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 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 in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines spray tan skin and massage muscles, while teeth-whitening kits brighten chompers.
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.
Though Casual Cuts flaunts its hairdos in its name, the staff styles more than just hair. They offer services that cover the entire body, from facial threading that leaves brows sculpted to mani-pedis that prepare feet for sandal season, which in parts of Alaska, for example, spans from July 4th to later in the day on July 4th. For the real estate between head and feet, they can wax away unwanted hair or airbrush skin to create an even tan.
The bronzing pros at Magic Tan Spa deepen clients' skin tone with organic airbrush tanning, automated spray tans, and 14 traditional tanning beds in levels 1–4. Whether building up a base tan for a tropical vacation or forging a sun-kissed look to make the moon jealous, the clean, state-of-the-art equipment yields the desired golden results. To further enhance bathing-suit bodies, the technicians also swaddle problem areas in infrared body wraps, which may burn calories, melt cellulite, and chase toxins out of bodily villages with burning torches and pitchforks.
At Beach Club Tanning, 14 rooms play host to tanning beds, UV and UV-free spray booths, and custom airbrush sessions. Five levels of tanning beds deliver the desired level of bronze, and are kept in tip-top shape thanks to an onsite trained factory tanning-bed technician. In addition to gilding services, Beach Club Tanning helps shed inches and wedged inner tubes with the fat-busting Fit body wrap, and boosts collagen production with red-light-skin-rejuvenation-booth sessions.
The Land Down Under is a continent set beneath a scorching sun—Australian Tan knows, just like Australians, how to harness the light to achieve glowing, bronzy skin. The salon’s faux sun comes from six different tanning booths. The most basic bed imparts a base tan in 20 minutes, while the Instant 770 imparts a rich, long-lasting hue in as few as 10. Meanwhile, the sunless spray-tanning booth houses an automatic system that sprays on UV-free color. Regardless of the chosen bed, the staff can complement sessions with bronzing lotions that enhance acquired tans or help an old trophy get through a midlife crisis with a refreshed façade. Each member of the staff goes through 35 hours of training prior to working in the salon, so they can easily tailor tanning plans to each customer.
When Aeilene Ramirez-Phan turned 14, she made two new best friends: mascara and blush. The beauty buff knew then that one day she would design makeup and doll up faces; that dream became Heaven & Hannah Beauty Lounge. Aeilene’s makeup applications double as makeup-education classes for clients, during which she customizes clients’ looks and teaches them how to select and wield cosmetics without being pulled off the street and into a Kabuki performance. In addition to spa services such as facials and hair treatments, Aeilene hosts glamorous parties that begin with full makeovers and end in front of a camera for a round of beauty shots. She also makes a point of giving back to the community by donating a portion of party proceeds to local charities.