Exhale Spa seeks to transform its clientele inside and out. The founding team of fitness professionals and aestheticians sought to create an environment where they could empower visitors with pampering spa treatments, invigorating fitness classes, and lifestyle education, helping clients attain a sense of control and holistic balance. Now with 19 locations across 11 cities, Exhale Spa and its signature services have earned mentions in numerous national publications, including People magazine, the New York Times, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Exhale's signature Core Fusion classes incorporate dance-inspired stretches, yoga poses, and Pilates exercises into total-body workouts that build long, lean limbs and sturdy abdominal muscles over time. For an even more varied workout, the instructors introduce boot-camp techniques, cardio exercises, or multiplication tables to select sessions. Yoga classes present a similar amount of breadth and variety, drawing inspiration from a number of introspective and physically oriented styles. To help hasten physical transformations, nutrition and wellness coaches teach attendees about the impacts of diet. These sessions build an awareness of healthy eating habits through custom meal plans and by teaching clients how to identify the edible parts of a fruit basket.
Many of the center's traditional spa services seek to inspire confidence. Facials pamper and refine skin using everything from green tea and fruit extracts to microcurrent technology, and mani-pedis revitalize digits before glazing nails with a vibrant new coat of color. Bodywork treatments look beyond physical relaxation and focus on holistic concerns. Massage therapists can use Eastern or Western modalities to soothe overstressed musculature, and acupuncture treatments and reiki sessions jump-start natural healing processes by encouraging the free flow of inner energies.
Guests arriving to The Raven Spa may find themselves feeling like they've traveled a thousand miles away from their everyday cares. The aesthetic is both spiritual and indulgent, with stone statues that stand sentinel beside a plush purple couch and lush, sun-drenched drapes and glistening chandeliers holding court over an eastern-inspired communal massage chamber. A colorful patio overflowing with exotic flowers welcomes visitors to sit and soak in sunlight streaming between red and white umbrellas, creating a peaceful oasis for quiet reading or self-reflection. "Whoever comes here feels like it's their own," a front desk manager told LX TV's 1st Look, "Our whole goal is to take you away from whatever's out there."
The spa's international decor also mirrors its diverse menu of services, which includes acupuncture, facials, and hammam??a traditional Turkish soak that corrals plant extracts and herbs to nourish and detoxify the body. Therapists work out imbedded muscle kinks through seven varieties of massage including traditional Thai massage, which combines rhythmic kneads with yoga-like stretches and Hawaiian lomi lomi massage, which often sees practitioners using their elbows to nudge tension until it gets the hint and leaves.
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.
• For $40, you get two far infrared sauna sessions (a $90 value). • For $150, you get a detox package, including colon hydrotherapy (a $105 value), bioelectric lymph drainage (a $105 value), an ionic footbath (a $45 value), and a far-infrared-sauna session (a $45 value; a $300 total value).
The ARCONA Studio opened in 1989; its namesake was a chemist whose interest in holistic skincare was, at the time, a progressive idea. She began developing products made from cosmeceutical-grade ingredients such as enzymes, plant extracts, amino acids, and antioxidants. By cold-processing all her products in small batches, she was able to maintain the natural ingredients’ freshness and create highly active formulations. Because her anti-aging products are designed to speed up the skin’s renewal cycle from 30 days to only seven, she quickly gained a following among LA’s elite. With the philosophy that “skin can and should look beautiful at any age,” the Studio’s aestheticians perform an extensive selection of skincare treatments fueled by professional-grade ARCONA products. Their signature facial contouring treatments were originally developed by Arcona herself, and use lymph drainage and deep facial massage to “exercise” the 55 muscles of the face, giving clients a more toned and tightened appearance. Additional services include peels with organic fruit enzymes and red-carpet radiance treatments with a combination of oxygen spray, LED, and a brightening eye treatment. Like many of the complexions maintained here, the studio itself is flawless. Out front, soft lighting glows in the store, where the brand’s iconic ivory boxes are lined up immaculately on floating shelves. In the waiting area, creamy white chairs sit beside rich brown cabinets; from here, aestheticians guide clients back to private treatment rooms that bloom with the smell of fresh flowers.
After learning the art of hair design and safe beret removal from stylists in Paris, a young Barbara Abbasi discovered the kernel of an idea to develop her own meticulous coloring system. She honed her method throughout 25 years, and now the expert colorist and owner of American Beauty Hair transforms looks with highlights and all-over color sessions that incorporate this signature technique. She can't reveal the details, but will let slip that she focuses on perfecting the base color and blending hues for a natural-looking result.
High-quality products fuel the salon's broad selection of other services. Abbasi nourishes strands with fragrant and moisture-rich coconut-oil treatments, and she finishes looks with the Ferrum styler, whose fabric padding retains moisture and shine while allowing hair to breathe.