From fun nail art to haircare, the staff at Yosemite's Elite Salon and Spa beautifies clients with an array of pampering services. Mani-pedis or gel polishes keep hands and feet polished and pretty, whereas facials, microdermabrasion treatments, and scrubs leave skin healthy and glowing. Staff members also leave skin smooth with waxing services and gild physiques with spray tans.
Walls the color of champagne partition the styling stations at Coarsegold Salon and Nails—a subtle hint at the staff’s penchant for crafting sparkly acrylic nails and expensive-looking haircuts. In addition to signature manicures and pedicures that refresh appendages with lavender scrubs and hot-stone massages, the salon revivifies tired tresses with hairstyling services for men, women, and children. It may be difficult for customers to pay attention to their hair—or anything else, for that matter—once the work of nail technicians Genna and Monica catches their eyes. True artists at their craft, the two push the boundaries of their acrylic medium with designs that by turns recall a starry night sky, a tropical coral reef, and a zebra seen through 3-D glasses.
At Hairology, the friendly staff and experienced stylists are dedicated to putting their clients at ease while slapping a chic style onto their skulls. After an opening act of luxurious shampooing, the stylists at Hairology headline their skills of expert hair cuttery, precisely reflecting the manner their clients dictate, whether they choose to communicate through verbal language, obscure hand gestures, or photographs of their desired 'do frolicking in the wild. With split ends snipped away and filaments trimmed to the desired length, formerly sloppy coifs ultimately transform into haute coiffure under the supervision of the stylist's stylishly styling eyes. Once they've torn down the scaffolding and unveiled the majestic façade of cuticular couture, the stylists offer expert guidance for maintaining headifices, allowing clients to maintain composure and reframe their style in the face of 95 mph straightline winds or the playful tussling of a slightly overenthusiastic in-law.
Trips alongside her mom to the salon are what sparked Liz Holten’s desire to become a nail technician. “The manicurists got to gab and talk and play all day like little girls and got paid,” she says. At 18, Liz got the opportunity to pursue the career she dreamed of as a child. A stint in a London salon allowed her to hone her trade in one of the world’s trendiest cities, but, intrigued by the increasing popularity of the celebrity manicurist, she made her way back to California.
Through e-mail exchanges with Charlize Theron’s personal manicurist, Liz further developed her skill set with firsthand tips on celebrity-grade services, but her clients were not always receptive. “I got a reputation for bringing people back to natural nails because they asked for the celebrity look,” she says. “I would tell them to open a magazine and show me one celebrity with pink and whites and I would give them their next three sets for free.” Liz Holten was the only person to win the bet.
Nail companies mirror her preferences and have recognized Liz for her work with vibrant polish colors instead of long, fake nails. She earned the title of grand master from Creative Nails and continues to refresh her skillset, which now includes her favorite products, Shellac and gel polish. These fresh trends, she says, are what keep her passionate about her career. As trends change, though, Liz does keep one thing constant: her meticulousness when working with clients in her private treatment room at Visage Salon. “You leave when I’m happy,” she says. “If it’s up to the client, they’ll leave even if it’s not perfect, but it’s my work on their fingers, and I want it to be right.”
Founded with the goal of outfitting its pupils with the skills necessary to excel in the spa and salon industries, Milan Institute of Cosmetology deploys a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes professionalism and hands-on learning to train fledgling cosmetologists and aestheticians around the country. As the most important aspect of the course of study, student salons and spas serve as a real-world classroom wherein nascent beauticians—under the careful supervision of their instructors—can practice their newly minted skills on humans or sentient mannequins. The beauty apprentices gussy up patrons head to toe via sundry lavish salon and spa services—specific to each location—that may include nail services, haircare, facials therapeutic massages, or nourishing body wraps.
Because of her distaste for the pretentious atmosphere that some salons have, owner Sarah Reichman vowed to create a down-to-earth styling experience inside her salon, Head Over Heels. Seven years later, Reichman has solicited the hair expertise of stylists, such as Cynthia, to tailor face-flattering styles in relaxing, unpretentious company. Clients may also retreat to one of the salon's private rooms for a moisturizing facial, a relaxing mani-pedi, or to practice their rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" for karaoke night.