Mia Anderson––known to most as Mz. Mia––knew she was destined to be a hairdresser at the tender age of 6. In those days, her pretend clients were her cousins and aunts, who weren't the least bit surprised when the adult Mia decided to leave her job as an acquisitions manager and pursue her passion for hair full-time. The experience in the corporate world paid off, though, and today Mz. Mia is the proud owner of Mi Amor Hair Studios Inc., a collection of private suites staffed by independent cosmetologists.
Instead of renting a booth, stylists operate their studios like mini salons and are free to set their own hours and decorate to their taste. Despite their demure size, the private suites have all the amenities of a larger salon, including styling and shampoo stations, dryer chairs, and chic hardwood floors; a communal waiting room allows clients to mingle around a flat-screen TV and arm-wrestle for ownership of the remote control.
Studio 210 Salon founder Sohelia has more than 15 years of experience behind her, but still she shines the spotlight on her coworkers, gushing on the staff page about her salon's "house full of energetic and enthusiastic hair stylists." Her team of makeup artists bring with them their own distinctions, including Catherine, a former model and theatrical costume designer, and Casey, a makeup and hair department head for E! Entertainment. The entire beauty team, working in conjunction with massage expert Kim, devotes themselves to subtle, feature-flattering makeovers or aesthetic overhauls on par with Picasso's shift from his blue period to his burndt-sienna phase.
Soft candlelight and soothing music waft through Body Angels Spa as licensed massage therapists and aestheticians pamper, calm, and beautify visitors in rooms modeled after a sultan's quarters. Individual clients, couples, and their strictly platonic imaginary friends sink into private treatment rooms during massages that refresh tired muscles with techniques such as cupping—the placement of warm, aromatic basalt stones atop zones of tension. Aestheticians sculpt nails, wax away unwanted hair, and refurbish faces with PCA skincare products. Airbrush artisans turn down skin's white balance during spray tans.
Essentials Massage & Facials' Spa professionals relax weary bodies with a collection of therapeutic services. Soothing massages employ a collection of kneads, strokes, and manipulations to reduce tension and disentangle body knots, with luxurious add-ons such as paraffin treatments and aromatherapy. The skin-savvy techs also rid frames of unwanted stubble with waxing services, smooth out wrinkles with chemical peels and microdermabrasion, and soften countenances with professional skincare products during facials.
Brandon Massage Studio's skilled massage therapists relieve muscle tension and achy tendons within a tranquil environment. Swedish massages relax the muscles as long, medium-pressure strokes work to stimulate circulation and bring clients to a state of relaxation akin to napping in a cashmere hammock. Alternatively, the Thai yoga massage incorporates gentle stretching to loosen rigid muscles through a sequence of simulated yoga positions. Both massages are performed with a blend of aromatic oils, which repay olfactory systems for a lifetime of fishing trips.