Best Botanica 2011 | Botanica Yemaya & Chango | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Once upon a time, about 15 years ago, a young boy in a Pokemon T-shirt astounded those who came to have their fortunes told with his soothsaying abilities. The boy is all grown up now, and they still come from all over the city to have their futures divined in the seashells he tosses in the back storage room. But they also come for the extensive selection of merchandise: religious figurines, candles, potions, fresh herbs, ground egg shells, books for divination, and white shirts, pants, jackets, and hats (including kids' sizes) for that Santería ceremony you and the family plan to attend next week. This is truly one-stop shopping for all of your spiritual needs.
In a city where looking good is the norm and staying connected a necessity, the least a girl can do is keep her nails nicely done while multitasking. At NailBar & Beauty Lounge — a loft-like, minimalist space with comfy white pedicure chairs, iPod docks, and back massagers — a girl doesn't have to disconnect. While a nail technician trims your cuticles and rubs your feet with a fruit-scented scrub, sip champagne and catch up on the news — or Facebook — on one of the salon's iPads. Plus NailBar applies gel polish that will last your entire summer vacation. OK, maybe not, but it will last longer than your average manicure and pedicure. Nail treatments here don't come cheap — a mani-pedi combo will set you back $55 — but it's the price you pay for pampering and pretty nails and toes while multitasking.

Best Place to Get Your Nails Shellacked

DK Nails

We know you sometimes have issues with those Asian nail salons, but this one is worth visiting if you're in the market for a good shellacking. No, that's not a nickname for some kind of Middle Eastern torture. Sheesh. It's a type of polish and treatment that makes manicures last about two weeks without a chip. DK is the number one place to go because not only does it carry at least 50 shades and four brands, but also there's always a manicurist available to treat your claws with care. The place is open seven days a week, and walk-ins are welcome, so your life can now be nail-drama free. DK is clean, doesn't smell like chemicals, charges $30 for a mani, and even has ample metered parking. You're welcome.
Editor's note: A previous version of this item used phrases from a review. The item has been rewritten to remove the wording.

Nicole "Nikki" Gravitt wields her scissors and blow dryer like a pixie spreading magic dust with her wand through an enchanted realm. The petite, ginger-haired Tampa native is one of Miami's most sought-out hairstylists. She can credit her disarming smile, casual demeanor, and remarkable work ethic. Gravitt learned the mastery of hair color under the tutelege of Brickell's cutting-edge Toni & Guy Hairdressing. And she mastered hair cutting by attending weeklong Vidal Sassoon boot camps. "It's pretty intense," she says. "You do one model after another." Customers also find it easy coming back because of her bubbly, easy-going personality. And she's not pushy about up-selling hair products and services, either. You will find Gravitt at Anastasia Mochanov, an eclectic salon on the second floor of a MiMo-style building at NE 72nd Street and Biscayne Boulevard. The salon is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., but you can request after-hours appointments.
OK, fine. Hello Kitty, appletinis, maxi pads, Lifetime movies, and wallpapering your home in Cathy comic strips are all things that are gag-worthy femme. But what if a gal wants to knock it down a notch and just be terribly girly? Well, Wynwood's Terribly Girly, a funky little photography studio that looks like a colorful mess of cool-chick chic, will support that desire like a great strapless bra. That's because the all-pussy-processing posse at TG specializes in pin-up portraits that will transform you from a Hialeah hottie into a straight-up boudoir bombshell. Start with a vintage makeover by a glam squad that consists of a makeup artist extraordinaire, a stylist who moonlights as a burlesque costume designer and performer (Aurora Natrix of Shameless Burlesque), and a hair sculptress who will finger-wave you into one fabulous female. Then end with a photography session with tattooed cutie, owner, and de facto leader Janette Valentine, who will snap and edit photos that are sure to flaunt your natural beauty. Or, at the very least, serve as some bad-ass profile pictures for your account.
Lenny Roudner deserves to have an image of his face next to the word precision in the dictionary. The Aussie doctor has performed more than 13,000 breast augmentations. No wonder he's been dubbed "Dr. Boobner." He has enhanced the racks of celebrities, centerfolds, socialites, and porn stars from Coral Gables to the Far East. He is the master who innovated the method of making an incision through the nipple area and under the muscle, as opposed to the usual practice of cutting under the breast. And having felt a few here and there over the past decade, we can attest to the soft, spectacular authenticity of Roudner-enhanced breasts.
What's better than a shop where you can buy purple wigs and feathered fake eyelashes? Well, a shop where you can buy purple wigs, feathered fake eyelashes, and anal beads, of course! Ricky's NYC stocks lots of hard-to-find hair products, novelty items, and cosmetics on its main floor. You can bring your grandmother and let her get lost in the selection of gray-covering hair dyes. Meanwhile, sneak up to the secret second floor and slip through the glittery curtain, you devilish sex fiend! There you will find dildos, vibrators, sex games, cock rings, edible underwear, flavored lube, and many other great items to shove into your orifices. The only trick now is to zip back down and check out before Granny waddles up behind you at the counter. "Sonny, what are you buying? That balloon is shaped like a lady!" Awkward!
Imagine our surprise when we discovered our "ultimate facial" began at our feet. Oh, yeah. We were escorted out to a sun-soaked balcony, treated to a cup of tea, and asked to plant our tootsies in a warm tub where — get this — the therapist got down on her knees and scrubbed us toe-to-knee and then rinsed our legs with water from a pitcher. Already relaxed, we were led inside, where we reclined on a soft, heated bed as our new best friend massaged our face with what seemed like a hundred delicious potions, including a caviar-based product and a sheet of marine proteins. The most wonderful part: none of those painful extractions that make us break out the next day. After some of the creams were smoothed on, we were treated to a foot massage and warming booties while our hands were doted on next. The whole experience lasted a blissful 90 minutes, and we'd gladly take 90 more.
The act of eyebrow threading is an odd and ancient one. First you choose the color thread — gold, magenta, white (Vogue claims fluorescent green and nude are all the rage this season) — and hand it to your threading technician, who, while you were making your color selection, was purifying a large needle for this holy act by chanting in Sanskrit, doing ballet squats, and wearing a shredded snakeskin braided with a banana peel on top of her head. After the tech has gotten the green light from Fabricala — the Goddess of Fabric — she shaves off your natural eyebrows, takes the purified threading needle, jams it into your forehead, and weaves you new brows. OK, not really, but taking a piece of thread, sticking the middle of it into the mouth, and weaving the rest of the thread through the fingers to create a triangle that plucks multiple hairs from the brow makes some people's imaginations run wild. Popular among Arabic cultures, the process takes a little longer than waxing, but the results are much more precise and there's no risk of burning, scarring, or hyperpigmentation. Blush Nail Lounge & Boutique — a girly, 1920s-inspired SoBe salon — does your face right for just $30 (that's 15 bucks a brow!). Take a seat at the back of the shop, close your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes, and open them to natural-looking, well-groomed eyebrows that complement the shape of your face. Just make sure to show your gratitude by tipping your threader — and leaving a banana peel for Fabricala.
That ruffled, I'm-too-busy-creating-art-to-care-about-my-hair look is harder to maintain than you think. And that bleached-out, blunt-edge cut that peeks out from a wide-brimmed fedora takes more than one drunken night ending with broken scissors, empty Clorox bottles, and a hairy bathroom floor. A more likely explanation for such a do is the small, spartan shop tucked between a graffiti mural and Jamaican patty shop where stylists live second lives as professional skateboarders, musicians, Back Door Bamby burlesque dancers, and illustrators. The shop itself is a double agent: During the day, it's a state-of-the-art, pristine salon stocked with Sebastian products and color treatments. At night, it turns into a "saloon," hosting art parties that often feature open bars, live painting, and local DJs. You'll want to show up incognito yourself — sporting nighttime sunglasses, a mysterious trench coat, and, most important, a fresh new cut.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®