Before Bessy Lim had her first facial, her life was a succession of stressful, 12-hour shifts. Her first spa experience awakened a latent desire: she wanted to help others find the relaxation she had forgone for so long. With that, she left her stressful career, earned a number of spa certifications, traveled abroad to learn the various therapeutic techniques and ways to pronounce "microdermabrasion" of spas overseas, and finally opened Agua De Vida. There, a corps of certified and licensed massage therapists team up with the spa specialist to mend tense muscles with massage, swaddle bodies in wraps, purify pores with facials, and primp hands and feet with nail services.
GlamMe Beauty Studio’s team travel to homes, places of work, and dentists’ offices to pamper clients. They also work at 11 salons in LA and surrounding areas. Stylists cut hair, magically grow hair with extensions, and embellish strands with semipermanent color and highlights. They also beautify nails during mani-pedis, wax away fuzz on faces, and add drama to peepers with eyelash extensions.
Cofounder Tina Mui-Wong boasts a passion for the beauty industry that spurred her to earn a cosmetology license before completing high school and establish a pair of spas that have thrived for more than 25 years. In a 2010 interview with Pasadena Magazine, Mui-Wong admits to being a "product freak," which is reflected in her role as developer of Amadeus's signature line, T.E.A. The staff and salon has appeared in the film Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde, graced television screens on ABC's Extreme Makeover, and exhibited their handiwork on the Rose Bowl queen and her court of chrysanthemum noblesse for two decades.
Amadeus takes pride in its custom massages, and re-trains every nail technician in-house to ensure updated mastery of the hand jive. Guests receive slippers, robes, and complimentary skin consultations upon request, and may pad down the scented hallways after their treatment to decompress in a eucalyptus steam room.
Yolande Carson has her stylistic feet in both the historical and modern world. She graduated from On Set Motion Picture Hair Academy with a focus on wig and period hairstyling. She used those skills to add an air of authenticity to historical films, indies, and music videos—where even a star’s hair can demand its own trailer. Now the owner of Scissors Paper Rock Salon, Yolande draws on her 27 years of professional experience to lead a fleet of deft stylists as they shear and color locks using Enjoy haircare products.
Where the Scissors Paper Rock’s stylists leave off, skilled aesthetician Tatiana Siegfried picks up, perfecting skin with waxing and facials that incorporate custom masks. Before they leave, clients can drop by the salon’s boutique, which stocks purses, jewelry by Zoe Kanemitsu, and vintage dresses.
At Cote d'Azur, don't be surprised if you get a mud wrap from a barefoot aesthetician. Being shoeless helps some of the staff members stay centered, and it reflects the spa's down-to-earth approach to healing. Similarly, many of the treatments draw from natural elements. Lemon and mint invigorate sore toes during the Tibetan foot soak, and Dead Sea salt nurtures the flow of positive energy during Salt Glow treatments. Many services draw from exotic and ancient modalities that focus on holistic wellness, from Thai bodywork to acupuncture treatments that are geared toward fostering spiritual balance.
At Studio 99, a coalition of highly experienced stylists, colorists, estheticians, and manicurists pamper guests with hair and nail services. Within the studio, situated in a cottage, they snip away excess hair, creating new styles depending on the needs and wants of clients. Redken, Keune, and Pravana products add a splash of color to heads, while complimentary coffee, tea, and wine soothes dry palates.