It's quiet in Aqua the Day Spa. No cell phones or pagers are allowed to remain active in either of the two locations, so all you hear is your pulse slowing to a steady, soothing beat and the tiny noises made as expert hands open bottles of designer beauty products. Open since 1998, owners Susan and Ralph Barnette struck the right, Enya-like chord in 2003, when they first earned the title of Best Day Spa in the Jackson Free Press's annual "Best Of" roundup. The team of aestheticians and massage therapists have swept that title every year since, deflating the competition in proportion to lifting spirits. Paraben-free Skin Authority and scented Tokyomilk tonics nourish skin with vitamin-rich Moroccan clay and soothing mango, or exfoliate dead cells with bamboo salves scented with ylang-ylang. The staff's nimble hands blend these into custom treatments, including those to combat aging and the strange shadows creeping over men's skin, and work aromatherapeutic elixirs into muscles with nine different massage modalities. OPI and Shellac nail polish transform hands and feet into fashion accessories, a project helped along by smoothing wax.
Lashea Sabatini's roster of massage therapies and body treatments sound indulgent—the shea-butter body whip, the aromatherapy oils—but often they couldn't have a more serious intent. That's because Lashea specializes in fertility massage, a modality that she says aids in conception by cleansing the digestive system, balancing the body's cranial-sacral alignment, and stimulating the genes that cause humans to become successful doctors instead of manatees. Along with fertility massage, she offers Swedish, deep-tissue, and prenatal massage.
Social Agenda Salon & Boutique’s owner Heather manages her small team of stylists and nail technicians inside a crisp, white cottage nestled atop a lushly landscaped plot. In operation for 14 years, the salon offers popular new services—including keratin hair-smoothing treatments—and hosts hair fashion shows to help clients keep abreast of the latest styles and zoning restrictions on braids exceeding 12 inches. Nail technicians also stay up to date on the season’s trending colors and designs, which they replicate using OPI or shellac polish.
The reincarnation of a historic house, Powder Room presents its visitors with vintage décor and a hardwood floor that stretches into private massage and skincare rooms. Freshly brewed coffee and tea flavor the waiting area's air, and light pours in from several windows with VIP access to the sun, illuminating two nail stations, a makeup station, and an elevated pedicure chair. G.M. Collin, Rhonda Allison, and ViVO Spa products back many of the spa's services, including mani-pedis, collagen treatments, and enzyme peels.
The passionate aestheticians at The Power Room customize all services to beautify clients based on individual styles and desires. Stylists update coiffures in haircare treatments that include fashionable cuts, formal updos, and partial or full highlights. Natural nails can be rewarded with manicures or enhanced with a set of acrylic or fiberglass nails. The Powder Room’s waxing technicians soothe sensitive skin with a preconditioner before applying a nonstrip wax to minimize clients’ discomfort. Clients lying on the heated waxing table can also opt for an application of essential oils in fragrant aromas such as tea tree, lavender, or dusty encyclopedia. The staff of six beauty experts also hosts an array of special events for wedding preparation and group spa days.
Inside the sunlit confines of The Powder Room, Magnolia State native Casey Ratcliffe beautifies clients with styling skills she honed at the Academy of Hair Design. Her menu of hair services ranges from basic cuts and highlights to specialty services such as men's camo color. In addition, Casey’s understanding of skin types allows her to craft complexion-specific facials based on the particular skin needs of each client, such as hampering future breakouts or soothing redness caused by realizing in the middle of a business meeting that your Sonic the Hedgehog costume is on inside out.