Current Favourites: Vancouver Beauty Spots

What gal (or guy for that matter) doesn’t love getting pampered once in a while? Be it massages, pedicures, or facials, nothing beats getting some tender love and care at the spa, while also getting beautified. But choosing where to go can sometimes be a challenge, considering it’s an investment of both time and money. I am always on the hunt for the next best place when it comes to beauty care in Vancouver, and these two spots have recently won me over, and I guarantee they will for you too.

1. 4 Angels Beauty Care – 1342 Burrard Street

4 Angels Beauty Care

Brow threading services at 4 Angels Beauty Care.

 

If gorgeous Bollywood brows a la Aishwarya Rai is what you’re after, then a visit to Vancouver’s 4 Angels Beauty Care is in order. This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it downtown gem at the base of Burrard Street (before the bridge) is co-owned by Navkiran “Kiran” Sokhi and Kulwinder Malhi, who have well over 15 years of esthetician experience between them. I always say how South Asian women always have the best brows, and Kiran and Kulwinder definitely bring their South Asian roots with traditional brow threading to their business. Plus they both have great brows themselves, which to me, is a good indicator of the level of expertise.

4 Angels Beauty Care

4 Angels Beauty Care co-owners Navkiran “Kiran” Sokhi and Kulwinder Malhi.

 

I had their divine brow treatment, and I was almost shocked at how good my brows looked afterwards. Kulwinder first went over exactly what she was going to do, along with tips on how to grow out my brows to eventually achieve the look I want. No surprises here, she threaded exactly what she said she would, and finished it off with some brow makeup (from their own in-house brand of makeup the ladies designed themselves). Every brow service includes a brow massage, but it was too tempting not to throw in an arm and hand massage as well, which was a relaxing way to end my visit at 4 Angels. They also offer a range of back massages, head massages, waxing and facials for those looking for a full-service visit. And gentlemen, there’s threading services for you too.

4 Angels Beauty Care

4 Angel Beauty Care’s Bollywood-inspired interiors.

 

My only negative is the extra time needed to get there and find parking, due to the current construction mess on the Burrard Bridge. But once inside, the level of service and attention at 4 Angels Beauty Care makes it all worth it.

2. Bare Wax Bar – 1828 W. 1st Ave.

Bare Wax Bar

Kitsilano’s Bare Wax Bar.

 

My Kitsilano neighbourhood is full of good-looking, fit people. I see them at the beach, getting coffee at 49th Parallel, or walking their dogs at the park near my apartment. You know what I’ve discovered these people have in common other than their yoga memberships? They all have a good wax place, and for many of them it’s Bare Wax Bar in Kitsilano. After hearing good things about Bare, I had to visit them myself, and was impressed by the down-to-earth vibe owner Kimmy has created, along with the affordable prices of their services, which includes waxing for BOTH men and women, threading, lash services and Dermalogica facials.

Bare Wax Bar

Bare Wax Bar’s founder and owner Kimmy.

 

I love how they breakdown all the different waxing services in a playful way, so you don’t feel embarrassed asking for what you need in your most intimate regions. Plus their chic, modern décor is also a bonus. For my last visit, I tried their facial from their esthetician Samantha. Samantha made sure I was comfortable and adhered the service to my specific needs, especially the massage portion, which I often find lacks the pressure I like. I may be only five feet but I am not a wimp, and Samantha understood that perfectly. So whether it’s your face or fuzz that needs some attention, Bare Wax Bar has got you covered.

Office Styling with I SEE NOISE PRINTS

I have been a long-time fan of Randa Salloum’s chic line of hand-made prints, I See Noise, since I first discovered them through reading her fashion blog The Unprecedented. I fell in love with her use of gold and silver foil, and how she mixed the elegant with the edgy; images of perfume bottles and lipstick go side-by-side with skulls and stag heads. Ask anyone who knows my home decorating style, and you’ll find out how much I love anything metallic with anything animal…antler horns, faux fur throws, give it to me! When my office area needed a bit of sprucing up, I just had to collaborate with Randa, and use the I See Noise Prints I was coveting. She recently came over to my home and helped me frame and style my prints, which turned into an amazingly fun day that was all captured by talented Vancouver photographer Ainsley Rose. Many know Ainsley from her elegant wedding photography, but she’s also worked with some familiar Vancouver faces through her lifestyle photo-shoots. Ainsley made us feel completely comfortable and captured some wonderfully candid moments during our office styling session.

Here’s a look at the gorgeous photos, starting from the beginning of our styling session to the end result, followed by some of my tips for styling your prints in your home:

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise Prints

Office Styling with I See Noise PrintsOffice Styling with I See Noise Prints*All photos by Ainsley Rose

Mana’s Print Styling Tips:

  1. Use unconventional frames for the prints. If the print is black and white, use a gold or silver or even a bright coloured frame to make it pop. No need to always match the frame to what’s inside of it.
  2. When styling your prints, use different levels for layering. Play with height and even depth for the objects you place behind or in front of the print.
  3. Placing frames on the ground, leaning up to walls is a great way to add character to a space without ruining walls. Great tip if you’re a renter!

STYLED IN: New Boutique Openings in Vancouver

It’s no doubt that Vancouver is on the verge of a fashion revival thanks in part to a long list of new retailers popping up in the city. In the last year alone, US heavyweights like Victoria Secret, Tory Burch, LOFT, and Marshalls have opened Vancouver locations, allowing a more diverse offering for Vancouver shoppers. But if big store brands or retailers aren’t your cup of tea, here’s a list of new boutique openings that favour a more exclusive, one-of-a-kind experience:

1. Max Mara ‘s Bridal Boutique, the first in North America (3025 Granville Street)

Max Mara Bridal Boutique

Inside Max Mara Vancouver’s bridal boutique. Photo by Viranlly Liemena.

 

Tucked away at the back of the new 3,850 square foot Max Mara Vancouver flagship location (previously the Windsor Gallery), the bridal boutique offers an intimate and personalized shopping experience that’s by appointment only. Up until now, brides looking for the iconic Italian brand’s wedding gowns had to fly to Europe, and even then, only to certain locations.

Max Mara Bridal Boutique

Holding one of Max Mara’s bridal gowns in their new Vancouver bridal boutique. Photo by Viranlly Liemena.

 

Today, Max Mara’s Vancouver bridal boutique offers 14 Giambattista Valli-designed gowns to choose from through a prêt-à-porter concept, meaning that all size runs of the gowns are kept in stock at the store, with in-house dressmakers doing custom-fit alternations in as little as one day. This way, no Max Mara bride has to wait months for her gown to arrive before a fitting.

Max Mara Bridal Boutique

Chic accessories at Max Mara’s Vancouver bridal boutique. Photo by Viranlly Liemena. 

Max Mara Bridal Boutique

A beautifully displayed Giambattista Valli- designed bridal gown stands at Max Mara’s Vancouver bridal boutique. Photo by Viranlly Liemena.

 

When touring the shop with Catherine Guadagnuolo, president of Vestis Fashion Group, who introduced Max Mara to the Vancouver market 30 years ago, I was taken by the luxurious fabrics like silk tulle, and the classic simplicity that the gowns offered, proving that head-to-toe beading and sequins aren’t always required for a glamorous wedding day ensemble. Where Max Mara offered sparkle was in their delicate accessories, such as tiaras, headpieces and veils. But perhaps the biggest surprise of my tour was discovering the price points; all the gowns range from about $2,500 to $4,000, a welcome notion when buying probably the most expensive purchase in your closet.

2. Judith and Charles West Fourth Avenue (2207 West 4th Ave.)

Judith and Charles West 4th

Judith and Charles West 4th. Photo by Hong Photography.

 

I’ve been a long-time fan of Judith and Charles, the Canadian womenswear brand that was founded in 2008 by duo, Judith Richardson and Charles Le Pierrès. What drew me to the brand and keeps me a fan today has always been their extremely well executed tailoring, and fresh approach to modern office attire. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear that Judith and Charles was opening a new location in my Kitsilano neighbourhood, their third in Vancouver, giving me a dangerous proximity to their gorgeous and timeless pieces like blazers, pencil skirts and day-to-night dresses.

Judith and Charles West 4th

Inside Judith and Charles’ new West 4th location. Photo by Hong Photography.

Judith and Charles West 4th

Beautifully displayed separates and sweaters line the shelves of Judith and Charles’ new West 4th boutique. Photo by Hong Photography.

 

I recently visited Judith and Charles’ new West Fourth location during their launch party, and was greeted by a much larger store, set against a clean white backdrop, carrying the brand’s full collection, including some much-coveted accessories. Read my full Judith and Charles’ experience on Vancity Buzz, in the meantime, here are some highlights from the launch:

Judith and Charles West 4th

My dear friend Kendra Hagerman of Curated Taste and I at Judith and Charles’ West 4th opening celebration. Photo by Hong Photography. 

Judith and Charles West 4th

A favourite breezy summer dress from Judith and Charles’ Spring/Summer 2014 collection. Photo by Hong Photography. 

Judith and Charles West 4th

Celebrating Judith and Charles’ West 4th opening with stylish sisters Lien and Andrea Yeung from The Soulcialite and talented men’s stylist and photographer Viranlly Liemena. Photo by Hong Photography.

 

3. Obviously Chic Pop Up Shop, Open until April 7 (At The Chinatown Experiment, 434 Columbia Street)

Obviously Chic Pop Up Shop

Inside Obviously Chic’s Vancouver Pop Up at The Chinatown Experiment.

 

An explosion of sparkle and girly gorgeousness has made its way into Vancouver’s Chinatown by way of online retailer Obviously Chic. Located at rotating shop space The Chinatown Experiment, Obviously Chic’s first Vancouver popup offers much of what shoppers have come to expect from its fun e-commerce site: shabby chic décor, statement necklaces, flirty tutus, and feminine pieces that beg for a night on the town with your closest girlfriends.

Obviously Chic Pop Up Shop

Lovely ladies modelling Obviously Chic’s girly and fun merchandise. 

Obviously Chic Pop Up Shop

Tutus, graphic tees and statement necklaces make up Obviously Chic’s must-visit Pop Up in Chinatown.

 

Owner and founder Jessica Cote began doing popups for her online store five years ago in her native Saskatchewan, and has still stuck to her original mandate of providing must-have pieces that are affordable…like seriously affordable, most items are under $100. But hurry, the Obviously Chic Vancouver pop up is only open until Monday, April 7 before taking its gems to the next lucky town.

Consider yourself, styled-in!