For the past seven years, The B Boutique's owner, Jamie, has been traveling to Brazil in search of bikinis. Lately, she's been kicking through the sands and surf of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana and Ipanema beaches or hanging around in São Paulo's Santos district. In these hot spots of South American beach fashion, she scopes out the latest trends, taking the best with her to hang from knotted driftwood racks at her boutique in Isla Vista. These colorful, skimpy bikinis bridge the gap between The B Boutique's retail and spa dimensions—in order to strut the bikinis with confidence, one must have a smooth, stubble-free body.
In private rooms, Jamie removes hair with a "no-scream cream" that minimizes discomfort for very sensitive skin that always cries at the end of Bambi. To give clients a midsummer glow, she mists them with Bronze Biologic's tanning solution—an organic formula derived from beet and sugar-cane extract and aloe vera. To round out her spa menu, Jamie spruces up fingers and toes with luxurious mani-pedis, submerging feet in aromatic whirlpool baths and massaging hands before lacquering nails with professional polishes.
Founded by owner Tina Hasche with her mother and two sisters, Skin Deep has been pampering the local community in its warmly lit San Roque Plaza location for more than 30 years. Inside this friendly neighborhood beauty sanctum, manicurist and aesthetician Caroline Barbee nourishes nails and corrals cuticles with 90 minutes of safe and soothing indulgence. Dapper digits find revivification during the Skin Deep manicure, which shapes nails and cuticles and massages muscles tired from playing finger cymbals or pounding floor-size keyboards. A spa pedicure returns put-upon leg landings to a sandal-ready state, beginning with an aromatic whirlpool footbath, followed by a sea-salt exfoliation with essential oils and a foot-and-leg massage. Calluses are filed, cuticles are curtailed, and polish is painted on with the same delicate techniques used by Picasso during his lacquer period.
Depending on their beauty goals, the clients of About Faces Salon & Spa report to one of several aesthetic divisions. Owner Denise Walden Cooper, for example, acts as the resident skincare expert. With her aesthetics team behind her, she leads the fight against blemishes and signs of aging with products from Dermalogica and Jane Iredale. She also takes advantage of newer technologies, such as a facial add-on that uses stem cells from plants, striving to increase collagen production and allow flowers placed behind your ear to root there permanently.
Across the space, whose beige walls are accented by oversize mirrors, wooden salon stations, and shelving stocked with colorful products for sale, hairstylists craft both edgy and simple 'dos. Their Redken, Goldwell, and Pureology formulas nourish and color locks, and their complex updos prep clients for big events. Mani-pedis, waxing services, body treatments, and massages round out the salon's menu, which readily accommodates large groups and wedding parties.
Inside a stylish space bedecked with posters of Hollywood icons such as Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, and Audrey Hepburn, the nine staffers of Legends Hair Salon revamp their clients' looks with hair, makeup, nail, and waxing services. Zebra prints and red decor help to create a fun, funky vibe as stylists retool 'dos using Redken products and each head's operating manual.
Jennifer Hallum is a free agent. Though the stylist works out of Bliss Salon & Spa, she is independently contracted. Her clients receive the spa treatment while Jennifer cuts their hair into new styles and adds highlights for dimension. She lends her talents to men’s hair as well, cutting off split ends and framing faces.
Dolce Vista's stylists use Moroccanoil, Pureology, and Davines products to revamp hair at a studio only two or three whale tosses from the ocean. While the beauty experts cut, color, shampoo, and condition, customers can follow along in the wrought-iron-framed mirrors, which are illuminated by wall sconces, delicate track lighting, and an elegant chandelier. Dolce Vista welcomes walk-ins, and stylists cultivate new 'dos Tuesday–Saturday from 9 a.m. until the sun miraculously disappears, as it does every night.
Patty Sue loves holding hands. At Shear West Salon, she holds them while tending to cuticles and shaping nails during one of her manicures. She also holds onto feet as she softens calluses and coats nails with colorful polish. She works alongside a staff who cut away split ends, sweep strands into stunning updos, and color hair with Goldwell products.