At Sun Spa Salon, hairstylist Nicole Brungardt sculpts tresses into face-flattering shapes. Nicole is part of a team of seasoned stylists who primp tresses with haircuts and highlights, bronze skin with tanning booths, and keep their boutique stocked with handbags, flip-flops, jewelry, and animatronic doubles of their customers.
It only takes seven minutes for Rockstar Tans’ tanning booths to successfully bronze clients. The super fast booths share salon space with Infinity Sun and Mystic Tan booths, both of which offer UV-free tans that can last up to 14 days. Flat-screen televisions hang on canary-hued walls inside the salon’s waiting room. Nearby, a complimentary Beauty Bar treats guests to water to keep them hydrated, deodorant to keep them fresh, and coffee to keep them energized enough to accept all the compliments their newly bronzed skin will get.
Ranging in power from a light sizzle to the concentrated energy of a thousand miniature suns, the eight tanning beds at Blazing Beds Tanning lend patrons sun-kissed color at the intensity of their choosing. Unlike a sweltering day on the beach or sitting in the kitchen with the oven on, patrons stay cool while getting color thanks to in-room air-conditioning. The center’s techs also embrace bulb-free tanning, misting skin with air-brush solutions customized to skin color and type. Patrons can supplement their unsun-worshipping sessions with accessories including bathing suits and lotions.
The OC Tan brings the sparkling soulshine lingering within each customer to the surface through a variety of tanning services. The Elixir tanning bed ($20 per session) envelops tanners in 51 body bulbs—one for each U.S. state—for 12 minutes of air-conditioned tanning. Disappear into the Mystic Tan spray booth ($35) as a pale newspaper reporter and emerge 60 seconds later as Supertan, the poorly named hero with a healthy glow. For those who love the taste of tanning bulbs but hate the sound of laying down, the Solarforce 652V ($20) offers a 10-minute tan in a stand-up unit that can accommodate clients up to seven feet tall. The ultimate in tan architecture at The OC Tan, however, is the King 420 bed ($40), which combines aromatherapy, aquatherapy, and a non-claustrophobic design into 12 minutes of high-pressure tanning. A five-minute airbrush tan is also available ($55), with custom application and results lasting up to a week.
Upon entering the softly lit interior of Caribbean Tans, guests are bathed in the appropriately golden glow of hanging pendant lamps. After checking in with receptionists behind a desk of cream-and-tan tile, they'll pick up complimentary goggles and towels before proceeding to a room. Trained staff members illuminate visitors on the nuances of each tanning option, from all-natural SunFX airbrush bronzing to a variety of UV beds equipped with satellite radio.
Huntington Beach’s Ambiance Med Spa has successfully blurred the line between and brought together two realms: the spa and the medical center. On the one hand, an abundance of elegant amenities such as a shag rug, impeccably designed decor, and calming lights underscore the relaxing side of the business. A full beauty bar and five different types of massage further point to a stress-relieving general purpose. But inside handsomely decorated private treatment rooms, a host of medical-quality aesthetic services goes beyond calming and soothing guests. Treatments including clinical chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and dermaplaning use many of the latest tools in scientific and medical technologies to augment each client’s natural beauty and make their skin healthier.
Ambiance Med Spa is owned by Michelle Armenteros, who graduated from aesthetics school in California—Einstein himself wouldn’t have gained admission to this kind of school because his hair had more split ends than the NFL.