BEST PLACE FOR MANICURE/PEDICURE: SPA VISAGE
1645 Downtown West Blvd.
You have heard it said, "Do not bite your fingernails." But we say unto you, "Do not even allow your nails to become chipped and worn. Behold, The Ultimate."
Spa Visage's Ultimate treatment is also its most luxurious. The transformation process includes exfoliation finished with a moisturizing dermal wrap, an extensive massage using essential oils and, of course, nail polish. It's a little more pricey and time-consuming than other procedures, costing $36-$39 for your hands or $60-$65 for your feet. But it's so worth it.
If you're in a rush, the 30-minute Express treatment or the 15-minute polish change will work. Just make sure you really pamper your rock-star toes right next time.
Runners-up: Belleza Salon and Spa, Fringes Hair & Nail Salon
BEST MASSAGE THERAPIST: LEIGH NORRIS
The laundry list of the benefits of massage is a lengthy one. Massage relieves stress, alleviates pain, and helps in managing anxiety and depression. Some studies have found that massage can assist in controlling blood pressure, can boost the body's immunity and is even useful in the cancer treatment process. It's pretty darn relaxing, too.
That's Leigh Norris' favorite aspect of her job as a massage therapist.
"I like to focus more on the relaxation aspect of massage, tailored toward the client's needs," she says. "Massage has a lot of health benefits, but I really enjoy being able to help the person relax and zone out."
A graduate of the Tennessee School of Therapeutic Massage, she has been a therapist for almost five years. Norris specializes in Swedish massage and offers deep tissue as well.
"I love people. Being able to work with people and form relationships is a big deal for me. I love that. It's a very physical job, but it's very rewarding at the same time."
Runners-up: Kimberly Getto-Stewart, Regas Skin Care Center; Travis Jackson, Spa Visage
BEST MEN'S BARBERSHOP: FRANK'S BARBERSHOP
304 Northshore Drive
Old-school barbershops are in decline. That makes it much harder today to find a red, white and blue helix spinning outside a storefront window, and a white-coated man inside precisely trimming away with a pair of clippers. Instead there are unisex salons, where cosmetologists style, color and perm hair.
Frank's Barbershop prefers the old-fashioned way. A men's barbershop opened by Frank Gambuzza of Salon Visage, Frank's Barbershop offers comfort and excellent grooming. The trained professionals supply services like beard and moustache trimming, close shaves, hand detailing, waxing and head shaving. You'll leave feeling handsome, relaxed and like a new you.
Runners-up: Western Plaza Barber Shop, SportsClips
BEST HAIRSTYLIST: E.C. CRIPPEN, BELLEZA SALON AND SPA
6209 Kingston Pike
Some hairstylists hone one technique. Perhaps it's coloring or cutting. Maybe it's makeup.
Other stylists learn everything. E.C. Crippen is that kind of stylist.
Crippen is a graduate of the Tennessee School of Beauty in Knoxville. After completing his course work there, he came to Belleza Salon and Spa. He's been a member of their styling team since July 2009. He has since completed the company's one-year training program, which covers all aspects of the hair industry. He is also certified in a variety of hair techniques, including coloring.
This is typical of stylists at Belleza, says Regina Zaouk, one of Belleza's owners.
"He doesn't specialize," says Zaouk of Crippen. "[Our stylists] are into the art of balance for the individual. He does what the client needs, whether it's color or chemical work."
Runners-up: Rebecca Nixon; Michael Layne, Vibe Salon
BEST HAIR AND BEAUTY SALON: SALON VISAGE
1701 Downtown West and 11 Market Square
Intercoiffure Mondial is an elite international hairstyle organization that is dedicated to prestige and excellence. Counted among its number are more than 3,000 salons in 54 countries. You'll find its salons in such cities as London, Paris, Tokyo, Berlin and Rome. Oh, and Knoxville.
Salon Visage is Knoxville's only Intercoiffure salon. It's a high honor, one that its creative owners Frank and Belinda Gambuzza don't take lightly. But, then, the Gambuzzas have always been dedicated to brilliance. What started as a simple salon in a renovated house is today a full-service salon, a full-service day spa, a studio and a second spa location on Market Square.
But don't let that intimidate you. All you really need to know is that Salon Visage will give you a great haircut and some highlights that keep heads turning.
Runners-up: Fringes Salon & Spa, Belleza Salon and Spa
BEST TANNING SALON: SUN TAN CITY
If we've learned anything in the past few years of watching TV and reading novels, it's that vampire and zombie attacks are on the rise.
Zombies are easy to spot. They're cloddish, lumbering, brain-dead cretins that slog down the street drooling and screeching, "Brains!"
Vampires are more difficult to detect. However, we're lucky to have the sun on our side. Depending on whom you ask, vampires either glitter or burst into flames or develop a rash when exposed to sunlight. Presumably this also includes artificial sunlight. Sun Tan City, you will save us all!
Sun Tan City's multiple East Tennessee locations offer warm, relaxing private rooms. Each tanning room offers state-of-the-art beds with ones of four levels of intensity: fast, faster, fastest and instant. Stand-up beds and premium sunless tanning are available. Clients who have a short-term need, such as a wedding or a vacation, are encouraged to purchase a membership or a visits package in order to save money. And to prove they are not among the undead.
Runners-up: Fusion Tanning Studios, Sunny Dayz Tanning Salon
BEST FITNESS CENTER: THE RUSH FITNESS COMPLEX
Your stomach is not meant to be a third appendage. Yes, an engorged belly works wonders as a shelf. It can be used to rest popcorn on while you fumble for your movie ticket. It can hold cups, plates, saucers, perhaps even flatware. But that swollen pocket of blubber is slowly killing you.
Decrease your obese at The Rush. The Rush's facilities are stocked with high-tech equipment like elliptical machines, bikes, treadmills and steppers, as well as clean, comfortable locker rooms to prepare for your workout. Personal fitness consultants are available to design a personalized program to meet your specific fitness goals and to keep you on track for reaching those milestones.
The Rush offers dozens of fitness classes each week, which makes exercise more social and -- dare it be said -- fun. And since it's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you have no excuse for keeping that biological shelving unit.
Runners-up: YMCA, Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center
© 2010, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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