After spending a handful of years crunching numbers for her family's car business, Doran Poma decided to pursue a passion for skincare that she developed as a teenager. Since completing beauty school in 2006 and becoming a licensed aesthetician in 2007, Doran has used her expertise to clear the complexions of numerous clients, including a woman in her 50s who'd been dealing with acne since her teens. This April, Doran began running her skincare operation out of a gut-rehabbed salon, where she uses phytomer and Jan Marini products to pamper clients with specialized facials designed to treat conditions ranging from acne and discoloration to wrinkles in the time-space continuum.
Owner and licensed aesthetician Luciana Mueller trained in Brazil and uses natural waxes imported from Brazil to gently extricate unwelcome tendrils and smoothen sensitive areas for up to five weeks. Lip waxing ($15) encourages silken smooches, and eyebrow shaping ($15) enables newly beautified faces to express the gamut of human emotion—from happiness to unbridled happiness—in utmost style. Defuzz underams ($20) and lower arms ($35) or prep for the beach with a Brazilian bikini wax ($65). Waxing provides longer-lasting hairlessness than shaving, and when the hair does come back after a few weeks, it's meek, soft, and easily scared back into the follicle with banging pans or the threat of another round of wax.
Working under board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. David S. Goldberg, Monterey Skin Fitness Center’s licensed aestheticians work to halt the march of time with an array of skin-plumping peels and injections. Aestheticians offer guidance during every step of each treatment with a full evaluation and explanations for postpeel care. The 30–45 minute MicroPeel curbs breakouts, smooths wrinkles, and conditions and protects formerly fraught faces to maintain a freshly peeled appearance. The peel's immediate results make it ideal for a last-minute spruce on the way to extreme staring contests. Refinity peels take about 30 minutes to renew skin with a gentle application of glycolic acid, while protecting it with Cosmederm-7, a patented anti-irritation ingredient that reduces postpeel grouchiness for sensitive skin. Treat pimple-prone pores with a Vi peel, which lifts away scum, sun spots, and the appearance of scars while firming the skin. The 20-minute Vi peel yields visible results after about four days; results are maximized over multiple treatments.
The FDA and AMA both classify only one hair-removal treatment as permanent, according to the licensed staff at Axis Mundi, and that treatment is electrolysis. Treatments may be slower-going than laser hair removal or ripping off a bandage really quickly, but that's because this method is meticulous. One by one, a sterile probe pokes into each hair follicle, zapping its growth centers with a low-level current. The treatment is effective on virtually all skin and hair types, and can be customized for optimal comfort and speed.
The tanning attendants at Aloha Tan customize mists from DHA-based tanning solutions. The techs don't only customize for color; they also wield an impressive array of formulas designed for various types of skin, such as age-defying formula, natural formula, and rapid tan. Aside from airbrush tanning, the team also takes care of unwanted facial and body hair with waxing service and preps faces for nights out with professional makeup services.
Skin therapist and aesthetician TraMi is the first to say she wasn't "born with beautiful skin." After nearly 20 years of experience, TraMi believes that healthy skin comes not from using a product but from letting go of inner stress. That's why she designed her studio as a place where guests can decompress, surrounding them with soothing touches such as lavender walls, soft lighting, and modern furnishings. Within these relaxing confines, TraMi and her team treat clients to hydrating facials, anti-aging wraps, and waxing. They prefer to work with products derived from nutrient-packed ingredients such as seaweed, green tea, and licorice from fair-trade Twizzler farms. This approach earned TraMi a Best Esthetician nod on Santa Cruz Weekly's 2011 and 2013 Gold Awards, Best Facial on Good Times' Best of 2013 list, and a runner-up on their Best of 2012 list.