More than 25 years ago, Kundan Sabarwal opened the doors of a modest 400-square-foot skincare spa in New Delhi, working diligently to gently and efficiently eradicate her clients' unwanted body hair through a blend of ancient techniques and modern indulgences. With a bit of hard-earned success, Ziba Beauty hopped the pond, eventually expanding to 17 locations in two U.S. states. Each studio embraces American style while retaining its overseas roots, amplifying faces and bodies with traditional Indian cosmetic adornment and hair removal. By rolling small loops of cotton thread over brows and other facial areas, threading specialists can remove pesky fuzz without harming the skin or skipping over fine hairs. For more sizeable zones, Sumita Wax, which was developed in India exclusively for Ziba Beauty, quickly sends errant hairs packing on the face and body. Artistic hands ink bodies with the ornate semipermanent designs of traditional mehndi, or cloak clients in sparkle with intricate art in a choice of 32 glitter mehndi colors and shimmering crystals, readying skin for special events better than a full-body tuxedo tattoo.
Pink and white striped walls and twinkling chandeliers overlook Savvy Chic Nail Cottage as 12 technicians in pink aprons flurry around plush Victorian armchairs, daubing fingers and toes in glossy polish. A feminine and shabby-chic oasis dreamed up by Ebony Bolton and her husband Michael in 2010, Savvy Chic treats guests to tea in vintage teacups and chocolates from See's Candies as they chat with staffers about their favorite shades of OPI and Gelish lacquers or revel in foot scrubs and hot-lotion massages. Acrylic nails in perfect ovals, squares, and dodecagons lend length and strength to fingertips, and children's mani-pedis pamper pint-size appendages. The cottage keeps its equipment spic and span beyond state standards with germicide, UV-heat sanitation, and disposable protective pouches. Savvy Chic also hosts pedicure parties for bachelorettes and birthdays and frees chins, arms, and other areas from unwelcome fuzz with warm wax.
As a licensed cosmetologist for 39 years and owner of Indulgence, The Salon for nearly half that time, Beverly Brunkhurst manages her staff of a dozen or so talented hairstylists with confidence. The crew calls upon Redken products as they cut and color locks amid the space’s sand-colored walls and rustic tile floors. They tame frizz with the Keratin Complex Smoothing treatment or a chair and whip and transform bobs and pixie cuts into long and flowing styles with four types of hair extensions. The resident nail technician, Lola, contributes to makeovers with gel overlays and pink and white fills, while makeup artists ready clients for a night on the town with applications and lessons. Styling clients, however, is only part of the Indulgence team’s job; they also contribute to various local organizations, including Seal Beach Animal Care Shelter, Project Shepherd, and Locks of Love.
Heart Hair Salon’s passionate stylist puts the heart in her business’s name. Every appointment begins with a consultation, during which she helps her client choose the perfect look. She then performs the desired service, such as a standard cut, bob, or trendy ombre highlights, which fade from dark to light. She can also lengthen hair with extensions and smooth away unwanted frizz with keratin treatments.
A holistic approach to wellness underpins Finely Kneaded Day Spa's treatments, which range from back massages with scalp- and foot-rub add-ons to manual spinal adjustments by the spa's chiropractor. Exfoliation and extractions tussle with hyperpigmentation and age spots during the European-style facial, the results of which can be enhanced by the chemical kiss of a mini glycolic peel. The staff also performs such specialty services as ear coning, which reduces pressure on ear canals in an effort to relieve congestion. As a maximally tranquil haven from the perpetual hub-bub of the outside world, the spa requires that cell phones be silenced or placed in a bowl of Jell-O (not provided).