View I feel pretty…OH SO pretty. in a larger map
My treks throughout the Seattle area and beyond for beauty maintenance and pretty things.
- Derby Salon (4/5)
6315 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Derby is where my boyfriend and his friends get their hairs did and in an odd twist of Fate, my stylist at Helle (Chivahn) ended up in G-town by way of Derby so I was definitely familiar with the name.
My trip there this weekend wasn’t hair-related, though – it was for a morning full of one-year anniversary pampering courtesy of said boyfriend.
I patiently waited to book my appointment for a date almost a month after I received the gift card, but only days before my bf is coming home for the holidays. They’re open 7 days a week, so it wasn’t too hard to find the ideal time for my increasingly busy schedule.
Just late enough in the morning to avoid grumpiness, I arrived and had a few minutes to relax before the massage therapist Kristin came out to retrieve me for what turned out to be an amazingly helpful and relaxing massage. I came out with loosened muscles and smelling lightly of mangoes, ready for a manicure and pedicure.
At that point I was wrangled by Megan, who is responsible for the bf’s coif and for that day, my nails. We spent the majority of the next few hours chatting as she painted on a nice shiny magenta and turned my neglected paws into soft, supple, pretty appendages. They also have a faster, cheaper happy hour version for those of us who might be in more of a rush (but it’s only available during certain hours – check their website!) and an even fancier, longer version if you’re craving a paraffin dip and such.
I’m super frugal and It’s a bit far from my ‘hood, which is pretty much the only thing that would keep me from going here on the regular.
***One distasteful note: When making the appointment, I mentioned a few times that it was a GIFT from my bf and I had a GIFT CARD (he’s pretty well known there, so they knew exactly who gave it to me.) When I went to check out, the receptionist (without a pause) told me the total owed instead of just asking for the card. Way freakin’ tacky and pretty inappropriate to tell the receiver of a gift how much the giver paid.***
- Sally’s Nails (4/5)
4219 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
Neighborhood: University District
When my homegirl mentioned this place does $25 brazilians, my jaw dropped and I asked her about 20 times to repeat herself…But she was not lying, folks and I now make a regular trip up to the U-dist for my girly maintenance.
Here are a few things to be prepared for:
This place is a little hard to locate: just a small nail shop tucked into a building on University – pay attention to the address and it’ll be easier to find.
The waxing room is pretty darn tiny and not necessarily spa-like (or at all spa-like.) You’re not there to lounge, you’re there to have hair ripped out of your body for about $50 cheaper than at those frou frou places. Deal.
Lynn most likely will *not* leave the room while you disrobe (she’s about to see all your bits up close, why be shy? If you feel the need, it’s probably best to freshen up in the restroom beforehand.)
it’s going to be fast and it’s going to hurt – take a few ibuprofen an hour before your appointment and it should be okay.
If you’ve got time (or if you’re coming from another ‘hood and want to kill all your girly birds with one stone,) take advantage of the $19 pedicure with a fantastically long foot massage!
- Pole for the Soul (4/5)
7356 15th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98117
So, like, who *doesn’t* remember the huge craze over Carmen Electra’s “Fit to Strip” DVD series? I paid far too much for every single one of those videos and they basically ended up being soft-core porn…Only one of the DVDs included an actual workout (which was poorly executed and missing balance in the reps) and I’m not quite sure how I was supposed to learn the moves when all the camera was showing was a closeup of her ass and/or titties, but I digress.
Since I am pretty serious about my “most awesome girlfriend” standing AND in need of creative ways to occupy my time while my boyfriend is out of the country for 3+ months, I decided to look into learning how to lap dance (I repeat – this is not a career move). After browsing through the instructional DVD selections on Amazon and not being very impressed, I decided to google “lap dance class Seattle” and ended up at the page for Pole for the Soul’s “Striptease and Lap Dance Workshop.”
There was one spot left in the class that was scheduled for the following weekend – $40, small class, no nudity, women only and claiming that “you will learn a sexy walk, sensual hip moves, sultry floor work, a tempting striptease and a lap dance you can perform with just a chair and a smile,” it seemed like just the thing I was looking for. I left the class this weekend with ALL that, in addition to a renewed sense of sexy self-confidence and a few bruises on my knees.
Parking (on-street) is pretty easy in that neighborhood, though the front door will be a little difficult to find if you aren’t paying attention to the directions. The lights were dimmed, the curtains were pulled tightly shut, the door was locked and we all took a moment to introduce ourselves and explain why we were taking the class before we got down to business. By the end of the class we were taking turns practicing our newly-found talents on each other (this will most likely be super awkward if you are terribly shy and/or haven’t brought a friend, but it *is* better to know how to execute these moves with an actual person).
The instructor/owner Krisha CatZen is tiny, adorable, super talented and incredibly funny – she makes it clear from the beginning of class that this is a gift for you, not your partner. You will leave feeling sexier and most likely very excited to try your new moves out.
You’ll also receive a nice discount if you sign up for their Pole Dance & Sensual Movement series that same day (I’m not as intrigued, since I would never have a pole installed in my own home and I know my bf would not be thrilled about me practicing my moves in a public venue, but I’ve heard great things).
If you want to take the Intermediate lesson for Striptease and Lap dance, you can sign up for a private lesson ($75/hr) and split the cost with another friend if you’d like – pretty fantastic deal to be learning such an entertaining skill…I have no doubt I will be wrangling one of my homegirls into taking this class.
- Cicada Tattoo (5/5)
10309 Aurora Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133
Update - 12/23/2009
In the past year alone I’ve spent hours upon hours and $$$ with Will at Cicada, starting with an expansion/improvement of an old cover-up and ending recently with another brand new piece, all of which I couldn’t be more pleased with. He insists on taking the time to make each piece flow with *my* frame and doesn’t grumble when I want to tweak the drawings that he lays out freehand on my skin, and I respect him enough to let him tell me “no” when he knows one of my ideas won’t be aesthetically pleasing.
I can honestly say that since he put his needle to my skin for the first time years ago I have not considered trusting anyone else to do so and wholeheartedly sing his shop’s praises to anyone who might be interested in getting inked. All of the other artists I have encountered there have been friendly and incredibly respectful, asking permission to take a peek for those appointments where I have had to be partially disrobed and always showing a sincere interest in/appreciation of each others work.
Don’t let the location fool you – at Cicada you are sure to find a clean, professional environment filled with some of the best artists in the city and prices that are in line with any of the other major shops. If you are going to get marked with something that you’ll be carrying around for the rest of your life, you really can’t go wrong here.
My tattoo artist Will Bodnar (think pink leopard sleeve and my foot bird), formerly of Laughing Buddha http://www.yelp.c…, has opened up a new shop in North Seattle at 103rd and Aurora. I had an appointment planned before they officially opened, but Will and I missed our connection….So, when I was on my way back from Stereo Warehouse on Saturday and noticed Cicada Tattoo was open, I felt compelled to stop by and check out how things were going.
They’ve put a lot of work into the shop and it shows. I know Will has invested a lot of time and other resources to create a space for himself and the other artists he’s starting up with.
Not only is he a super talented artist, he’s NICE. He listens to my ideas and brings them to fruition even more beautifully than what I can imagine (even if they do sound super strange to begin with). I’ve gotten the majority of my tattoo work done in Seattle and there is no one else that has worked on me that I would recommend as highly as I do Will.
- The Gold Thread (5/5)
4045 California Ave
Seattle, WA 98136
Neighborhood: West Seattle
Kwansook’s shop was recommended to me by an ex-coworker of mine, and though it took me a while to finally bite the bullet and check her skills out, now that I have I am a convert to the Church of the Gold Thread.
So far I have gone to her a few times to have my jeans hemmed, and she has managed to return a perfect result in one or two days at the whopping cost of $18.64 with tax. On one pair of jeans with detailed contrast stitching, she managed to match the hem almost exactly and found the perfect length despite my intention to wear them with flats OR sky-high platforms.
She prefers if you bring things in one at a time or in very small batches – it makes it easier for her to turn them around quickly, and I know I definitely appreciate her speed, so help a sista out.
- Sugarnova Organic Skin Care – CLOSED
4546 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98166
Neighborhood: West Seattle
I actually found Sugarnova while searching for bikini waxing in West Seattle on Yelp, and I am immensely glad I did. Tucked in West Seattle Wellness (through 8 Limbs Yoga), her space is quiet and relaxing, which is great for when you are about to have hair ripped out of your nether regions (or any other region, for that matter).
Athena set very reasonable pricing on her sugaring AND skin services, and insured my return by offering maintenance prices for those of us who like to stay on a regular routine with our girly grooming.
She doesn’t accept credit cards, so make sure to come equipped with cash or a check!
- Westwood Hair and Spa (4/5)
8826 25th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98106
Neighborhood: West Seattle
I’ve been here a few times now and I’m pretty psyched to have a decent nail place a block from my apartment.
The staff is super friendly, but doesn’t mind when I zone on out my crackberry or come in with my ipod on which is good because the music there kind of sucks. Maybe they know I’m just trying to keep from going insane after listening to an even more muzak-y version of Que Sera that keeps skipping – I sure don’t know how *they* do it.
Yesterday I got the most thorough mani/pedi I have *ever* gotten for the grand total of $35. The techs I have worked with pay great attention to detail and you don’t have to go for the “luxury” versions to get a bit of a rub down, which seems to be becoming the norm at other places.
I honestly went home and cleaned my apartment for hours afterward (not the most brilliant timing) before I went for a run and I don’t even have a chip or smudge present in my polish. That’s a damn fine job, there.
- Terra Zen Salon (5/5)
214 Burwell St
Bremerton, WA 98337
Many years ago when I worked in the salon industry, I was lucky enough to be employed at the same *awful* place with two women who could work miracles with my hair and one who did the same with my skin (see Danielle @ Helle). Through the years I lost touch with my hair Gurus, only to find that one had moved back to Washington and bought her own salon in Bremerton – Urban Zen.
Dayna is still cranking out the gorgeous hair for her lucky clients in a cute location by the ferry dock on Burwell, with an incredibly pleasant staff and great quality products.
I typically rock my natural color with just a demi glaze for sparkle, but the onslaught of grays and a wild hair compelled me to lighten my own hair. Don’t try this at home folks – box colors are the DEVIL. So, three tries later, I still had a color I felt was too brassy for my skin tone. Within 5 minutes with Dayna and a quick glance at a photo of my desired color, she had a plan. I was glazed, highlighted, toned and cut and ended up with great hair again!
Things to note: parking can be difficult due to construction going on in the area, but if you arrive early and have some time to kill there’s a little pizza/deli place next door with decent slices (and beer if you are so inclined).
(Yes, Bremerton is quite the trek to get yer hair did, but it sure is an interesting trip when you haven’t spent much time there before.)
- Helle (5/5)
6253 13th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108
Oh, so many changes since my last review…No more Laura, FANTASTIC new location, great products, cute massage therapist, a stylist and a nail tech who does organic treatements? Helle is movin’ on up!
One thing that hasn’t changed is my dedication - Danielle has the magic touch and I cannot imagine trusting anyone else with such an important part of my face. Chivahn is a hair goddess whose haircut inspires weekly if not daily compliments, and you just want to put Chris the LMP in your pocket and take him home.
That and it’s still incredibly fun to tell people to “go to Helle.”
- Dave Sheely Designs (5/5)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/davesheelydesigns Chicago, IL
I was introduced to Dave Sheely Designs via an etsy link provided on a Yelp thread and was immediately enthralled with Dave’s amazing and unique jewelry. Hand made out of industrial urethane (some with interesting items inside like fossils, rocks, shells, and elephants!), each piece is one of a kind and has hours of work put into it by none other than Dave himself, yet the prices are incredibly reasonable.
After months of bookmarking my favorites in his etsy store and bugging him every time I ran into him in real life (for those of you who don’t know, Dave is the Dear Husband of Yelp’s very own Mary T. and they happen to also live in beautiful West Seattle), I had finally narrowed it down to one on etsy that I thought I *had* to have, so I sent him a message to get a purchase worked out. Turns out that he was actually working on something very similar to the one that I was coveting, only in one of my favorite colors (purple). I immediately told him I would buy it and he got to work on getting it polished for me. Within a few days it was ready in the size that I needed and I was able to rock it at the last elite event.
Add to that sweet service the fact that Dave is really one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing business with and you end up with a 5 star transaction.
For a seemingly small amount of $$, I now have a piece of one of a kind art for my finger and I am supporting a local business and a pretty cool guy. You can’t ask for much more than that.
P.S. He has also made custom pieces, so if you see something you like but want it tweaked or in a different size or have a great idea of your own, he may be able to accomodate your request!
- Rejuvenation Massage (5/5)
6407 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, WA 98127
Neighborhood: West Seattle
After moving to a third floor apartment early this year, I found myself pushing my physical limits quite often – first with the move and then the inevitable new furniture lugging and grocery retrieval, etc. My back decided to mutiny a few times in the past several months, and with a history of issues related to some on-going problems in my back, I knew I had to look into professional massage or I would probably end up in serious pain.
When my boss told me her Dental Hygienist was leaving her dentist’s office to devote time to her burgeoning massage practice (in West Seattle, even) and was planning on accepting our insurance, I jumped on the opportunity to e-mail Caroline Brady to set up semi-monthly massage. With a co-pay of $25 and a location 10 minutes from my place, I was more than willing to wait out the few months it would take to get in for my first appointment.
Caroline is sweet and was very thorough in explaining to me what would be occurring during our initial and subsequent appointments, also telling me to feel comfortable letting her know if her pressure was too light or too deep or to tell her if anything else could help make me feel more at ease.
She books out two hours for each massage, so you never feel pressured that you need to get out the door for her next client. The experience is totally stress-free – as it should be.
I’ve got a bit of the snap crackle and pop back in my spine, and have relief from some killer tension that had built up in my neck….I just feel more blissed out and less strained in general.
If you’re in the West Seattle area and need an awesome massage practitioner that accepts Premera, I would suggest you drop Mrs. Brady a line and get yo’ self on her books A to the SAP.
P.S. She also does TMJ therapy!
- Sally Beauty Supply (3/5)
2600 SW Barton Street
Seattle, WA 98126
Neighborhood: West Seattle
This Sally’s is relatively small compared to the one I used to patronize, but due to convenience I find myself going here instead of where I should be going – Jan’s Beauty Supply.
It’s a typical Sally’s – nails, skin and hair products, relatively well priced and well stocked.
Not terribly professional, not terribly helpful, but hopefully if you’re going to a beauty supply store (and not just getting your products in a department or drug store) you have some idea of what you’re doing with the products available.
- Spa Nordstrom (4/5)
500 Pine St
Seattle, WA 98101
This weekend I had a man put his hands on me in a way I had never before experienced….
After welcoming me and leading me into a quiet darkened room, he politely excused himself while I undressed and slipped into a soft, comfy robe. He returned and led me down a quiet hall where there was a bowl full of beautifully scented warm water to soak my feet before he dried them off, slid my slippers on and led me back to my room – even darker now, with candles throughout. He had drawn a hot, bubbly bath for me to immerse in complete with Dead Sea Salts and lavender essential oils – but only after he had rubbed my body, front and back, with a lovely smelling, smoothing body polish that left my skin and my spirit feeling refreshed and relaxed.
Once in the tub, he attended to me quietly the entire time, bringing me a bottled water and occasionally making adjustments to the jets massaging away my tension in the tub. At one point, he pulled out a special nozzle and directed the strong spray to my……lower legs and feet – as if he could sense that they were tense from my busy weekend and needed a bit of special attention. After a while, he quietly left me in silence where I had the opportunity to reflect on life and all the beautiful things that have come my way recently.
After I slipped out of the tub and back into my robe, I met him at the door, where he led me to another room and guided me to lay down on a heated bed covered in a silken plastic material (here’s where it gets a bit kinky, folks), where he proceeded to slather my entire body with mud. Yes, mud. With algae. And seaweed. After I was coated in mud, he enveloped me in the plastic and started softly rubbing my head before he spread a thick paste through my hair and wrapped it up in a towel. Once I was settled and toasty, again he briefly left me to myself and my thoughts.
Again, he returned – this time to start a shower for me. He delicately shrouded me in a towel and guided me to the shower where he directed me to cleanse myself of the mud and return to the bed again before he closed the door.
Newly clean and reeling from all the pampering, I laid back on the bed complete with fresh towels. After a short while, he came back with a cold beverage and a gentle lotion that he again rubbed all over my body before smiling and showing me that my clothing and accessories had helpfully been moved to the closet of the room I was currently in. He instructed me to take the time I needed rising from the bed and bid me farewell.
Sounds HAWT, right?
Well, it was (but not in a dirty way), and I think that was because my LMP ALEC was entirely communicative about things during the service that might make me uncomfortable and made an amazing effort to make sure that I knew what was going to happen throughout and he went above and beyond to turn me and cover me in a manner that was totally appropriate and made me feel at ease. Apparently, he reads the reviews online and takes any complaints or suggestions to heart (no suggestions here, Alec – just a virtual *high five* and keep enjoying SYTYCD!)
My spa package was $180 with gratuity included and lasted 2 1/2 – 3 hours (after you’ve relaxed *that* much, it’s a bit difficult to track the time). My company paid for the whole thing and sent all the ladies in our office (all 3 of us), which was amazing – but I would have to say that there is no doubt in my mind that I would do it again on my own dime. Who wants to go with?
P.S. Minus one star for that hideous drop/panel ceiling. They do cover your eyes for most of the services where you’re laying on your back, but c’mon now – don’t tell me Nordies can’t afford a nicer ceiling!
- Jan’s Beauty Supply & Salon (5/5)
4517 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Neighborhood: West Seattle
This place and these ladies have been here for 24+ years and have the hair-dos to prove it, but I challenge you to find a beauty supply store that is more helpful, more well-stocked and just generally friendlier than Jan’s.
Since they are technically a salon (okay, so it’s a room in the back of the store with a few chairs), they are authorized to carry salon quality products that you can’t get in your typical Sally’s (who copied Jan’s anyway). They carry MOP, Paul Mitchell, KMS, Pureology, OPI and all kinds of other products with or without acronyms for names. ALSO, they have great prices with a very low mark-up on the products they sell – thanks for making it easy and cheap to not support diversion, Jan’s!
If you don’t already know about diversion, here’s your unofficial education:
If you buy “salon” products in drugstores, on eBay, etc., you are purchasing products that are counterfeit, old, or possibly STOLEN. That just sucks real bad, now doesn’t it?
- Nail Time (4/5)
4836 California Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98116
Neighborhood: West Seattle
****UPDATE 5/20/08: I deducted two stars from my original Nail Time review due to the fact that regardless of the fact that I make an appointment, I usually end up having to wait no less than 15 minutes (though I do usually go in the busier times of day, I feel like my appointment should mean I get in at that time). I gave them one back because their waxing is quick and dirty, and although it’s somewhat awkward it’s super cheap and thorough.****
I actually first tried Nail Time on my boss’s recommendation and I thank her all the time for sending me here. It’s a great place to get a pedi with a friend (or your Ma!) and they are super friendly. When Ma and I went for spa pedis today after breakfast, there were no less than three guys getting manis or pedis – that’s pretty damn awesome.
The prices are great and they always have appointments available.
Please bring cash to trip your nail tech, it’s much easier for them to get their money that way!
- Andaluz (5/5)
4908 Rainier Ave S
Seattle, WA 98118
Neighborhood: Columbia City
This store breaks my heart.
Everything is so cute and smells so good and I am not nearly rich enough to buy all of it. No, really, I mean all of it. It’s not like it’s crazy expensive, they just have that much cool sh*t.
The staff is friendly; the inventory is original and funky. I found my new signature scent here and one of the hottest shirts currently housed in my wardrobe. Be prepared to spend some time looking, you may find your new favorite clothing item in a pile of other things that have the potential to be your new favorite clothing item.
I am so going back for the wooden birds. Don’t touch the red and white one – it’s mine.
P.S. Thank you Danielle D., for convincing me that we needed to go shopping after that sad, sad brunch.
P.P.S. I sent my best guy friend here to find birthday gifts for a chick he digs and he called me the same night to gush about how cool their products are and how nice the lady helping him was and to thank me (repeatedly) for referring him there. See – even dudes like it!