Hints of nature bloom inside Bellezza by Rali's welcoming interior, where hardwood floors and eggplant-hued walls surround shelves of plants and styling products. Here, resident stylist and color specialist Oralia Schultz siphons 20 years of salon experience as she wrestles weed-like tangles into stylish coifs. When crafting hairdos for men, women, or style-conscious chia pets, she performs thorough consultations to build a look that matches the patron's personality. For a full makeover, she lops off loose ends, adds a splash of vibrant Goldwell color, and styles remaining tendrils with a blow dryer. An experienced manicurist, Oralia also lavishes nails with manicures, pedicures, and polish changes.
Though Perfect Ten Nail Salon’s technicians have no problem looking guests in the eye and greeting them with a warm smile, their attention quickly wanders to hands and feet as they set to work trimming, primping, and polishing nails. The experienced technicians keep acrylic and Shellac polishes close by their manicure stations, making use of the colorful bottles when the time comes to embellish nails with colorful portraits of their wearers. Manicures and pedicures also tend to skincare needs with flourishes such as oil rinses, foot massages, and soothing paraffin treatments.
Amy Brissette built Amy B. & Co Salon/Spa as a tangible directive to "honor yourself" through revitalizing hair, beauty, and body treatments. The affable proprietor populates her airy, wood-floored sanctuary with a lineup of spa and salon professionals who delight in escorting clients down the facility's many roads to paradise. A salon area hosts haircuts and highlights, and the private mani-pedi room is designed to program feet with history's most dazzling dance steps.
Lori Baumann, owner of Tangerine Hair Salon, and her experienced staff mold manes with products by Alterna, Redken, and Sojourn. The spacious salon achieves a trendy, urban feel with slate-blue walls, black polished floors, and track lighting. When guests arrive, plush zebra-print chairs greet their backsides while a coffee pot cheerfully percolates beneath an orange and gold floral painting. Stylists craft new 'dos at stations equipped with full-length mirrors and topped with exotic flowers. When they aren't performing haircuts, adding highlights, or curling locks, they subdue frizzy tresses with smoothing treatments and commands shouted in German.
Clipping, filing, and buffing nails are just the beginning of the mani-pedi experience at Kowalski's Polish. The real treat is watching the nail technicians turn their service into an art, painting everything from animal prints to bumblebees and piano keys on canvases of keratin. Digits are further enhanced with a pinch of glitter, or 3-D embellishments such as miniature gold balls or Avatar finger puppets.
In the late 1920s, the Great Depression was rendering most Americans professionally and financially paralyzed. But in a small California kitchen, Merle Nethercutt Norman was putting a plan in motion to formulate her own skincare products and share them with family and friends. She truly believed in her formulas, knowing that by getting them on as many faces as possible, she would develop a following of customers. She was right?within a few years she and her nephew were opening their first studio in Santa Monica, and they eventually unveiled a series of independently operated stores that enabled women to take ownership during a time of gender-based limitations such as men-only restrooms.
Today, in approximately 2,000 stores across three countries, the three basic principles of Merle's original vision still apply. Each studio is independently owned and fosters an in-depth knowledge of the company's own line of makeup and skincare products. Just as Merle shared her creations with close friends and sallow mannequins more than 80 years ago, today's aestheticians embody the business's "try before you buy" philosophy. A menu of complimentary studio services?from foundation checks to express facials?allows patrons to sample the lauded brand before committing to the purchase of products or full spa treatments.