City Guide: Los Angeles, USA
FLY: Emirates Direct Dubai to Los Angeles
If there’s one thing I usually invest in when I travel, it’s the flight. My personal opinion is that if you have a comfortable flight, you arrive happy and energized. I’ve had bad trips due to bad flights in the past. Luckily for us, Emirates flies daily to and from Los Angeles via the A380. I took a direct flight, got to catch up with work using wifi in the air, catch up on the new movies on the flight, eat some good food (Emirates make some of the best food) and there’s also a shower on flight!
There has been such a buzz around Society Salon in LA, I had to try it out. First of any kind in the city, I met and had my hair done by co-founder, Sam DiVine when I was in town. Based in Melrose, the super cool looking and minimal members-only salon concept is genius (and we kind of need that in Dubai stat.) Clients can buy memberships to get unlimited services of the program they’ve chosen in regards to blow outs, highlights, single-process color and haircuts – the social, the standard and the signature. Imagine how I pay for a gym membership, this is the same except in a salon version. I came in for a blowout – after getting a wash (Society salon use Wella and Shu Uemura products), I got a quick blowout, and left with some body and volume. For the ladies in LA, you need to get yourself a membership. Sam, I look forward to seeing a branch in Dubai soon!
NAILS: Olive + June
If you’re looking for the city’s chicest nail bar, this is it. Based in Beverly Hills, little Santa Monica and designed by the same people behind boutique TenOverSix, Olive + June is so cute. Flowers all around, cool retro furniture and a beautiful nail polish stand featuring a wide range of polishes from Essie, OPI, NARS, RGB and CND. As soon as I entered, I was asked to fill out a form saying exactly how I want my nails, cuticles as well as my massage’s pressure points. The lovely Eleni took care of me, and gave me a June manicure & Margot Pedicure (all the names are named after the girls in the owner, Sarah Gibson Tuttle’s life (who comes from a Wall Street background). Whether it’s a quick mani, pampering session or some nail art accents, this is one to add to your list. PS The Margot is an all-organic mani.
JAPANESE MANICURE: Mars Salon
Hands down, this was my favorite manicure in Los Angeles. A Japanese salon with their other main branch in Tokyo – this salon is pure luxury. Calm and relaxing, the whole space is white and spacious – on Melrose Avenue. I was booked for a gel manicure (which is slightly different, and more long lasting to a gelish or shellac). My manicure took place in a private room with a comfortable luxurious leather sofa chair, my own TV, a table and a compartment for my handbag. An incredible Japanese manicure, you can tell the therapists (mine was the lovely, Ayumi) have been through rigorous training. My manicure lasted over two weeks, and highly recommend this for an incredible manicure as well as a pampering experience. True Japanese hospitality.
For my favorite nail salon chain, it would have to be Bellacures. With several chains around the city, I went to the one on North Robertson in Beverly Hills. A bit of a wait time, even though I had a booking but perfect service and experience all in all. I fell in love with the chairs that have compartments for shoes & bags (if only all of them had that feature!). It’s also super clean and hygienic (they don’t use basins, but rather bowls). I came in for a Walnut pedicure – which was USD40, and included a gorgeous scrub, which was a mix of walnut and sweet almond. A really good pedicure with the traditional file, cuticle work and cleaning before getting polished and being finished off with a deep massage on my calves – they use a range of brands such as Essie, CND, and OPI to name a few. One of the best in LA, that keeps in line with Dubai’s mani/pedi service, Sophia Amoruso is also a regular!
BLOWDRY BAR: Drybar
This is the original blow dry bar and if you’re in the US period, you need to check out one of their locations. One of the cutest blow dry bars/hair salon I have ever stepped into (and they also have their own range of products!). They have a cute yellow theme going on, and marble bars to go with that. It’s all very simple – you come in, you meet your stylist, you choose your style from the menu, get in for a wash – before getting your blow out. Chick flicks on the TV, fun music and refreshments, it’s also the perfect girl’s day out. I booked an appointment at the Marina Del Rey branch, but they do have locations in a ton of places, so it’s pretty convenient.
BARRE: Barre belle
I’m a barre babe, so when I read that Kate Hudson loves this place for her barre workouts, as well as my friend and blogger, Geri Hirsch – I made sure to book in for a class. Located on North La Brea, the studio is a gorgeous minimal space. I took a class taught by the owner and inspiration, Marnie Alton for a full sculpting barre workout. Coming from a dance background and 10 years of teaching Barre, Marnie has such a fun energy, yet still pushes you to challenge yourself to leave with sculpted muscles. Throughout the class, Marnie made sure to motivate everyone (it’s always an extra plus when the instructor speaks to students by their name), and fixes the techniques to make the most out of your barre class. She currently has amazing packages, that I doubt would stay there for too long.
AERIAL: Air aerial yoga
I made sure to hunt for an Aerial class in the city, I checked out Air’s West Hollywood Studio – that have locations around the country. If you haven’t tried Aerial yoga, it’s all over the place right now and definitely a fitness trend that’s going to stay, and only going to expand (we need more in Dubai!). Based in West Hollywood, the studio is straight to the point, one room for everything. The workout incorporates yoga, barre, and pilates on aerial silk hammocks (which I prefer to suspensions because it doesn’t actually hurt or burn the skin) . The class was tougher than other Aerial classes I’ve taken, but expect to learn tricks faster, as well as a good workout. If you haven’t done Aerial before, book in for a foundation class before the classes as the class does move very fast. A great way to strengthen, work out the core, build lean muscle as well as getting a good stretch and increase your flexibility.
CELEBRITY WORKOUT : Body by Simone
If you’d like to spot some celebrities and get a good workout, make sure to book a class at Body by Simone. Started up by celebrity trainer, Simone De La Rue who comes from a ballet and broadway background – created her famous workout method called Body by Simone, which is a mix of dance cardio, yoga and pilates. They have different classes at the studio, including dance cardio. I took a hips, thighs and bums class with Nicole (I spotted Emmy Possum and Rashida Jones in my class!). The class was intense, yet incredible – a tough workout with no weights (expect to sweat!). The hour targeted sculpting workouts using resistance bands, gliders and a mat. Perfect if you like that lean dancer’s body!
BALLET BODY: Physique57
You might be familiar with Physique57, as we now have it in Dubai. It’s a US homegrown method, so I always make sure to book in for a class when I’m in the states. Only having been to the one in NYC, I booked at the Beverly Hills location with Mandy and Renee. You won’t know a barre burn till your legs shake at P57 – imagine 57 minutes of sprinting to define and sculpt the body starting from arms, moving on to thighs, seats and abs. Look out for my review on the Dubai location. If you’re in LA, make sure to book in there as it’s quite a gorgeous location and you can’t get better than their US instructors.
-Grab a coffee at Alfred coffee – and make sure to pick their fun sleeves & personalize it.
-Have breakfast at Joan’s on third, or a mid afternoon salad.
-Lunch at Urth Cafe, with a side of coffee.
-Instead of Nobu or Katsuya, have dinner at Koi.
-Shop at Fred Segal & Planet blue.