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




As LA transitions its vehicular ways toward a more commuter driven area, slowly but surely more residents are hitting the pavement, catching the bus and riding the train. But the concrete hustle means your face and body gets exposed to far more smog and bad bus fumes. This means you gotta roll with the punches and get in on the rub-n-buff game.

Spa treatments aren’t just for bachelorette celebrations or anniversary weekends anymore. Although a few of us frequent the spa as often as we should, those trips can seem more intimidating than they really are, especially to our scruffy dive bar crowd – who coincidentally are the ones most in need of a good scrub down – or maybe we’re more into the Blind Barber cut and slick back look these days?

If you’re already thinking “spas aren’t for me” or are freaking out at even the thought of having to order a treatment – that’s spa lingo for what treatments you request – take a quick look at some of our picks of the great primping pros. These spots are so amenable and relaxing you would swear you were away on vacation, even if the monetary situation doesn’t allow for one this summer.

Remember, you can’t glow on the outside if you’re not scrubbing off all the dead skin cells on the outside. That might not be how that saying goes but you get the idea:

Perfect clean shave

The Gents Facial, Casa Del Mar

A 60 minute facial created with men in mind. Meant to reverse  some of the damage caused by shaving and stress, the Gents Facial uses techniques used by traditional barbers. Finally you can get the scalp neck, and shoulder massage your girl is always too tired to give you. We think we just solved one of your relationship dilemmas.


The Carrot and Sesame Body Buff,  Bliss at The W

Although this may sound like the base to a delicious summer salad, a body buff with the benefits of carrot and sesame is just what the body needs to feel fresh during these hot summer days. A Bliss trademark treatment, the pièce de résistance is the Vichy shower; five shower heads pouring down on you as you lay down – or as we like to call it – heaven. We’re on our way to the W, meet us in the lobby.


The Brown Sugar Massage, WI Spa

Koreatown just seems to have everything going for it these days. This sweet 70 minute experience combines the health benefits of brown sugar and other oils to exfoliate your skin. And after your sugar rub down, you can choose from a cucumber or rose mask – we suggest the rose – followed by a warm sugar water hair conditioning treatment. All in all, it’s a pretty sexy situation. Third date destination perhaps?


The Infrared Sauna, The Sweat Shop 

This spa is designed for the busy urbanite who’s schedule is too packed with concerts, craft beer festivals, pool parties and the occasional jam sessions to slow down. Come in, sweat and get going. The Sweat Shop knows your time is valuable.


The Green Tea Escape,  Le Petite Retreat

Apparently you drink the tea, yet you don’t soak in it – we should really learn to read instead of skim. But you will be able to dip yourself in lightly scented lavender water in one of Le Petitie’s Hydrotheraphy baths. Picture this: huge copper tub, aromatic oils putting you at ease, warm water diluting your stress away.