After operating the Ultimate Beauty Spa in different capacities for the past 10 years, owner Leslie Askerneesa says the business has evolved where, “I finally understand the meaning of owning a spa. It’s more than just making my clients feel good, but about total health and wellness.” Excited about how far the business has come and the possibilities as to where it is yet to go, Askerneesa says her clients are in for a “better self.”

READY TO ROLL—Massage therapist Aisha Hodges and spa owner Leslie Askernessa prepare to travel to an office building to handle corporate accounts.

Once operating in the communities of Duquesne, Oakland and Homewood, Askerneesa consolidated and relocated eight years of experience and clients to 2015 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill. The facility consists of a skin care and waxing room, a massage room with three tables, and wet room with Vichy showers. Decorated in natural colors, a light aroma floats throughout the rooms and soft relaxing music plays in the service areas.

Services offered by she and her staff include massage therapy consisting of aromatherapy, Swedish, stone therapy, neuromuscular, couples massages, hand massages, chocolate massages and chair massages. Full body enhancements entail full body polishing, body masking, paraffin body treatments, seaweed wraps, herbal linen wraps, paraffin cellulite treatments, herbal cellulite treatments and chocolate body treatments. Foot enhancements consist of express pedicures, spa pedicures and corrective pedicures. Hand enhancements include polish changes, manicures, spa manicures, French manicures, corrective manicures, silk wraps, linen wraps, paraffin manicures, moisturizing manicures and skin polisher manicures. Facial enhancements involve signature facials, eye treatments, makeup application, lash applications and makeup lessons. Waxing enhancements are comprised of brow, upper lip, chin, cheeks, under arms, arms, legs, back and chest, Brazilian and bikini waxes.

SATISFIED CLIENTS—Leslie Askernessa, owner of the Ultimate Beauty Spa in Squirrel Hill, works with clients Laura Jeric and Robin Christie after their massage treatment.

Her newest offerings are bamboo and Thai massages, Thai herbal ball treatments and crystal mud baths. Askerneesa also says they offer a more wholesome experience by utilizing organic candles and by offering natural products for spa applications.

Pleased with her Squirrel Hill location, where she has been for more than two years, Askerneesa says, “This site is more visible and accessible for my clients.” She pointed out that it’s on the bus line and close to the parkway. Considering education a major component of the business, she says the facility is conducive for her to meet her goal of teaching about caring for one’s self.

Kicking off her 10th year anniversary she initiated The 2010 Workshop Series with a self-empowerment session called, “It’s All About You! Really!” She says discussion took place on credit issues, mortgage foreclosure information, business ownership, health and wellness and 10 points of personal positivity was shared.

Askerneesa writes a wellness column on website and produces an Internet newsletter. She has collaborated with the American Cancer Society, the Center for Minority Health and as a way to get people more active and moving she sponsors activities with line dance guru Roland Ford. Tuesdays are men’s day at the spa where guys receive tips and ideas on skin care and general knowledge on making a great first impression. Pointers on health, nutrition and body building are offered along with ideas on achieving a more GQ look.

After getting away from sponsoring the annual Mother’s Day soiree, she says the event will take place in two parts this year. On May 8. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., a variety of spa services will be provided out of the Murray Avenue location. “Food will be served and a good time will be had by all,” she says. At the Downtown Omni Hotel from 2:30-4:30 p.m., women are encouraged to participate in what Askerneesa calls High Tea at the Omni. For a small fee she says women will receive makeup enhancements by an award-winning makeup artist, a fashion premier hat show, photos will be taken, poetry and a theatrical performances will take place, entertainment will be provided, Roland Ford will have a special tribute and the Cancer Society will be on hand to discuss cancer issues. She says the event is open to anyone, but especially for those looking to provide a relaxing, fun and entertaining afternoon for that special woman in their life.

Not forgetting the basic services and principles her business was founded on, Askerneesas’ clients remind her everyday why she is in business.

Clients like Robin Christie who said, “I’ve had a massage before, but wow.”

The Ultimate Beauty Spa is available for parties’ business events and meetings. Spa memberships, gift certificates and customized gift baskets are also available.

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