As a girl of just 13 or 14, Amita perched in her aunts’ hair salon and watched with fascination as they snipped clients’ tresses. Today, Amita still watches the flash of scissors, but now they are in the hands of skilled stylists in her own salon.
Amita bustles through the shop, mixing honey, sugar, and lemon to create her own wax for hair-removal treatments, her specialty. She also mixes her own all-natural henna paste for embellishing hands and feet with elaborate whorls and loops. This attentiveness to the products used in her salon, combined with more than a quarter century of experience in the industry, has led Amita to insist that her stylists wield quality elixirs from Paul Mitchell and Biolage. The salon’s skincare specialists employ Repêchage products to renew visages wrinkled from a lifetime of frowning at a Rubik’s cube.
Owned by distinguished artist Richard "Seen" Mirando and in business for more than 20 years, Tattoo Seen emblazons epidermal canvases with the customer's choice of inky artwork. The parlor's body taggers approach each design with stylistic adaptability, steady hands, and a keen artistic eye, tattooing anything from elegant script on the wrist to entire comic-book pages on larger areas of the body, as well as full-leg or sleeve artwork. Intent on preserving new pieces throughout the healing process, the staff provides customers with information on how to care for the new tattoo, such as keeping it out of the sun, avoiding scratching it, and feeding it a few temporary tattoos at least twice a day. Prices start at $50 for a name on the wrist and increase depending on the size of the commissioned work.
For more than three years, the artists at Ink House Studios have been decorating flesh with customized tattoos and piercings. Bold, bright floral designs, immaculate text, and traditional Japanese-style designs rendered in smooth gray and black are just a few specialties. Piercing specialists embellish bodies with gleaming jewelry or microdermal jewels.
Perfect Brows NYC doesn’t just remove hair above the eyes; the studio removes it from all over the body using three different methods. Its threading services uproot follicles on the face with a twisted cotton thread. And during waxing services, a thin layer of molten wax covers fuzzy areas and adheres to hairs before pulling them from the root. The third method used, called sugaring, is an organic alternative that removes hair with a natural paste made from sugar, lemon juice, guar gum, and water. This method is proven to provide less breakage and ingrown hairs and to leave clients with skin as smooth as a newborn dolphin. Each method provides a blank canvas for the studio’s other services, which include henna work and facials.
Natalya—a certified permanent-makeup artist and a board-certified cosmetologist—draws on 15 years of experience as she embellishes the faces that find their way into her Permanent Makeup Zone. While working in New York and Europe, she honed her micropigmentation skills, which she uses to subtly accentuate lips, eyes, and brows. Under her adept hands, lips receive soft outlines and sparse brows regain their boldness, which she creates with her soft hair-stroke technique and cauldron full of natural hues.
In addition to elective adornments, Natalya also obscures scars and beautifies clients who suffer from makeup or Crayola allergies. She also primps men by applying small dots of color around their lash lines, which makes glances more seductive without hampering their ability to blink in code. While she works, she uses sterile and disposable supplies—as well as and topical anesthetics—all with the approval of the local health department. She also performs an allergy test on each of her clients 24 hours before she indelibly dolls them up, to avoid adverse reactions.
To merely call Mr. Kaves prolific is to understate his colorful career as an artist. The free-spirited owner of Brooklyn Made Tattoo came of age in the tunnels of the New York City transit system, where he began crafting elaborate graffiti murals before he hit his teenage years. These murals caught the attention of other local artists?not to mention the NYPD. As his persona grew, Kaves moved on to more legal forms of self-expression. He made a name for himself as an MC for the hip-hop group Lordz of Brooklyn and started crafting commissioned street art for companies such as MTV and Adidas and artists such as Beastie Boys, Metallica, and Everlast.
At his boutique tattoo parlor in Bay Ridge, Kaves continues to find new outlets for his creativity. When he doesn't have a mic or an aerosol can in hand, he expresses himself with tattoos that feature elaborate lettering and full-color imagery. Kaves and his team of incredible artists create lively tattoos six days a week at the shop.