While many kids her age were busy making mud pies or fingerpaintings, Michelle Vernon was developing her own kind of artistry. As a girl, she mixed ingredients for facial masks and other skincare concoctions, trying them out on her friends and family. Shaffer went on to aesthetics school and eventually climbed the cotton ball–lined ladder to become a cosmetics manager for a prominent skincare company. But she isn't one to rest on her laurels—she continues to seek out the latest industry techniques and was one of the first aestheticians in Kansas City to offer eyelash extensions.
Vernon draws upon a decade of professional experience, thoroughly analyzing each client's skin to recommend the best course of treatment. She offers anti-aging four-layer or collagen facials, diamond microdermabrasions, and innovative add-on services such as the NuFace five-minute facelift, which tones facial muscles and recharges propeller beanies with a microcurrent. Vernon also specializes in three different types of permanent cosmetics. After hours, she volunteers with the American Cancer Society, giving patients makeup instruction and teaching them how to care for their skin during chemotherapy and other treatments.
Visiting six bars in a single day usually results in a haggard appearance. But at The Body Bar, you can stop by six bars in anticipation of heading downtown for a seventh. That's because the staff specializes in beauty as its prime intoxicant, administering hair, nail, and other spa services at their respective stations. The Nail Bar gussies up fingers and toes with Minx adhesives or Gelish polish, both of which resist wear and tear for two weeks without the protection of fiberglass thimbles. At the Wellness Bar, massages soothe aches and the heat from an infrared sauna helps induce detoxifying sweat. Seasoned technicians strip away unwanted hair at the BeBare Bare, whereas the Blowout Bar’s stylists work with the hair you have, crafting quick new 'dos with washing and blow-drying. You can finish primping for a night on the town with a custom airbrush tan at the Bronze Bar, or head to the Beauty Bar for a makeup application, teeth-whitening treatment, or eyebrow and lash tint.
Jennifer, the stylist responsible for turning first-time visitors to Salon Studio and Spa into loyal clients, employs seven years of haircare experience to design the most flattering coiffures for each individual. She also uses only high-quality products, including those by Pureology and Kevin Murphy. During a women’s, men’s, or kids’ haircut, Jennifer snips away at strands to fashion custom head-top masterpieces. She also arranges hair into updos to prepare clients for formal bowling tournaments and uses Keune Professional Color products to add fashionable new shades without attaching a chameleon with a bobby pin. Patrons can spiff up areas below the hairline with an eyebrow shaping using tea-tree wax or with a long-lasting Gelish manicure.
The technicians at Diva Nails beautify hands and feet with manicures and pedicures brightened by eye-catching extras. As each client relaxes in the salon's quiet, one-on-one nail area, a nail technician refines fingertips and coats nails with standard lacquer or Harmony brand Gelish polish. Available in 72 colors, Gelish formulas go on like a polish but dry underneath a lamp like a gel or a newborn chicken for up to two weeks of chip-free glamour.
Since it’s housed in a quaint building on Rainbow Boulevard, it’s no secret how The Boulevard Barber Shop got its name. Of course, it’s not called the shop for nothing. With minimum frills, this men’s shop is indeed one of the top spots to go for a haircut, straight-edge shave, and advice on winning an arm-wrestling match against a bear. Skilled barbers, Andrew and Daniel, clean up the mop-tops of adults and kids, and can even etch signature designs into hair—such as initials or lucky numbers—upon request.
Rather than straightening out textured hair, the stylists at Naturally Unique Salon celebrate its diversity, working with everything from wavy locks to kinky manes. They kick off each styling session with an in-depth consultation before they cut and color hair or perform conditioning treatments, which hydrate strands better than a 10-gallon hat filled with water. Along the way, stylists use products specifically designed for curls, including brands such as Miss Jessie's, Design Essentials, and Mixed Chicks.