Paulina Esthetics Boutique channels the beautifying talents of three aestheticians, a cosmetologist, and a massage therapist, into a menu of spa services performed with high-quality products. Soft and hard waxes gently snatch fuzz from sensitive skin and serums tailored to specific flaws renew faces and reverse the signs of too much time spent with shar pei puppies. An organic airbrush-tanning formula bronzes bodies to one of three sun-kissed sheens, and colorful Lash Candy extensions frame eyes with a rainbow of sparkly hues. The boutique salon is outfitted with dark woods and trendy furnishings, like vintage chic furniture and ambient lighting.
At the beginning of each 90-minute treatment, a skin assessment is performed to determine each individual's facial needs. After the customized mélange of skincare products sets to work, the energy-relaxation regimen begins. Using the techniques of Reiki—a practice said to relax the body and mind and release the stresses of daily life—level II practitioner Sarah Gordon acts as a guide for the Chakra's healing energies. With the energy flowing, customers are gently massaged, soothing the neck, shoulders, décolleté, scalp, arms, hands, and feet. The foot massage combines energy-stimulation and reflexology techniques to invigorate the whole body.
To call The Body Shop a mere skin and body care store is to miss half of what makes it special. Late founder Dame Anita Roddick was a pioneer for ethical business practices; upon opening her first store in Brighton, England, in 1976, she developed company values such as "Defend human rights" and "Protect our planet." She somehow balanced principles and profit, partnering in global campaigns with UNICEF, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the United Nations, all while expanding her brand into 2,500 locations in 60 international markets. After her death in 2007, then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “She campaigned for green issues for many years before it became fashionable to do so and inspired millions to the cause by bringing sustainable products to a mass market. . . . She was an inspiration.”
Indeed, the Body Shop exhibits an eco-friendliness that's hard to come by in a company of its size. Its products have been fair-trade since 1987, and its Against Animal Testing movement led to a UK-wide ban of animal testing of cosmetics. The products are made from ingredients harvested from around the world: shea butter from Ghana goes into body scrubs and butters, and Indian artisans craft wooden massagers and tote bags that are screenprinted by hand. But all that isn't to say the company's production practices overshadow its final products. Skincare treatments such as the Blue Corn 3-in-1 deep-cleansing scrub mask often appear in Allure, Marie Claire, and other national publications.
Within Exquisite Threading's spacious and modern surrounds, an experienced team of eyebrow shapers pays respect to the ancient depilatory artform of India and the Middle and Far East. Patrons seeking a refined look can recline in the studio's comfy chairs as expert weavers lasso their loitering hairs, expelling them at the root. A natural and chemical-free treatment, threading spares patrons much of the discomfort, swelling, and redness of waxing, and because it doesn't tug at skin, it can help prevent eyes from unraveling down to loose yarn. A second treatment after three–four weeks keeps disciplined forethreads in line and stubble-free for another three-quarters of a lunar cycle.
The staff at Natural Glo wants to provide a bronzed look without the harsh effects of UV rays. So tanning techs coat skin in a natural organic solution made with antioxidants and pure botanicals. They can also add a hydration treatment made with emollients, or an anti-aging treatment that rejuvenates skin with exotic plant extracts.
Dash and Dazzle Tanning's staff escorts patrons into the MagicTan MT3000 spray-tanning system, which coats physiques in a gaze-grabbing copper sheen. Clients can assume a chosen power stance as 36 stationary spray heads blanket skin in a mist of sunless-tanning solution and aloe-based bronzer. The process takes less than a minute to outfit bodies in a tawnier suit, and like a kleptomaniac photocopier, the resulting tan acquires tone throughout the day. Alternatively, customers can settle into Dash and Dazzle's red-light-therapy bed during one month of unlimited sessions. Infrared wavelengths spelunk deep into dermal tissue to prompt collagen production, reducing fine lines and acne damage while stimulating circulation. For best results, guests are encouraged to bask in the bed's crimson glow three–four days a week for four–six weeks.
The stylists at Knick Salon and Spa cultivate an urban oasis where organic and vegan products, eco-sensitive cleaning agents, and methodical recycling practices reign. Inspired by Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher, the stylists refuse to cosset clients with anything except safe and nutritious concoctions by companies such as Phyto, Eufora, and Intelligent Nutrients. In their chandelier-lit workspace, they blend their mastery of cutting and coloring techniques with continuing education to expand their minds and give their hair more room to grow. That commitment to nature-inspired quality extends to the spa side as well, where mani-pedis powered by essential oils, paraffin-free masks, and organic sugar scrubs bring life back to tired hands and feet. In the private massage room, therapists ply muscles with soothing bodywork made all the more relaxing by infusions of jasmine and frankincense or the warm touch of hot stones. Tired muscles also meet their match in the spa's Alpha Capsule—a dry-heat sauna that promises each client heated vibration massage, aromatherapy, and a relaxing bowl of alphabet soup.