Satin pillows dyed the colour of rose petals line a black banquette covered in velvet damask, below which bubbling footbaths sparkle in the light of the crystal chandelier above. This is Luxe Beauty Lounge & Mobile Spa, a spa that has been praised equally for the pedicures available at its brick-and-mortar location in Yaletown as for the expert beauty teams it sends to special events. Cleanliness is their top priority when dealing with feet. Nail technicians unwrap new cuticle sticks as well as new nail and foot files to groom each pair of toes, and their jet baths stay pristine with help from a special pipeless system and a miniature Aquaman with a passion for cleaning. Next on the list are luxurious surprises, including a tincture that transforms bathwater into a warm, softening salve, a scrub glittering with gold flakes, and an ice-cream-themed mani-pedi.
Facials evince the same level of care, as they are tailored to suit each skin type with organic tonics?there is even a biodynamic treatment for sensitive skin. Their mobile services centre around packages that range from 3 to 4 hours, and for weddings, they bundle their hair and makeup with their two in-house specialties into on-location pamperings that last up to 6 hours.
Today, Bloom Essentials owners Nicole and Kim might be better known as the team behind the nail designs that earned a top ranking from the Georgia Straight Readers Choice awards. But as kids, the sisters were known simply as Bug and Pickle. With those playful childhood monikers, it's no wonder than the duo grew up to run a spa that prefers fun over high-tech gadgetry, and where the aestheticians—nicknamed "Bloomers"—treat each client as if they were an old childhood friend.
Of course, the friendly demeanour isn’t the only thing attracting visitors. For more than a decade, Bloom’s knowledgeable nail artists have dolled up toes with intricate handcrafted nail art, giving customers creative reign to dictate designs that could include zebra stripes, handlebar moustaches, or holiday characters. The trendy nail salon also offers full-body waxing and custom facials and churns out its own custom-made pedicure cream, which clients can purchase to keep toes soft between visits. And as if the beauty treatments weren't enough, a boutique area allows patrons to peruse items from the sisters' "Bug & Pickle" line for moms and babies, accessories such as cutesy aprons and sparkling bracelets, and the occasional little black dress made from old nail-polish bottles.
Healing others has been a part of Neata Auttapong?s life since she was a child growing up in Thailand, where, as Fresh Vancouver noted, she began learning the art of Thai massage at the age of 12. Years of learning holistic practices from the top healers in Thailand eventually led Neata to Vancouver, and since arriving, she?s opened three Sabai Thai Spa locations. Perhaps the spa?s expansion can be chalked up to the waterfall of accolades it?s gained, including praise from The Express show on Shaw TV and from _Coco Magazine_in Japan.
At each location, staff members reach for ?minence Organic Skin Care products during nine types of facials, and they send clients home with organic products from Dannyco and SpaRitual. Sabai?s menus are also packed with 14 types of massages, which clients can enhance with aromatic scents, exfoliating body wraps, and a refreshing mani-pedi that leaves digits cleaner than Mr. Clean?s morning kids show after the censors get through with it.
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.
Framed prints of flowers hang on dark, burgundy walls, illuminated by light cast from a curved, modern floor lamp. Between them, leather couches and chairs sit waiting to cradle visitors with their wraparound backs and arms. Cream carpeting gives way to tiled flooring as visitors make their way from the waiting area to treatment rooms?and while they walk, they follow in the footsteps of elite clients that include Ravi Bansal, the 2009 Miss Universe Canada contestant.
Within treatment nooks in their locations in Vancouver and Surrey, therapists refine skin and ease tension through a range of services that include massages, laser hair reduction, microdermabrasion, permanent makeup, mani-pedis, and weight-loss treatments, among others. The Compu-Lift machine is one of many star technologies at the med spa, infusing the face with ultrasonic vibration and microcurrents in order to oxygenate skin and counteract signs of aging such as wrinkles and dark spots that spell out your birth year.