Katie Cazorla worked as an actress and comedian for 10 years until a dissatisfying mani-pedi changed her life. She became obsessed with the inadequacies of the salons in her area, resolving to open her own and do it right. Hence, The Painted Nail was born. Katie outfitted the lavender-walled space with white armchairs, vintage-inspired chandeliers, and a team of expert nail technicians who pamper guests with hair and nail services. Using hospital-grade sterilizing equipment and more than 300 colors of gel nail polish, the techs treat hands and feet to bubble baths or ice-cream-themed treatments. For after-hours pampering sessions, Katie opens the doors of the party lounge, offering karaoke stages, a photo booth, and manicure bar and pedicure lounge to help celebrate bachelorette parties or sticking one’s head between some stair-railing bars without getting it stuck.
As a practitioner of the Aveda arts, Kriza Aveda Salon Spa stocks its shelves, cosmetic counters, and salon stations with natural, botanical serums and salves. To pamper clients, the staff peppers each service with luxurious flair—stylists treat guests to a head, neck, shoulder, and hand massage with every haircut, before touching up makeup for ladies. Between appointments, they’ll even trim up bangs to keep cuts stylish or keep head hair from weaving itself into eyelashes. In addition to applying makeup for brides or for special occasions, makeup artists also consult with clients to teach them how to enhance their features and pick the shades that suit their particular skin tone during lessons. Plant-based facials leave skin radiant, diminish wrinkles, or address acne. In every location, the decor mirrors the commitment to naturalism with a light, airy feel, characterized by mostly white walls and plenty of mirrors and glass.
When its icy beauty isn't adding a tony touch to episodes of CSI, Blue Medi Spa spruces up the pages of publications from Allure to the Wall Street Journal. Blue's medical director, Dr. Daniel Yamini, has appeared on Entertainment Tonight and Dr. 90210.
Dr. Yamini's expertise stems from double board certification in plastic and general surgery, and he has performed more than 5,000 procedures during his career. He oversees Blue's nonsurgical services, which range from laser and body-contouring treatments to injectables and clinical facials that work better than taping prescription pads over the face.
As Dr. Yamini and his aestheticians tend to bodies, the spa's aquamarine light filters through translucent panels and reflects off of tiling. Stretched fabric and hanging shapes evoke the mobiles of Alexander Calder as space dividers create the feel of an art gallery on Pluto.
At Drybar, a pair of scissors or hair-coloring foil is nowhere to be found. That’s because the business’s founder, Alli Webb, opened the shop strictly for blowouts after her in-home business skyrocketed. Featured extensively in the media—and even prank called by Justin Bieber—each of the more than 25 white-hued, airy shops revolves around a center bar where customers sit for up to 30 minutes as stylists blow-dry, straighten, and curl their hair. From a menu booklet, clients select a cocktail-themed hairstyle, such as The Mai Tai, which imparts beachy waves, and The Manhattan, which streamlines locks with a sleek finish that mimics the straight lines of downtown New York and can be outfitted with a tiny doorman who hails cabs for you. The staff at Drybar also crafts updos, travels on location for an additional fee, and tallies bar tabs so that customers can pay for multiple blowouts at once.
At Marina Andre Salon, Marina Andre leads a team of six stylists with experience working at salons such as Vidal Sassoon and José Eber. Amid French-chateau fixtures, stylists arrange elegant evening hairdos, uncoil curly hair, and add waves to hair rendered straight after falling asleep on an ironing board. Meanwhile, aestheticians rejuvenate bodies and minds with spa services such as facials, which employ unusual, skin-friendly ingredients, such as chai soy, volcanic ash, and licorice. Marina Andre Salon also plays host to an arsenal of products by Dermalogica, Redken, and Enjoy so that clients can pick up a stock to beautify with in front of their bathroom vanity or neighbor's window.
When owner Linda Rich designed Ankh Studio, she wanted a contrast to the enormous, impersonal salons where she trained. “[I] wanted something that felt like home,” she says—an understandable sentiment after years of traveling the world as a stylist with Sebastian Professional. As she mulled over the details of salon decor, she gravitated toward the center of all homesteads: the fireplace. Ankh Studio's classically styled mantle is painted a chic black and white, anchoring tile mosaics and mirrors with wrought-iron borders.
Rich operates the salon with a team that includes one stylist whom she’s worked with for more than 35 years. She's chosen the new stylists with care, auditioning them with trial styling jobs and spirit quests to trim the pelts of mountain lions. Each stylist uses products from Paul Mitchell in the pursuit of the most flattering cuts.