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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.

406 Alvarado Street
Monterey,
CA
US

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.

1414 Soquel Ave, Ste 202
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

When stylist Leslie Vasquez first opened Platinum Lounge back in 1999, she beautified the coifs of her growing clientele with only a short list of basic hair services. After the salon's 2004 relocation to its current space in Santa Cruz, Leslie expanded its staff and menu of services to run the pulchritudinous gamut from nailcare to makeup applications, waxing, and UV-free tanning. Now wielding 25 years of experience in her field, Vasquez leads experienced stylists as they re-invent coifs with her specialty hair extensions, all-natural Rene Futerer hair color, and smoothing keratin treatments. Manicures and pedicures pamper fingers and toes, and aestheticians customize hair-removal to each client's skin type with a choice of eight different wax formulas.

250 Potrero St
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

At Simply Skin Esthetics, owner Sue Bell and fellow skincare specialist Jennifer Heath each bring roughly 30 years of experience to every facial and waxing treatment they perform. As guests enter a relaxing studio sprinkled with antique furnishings, the staff encourages them to decompress with fruit-infused water. After appointments, Simply Skin's newly expanded gift boutique catches clients' eyes with Susan Bell Skin Care skincare products and Colorescience mineral makeup, stocked alongside handmade jewelry, soaps, and vintage-inspired aprons. The shop also vends small leather goods, customized gift certificates, and apparel such as Goddesswear, a local favorite of active and loungewear.

500 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

Some might call Shanna Bustichi Peuse a perfectionist, but she’s not complaining. Results matter to this licensed aesthetician and makeup artist, who has a passion for creating complexions that look, feel, and sound as smooth and youthful as a newborn saxophone. Working independently in the Look Salon Boutique & Spa, Shanna begins most appointments with a brief consultation, in which she carefully analyzes the skin and teaches clients how to unlock their inner beauty at home. Her facials nourish pores with ingredients such as collagen and vitamin C, and corrective treatments fight wrinkles and blemishes with retinol, lactic acid, and LED lights. A makeup kit stocked with quality creams and powders from Jane Iredale, Stila, Mac, and Tarte also serves her talented hands as she designs stunning day-to-evening faces and special-occasion looks that have graced brides, fashion shows, photo shoots, and the occasional baseball card.

6896 Soquel Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US

At Pacific Skin Care?an intimate, by-appointment spa?skilled estheticians offer organic services such as acne, anti-aging skin treatments, and facials, which include soothing face, neck, and shoulder massages. To help trim physiques, the staff swaddles bodies in bio-slimming wraps formulated with organic ingredients and essential oils, and also offers full-body pampering in the form of massages and foot reflexology. To remove unwanted hair, they spread pure pine resin and fruit waxes over legs, underarms, and chins, and sooth skin with aromatherapy cooling gels and botanical oils. Visitors can also opt for brow and lash tinting that lasts up to six weeks, and sea-salt body scrubs that make humans unappetizing to polar bears.

879 41st Ave
Santa Cruz,
CA
US