Each of Seattle Sun Tan's 39 locations spans between 2,000 and 4,000 square feet of space dedicated solely to the art of un-sunbathing. Washington-state tanners strut down immaculate hallways dotted with framed original paintings and contemporary artwork before settling into private rooms where they may acquire their desired shade while enjoying the sounds of their own music or prerecorded subliminal messages piped in through the iPod dock perched near each bed. The Smart Tan?certified staff guides clients in selecting which of the five levels of UV bed best fits their tanning needs and whether they desire a short tan time, prefer to stand up or lie down, or wish to bask beneath high-pressure face lamps. Shop shelves offer home tanners quality products from Australian Gold and Swedish Beauty, whereas spray-tanning options from VersaSpa and SunFX both impart a natural-looking faux glow that takes mere minutes to apply and lasts for days.
Wax On has been offering stellar strand-stripping services to discerning hair producers since 1999 from its fun spa environment. There is no follicle too wispy or fuzz too peachy to avoid the professional waxen maidens at Wax On. Like the helpful, friendly staff chants during their pre-day huddle—if it has hair, it can be made bare. The careful and pleasant purveyors of slickness will use their years of experience and connection with the dark side to target overgrown sprouts and diligently bid them adieu. Put your best face forward for your next photo shoot or photo firing squad with a lip ($15) or eyebrow ($15) wax. Otherwise, opt for a full leg ($50) or Brazilian ($70) treatment to improve your hydrodynamics during a summer of late-night skinny-snorkeling. The waxery also harvests hair from the skin of self-conscious gents looking to quietly rid their neck ($20), chest ($25), or bikini zone ($45) of unwelcome sasquatch fur.
Desert Sun Tanning Salon was awarded the 2011 Best Tanning award by King5, which cites the Salon's "Smart Tan Certified tanning consultants" as one of its strongest features. The consultants effortlessly guide clients through three levels of tanning beds according to the client's skin type and tanning desires, and they may even to achieve a bronze as deep as an ancient Greek statue of a lifeguard. Tanning beds are tricked out with amenities including aromatherapy, air conditioning, and piped-in music, and after their sessions clients can choose from an array of nourishing lotions to smooth onto freshly golden skin.
Sunlight doesn’t hit the sidewalks of Seattle much during winter. Or any other season, for that matter, which is why the city boasts five different Desert Sun Tanning Salons. The site in Wallingford, which sits at the corner of 45th and Stone Way, offers a good example of what to expect from this Pacific Northwest chain, where employees are certified tanning consultants who oversee state-of-the-art tanning beds, sunless spray tanning preparations, red-light therapy and body-wrap equipment. Personal on-site tours can be arranged to get a feel for the bright, cheerful setting, which blends the browns of Arizona with the cool blues of the individual tanning machines. Memberships are also available, making Desert Sun a year-round oasis of sunlight for weather-weary urbanites.
When the staffers at Desert Sun Tanning Salons say they can fix your problems with a cocktail, they’re not talking about libations. Instead, they’re referring to a method that combines two types of bronzing styles. After lying in a traditional sunbed, patrons pop into an automatic spray-tanning booth. The idea is that the UV rays in the bed trigger melanin production and open the pores so that the spray tan goes on darker and lasts longer. Of course, customers can indulge in either of these options separately, choosing from a fleet of machinery that includes Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless tanning booths and silver-, gold-, and platinum-level sunbeds.
They can also undergo a session that doesn’t change the skin’s tone, but, rather, tones it. Red-light therapy drenches the skin in fluorescent light that boosts collagen production in order to firm skin, tighten muscles, and transform sagging bloomers into boxer briefs. Regular salon visitors can consider purchasing a membership, which entitles them to tanning-bed upgrades and discounts on skincare products.