Hit List: Beauty + Grooming Must-Haves

 Anyone who’s attempted an at-home Brazilian wax/teeth whitening/haircut is familiar with the DIY margin of error and its considerable pit falls. While saving a couple bucks by attempting our personal maintenance at home can work out, there’s something so luxuriously satisfying about seeing a pro. A trip to the spa will always leave us shinier and delightfully smug. But where do you go in a city with such a vast array of primping options?

 Here’s the secret  to professional grooming in Los Angeles: find the guy/gal who you vibe with and become a regular.

 So with our Opulence Issue right around the corner, LAC rounded up our favorite spas and professionals so you can treat yourself. We promise it’ll be worth it.

 

brown

[infobox maintitle=” HAIR COLOR” subtitle=”AYA SALON  | SANTA MONICA ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://http://ayajimmy.com/”]

Every time we enter the Aya Salon, Jimmy greets us with a squeeze, a great magazine selection, and particularly good coffee. He has been know to achieve the perfect cool blonde without damage, and he has kept our brown hair multifaceted, glossy, and red-free (virtually impossible with box dye) for a year now.

 face

[infobox maintitle=”FACIAL ” subtitle=”SPA INTERCONTINENTAL | CENTURY CITY ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://interconspala.com/”]

The Spa InterContinental, located on the 2nd floor of the Intercontinental Hotel has surprisingly easy-to-find valet parking (comped for spa guests) . For just $105, we are lead into a spacious and remarkably still, outdoor/indoor private room. Within an hour, the wizard of a technician employs traditional eastern techniques, painless extractions, and ultra-restorative serums to transform us into our better version—the hydrated version who looks as though she’s eaten all her vegetables.

 dpss

[infobox maintitle=”SPA” subtitle=”WI SPA | KOREATOWN ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.wispausa.com/”]

If you’re at all familiar with Korean spas, you know not to expect a traditional, western spa experience. The Korean concept is based on the idea of a community bathhouse. We checked our modesty at the door and stepped into Wi Spa, enjoying its gender separated hot and cold baths, showers, and massage treatment spaces. Both sexes are welcomed at the full workout gym, sleeping areas, acupressure rooms, salon, internet café, and the rooftop terrace. We could spend 24-7 here. Which is great, because that’s what the Wi Spa’s hours of operation actually are.

 lashes

[infobox maintitle=”LASHES” subtitle=”ANGELA RAE BEAUTY | BRENTWOOD ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.angelaraebeauty.com/”]

A friend of a friend recommended Angela Rae Beauty to us. Longtime makeup artist and esthetician, Angela understands eye shape and brows and educates her clients to select a tailored lash application. The extensions take about an hour to complete and will last up to six weeks. She was lovely to chat with until we eventually dozed off, and re-emerged as a person who doesn’t have to wear mascara.

 hairiri

[infobox maintitle=” HAIR CUT” subtitle=”KIM VO SALON | BEVERLY HILLS ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://kimvo.com/”]

Sounds silly, but a good haircut can leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. All to often, the cycle of the transformative hair experience is always the same: We enter the salon, pay an arm and a leg for a haircut with the expectation it will put mere mortals to their knees in awe, and we leave crestfallen and destitute, with a slightly shinier version of our old haircut in tow. Enter Mika Fowler at Kim Vo Salon inside the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Japanese beauty has been mastering the dry cut for over a decade, not to mention styling some of LA’s most famous faces throughout her career.  True, it may be a pricey excursion, but with offerings of champagne, coffee, and Mika’s delightful little red petticoat in tow, we left feeling a just a bit more inspired and entirely victorious. Take that, life.

 teef

[infobox maintitle=”TEETH” subtitle=”MARK JAMISON, DDS | BEVERLY HILLS ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.jamisondds.com/”]

If nothing else, Dr. Jamison’s bedside manner is worth the visit. No more scolding you for not flossing every night or brushing incorrectly. (Can you just give me my free toothbrush so I can leave already?) Instead, Dr. Jamison’s approach is lighthearted, informative, and alleviating. Specializing in everything from general to cosmetic dentistry, this place is a welcome destination to get our oral hygiene game on point.  Not only that, but the whole office is digitized, allowing us to see our own X-rays and dental records from a computer monitor without ever leaving that rotating dental chair. The doctor will see you now.

 waxx

[infobox maintitle=”WAX” subtitle=”WAX CANDY | DOWNTOWN ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”no http://waxcandy.com/”]

To wax or not to wax? Um, if shaving is the other option, we’re gonna go with wax. The folks over at Wax Candy offer everything from brows to bikini and are quick, clean, and reasonably priced. And if a Brazilian is on the menu, fear not—the informative staff walked us through the procedure, which happens to be surprisingly pain-free. But unfortunately, unless you’ve been the victim of the alternative, you might not appreciate just how spectacular that really is.

featured photo by  Asami Photography with model Tova @VISION ,makeup by Barbara Yniguez, and hair by Angel V.Prado

 

D.I.Y.: SUGAR SCRUB

It’s a time of year that’s rough for us Angelinos. We transitioned out of a warm summer with the hot, dry Santa Ana winds, then sporadic periods of hot and cold before Southern California settled on a dreary, drizzly, winter. That’s a lot for your skin to go through, so it’s time to treat yourself with this fool-proof sugar scrub. As a plus, it’s all natural, safe to eat, customizable, and you probably already have everything you need. Scrub off that S.A.D. and glow.

materials

Materials:
-granulated sugar
-brown sugar
-olive oil (or try coconut oil!)
-essential oil (we’re using lavender, but you can switch up the scents by trying peppermint, vanilla, chamomile, or eucalyptus. Just make sure you’re not using something that can be a potential irritant to skin– like lemon or cinnamon– or use it very sparingly)
-jar

This is so fool proof. Your sugar, sugar, oil ratio will be 2:2:1. So if you put one cup each of the sugars, you’ll only add half a cup of oil. Don’t have measuring cups? Whatever! Use tea cups or mugs or shot glasses. Just use the same units at that 2:2:1 ratio.

TIP:This is a great D.I.Y. to give as a gift. Put it in a nice jar (we picked one up at a craft store for $1) and tie a ribbon around it. Good for moms, teachers, in-laws, or landlords. Why not?

STEPS:
1. Mix equal parts sugars together.

step1

2. Add oil and a few drops of essential oil. You don’t want to go too crazy since essential oils are potent. If you are making a batch that yields about two cups, then add maybe about 10 drops at most. if you’re just making one jar, then 3-5 drops. Err on the “too few drops” side. You can always add more later.

step2

3. Combine until smooth. Really work those lumps out.

step3

4. Spoon into your container.

step4

5. Exfoliate. Enjoy.

TIP: If you do decide to go tropical and use coconut oil, it has a habit of being solid at room temperature. If it seems too thick to easily rub all over your face, set the jar in a sink full of warm water. The heat will liquify the oil making it much easier to scoop and spread.