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Marisa McPhederain and Ashley Largey want to make you the most beautiful girl in the world.EXPAND
Marisa McPhederain and Ashley Largey want to make you the most beautiful girl in the world.
Courtesy Darling Nikki's

Best of L.A. Culture: Services With Something Special

L.A's standout services — beauty and wellness, hair and body art, interior design and more — boast out-of-the-box environments, funky aesthetics and personalized care by experts in their fields. Here are some of the best. 

Best Hair Salon to Get "The Look"

So U want to be 1 of "The Beautiful Ones?" Looking 4 a wild new hair shade in purple (rain), red (corvette) or raspberry (beret)? Yeah, we're making Prince puns and refs here, because you kind of have to when you're talking about Darling Nikki's, the sexy salon in Burbank with decor inspired by Prince. The plentiful purple pop star touches here will make you delirious, but it's the fine beauty work (cuts, color and blowouts as well as skincare and makeup artistry) and friendly staff that will keep you coming back. Though the departed royal's spirit subtly drives the vibes, the sound system grooves beyond his hits, running the gamut from rock to punk to funk, with girl-powered salon chatter amping up the fun feeling in this Burbank space for cool girls and guys. Speaking of the salon's locale, owner Ashley Largely has been a big part of the movement to combat the ridiculous rent increases that Burbank shop owners are facing. Support that cause at savemagnoliapark.com, so this pretty party can last like it was meant to. 1022 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank; (818) 588-3262, darlingnikkisalon.com. —Lina Lecaro

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Best Face Place

Lila Castellanos' cozy space in Frogtown provides a chill yet luxurious escape to relax as you get your face looking flawless. Since 2014, the native Angeleno and licensed aesthetician's Doll Face Skin Studio has welcomed clients who include some of L.A.'s most gorgeous gals. Castellanos' 13 years working with women of all races, ages and skin types means personalized service that delves deep into each individual's skin needs, and customizes treatments to solve issues such as dryness, acne and aging. Skin consultation explores cleansing regime and other factors like seasonal changes, stress, etc., for the best plan of action, which can include facials, treatment masks and products. But it's the skin expert's attentive nature and focus on pampering here that make anyone who enters Doll Face feel special. 2019 Riverside Drive, Elysian Valley; (323) 632-5500, dollfaceskincarestudio.com. —Lina Lecaro

Best Place to Get Pinned

Hippie-dippy acupuncturists have nothing on Tamara Joy Rettino, aka "the Acupunktrix." During sessions at Rettino's Atwater studio — or her house calls — you can listen to whatever music feels right (even heavy, noisy stuff). Her style is real, honest and no-BS, even as she emanates comfort and support. Specializing in OB-GYN and pediatrics, with experience as both a birth and death doula, Rettino's services include adult and pediatric acupuncture (needles or needleless acupuncture for adult or kids and babies, the latter with calming toys and play to help them relax), cupping (fire-free to treat muscle and joint pain and increase circulation), bedside palliative care and home hospice help (focused on pain relief and emotional support for patients and aiding caregivers and family members), prenatal and birth prep (which often includes help with fetal positioning) and so much more, all with an emphasis on personalization that incorporates Chinese medicine, medical innovation and connecting with clients in an attentive and open-minded manner that makes her stand out from her puncturing peers. 3251 Larga Ave., Atwater Village; (818) 934-8936, acupunktrix.com. —Lina Lecaro

Best Electric Hair Removal

Shaving is tiresome, waxing hurts like hell and lasering is pricy, painful and not always permanent. But what about electrolysis? Though some may look upon it as an old-school method, ElectroYogi is breathing new life into the hair-removal procedure. Owner Nicole Policicchio touts a "mind-body-spirit philosophy" to her practice with the end goal being hair-free beauty and self-confidence both in and out of your clothes. Using the latest technology, ElectroYogi destroys your hair follicles for good (which usually takes multiple sessions per area as the hair growth cycle completes), resulting in smooth skin, even for those with stubborn growth. Hair removal of any kind is not something to look forward to, but ElectroYogi's homey Eagle Rock bungalow provides a sanctuary where relaxing sounds and atmosphere as well as friendly technicians (with a gentle touch!) come pretty darn close. 4237 W. Avenue 40, Glassell Park; (213) 787-4799, electroyogielectrolysis.com. —Lina Lecaro

Best Paramedical Body Artist

Working from her immaculate Gilded Lily studio at the back of a faded mixed-use building in Newhall, Holly Feneht is the only paramedical body artist in Los Angeles. She specializes in decorative nipple and areola tattooing for breast cancer survivors as well as figurative scar cover-ups (such as after mastectomies and C-sections). Whereas paramedical tattoos are normally performed by surgeons with little artistic training, using only semipermanent cosmetic pigment, the soft-spoken Feneht has long experience in traditional tattoo shops and uses permanent ink. Palpably passionate and compassionate in her mission (inspired by the experiences of cancer victims in her own family), she views paramedical artistry as the last healing stop for breast cancer survivors, and regularly meets with prominent surgeons to further their understanding of her life-changing art. 23550 Lyons Ave., Suite 103, Newhall; (661) 523-8623, GildedLilyDesign.com. ­—Paul Rogers

If Dr. Manus' waiting room is this gorgeous, you know your face will be, too.
If Dr. Manus' waiting room is this gorgeous, you know your face will be, too.
Lisa Derrick

Hippest Doctor's Office

No one really wanted to give out his name because there is a four-month waiting list to see Dr. Dean Manus, the board-certified plastic surgeon responsible for maintaining the many visible visages of the "California 40." But after a couple bottles of Cristal, secrets spill. Yes, there is true magic in his hands, but what everyone really wants to talk about is the office, and for good reason. Designed by Dr. Manus and TV personality/fashion designer Josie Stevens (Married to Rock), the waiting room feels more like the bottle-service section of a VIP club than a surgeon's waiting room. Glowing glass tiles, vegan black python couches, LED mood lighting and lots of sparkles and sequins give way to exam rooms with torso-shaped chairs and modern art including a piece by Colin Christian. The artful atmosphere complements the doctor's artful work and the whimsical touches make beauty upkeep fun, so instead of thinking about the needles coming near your face you can marvel at the decor, such as ceramic jars that store his swabs and cotton but are labeled "Quaaludes" and "LSD." 9201 Sunset Blvd., Suite 611, West Hollywood; (310) 859-2627, drmanus.com. —Lisa Derrick

You'll have nothing but love for your home after Señor Amor does his magic.
You'll have nothing but love for your home after Señor Amor does his magic.
Courtesy Señor Amor

Best and Grooviest Interior Designer

If your bungalow has got you feeling low or you need to customize your condo, Los Angeles DJ turned interior designer Señor Amor will design and implement a setting that expresses your inner self in ways you've never dreamed. When The Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin wanted to celebrate her love of sci-fi, Señor turned her Little Tokyo loft into a playful and sexy space-age pad complete with a sparkling gold dining room; a turquoise staircase and sleeping loft; and a glowing bathing cave with a bath/shower pod. Señor's first gig, drag legend Jackie Beat's Altadena Brutalist-inspired showplace complete with a Linda Blair–themed guest room, landed the decorator and his client in The New York Times. senoramordesign.com. —Lisa Derrick

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