For 25 years, aesthetician Sara West has studied skin as dry as a desert and as oily as a car engine. In the process, she?s developed a mental tome of advice for her clients. Yet even as she educates on the role skincare products, exercise, and diet play in the health of one?s complexion, she continues her own education, ensuring that she has the most accurate advice to give. Inside her studio, where smooth black tile floors sprawl beneath modern wooden furniture that entices the eye with soft, curved lines, she tends to customers' faces with a range of holistic and medical treatments. Fruit-infused peels, green-tea and herbal steam, lavender, and chamomile bathe her clients? faces, whereas plant-based ingredients cleanse their pores and free them of the urge to nap facedown in their gardens.
The Humble Abode salon and spa feels like home?which is not surprising, as it's situated inside a cottage surrounded by greenery and beaming with natural light. And it's easy to make yourself at home there, too, because their menu's extensive selection of services could easily require a whole day's sojourn. Beauty treatments include lash tinting and six kinds of facials, such as lactic peels and microdermabrasion. The signature facial pampers each of the face's 55 muscles?a perfect complement to the luxuriating body treatments, including deep-tissue massage and reflexology.
Those looking for more internal therapy can seek out one of the three chiropractic doctors, who aim to treat anything from sports injuries to spinal dysfunction. The Humble Abode also has a certified hypnotherapist, Myke Zykoff, who addresses behavioral issues with hypnotherapy and the calming effects of meditation.
To help guests ease their pain through fitness, a team of instructors leads Pilates classes in both group and private sessions. The bending and stretching sessions take place in a sunny studio furnished with reformer machines and mats, which can double as beds if you just never want to leave.
Darque Tan's arsenal of beds, booths, and nourishing lotions infuses visiting bodies with sun-kissed color. Along with at least 20 tanning beds, each location brims with tan-savvy staff members—each certified through the International Smart Tan Network—who can work with you to customize a program based on your tanning goals, skin type, and relation to black-and-white movie starlets. Sessions take place in private rooms that line a column-flanked hallway, where five different levels of UV beds give skin the perfect level of tanning. Mystic Tan and VersaSpa sunless-tanning systems imbue clients with a hydrating, natural-looking glow, which can be customized according to skin tone, desired shade, and spirit animal. A full-time cleaning staff keeps each center in pristine conditions by referencing a 50-point inspection system. Most locations have books, televisions, and kids’ play areas to keep children entertained while adults are bronzing.
At Wat Po Thai Spa, a 2010 nominee for Best Day Spa by Best of LA, technicians bolster well-being with services that range from traditional Thai massage to skincare. The house-specialty Thai Combo fuses Thai massage, Swedish massage, and reflexology into an international amalgamation of relaxation similar to naptime at the UN. Thai massage harnesses compression, stretching, and rocking techniques to improve circulation of vital energy along the body's pathways, and Swedish massage encompasses gentle strokes such as gliding, kneading, and stretching to increase oxygen flow in the blood and forge full-body tension relief. Patrons walk away from massage sessions with relieved stress, allayed aches, increased internal alignment, and enough flexibility to fold bodies into an empty Pringles can at the first sign of danger.
UV light from five levels of tanning booths and beds sets all-white interiors aglow at Total Tan's two locations in West Hollywood and Marina Del Rey. Designed by upscale brands such as Ergoline and Matrix, each bronzing chamber cossets clients with amenities including voice-guided operated controls, music, and cooling fans that pump air directly from Total Tan's sister salon in the Antarctic. Patrons can enhance sessions with lotions from brands such as California Tan and Australian Gold.
Alternatively, custom airbrush spray tans evenly coat skin with Infinity Sun solution, whose cocktail of DHA and pure botanicals leaves bodies bronzed for up to 10 days. Inside Total Tan's cellulite bike chamber, infrared lights work to smooth cellulite problem areas as the client pedals a stationary bike at 75% maximum heart rate in an attempt to escape the nearby stationary rottweiler.
Since opening its doors in 1984, Ma Maison De Beaute has devised a bevy of healing skin treatments designed to mend dermal issues both minor and severe. Eggshell-colored walls, furniture, and décor, illuminated by a sparkling chandelier and candlelit fireplace forge a luxurious atmosphere for spa services that range from relaxing pedicures to Velashape laser cellulite treatments, which use infrared light to recontour golf-ball-dimpled bodily surfaces to more closely resemble their smooth-talking ping-pong cousins. An expansive selection of skin products helps staffers tailor the six flavors of facial to suit each client's skin type, whereas artful waxing services remove unwanted fuzz and sculpt contoured, tidy brows.