Eyebrows are meticulously shaped into graceful, well-defined arches during each session at Pretty Threading. Here, the stylists pull hair from delicate facial areas using a single length of thread, in a process that’s less tedious than using tweezers, neater than using wax, and more precise than using a magnifying glass to burn off each hair individually under the hot sun. Keeping with ancient Indian tradition, stylists also decorate hands with intricate henna and glitter designs, as clients watch them work in mosaic-framed mirrors hung on mottled bronze walls.
Dr. Frederick L. Stafford leads the team at Contours as they reshape physiques and rejuvenate skin. Fat-trimming procedures take the form of high-tech VelaShape and Endermologie treatments or weight-loss programs and personal training. Facials and beauty injectables keep wrinkles at bay, while lasers blast unwanted hair, unsightly spider veins, and slanderous thought bubbles. Meanwhile, large windows grant clients picturesque views of adjacent Lake Mission Viejo, at once calming nerves and lifting spirits.
Beneath shelves of keratin serums, styling products, and color, wreaths of steam rise from complimentary mugs of coffee and tea. Scissors thrum and blow-dryers hum merrily nearby as stylists beautify hair for photo shoots or hours trapped in the penguin enclosure at the zoo.
Brands Used: Davines and Moroccanoil
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
Pro Tip: Book your appointment at least two weeks ahead to get the day and time that works best.
"Technique is everything," says Tricia Hetherington, licensed esthetician and owner of The Pretty Kitty, a chain of full-service waxing boutiques specializing in bare-all Brazilians. Tricia, who?s been profiled in Luxury Las Vegas and several additional press outlets, personally trains each staff member in her proprietary 10- to 15-minute hair-removal method, which employs high-quality soft wax that?s formulated for delicate flesh and minimizes pain. Her estheticians never double dip into the wax pot, reaching for a fresh stick with every application of the warm substance and leaving only a thin landing strip or functional tarmac in its wake. The Pretty Kitty's menu of services also includes facial and full-body waxing, and though walk-ins are welcome, appointments are recommended.
When stodgy waxing technicians refused to perform Brazilian waxes on her, Valerie Iourtchenko learned to do them herself, developing a unique approach that she soon shared with dozens of friends. After attending medical school in her native Russia and starting a new life in Canada, Valerie attained her aesthetics license and began working her smoothing magic on a steadily growing client base. Since then, she's opened Rescue Skin Care & Waxing Studio in Vancouver as well as two sister locations in southern California?all of which have been praised by the media for their tranquil atmospheres and effective service regimens. Though the company's claim to fame is waxing, which staffers perform with medical spatulas and 100% Egyptian cotton muslin, it also eases skin-based issues such as blemishes and freckles arranged to spell off-color jokes through more than a dozen specialized facials that harness ?minence and DCL products.