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.
For more than a decade, Engy has thoroughly arched clients' eyebrows and removed unwanted facial hair. She conducts each session using organic egyptian cotton balls before ending with an organic rose-water toner. These days, she hones her threading craft in the spacious, high-ceilinged salon of Jayson Zarcone, whose team of stylists enlivens 'dos with cuts, highlights, keratin treatments, and the full line of TIGI haircare products. Elsewhere, the salon's resident aesthetician enriches epidermises with acne facials and anti-aging facials to smooth wrinkles and self-conscious accordions.
Dr. Cynthia M. Lopez began her medical career in the Philippines, returning to her hometown after medical school to provide health care to families who could not otherwise afford it. Since that time, Dr. Lopez has become an expert laser cosmetic surgeon, helping enhance the beauty of her clients within a practice designed to evoke the calm and relaxation of Mariveles, her archipelago hometown. Dr. Lopez and her staff aim to demystify the advanced techniques they deploy in pursuit of increasing each patient's confidence, walking them through the steps of liposuction, skin treatments, cosmetic injections, and how exactly they manage to steal and replace the noses of children.
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.