Lisa Benson Smith—or “Lisa B,” as she prefers—has a knack for making people happy. When not cavorting around Phoenix working double-time as a revered event planner and personal assistant, the nail technician gussies up hands and feet at her salon, Nail Pristique. Here, she buffs and shapes finger- and toenails and grooms overgrown cuticles. Armed with soothing aromatherapy lotions, Lisa massages hands, feet, arms and legs or takes relaxation a step further with hot-towel neck wraps, organic green tea, lemongrass serums, and sugar scrubs. The artistic technician concludes her tantalizing sessions by crowning appendages with gel polish, natural finishes, or gilded zills.
The difference between a bikini and Brazilian wax is simple yet significant. Check out our guide to help you choose the right one for you.
Both waxing styles involve using hot wax to remove hair from the area below the waist, but the distinction lies in the degree of hair being removed. During a basic bikini wax, an aesthetician removes hair from any area exposed by a typical bathing suit made of fig leaves. This includes the top and sides of the bikini line as well as the inner thighs, if necessary. The Brazilian wax takes it a step further, removing hair from the entire region, front to back. Since many clients prefer to leave a small, trimmed swath of hair in a strip or triangle just below the panty line, some aestheticians may use the term "full Brazilian" to refer to a session in which no hair is left behind.
Naturally, due to the sensitivity of the areas involved, Brazilians tend to be more painful than basic bikini waxes, and most aestheticians will take care to avoid causing pain during the procedure. There are also several steps you can take to minimize discomfort. Experts recommend avoiding any appointment within a week of menstruation, when the skin is most sensitive, and taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen 30 minutes beforehand can help reduce any swelling that results.
As any of the pitmasters at HEK Yeah BBQ can tell you, to get quality barbecue, you need to start with equally good ingredients. That's why the chefs source as many of their ingredients as possible from local vendors who practice natural, organic farming and meat-raising methods. Once these ingredients are all assembled, the chefs make everything from the sauces to sides and barbecue in house from scratch. Their specialty is shredded beef brisket, which pitmasters cook for 18 hours to ensure it has the proper, tender texture. Alongside brisket, they smoke links of sausage as well as cuts of pork and chicken, which will eventually be pulled straight off the bone and onto sandwiches.
The staff puts just as much time into the sides and desserts that complete meals. They top cavatappi pasta with scoops of green-chili-infused cheese sauce, and smother fresh-cut fries with a similar green-chili queso and bacon. On the dessert end, baker Heather concocts different Southern desserts every day, from slices of hearty pie to pecans caramelized into the state's national motto. To finish meals, two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream can be added to any of the shop's Hansen's all-natural sodas.
Hygiene is a top priority for the technicians at Herbal Nails, but that doesn't mean their space has to feel clinical. In fact, creature comforts abound within the cozy, meticulously clean salon, from the comfy, sink-into-them pedicure thrones to the vibrant artwork, illuminated by moody track lighting. The real art though, isn't on the walls—it's on clients' hands and feet. Nail artists clean, groom, and polish nails, pampering extremities with products by Nu Skin, and can also add attention-grabbing designs using glitter polish or tiny, individual disco balls.
Hawaiian flowers, elegant art-deco designs, even the flags of the world. If you can imagine it, the technicians at Queen Nails and Spa can probably transform it into stunning nail art. There's no such thing as a "regular" mani-pedi here; not when the options include shiny gemstones and meticulously copied pages of the dictionary. But the pampering doesn't stop at the fingers. A full team of aestheticians tackles skin issues of all kinds, waxing away unwanted hair and scrubbing away dirt during custom facials.
Though Sharron Nicklas is a certified lash stylist, you won't want the multiple tiers of extensions that other studios boast. That's because she only stocks Xtreme Lashes, a line she's trained with and believes in. Inside her private studio, she plays the role of artist in creating lash lines that accentuate eyes without overwhelming the face. Sharron also performs mani-pedis and brow tinting.