At Sente Bella, beauty specialists help patients achieve their desired aesthetic with holistic and clinical therapies. Technicians diminish signs of aging with clinical injections and deploy lasers as emissaries of firmer skin and follicular death. Patients work with dieticians, acupuncturists, and massage therapists to balance their bodies, and watch 3-D modeling videos to envision surgical procedures that adjust their contours into beach-ready shapes or avant-garde compositions for museum display. Aromatherapy induces relaxation during traditional body treatments that polish every inch with scrubs, herbal tonics, and products from the organic, antioxidant-rich Eminence skincare line.
Although the team at Platinum Tan & Skin Bar has been refining hues for 15 years, only recently, following a move, have they been polishing complexions in their sleek skin bar. Tucked within a private treatment room, aestheticians wax away unwanted hair and nourish visages with Dermalogica products and peels. They also offer red-light therapy designed to boost collagen, reduce the appearance of fine lines, and ease relations between humans and traffic lights.
Of course, tanning services still abound?the same ones that earned a gold Readers' Choice award from San Diego Downtown News in 2012. Artificial-sun bathers relax in four levels of vertical and horizontal beds, including a Level 5 machine with 10 adjustable facial bulbs, air conditioning, and voice-guided controls. Patrons can also ditch UV rays altogether and opt instead for spray tans in a Mystic HD booth or at the hands of experienced, professional airbrush technicians who?according to their website?use an organic formula and have misted the skin of Hollywood stars.
Hawaiian-print curtains welcome clients to Suki Day Spa's shabby-chic Fourth Avenue location, where bamboo screens flank cream-colored sofas in wicker or leather and a vast painting of a red blossom reflects punches of crimson in the throw pillows and fresh blooms. The long, lean space reaches beyond the plush pedicure chairs to a hallway with private rooms, where spa treatments such as massages, facials, and spray tans gloss clients' guises more effectively than daily slatherings of vaseline and glitter.
Soft light pours into French Twist Salon, where brown pebbled-leather chairs, gilded mirrors, and exposed pipes lend an old-timey feel. But while the decor harks back to another era, the treatments and cache of hair products remain decidedly current. Owner Carole guides her team of stylists as they steal away frizz with Brazilian blowouts and glossing treatments or add color and dimension with highlights. Elsewhere in the salon, stylists perform waxing services and enhance features with makeup applications or three different kinds of eyelash extensions—day, night, or 24 hours of daylight. Carole doubles as a seasoned manicurist who delivers long-lasting shine with Shellac gel polish.
At Wat Po Thai Spa, a 2010 nominee for Best Day Spa by Best of LA, technicians bolster well-being with services that range from traditional Thai massage to skincare. The house-specialty Thai Combo fuses Thai massage, Swedish massage, and reflexology into an international amalgamation of relaxation similar to naptime at the UN. Thai massage harnesses compression, stretching, and rocking techniques to improve circulation of vital energy along the body's pathways, and Swedish massage encompasses gentle strokes such as gliding, kneading, and stretching to increase oxygen flow in the blood and forge full-body tension relief. Patrons walk away from massage sessions with relieved stress, allayed aches, increased internal alignment, and enough flexibility to fold bodies into an empty Pringles can at the first sign of danger.
Although the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is all about rocking out, it's spa, Rock Spa, serves as a zen sanctuary, where guests can recharge and relax. Its services include various massages, body treatments, and facials, as well as nail services, including the unique beer and pretzels pedicure. Clients can also bronze their bodies with airbrush tans or sweat out glitter and toxins from last night's party in the spa's steam rooms.