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.”
Wall-to-wall murals of faux windows and pillars overlooking palm trees and calm waters transport clients at A Little Indulgence Salon and Spa from Clovis to a tropical paradise. The relaxing atmosphere gives way to haircuts and highlights for men and women. Inside private treatment rooms, aestheticians remove unwanted body hair with warm wax and perform facials that clear dirt from pores.
Savvy Salon Day Spa looks more like a home than a stuffy salon. The welcoming space is furnished it with beige accents and vintage-inspired wingback chairs. Amid these cozy accoutrements, hairstylists transform tresses with Big Sexy Hair products. They've also joined forces with makeup artists to beautify clients for any event. Nail techs can top manicured hands and feet with glitter, and estheticians lengthen eyelashes with long-lasting extensions.
Aesthetician Alexandria Martinez tends to the many needs of skin with cleansing facials, stylish makeup applications, and more than 10 waxing treatments. From speedy half-hour express facials to more luxurious 60-minute facials, she tailors her services to the specific needs of each complexion. Her acne facials aim both to correct and prevent blemishes, while her anti-aging facials work to lift and tighten mature skin better than swimming laps in the Fountain of Youth.
Located within Studio Fifth Avenue Salon, Skin by Brynne has tended to faces and skin for 18 years. They offer a wide range of facial and waxing services that include diamond microdermabrasion, brow and bikini waxing, and enzyme peels. Technicians use high-quality products from brands such as Dermalogica, Repêchage, and A Natural Difference.
Her customers call her the "knot witch." And yes, that is absolutely a compliment. Massage therapist Kim Perry is skilled in getting every knot out of tense backs. She specializes in Swedish massage and customizes each session to address each person's particular needs or concerns.
There's more than just massages at this spa, though. The staff also beautifies skin with facials, including vitamin-infusion facials and teen treatments. Additionally, waxing services rid clients of pesky unwanted hairs, whether they're camping out on the face, legs, or bikini area.