A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all 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 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.
At Becoming New, a diverse team of licensed cosmeticians, a paramedical esthetician, a massage therapist, and nail technicians enhance appearances with modern technology. The experts shy away from invasive surgery and instead employ ultrasonic technology to target fat deposits and ultherapy to sculpt arms and necks. The spa’s arsenal also includes detoxifying and slimming body wraps, as well as chemical peels that help erase fine lines and other signs of aging. For gentler rejuvenation, skin experts treat pores to blueberry and champagne facials. The staff add the finishing touches to appearances with permanent hair removal and manicures that brighten nails with CND Shellac and Gelish polish, which resist chipping even while slapping a rude statue.
Bubblegum pink. Sugary treats. Rhinestones and glitter. Sweet and Sassy’s stylists pamper moppets during shrunken-down spa treatments spun with these elements. As tots lounge on tangerine pillows, kid-calibrated manicures and pedicures bejewel their keratin shields with sparkly nail art and adorn their favorite digits with rings and toe rings. Facials slather visages with gentle, sweet-smelling concoctions, and ear-piercing services add appropriate glint to kids' facial regions so that they can stop lodging beads in their nostrils. For birthday parties, celebrants can arrive in the spa’s pink limousine before strutting down the runway in Sweet and Sassy’s glittery gowns.
All-natural products line the shelves at each of Rituals Salon's two locations. Created by Aveda, these hair serums forgo unpronounceable ingredients for plant oils and nonpetroleum-based minerals, all for the good of the both the consumer and the environment. The salon owners follow Aveda's lead at Rituals, where they invite clients to stop in for chemical-free highlights and chic haircuts performed by Aveda-trained stylists. After the stylists show off their talents, makeup artists step in to dress up eyes and lips and teach novice cosmetics users that eye shadow is to be swept across the eyelid, not across the retina.
A wall bisects Hello Beautiful Colour Salon & Art Spa's honey-toned studio. On one side, styling stations line up with mirrors mounted on easels. On the other side, a lounge combines the feel of a beauty boutique with that of a caf?. Shelf upon shelf of products from Brocato and ColorProof surround funky red tables where clients sip and shampoo their hair with coffee. As salon stations open up, senior and master stylists call their human canvases in for cuts or color jobs with dyes from Italy. Meanwhile, Hello Beautiful's aestheticians tend to the body with chemical peels, facials, and a relaxation massage.
With new styles and trends emerging every season, stylist Bonnie Gosack knows that staying on top of the game means continuing her education. She graduated from a Redken-endorsed academy with expertise in Redken cutting and coloring techniques. Then she went on to earn a certification as a hair-extension artist—Bonnie specializes in the keratin-fusion method, which she believes produces the most natural-looking styles. At SalonSpa Lavish, she puts her skills to use by cutting, styling, and coloring strands and applying hair extensions long enough to double as a muumuu.