LeBliss Salon & Spa preens and waxes the hair of unkempt customers with a selection of expertly administered and personalized hair-care services and waxing options. Highly trained hair masters speedily snip scalp strands ($30 and up for women, $20 and up for men), and excel at touching up beards and bangs ($10) to disguise the results of using hedge trimmers at home. A shampoo and style (starting at $25) will leave follicles fresh and sprightly, and coloring ($45 and up), highlights ($55 and up), or glosses ($25 and up) throw a cherry on top of the head sundae. If face parts have become overrun by wild fur, LeBliss can wax brows, lips, and chins ($12 each). Give your body a break and surrender to an hour of deliberate strokes and direct muscle pressure with a signature full-body massage ($69 for 60 minutes) or let LeBliss pamper your phalanges with a spa manicure ($32) or pedicure ($62).
Melissa Drumright earned her massage-therapy diploma after more than 800 hours of course work. She continues to hone her skills in various massage techniques. Depending on each client's needs, she might use modalities such as reflexology, hot-stone massage, therapeutic massage, or Swedish massage.
Tired and tense bodies will enjoy The Chopping Block's relaxing hour-long Swedish massage, with a licensed massage therapist. Swedish massage, a light- to medium-pressured technique, is the most popular type of knead. It uses long, connective strokes and kneading to melt stress into a puddle of biodegradable papier-mâché. Or, if long hours conducting commuter trains have left your skin sullied and sallow, opt for the European deep-pore-cleansing facial. One of The Chopping Block's licensed aestheticians will slough off dead skin cells with a thorough exfoliation, extract unsightly dermal invaders, and apply a specialized mask to the skin, all while your hands heat up in warming mitts. As the mask sets, your hands are removed from the mitts and joined with the décolleté area for a soothing massage, and when the treatment is complete, the aesthetician will provide you with a personalized skin analysis and tips on how to hold your head to more prominently feature your "best side."
Slim silhouettes are a common sight against City Chic’s contemporary black and white decor, thanks to a team of technicians who aid in weight loss with Medi-Lift contouring treatments and body wraps. Among the studio’s most popular options, CelluSleek treatments invented by Elizabeth Harris for cellulite and loose skin, which massage the body or face, harness the various powers of cupping, vibration, and deep-tissue therapy to encourage collagen and elastin production, thereby helping to firm and smooth out the skin.
When it isn't shrinking waistlines, City Chic’s team promotes youthful appearances with nine facials—each of which relies on Alleia Skin by Elizabeth Harris products blended from botanical extracts and Italian mineral water—and five types of therapeutic massage. Airbrush tans mist skin with a safe, sunless solution that bronzes without the risks of sitting in the sun or lowering oneself in a deep fryer.
Erica McDowell, licensed aesthetician and owner of Skyn Lounge, has spent the past 16 years in the skincare industry. Drawing upon that experience, she offers services that range from waxing and massage to facials. During treatments, she arms herself with products from brands such as SkinCeuticals, Bliss Spa, and Obagi Medical, as well as Zen Skyn Color Collection, her in-house line that fuses nature and science to beautify skin rather than motorize trees. Skyn Lounge also focuses on clinical treatments including dermafiling and dermaplaning, which both slough away dry skin; peels utilize salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and other skin-brightening ingredients to reduce signs of acne and dry skin.
A Breath of Serenity co-owners Elizabeth Rackley and Marie Brown decided to open their own massage business after feeling constrained while working for others. "We both wanted more say in how customer service was carried out," Elizabeth says. "We wanted customer service to be top priority and profits to be second."
That customer-focused mindset permeates all they do. When guests arrive for therapeutic massages, the healing gurus have them fill out a questionnaire to get to the bottom of aches and pains. "We go over it with you and we discuss, what's bothering you? What's going on? What kind of work do you do?" Elizabeth says. "And then we combine multiple modalities … into what that client needs." If something hurts, is too soft, or clients ever feel uncomfortable, she says the therapists want their clients to speak up so they can adjust their techniques accordingly.
During deep-tissue massages, the muscle menders take their time and use gentle pressure to bypass the pain sometimes associated with that modality. They can also customize couples massages with gourmet chocolates, rose petals, candlelight, and violas charmed to play themselves on request. Soft, relaxing music saturates the air during each session, but Elizabeth says that—like everything else—this can be personalized to what the customer wants. "If they have a special CD and they want to bring it, bring it," she says.