Though Aspect Beauty, a medical spa and salon in Sherman Oaks, CA, has only been up and running since June, the establishment has quickly found firm footing. Perhaps the success can be credited to Aspect Beauty's president Gavin Lipschitz's 19 years of experience in the industry, or the six months of planning that went into crafting a solid business plan before the doors even opened. Or perhaps Aspect Beauty's success has something to do with lingerie. Victoria's Secret lingerie, that is. It's the brand—or, more accurately, the promotion of that brand—that Lipschitz kept in mind when developing a formula for a successful medical spa/hair salon/day spa hybrid.
"People have always had choices about how to spend their money," says Lipschitz. "Why are they spending in different ways? They spend because of something that particular company is doing right. I believe people want to get more than just a service; they want to feel an emotional bond."
The spa's retail area offers guests an array of product options.
Lipschitz describes how Victoria's Secret first marketed its sexy wares with the assumption that men would buy them for their girlfriends or wives. But the company soon realized that the majority of purchases were actually being made by women. Executives then focused their marketing efforts on this audience, fostering an emotional association in women: think Victoria's Secret, think sexy. And the company capitalized on its efforts big time.
Clients can choose from a variety of facials, including the Aspect Signature Mineral Layer Facial, the spa's most popular.
In addition to Victoria's Secret, Lipschitz followed the successes of other companies that achieved similar emotional bonds with customers. This broad-minded research gave him another gem: everything is about the guest experience. Something as simple as an esthetician wearing a name badge, he realized, makes guests more comfortable because they know the name of the person giving them a treatment.
Decorative accents add to the ambience in the shampoo area.
The warm, welcoming atmosphere is echoed by the 2,800-square-foot facility's decor: copper, gold, olive, rust, and sienna tones are offset by custom distressed wood cabinetry in walnut- and tobacco-colored finishes. Topnotch services include LED photomodulation treatments ($100 for a single treatment; $700 for a package of eight), IPL fotofacials (prices vary), medical-grade microdermabrasion ($135; $165 with a facial), and Restylane injections ($500 per syringe). These treatments are offered alongside traditional spa services, such as massages and facials, as well as a bevy of hair salon options. It's a beauty troika that Lipschitz claims no other spas in the area are offering.
The serene entrance area invites guests into the spa.
"We didn't start as a day spa or salon and then add [medical spa offerings]," he says. "We created it from the beginning to integrate all these services. We needed to incorporate three different modalities: spa, salon, and medical. Everything needs to work together. That's how the name came about—we offer beauty made up of different aspects. There's no one thing that's going to make people look or feel the way they want to; it's a combination of a lot of different little things."
One of the details that makes Aspect Beauty unique is the use of minerals in many of the spa's services, such as mineral layer facials, mineral makeup, and a manicure that uses salts from the Dead Sea. "We believe that minerals offer a significant improvement in terms of obtaining results naturally," says Lipschitz. The spa's Aspect Signature Mineral Layer Facial ($90, 55 minutes), one of its most popular treatments, uses malachite, rhodolite, and zincite to hydrate, nurture, and regenerate the skin. The facial is recommended for normal to combination skin types and includes a skin analysis, cleansing, exfoliation, extractions, massage, mask, and hydration of the face, neck, and décolleté, as well as a hand massage.
All medical procedures are performed by physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses under the supervision of medical director Sam Elias, M.D., who set up the spa's medical protocols in compliance with industry standards and regulations.
When asked why the doctor, who is not on-site daily, does not perform procedures himself, Lipschitz asks, "When you go to get blood drawn, would you rather have it done by a doctor who has done it twice since medical school or a nurse who does it ten times a day? We have high standards of safety and people who are well-trained. The doctor is on call whenever he is needed."
For now, the model that Lipschitz and his team have created is working. The goal is to expand into multiple locations locally within a year's time, following the success of the flagship facility. So far, everything is on the right track. "The evolution of the medical, spa, and salon industries shows what people are moving toward in terms of personal needs and choices," says Lipschitz. "We're putting those things together and offering unique services in one particular place."