"Technique is everything," says Tricia Hetherington, licensed esthetician and owner of The Pretty Kitty, a chain of full-service waxing boutiques specializing in bare-all Brazilians. Tricia, who’s been profiled in Luxury Las Vegas and several additional press outlets, personally trains each staff member in her proprietary 10- to 15-minute hair-removal method, which employs high-quality soft wax that’s formulated for delicate flesh and minimizes pain. Her estheticians never double dip into the wax pot, reaching for a fresh stick with every application of the warm substance and leaving only a thin landing strip or functional tarmac in its wake. The Pretty Kitty's menu of services also includes facial and full-body waxing, and though walk-ins are welcome, appointments are recommended.
Barbie Barber Salon offers barbershop services to men and keeps the froufrou to a minimum. Though the Costa Mesa salon is staffed with expert, Pro Vidal Sassoon–trained stylists, its laidback atmosphere is more sports bar than beauty shop. Customers are greeted with complimentary drinks, and while they're getting haircuts and beard trims, a flat-screen TV displays brawny programming such as sports games, poker matches, and soap operas without the soap. Though the business is geared toward a male clientele, women looking for a relaxed, unpretentious salon experience are more than welcome to take advantage of the stylists' services.
Stylist Katie Wang has an appetite for trends. During her 12-year career she has designed the coifs of models for runway and editorial shoots and represented companies such as Wella Professional Color and Sebastian as a top stylist and educator. The smooth, knotted updos and Brazilian blowouts in her portfolio reveal an impressive manual dexterity and a penchant for sleek, Scrunchie-free looks. Wang exhibits her artistry within the elegant KE Salon, where a pop-art sensibility is glammed up with cheeky, crystal chandeliers and antique Asian furniture and art.
At The Wax Parlor, staffers spend their entire day primarily focused on only one thing: waxing. While whisking away hair on the body or face during one of their services, they uphold rigid sanitary standards, never double dipping or flat-out licking a wax stick once they’ve used it. They also stock their salon and online boutique with numbing cream for those looking to diminish as much discomfort as possible.
The only non-waxing service they offer is airbrush tanning, which can put the finishing touch on a new, hair-free look.
At Zen Bodywork, holistic health practitioner Jerri Le kneads muscles and recalibrates energy levels. Her favorite modality for easing stress and improving flexibility is Thai massage, which incorporates a beneficial medley of pressure, stretching, and fish sauce. Classic Swedish massage employs gliding, kneading, and cross-fiber friction, while hot stone massage makes use of warm rocks and aromatic essential oils. Specialized neuromuscular therapy unites the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, helping to eradicate pain and restore structural integrity.
Since opening its doors, LaserAway has accumulated 18 California locations and the patronage of celebrities such as the Kardashian clan. At different settings, the clinic's state-of-the-art lasers can treat signs of sun damage, tattoos, body hair, and glued-on glam-rock wigs with comfort and efficiency. The clinic's medical professionals are all fully licensed to administer laser pulses, and fully glad to educate clients on the intricacies of skincare.