For 10 years, Dawn Thompson worked beside top dermatologists and plastic surgeons as a surgical assistant. Armed with that experience and her education as an aesthetician, Dawn takes an all-encompassing approach to skincare at Island Skin and Laser, a recipient of a 2012 Seattle Award. Her firsthand experience helps her to personalize treatments to each client using medical-grade skincare products by lines such as SkinCeuticals, SkinMedica, Obagi, and Revaléskin, none of which contain perfumes or dyes. The aesthetician tackles common skincare issues with treatments ranging from traditional facials to advanced hydrafacials, erbium facials, and photofacials. As a laser pro, Dawn can also shine a light to banish unwanted hairs and bats that are bothering bodies.
When aestheticians Vanessa Hurlburt and Shelby Meyers teamed up to found a beauty boutique for women, they wisely turned to Audrey Hepburn for inspiration. Hepburn’s famed saying—“happy girls are the prettiest girls”—became their guiding principle as they filled their spa menu with airbrush tans, eyelash extensions, and facial treatments.
Thanks to the owners' warm personalities or the airbrush’s equally warm mist, clients often have a difficult time holding back smiles during UV-free tans that burnish skin with a bronze glow. The same proves true for facials, which incorporate medical-grade Image Skincare products to diminish the appearance of pores, fine lines, and lion scratches that the aestheticians will call fine lines without asking too many questions. When Vanessa wants some inspiration for her signature eyelash extensions, she needs only to look at the boutique’s damask walls, where elegant tendrils flow in a repeated pattern from floor to ceiling. The pair’s sugaring treatments achieve a more streamlined aesthetic, removing unwanted hair at the root with an all-natural blend of sugar, water, and lemon. For a shirt or dress to go with your freshly smoothed skin, look no further than the spa’s boutique, which houses apparel from brands such as daftbird, Only Hearts, and Woodleigh.
The staff at Aveda Caruh Salon knows what it’s like to want to bring your inner beauty to the outside. As their website says, “We think our exterior of our building looks awful and are glad that ‘beauty is on the inside.’” They may not be able to do much with the exterior, but owner Cyndi DeSoto and her salon and spa teams bring the beauty of their clients to the forefront with hair and skin services that use plant-based Aveda products and organic essential oils squeezed from delicate flower organs. Since it opened in 1988, the salon has not only expanded its space and gone from styling mullets to long layers and pixie cuts, it’s also been voted one of the Top 200 Salons in America by Salon Today magazine. It isn’t just the precision cuts and colors, clarifying facials, or muscle-soothing massages that make it a top salon; it’s also the exuberant spirit of the staff. On average, Caruh donates about $40,000 per year to local charities, and every first Thursday, the salon closes for three hours for the staff to meet, bond, and celebrate successes.
Clients relax as they sip frothy beers and tart ciders amid the elegant white décor of The Wax Bar's lobby before following aestheticians back to a private treatment room for one of a broad repertoire of signature hair-removal services. Staff at The Wax Bar's two locations aim to make waxing or sugaring a luxurious and dignified experience, soothing clients' jangling nerves with drinks from the wet bar. Each aesthetician boasts a repertoire of discomfort-minimizing tricks to ensure sugaring and waxing services for men and women's brows, backs, and bikinis go as swiftly and painlessly as possible. After follicles have said their tearful goodbyes to unwanted hair, aestheticians apply aftercare products and advise clients on the best way to reduce irritation on freshly bare skin. Staff members also offer facials whose targeted therapies incorporate products from Dermalogica and Aveda.
Sweet Spot is a hidden gem in Fremont that offers sugaring, a form of hair removal, for both men and women. Considered less painful than waxing, the sugaring process involves applying a warm sugar paste to the hairy area and then whisking the hairs away. The baby blue and gray walls of the salon are offset by bright red accent walls, while local art and an exposed ceiling help to create an urban setting. The salon offers basic facial waxing, as well as back, buttock, leg and even Brazilian waxing. Informative staff provides advice on pre- and post-appointment protocol regarding tanning, workouts and other activities best avoided within hours of service. Free parking, tea and, of course, sweets are offered in the waiting room, soothing newbies’ nerves and relaxing returning regulars.
Like a bit of Brazil set in Seattle’s University District, the Waxing Boutique offers a full range of hair removal services, facials and related products for both men and women. Faux-leafy treatment rooms are situated away from the waiting area and emphasize privacy, with attendants working to make sessions as comfortable as possible. Considering the painful nature of such a sensitive procedure, customers can ask for Topicaine-like solution, used by estheticians as a topical numbing agent, or purchase the at-home Folique solution that works to keep skin healthy, smooth and comfortable between treatments. A sunny waiting area further helps to alleviate any potential stress, thanks to comfortable chairs and colorful wall decorations that further drive home the Brazilian influence.