As the weather warms up this time of year, Plattsburgh residents and students might come out from their winter fatigues and realize — they need some color. With five-star ratings across their website and Facebook page, BeauSoleil Tanning in Plattsburgh projects good vibes, fine mists and ultra-positive waves.
Owner Tammy Gadbois bought the salon from its previous owner in July. Located at 34 Skyway Shopping Center, the space used to be called Premier Tan & Body Center and was open for 15 years prior. Gadbois and her husband, who comes from a French-Canadian background, rebranded and found a new name to match her beach-themed tanning salon, translating “beautiful sun” into “beau soleil.”
“We were trying to find a name that had sun in it and something clever, and we really liked ‘beau soleil,’” Gadbois said.
BeauSoleil Tanning offers tanning packages for use of their seven tanning beds, ranging from $5.50 for one visit to a three-month unlimited package for $88. A wide variety of tanning lotions is also available for customers who want an extra glow. In addition to their 10, 15 and 20-minute tanning beds, Gadbois also offers spray tans as another tanning alternative.
Gadbois does a private consultation with the customer to find a shade that works for them. Using Norvell products and equipment, a professional spray-tan solution retailer, Gadbois will personally spray customers with a sunless solution using a high-pressure spray gun during a 15 to 30 minute application process.
Because pH levels on different skin types can vary, Gadbois said she consistently uses a pH balance on clients to make sure their spray tan dries to their desired color.
“Everybody’s skin is different, so we mix colors appropriate for them,” Gadbois said.
But BeauSoleil Tanning offers more than just a tan. Under the front counter of the salon, Gadbois sells a selection of fair-trade and handmade jewelry, handbags and hats from Fair Trade Federation nonprofits like Lucia’s Imports, a fair-trade retail market that partners with Guatemalan artisans groups and cooperatives to sell their products, and many others from around the world.
In the back of the salon is a large dance studio where the salon also offers two belly-dance classes once a week and eight-week yoga sessions, both taught by professionals in the area.
PSUC senior childhood and special education major Ashley Velardi consulted with Gadbois about her spray-tan appointment at BeauSoleil Tanning about a month ago. Velardi wanted a tan during the weekend of her 22nd birthday. She had a positive experience, leaving the salon a five-star review on Facebook, and said Gadbois was friendly and very informative.
“Usually, when I get spray tans at home, it’s like a machine that sprays me,” Velardi said. “I’d gone to other tanning salons in Plattsburgh, but [BeauSoleil Tanning] was probably the best one I’d been to.”
One bed at BeauSoleil Tanning is used as a red-light therapy bed. Red-light therapy is a form of healing treatment that can prolong and remedy many skin issues over time, including acne, rosacea, eczema, scars and stretch marks.
Kayla Duchesne, Plattsburgh State junior TV production major, has worked at BeauSoleil Tanning for about six months. Duchesne inquired about tanning services when the salon was hiring and enjoys the friendly staff and customers.
While she’s used three of the tanning beds at BeauSoleil Tanning before, Duchesne said she takes advantage of the salon’s red-light therapy bed the most.
“I continually do that every week,” Duchesne said. “It’s helped me a lot with my issues that I’ve been dealing with as far as my skin.”
BeauSoleil Tanning also accepts Cardinal Cash for any salon service. Gadbois and a few employees attended the Cardinal Cash Fair at PSUC in September in order to advertise to more students. Gadbois said while she understands students might be afraid to tan, some have booked appointments for college events.
“A lot of the girls do spray tans,” Gadbois said. “I [sprayed] like seven girls yesterday, and I think three of them [paid] with Cardinal Cash.”
Duchesne produced fliers for BeauSoleil Tanning and posted them in the Angell College Center, advertising services like $5.50 a tan, walk-ins welcome, spray tanning by appointment and red-light therapy.
“Just by me going to Plattsburgh, I was able to spread the word about Cardinal Cash,” Duchesne said. “It’s progressing. We’re trying to advertise it as much as possible.”
Velardi paid with Cardinal Cash for her spray tan. Although it might out of the way for some students who don’t have cars, Velardi was pleased with how quick, clean and natural her spray tan came out.
“I get spray tans all the time,” Velardi said. “I was going to go back for my sorority formal, but when I called to make an appointment, she was all booked-up, so I guess that’s a good sign for her.”
Owning two tanning salons in the Plattsburgh area, BeauSoleil Tanning and Electric Beach Tanning in Plattsburgh Plaza, Gadbois said she enjoys owning her own businesses, meeting new people and seeing the positive impact something as simple as a tan can bring into someone’s life.
“A lot of people who come here to tan are coming just for a mood-lifter,” Gadbois said. “I think it helps a lot of people get through that long winter, whether they’re there for the tanning or they’re just for the warmth and Vitamin D.”