In the Bay Area, it’s hard to tell which came first, the tattoo or the hairstylist. But hey, we’re not complaining. We like a girl with a little edge! Our colorful city is chock-full of interesting gals who are not only known for their amazing shear-wielding and dye-slathering skills, but also for what’s going on under their smocks. That's why we think it's high time that someone pointed the spotlight behind the chair and onto the ladies responsible for making our city so beautiful.
From a sultry siren to a California girl next door, these six hot local hairstylists have all the bases covered. And we got to know them all the same way every girl does, in their salon chairs — gabbing and gossiping, duh! Keep reading for some juicy dish on the most-requested celebrity hairstyles, insider tips and tricks, and the ladies' very own S.F. shopping secrets.
Photographed by Jasmine Gregory
Whether it’s your skin freaking out, your colorist giving you a brassy ‘do, or a run-in with some streaky self-tanner, beauty drama can seriously (and literally) mess with your head. We feel you: R29 editors have battled everything from vanishing eyebrows to being dumped by their colorist via text message (true story). Since we don’t want you guys to suffer the same emotional distress we’ve battled through, we gathered our 10 worst horror stories, and set up a team of top-notch beauty pros to tell you how to fix them — and how to avoid the problems in the first place. As Mary J. Blige says, "no more drama."
Spill: What's your worst beauty horror story?
Illustration by Ammiel Mendoza
Even though the beginning of spring breathes some very welcome new life to the social scene, it often piles on hefty heaps of work, too. And when your stress level reaches that straitjacket level of insanity, it's important to take a step back and remember that your health matters most. Everybody deserves a little R&R, and what better (and faster) way than to work out those knots and shut off your mind than a massage? For your physical and mental kink relief, we've got the best rejuvenation stations in L.A. lined up right here. We encourage you to treat yourself with the gift of touch—no one will blame you for falling asleep to the sounds and smells of a great spa.
Photo: Via Kinara
Photos Via (clockwise from top left): Ona, El Leon, and Ona
We recently had a one hour Exhale Flow massage (heaven) at this nook of wellness inside the Fairmont Miramar, and were so relaxed that it was tempting to just check in to the hotel afterwards! They also have the eponymous yoga center and Fig restaurant within feet of the spa. The current trend for the regs is to take a class, get a massage, and grab a glass (or two) of wine at happy hour — the ritual's been dubbed Detox Retox. We love it!
Exhale Spa, 101 Wilshire Boulevard (At Ocean Avenue); 310-319-3193.
El Leon Spa
This Mid-City bliss factory's claim to fame is a Hawaiian Hot Stone massage, combining oh-so-well placed basalt rocks and long fluid strokes that are sure to induce a full body melt.
El Leon Spa, 8217 Beverly Boulevard (Near North La Jolla Avenue); 323-782-9582.
The word Ona means “quick fix” of the back, neck, and shoulders , but this Moroccan-styled spa's tension relief can last for days. It's by and far one of the best massages in the city, and if you sign up for their emails, they always offer great last minute deals (so worth offering up your info!).
Ona Spa, 7272 Beverly Boulevard (Between Fairfax and La Brea Avenues); 323-931-4442.
Who runs the world? Girls. Specifically (if we do say so ourselves), San Francisco girls. Seriously though, it’s no secret that we love supporting our local ladies. And for the latest installment of Real Girl, Real Beauty, we’re bringing you the prettifying secrets of not one, not two, but four S.F. lovelies who are killing it career-wise and looking oh-so stunning while they're at it.
We’ve asked our bevy of successful Bay Area beauties what products they can’t live without, how they turn a basic look up a notch, and even a few things they might have been embarrassed to admit. This city may be a hot spot for natural beauty, but don’t get it twisted — these local stunners put in the work, too! Along with beautiful portraits of the ladies themselves, we've got all their get-gorgeous secrets for you to copy, stat. Because while we know it's what’s on the inside that counts, looking hot on the outside definitely doesn’t hurt, either.
Angelica modeling some fuchsia lip color (and a matching scarf) out in her garden.
Angelica Benjamin, HR Generalist, Co-Founder of Digitally Chic
Where do you find your beauty inspiration?
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I really admire unique, confident women. It takes a lot of courage to stay true to who you are, and not conform to what you are told you should look like. There is something to be said about how effortlessly Queen Latifah radiates confidence and individuality. Everything she does is so graceful. She definitely gives me the strength to accept and embrace my differences — and be proud of who I am."
A few of Angelica's go-to products!
What beauty products do you absolutely swear by?
"Clinique’s 3-step System (or pretty much any skin care product they make), MAC products (I live at the counter), Palmer's Cocoa Butter, Nivea’s Firming Lotion Q10 Plus is literally heaven in a bottle, Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa 60-Second Manicure Hand Scrub, and Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm With Pomegranate Oil."
What’s your go-to beauty look?
"Something light and pretty always does the trick. I prefer to use MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish. It has very minimal coverage, and a hint of color. So, your face can breathe throughout the day. On top of that, I add black eyeliner with a thicker winged edge, matte peach blush with an added layer of shimmer, defined brows, and a pop of color on my lips. MAC has an amazing finishing spray called Fix+ — after my makeup is done, I spritz to set, and I'm ready for the world!"
Angelica's array of amazing lip products. Wowza!
What beauty trends do you steer clear of?
"I steer clear of anything that alters my natural self — like tanning, plastic surgery, lip injections, or Botox. Why fit in, when you were born to stand out?"
What’s one thing you splurge on in the name of beauty?
"Mascara! I’m pretty sure I go through a tube of MAC’s Haute and Naughty Lash every week. It can get pricey, but you can’t put a price on fabulous lashes."
Photographed by Christine Ting
Sure, we all feel enormous pressure to keep up appearances in our sometimes too-vain town. But can you imagine how stressful it would be if your livelihood depended on looking uber-attractive 24/7? We’re not talking model-slash-actresses here—we mean the beauty experts we trust implicitly to get our tresses and skin in tip-top shape. After all, if their pro ducks aren’t in a row, how can we envision them morphing us into wannabe glamour queens? In this industry, seeing is believing, so we’ve scouted out five local beauty aces, who let us snoop around their bathrooms and snap the secret products lurking inside each of their arsenals. Behold, the lotion- and potion-filled cabinets of L.A.’s top aestheticians, hair stylists, and makeup wunderkinds, and find out what’s cookin’ on these good-lookin’ gurus’ shelves. .
Chances are you've probably heard a lot about BB creams in the past few months. In case you're still not sure what these mythical skin creams really do, here's the deal: BB creams are a type of tinted skin treatment that became a phenomenon in Korea and quickly spread across Asia and into the U.S. The BB cream is similar to a tinted moisturizer— if your tinted moisturizer had taken a bunch of performance-enhancing drugs, bought a Porsche, and was now dating a supermodel.
"Tinted moisturizers are too basic — they provide simple moisture and low-level sunscreen, with a few vitamins or extracts thrown in. They work best on perfect skin that doesn't need much love. However, most of us (unless you're genetically blessed) want more coverage," says Sena Kang, general manager of North America for Dr. Jart+. "BB creams are the next generation of product because they contain high-performance treatments like anti-agers, antioxidants, brighteners, and botanical actives combined with high-level sunscreen, coverage, and moisture."
We've seen a steady surge of BB creams invade our beauty counters of late, so we thought we'd take these so-called miracle creams out for a spin to see if they live up to the hype. See what our R29 guinea pigs had to say about these super-charged creams and find out if they'll be trading in their tried-and-true tinted moisturizers this spring.
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Photos: Courtesy of Kingman Island; Photographed by Madeline Beard; Courtesy of Rock Creek Conservancy
Kingman and Heritage Islands Park
Situated in the Anacostia River near RFK Stadium, Kingman Island is the place to go if you like having the outdoors all to yourself. Composed of two islands, the park offers over a mile and a half of trails for hiking and biking in the midst of a peaceful, all-natural oasis.
Where: Entrance located at RFK Stadium Parking Lot 6, 575 Oklahoma Avenue NE; 202-488-0627.
Joe's Movement Emporium
A home base for Mount Rainier's art scene, Joe's Movement Emporium hosts performances, exercise classes, workshops, and more — it's a veritable hodgepodge of fun physical activity. On Mondays, the community arts center offers a free hip-hop dance class for beginners at 7 p.m.
Where: 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier; 301-699-1819.
Rock Creek Park
The green jewel nestled in the midst of our chaotic city, Rock Creek Park is one of Washington's go-to spots for free-and-easy exercising. Whether you're into running, hiking, biking, outdoor circuit training, rollerblading, or walking, you can do it here for the low, low cost of absolutely nothing. Some highlights: paved bike paths, a 1.5-mile exercise course, no-fee tennis courts, and fields for soccer, football, and field hockey.
Where: Headquarters are located at 5200 Glover Road NW; 202-895-6070. Rock Creek Park can be accessed from dozens of points around the city; click here for a map.
While part of us is rejoicing that we can finally bust out our best open-toed shoes, the more practical half is looking at our neglected tootsies and wondering if we'll look totally crazy wearing socks all summer. Getting your peds pampered weekly is a surefire way to make your lower half look presentable — and to go bankrupt trying to pay for all those pricy salon visits.
With that in mind, we asked Emma Lara, the nail expert at Haven Spa in NYC, to concoct a DIY pedicure you can do in the comfort of your living room. From shaping your talons to a sweet-smelling mask that will soften your feet up stat, here is the DL on getting your down-below digits ready for the big unveil.
Photographed by Guang Xu
“Cellulite affects so many women, you can almost say it’s normal,” says Neil Schultz, a Manhattan dermatologist and the creator and host of DermTV. The cause of all the puckering: the fat that pokes through the connective bands (called fibrous septae) that run between the skin and muscles. Think of the buttons on a chesterfield; the fibrous septae are the anchors, while the stuffing (fat cells) push through any open apertures.
So, now to the bad news: Despite all the marketing hoopla, there is no permanent cure for cellulite — yet. But there are plenty of temporary fixes that (briefly) improve its appearance. The results may be modest and the changes minimal, but for many of us, we’ll take what we can get. Before investing in any gizmos, gunk, or procedures, take the time to ferret out the regimen proven to deliver the biggest dent to your dimples. Fortunately for you, we've done the hard part for you and scored all the deets on the latest skin-smoothing treatments. From a handheld body buffer to an in-office machine all the derms are raving about, read on to learn what works and what's just a waste of money.
Ciaté Caviar Manicure Kit, $25, available at Sephora.
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From winged liner to a colored cat-eye, metallic liner to the smudged eye, and, of course, the industry’s bright-eyed secret, the white eyeliner, we’ve got you covered. We asked five celebrity makeup artists who collectively have worked with the who’s-who of Hollywood, to take these runway looks and offer their tips on turning them into everyday, wearable styles.
This summer, whether you’re relaxing poolside or jaunting off to a metropolitan destination, attract awe-inspiring stares with one of these 5 fabulous eyeliner looks — and remember, as the adage goes, the eyes are the windows to your soul, so decorate accordingly.
Photo: Maria Valentino/MCV Photo