Even as a child, Gustavo Briand's fascination with hairstyling was so strong, he was willing to get into trouble for it. In the years since he lopped off the locks of his sister and all of her dolls, he's gained enough fans to outweigh any early disapproval his passion encountered. Those fans tend to be highly visible: a lifelong lover of the arts, he's styled a long list of opera stars, prepped heads for the red carpet at London Fashion Week, and performed pro-bono work for the Florida Grand Opera, the Miami City Ballet, and the Miami Symphony Orchestra.
In his home studio, Briand and his team draw from a service menu spiked with innovative techniques. Ionic infrared technology leaves blowouts smooth but not overly dry, Davines and Sojourn shampoos and conditioners are specially formulated to restore dehydrated hair, and hair extensions are applied with a minute "lock-and-key" system that requires no adhesives, duct tape, or other potentially damaging techniques.
A wildly successful alternative to traditional day spas—its more than 300 locations blanket 36 states and half a dozen countries—Planet Beach Contempo Spa is a futuristic relaxation station where state-of-the-art machines administer all the spa and tanning services. These friendly automatons sometimes replace familiar treatments, as in the Luminous facial, a light-based service that delivers blemish-busting results similar to those of a conventional facial. But other equipment maps out new spa territory entirely: the Hydro-Derma Fusion chamber moisturizes the whole body with nutrient-rich steam in order to offset the effects of a dry climate or a rear-end collision with a salt truck. Other machines whiten teeth, spray tan skin, and massage muscles.
Planet Beach operates on a gym-style membership system, meaning that members purchase packages or pay flat monthly rates. As members spend more time at the spa, they get to know the helpful assistants who are always on hand to demonstrate how to use the equipment without activating its ability to cry.
The team at Nails 111 believes in "good, clean fun," combining a health-conscious philosophy with a charming, shabby-chic ambiance. Antique-style tables and chairs, chandeliers, and lilac walls create an 18th-century-parlor vibe as nail techs wash and sanitize hands and set aside an individual spa kit for each guest. They wear latex gloves upon request and eschew spa chairs and whirlpool-type footbaths in favor of disposable pedicure tub liners. The crew decorates nails with Essie, OPI, or Shellac polish and also performs sleek blowouts and straightening treatments at the Blow and Go hair bar.
The salon was created by internationally trained beauty expert and Lima, Peru, native Marizza Contreras and Miami native Jonathan Nussbaum, who was inspired by a girlfriend's frustration the lack of nail salons open after 7 p.m. Nails 111 staffers refine digits until 9 p.m. Monday–Saturday, making late-night manicures possible for owls wishing to impress their prey.
The team at Sanctuary Salon & Spa, which is nestled within the foliage-lined, crisply black-and-white Sanctuary South Beach boutique hotel, nurtures bodies with organic products and anti-aging facials. Skilled aestheticians pamper visages with Dead Sea minerals and organic exfoliating flaxseeds, and stylists cut and color hair in the natural light that floods through the onsite salon. Clients can elect to receive massages, including hot-bamboo and deep-tissue modalities, in pristine white spa treatment rooms or pick another location in the hotel that they would prefer. Therapists can meet guests in their room or beside the rooftop pool surrounded by white tile steps and a manicured green strewn with lawn chairs and vacationing garden gnomes.
A full-fledged day spa, Massage by Design offers much more than its name might convey. Here, massage therapists practice uncommon modalities, such as Tian Di bamboo massage, in which smooth bamboo sticks are rolled across the back help improve circulation and alleviate musculoskeletal pain. Custom signature massages blend many modalities, including Swedish and deep tissue, to treat each individual's most pressing needs. But beyond the physical manipulation, aestheticians revitalize complexions with anti-aging facials and microdermabrasions. Mani-pedis beautify nails, lash extensions create lavish looks, and waxing gets rid of unwanted hair in a safer manner than leaning over a campfire.
Diane Fragale draws from extensive training in the healing arts and more than 20 years' experience to perform holistic practices that bolster the minds, bodies, and spirits of her clients. She can help flush out microscopic toxins in the body with treatments such as colon hydrotherapy. Fragale also leads three levels of yoga classes in styles such as Vinyasa and Ashtanga. To get on the road to long-term wellness, feel free to tap her personal expertise during nutritional counseling and life coaching.
Find reviews and articles on outdoor activities, attractions, things to do.