Planet Fitness's massive, brightly colored edifices teem with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. After an intense muscle pummeling on the extensive selection of strength-training equipment and free weights, valiant athletes and masochistic vampires alike may bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths. Meanwhile, an army of shiatsu massage chairs stands at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons.
Licensed esthetician Belinda Fallon of Advanced Cosmetics frosts hides in UV- and paraben-free Fake Bake bronzer. During five-minute meetings with the airbrush, Fallon's steady hands mist glow-getters from toes to crown in an even coat of caramel shade selected to match each client's natural habitat in order to thwart hungry barn owls. Powered by botanical pigments, the gentle tanning solution hydrates and protects dermal layers without clogging pores or irritating sensitive skin. The formula dries into supple, glowing skin in 20 minutes without leaving behind telltale chemical smells, streaks, or artists’ signatures. With thorough exfoliation beforehand and proper care following each session, the new healthy hue can last five–seven days.
Le Petit Spa’s aestheticians completely uproot foliage from nether regions with warm wax within a dimly lit room. During the 30-minute Brazilian wax, clients slip into a state of serenity as they enjoy complimentary Synergy O2 oxygen drinks, flickering candles, and soothing recitations of the wax ingredients list from Garrison Keillor.
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 of 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 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 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.
At Tanfastic, the scene is set for customers to fake a beach vacation. Fronds of palm trees rustle, teal walls are colored like the ocean, and staff members make shushing sounds that mimic the ocean's waves. Customers seeking UV tanning can recline in one of the salon's beds or in a standup booth, where circulating air keeps them cool. Those who shun UV rays completely can get a natural-looking tan in the Mystic Tan spray-tan booth.