High in the historic State Theatre Building, Joshua Hughes sits in his massage studio, awaiting his next client. Brisk Atlantic winds glide through the suite's windows, as if the ocean itself were offering a gentle massage. "One of the things I like about my suite,” Hughes says. "It's high up. A great breeze always comes into the room. It’s… a lovely environment to relax."
A licensed massage therapist in the seventh year of his career, Joshua reflects on how he got here. "I wanted to help people," he explains, "and I was always good with my hands. Massage was right down that alley." He began working even before graduation, massaging as a freelancer at spas and salons. "I didn't feel quite fulfilled. I wanted to start my own practice.”
Joshua's approach to massage is holistic as he employs reflexology, deep-tissue work, and even hot riverbed stones to tailor treatments to the individual needs of his clients. Focusing on the individual is part of what is most satisfying to Joshua about his work. "I've had clients tell me that they're just so appreciative and grateful for my attention to detail––that I cater to them as people. The money's a bonus, but just having someone tell me they feel better is the most rewarding."
Sloppy moptops transform into fetching coiffures under the skilled shears of Ocean Waves Salon’s follicular makeover artists. Clients of either gender first surrender soiled tresses to a sudsy shampoo that swiftly jettisons deep-set grime and thoughts about pterodactyls. A trained stylist deploys a panoply of snips to evict freeloading curls before elegantly arranging the remaining locks into a chic, dependable ‘do. Alternatively, partial highlights add hue to manes to direct attention towards the most important strands and away from the hairs that are actually cobwebs. Radiant pendant lamps preside over clients relaxing in a spacious salon bedecked with ultramodern equipment and cozy homespun flair.
Sun Tan City's tanning centers house an armada of bronzing vehicles designed to polish bodies, rain or shine. Tanners can burrow into the belly of any of four levels of tanning beds for 10- to 20-minute bronzing sessions. Fast-level beds slowly steep skin with a solid base tan, and Instant-level beds boldly bronze pelts with a larger ratio of UVA bulbs, coaxing melanin out with paparazzi-like attention and promises of leading roles. VersaSpa sunless, open-air booths airbrush epidermises with a water-soluble plant-based solution that goes on evenly, resists staining clothes, and, unlike rolling around in a puddle of fudge, darkens skin without leaving a sticky residue.
Whether your look depends on a full head of highlights, vibrant feather extensions, or a classic men's haircut, the stylists at Adorn Salon relish every chance to fuse modern styling with an old-fashioned, personalized approach. Though they specialize in cuts and coloring treatments, the team is too restlessly creative to stand beside salon chairs all day. They also sculpt nails during standard or shellac mani-pedis and wax faces until they are as smooth as the surface of a prepubescent peach.
Katie, a stylist at Ollo Hair Salon, draws on training from KMS California, Goldwell, and Blow, The New York Blow Dry Bar to boost natural beauty while reflecting each client's unique personality. She trims tresses into high-fashion styles that range from pixie cuts to long, layered looks and infuses strands with bold, creative color or natural, sun-kissed highlights. An iron fence and potted flowers decorate the entrance to the salon, which is housed in a charming brick building.
From India to Antarctica, Sue Vittner's massage training has taken her all over the world. At her facility on Portland soil, Sue funnels those experiences into her practice, delivering a unique blend of seven different modalities that includes Swedish, sports, and deep massage. Sue dispatches those techniques during individual and couples massage sessions, and for those looking to learn the craft themselves, Sue shares the tricks to her trade during her interactive couples massage class.
Performed by relaxation gurus Michaela Cote and Joseph Richard, Daydream Bodyworks' suite of services ranges from glycolic peels to warm seaweed wraps. Inside dimmed, candle-lit rooms, deep-tissue massages focus on relieving chronic aches and tension, while customized facials target fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and delinquent teenage pores.