From within Queens' Club Fitness, Infinity Spa Salon strikes an effective balance between natural skincare and advanced aesthetic treatments. Located a short distance from New York City, aestheticians clear and brighten complexions with seven types of facials infused with vitamin C and hydroquinone-free lightening ingredients, and they also use the exfoliating powers of mechanical microdermabrasion. Unwanted hairs can be effortlessly removed using an all-natural, beeswax-infused formula from GiGi or the advanced technology of an Alma Soprano XL laser, which permanently removes hair from any skin type including ghosts' see-through complexions. In massage treatment rooms, therapists rely on 10 different modalities, including the ancient techniques of Thai massage and shiatsu, to release tight muscles and improve circulation.
Infinity's focus on harmony is also apparent in the salon and spa's interior design, which melds contemporary decor with natural earth elements, such as bamboo plants and warm brown walls.
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.
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.
Spa Utopia’s services range from those of a salon to those of a med-spa, recognizing the connection between medical and more purely aesthetic issues. Facials can purify skin or minimize signs of aging, and they also calm rosacea outbreaks. A LightSheer Diode system combats unwanted stubble during laser hair-removal sessions, and beams from a Fox Diode system attack toenail fungus. Massage therapists use styles ranging from traditional Swedish to deep tissue, and they’re glad to combine modalities to target unique troubles such as lower back pain or shoulders that won’t stop shimmying.
Clients can concentrate attention on an array of beauty and body needs by booking a couples room or VIP suite for an afternoon of private treatments. Even the public areas of the spa evince a strong taste for luxury—clients walking in are greeted by a marble-topped reception desk and a giant, faux-stone archway engraved with the spa’s name before passing between polished pillars leading to a grand fountain.
At the base of a modern skyscraper a block from the waterfront, the staff of Absolutely Fabulous Urban Spa build a foundation for health and beauty with relaxing spa services. After managing spas across Vancouver for several years, aesthetician Sandra Bulatovic struck out on her own to build a team that includes a laser technician armed with a LightSheer DUET laser and certified body workers trained in a variety of massage modalities. Aestheticians wielding Dermalogica skincare products examine complexions before customizing their unique facials, all of which include a mask, extractions, and a post-treatment cosmetic touch-up using Jane Iredale makeup. Along with disinfecting their tools with hospital-grade disinfectants, nail technicians maintain strict sanitation standards by letting clients take home the nail file, buffer, and conversation-starters used during their manicure.
At Sir The Modern Barbershop, owners infuse sophistication and luxury into men's haircare, putting a modern spin on the old-fashioned barbershop. Stationed inside the distinguished Old Stock Exchange building, the minimalist confines include hardwood floors and long mirrors resting at an angle against bare white walls. Though the atmosphere breathes convention, the expert stylists execute all of the high-end treatments one might associate with a contemporary salon, such as manicures and highlights. Traditional services including straight-razor shaves occur alongside waxing and stress-relieving massages. Not just a place of pampering for men, the stylists also cut women's hair, and the studio also offers cleanup in between cuts for the guys, complimentary bang trimming for the ladies, and lollipops to anyone who is good and sits still during his or her haircut.