Darque Tan's arsenal of beds, booths, and nourishing lotions infuses visiting bodies with sun-kissed color. Along with at least 20 tanning beds, each location brims with tan-savvy staff members—each certified through the International Smart Tan Network—who can work with you to customize a program based on your tanning goals, skin type, and relation to black-and-white movie starlets. Sessions take place in private rooms that line a column-flanked hallway, where five different levels of UV beds give skin the perfect level of tanning. Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless-tanning systems imbue clients with a hydrating, natural-looking glow, which can be customized according to skin tone, desired shade, and spirit animal. A full-time cleaning staff keeps each center in pristine conditions by referencing a 50-point inspection system. Most locations have books, televisions, and kids’ play areas to keep children entertained while adults are bronzing.
Aesthetician Sophia Marzocchi entered the skincare industry because of her own skin woes—she had spent years applying mystery products and receiving subpar facial treatments to no avail. She started Spa Sophia as an antithesis to the spas she had visited in the past, wanting to ensure each client feels better walking out her door than they did when they first walked in. To achieve this, she hired a skilled staff of aestheticians, including Amanda Coggin.
Coggin has always been a bit of a mad scientist—as a teenager, she scoured her pantry and fridge for ingredients to create hydrating skin masks. Now, she shares the best of her years of trial and error at Spa Sophia, where she is a member of a team of equally passionate professionals. Though seriously dedicated to their craft, they keep the atmosphere playful, even as they administer Brazilian waxes or evict dead skin to a cold and loveless afterlife. The spa also insists on using medical-grade products and divulges post-treatment upkeep tips after services.
Mary Alice performs facial services at Saving Faces Skin Care Salon, a day spa tucked away in Marina Del Rey. It’s in this eclectic space, complete with futuristic floor lamps, white furnishings, and chic wallpaper, that she performs services which blend together holistic and science-based treatments.
To combat signs of aging, the on-staff aestheticians arm themselves with Dermalogica and AQ Skin Solutions products during ISUN Platinum facials, working to balance moisture levels and reduce irritation. Add-on treatments, such as a pumpkin enzyme peel that stimulates blood flow, can further bring a healthy glow to the face. In addition to performing skin-based services, staffers can be found pampering clients with organic spray tans and lash extensions. They can also wax unwanted body hair, adhering to a strict “no double-dipping sticks” policy.
For many, a bee farm might stir feelings of anxiety, and perhaps even childlike fear, but not for Germana, founder and owner of Brazilian Honey Waxing. Growing up on a ranch in Brazil, she spent her childhood playing and experimenting with the honey relinquished from her father's bee farm, eventually spinning the sugary substance into a 100% natural wax. Though Germana has since left her Brazilian home for the humming streets of Santa Monica, she still transforms that same honey from her father's farm into batches of organic and hypoallergenic wax for her boutique. Inside her shop, she and her staff of trained aestheticians do away with unwanted hair on every surface, from bikini lines and legs to noses and chestplates made of discarded mannequin parts. Each and every application of Germana's specialty wax sticks directly to the hair follicle, leaving the skin completely free from irritation.
With an ocean-facing tea terrace, a meditation garden, and a yoga studio, it's little wonder that clients such as Paramount, MTV, and Disney have used Creative Chakra Spa as a film location. Celebrities also frequent on the spot, with its steam room, infrared sauna, and cabana, to spend relaxing, paparazzi-free afternoons. But even if guests don't recognize this stunning oasis from America's Next Top Model or Millionaire Matchmaker, a quick glance around will make them glad they're there. Massages, facials, and ancient healing therapies share space on the service menu with a variety of green and eco-friendly skin care products. And if their facials, body wraps, and scrubs seem unique, it's probably because the Creative Chakra Spa aestheticians use products they formulate themselves.
Inside nestled inside a hip art gallery open from noon 'til midnight, Nitespa’s technicians augment organic facials, waxing, and mani-pedis with creative extras and complimentary wine that earned them a feature on Pop Sugar. The team lends an understanding ear during Tea and Sympathy, expediting the healing process with a basic manicure, foot massage or mini facial, and cooling mask for puffy eyes or burns incurred when setting old love notes on fire. They exercise extra patience in the wake of overindulgent nights, stepping lightly as they unleash the Hangover Helper treatment's emergency kit of detoxifying pressure-point massages and elixirs. Calming music adds a soothing soundtrack of the team’s work, providing a steady beat for relaxing massages or a chilled-out theme for postmanicure victory dances.