; it?s an invitation to shed day-to-day stresses and step into a more relaxed state of being. But the robe is just the beginning?later, visitors can trade it for mineral-enriched European moor mud, which, when brushed over the body, helps to detoxify the skin and revive its tone. Clients can also trade the robe for the hands of a massage practitioner, who simultaneously plies stress from the mind and tension from the muscles with soothing Swedish strokes or hot and cold stones. A visit to the 100-degree Turkish steam room proves a nice break between a massage and de-stress facial, while a visit to the salon for a haircut, highlights, and a French manicure can help guests reinvent themselves without having to first acquire a patent.