Best Facial 2015 | Leelou Salon and Spa | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

Wanna look like Christie Brinkley at 61 or Halle Berry at 48? Facials — lots and lots of facials — are the answer. Perfect skin doesn't come from over-the-counter creams, no matter what Big Cosmetics might want you to believe. To look firm and glowing into your later years, professional skincare is a must, and Leelou Salon and Spa is all about pampering your pretty face. Betsy, the resident facial queen, starts by analyzing your unique epidermis and adjusting as needed — because skin rarely stays the same. Try a $95 customized facial and lie back while she cleans, scrubs, extracts, masks, massages, and moisturizes your outer layer. Products and equipment are as fancy-pants as anything celebs use, and the private rooms have a spa-like vibe with soft lights and Zen tunes. You'll walk away feeling refreshed, relaxed, and, most important (particularly in Miami), ten years younger.

It's not a crime to want to look your best, particularly if it's a special occasion and there's a certain ex to impress. This is where the makeup-wielding wizards at Gee Beauty come in. Their signature "Red Carpet" service (for $60) includes 35 minutes with an artist who uses the company's beauty line to even out your skin tone, enhance your eyes, and contour better than a Kardashian. And by "better," we mean "more natural looking," because the mantra here is to emphasize each client's God-given attributes. It's why the "Secrets From the Chair" service ($125) is so great: For one hour, one of the friendly Gee gals teaches you her insider tips and tricks so you can be the pro. Then, two weeks later, you get to come in for a complementary followup where you apply your own makeup under their expert guidance. Plus, this Bal Harbour shop's beauty boutique and salon can shape and tint your brows and lashes ($20 to $35) to help round out your fabulous look.

Not many cities boast more options than Miami for a nip, a tuck, or whatever other bit of appearance-boosting magic you're looking for at the hands of a skilled surgeon. So where to get that boob job, chin lift, or butt enhancement? When talking about serious knife-work on your body, we suggest you start with "skill" as the first and really only criterion. That's why you'd be hard-pressed to find a better man for the job than Dr. Gabriel Salloum at the Miami Center for Plastic Surgery in the Design District. The center's decor is inviting and handsome, and so is the young surgeon himself, with a seductively smooth face and warm brown eyes that hint at your own aesthetic enhancements to come. More important, though, Salloum is a Vanderbilt honors grad who completed his residency at Miami Beach's Mount Sinai Medical Center and has fast earned a reputation for his techniques. For good reason, online reviews for the center rave about the professionalism, courtesy, and effectiveness of Salloum and his staff — the doctor with "gentle hands" who performed a "perfect" breast repair and provided "the nose that should have always been on my face." Consultations are typically free, and prices vary based on the procedure.

It's Saturday night, and you're on a blind date. Don't worry! It's going way better than expected. Laughter is flowing, the vibes are clicking — this thing is actually working! That's when the realization hits harder than a Tinder rejection: You forgot to shave. So much for any extracurricular activities after the bar. Listen up: There's no need for this horror story to play out in 2015. Laser hair removal has gone far beyond a craze and become a physical game-changer. Seven sessions at Ultima Med Spa is all it takes to extinguish stubborn hairs forever. If lasers zapping through your skin sounds like a painful operation, well, it usually is. But Dr. Rosa Mena works with cooling-tip technology on her lasers so you don't feel the burn. Prices vary according to the area you wish to tackle, but think of the procedure as a lifelong investment. After all, you'll never say no to another impromptu boat day or one-night stand. Thanks, science!

In an unassuming shopping center in Little Havana, a tiny salon holds just a handful of chairs. Opening the front door pauses all Spanglish conversations and starts some serious stares in the sudden pin-drop silence. Simply ask for Susana Rodriguez, a 40-something Cuban woman with short blond hair who works in platform stilettos at Franci Beauty Salon. Her English is minimal, but pointing and uttering "keratin" is all that's needed if you don't habla. Rodriguez has a loyal following among her daughter's friends and their parents, and for $150 (depending upon hair length and texture), she'll soak and treat your strands in chemicals, straighten them, and dry them. It's a three-hour process for long hair, and the fumes are barely breathable. When you exit, though, not even Miami's humidity will cause your newly glossed locks to frizz.

In a just world, $50 men's haircuts would be considered a lesser crime against humanity. Who really needs to sip champagne while sitting in a vintage Italian leather salon chair while listening to indie Muzak? Celebrity co-owners or clients are not a must. Gossip is optional. The only necessity, actually, is someone armed with a buzzer and scissors who knows what they're doing, and that's exactly what the Cutting Room guarantees. As the name suggests, it's a simple room where they cut hair, and the work they do in this room is done very well. It's a humble little shop located in a nondescript office building in North Bay Village with experienced employees who have been there for years. Yes, they offer other full-service salon services like pedicures, waxing, and keratin treatments, but the place has a quaint, down-to-earth vibe. There are no pretensions here, and you're not paying extra for them. A men's short buzzcut costs just $23, and a loyalty rewards system means the sixth cut is on the house after every five visits. They can pull off the latest trends with no problem if you like, but they're not trend-chasing. They use all-American products and regularly give back to the community. Trust us: If they don't offer it, your hair doesn't need it.

Readers' choice: RazzleDazzle Barbershop

Junior & Hatter

[Scene: An empty room with an old TV set.] Voiceover begins: "Are you feeling blue? Does your dull, lifeless hair have you feeling under the weather? Is your style missing a certain pizzazz? You need a haircut."

[Pan to a not-so-stylish person dressed in sweatpants about to enter Junior & Hatter]. "You've taken the plunge. You've decided it has been too long since your last haircut and you're ready for a change. Good for you!"

[Myrnelle Singh greets the newcomer.] "Oh, isn't she lovely? The first thing you'll notice when meeting Myrnelle is her smile, so infectious it's sure to make you feel as if tiny rays of sunshine are sprinkling over you. And the first thing you'll probably hear is the proper pronunciation of her name because you're likely saying it wrong. (It's pronounced mer-NEL.) You're in good, capable hands, Sweatpants."

[Sweatpants sits in the coveted black spinning chair in front of the mirror, ready to get some style]. "If there's one thing that comforts you at this point, Sweatpants, is the fact that Myrnelle has, beyond a reasonable doubt, fabulous hair. You want your hair to look like hers. Inspiration begins to shoot through you, and you want to be wild, you want to be adventuresome, you think you can pull off blue hair or a faux-hawk. Calm down, because you can't. One step at a time."

[Myrnelle snips and snips and twirls Sweatpants around until the customer becomes a different person]. "Voila! You've emerged a new, nearly unrecognizable person. You have style now. Your hair has pizzazz. You're ready to shed those sweatpants for a tasteful pantsuit. Go take a bite out of life, wild one — the world is ready to embrace the new you."

Getting your hair done in Miami can go one of two ways: Either you wind up looking like a younger version of Gloria Estefan no matter what you requested, or you find that perfect person who knows exactly what you want and always delivers. The team at Concept 5 Studio in Edgewater is definitely in the latter camp. Solange Sarria and Andino Andres are creative hair gods with their fingers on the pulse of what's trending in techniques, colors, and cuts. With an impressive portfolio of editorial and production work, they always deliver a look that's exactly like that photo you showed them, only better because it's customized to what works for you. And they do it at a price that doesn't require an Estefan-esque address on Star Island: Women's cuts start at $78, and men's start at $68. The studio's discreet location on the fifth floor of a condo is the perfect spot to sit back, enjoy the views, and await a new do.

Readers' choice: Contesta Rock Hair

Outsiders assume Miamians sport a sun-kissed glow because our city is bathed in sweet solar beams 320 days a year. But 305ers know the truth: Living in eternal summer is great, but who has the time to lie on the beach for hours every day? We do have jobs, you know. The airbrush-tan experts at Forever Tan deserve plenty of credit for keeping up our beach-look street cred. Miami's beauty-obsessed freaks get hyped up about the Brickell tanning salon because you won't find any skin-endangering UV tanning booths here, only sunless, all-natural, organic products. The process begins with a pH-balanced toner ($5) that's sprayed all over the body to prevent that orange Jersey Shore look and make your color last longer. After the toner has settled in, alcohol-and-preservative-free color comes next. There are several shades of tan to choose from, starting with clear — a colorless formula that darkens steadily over time and won't stain your clothes — to dark tropical, which provides an instant bronzed, Magic City feel. Full-body ($45), half-body ($25), and facial airbrush tanning ($10) sessions are available, as well as next-day touchups ($10). Regardless of your preference, you'll walk out the door looking like you just spent a week sippin' 'ritas on South Beach — minus the tan lines and while keeping your full-time job.

Readers' choice: Boca Tanning Club

For residents of a certified tropical paradise, Miamians sure live with a lot of daily stress. There's the omnipresent road rage, the pressure of trying to keep up with the nonstop partying, the constant battle to be beautiful, and the tough work of holding down a job to pay for that high-flying Miami lifestyle. It's enough to make you want to hit something. But before you do something dumb, put down that antique vase Aunt Fanny left you in her will. Go to SoBe Kick instead. There, you can take your aggressions out on heavy bags. Don't assume this is just a punching and kicking free-for-all (although that would work too). Some of Miami's best fitness instructors (with the sickest bodies) will show you the ropes in a series of drills that will leave you mentally and physically drained in a good way. Think of SoBe Kick as a cross between therapy (and around $100 a month, way cheaper) and one of Rocky Balboa's training montages. Who's got the eye of the tiger now, son?

Readers' choice: Fight Club Miami

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®