The main ingredient at Sugar San Diego is its namesake sugar, but you won't encounter any baked goods within its walls. The sweet ingredient instead appears in sugaring paste, which, when slightly warmed, removes hair at the root. Since the sugaring agent pulls hair in the same direction that it grows and isn't hot like wax, it's gentler on sensitive skin. But sugaring still works on all the same fuzzy areas as waxing, including the face, bikini line, and body.
Training is the driving force that makes each service better and better at Molly and Bryan Boyd's Bryll Hair Lounge. As a Bumble and bumble network educator, Molly stays on top of current trends and styling products. As a former teacher and educational leader, Bryan works as the salon's director of education. Together, they oversee the team of stylists at Bryll as they administer precision cuts, color treatments, hair extensions, and makeup applications using Redken, Moroccanoil, and Bumble and bumble products.
Even during the decade she spent as a stay-at-home mother, Nicole Bennett, the owner and aesthetician at Flawless Face & Body, always followed her own personal skin care regimen and even worked a few side jobs in cosmetics. But it wasn't until she decided to take a chance and go back to school that she realized that her passion was deeper than she thought, and that passion aligned with her quest for a new career. Her interest in skin care skyrocketed as she delved into the nitty-gritty science behind it, and she sped her way through Palomar Institute of Cosmetology.
After becoming a licensed aesthetician, Nicole opened her own wellness center, which has since expanded into a new clinic in the heart of San Marcos, providing skin care, massage therapy, acne treatments and hair-removal services. She also earned certification as an acne specialist, with the extra training inspiring her to dedicate a large portion of her service menu to result-oriented acne solutions. This dedication now takes the form of a full-fledged acne program, which blends biweekly clinic appointments with an at-home skin care regimen to take faces from spotty to spotless over the course of 12-16 weeks. The team at Flawless Face & Body strives to educate clients and give them the one-on-one time they need to reach their wellness goals within a private, relaxing environment. With the help of Image Skincare and Rhonda Allison products, specialists also counter blemishes and imperfections with facials, peels, and waxing, leaving skin as clean and smooth as a censored version of The Catcher in the Rye read by Barry White.
In 2001, the first iTAN Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal—to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 30 Southern California franchises, each offering a slightly different assortment of teeth whitening, tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and self-serve spa offerings.
The Smart Tan–certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays, and self-administered spa treatments dispense relaxing red-light facials, infrared-heat bodywraps, and aqua massages.
When first meeting clients, licensed massage therapist Stacey Allen goes over their health histories and asks them what their goals are. She does this as a way of engaging the client, but she can usually sense their aches just by watching them walk into the studio. A patient may complain, for example, of chronic neck pain, but Stacey notices something off in his gait. Then she learns of an old knee injury. Working over the client's body, she can tell that though his knee has healed, his body hasn't let go of the tension that resulted from compensating for the injury. And so she sets to work, gradually undoing the deep-set tension reaching from the knee to the neck.
Stacey gives every client this depth of individualized treatment, drawing upon massage modalities that include therapeutic, Swedish, sports, and deep-tissue work. Her journey into massage therapy started somewhat by happenstance—as a bookkeeper, she'd often greet coworkers with a quick shoulder massage, which became her form of a handshake. When the economy slowed, she decided to expand her repertoire and study massage. Naming her practice after a mentor's mantra, "We heal from within," Stacey puts guests at ease with relaxing spa music, Tempur-Pedic table toppers, and candles scented like a mother's love.
Massage therapist. Lifestyle coach. Group fitness instructor. The list of Kathleen Pleasants’s vocations goes on and on. At Clearly Unique, Kathleen caters to clients' health and wellbeing, relying on her years of experience as a holistic health practitioner. As head massage therapist, she charms muscles into relaxing and dissipates stress and pain with deep-tissue and Swedish massages and neuromuscular therapy. Kathleen also has a special touch for carpal tunnel syndrome, alleviating the painful symptoms with three physical-therapy sessions.
Going above and beyond traditional massage services, Clearly Unique also hosts a range of workshops. Classes teach the art of reiki, advanced massage techniques, energy balancing, and even nutrition, in which Kathleen—who is not just a nutritional counselor but is also featured in the book Is She Naturally Thin or Disciplined? —leads the way to healthy eating.