Back in 1991, Kevin McKinley was in the middle of his last day as a banker, his future career path uncertain. Just before punching out, he found himself in conversation with a customer sporting an array of piercings. The man told Kevin about each of his piercings, where he got them, and what they meant to him. An admirer of free-spirited creativity, Kevin was immediately intrigued by the piercing philosophy.
"It's all about feel," he explains. "With change, there's pain. With pain, there's clarity."
More than three decades after piercing his first client, Kevin helms a team of 30 tattoo artists, piercers, and laser technicians at Body Piercing Unlimited. He calls the team a collective “jack of all trades,” with the ability to craft or alter virtually any tattoo or remove unwanted ink altogether. His studios combine modern inks, needles, and lasers with a vintage atmosphere that displays antique bicycles and wall panels bearing artistic works. The black-and-white checkered floors reflect Kevin's reverence for tradition, harking back, he says, to the East Coast tattoo parlors of the 1970s and their legendary face-offs between Garry Kasparov and a computer.
It all began with a quest to find makeup without harmful ingredients that would also look good on camera. COR Cosmetics owner Amber Brophy-Mock worked diligently with chemists to create a 100% vegan mineral foundation composed of only four ingredients and free of irritants such as talc, carmine, bismuth oxychloride, and bottled Fran Drescher sound bites. The makeup and skincare expert has given interviews to numerous media publications and wrote a beauty column for the Anchorage Style Guide. She and her team of makeup artists have assembled an impressive portfolio of work while enhancing faces at weddings, fashion shows, and on the celebrity-studded sets of television shows and movies.
Patrons can find the skin-friendly products online or get an in-person application within the bright fuchsia and purple walls of the Wax, Lash & Cosmetics Boutique. At the spa, Brophy-Mock's staff of licensed aestheticians perform facials with products ranging from clinical PCA Skin peels to 100% Pure's organic and vegan formulas. They also offer organic waxing services and eyelash extensions with certified experts.
Whether it’s to help prepare for an interview, an upcoming wedding, or a date with a scrupulous dermatologist, the aestheticians at Lux Skin and Makeup Studio work to get skin looking its very best with facials, waxing sessions, makeup services, and eyelash extensions. Using doctor-developed Murad products, the team aims to heal epidermal ailments such as redness, wrinkles, and acne with a sextet of facials, which includes a clarifying enzyme acne facial and a vitamin C facial, or a PCA peel. Aestheticians can then add prismatic pop to newly smoothened skin with professional makeup applications performed with high-end products from The Balm, Japonesque, and Julie Hewett. To keep legs and arms smooth, they remove unwanted hair using warm wax and quick removal techniques that minimize discomfort.
A modernly geometric space lavished in cream and umber tones, Suddenly Beautiful's staff calls on their diverse expertise to trim excess volume from both locks and limbs. In private treatment rooms, technicians cloak patrons with one of seven body wraps, which aim to deduct 6–20 inches from all over the body. The salon's lavender walls and picture windows surround stylists as they infuse hair with products from Eufora, Matrix, and Moroccanoil, conjuring more strength and shine than a bodybuilding magic mirror. Massage by either licensed therapists or the warm water jets of hydrotherapy merge with specialized facials and tanning services to round out the pampering menu.
The staff at Alaska Body Aesthetics strive not only to make clients look better, but also to make them feel better, too. Their menu of noninvasive aesthetic treatments focuses on enhancing mental as well as physical well-being. High-tech services offer immediate results: technicians can refresh aging or damaged skin with Fraxel laser treatments, or remove hair and skin lesions with intense pulsed light of Palomar's StarLux system.
The doctor also combats signs of aging with Botox and dermal fillers, and she helps patients enhance their body image with skin-contouring treatments. She and her team clear complexions with products such as SkinCeuticals and Obagi Medical.
At Anchorage Healthy Smile Center, Dr. Terry J. Preece knows what it's like to be relied on. He once served as the sole dentist on the island of Wrangell, and was responsible for the smiles of the island's more than 1,800 residents. In 32 years of dental experience, the doctor has mastered all aspects of general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. Today, even though his office is equipped for a comprehensive range of dental care, Dr. Preece demonstrates his commitment to patients by referring them to specialists for issues including orthodontic work or assessing the value of that shark tooth they found outside.