Aqua Salon owner Kathy Snyder loves a challenge. When asked what she likes best about her job, the veteran hairstylist told Our South Bay, “So many of us are particular about exactly what we want our hair to look like but haven’t any idea how to articulate it to someone. It’s my job … to ‘get it’ when a customer reaches out for help.” A former employee of celeb-favorite Cristophe Salon, Snyder spent 10 years meeting the often daunting needs of Hollywood’s most demanding heads. Today, she doles out that same level of service in an environment that is decidedly more relaxed, complete with a soothing ocean view and skylights that allow the sunshine to stream in.
As guests sip wine and watch the waves roll along the sandy shoreline, Snyder’s team of master stylists care for hair with cutting-edge cuts, extensions, and balayage coloring techniques. Makeup artists employ the Jane Iredale line of mineral makeup to beautify visages, and spray tans by Infinity Sun provide a golden glow to help prep bodies for the beach or a stint on James Cameron’s mantel.
In his early days as a massage therapist, Sean Struxness was struck by the stark contrasts in quality between high-end and low-end spas, noticing a large gap between the two. He founded The Massage Spot to fill that gap, partly because he no longer wanted to mow the gap's out-of-control grass. Though it forgoes the locker rooms and showers that full day spas may offer, Struxness's mini day spa doesn't skimp on the tranquil atmosphere, as it features flickering candles, soothing music, and a relaxing zen area. The service menu isn't lacking, either; The Massage Spot's team of professionals performs haircuts and deep conditionings, nine types of facials, spa pedicures with aromatherapy soaks, and Western and Eastern styles of massage therapy.
Color Me Green's nail experts aim to use polishes and beauty supplies that are as natural as the nails they adorn. The boutique salon's manicures and pedicures soothe hands and feet with products that contain organic essential oils, fruit and herb extracts, and vitamins and minerals. Rather than hiring kittens to lick off nail polish, the staff uses a vegan, soy-based, acetone-free remover. This commitment to customer care is reflected even in the waiting area, where guests can settle in with tea and homemade cookies.
At ZENKA, fusty fingers and petrified pavement pounders receive beautifying and refreshing treatments using all-natural and organic products. Shimmy up to the manicure bar and sip a glass of champagne as dusty digits prepare to recover from the everyday wear and tear of smart-phone pummeling. The luxurious 24 karat treatment starts with a gold leaf soak, meticulous grooming, and exfoliating natural gel peel for both hand and feet, while tired toes are treated extra sweetly with an invigorating sugar scrub. Next, newly softened phalanges will get a moisturizing mask, with a hot towel wrap to seal in hydration, followed by a soothing massage that gilds extremities with pure gold lotion and a hot lava shell. Once hands and feet have soaked up enough gold to be worth their weight, they can choose a final ornamentation of either a shine buff or perfect polish that will leave them priceless in the eyes of appendage appraisers.
Dr. Sormeh Panah and Dr. Arash Panah and their staff of smile-perfecting tooth jockeys keep grins looking swell with a suite of dental procedures. The two-visit veneer process starts with a consultation with the dentists, determining which teeth need porcelain coverings, choosing a shade, and creating molds to fashion the veneers and make a charitable donation of fake teeth for skeletons that forget to floss. On the second visit, hygienists thoroughly cleanse choppers, getting rid of tooth-bound gunk before applying cement to enamel surfaces. A quick-dry light speeds up the bonding process, expeditiously cleaving veneers to teeth. The veneers provide a durable covering for discolored or misshapen teeth and last for years, giving patients beautiful smiles in photographs and well-spaced bite marks on the giant, disembodied hands that feed them.