Sutra is what binds the body, mind, and spirit, which is why the owners of Sutra Salon chose it to represent their work. Tucked in the Tikkun Medical Center, their team of stylists tailors each service to the needs of the individual, helping to support the body, mind, and spirit. Their services range from standard cuts and coloring to extensions and styling specific to African-American hair.
If you’re not sure how to categorize Blind Barber—(Is it a barbershop? Cocktail lounge? Restaurant?)—just call it a men’s clubhouse. That description's just dandy with Adam Kirsch, who sat down with his partners Jeff Laub and Josh Boyd for a May 2012 LA Times interview. "We wanted to create a spot where we could just hang out any time of day," said Kirsch, "whether you’re partying, relaxing, getting your hair cut, or on your computer just doing work." And so they have. The concept was inspired by the Roaring Twenties, when going for a haircut meant socializing, discussing women, dealing cards, and playing Six Degrees of Jay Gatsby. Every cut, trim, and shave in the shop comes with a complimentary beverage and good conversation. With four barber stations arranged in an airy storefront space, and a bar in the back kicking out seasonal and specialty cocktails, beers, and sliders, Blind Barber has revived the art of looking dapper and the sanctity of feeling like you belong.
The first thing to notice at Soaptopia in Mar Vista is, predictably, the racks and racks of homemade soaps. But the second thing will definitely be the medley of scents; rich lavenders, crisp mint and citrus zests fill the air, as bars with off-beat names like Bub Marley and Petalmint Patty each give off their own fragrance. Each of these soaps are made on sight, from a small kitchen adjacent to the boutique soap company’s main retail floor. That’s where you’ll find more than just those scented soap bars; Soaptopia also carries lotions, creams and massage candles, with various products lining the walls to entice customers. The various combinations of scents and soaps available also make Soaptopia a strong option for indecisive shoppers looking to put together gift baskets for loved ones – or maybe for themselves.
On the sun-dappled streets of Long Beach, the broad glass windows of 2nd Street Beauty Boutique’s flagship store sparkle just as brightly as the rows of cosmetics that rest behind them. Inside each 2nd Street Beauty outpost, sleek white beauty stations hoist Stila blushes and rows of Smashbox lipsticks that stand in perfectly straight lines like soldiers at attention or British people queuing for the bus. With an elixir, serum, or solution for every hair, skin, and nail concern imaginable, the staff at 2nd Street Beauty guides guests through dozens of high-end products, and even performs facials and hair services in the adjacent salon.
Flaunt houses its knowledgeable squad of beauty defenders in a modern, upscale habitat, where they impart a variety of compliment-corralling hair services. Entrust your threads to passionate, expert hair sculptors who carefully shape and snip women's locks ($50+) or men's manes ($30+) to match a desired style, highlight facial features, and compliment trouser cut. The full menu of color services bathes hair in new hues ($55+) or tone and glazes ($25+) coiffures with a shine rivaled only by breakfast pastries. Textural-restructuring techniques iron out frizz with above-shoulder straightening ($95+) and aluminum support girders, and allow you to reinvent a bygone decade on your head with a classic permanent wave ($85+). Flaunt Salon's creative stylists continually expand their mop-top moxie through continuing education that plugs them into the latest trends without sculpting pairs of scissors out of Play-Doh.