Heidi Lamar didn't know much about spas when she first purchased Spa Lamar. As she explained to reporters from Skin Inc., "not coming from a spa background, there were things I didn't know I couldn't do." Unhindered by industry conventions or previously fixed ideas, Heidi set about filling her 14,000-square-foot spa with innovative amenities?from a luxurious waterfall-fed pool to an onsite yoga and dance studio. She also cultivates locals instead of the typical resort crowd, banishing cacti from the decor in favor of a Caribbean-style ambiance that, as she told the Arizona Republic, caters to those who already live in Arizona and want to get away to a tropical island. Today, her media-lauded spa is the largest privately owned spa in Scottsdale and is frequented by locals, including members of the Phoenix Suns Dancers.
Before treatments that include massages, acupuncture, mani-pedis, and facials, guests garbed in fluffy complimentary robes duck into the steam room. They sample wholesome lunches and fruit plates from the tropical tea bar and relax in the sauna while waiting for a haircut or warm algae wrap. Sunbathers float around the pool on loungers, whereas others simmer in a bubbling whirlpool. Unlike many traditional spas, Spa Lamar is completely coed, making it an ideal place for couples that are on a first date or permanently trapped together inside a horse costume with a broken zipper.
Occasionally, Mood Swings Aveda Salon and Skin Spa moonlights as a studio. Sometimes camera-toting members of the media stop by to check out this season’s trends or new hair products. Other times, models strut or flutter from imaginary wind gusts during Urban Tribe and other fashion photo shoots. Perhaps most importantly, Mood Swings periodic studio space hosts educational seminars for its talented team of stylists, who learn advanced tips in coloring and other techniques from Aveda professional instructors.
This commitment to the art and science of hair justifies Arizona Foothills magazine selecting Mood Swings Aveda Salon and Skin Spa as its best salon of 2011. The praise coincides with that from AZCentral.com, which named Mood Swings Best Trendy Salon for “translating cool, avant-garde styles into wearable, everyday looks.” Stylists craft these looks with natural, plant-based products from Aveda, and supplement the service with pampering that can include a complimentary scalp massage, hand facial, and finishing touches to clients’ makeup. A comprehensive services menu treats the entire body, ranging from natural skin products that rejuvenate complexions to pedicures that soothe feet with a dual-jet therapeutic whirlpool after unsuccessful attempts to walk barefoot across a hot charcoal grill.
At the mother-daughter-owned Primp and Blow: A Blow Dry Bar, stylists focus on a single goal: speedily making over customers? hair and makeup in an upscale, scissor-free salon setting. Stylists focus their services around blowouts, mastering the art of transforming wet strands into pin-straight 'dos, big curls, or the flirtatious ?Scottsdale ponytail.? Products from Bumble and Bumble or Moroccanoil seal in styles, which can last for days or until clients attempt to brush their hair with a cotton-candy spinner. Cosmetologists wield equally effective serums from brands such as Rain and La Bella Donna?two lines of organic mineral makeup.
Rather than getting hair styled only alongside a clip or before a fancy occasion, these fashion-forward stylists reason that everyday events call for a polished look, be it a meeting, big date, or highly publicized nap. Primp and Blow has grabbed local buzz from publications such as AZFoothills.com?for which a writer declared, ?I tried Primp and Blow for the first time on New Years Eve and was amazed with my look. In with a baseball cap and oversized shades and out looking, and feeling, red carpet ready.? The overwhelming positive reviews helped the owners to open a second location. Both salons reflect the glamorous, everyday kind of luxury the team hopes to deliver, enhancing customer experiences with digital magazines on iPads and the glow of chandeliers.
The resume of Dr. Marvin Borsand, president of The Body Sculpting Center, should put any prospective client at ease. He not only has been certified to perform breast augmentation since 1992, but also has been a principal investigator on a silicone study for the Institutional Review Board. Plus, he co-authored an article on breast augmentation for the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery and is the current president of the Arizona Society of Cosmetic Surgery.
Breast augmentation procedures are his specialty, and he spends a generous amount of time with each client as they consider treatment, doing his best to offer honest, realistic expectations of results. He understands that each person has their own reasons for seeking treatment, from the mother wanting to firm her breasts after pregnancy, to the cancer survivor seeking her former silhouette post-mastectomy.
Of course, Dr. Borsand, along with Drs. Bryan Friedman and Elizabeth Nikolic, perform an extensive selection of other procedures, including facial contouring, sinus surgery, and even vaginal rejuvenation. They have a med spa onsite as well, where clients can pursue less invasive treatments such as laser rejuvenation and hormone-replacement therapy.
Fourteen lighted outdoor tennis courts, four new pickleball courts, seven indoor racquetball courts, weight rooms, a group fitness studio, and an indoor cycling room make up the facilities at La Camarilla Racquet, Fitness & Swim Club, setting the stage for members to get fit any way they see fit. For one, there’s a varied schedule of group fitness classes, with structured workouts such as tai chi, muscle cardio, yoga, and spinning. Treadmills, upright bikes, elliptical machines, and other fitness machines are within the four fitness rooms, too. If you want to cool off after a workout, feel free to swim the club's 25-meter outdoor pool or juggle ice cubes in the members’ lounge and bar area.
You can hear a constant thwacking of tennis balls and shuffling feet in the outdoor tennis facility, which hosts numerous tournaments, clinics, and lessons. Director of tennis Roger Furman and his staff of USPTA-certified pros offer instructional guidance to aspiring tennis players and ball boys of all ages.
At Naked Body + Bath, customers can pour the bath product of their choice into big brass tubs of warm water before slowly submerging their feet into a fragrant bath. These complimentary foot soaks—lauded by KHOU-11 as “heaven”—are one of many ways Naked Body + Bath empowers customers to experiment with the store’s selection of all-natural, customizable bath products.
To find ideal skin serum, customers begin by perusing a selection of unscented bath soaps, creams, salts, and lotions that are free of parabens and other chemicals. They then can dress them up with more than 200 fragrant oils, botanicals, milks, and glitters. Staffers allow customers to sample every product in-store and provide wells of already-concocted recipes to help spark ideas. Should customers mix a masterpiece, the staff record recipes and keep them on file to recreate at the customer’s bidding.