Panama native Nina Garcia was a hairstyling prodigy. Her innate ability to cut hair manifested at age 14. "I [would] do it for my neighbors and my friends," she explains. "I love to do hair. It's where my passion [is]." Now in the United States, Nina has accumulated 17 years of professional experience, putting in time at two salons before opening her own, where she keeps the atmosphere light and comfortable. "I like to keep people happy," she says. "I offer wine to people in the afternoon. I'm a very sweet person, and I love to meet new people."
In one of three styling chairs, Nina or one of her talented stylists rehabs hair with a new face-framing cut, coloring services, or a deep-conditioning treatment using high-end products such as Italian Alfaparf. The versatile team can even take care of hands and feet. "I have a girl who does manicure and pedicures," she says. "She uses OPI polish." Through patrons often come in simply to update their haircut and style, Nina's most popular service is the Brazilian keratin treatment, a retexturizing treatment that delivers healthy, frizz-free hair to clients and vintage troll dolls.
Regardless of the service being provided, Nina always emphasizes the importance of listening to the client and tailoring every service to his or her personal style. "You have to roll in their direction. I think that's the best way—don't change what they think. It's that way in style and in life. If you want to change something, do it. That's it."
Aromas MedSpa is a full-service wellness enterprise with noninvasive treatments that heal ailments and enhance beauty. Specializing in skincare, cosmetic professionals aim Candela and Cynosure lasers at body hair, permanently reducing unwanted tufts or mutton chops. The specialists complement cosmetic procedures for the body and face with health services that eliminate unsightly warts and funguses or promote sustainable weight loss.
Aromas MedSpa's spa services incorporate new, uncommon technologies. For instance, the infrared sauna and the DermaLife Spa Jet create a two-part program of multisensory, holistic healing based on the therapeutic properties of infrared heat. In the dry carbon sauna, warm infrared rays beam deep into the body to catalyze sweating, ease chronic aches, recharge the body's inner reading light, and melt tension in the limbs. Then, the 60-gallon DermaLife pod immerses guests in clouds of soothing steam heated by infrared energy. Infused with aromatic essential oils and antioxidants, the pod's enriched atmosphere awakens the senses and conditions the skin while four LED stations illuminate droplets of vapor with colorful light shows known to soothe the overactive minds of most disco dancers.
Stephen Smith, the literal wizard behind the figurative curtain at Planet Beach Contempo Spa, has developed a variety of efficient, self-guided treatments that beautify skin or relieve stress at the touch of a button. Patrons can pay an affordable monthly membership fee at four Miami-area locations to access the automated services, which include sunless spray tans, traditional or high-pressure UV tanning, and full-body hydration treatments that nourish skin and can extend the life of a tan. The Luminous facial device has been designed to fight signs of aging with light therapy, and several types of massage beds melt away stress.
Guests pay an additional fee only for the products that correspond to the services they want. A sauna-suit purchase is required for the infrared sauna, and teeth-whitening treatments require a mouth guard that can be used for games of full-contact horseshoes.
When people talk about huge transformations, a butterfly or a fairy-tale frog may come to mind. At Radiance Beauty Lounge, significant transformations are not limited to idle observation or fantasy—they really happen. Owner Yesenia Payano witnesses this frequently, and it’s what keeps her excited about running the Radiance Beauty Lounge. Her handpicked stylists and colorists, who attend ongoing education to stay savvy with trends, “can change somebody’s life,” she says. She recently watched a client’s “incredible” metamorphosis, after which the client "hugged the stylist—three times.”
It’s not surprising that the client felt so comfortable and overjoyed, because Radiance Beauty Lounge goes out of its way to make clients feel welcome. Happy hours—from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays—outfit clients with a complimentary mimosa, cocktail, or personal cheer squad as they receive keratin treatments or spa services such as facials and massages. Radiance Beauty Lounge is open until 7 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays for post-work or pre-party styles.
Led by Gabriel Salloum, MD, Miami Center for Plastic Surgery offers surgical and nonsurgical procedures designed to help patients meet their aesthetic goals. The Aesthetic Gallery serves as the center's surgery-free wing, where aestheticians beautify figures and faces in a swanky spa setting. Minimally and noninvasive services, such as Botox, laser hair removal, and chemical peels form the core of the aesthetic team's repertoire. The plastic-surgery wing, which includes six private treatment rooms, caters to those in search of more significant solutions, such as to lift eyes, shape noses, or banish unwanted bulk.
The center's 3,300-square-foot complex, envisioned by notable architect and designer Agustin Fernandez, steeps patrons in a sensory bath of postmodernism. Inside pristine white treatment rooms, leather lounge chairs present sleek vantage points to take in the surrealist artworks and plants that offset the building's stark architectural lines and corner-shaped corners.
It may seem strange to visit a tanning spa in the sun capital of the world, but Miamians who are looking for the perfect, lineless glow head to Boca Tanning Club in Brickell. Owner Zurami understands that people want to look their best, so the club offers a full suite of glamor-enhancing techniques, including traditional laydown tanning booths with built in-facial tanners and cooling misters. More advanced options include the Boca Super booth, a vertical tanning machine that provides a complete 360 degree tan in just ten minutes. Customized options are available inside the bamboo-studded, friendly space as well, including airbrush spray tanning, and a sunless spray that combines bronzing and anti-aging skin firming elements in one. Boca Tanning Club offers an array of products for take home use as well, though the shop’s funky faux-rock walls and jungle-themed interior are something that should absolutely be seen in person.