Cosmetic-product developer David Thurston teamed with 13-year styling vet Alexis Lishman to commandeer a once-vacant commercial space, reimagining it as a luxurious, green-certified spa. The sunny 3,400-square-foot loft space welcomes visitors with Italian-made furnishings set in a pleasant white, brown, and charcoal palate, as well as stunning floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the length of the salon, giving guests views of the vibrant urban hum of Ventura Boulevard below and the passive-aggressive silence of the Encino Hills above. A butterfly sculpture with a 6-foot wingspan designed by British artists Graham Thrussel and Mathew Morris flutters above the space, symbolizing the aesthetic transformations below.
As stylists lather scalps and plot style overhauls at curvy sinks of porcelain, nail artists spruce up digits in the light, airy space. Clients emerge from fresh spray tans and waxes into the salon’s cocoon of chic modernity, surrounded by verdant palms and modern-art pieces from Archan Nair as a custom exhaust system purifies the air of any contaminants caused by keratin hair straightening or bad knock-knock jokes.
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.
Doctor of Chiropractic Amit Mehta melds his 11 years of chiropractic practice and expertise with the acupunctural arts of Dr. Kathy Long to fashion holistic wellness treatments that address the root causes of bodily discomfort rather than the symptoms. After receiving a degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin and his chiropractic degree from the Southern California University of Health Sciences, Dr. Mehta established his practice to care for the skeletal health of patients of all ages. Licensed massage therapists manipulate noncalcified tissue with a variety of modalities. The targeted strokes enhance healing processes begun by chiropractic work or by apologizing to backs for sleeping on lumpy mattresses. The doctors also help patients continue to better themselves at home with simple corrective exercises and nutritional counseling to find vitamins that best suit their needs.
Natural light pours in through large windows beneath lofty vaulted ceilings at The G Spa Salon, glinting on the glowing skin and locks of clients as they enjoy signature hair, nail-, skin-, and body-care treatments. As a full-service Aveda concept salon and spa, The G Spa Salon performs each service with products derived from pure flower and plant essences. In addition, the staff's hair services include complimentary Aveda rituals including mini facials, firming eye treatments, scalp-and-neck massages, and cups of comforting tea. Aveda's products also kiss hands and feet like a comforting Mother Earth during select nail services such as Green Science anti-aging manicures. True to Aveda's eco-friendly philosophy, The G Spa Salon does not distribute literature about its services on paper and offers guests an iPad to entertain them during services.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.