Free Spirit Skincare owner Rene' Halstead started out as a nail technician before earning a master's certification through Creative Nail Design for acrylic application. The multitalented aesthetician and her award-winning team cleanse and nourish faces using Dermalogica products and fragrant essential oils, and transform 'dos with color, cuts, and weaves. Halstead is licensed in cosmetic and body tattooing, specializing in permanent-makeup application, and—having trained at the renowned Gauntlet body-jewelry mecca in San Francisco—is certified to pierce earlobes or navels while seated atop a skirted horse. She stays ahead of industry trends with ongoing education through the International Dermal Institute and the American Institute of Intradermal Cosmetics.
Not only has Erik Berntsen apprenticed with makeup moguls such as Chanel, Smashbox Cosmetics, and MAC Cosmetics, he has also sojourned to L.A. to train in the art of camera makeup, runway makeup, and permanent cosmetics. Berntsen is also a member of Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals and is also an advanced certified permanent cosmetics professional (CPCP). Using indelible colored pigments on the lids, he is able to make lashes appear fuller or cause eye color to stand out. When artfully applied to the brows, these hypoallergenic hues can also enhance the symmetry of the face, and they can even be applied using ultra-fine, individual hair strokes for a shockingly natural look. The pigments—which will not smudge and can last for years—can also be used to infuse color into the lips, making them appear fuller and more symmetrical or to add a beauty mark to mask a problem area or cover an already-existing beauty mark that has let itself go.
The beauticians at Silk & Stone connect East and West with a repertoire of Middle Eastern–inspired spa services, products, and workshops that beautify and illuminate members of each culture. Silk & Stone’s resident henna artist develops a lengthy list of retail products, from botanical-based haircare blended with Pakistani, Persian, and Indian recipes to aromatherapy oils. In private treatment rooms, aestheticians perform services including an Ayurvedic facial with complimentary footbath or threading, which allows a technician to accurately pluck facial, hand, and finger hairs from any skin type with imported antibacterial cotton thread. The cultural tradition of henna is brought into sharp focus as artists use the powder to naturally dye the hair, create intricate designs on brides for their wedding day, or teach students tips and tricks for applying the dye to hands, feet, or their invisible friend’s forearm.
Similar to Superman and a telephone booth, people walk into Adorn Body Art with one appearance, and walk out with another. Instead of a cape, they exit brandishing new piercings, customized tattoos, and other creative body modifications. But unlike the man of steel, the customers here need some help with their quick change––and that's where the Adorn staff steps in. The studio's body piercers average more than a decade of experience apiece, and its tattoo artists cover a wide range of styles, from traditional to realistic to delicate. And, to ensure a perfect design each time, these ink gurus compliment their own ideas with hundreds of reference books, each of which was kicked out of the city library for rebelling against the Dewey Decimal System.
Like a fingerprint, a snowflake, or a social security number, every piece of body art created by Aardvark Tattoo Company's tattoo artists is unique. Unlike those at other tattoo shops who work from preset designs, co-owners Risa Stevens and Paul Thomas lead a team of artists who create custom designs based on clients’ input. Each artist specializes in a different style, such as portraits, photorealism, art nouveau, feminine tattoos, and proper spellings of extremely long words. Meanwhile, the shop’s piercing specialist safely and precisely helps clients add jewelry to any part of the body.
Black Hole makes body decorating safe and accessible with two locations, rigorous cleanliness standards, and a licensed staff of tattoo artists and piercers. Those going the piercing route can adorn the head or body with a glint of jewelry, ranging from standard surgical stainless-steel barbells to more-ornate navel rings and conflict-free diamond nostril screws. Black Hole offers ear and facial piercings, including lip, nostril, and labret ($25–$35); body piercings, such as nipple ($25 for one) and surface anchors ($50); genital piercings ($70 on average); and more. Basic starter jewelry starts at $12 and goes up depending on function and style. For inspiration, watch Hellraiser or browse through the gallery of piercing pics, then check out the piercing requirements here.