The Best Affordable Beauty Treatments in L.A.
At least once a week, we think to ourselves, “You work hard. You deserve an [insert beauty treatment here].” Unfortunately, our broke girl salaries tend to disagree. Desperate for a little pampering, we decided to scour the city for cheaper ways to treat ourselves -- so our Visa could chill out while we do, too. What follows is our guide to some of the best broke-girl-friendly beauty services in town:
Los Angeles has a wide berth of tress-taming talent. Some established salons offer student or assistant cuts that are free or close to it. At Frederic Fekkai’s Thursday class, the salon’s fully-fledged, full time stylists work on new techniques while you sit back and enjoy a free haircut. Meanwhile, at the Paul Mitchell school in Sherman Oaks, student cuts cost a paltry $12 and are available any day of the week. If “new techniques” and “student cuts” give you heart palpitations, there are plenty of less experimental options for girls on the cheap. At Fusion Hair in Mid City, the $70 cuts raise feverish praise from their cult-like following. On the beach, Santa Monica locals treat their windswept tendrils to Studio DNA, whose posh and airy room belies their humble price tag: $45 for a beginning short cut. (BGG Tip Jar: Studio DNA has a promotion through Yelp right now.) While you’re in the hood, drop by the à la cart, color-only Tint salon for cheap highlights sans streaky mall rat vibes.
The fastest way to tense up newly supple muscles post-treatment? Take a peek at the bill. Luckily, Koreatown, one of our favorite pockets of L.A., offers a relaxing solution. Crystal Spa will polish, wrap, and prod your bod into fighting shape using Aveda products for $30, while nearby Olympic Spa will give you the royal treatment for $130, including a full body scrub, aromatherapy massage, facial mask and body emulsion. As you already know, we also love Natura Spa. If you’re knotty by nature, head to Royal Thai Massage & Beauty, where they’ll unravel your back for $50 an hour. In West Hollywood, tucked amid celeb-packed, swankier locales, Raya European Day Spa is a hidden gem. Their prices are always competitive, but if you’ve got some spare time before Friday, make sure to book a treatment now: Raya is offering 20% off all massages and wet room treatments until August 31st.
Cheap nail salons are more ubiquitous than nail art these days, but finding the right one (read: clean and fungi-free) can be difficult. If you’re in a hurry, B&J Nails in West L.A. is your place. No one beats their rush job: $15 for a mani-pedi in 30 minutes flat. For a no frills salon that’s celebrity endorsed, head to Santa Monica’s Montana Nails where the chairs are crammed so tight you may end up rubbing literal elbows with a star. For the die hard OPI or Essie-supporter, Nails and More on Doheny offers a full spectrum of options in exchange for one mere Andrew Jackson. Also known as 20 dollars. Also known as awesome. Finally, you haven’t truly lived in L.A. until you’ve been to Lanny’s.
When it comes to our precious epidermis, we don’t like to take any chances. Luckily, we don’t have to chose between our paycheck or our dignity when we’re at Wax. Laurie is our go-to girl for the best brows with minimal ouches. Farther west in Beverly Hills, Anya’s eponymous establishment (located inside Golden Nail Salon) has acquired a loyal following for her fastidious Brazilian and on-point relationship advice, no extra charge. If you’re looking for a sweeter solution to hair removal, try Sugar Me, where they pull the stubborn suckers out with their exclusive sugar paste, which is made in-house to keep costs down.
If you’ve scrubbed and waxed away your carefully-applied summer color, stop by Glo Studio in Venice, where pricing works similar to a yoga or pilates classes. One tan will cost you $25, but sign up as a member for $15 a month and you can bronze once per month for free and at a discount after that. If you’re able to ditch out on work in the name of beauty, take advantage of Lavish Tan’s Happy Hour from 2-5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays through September 31st, during which their custom, organic spray tans go for $39 (a $20 discount). To finish your look, test out the theory that less is more at Blushington Makeup Bar in West Hollywood, where you can fly in for an “On The Go” makeup application for half the price of a full face.
Where do you go to “be beautiful” on a budget?
Written by Stacie Corliss
Aug 28, 2012 - 08:37 AM