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L.A. Spa Services That Won’t Break the Bank

Oct 4, 2012
L.A. Spa Services That Won’t Break the BankA visit to a spa is considered a luxury: indulgent, extravagant, and pricey. But spa-savvy Angelinos know there are cost-conscious ways to get that fresh-from-the-spa look and feel without having to spend money like a starlet. Since owner and aesthetician Tanis is a former cellular and molecular biologist, you might think this Eagle Rock spa would be overrun with highfalutin—and expensive—services. You'd be wrong. The spa's signature custom facial will run you $89—not bad considering the hour-long treatment kicks off with a thorough skin analysis before turning to a custom-blended mask, a choice of acid, enzyme, or manual exfoliation, and a shoulder and arm massage. But the real value comes in the add-ons; clients can opt for more intense exfoliation in the form of a $15 enzymatic peel or a $25 fruit acid peel. The spa also sells four different skincare lines, from Eminence Organics and Lotus Moon to Pharmaskincare and a set of signature house formulas—each of which hits a different budgetary sweet spot. The financial appeal of Westlake Korean spa, Wi Spa, isn't in the massages or skincare treatments; it's in simply entering the spa itself. For $25, visitors gain access to hot and cold tubs, dry and steam saunas, and the jimjilbang, a coed floor complete with five mineral saunas. Since the spa is open 24 hours a day, one entry can go a long way; spend an interlude between sauna sessions on the rooftop terrace or in the computer room, relax with a comic book in the library, or visit the gym, which is equipped with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and weights. Thanks to the spa's specials, the entry fee drops to $15 on weekdays between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., all day Tuesday, and any time during the week of your birthday. One way to cut spa spending is to pick a treatment that takes care of multiple needs at once. That's just what the $75 botanical back treatment does at Purity Organic Spa—which, incidentally, is helmed by Carol Zubrin, a celebrity facialist to Ashlee Simpson and Missi Pyle and a featured expert on Style Network's What I Hate About Me. Primarily a skin treatment—it includes botanical sugar grain exfoliation, extractions, and a mineral mud mask with steamed towels to purify the pores—the 45-minute session also includes light kneading of the back with warmed oils and hot stones. Skip the full massage and save at this Universal City spa. For many, spray tans, like mani-pedis and waxing, are a frequent habit, but the cost can add up quickly. Santa Monica sunless tanning salon Chocolate Sun has seized on this insight, offering not only reasonable prices for full-body spray tans ($55), but also a $30 upper-body tan for times when clients aren't concerned about how they look in bikinis. Each spritz also functions as a nourishing skin treatment because Chocolate Sun's in-house sunless solutions leave bodies with a streak-free tan and moisturize the skin with an organic blend of botanicals, herbs, and antioxidants.