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After spending a handful of years crunching numbers for her family's car business, Doran Poma decided to pursue a passion for skincare that she developed as a teenager. Since completing beauty school in 2006 and becoming a licensed aesthetician in 2007, Doran has used her expertise to clear the complexions of numerous clients, including a woman in her 50s who'd been dealing with acne since her teens. This April, Doran began running her skincare operation out of a gut-rehabbed salon, where she uses phytomer and Jan Marini products to pamper clients with specialized facials designed to treat conditions ranging from acne and discoloration to wrinkles in the time-space continuum.

406 Alvarado Street
Monterey,
CA
US

Established: 2014

Reservations/Appointments: Required

Handicap Accessible: Yes

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Parking: Free street parking

Most popular service: Facials, eyebrow sculpting, microdermabrasion, and light therapy

Brands Used: Skinceuticals, Dr. Jeff

Ocean Ave between Mission and San Carlos
Carmel,
CA
US

The pumpkin refresher, the pineapple express, and the green tea are just a few items on menu—but they aren't drinks. They’re specialized, nourishing facials offered at Jolie Skin & Body Care, nestled inside of Buschi Salon. During skincare treatments, which include body waxing and tinting in addition to decadent facials, customization comes first. Aestheticians take inventory of unique skin-type needs before launching any chosen procedure, ensuring that clients leave the spa feeling more beautiful than the day they wore a half-geode as a bike helmet. Massage therapists also personalize treatments, which may revolve around Swedish, sports, or shiatsu core techniques.

14107 Winchester Boulevard
Los Gatos,
CA
US

Scattered throughout the peninsula, Natalie Salon Inc.'s five locations each house a team of specialists who pamper and beautify guests during nail, waxing, hair, and facial services. Staffers make over bodies from head to toe, rejuvenating faces with facials and treating dull talons to manicures and pedicures. They hone in on hair all over the body, waxing away unwanted fur, arranging lackluster strands into stylish coiffures, and tinting eyebrows to match recently dyed locks or recently dry-cleaned banana suits.

431 N Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos,
CA
US

Reservations/Appointments: Required

Established: 2013

Staff Size: 2?10 people

Parking: Parking lot

Once inside RiaVida, you might wonder whether you've wandered into a spa or a luxury cabin. Cream-colored walls reflect natural lighting streaming in from windows, and greenery brings a touch of nature to the picture. A glass of complimentary tea or lemon-infused water may find its way into your hand. There's nothing about this space that isn't relaxing, and that's exactly how the staff hopes its clients feel when going into treatment rooms. With 10 in-house aestheticians, the group not only is adept at facials and body scrubs, but also has a range of specialties for men and women, including waxing. All facial treatments start with a personalized approach based on skin type and use organic products made in the US. Beyond skincare, clients can opt for eyelash extensions, body sculpting, and body wraps.

501 North Santa Cruz Avenue
Los Gatos,
CA
US

At Just Perfect Threading & Salon, many customers are left wondering how they hadn’t tried out threading earlier. After all, unlike waxing treatments, threading doesn’t cause the delicate skin around the eye to wrinkle. The skin-friendliness of threading is only one of the benefits of this ancient Eastern technique practiced here, where trained aestheticians loop and pull out rows of hair to skillfully shape eyebrows and swiftly remove unwanted hair from the face and body. Much like the world’s most accomplished marlin fishermen, the only tools these aestheticians use are a cotton string and a trained eye. They also accent newly smooth skin with henna tattoos, adding a fun, temporary design to hands, feet, or your skin area of choice.

223 N Santa Cruz Ave
Los Gatos,
CA
US