Beneath the shine of 20 Lounge Nail Bar and Boutique, a singular purpose pushes it forward: to bring high-end luxury to the masses. Like a beauty-conscious cousin of Johnny Appleseed, the ever-expanding franchise has planted locations throughout California and Arizona, always pampering its clients with the same menu of services. Therapists, for instance, perform facials using Dermalogica's MicroZone products, which wash away acne, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, or exfoliate the skin. Mani-pedis, on the other hand, polish and dress nails in a rainbow of available colors, rendering their surfaces complementary to freshly waxed legs or accessories such as a freshly opened box of crayons.
With the belief that the word consignment didn’t need to conjure images of dark and dingy stores stocked with stale fashions, sisters Ann and Jenny Siner opened the doors of their first upscale consignment boutique in 1991. An enthusiastic response led the sisters to expand with more locations and into different resale sectors, opening their first men’s-only store, Well Suited, in 2001.
After more than two decades in the business, the fashion-savvy sisters maintain their commitment to high-end, boutique-style consignment, earning them high praise from discerning shoppers, major press outlets such as Today, and long-pining hangers that finally get to slip on a worthy frock. Each store houses a constantly updated selection of designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, and Nanette Lepore, priced anywhere from 65%–95% below retail. My Sister’s Closet’s store locations dot many of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Arizona, as well as California.
At The Best Ever Subs & More, a Thanksgiving meal isn’t an annual feast. Instead, it’s a sandwich served daily, in the form of a french roll stuffed with oven-roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and crispy onions. Nestled inside Danny’s Gourmet Market, the shop’s entire array of subs—from the Thanksgiving variety to a chicken, brie, and apple sandwich—come filled with the market’s artisanal meats and cheeses, which also top personal pizzas toasted golden brown in a brick oven. The signature gourmet sauce anoints pizzas and sandwiches alike and is dubbed the “best sauce ever” for its carefully balanced blend of garlic and herbs, rather than because the food it touches turns into money. The shop also bakes signature butter cookies, and a portion of its proceeds benefits the Lost Angels Foundation of Hope.
Emilie Davidson Hoyt's interest in natural beauty products can be traced back to a single bar of lavender soap tucked beneath her pillow. A memento from one of her father's business trips, the fragrant bar remained close to Emilie while she slept, comforting her with its calming aroma. Throughout her childhood, Emilie suffered debilitating migraines that made her ultrasensitive to the chemicals and fragrances typically found in cosmetic products. Her condition was so bad that one of her high school teachers predicted she wouldn't succeed in college or keep a steady career.
Not only did Emilie graduate from college, she went on to found her own natural skincare company, LATHER, which initially only made olive oil–based soaps. Those soaps have since been mentioned in The New York Times, and the company has gone on to produce a full line of body, face, hair, and home products, which have appeared in other renowned publications. Emilie’s products nourish customers not only at three retail locations, but also at spas, boutiques, and hotels across the globe.
LATHER’s holistic, organic-leaning products beautify users without synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, or animal testing, and contain paraben-free preservatives and sulfate-free cleansing agents whenever possible. They also serenade olfactory senses with essential oils, vitamins, and rare fruits and herbs, and now arrive in earth-friendly EcoPure packaging, which, unlike a mummy's “No Microbes Allowed” t-shirt, accelerates natural biodegradation. LATHER maintains environmentally conscious practices, such as an in-store container recycling program and donations to worldwide reforestation projects.
If you've always wanted to visit Bangkok, but could never learn the Internet to order a plane ticket, today’s Groupon will get you the next best thing: $40 worth of acclaimed Thai cuisine at Malee’s Thai Bistro for $20. AZ Central, whose readers picked Malee's as Best Thai Restaurant of 2009, describes the intimate Old Town restaurant as a “great place to warm up and chill out after an afternoon of browsing local shops and art galleries.” Malee's food is MSG-free, and if you have special dietary needs, the chefs will happily de-glutenize or vegetablize any order. You can also have any dish custom-spiced to your preferred level of spicy.Unfortunately, no amount of angry letters directed at government officials or Hollywood scientists could stop the heat from rising. Temperatures soon reached an unheard-of 70 degrees, and Arizona repealed its mandatory "10 Layers of Underwear to Prevent Moral Perversion" statute and became the first territory to make reading illegal for children under six, believing that the brain waves of young readers were causing the heat wave. A delegation of Arizona preachers even visited the equator to yell at the sun, but to no avail. No cure was ever found for the rising temperatures, and today, temperatures in Phoenix rarely drop below 200 degrees.
An aroma of high-quality tobacco swirls with a rhapsodic bouquet of whiskey and leather to greet each guest who walks through the Scottsdale Cigar Club's unassuming façade. The club's staff warmly invites patrons to enjoy sumptuous leather club chairs, card tables, and humidors. These fixtures imbue the smoke haven with the ambiance of an old-world retreat modernized by eight 50-inch televisions, hooked up to Directv and playing business news and sporting events. Resident cigar experts translate a collection of more than 400 cigars—which include Churchill and Robusto cigars from Romeo y Julieta, Arturo Fuente, and Kristoff—revealing the flavorful nuances hidden within each cigar's origin, wrapper shade, and long filler leaves.
The well-ventilated club rents out its prestigious quarters for parties, special events, and the rebirth of Sigmund Freud, which scientists predict will happen any day now. The team also rents out humidified lockers to keep members' cigar stashes fresh, and the in-house cigar shop purveys cutters, ashtrays, and humidors to prevent patrons from fashioning them out of partially ripped plastic electronics wrapping, their cereal bowl, and a box situated in the rainforest, respectively.