Little did Alicia Imani know at 14 years old that her first jobs in salons and spas would inspire a passion for the beauty industry and a future career. Now at Painted Faces, the licensed cosmetologist provides makeup services including wedding-day applications for brides and their attendants and on-set applications for photo shoots. Using cosmetics from MAC, Chanel, and Lancôme, Alicia leads classes where she teaches clients how to apply makeup properly and create looks that work best with their features.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Nia Banks and her team of trained beautifiers offer an eclectic array of appearance-boosting services. Surgical options to fulfill patients’ Christmas wishes include tummy tucks, liposuction, and rhinoplasty. For a lighter touch, nonsurgical treatments include injections of Botox—the wrinkle-fading serum that tricks muscles into thinking they are bears that must fall into deep hibernation for months.
Celebrity makeup artist, Erica Wilson is the personal makeup artist to Yolanda Adams. She also works with celebrities such as CeCe Winans, Tamela Mann, and Kim Burrell and as the key makeup artist for BET's Sunday Best. But celebrity status doesn’t faze Erica. She treats all her clients like royalty as she beautifies them with eyelash extensions, brow shaping, and makeup applications using her own line of cosmetics, which includes mini lip glosses, mineral foundations, and powder bronzer.
Aesthetician and massage therapist Liliane Weinrob's career spans more than three decades and two countries. The French native began her career in Paris, where she became a specialist in lymphatic drainage massage––a method designed to reduce excess fluid in the tissues and bring relief to swelling and tightness. In 1981, Liliane's journey took her to Washington D.C., where she spent the next 15 years studying physical and massage therapy and working as a skin care consultant for several established beauty companies, plastic surgeons, and dermatologists. By 1996, she was ready to combine her talents into one venture and so she opened her own skin and body therapy studio, where she's been tending to her client's inner and outer well-being ever since.
Inside her cozy suite at the Van Ness Archstone Building, Liliane breathes life into dull complexions using advanced skincare services, such as microcurrent therapy and chemical peels, and European-made products by Sothys and Dr. Eckenstein. Lymphatic drainage techniques play an important role in everything from massage to facials, which incorporate the tissue-renewing movements into a regime that includes cleansing, vegetable peels, aromatherapy steam, and extractions. Once muscles are relaxed and faces have been restored to their pre-pie fight radiance, Liliane moves on to other aesthetic enhancements such as eyelash and eyebrow tinting or hair removal for both face and body.
BioTec USA founder and licensed aesthetician Tanya Gospodinova has been transforming complexions for three decades. After studying medicine and dermatology in Bulgaria, Gospodinova created a day spa that would evolve into a research-based health-care and beauty haven. She wanted to develop topical products that were not only capable of fighting everyday signs of aging but also potent enough to repair skin post surgery. Her Serum Collagen HP, for example, includes active ingredients such as niacinamide, which improves elasticity, green coffee extract, which nourishes skin with polyphenols, and glycoprotein from the Antarctic sea, which moisturizes and promotes collagen production.
Gospodinova and her team employ the powerful, nature-based formulas during results-oriented facials, peels, and microdermabrasion treatments. At each consultation, she uses video microscopy to magnify the skin 1,000 times—enough to spot the tiniest imperfections and determine for certain whether a freckle really looks like Elvis.
The staffers at Solar Planet do more than lavish visitors with meticulously clean salons, indulgent extras, and the power to don a sun-kissed glow in less than 20 minutes. Each employee is Smart Tan certified, meaning they possess the training to design personalized tanning schedules for clients seeking an instant or lasting glow. The specialists also know every detail of Solar Planet’s fleet of tanning beds, which range from traditional beds to standup capsules, the style most conducive to tanning lawn flamingos. At some locations, custom airbrush tanning sessions enlist the help of a certified airbrush artist who highlights the body’s features with strategic strokes in a custom bronzing hue. Over its 25 years in business, Solar Planet has also added sunless tanning booths, a stock of buyable bronzing lotions, and far-infrared massage capsules, which simultaneously massage muscles and inject them with therapeutic heat like a nap in an automatic bread maker.