Kristen Burtt's friends have always loved her back rubs. "For some reason, I could always feel the muscles with my hands," she says. "They knew what to do." She took that as a sign and went to school to improve her muscle-kneading prowess. Today, she taps into her natural gifts and education as she lavishes her clients with Swedish, deep-tissue, and sports massages. Her favorites are hot stone and lomi-lomi, a Hawaiian full-body massage that she gives with her forearms as clients recline on a bed of ukuleles.
Kristen keeps the lights dim and the music low as she kneads weary muscles within her private massage room, which she's outfitted in earthy browns, blacks, and mauves. She says that when she finishes each appointment, her clients emerged relaxed and focused. "I take the pains away so you can focus more on life," she says.
Ornate chandeliers, handsome wood hutches, and a vintage mirror set over a fireplace dress up the 1920s tudor home that serves as The Wax Lounge’s headquarters. But behind all that beauty lies a highly educated staff, including a salon biochemist who draws on a background in biological engineering and cosmetic chemistry to formulate many of the in-house products. That combination of style and substance permeates a menu of more than 250 services, including facials that firm sagging skin with microcurrent technology and Brazilian waxes made less daunting with the application of a special numbing cream. A lash specialist at the helm of the salon's GlitzLash Bar takes over where Mother Nature left off by dressing up peepers with extensions that call to mind pinup girls, burlesque stars, or the world's sexiest movie camels. Those looking to enhance their natural lash lines can try semipermanent mascara, which is formulated to be hypoallergenic, water resistant, and safe for pregnant women.
The skilled team at Karen Allen Aveda Salon & Spa cares for clients with skincare, hair, and nailcare services that promote inner and outer beauty in an atmosphere that celebrates wellness, diversity, and laughter. The salon operates under the Aveda umbrella, tending to clients with products known for their high-quality, plant-derived ingredients.
Guided by socially conscious principles for more than 30 years, Aveda produces a full line of natural beauty products carried at nearly 7,000 salons and spas. Popular gorgeous-makers such as shampure shampoo and witch-hazel hair spray deliver on Aveda's commitment to well-rounded, earthly beauty with eco-friendly packaging, cradling ingredients derived from the world's finest and least selfish plants.
In his more than 20 years of practice, Doctor of Chiropractic Steven Miranda has amassed a full arsenal of drug-free techniques designed to deal with pain. Apart from using his bare hands to perform traditional adjustments and massages, he takes on aches and injuries with advanced, noninvasive technology. Spinal decompression seeks to provide relief to pinched nerves through the use of traction and inversion therapy.
The licensed aesthetician at Skin by Stevie specialized in manual, electrical, and chemical facials during her professional studies at the Salon Success Academy before earning her license from the California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. Peels and facials ensure clients maintain a youthful glow despite a barrage of free radicals and airborne Splenda, whereas body wraps smooth out body topography. Other aesthetic services include teeth whitening, waxing, and makeup application.
The newly opened Renaissance Therapeutic Massage fields a staff of three certified massage therapists who exorcise muscle tension and induce relaxation by performing five different massage modalities on heated tables. Clients can opt for Swedish massages, which relieve pain and stress with motions that, like most toddlers' definition of a square, are circular. Or patrons can enjoy the staff's specialty deep-tissue modality, during which a therapist applies appropriately firm pressure to abate stress deep within muscle fibers. As clients gaze upon local artwork, tension tamers paint a mélange of strokes onto fleshy canvases in chair massages, improving circulation and eliminating tension in the neck, back, shoulders, and second neck. Prenatal massages, alternatively, alleviate the aches and pains associated with pregnancy.
After 14 years in the industry, Javier Campos has learned innumerable ways to craft a flattering hairstyle. He uses this insight not only to sculpt amazing hairdos for his clients, but also to spot talent in potential coworkers. His team includes stylists trained at the Goldwell Academy in both Santa Monica and Baltimore, as well as a manicurist with 27 years of experience and State Board recommendations. He combines all their talents to dazzling effect, unveiling a menu of salon and spa services that range from simple trims and color treatments to anti-aging facials, makeup artistry lessons, and massages. Javier still performs many of the hair services himself, styling, conditioning, and flattering hair until it bashfully changes color.