Blackbook 2 - Lead 2016

Beauty Black Book 2016: Salons & Spas Worth The Splurge!

Looking for the best cut, color, massage and facial? We've traveled the country to compile a guide to salons that will make you look and feel your best. Plus: Discounts and deals on salon services!

Whether you're in the market for a chrome mani or highlights that'll convince co-workers you were born a blonde, this guide to buzzy beauty hubs around the U.S. (tested by a team of reporters!) will prove indispensable. Did we mention you get a discount? Mention InStyle when booking to get a 20% discount that applies to the specific service and location described below during the month of October 2016. Offer is for one discount per person, per location. Cut

Lily Grace Cosmetics & Spa 
Courtesy Lily Grace Cosmetics & Spa
| Credit: Courtesy Lily Grace Cosmetics & Spa

Lily Grace Cosmetics & Spa

Ann Arbor, Mich. 

REGULAR PRICE: Starting at $90

INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $72

With an elegant but homey ambience (imagine a charming tin ceiling painted navy and cream), this boutique-spa hybrid is the beauty destination in this college town. Whether you're a local or a visitor, consider it your go-to spot to get that unfussy cool- girl lob courtesy of hair director Nikki Paton. A Manhattan transplant who's worked with Nicole Kidman, Paton delivers unforgettable shampoos and head massages (using Miriam Quevedo's decadent Glacial White Caviar Shampoo and Masque) before, say, taking collarbone-grazing strands to a chic shoulder length, as she did for our tester. After snipping off an inch while hair was wet, Paton switched to dry cutting, using tiny scissors to snip into, and subtly layer, only the ends. The result, polished off with Malin + Goetz Sage Styling Cream ($22; to give tips a choppy finish, was ideally tousled and not, as our tester reports, "a too-perfect bob."

306 S. Main St., 734-761-9350 Courtesy Lily Grace Cosmetics & Spa


New York


INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $200

In this bright white-on-white salon located in the lobby of TriBeCa's hip Roxy Hotel, you'll find stylist, founder, and hair genie Joey Silvestera. "I showed him a picture of model Alessandra Ambrosio," says our tester, "and he said, 'I can give you that exact cut,' " and he did just that. After a shampoo in the five-chair space, Silvestera (who kept a positive atmosphere, complimenting our reporter's previously waist-reaching haircut) snipped the length and face-framing layers before blow-drying. Once hair was dry, he "edited" the cut: "He asked if I wanted it fuller on the bottom," says our tester. "But since my hair tends to hang heavy, he trimmed into the edges instead." Back in the Roxy lobby in under an hour, our tester had time to enjoy the live band before taking her new below-the-shoulder waves out for the night.

2 Ave. of the Americas, 646-666-0574 Courtesy Blackstones

Marie-Lou & D

New York


INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $132

When it's all about the bangs, Tre Wyrosdick (one of several styling standouts at this SoHo salon) has your back. "He cut my hair to suit my fringe," says our tester. After a quick consult, Wyrosdick turned "grown-out and side-swept" into "blunt and wispy," first cutting bangs while wet, then blow-drying to confirm that he'd nailed the length. After snipping the length to achieve a "piecey texture that could be attained without a lot of styling products," Wyrosdick dried our reporter's hair and grazed the cut with scissors to add a "diffused softness" to the lob. Days later, "the cut actually made my fine hair look and feel fuller," says our tester.

345 West Broadway, 212-390-8666 Courtesy Marie-Lou & D

Capella Salon

Los Angeles


INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $220

No stranger to professional chops at curl-centric salons like those from Carol's Daughter, Devachan, and Ouidad, our tester swears this snip was one of the best she's ever received. "I've never had anyone take such special care with my cut," she says of co-owner Shai Amiel, who prepped our reporter with pre-appointment instructions (arrive with product-free strands). Inside the glass-front salon, situated on a quiet upper level of a Studio City mall, Amiel worked first on dry hair, taking a single lock at a time, twisting it slightly then snipping to reshape what he discovered was a slightly lopsided mane. His ringlet-by-ringlet approach, combined with shampoo and product-cocktailing advice (with Capella's stock of DevaCurl blends), took two and a half hours. The payoff was that magical melding of "movement and definition" without a side of high-maintenance styling.

12930 Ventura Blvd. #216, 818-784-4247 Courtesy Capella Salon

Mare Salon

Los Angeles


INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $200

This gray bungalow with black trim in West Hollywood announces its design cred right away, with Shepard Fairey and Warhol pieces perched for sale on its gallery-white walls. But what put our tester immediately at ease was her stylist, Dax Sarmiento, who seemed to "intuitively get the casual vibe I was going for," she says. "He understood that I wanted to use very little product every day." Getting busy post-shampoo, Sarmiento sectioned hair then meticulously trimmed ends to remove weight from the bottom, spritzing a conditioning hair mist as he worked. After a coat of hydrating oil and a blow-dry, the stylist let loose his perfectionist streak, micro-cutting ends and refining the allover shape. Our tester left with hot-ironed waves rendered perfectly beachy thanks to Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray ($28;

152 N. Wetherly Dr., 424-274-3479 Courtesy Mare 1 of 5 Advertisement Color

pSalon Kazumi/p
Courtesy Salon Kazumi
| Credit: Courtesy Salon Kazumi

Salon Kazumi

Beverly Hills

REGULAR PRICE: Starting at $350 (without additional treatment)

INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $280 

Perfectionism meets Beverly Hills panache at Salon Kazumi, the luxe, zen oasis of celebrity colorist Kazumi Morton—who's been the hands (and eyes) behind Zooey Deschanel's and Kristen Stewart's rich chocolate locks. Passing on any bleach for our tester's hair ("It can get brassy," she says), Kazumi worked with laser-like precision to add warm caramel highlights that would "melt right in" to our reporter's dark mane. While our tester sipped matcha green tea, Kazumi enhanced the subtle shift with a few well-placed foils. After 30 minutes under the dryer, the hair was strengthened and softened with an additional cocktail of keratin, collagen, and protein. Our tester, post–wavy blowout, was thrilled with her "I spent three weeks in Hawaii" look.

9725 S. Santa Monica Blvd., 310-751-0909 Courtesy Salon Kazumi

Base Color Bar

Los Angeles

REGULAR PRICE: $25 (without blow-dry) 


Ready to finally ace your base or trade in your high-maintenance highlights for a shiny new hue? Head to this chic, wallet-friendly salon, where pros like the Fekkai-trained Haleh Lekkos deliver enviable allover dye jobs. Once our tester nestled into a leather chair, Lekkos proposed a fast way to cover grays: a glossing treatment that delivered a glorious semipermanent brunet shade. Our reporter indulged in a party-worthy blowout, but you can save cash and pick up the hot tools to blow your own way at the DIY dry bar in the middle of the salon.

11677 San Vicente Blvd., #215, 310-820-0505 Courtesy Base Color Bar

FourteenJay Salon

New York

REGULAR PRICE: Starting at $165 

INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $132

If we're suckers for snacks (this TriBeCa find serves sweet and savory, with a drink menu that includes champers), we also love a salon that doesn't shy away from a challenge. Our tester wanted to cover her "prominent dark roots" and go blond—very blond—but not by way of a uniform dye job. After an in-depth consultation, co-owner David Adams got busy on a full head of highlights, working in micro-sections and without heat, to paint on multidimensional color that wouldn't damage strands. (The staff is big on hair health, using natural Aveda elixirs and often analyzing a new client's scalp with a magnifying camera to tailor product picks.) While perfection took time (um, hours), the result—with its mix of sun-catching honey and champagne, plus seamless coverage of her roots—was all our tester had hoped for.

14 Jay St., 646-869-5970 Courtesy FourteenJay Salon

Spoke & Weal Soho

New York

REGULAR PRICE: Starting at $100 

INSTYLE DEAL: Starting at $80

Calling it "one of the coolest salons I've ever been to," our tester talked up this SoHo spot's West Coast vibe and industrial décor with wood floors, exposed brick, and "blow-dryers hanging from the ceiling on pulleys." Also of note: You're asked to don a black T-shirt in lieu of a cape. But if the rough-hewn hipness made an impression, it was the subtle glow of "baby lights" by pro Colleen Flaherty that earned the loudest shout-out. Working in mini-sections around our tester's face as well as throughout her head, Flaherty expertly lightened her brunet base without overreaching and with nary a line of demarcation. Our tester loved how the realistic results "warmed my skin tone and made me look a little bit tan."

147 Grand St., 646-896-1052 Courtesy Spoke & Weal Soho

Four Seasons Palm Beach Salon

Palm Beach

REGULAR PRICE: $150 for partial highlights 


This intimate salon has a classic feel, with white walls and marble floors dotted with black leather chairs and tables. Beachy highlights are golden here, and super-stylish colorist Bridgette Hill stands ready to deliver. Her entirely customized approach reflects everything from her clients' skin undertones to their maintenance thresholds. Our tester's brightened-up base and low-starting highlights, for instance, not only brought a warm glow to her olive skin but also allowed her to go longer between touch-ups (amen!).

2800 S. Ocean Blvd., 561-533-3715 Courtesy Four Seasons Palm Beach Salon 1 of 5 Advertisement MASSAGE

pThe Now/p
Courtesy The Now
| Credit: Courtesy The Now

The Now

Los Angeles



There's a lot of novelty to love in this new massage "experience": the tent-like treatment rooms, the concrete floor peppered with patterned throws, staffers who greet you warmly when you step into the storefront-cum-sanctuary. But the price tags may be the best part: You can score a 50-minute deep-tissue massage for $60. An InStyle editor opted for the Traveller, which delivered the perfect consistency of pressure over the back, shoulders, arms, and legs. Our tester's masseuse "paid attention to my problem areas" and seamlessly worked in extras like aromatherapy and collagen eye patches. Walk-ins are welcome, and prices start at just $35 for a 25-minute chair massage.

7611 Beverly Blvd., 323-746-5525 Courtesy The Now


Miami Beach



The staff revamped the menu at the 70,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor facility in 2015. On tap? Multifaceted hydro and thermal experiences: Think saunas, seawater baths, whirlpools, and cool rooms. Our tester loved chilling in the "multisensory rain showers" and taking in the mist in a twinkling igloo at the start of her visit. (No, we're not making this up.) You won't be asked to take a bracing cold-tub plunge during anything as relaxing as the Deep Healing Waters treatmen —though a 20-minute hot bath is worked in after a face rub and full-body exfoliation. After those phases, our tester settled in for a blissful 45-minute massage. 

6801 Collins Ave., 866-276-2226 Courtesy Carillon Miami Beach


New York

INSTYLE DEAL: Price and discount for hair and scalp therapy and massage available upon request

The niche brand known for its botanically infused skin care branched out into a Chelsea oasis offering herbal massages and holistic facials, plus "therapeutic ingestibles" from a tonic bar in front. The eucalyptus aromatherapy used during our tester's hour-long treatment helped her ease into the session. "I was ultra-relaxed, which isn't always the case since I often tense up and feel like I have to make conversation with my masseuse." The head-to-toe deep-tissue rubdown proved as thorough as it was blissful, as the pro hit dry heels with Naturopathica's Bath and Body Oil plus the brand's Mighty Mint Rescue Cream. The 60-minute scalp massage, complete with a hydrating hair mask, "was so indulgent and as comforting as having my hair brushed."

127 W. 26th St., 646-979-3960 Lucy Schaeffer/Courtesy Naturopathica Chelsea Healing Arts Center & Spa


Santa Monica



How did our tester describe the 90-minute Tikkun Signature Korean Body Scrub and Hot Oil Massage? "It was ah-mazing!" Situated off a bustling street near Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade shopping district, this subterranean spa has a minimalist vibe. You may spot guests meditating in a room made of Himalayan salt blocks or relaxing in a Korean Hwangto Clay room, both of which feature infrared-heat technology to promote detoxification of the skin and lungs. But back to that massage: After a hot soak and a salt body scrub, "my technician gave me a mini-facial, cleansing with a Clarisonic brush and topping with a hydrating mask," says our tester. "She applied hot vitamin E and avocado oils to condition skin then massaged from head to toe, focusing on lymph nodes to encourage lymphatic drainage. As a bonus she rolled iced Chinese glass balls on my face to nix tension: I was in heaven."  

1460 4th St., 310-319-1111 Courtesy Tikkun Holistic Spa


Walland, Tenn.

REGULAR PRICE: $180 for property guests

INSTYLE DEAL: $144 for property guests

If you like your destination spas upscale, mountain-ringed, and housed in a luxe 12,000-square-foot barn, add a visit to this wellness mecca to your wish list. Our beauty-writer tester was dubious of the "soothe massage" at first, given how she believes anything "not billed as deep tissue tends to disappoint." But after a therapist spent about 20 minutes "kneading out months-old knots" in her neck and shoulders before moving on to erase stress around the jaw, our reporter changed her tune. She even shed a tension headache, leaving her better able to enjoy the post-massage stop at the lounge to sip fresh juice.

1471 W. Millers Cove Rd., 865-984-8166 Heather Anne Thomas/ Courtesy The Wellhouse at Blackberry Farm 1 of 5 Advertisement FACIALS

pVanessa hernandez skin care/p
Courtesy Vanessa Hernandez Skin Care
| Credit: Courtesy Vanessa Hernandez Skin Care

Vanessa hernandez skin care

Beverly Hills



For results-first-pampering-second skin-care treatments, book face time with the highly sought-after aesthetician Vanessa Hernandez. Inside a plastic surgeon's office, Hernandez gets out the bright lights to assess problem areas (some hyperpigmentation and a few fine lines on our tester) before beginning a custom one-hour skin treatment. A diamond tipped wand blasts dull skin cells, while a gold-infused mask helps plump wrinkles. With her two locations in the L.A. area, Hernandez bounces between Beverly Hills and her new spot in Brentwood to meet the needs of her clients not surprising since the post-service glow is positively addicting. Good thing a follow-up visit is included in the price. 

9675 Brighton Way, #410, 310-849-4452 Courtesy Vanessa Hernandez Skin Care


Greenwich, Conn.



If the Fire and Ice facial featuring an acid peel from iS Clinical doesn't drive color back in your cheekbones, check your pulse. After a dose of acids, skin is treated to a calming mask to resurface without causing major irritation. "My skin was rosy afterward," says our tester, "and no doubt cleaner, dewier, smoother, and tighter-looking." 

151 Greenwich Ave., 2nd Floor, 203-629-2525 Courtesy Dream Spa & Salon


New York


INSTYLE DEAL (use promo code INSTYLE when booking): $72

The focus here is efficiency: You won't get a neck rubdown between face masks, but you'll score clean, decongested skin (a godsend in the exhaust-filled streets of Manhattan). The space offers treatments like an anti-acne facial with bacteria busting blue LED and, our tester's pick, the 30-minute Mom-to-Be special. Soothed by the fact that it doesn't include controversial ingredients (retinol and benzoyl peroxide, for example, are typical no-no's while expecting), our tester relaxed under a fruit-enzyme exfoliation and hydrating vitamin B5 mask. After an antioxidant serum and a dose of pure oxygen, she left with a glow "that had previously eluded me during my pregnancy," she says.

862 Lexington Ave., 646-861-0089 Courtesy Silver Mirror Facial Bar


New York



Whether you're a jet-lagged traveler or stressed-out local, this classic hotel spa delivers a high-end treatment guaranteed to relax you. Our tester nearly fell asleep on the table during the Sisley Phyto-Aromatic Lightening service, which she describes as more "massage in feel than facial." Skipping extractions but going for several rounds of exfoliation and moisture, pros work with vitamin C–rich Sisley Phyto-Blanc brightening products (toning lotion, serum, and mask) to quash dark spots and give tired skin extra wattage. The products, says our tester, were "calming, not abrasive."  

35 E. 76th St., 3rd Floor, 212-660-7560 Courtesy The Sisley Spa at The Carlyle

Lili Mineni naturally advanced skincare

Santa Monica



If a highly skilled pro making your complexion her sole focus for two hours sounds like nirvana, sprint to this sunny studio run by a former Kate Somerville aesthetician. Without even a receptionist to interfere with your one-on-one connection, you'll first consult with owner Lili Mineni. After cleansing and exfoliation with an ultrasound machine, our tester experienced her favorite part of the Oxygen Face Spa facial: an oxygen spray infused with a concentrated vitamin C serum "to help reinforce the cell walls and smooth lines," Mineni says. The pro upstaged the cool finishing mist with a shoulder massage during the final hyaluronic-acid mask. 

3118 Wilshire Blvd., 310-991-9140 Courtesy Lili Mineni Naturally Advanced Skincare

Alexandra Wagner Skincare

Los Angeles

REGULAR PRICE: $205 with Alexandra Wagner


In this ultra-private retreat in Venice, Alexandra Wagner delivers results fusing nature with technology in her Oxygen facial: After assessing your needs, she gets to work cleansing, exfoliating, and hydrating with her exclusive White Tiger products, which contain ingredients like white turmeric and tiger grass plant stem cells. She sloughs dull cells and preps skin to receive super-hydrating, peptide-infused oxygen for the ultimate refresh. Her attention to detail and custom blended masks, toners, and facial steams allow you to walk out makeup-free. 

1636 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310-399-0123 Coutesy Alexandra Wagner Skincare


West Palm Beach, Fla.



For a transcendent experience, look no further than Tammy Fender's cottage along the Intracoastal. Sipping tea inside the neutral-hued retreat, you'll choose three essential oils to incorporate into your treatment. Once you're wrapped in blankets, Fender begins a guided meditation to "make mind, body, and skin cells more receptive to treatment." Featuring her organic line of products, the Holistic facial includes a peel-off hydrating mask, vitamin-infused oxygen treatment, and shoulder massage. Ahh. 

711 North Flagler Dr., 561-659-2229 Courtesy Tammy Fender Holistic Skin care 1 of 7 Advertisement Brows 

pVert Beauty /p
Courtesy Vert Beauty
| Credit: Courtesy Vert Beauty

Vert Beauty




Brow shaping is one of the most popular offerings at this full-service spa and natural beauty shop. Our tester was happy to report that the process—including tweezing for shape and then a light wax to remove strays—gave her back the fullness age had sapped.

3442 W. 32nd Ave., 303-623-8378 Courtesy Vert Beauty

Serge Normant At John Frieda Salon

New York



"Worth the hype!" declared our fuller-browed tester after marveling at the opulent 8,000-square-foot Chelsea space where celebrity hairstylist Serge Normant offers head-to-toe beauty services. Famed brow pro Gina Daddona gave our tester maintenance tips during a 20-minute tweeze (like, never pluck more than once a week), then soothed skin with both rose-witch hazel astringent and anti-inflammatory calendula oil with neroli.

336 W.23rd St., 212-879-1000 Courtesy Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon

Shen Beauty




This Carroll Gardens gem is known for its killer shop (with cult brands like RMS Beauty and Goop Skincare) as well as its brow services. The pros share their strategy before removing a strand: "My technician evened out the silhouettes, improved the arches, and tamed errant hairs" in under 15 minutes, says our tester, using a sensitive-skin-friendly warm wax that kept the pain factor at 0.

315 Court St., 718-576-2679 Sioux Nesi/Courtesy Shen Beauty

Skin Worship

Beverly Hills



A fan of full, natural arches, brow guru Madison DeClercq uses a technique involving a speedy analysis of your shape followed by precise plucking, trimming, and, if needed, tinting to fill in gaps. An appointment takes just 15 to 30 minutes, so you can be in and out on your lunch break. But if you've got a little more time, DeClercq is also well known for her lash services.

9001 Wilshire Blvd., #206; 310-968-0733 Courtesy Skin Worship

Sania's Brow Bar

New York

REGULAR PRICE: $85 with Sania; $48 with team member

INSTYLE DEAL: $68 with Sania; $38 with team member

Believing that waxing can stretch delicate eye-area skin, and that threading may at times create ingrown hairs, pro Sania Vucetaj sticks with a pair of slant-tipped tweezers and mechanical brow pencils to groom inside this warm, loft-like space. Our tester, who was used to a regimen of waxing and tinting, described herself as a little "hesitant" going in. Her pro explained that one of her arches was higher than the other before beginning an intricate pluck job. After a bit of subsequent trimming, our reporter left with "full, supermodel-esque brows that would make Cindy Crawford proud." 

48 W.20th St., 2nd floor, 212-247-1129 Courtesy Sania's Brow Bar 1 of 5 Advertisement Nails 

pJINsoon Tribeca/p
Adrian Wilson/Courtesy JINSoon Tribeca
| Credit: Adrian Wilson/Courtesy JINSoon Tribeca

JINsoon Tribeca

New York 

REGULAR PRICE: $23 manicure; $40 pedicure

INSTYLE DEAL: $18 manicure; $32 pedicure

This latest addition to the celebrity nail artist's collection of NYC salons appears especially well-lacquered, thanks to soaring, custom-built  wood paneling and sleek light fixtures designed to optimize viewing of her hand and foot treatments. Also in the blueprints: built-in dryers at each station and a photo booth to capture your new art on Instagram. Manicurist Jin Soon Choi is known for her sophisticated designs and on-trend shades; and zeroing in on your perfect pairing is easy, thanks to a visual menu highlighting her past work. For the fully spa-like experience, try the Balm of Purity mani/pedi—which incorporates a soak in essential oil of peppermint, as well as a deep tissue massage with a grapefruit scented balm. After perfectly applied color, stay for Choi's famous citrus tea.

37 Walker St., 212-941-4663 Adrian Wilson/Courtesy JINSoon Tribeca

Polished Perfect

Costa Mesa, Calif. 

REGULAR PRICE: $60 gel manicure, $55 pedicure

INSTYLE DEAL: $48; $44

This full-service beauty studio offers highly hygienic treatments in a sleek and sparkling space complete with a café. Stand-alone white basins (paired with plush armchairs) are less likely to breed bacteria than whirlpool basins, says owner Twila True, who also devotes a room to sterilizing tools and uses buffers and files on a one-per-customer basis. The gel manis? Yeah, they last. 

103 E. 17th St., 717-287-6563 Geoffrey Ragatz/Courtesy Polished Perfect by Twila True

Van Court

New York

REGULAR PRICE: $45 for See Spot Run traditional manicure; $60 for Preserve Your Legacy traditional pedicure

INSTYLE DEAL: $36; $48

Offering a groom with a view, the large second-floor space boasts floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Financial District. Stocking five-free polishes (sans chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene), the manicures are immaculate and the salt-scrub pedicures decadent. Our tester loved the anti-aging hand treatment with a Dr. Dennis Gross acid peel to combat age spots. Her stiletto nails, decked in traditional greige polish, resisted chips for eight days.

90 Water St., 212-509-2222 Courtesy Van Court

Olive & June

Santa Monica

REGULAR PRICE: $40 manicure; $50 pedicure

INSTYLE DEAL: $32; $40 

With floral garlands strung above the leather sling chairs that serve as pedicure stations, this new branch stocks brands from OPI to RGB. Our tester plucked a poppy coral for her Vern pedicure, featuring a "mind-melting" foot massage. For hands, pros crafted a subtle striped pattern on our tester's tips that lasted 10 days. Need inspo before your visit? Just check out the salon's colorful Instagram feed @oliveandjune.

1426 Montana Ave., 310-899-1029 Courtesy Olive & June 1 of 4 Advertisement