A recent survey conducted at a weekly work meeting revealed that watch popularity has decreased dramatically with the advent of cell phones and other digital time-displaying gadgets. But there's just something classy about wearing a watch. It doesn't have to be flashy or encrusted with diamonds to make a statement about the wearer. Just the simple act of watch-wearing reveals an intentional awareness, and watches can often be a symbolic gift from a wife to a husband for an anniversary or from a parent to a child for a birthday. The unfortunate thing is, these symbolic gifts eventually stop on you. Batteries give out, intricate mechanisms get frazzled, spring winders get unwound. That's when you need to take your precious cargo to London Watch.Tucked away in a retro turquoise and cream-color strip mall that time forgot, this little store keeps on ticking. London Watch is a family-owned business, a tiny jewelry store that seems like it should have closed in the Seventies. And it's not alone; this entire strip mall is a delightful relic, filled with quirky tea shops, overflowing Asian trinket stores, and dim Colombian restaurants. The store is filled with timepieces, leaning heavily toward silver- and gold-banded wristwatches, with some pendulum swinging wall clocks that reveal true craftsmanship. You hand two busted timepieces over to the wizened abuela with the round, owlish eyes. "Quince minutos," she says — fifteen minutesbefore opening the back of the device with aged but nimble hands. Fifteen minutes is enough to browse the shiny contents of the store's many display cases and then wander over to Smoothie King for a Cherry Picker. By the time you return, smoothie cup in hand, your watches have been repaired. "That will be $10," says abuela's daughter, a woman with bifocals and a soft, quiet demeanor.
For 28 years now GBS the Beauty Store has been making South Florida women look and feel beautiful. The Bern family purchased its first location in 1979, naming it Gables Beauty Store. The chain has thrived by continually evolving and upgrading. GBS stocks its shelves with high-end skin-care, makeup, and hair supplies from companies that make the beauty product-obsessed go weak in the knees: Ahava, Borba, Phyto, Deva Curl, Hairuwear extensions ... it's all here, and at competitive prices. In addition to selling an incredible variety of beauty products, GBS is a full-service hair salon where customers can get their hair cut and styled by experts using top-of-the-line products. To educate customers about how to use these fancy products, stores host regular events that always involve complimentary treatments. From Pinecrest to Aventura, GBS fulfills any product junkie's needs.
Brownes & Co. Apothecary
When considering the development behind most of the cosmetic offerings at Brownes & Co., imagine a legion of fit European scientists in immaculate white lab coats and wire-rimmed spectacles, grinding up rare Amazonian flowers with a mortar and pestle, adding a tincture of concentrated Arctic cloudberries, and testing their concoctions by swabbing the cheeks of dewy-skinned Ingrid Bergman look-alikes. Then use that image to justify the $75 you just spent on a small vessel of Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion in a Jar. The actual beauty benefits of quince day cream ($30.50) might be questionable, but nobody can doubt the consumer satisfaction of stocking your medicine cabinet with lotions and serums that make you feel pretty. This wood-floor emporium offers a lot of substances in jars with ornate labels imported from Europe: Diptyque perfumes ($95), Nars lip gloss ($23), Mario Badescu suntan milk ($14), Marvis jasmine toothpaste ($10.50). And if you're tired of looking at pricey ointments, head upstairs for a manicure in the salon or a massage at the spa. Bring the kids along, too, because there's a yoga class for them ($12) on Thursdays at 4:30 p.m. in the yoga room.
Drop your pants and spread your legs. Don't worry, you're not being subjected to a cavity search, you're getting a bikini wax. Yes, it might be painful, but the silky-smooth result is so worth it — granted you go to the best in the biz. When it comes to handling your private bits, the ladies at Personal Touch have a, um, personal touch. With at least five years of experience each, the depilatory specialists wax those hard-to-reach spots without making you feel like you're in a medieval torture chamber. They're quick too; a full bikini job usually doesn't take longer than twenty minutes. While some other spas rely only on harsher honey wax, Personal Touch uses a gentle mineral wax that doesn't irritate skin. You can rest assured knowing that not only are you in good hands, but also the consultants at Personal Touch consider cleanliness a top priority: They don't recycle wax, they wear gloves, and they always use new application sticks. And they also understand that although beauty might be painful, it doesn't have to hurt your wallet: A bikini line wax is $15 for women, $28 for men; and a full bikini (everything) is $26 to $28 for women, $38 to $42 for men.
Let's face it: Plucking is a chore. When to stopç How much is too muchç How little is too little (i.e., the "gorilla look")ç Well-groomed eyebrows are essential, no matter what age you are — and they're best left to a pro. It's a bonus to find a waxing professional who is charming, unpretentious, and, most of all, gentle. One like Josefina at Meduhr. She's a sweet woman with a little boy and an infectious smile. She will guide you painlessly through the waxing process, spreading warm, gooey, pink wax on you (it looks a little like bubblegum but doesn't have an obnoxious smell). After a second or two, ZIP! She quickly lifts the wax and the offending hairs from your face. No redness. Unibrow gone. Instant face-lift. Josefina and the other waxing experts at Meduhr also battle hair on backs, chests, legs, upper lips, and, of course, private areas, for both women and men. Eyebrows cost $15, full leg hair (including toes) is $35. Pedis, manis, and Havaiana flip-flops are also available, so you can show off other parts of your fuzz-free body.
The Shops at Sunset Place
Ah, the mall manicurist. These one-stop-beauty outlets are meant to provide respite for women whose feet ache from shopping all day long. But more often, getting your nails done at the commercial mega-mecca can be drama. It's like these stores share the same basic formula. All-white décor, stations crammed as close together as possible. Hand-shape chairs with red fingernails optional. The standard mall manicurist is usually jam-packed on a Saturday, every massage chair and foot spa is occupied, the workers are disgruntled, and the waiting area is full. Ladies who have been shopping all day deserve better than that. We prefer to avoid these establishments and head straight to Pinkies. The cute corner store is refreshingly feminine, professional, and classy. Instead of hand-shape chairs, there is plush, soft seating. The place is open seven days a week, walk-ins usually don't have to wait long, and your pedicure ($23 for ladies, $25 for men) will make you feel ready to shop anew.
Your face is as pock-marked as the moon's surface; your nails look like a homeless person's; the skin on your legs is hidden under a blanket of fuzz. You vaguely recall a time when you had two eyebrows (not one long one); your armpits need a weed-whacker; and a Boeing 747 could use your roots as a landing strip. And your lady-ness is now the size of a Super Wal-Mart parking lot. Sure, you could spend three consecutive days shuffling between the salon, nail technician's, waxing studio, and spa. Or you could head to Millenium. This family-run place offers ladies (and gents) an array of primping options, including manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, plucking, and hairstyling. Prices are competitive ($25 for a Brazilian bikini wax, $25 to $30 for a pedicure), and the friendly staff — most of whom are Colombian and hail from the same family tree — are always polite, respectful, and competent. If you've never had someone incompetent pour scalding wax over your nether regions and then repeatedly yank at a five-square-inch tuft of your prized garden amid your shrieks of terror, then consider yourself lucky. The rest of us understand, and appreciate professionalism in this delicate arena. Rest assured, you'll find that and a lot more at Millenium.
At this moment you have approximately four to twelve pounds of shit in your colon. So in addition to feeling bloated, lethargic, and gassy, you're walking around with two shopping bags full of feces. Isn't that sexyç Have no fear. Suzy Herzfeld at Feel the Heal has just the thing for that little problem. Her colon hydrotherapy treatments are 45 minutes of a tube up your derri?re while water is repeatedly forced into and out of your body ($85 for a single session; $300 for four; $700 for ten). Although this might sound like 45 minutes of hell, Suzy's gentle bedside manner and super-zen spa make this start-with-the-rear process easy to bear. She cheers you on the entire time, cooing "awesome" and "good job" while you lie face up on one of her heated beds, passing last year's lunch with a sarong draped loosely around your waist. Suzy's depth of knowledge of colon health and her down-to-earth approach definitely make you feel at ease. Then there's the wide-ranging collection of DVDs — you can giggle at Napoleon Dynamite while you, um, dump. And when you're all done and feeling like a million bucks, she sends you off with a clove of pickled garlic, a tasty continuation of your much-needed cleanse.
Big Wash
Laundry is hell for those who don't have their own machines. Where to do it is often dictated by one of three things: price, location, and cleanliness. Big Wash has two of the three, hands down. It's cheap and clean. Don't let the fact that it's in the heart of Liberty City bother you — laundry knows no race, color, or creed. Once inside Big Wash, you're among the sisterhood (and brotherhood) of Folks Who Don't Have Washing Machines. Big Wash doesn't take coins, so you don't have to dig out those quarters from between the couch cushions. Put a dollar or five into a machine, it spits a card back at you, and voila! You can pay for your suds, your dryer, and your soda, all without cash. Big Wash also runs cool little promotions: Buy a box of soap with a green sticker attached, you get a turkey! Or a TV! If you hit Big Wash on certain days of the week, there are specials on specific machines, such as $1.49 for one load in a 25-pound capacity machine. Regular-size dryers are always 33 cents for ten minutes. The place is clean, the bathrooms are clean, there's Dr. Pepper in the vending machine, and there's a Subway next door. TV sets show a variety of sporting and entertainment shows. There isn't much conversation among patrons, but who caresç You're there to get clean, not make friends.
A good tailor shop is only as good as its tailor, and in this case, that's Basil Graham. Meticulous as he is professional, Graham makes an impression from the second you walk in his shop. Don't expect him to chat casually, because he's serious about his craft. He'll scrutinize every inch of fabric, every stitch and cut. Since 1989, Basil has produced custom suits, pants, shirts, and altered garments. The price depends on the material and complexity of the work, but a simple pant hem starts at $18 and a custom suit at $1000. Basil won't take the easy route when altering a garment. He'll make certain the fit is right, even if it means taking apart every seam. It won't be cheap, but when you want an article of clothing to fit like it was molded just for you, Basil is the man to do it. And he plans to open a second shop later this year.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®