Emilie Davidson Hoyt's interest in natural beauty products can be traced back to a single bar of lavender soap tucked beneath her pillow. A memento from one of her father's business trips, the fragrant bar remained close to Emilie while she slept, comforting her with its calming aroma. Throughout her childhood, Emilie suffered debilitating migraines that made her ultrasensitive to the chemicals and fragrances typically found in cosmetic products. Her condition was so bad that one of her high school teachers predicted she wouldn't succeed in college or keep a steady career.
Not only did Emilie graduate from college, she went on to found her own natural skincare company, LATHER, which initially only made olive oil–based soaps. Those soaps have since been mentioned in The New York Times, and the company has gone on to produce a full line of body, face, hair, and home products, which have appeared in other renowned publications. Emilie’s products nourish customers not only at three retail locations, but also at spas, boutiques, and hotels across the globe.
LATHER’s holistic, organic-leaning products beautify users without synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, or animal testing, and contain paraben-free preservatives and sulfate-free cleansing agents whenever possible. They also serenade olfactory senses with essential oils, vitamins, and rare fruits and herbs, and now arrive in earth-friendly EcoPure packaging, which, unlike a mummy's “No Microbes Allowed” t-shirt, accelerates natural biodegradation. LATHER maintains environmentally conscious practices, such as an in-store container recycling program and donations to worldwide reforestation projects.
Occasionally, Mood Swings Aveda Salon and Skin Spa moonlights as a studio. Sometimes camera-toting members of the media stop by to check out this season’s trends or new hair products. Other times, models strut or flutter from imaginary wind gusts during Urban Tribe and other fashion photo shoots. Perhaps most importantly, Mood Swings periodic studio space hosts educational seminars for its talented team of stylists, who learn advanced tips in coloring and other techniques from Aveda professional instructors.
This commitment to the art and science of hair justifies Arizona Foothills magazine selecting Mood Swings Aveda Salon and Skin Spa as its best salon of 2011. The praise coincides with that from AZCentral.com, which named Mood Swings Best Trendy Salon for “translating cool, avant-garde styles into wearable, everyday looks.” Stylists craft these looks with natural, plant-based products from Aveda, and supplement the service with pampering that can include a complimentary scalp massage, hand facial, and finishing touches to clients’ makeup. A comprehensive services menu treats the entire body, ranging from natural skin products that rejuvenate complexions to pedicures that soothe feet with a dual-jet therapeutic whirlpool after unsuccessful attempts to walk barefoot across a hot charcoal grill.
At the mother-daughter-owned Primp and Blow: A Blow Dry Bar, stylists focus on a single goal: speedily making over customers? hair and makeup in an upscale, scissor-free salon setting. Stylists focus their services around blowouts, mastering the art of transforming wet strands into pin-straight 'dos, big curls, or the flirtatious ?Scottsdale ponytail.? Products from Bumble and Bumble or Moroccanoil seal in styles, which can last for days or until clients attempt to brush their hair with a cotton-candy spinner. Cosmetologists wield equally effective serums from brands such as Rain and La Bella Donna?two lines of organic mineral makeup.
Rather than getting hair styled only alongside a clip or before a fancy occasion, these fashion-forward stylists reason that everyday events call for a polished look, be it a meeting, big date, or highly publicized nap. Primp and Blow has grabbed local buzz from publications such as AZFoothills.com?for which a writer declared, ?I tried Primp and Blow for the first time on New Years Eve and was amazed with my look. In with a baseball cap and oversized shades and out looking, and feeling, red carpet ready.? The overwhelming positive reviews helped the owners to open a second location. Both salons reflect the glamorous, everyday kind of luxury the team hopes to deliver, enhancing customer experiences with digital magazines on iPads and the glow of chandeliers.
In 2008, Alli Webb, a former Hollywood publicist and NYC-trained stylist, pioneered the in-home blowout with a select roster of clients. Her clientele soon outgrew her home, so she opened Drybar in Brentwood, California. Drybar has since gone national with an ever-growing roster of 36 shops, including one in the Scottsdale Quarter that, much like the Michelin man?s inspiration board, is dedicated solely to blowouts. In 2012, Drybar expanded to a second location in Phoenix's Camelback Corridor. Alli and her stylists fan hair into one of nine styles, from straight and sleek 'dos to loose beach waves and soft curls. The service menu also encompasses whimsical updos and blowout add-ons, such as scalp massages.
Alli?ranked 35 on Fast Company's 2013 list of the most creative people in business?stays true to her roots by occasionally dispatching stylists to perform blowouts at homes, but her bright, spacious shops offer a welcoming alternative. Yellow accents in the form of fresh flowers, a chandelier made from hair dryers, and end tables pop from a backdrop of dazzling white walls, counters, and chairs. The simple yet chic space sets the stage for parties complete with Drybar's signature service.
For 20 years, Pucci Salon?s talented hairstylists, nail technicians, and aestheticians have been beautifying and pampering clients with the type of passion that earned the Bumble and bumble network salon a ranking as one of Salon Today's top 200 salons in the country. Beneath a loft-like ceiling, stylists are free to mirror the salon?s hip and modern decor with equally inspiring cuts and color treatments, or break the record for the world's tallest beehive using the best products from Bumble and bumble, Oribe, and Moroccanoil. Chic padded armchairs take the place of tired recliners in the pedicure corner, where experienced technicians decorate digits with vibrant polish or chip-proof Shellac.
While the salon sings with the hoopla of hair-dryers and the din of drying nail polish, a small sign hangs outside private spa rooms to demand ?Quite Please, Facial in Progress? or "Donut Please, Hungry." Inside, aestheticians rejuvenate skin with five types of facials that blend products rich in essential oils and plant extracts, and use warm wax to strip away unwanted hair from the face and body.
While blondes reputedly have more fun, stylist Andre Aronica worries that they also have more damaging hair regimens. In his 6,000-square-foot studio, Dre's Hair Salon & Spa, Aronica specializes in crafting natural-looking golden hues while bypassing the fried look that bleaching can engender. Over his more than two-decade career, his careful coloring has beautified public personas from Playboy playmates to racecar drivers. At his salon, he and his team of stylists brighten civilians? locks with the same A-list treatments, being voted the Best Salon of 2013 by Arizona Foothills magazine.
Beyond color, Aronica?s team can cut tresses, tame unruly frizz with the Brazilian Blowout system, or style locks with Kerastase products. The team emphasizes communication between client and stylist to ensure that custom looks are created collaboratively rather than by the stylist just shaving while blindfolded.