After finishing a semester-long cosmetology course at a local community college in her hometown, Debra Casco found herself smitten with the beautification process. She took her passion for the discipline to the next level by enrolling in the San Diego Paul Mitchell School, and, upon completion of her training, she began to gain real-world experience at numerous salons in the city. Soon thereafter, Debra departed from her original dream to fulfill an urge within her to care for people on a more serious level. She returned to school, this time for a nursing degree that landed her a job at San Diego Hospice, because to her, both career paths are "all about taking care [of] someone that needs your help."
Upon returning to the salon industry and opening up Magnolia Salon, Debra adroitly combined her passion for sculpting female tresses with the care and selflessness required of her in hospice. Her squad of hairstylists and massage therapists echoes Debra's dedication to the craft and to customers by carefully administering a range of services such as cuts, massages, and makeup applications.
Led by medical director Dr. Ariel Cortes, owner and founder Gita Izadi and the rest of the medical team at Neu Look Med Spa & Skin Center help people feel youthful and confident. Izadi opened the business in 2003 with that very goal in mind, drawing upon her more than 25 years of experience as a registered nurse. She started out with clinical services—ranging from Botox to advanced laser procedures—before adding an array of relaxing spa treatments to the lineup in 2009. Now, patients can schedule a fractional CO2 laser skin-resurfacing procedure to combat signs of aging and follow it up with a fragrant pumpkin-apple-spice facial or a soothing body scrub with mineral-rich sea salt.
The waiting area welcomes guests with a soft, pale-blue sofa next to an iridescent wall flanked by twin waterfalls. Patrons nosh on complimentary refreshments as they enjoy fragrant aromatherapy, while a centerpiece of elegant, white orchids provides a tasty snack for any visiting toucans.
Next Level Skin Care takes eyelash extensions so seriously that the only application method the center uses is also one of the only patented methods in the United States. During applications, licensed medical aesthetician Candace King layers synthetic-natural hair hybrids onto the lids of both male and female clients. To get the treatment just right, she found guidance under Lôngmi Lashes creator Daniel Dinh, who trained King and certified her to apply his lashes at Next Level Skin Care.
King also customizes beauty treatments using a combination of advanced medical, therapeutic, and organic techniques. Her clinical facial includes an enzyme and resurfacing treatment that helps treat acne, aging skin, and hyperpigmentation, and her organic facial peel uses plant and fruit extracts to nourish skin. She also offers an eye rescue add-on treatment, during which freeze-dried collagen helps firm skin and reduce puffiness. To complement beautifying services, the boutique also sells mineral makeup, clothing, and feather hair extensions.
The eyes are the feature that many women spend the most time applying makeup to each morning. From selecting the shades of shadow that will make eyes wider and brighter to applying the liner and mascara that will add a mysterious depth to every gaze. All this work takes up valuable time in the morning, and that’s where the aestheticians at Lash Impression come in. Their training in the individual application of lash extensions allows them to free up their clients’ morning schedules by creating longer, thicker lashes without the use of makeup that can last six to eight weeks. The team only uses genuine, cruelty free mink eyelashes. These ultra soft lashes can be added in the clients’ choice of four levels of lash density that deliver drama ranging from flirtatious to bombshell. Even the salon’s décor inspires a feeling of lush femininity, with itsstriped walls and light gleaming from the chandelier helping clients feel elegant as they flip through magazines and wait for their appointment.
Connie Campbell is always on the hunt to find the latest treatments and products that will keep her clients looking young and feeling younger. During an appointment, she might ask clients to rest atop infrared warming pads as she applies Glo Therapeutic skincare products and performs DiamondSkin microdermabrasion. She might also use a formaldehyde-free glue to individually attach faux mink eyelash extensions to lash lines, creating lashes so thick they make it almost impossible to look through a keyhole to see how keys work.
Connie has spent years learning massage techniques, including a period spent studying the Mueller method under the late Bill Mueller himself. As a breast cancer survivor, Connie understands the effects trauma and pain can have on the body, which is why she customizes each massage using four modalities including reflexology.
Sandi Carr-Calderone opened There She Glows! Day Spa with one main goal in mind: give her guests a spa experience to remember. She and a small staff of five massage therapists and aestheticians start the serenity as soon as clients walk in, encouraging them to leave their cares, cellphones, and shrieking imaginary friends at the door. From there, Sandi creates a relaxing experience for individuals or groups in one of four treatment rooms by pampering clients with facials, massages, and body waxing. All of the services take place in a spa lushly decorated with hardwood curio cabinets, flowing greenery, and wall sconces that create a warm ambiance. Those who find themselves not wanting to leave can take a little bit of There She Glows! home with them: the spa sells its own proprietary, botanically-based line of skin care products.