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.”
Joanna Corkery calls upon 12 years of experience owning and working at a tanning salon to rid complexions of blemishes and imbue skin with rich, UV-free color. Stationed within the stress-free oasis of Jessi B?s Salon & Boutique, Joanna airbrushes skin of all types and colors with a Norvell solution that achieves the rich, golden hue of King Midas?s pet retriever. Though a master of natural-looking tanning, Joanna?s knowledge also extends to other aspects of skincare and cosmetics. Once an adult-acne sufferer, she channels the lessons learned from her personal experiences to clear skin of fine lines, sun spots, and acne with custom facials that rely on products from trusted brands such as Jan Marini Skin Research and DermaQuest Skin Therapy. A freelance makeup artist at weddings and other special events, Joanna perks up complexions with cosmetic services that include brow and lash tinting, makeup application, and body waxing.
Elvira Luqman, a licensed aesthetician, revitalizes and transforms exteriors from top to bottom using couture beauty products and specialized treatments. Personalized facial treatments, such as custom-blended peels and microdermabrasion-assisted facials, begin with an in-depth analysis that traces the skin?s history by summoning the scarred spirits of all past blackheads. Elvira streamlines beauty regimens with waxing services as well as makeup and lash applications. Located within Polished & Pampered, her stress-free oasis welcomes guests with an expanded facility featuring hardwood floors, flowing purple drapes, and soft lighting.
The technicians at Thread & Sugar embrace a natural approach to beauty, whether they are practicing ancient Eastern hair-removal methods or hand-mixing organic facial ingredients right before the client's eyes. An organic salon located in the Central Valley, they use nail polishes free of DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene, and organic, herbal hair color products that are non-toxic. Even the cleaning products they use are eco-friendly and the space is equipped with an onsite purifier that keeps dust, allergens, and debris from invading the air.
Using a LightSheer diode laser by Lumenis, the certified staff at Fresno Laser Aesthetics reduces and eventually permanently halts hair production in unwanted areas. The LightSheer system targets hundreds of hair follicles at a time, destroying them at their core, which can be identified by its nougaty consistency. Plastic surgeons Dr. John Burnett and Dr. Kaye Riolo, the cosmetic nurse specialists and clinical aestheticians at Fresno Laser Aesthetics, celebrate hairlessness by offering medical-grade services in an upscale, relaxing environment.
Élan Salon encourages relaxation with its skin-rejuvenating treatments and upscale, tranquil atmosphere. Faces smattered with blemishes or remnants of pizza binges can enjoy a 50-minute deep-pore cleansing facial, during which licensed aesthetician Ludmilla refreshes visages by employing exfoliating natural fruit enzymes, antioxidants, and hydrating agents. Shed dead skin with a deep-cleansing scrub, unclog overflowing pores with a gentle, non-irritating extraction, and keep surfaces soft with a soothing coat of moisturizer. Throughout, soft music gently plays in the background, mitigating stress and quieting inner voices that won't stop quoting Brendan Fraser films.