Voted best place for a beach-ready tan by readers of Georgia Straight three years in a row, Clients leave SunScape Tanning Studios sporting rich, golden hues imparted in an environment where the staff is committed to providing the most safe and effective tanning experience possible. Each of the studio’s technicians—called SunExperts—is trained in the appropriate administration of UV light to help bodies safely attain the bronzed look they desire using the latest in tanning techniques without needing approval from the curmudgeonly sun. The centre’s proprietors take pride in the their ultra-modern tanning equipment that often imparts an added feel of luxury to each session, with tanning beds that boast aromatherapy and relaxing aqua mists and private sunless options that include VeraSpa and Mystic Tan. SunExperts also treat skin to revitalizing treatments, such as Beauty Angel skin rejuvenation, that uses red-light therapy to help tone and tighten skin, as opposed to black-light therapy, whose only goal is to put Led Zeppelin songs in people’s minds.
The Smart Tan–certified team at Tan de Soleil assists clients in getting the best out of their experiences by keeping immaculate tanning studios stocked with modern tanning beds and spray-tan booths. Before customers slip into a KBL lay-down bed or a Sun Capsule VHR stand-up unit, the staff provides them with sanitized protective eyewear and towels. They also change the bulbs in those beds regularly to keep them at optimal tanning efficiency.
For UV-free tans, the crew educates its guests about the use of VersaSpa and Mystic Tan spray-tanning booths for custom tans with solutions that moisturize and nourish skin. These tanning booths can gild tanners in about 60 seconds, but for those who wish to take their time, the studios come equipped with a vanity area. In there, guests lounge and use supplied nail files, hairspray, gel, and beauty products to get ready for the rest of their days. The space also allows for phone conversations so customers don’t have to feel intrusive when making personal calls or leaving in-your-face messages on King Midas’s voicemail.
Long before he opened Westcoast Piercing and Ink, professional piercer Kelly began to reconsider his own body’s potential as a template for artistic self-expression. As a pre-teen during punk rock’s heyday in the early 80s, he became fascinated with big chains, spiked bracelets, and large rings—pretty much anything that would showcase his style and increase his radio signal. The scene’s do-it-yourself ethic often led his friends to experiment with unsanitary piercing methods, but Kelly thankfully knew better and decided to take the true D.I.Y. route: he became a certified piercer himself and opened Westcoast Piercing Guy.
Today, years after his initial stroke of inspiration, Kelly operates out of a health-board approved studio that has been given the seal of approval from the local medical community and clients alike. He continues to outfit ears and other body parts with piercings; only now he works alongside a band of piercers and tattoo artists who decorate skin with everything from colorful custom sleeves to blank crossword puzzles that help clients pass the time during morning commutes.
After giving up careers as a teacher and hotel-management supervisor, Moazma Bhangu decided to follow her true passion: advanced laser skincare. Today, as the certified head technician at Heavenly Images, she refurbishes clients' bodies and faces using medical techniques such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and spider-vein removal. Her specialty, however, is nonsurgical laser treatments, such as ReFirme, which she wields to remove unwanted hair, smooth away wrinkles, and intimidate temporary tattoos of secret agents. She also customizes treatments, performing photofacials designed for Asian complexions as well as EDP therapy, which combines microdermabrasion, medical infusions, and LED light therapy. In addition to providing treatments, Moazma constantly educates her patients on skin health—and can prescribe skincare products by Obagi, Priori, Riversol, and PCA Skin.
Warm and inviting sums up the ambience at Koi Day Spa, where a skilled staff of aestheticians and massage therapists unleashes a range of relaxing services on clients. Calling upon all-natural and animal-friendly products, including Éminence Organic Skin Care products from Hungary, experts rejuvenate skin with a range of facials, from the salon's signature custom treatment to an exfoliating paprika facial, chock full of the peppery spice. Aching muscles can find relief in the hands of Koi’s licensed massage therapists, who spoil backs with hot stones and long and flowing Swedish strokes. In the nail salon, organic foot scrubs and fruit-packed lotions repair dry, callused skin before technicians adorn nails with vibrant polish or tasty Bugles. Clients can sip on complimentary beverages and nibble on decadent treats throughout their visit.
Devoted to the holistic approaches of Indian Ayurvedic techniques and fostering an atmosphere where clients can relax and socialize, the beauty techs at Spa Moksha Beauty Lounge treat services with a ceremonial reverence. In an unhurried, mindful manner, the staff uses natural oils, clay, and rock crystals to accent their services and build aromatic clay snowmen. The environment promotes tranquility and wellness with exposed beams, golden drapes, Indian statuary, and dedicated spa rooms as clients soaking in the indulgent jet bath or undergoing the ancient Middle Eastern practice of threading to remove hair to enhance angles and features. The spa's list of calming and rejuvenating rituals also include massage, facials, mani-pedis, and makeup application.