More than 30 years after its inception, Cactus Salon & Spa and its team of continually educated stylists have not lost their edge—they earned the Long Island Press's designation as Best Hair Salon and Best Day Spa in 2012. It's not surprising, then, that the salon has enjoyed such impressive growth over the years, with more than two dozen separate spa and salon locations.
Although hair is still the focus—stylists craft 'dos that reflect everyday ease or fashion-forward thinking—the repertoire has expanded to include everything from nail treatments and massages to permanent cosmetics and laser services. Since the roster is so broad, many clients take advantage of Cactus Club memberships, which give them the flexibility to try multiple services and products by deactivating the force fields between treatment rooms and granting a 33% discount on Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Eternal, the Spa's wax-wielders keep skin smooth and bodies free of troublesome sprouts, targeting zones listed on a menu of waxing services. Stomachs criss-crossed with wispy strands ($10), legs encased in hairy stockings ($60+), backs ($45+), and lips marred by a shadowy presence ($15) are left with nary a hair standing to contest their claim of silky smoothness. Alternately, in two separate sessions, Brazilian waxes delicately prep bodies for bikini season or skimpy snowpants. Depending on the size of the area and the density of hair, waxings take anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes.
Boca Tanning Club salons bronze clients with the help of super tanning beds and booths, as well as UV-free VersaSpa spray-tanning booths. Clients walk past the painted vines, rocks, and rainforest-themed decor before stepping into the spray-tanning booths, which gild limbs in 60 seconds, or into a super bed, which caramelizes skin in less time than a traditional bed. In private rooms, technicians wielding airbrush systems custom shade and contour muscles while de-emphasizing vestigial tails.
At Aurora Nail & Skin Salon, the beauty experts aim to maintain a comfortable environment by bolstering each service with friendly conversation. As nail techs lay hot stones onto feet or gently dab OPI polish onto nails, they swap stories with their clients and mimic the experience of having nails done by a good friend. Dermalogica products nurture and heal facial skin, and gentle Jane Iredale makeup products accent lips, eyes, and vestigial rhino horns.