In 2001, the first iTAN Sun Spray Spa opened its doors. It had a simple goal?to make clients feel and look lovely with professional tanning services. Today, the spa has more than 30 Southern California franchises, each offering a slightly different assortment of teeth whitening, tanning beds, spray-tanning booths, and self-serve spa offerings.
The Smart Tan?certified staff prioritizes keeping up with tanning technology by stocking state-of-the-art tanning beds such as the Sun Angel, which uses sensors to customize a blend of UVA and UVB rays, practically eliminating overexposure. Many beds come equipped with stereo sound systems, misters, and fans. Just down the hall from these beauty gadgets, Mystic and airbrush machines bronze limbs without UV rays, and self-administered spa treatments dispense relaxing red-light facials, infrared-heat bodywraps, and aqua massages.
The joys of a massage or the relief of a chiropractic adjustment?and the stresses of physical work?play out partly in the muscles. Learn just what pumps the body up with Groupon?s guide to the muscular system.
The human body has more than 630 muscles keeping it upright and mobile. They make up almost half its weight and power the movements of the bones, the blood, and even the food in the stomach. Perhaps the most familiar muscles are those seen in bodybuilding contests and facial-expression contests: the skeletal, or voluntary, muscles. They?re attached to our bones and controlled by our brains, which zap them with electrical signals to cause their fibers to contract. During a muscle contraction, filaments inside the muscle fibers slide together, stacking up on one another so that the larger fiber shortens. In shortening, the fibers gain thickness?a phenomenon we notice as flexing. Whatever muscles do, they accomplish by this single pulling action. If a bicep (part of a category of muscles known as flexors) flexes to lift a barbell, it needs a tricep (an extensor), pulling in the opposite direction, to bring the arm back down.
The other two types of muscles are smooth muscles and cardiac muscles, and both are beyond our conscious control. Cardiac muscles control the beating of the heart, contracting the chambers to push blood throughout the body. But the blood doesn?t ride to the toes on that momentum alone. Lining the blood vessels are smooth muscles that help push it along. These also line the esophagus, stomach, and intestine to move food through the digestive track, and can even help regulate the body?s temperature by opening and closing capillaries near the skin surface, all without conscious effort. The subconscious brain is also happy to turn muscles to ends beyond their apparent purpose: for instance, what we experience as shivering from cold is simply the brain causing the muscles to spasm so they will generate heat and keep your blood and any baby chicks in your coat pockets warm.
Clocks, picture frames, and padded chairs glisten cherry-red, like licorice adorning a witch's candy cottage. A row of trapezoidal mirrors reflect a pair of velvet-covered thrones that wouldn't look out of place in a royal horse and buggy. But this isn't make-believe; this is On the Cutting Edge, a salon where beauticians wave blow dryers, nail files, and brushes in lieu of magic wands. Within their fantastical surround, staffers deftly trim and color manes or bedeck acrylic nails with designs as funky as zebra prints or as informative as last year's tax returns. The staff also gives bodies a healthy glow with various levels of spray tanning ranging from silver to platinum.
Though Magic Brow Threading Salon's staff specializes in making eyebrows look their best—using an ancient threading technique—the salon also offers other beauty services, including facials, waxing, and microdermabrasion. As skincare specialists, the licensed estheticians swear by Dermalogica products, which are available for purchase at the salon. Magic Brow also purveys handbags, fashion accessories, and eyebrow powder and gel.
Named after the colorful bracelets that jangle on the wrists of many Indian women, Ruby’s Bangles gives its patrons an opportunity to partake in ancient Eastern beauty rituals. In the spa, aestheticians use eyebrow threading techniques inspired by Egyptian beauty rituals to remove unwanted hair. Skilled henna artists can transform hands and feet with dramatic plant-ink designs. The store's boutique boasts a wide selection of Indian-inspired jewelry, including bindis, necklaces, bangles, and hip chains for belly dancing or keeping prank-prone jeans from running away.
Kristi Harris, a licensed aesthetician and permanent cosmetic technician, developed a passion for combating skin issues after an aesthetician alleviated Kristi’s own skin problems as a teenager. Inside Advanced Skin Care and Permanent Cosmetics, she tends to faces using Image Skincare products and buffs away retired skin cells with a microdermabrasion wand or extra-fine sandpaper. She also applies permanent brows, eyeliner, and lips for a more refreshed visage 24 hours a day.