Being fair-skinned, Jennifer Cook learned the hard way about how her skin would react to the UVA and UVB rays of a tanning bed. After one bad experience, she struck out on a quest to discover the best sunless tanning sprays and lotions—ones that would leave skin bronzed and streak-free. After much trial and error, she discovered Bronze Body Products. She was so satisfied with the results that she decided to take her enthusiasm to the next level. Already certified as an airbrush technician, Cook opened up her own shop, Love My Tan. There, she now focuses exclusively on sunless tanning, misting her clients with the organic, paraben-free solution that develops into a deep, even tan.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach 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 whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
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.
Glamour Nails’ attentive technicians prune digit-top gardens and mollycoddle extremities in a contemporary upscale boutique suited for wedding parties or parties of one. Amicable aestheticians apply OPI products to fingernails, clip cuticles, and massage hands (a $13 value), dipping the hard-working appendages into warm liquid paraffin, encouraging deeper absorption of emollients, essential oils, and the shock of overenthusiastic high-fives (a $5 value). Meanwhile, feet beat a hasty retreat from stress and coarseness with a pedi-massage and a gentle rubbing that whittles away calluses and excess skin. Keratin pruners then shape and polish toenails until they gleam like a waxed sunbeam (a $30 value). From fingernail to heel, the entire process takes about an hour and 15 minutes.
Fantastic Sams is a full-service salon for the whole family that sculpts wilted hair into a look-twice hot commodity. All cuts start with a soothing shampoo using Fantastic Sams' signature line of products. With today's deal, tired tresses will also be treated to a moisture-melding deep-conditioning treatment to seal in shine and undo dryness and damage from sandbox headstands. After stray strands are snipped away, the lush remaining locks are blown dry as hair is sculpted into an irresistibly manicured mane. Each of Fantastic Sams’ confidence-renewal centers is staffed with follicle fanatics who will whisk worries away with precision and kindness.
Brandye Jagneaux draws on two decades of experience in the beauty industry to helm Salon Capelli Couture’s staff of hairstylists. She doesn’t need to watch them too closely, as each comes equipped with her own wealth of styling experience. Megan Louque counts herself among this team of experts. When she isn’t cutting hair into flattering shapes or brightening strands with partial or full highlights, she relaxes unmanageable kinks with keratin treatments, making sure not to splash the straightening formula on the curly fleur de lis designs that adorn the salon’s walls in tribute to Louisiana’s heritage. Sometimes, Megan’s love for local culture can be quite pronounced—she and her fellow stylists have been known to dye hair purple and gold for upcoming LSU football games.
The aestheticians and massage therapists at The Cabana Retreat pamper clients with a full array of facials, mani-pedis, and massages. Beauticians adroitly apply makeup and make nails gleam for special events, such as homecoming dances or live reenactments of E.T.. Equipped with haircare products from Paul Mitchell and Lanza, stylists help rejuvenate hair and restore its sheen.