Some people are adept at speed reading. Kimmie Lima’s niche? Speed waxing. The licensed aesthetician, trained in advanced speed-waxing techniques, removes hair on legs, arms, and the bikini area in less time than it takes to shave a caterpillar. She slows it down for facial services, which include a deep stress-relief European facial and LED-light therapy.
Piercing eyes gaze at each client as they walk into Ruby's Beauty Studio. The stares do not belong to the friendly staff at the intimate studio but rather to pictures of women on its walls, each one’s hair and makeup elegantly done. This is just one way owner and beautician Ruby Walia showcases the studio’s extensive menu of aesthetic treatments, which range from threading and waxing to makeup applications. Ruby and her staff apply intricate henna designs to bodies and brighten and exfoliate faces with ginseng powder, 24-karat gold, and oxygen cream during 10 types of customized facials.
For the better part of the decade, Ruby has built her namesake studio from the ground up. Once a lawyer, Ruby decided to make a career change when she felt the need for a more creative outlet. She went to beauty school before beginning her aesthetic journey in 2000, which has led her to provide aesthetic and makeup services for the 2003 Miss India Northern California beauty pageant and famous Bollywood actresses such as Amrita Rao and Neha Dhupia.
During her 10-year career, makeup artist Ann Ho has honed her skills working with such well-known companies as NARS and Bobbi Brown. Her work has been featured in such publications as Bon Mua and BN and has prettied up beauty queens across Asia, Vietnam, and California.
At A-List Makeup, she helms a team of skilled makeup artists who beautify guests' faces and hair for weddings and other special occasions. Working either in their studio or on location, they expertly define cheekbones, eyes, and lips so that features will pop during engagement photo shoots or "accidental" run-ins with an attractive ex-mailman. The multitalented mavens can also craft sleek hairstyles that range from blowouts with soft, sexy waves to hair extensions and updos.
Harmony Massage and Acupuncture's staff members avoid all distractions when banishing clients' stress and discomfort. All of their treatments take place in minimalistic rooms painted in soothing green tones free of excessive decor, freeing customers from the worry that the surrounding pottery might contain snakes. The staff's acupuncture treatments target muscle knots and body tension by stimulating pressure points hidden throughout the body with thin, sterilized needles. During Swedish, deep-tissue, and couples massages, staff therapists spend careful consideration to address clients' pained areas, such as stiff backs and overworked shoulders.
Over the past 15 years, certified cosmetologist Seema Kapoor has been particularly interested in techniques and products from India, such as Shahnaz Husain skincare. Though this is a specialty, the expertise of her staff is diverse. Below elegant chandeliers, stylists can craft a flattering haircut, highlight tresses, or nix unwanted hair with a specialty waxing or threading session. When not at the salon, Seema and friends host a live radio show where clients can call in and ask beauty questions such as "How long does a perm last?” and "How does my uncle keep pulling quarters from behind my ear?".
Lisa’s Skin Care uses several different exfoliating treatments to remove impurities and imperfections from the skin. Microdermabrasion is the simplest; it sloughs away dead skin cells and other debris using a diamond-tipped wand. More elaborately, hydrafacials follow a 5-step process, removing dirt with peels and extracting blackheads using vortex suction and arcade claws. Antioxidants and hyaluronic acid finish the treatment by nourishing the skin, and daily creams maintain the results.