Best of Indy: Health & Beauty
Fitness Studio Chains
A lot of gyms have muscled their way into Indy recently, but these three call for repetitions.
If you prefer the amenities of a mainstream gym—free weights, group classes, and cardio equipment—but need a little hand-holding, then this operation in Avon is for you. The Florida-based company, with locations in Colorado, Texas, Michigan, and Nevada, caters to its “full-service” members with detailed meal plans, food-prep tips, and an individualized workout plan, which means you won’t be asked to log miles on the treadmill if pumping iron is your thing. Fitness buffs looking to burn some steam should hop in the playful recess-style Games class featuring jump rope, kettlebell, and free-weight stations. 8105 E. U.S. Highway 36, Avon, 584-8444
Need a little accountability? Check out this Florida-based studio with more than 200 locations worldwide. During an hour-long class of cardio and strength intervals, you’ll wear a provided heart-rate monitor that projects your pulse onto a screen at the front of the class—so your peers and instructor know if you’re slacking. The goal isn’t public humiliation so much as friendly motivation. The sessions are designed to help you stay at your target rate (predetermined by individual factors like age, weight, and fitness level) so you’ll max out your calorie burn during and after the workout. 2438 E. 146th St., Carmel, 688-1348
The trendy Cincinnati-based CycleBar rocks your (stationary) ride with a pulsating light show, music videos, and choreographed routines in a theater-like setting. But you won’t just pump your legs—the full-body workout combines endurance with bouts of strength training using a weighted bar that, when signaled by the instructor, is lifted during shoulder presses, bicep curls, and other upper-body exercises. Make sure to register for classes online, because you’ll be assigned a specific bike number that’s programmed to track caloric burn, average speed, and distance. No cycle shoes? No problem—patrons can borrow them for free. 12697 Pennsylvania St., Carmel, 397-0227
Gripping wooden dowel rods, nine students form a circle in the rotunda of Old City Hall. Summoning their inner Lukes and Leias, they’ve gathered for the Indy Lightsaber Academy, a combat class that teaches basic swordplay techniques. The first order of business under instructor Michael Brandon Tucker is positioning the feet correctly because, as seasoned Jedis know, a strong foundation is key to fending off opponents’ attacks. Tucker then demonstrates moves like the diagonal open and close, upper cut, and—straight arms!—horizontal cross. Next comes blocking practice, and sparring with Tucker closes out the hour. (Spoiler: You’ll lose.) It’s billed as a workout, but don’t expect to burn off all of your late-afternoon fro-yo. Instead, think of it as a novel, fun way to get moving—which is more than you can say about a run on the treadmill. 6:30 p.m. Thursdays. $5 first class; packages are available. 850-3297
A latte from Starbucks may be your standard cure for the end-of-workday slump, but sometimes you need a little more substance—which is why your desk drawers should be packed with Energy Chunks from Farm to Kitchen Foods, Green Bean Delivery’s private label. The chewy, dense cubes come in flavors such as mixed berry, honey pistachio, and cacao goji (which is certified organic). They’re packed with pumpkin seeds, figs, almonds, dates, and other good-for-you ingredients. The catch? These addictive snacks are available only to Green Bean customers. $4.99/8-ounce bag, 377-0470,
You’ve just gotten a great blowout at the salon. Your mane is shiny and smooth. And then you wake up the next day with the usual rat’s nest. But for $75, or roughly the cost of two professional blow-dries, you can get that salon look every day at home. That’s the idea, anyway, behind the Training Bra Class at Studio 2000 Salon & Day Spa, where a stylist will teach you one-on-one how to blow-dry your own hair to glossy perfection. You bring in your own hairbrush, hair products, and styling tools. You leave with a better understanding of where on your head to begin the drying process, how to flick your ends just so, and how to give your hair volume or keep things super-sleek. Blown away, right? 55 Monument Circle, Ste. 2000, 687-0010,
Pampering for Men
It’s no longer a girls-only pastime. Guys can treat themselves with our favorite products
and services from these—manly, we assure you—locations.
Do you like to watch TV with your feet up? Of course you do. Take it to the next level at 4:59 barberlounge with a Foot Detail, which is all of the aforementioned plus 45 minutes of soaking in a hydrotherapy tub and a generous foot massage. Given that your feet are probably gross, you won’t find anyone to do this for free. The $35 cost is a steal. 3407 E. 86th St., 257-4599
A twee take on the old-school barbershop, Warfleigh Barber & Supply Co. has everything the Dillinger-cut-wearing, Civil War–beard-having man needs—except two chairs. There’s only one here at the walk-ins-only Broad Ripple shop. So while you wait for your beard trim, check out the variety of soaps, combs, beard oils, and pomades. 818 Broad Ripple Ave., 572-8550
If you look like Andrew Luck during a playoff run, order one of the men’s grooming kits from Indy-based Ambre Blends. The Ambre Beards sets ($70) come with face-and-beard tonic, a beard comb, and a sample pack of essential oils (please throw away your Drakkar Noir). But the star performer is an olive oil shave bar that’s so moisturizing, you’ll forswear any other shave cream, gel, or soap.
The first Friday of every month, Body Mind & Core studio in Carmel transforms into a high-energy club for its packed live-DJ class. During the 90-minute hot yoga session, DJ Inversion, who also happens to be a seasoned yogi, spins ’80s pop tunes and Rolling Stones favorites while leading a swift vinyasa session. After attendees sweat—and dance—it out in the 104-degree room, they can cool off in a lounge area while snacking on wholesome appetizers prepared by raw-food chefs like Allie McFee of Humble Tummy and Audrey Barron of Ezra’s Enlightened Cafe. It’s a workout, light dinner, and trip to the discotheque in a single visit. 1344 S. Range Line Rd., Carmel, 696-0720
Styling toenails isn’t usually a high priority during Indiana’s brutal winters—your feet are hidden away in wool socks and snow boots, after all. But Tyler Mason’s chocolate-peppermint pedicure, an hour-long treatment that includes complimentary hot chocolate and a detoxifying masque that looks like brownie batter, has sweetened us on the idea. It’s not a gimmick—the saccharine scrub gently sloughs away layers of dry skin before the paraffin dip and heated booties turn callused hooves into baby-soft tootsies. Feels like there may be a new holiday tradition afoot. $65. 9004 W. 10th St., 271-3330
New Beauty Boutique
Aruba native Josh Posner nailed Broad Ripple’s earthy, free-spirited vibe when he opened the wholesome beauty store Eva Maison there this year. With its hefty selection of all-natural skincare and makeup brands artfully arranged on rough-hewn tables, the place feels like a mash-up of Sephora and the Whole Foods cosmetics aisle. Posner has been known to turn skeptical drug-store loyalists into organic-product junkies with his on-point recommendations—he has hooked numerous customers on Herbivore Botanical’s Sea Mist spray for its ability to tousle stick-straight manes into Gisele-worthy beach waves. How nice does that sound in the dead of winter? 912 E. Westfield Blvd., 800-272-0918
There’s a certain degree of intimacy built into getting a good rubdown. The soft music, the touching, the fact that one person in the room isn’t wearing any clothes. You double that during Woodhouse Spa’s Four-Handed Massage. Working in tandem, two massage therapists slowly knead their way around a deeply relaxed client atop a fluffy, heated table. One rubs the feet while the other taps at the temples. One moves up to the calves while the other shimmies down the spine. One goes right while the other goes left. And on, and on. The only downside to this hour and a half of uninterrupted rubbing, pressing, and pulling is that you might never be satisfied with the regular, two-handed version again. 2182 E. 116th St., Carmel, 706-1300; 11501 Geist Pavilion Dr., Fishers, 594-9300; 4400 Weston Pointe Dr., Zionsville, 873-0333
Some people are already calling the new center at Delaware and South “the Lilly Y,” even though the new YMCA at CityWay eventually expects to attract 16,000 members, most of them not employed by the pharmaceutical company across the parking lot. But given the ritzy amenities at the $22 million, 87,000-square-foot facility, the nickname fits. Gleaming wooden lockers can hold a couple of suits. Workout machines have individual TVs. Classes can go outside to a terrace. In the cycling studio, a 23-by-12-foot video wall showcases majestic landscapes. A “functional fitness” area incorporates CrossFit–style equipment. The yoga room’s floor is bamboo. Hoaglin to Go, one of the city’s better caterers, runs the cafe. There’s towel service. Lilly folks, we’ll see you there. 430 S. Alabama St., 955-9622
New Juice Bar
Cold-pressed and bottled on-site, the rainbow-spectrum potions at The Garden Table address a variety of health needs. There’s the Emerald Elixir with lemon to clean the liver and turmeric to reduce inflammation. The Neon Nectar contains skin-beautifying vitamin A, and the coffee-colored Detox Dream (a slurry of lemon, maple, ginger, cayenne, and activated charcoal) eliminates toxins. But we’ll come clean: The main reason we can’t get enough of the eight varieties of gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and GMO-free juices—the liquid equivalent of a gym membership—is because they also happen to taste delicious. 908 E. Westfield Blvd., 737-2531