Even though my love for skincare has been well-documented, to be honest, I'm not always the best about taking the time to partake in all of those other grooming activities. I frequently let my roots grow out until my hair is almost ombré (despite preferring it to be blonde all over). And real talk, I absolutely hate most forms of hair removal (waxing hurts, shaving is tedious), leaving me to, *ahem,* forget to take care of it, preferring it would all just disappear magically. But thankfully, LA happens to boast quite a few awesome salons/spas that make this process a bit easier and more enjoyable. Below are 4 of my current favorites!
For a Great Cut & Color : Brambila Salon in Santa Monica
Like I said, I have a lazy tendency to put off getting my color touched up until my roots have grown down to my ears. For those who are not accustomed to getting highlights done, just know it's a long process-- with the haircut, it's easily a 3-hour appointment for me. So if you're going to spend multiple hours sitting in a chair with chemicals in your hair, why not at least have an ocean view? The beautiful boutique Brambila Salon in Santa Monica is conveniently situated on Ocean Ave. and boasts the kind of ocean views that future LA homeowners can only dream of. Small but filled with natural light and modern accents, Brambila is a little hair haven. But don't be put off by their trendy appearances; they know what they're doing. I was lucky to have an appointment with Kelsey, who helped me figure out the best combination and placement of highlights/lowlights that would allow my color to look more natural as it grew out. She also explained why my hair has been puffing out constantly whenever I blow it dry of late, and we adjusted my cut to fix it. I left totally in love with everything she did, appreciating her creativity and ability to answer my questions/ solve my common hair conundrums. Oh, and did I mention that they're right next to Brambila Salon? Now I can get all of this grooming stuff out of the way in one day without schlepping all over the city!
For Laser Hair Removal : Laser Lounge in Santa Monica
In addition to hating all methods of hair removal, I'm also a total baby. So whenever a friend told me that laser hair removal does indeed hurt, it seriously decreased any potential interest I had in the service. But Laser Lounge's casual (yet still very professional) approach to their services made me feel like this maybe wasn't that big of a deal, right? I agreed to try my underarms and was told it would take just a few minutes and there would be no downtime, which immediately put me at ease. They lead me into a back room, explained the process to me (I already signed some waivers), and we got started. It was over in about a minute. And while it did hurt in a few particularly sensitive areas of my underarms, the pain lasted just a few seconds. Though they told me it would take 4-6 sessions to see a difference, I've actually already noticed (after 1 session!) that it takes much longer for the hair to grow back. I'm so pleased with these results that I'm planning on setting up a few more appointments to get rid of it for good!
For Uniquely Quirky Bikini Waxes : Box Human Landscapers in Manhattan Beach
Oh, bikini waxes. The bain of my existence. I often consider just never getting another one again and joining the myriad of women who have given up the hair removal practice altogether. (Side note: no one should ever feel pressured to take part in hair removal if it is not what they think is best for them/does not match their beliefs about body hair). But then summer in Southern California rolls around...and I remember my personal preferences on the matter. Having spent a decade + in this industry, Bree Goldwater (owner of Box) knows a good wax. She's even developed an amazing line of post-wax balms for women and men that help stave off inflammation while providing cooling effects and hydration. She was able to put me at ease (as best she could, as let's be honest, it still hurt) for the whole appointment, and even used a few techniques (like their signature get-you-kneeling-on-all-fours position) that helped reduce pain. Overall, I'm really happy with the results and would definitely come back again...but maybe next time I'll bring more numbing cream and painkillers.
For Medically Advanced Facials and Body Treatments : Parfaire Medical Aesthetics, Pasadena
Another beautiful boutique, this Pasadena medi-spa has everything you need to address whatever skin and body-related concerns you may have. Parfaire Medical Aesthetics uses new and advanced technology to create treatments (performed by board certified physicians) that include lights, lasers, and plenty of other fancy-looking devices. I went in for their signature Silk Peel facial, a form of microdermabrasion, that unlike its predecessors, boasts no downtime and is gentle even on sensitive skin. The treatment aims to make skin softer, boost collagen, plump, smooth, and refresh. They use a little wand that feels like it's sucking the crap right out of your pores while it exfoliates, and then follow up with potent serums and moisturizers that left me with a very covetable glow. A great way to #treatyourself or even the perfect maintenance facial, if you're willing to drop the dough on red carpet-ready skin.