The fact that they are succeeding in those efforts is an understatement considering they were chosen by our readers as the winner in 13 categories in the “Best of 2012” survey for salon services. Truth be told, it’s not what they did win, notes Carolyn Severo, MBA, Business Manager of Radiance, but what they didn’t win that actually makes her beam. They didn’t win the “Best Spa” selection. And that’s music to Carolyn’s ears because, as she says, “We are not your typical spa!” Radiance combines the traditional beauty services of an upscale salon and the anti-aging cosmetic services of a leading-edge medical spa.

“We’ve had an identity crisis for awhile, because people tend to believe we are just another place to stop in for a dip in the Jacuzzi or steam room. Not that there is anything wrong with that−and we pamper clients just as you would expect at a spa−but we really are unique. I believe we are a big step up from that.”

Radiance is considered not just a salon, but a medi-spa, in that they have actual registered nurses and physicians assistants who provide many of the services, such as injectibles. And they set their standards high for estheticians − only certified master estheticians are hired. Their certifications prove they are the best of the best when it comes to providing medical services, chemical peels, micro-dermabrasion, endromology, and laser hair removal, and they are located at all three Radiance locations.

One of the most compelling reasons the medi-spa is the best in the area is due to the people responsible for its success. The Radiance Salon and Medi-Spas were created by Dr. Philip Chang, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and owner of Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center. He grew up in the Washington metropolitan area. After graduating from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, he completed his general surgery training at the prestigious Loma Linda University Medical Center in Southern California, where he trained with prominent cosmetic surgeons in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills. Dr. Chang then returned to the University of Rochester where he completed an Accredited Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He specializes in minimally invasive cosmetic procedures of the face, breast and body. He has created innovations in procedures like the Mini-Facelift, the Mini Scar Breast Augmentation and the Mommy Makeover. His approach to cosmetic procedures emphasizes natural looking results and reduced recovery times. “Most of my patients are not looking for drastic changes,” says Dr. Chang. “In terms of facial rejuvenation, many patients want to look refreshed and can benefit from treatments like a mini facelift, or procedures that address sun damage and brown spots, as well as eyelid rejuvenation. As for their bodies, a mommy makeover consisting of a breast augmentation and/or tummy tuck can help return their bodies to how they may have looked prior to pregnancy.”

The first step to take whenever visiting any medi-spa is becoming educated about the options available to you. The blog on the Radiance website (www.gotobeauty.com) offers a Q&A segment with Dr. Chang which will answer most of your questions and help you decide if nonsurgical cosmetic procedures and/or plastic surgery are right for you.

Carolyn Severo, MBA, Business Manager, runs the ship, or should I say “ships.” A survivor of colon cancer, her can-do spirit is reflected in her passion and dedication to making sure each salon is run seamlessly. Don’t let her petite stature and twinkling eyes fool you. She runs a tight ship with poise and elegance. Each spa employs only those who will contribute to a team atmosphere. They are not commission based, thus you will never find a diva or competitive mentality amongst her staff. “They are paid an hourly rate with production-based pay. The hourly rate is guaranteed. It is up to them to produce effectively to determine their pay. This makes them goal oriented. They have the power to determine their own pay structure. The more they produce, the more they’ll make.” She adds, “This also allows us to be able to give away hundreds of donations a year. No stylist is really “giving away” their services. Each client that walks through that door may be a future, life-long client. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. This provides each spa with a positive culture and environment, and promotes a team atmosphere which is very different from that of salons with competitive commission-based pay.”

Carolyn employs a full-time management staff with general managers and assistant managers. Some people would consider that detrimental to the company’s overhead. She it’s simply good business. Many salons have staff members who double as stylists and managers. She notes, “Some people think if they’re a good stylist, they can manage. That’s not always true.”

If employees are happy, you as a client will be happy. And her managers are skilled at keeping their employees happy. Their motivational management tactics include providing incentives through creative contests, team goals and training. Professional educational programs are available, whether their stylists are new to the industry or transferring from another salon and want to work in an upscale salon. Apprentices earn an hourly wage while they are in the program, which lasts about a year. “We like to grow our own,” Carolyn says with a wink.

As for prices, the salons are just as eclectic. Radiance is just as concerned about the economy as you are, and budget plans and bundled discounts are available. Their Color and Cut Stimulus Plan is a free service offered to anyone who walks in waving an unemployment stub. A little beautifying may be just what you need to boost your morale when getting ready for that next job interview.

Ever stare into the mirror and say, “I need a little something…I’m just not sure what?” That’s where Radiance steps in with their consultations and educational services. Their VISIA™ system is an imaging and analysis machine that identifies your skin’s condition both topically and subsurface. It provides a multi-dimensional portrait of your complexion and comparison of your facial characteristics to those of other women your age and ethnicity. It captures visual information affecting your complexion: wrinkles, spots, pores and UV spots. This information enables them to suggest optimal treatments and regimens that are right for you.

Concerned about down-time? The Harmony Weekend Facelift may be just the ticket for you. A less invasive procedure with minimal scarring, you can enjoy a more youthful jaw line and neck without the downtime of a traditional facelift. It will leave you with a more…

natural appearance without the “plastic” results and can be performed on a Friday so you can return to work refreshed on Monday. Radiance believes in giving back to the community. They contribute hundreds of donations each year to non-profit organizations and charities. As a member of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, they sponsor many events, such as the Virginia Women’s Business Conference, Sterling Women, Middleburg Women and Loudoun Abused Women’s Casino Night, to name just a few.

Carolyn is emotionally invested in Radiance, and it shows in the quality of their services. Cosmetic surgery is performed for various reasons, including physical and psychological health, and can have life-changing effects for those who undergo procedures. Smart lifestyle choices and a healthy diet, of course, are contributors to beautiful skin as we age, and being an educated consumer is key to knowing your options for aging beautifully. But the key word here is “options,” and that is what Radiance is best at providing.

The nomenclature alone−“plastic” surgery−turns some people off. Often, people view cosmetic surgery or beauty regimens with skepticism and distrust. But after facing her own demons during her battle with cancer, Carolyn views life differently. “People need to understand that aging is not always an option, it is a privilege.”


  • Address Leesburg – Lansdowne Town Center Radiance Salon & Medi-Spa II 19305 Winmeade Drive Leesburg, VA 20176
  • Phone
  • Websitehttp://www.gotoradiance.com
  • Category Self Care
  • Location Ashburn,VA



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