Mobile Spas still on the Go

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     mod-beauty-squadWith busy schedules, clogged roads and the hassle of finding city parking, planning a spa day can be so stressful it defeats the purpose.

    Keeping that in mind, MOD Beauty Squad brings a mini version of the spa to homes and offices. These Seattle entrepreneurs are escaping the overhead of rent and embracing mobile beauty.

    A team of two women, MOD is Lisabet de Vos and Anne Pennington, who attend to a group’s beauty whims — be they book clubs, gal pals, stay-at-home moms — in their comfort zones. Bronzing, brow and lip waxing and peels are some of the services they provide.

    “Time is the new currency,” said de Vos, 41, who is a Brooklyn, N.Y., native but has been a local aesthetician for more than 12 years. Pennington is a native and has been in the industry for 24 years. “People don’t have any time and our idea is to give time-compressed services. Spa is great, but this is not spa.”

    Jennifer Daher receives an eyebrow waxing treatment from aesthetician Anne Pennington, who has been in the industry for 24 years.

    At a recent MOD Pod Party, guests forgot the steady torrent of rain. Inside Layne Hall’s Kirkland condo, the setup had the ambience of a friendly neighborhood retreat. She threw a 30th birthday party for her childhood friend, Sadie Arnold, with eight women — all girly girls, all pretty and married, almost all living in Kirkland, some with children and some with dogs and some with both — treating themselves to a rare girls’ night without husbands or kids in tow.

    Hall prepared a lavish spread of hors d’oeuvres and sparkling wine to set the mood.

    “I thought it would be a really good idea for a birthday party, besides dinner,” said Hall, 29. “It’s something fun and different.”

    While the ladies caught up on their busy lives, de Vos and Pennington quietly and efficiently prepared their stations, making a mini-treatment room out of any alcove or corner, and a private room for the spray tanning service. In this case, they used Hall’s exercise room.

    Tans — subtle, not Oompa-Loompa orange — were the order of the night, with six of the eight opting for the all-body treatments. When the birthday girl came out, she stopped all the chatter in the room.

    “I think I just got back from Bermuda,” Arnold deadpanned, clearly happy with the results.

    “Wow!” exclaimed her mother, Barb Thomsen, 52, who declined the bronzing.

    “When we all walk into church tomorrow, they’re all going to wonder where we’ve been in the last 12 hours,” said Arnold.

    Earlier, Arnold’s friend, Katelyn Dolence, 31, of Mercer Island had stepped out with her tan, which lasts a week and contains only natural ingredients and applies evenly.

    “It was easy,” Dolence said.

    “Wasn’t it cool? You look tanner!” said Hall, who tans regularly. “Ow! Hot!”

    Arnold also enjoyed her moments in the faux sun.

    “It’s great, I couldn’t ask for anything more,” she said, as she was undergoing a relaxing hand treatment. Her hands were tense, which is not surprising given that she has to wrangle a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old every day. But this was more her style, indulging in her Martha Stewart persona of entertaining and throwing fabulous parties.
    Gift packets with cosmetics samples are given to each person attended to by the MOD Beauty Squad.
    The MOD treatments went over well. “You get everything coming right to you,” Arnold said. “With spas, you have to work around when they’re open.”

    At the end of the visit, de Vos and Pennington had applied six tans, six hand treatments, six peels and five brow waxes.

    They are hoping to partner with local larger companies to offer a “Mod Day,” where they set up shop on the premises for a two-hour period and take care of employees’ grooming needs in 15- to 20-minute intervals. This might be something a large company adds as a perk or something human resources coordinates as a monthly offering (in which the company and employees split the grooming bill).

    Whether it’s right for you is as subjective as preferring sugaring over waxing.

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