From the walls that enclose Zena Day Spa's 6,000-square-foot space, one can almost feel sun seeping from the great, rough-hewn stone blocks and murals influenced by the ancient Egyptians. Intricately woven gold speckled with authenticity-testing bite marks trims Victorian-style couches, upon which clients nip at complimentary beverages. Extremities wrapped around warm mugs or wading through luxurious carpet prepare for dips in oil, paraffin, and a warm lotion or cooling gel infused with sea salt, and beautifiers overhaul hair, nails, skin and bodies with opulent spa and salon treatments.
Organic, semipermanent makeup accentuates facial features, and bold brushstrokes paint exotic scenes behind pedicure chairs and above gleaming marble countertops. The scent of potted lilies rides waves of eucalyptus-infused steam past the strawberry-blond wooden slats that border a sauna. The spa's private showers are ideal for relaxing cleanup or tearful regrets about taking cotton candy in the shower.
UV light from five levels of tanning booths and beds sets all-white interiors aglow at Total Tan's two locations in West Hollywood and Marina Del Rey. Designed by upscale brands such as Ergoline and Matrix, each bronzing chamber cossets clients with amenities including voice-guided operated controls, music, and cooling fans that pump air directly from Total Tan's sister salon in the Antarctic. Patrons can enhance sessions with lotions from brands such as California Tan and Australian Gold.
Alternatively, custom airbrush spray tans evenly coat skin with Infinity Sun solution, whose cocktail of DHA and pure botanicals leaves bodies bronzed for up to 10 days. Inside Total Tan's cellulite bike chamber, infrared lights work to smooth cellulite problem areas as the client pedals a stationary bike at 75% maximum heart rate in an attempt to escape the nearby stationary rottweiler.
An off-shoot of BE Beverly Hills—a company dedicated to eco-friendly beauty products—Blowlux shapes clients' hairstyles, nails, and faces under BE's guiding principle: making clients feel beautiful with all-natural, luxurious cosmetic services. Garnering the approval of such high-profile outlets as O magazine and Glamour, BE Beverly Hills and Blowlux focus on professional-level blowouts that achieve a variety of looks, from rolling waves to straight, smooth locks. Within the salon's purple-accented walls and dazzling white interior, aestheticians also indulge hands and feet with mani-pedis and highlight faces with makeup, creating visages more artfully composed than the Mona Lisa with the distracting dragon tattoo over her left eye.
Within the burnt-orange salon, expert stylists examine hair before taking scissors to strands and unleashing the professional bob or flirty long curls within. They specialize in Brazilian blowouts, which transforms curly or frizzy hair into smooth, straight lengths. A dedicated wedding stylist twists, braids, and knots hair into fancy updos for brides and maids of honor.
Since 1995, the stylists at Sol Salon have harnessed extensive training to shear and primp shaggy manes into sleek perfection. Conditioning and smoothing treatments with organic Eufora serums rein in flyaways, and custom coloring using Matrix and Davines products helps life-size troll dolls go incognito. Hair whisperers also elongate locks using Extend Tube extensions, which clamp to natural strands via tiny metal tubes for long-lasting length. The salon's high ceilings, plum and orange accents, and creamy leather stylists' chairs embrace clients with a hip and colorful environment.
If you’re not sure how to categorize Blind Barber—(Is it a barbershop? Cocktail lounge? Restaurant?)—just call it a men’s clubhouse. That description's just dandy with Adam Kirsch, who sat down with his partners Jeff Laub and Josh Boyd for a May 2012 LA Times interview. "We wanted to create a spot where we could just hang out any time of day," said Kirsch, "whether you’re partying, relaxing, getting your hair cut, or on your computer just doing work." And so they have. The concept was inspired by the Roaring Twenties, when going for a haircut meant socializing, discussing women, dealing cards, and playing Six Degrees of Jay Gatsby. Every cut, trim, and shave in the shop comes with a complimentary beverage and good conversation. With four barber stations arranged in an airy storefront space, and a bar in the back kicking out seasonal and specialty cocktails, beers, and sliders, Blind Barber has revived the art of looking dapper and the sanctity of feeling like you belong.