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.



[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.


[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.


[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.


[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.


[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.


[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.


[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



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For many men, a haircut is simply a routine process. Get in car, go to local barber, pay $30 and leave with a cut that’s satisfactory but not exactly in line with your idea of dashing-young-gentleman. Proper Barbershop Founder Vinnie Morey is trying to change that. Having his start cutting hair in female centered salons around the world, Morey made the switch to the classic art of barbering, and has never looked back.

At 23, Morey, along with business partner Trent Magnano, opened the doors of Proper approximately 9 years ago, all with the goal of creating an a classic barbershop atmosphere where a great cut could be had. Centering their business around “period correct” mens cuts from the 1920’s and onward, they have been cutting the locks of everyone from the normal joe to Hollywood celebrity. Morey looks at his work as both a tradition and an art, all while paying homage to the history that follows the craft.

“All we really hope to do here–not by our look or the way we dress, but by our haircuts and our work–we hope to pay homage to barbering.”

Morey and Magnano have certainly paid homage to classic barbering with Proper, but with a touch of flair that they attribute to punk, skate culture. While the shop’s chairs are like those you’d find in an old-school barbershop, the surrounding mirrors, booths and walls are filled with tattoo flash, skateboard decks, and custom-made pieces by local artists-slash-customers, alongside vintage barbershop memorabilia.

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“A lot of us are just normal punk rock dudes. We ride motorcycles, we grew up skating and going to shows, and we aren’t going to change that because we cut hair.”

Proper’s mix of old-school dapperness and modern-day punk sensibilities is clearly an equation for success. And other brands have taken notice, with successful collaborations from brands Rebel 8 and Filtrate Eyewear resulting in custom shop towels, t-shirts, sunglasses and beyond.  The Rebel 8 collaboration was one in particular that struck the Proper’s humble owners. “My business partner and I have been fans of [Rebel 8] for so long, that for us to now get the opportunity to actually do a shirt with them is kind of a dream come true.”

Still, with all their success, Proper claims to stay true to its community-valuing roots. The shop’s employees have come from paths as varied as long-term friendships and clients who were so interested that they started as shop assistants and worked their way up. There’s a certain camaraderie within the shop, where guests face each other, rather than a mirror, and we have a hunch it’s this that really elevates Proper from being a trendy barbershop to being a Class-A destination.

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So, what are you waiting for? Mention LA CANVAS during your next cut (first or 100th, whichever it may be) by Vinnie and the Proper crew and receive it all for $20.00. We think that’s a pretty stellar deal.

Get in touch with them here.