The aestheticians at Spa in the Hollow believe in indulgence. Operating under the philosophy that life is "sweeter with a little instant gratification and self-indulgence," they've welcomed guests to their peaceful spa for over a decade. Visitors can begin their journeys in the Serenity Room, taking some light refreshment while basking in the glow of a fireplace. Then, for an elemental contrast, they might lie down beside a waterfall for a massage in the garden gazebo, set in a landscape that includes a pond landscaped with Eastern-style trees, rocks, and grasses. Drawing on a different kind of vegetation, mango or coconut lime pedicures soften feet as the hands cradle a complimentary cocktail designed to make their insides feel tropically smooth.
Boagie and Bachall Spa on Vanadium's pampering staff recently doubled their digs, adding a full roster of spa services to their quarter-century history of hair expertise. While mouths sip a choice of beer, wine, mimosa, or soft drink, bodies will drink in roughly 90 minutes of relaxing spa treatments, escaping the stresses of the grueling workweek and confusing mad libs of the weekend. The 30-minute facial grants visages a merrier manner, swabbing everyday dirt and oil from the skin before applying treatments that exfoliate, tone, and hydrate facial tissue. Next, a relaxing 30-minute massage slackens sinews and tricks tension out of the body with the promise of awkward family gatherings just down the block. Hands and feet can crawl into an exfoliating paraffin bath and complete their transformation into silky appendages via a hydrating lotion massage and warming mittens. Finally, a stylist will enliven lackluster locks by offering the 'do of their choice, returning you to the outside world appearing polished while feeling as elastic as a bag of gummy worms.
Avanti offers a cornucopia of facial services, including the half-hour medical mini facial, which cleanses, steams, and massages your skull-sheath before applying a therapeutic mask tailored to your skin type. The treatment costs $75 by itself, but only $45 if you combine it with another service such as the microdermabrasion ($125), a skin-freshening technique that gently sandblasts the skin with tiny crystals before sucking up the fallen enemy cells with a vacuum. A few microdermabrasion treatments will help facial skin recover from the sun's savage Pesci-like pummeling—staving off the effects of aging in the process by removing fine lines and unwanted pigmentation.
Owners and principal members of the stylist team Emilio and Gino corral their decades of experience to create two distinct spaces where clients revel in personalized services. They staff more than 60 aesthetes, each of whom receives focused training on adjusting hair, skin, nail, and massage services to clients’ stated preferences and lifestyle. During and after haircuts, the team uses a house brand of products to style strands and address specific hair problems such as color fading, excessive oil, or naturally occurring pipe cleaners. During facials, the aestheticians home in on what lies below bangs by cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing skin, and tension dissipates during therapists' restful massage sessions. The downtown Pittsburgh location also plays host to an elegant serata—a private, chandelier-lit escape where bridal parties can enjoy ultimate relaxation before addressing the fact that their friend is marrying a panda bear.
In the midst of rustic woods, there sits a three-story building. Upon opening its front door, visitors unleash a gentle wave of aromatherapy scents and warm air. They step inside, where therapists lead them past wood accents and into private treatment rooms. World of Serenity’s spa atmosphere recalls the calm of the surrounding wilderness, and inside its walls, therapists adopt a holistic approach; they educate guests in wellness basics, such as why humans don’t eat sand, and perform a range of customized spa services. They soften faces, deep-cleanse pores, and slough of dead cells during customized facials; sometimes scouring or soothing the skin with an additional enzyme deep cleanse, warm stones, or anti-aging collagen. They also ease muscle tension with six massage modalities such as deep tissue, warm stone, and reflexology; and scrub clients from head to toe using salt and sugar rubs, and wraps made from natural dead sea mud or Paradisius—a blend of ground fruit and flower extracts.
Jeffrey Grinnel knew he wanted to study massage to help escape the stressfulness of his career in business management; what he didn’t know was it would eventually ignite a new passion and jumpstart a new career path. He opened his massage practice BodyWorks of ShadySide 10 years ago, and since delving into his new line of work, Grinnel has developed the skills to whisk away muscular tension and stimulate physical health with massage techniques, skin treatments, and holistic healing. In the Swedish massage, the specialist uses a relaxing series of strokes called effleurage to invigorate muscles, stimulate the circulatory system, and undo muscle knots. He can also conduct a reflexology treatment, which reduces tension by targeting pressure points on the body.