Caliente Adult Superstore
Photo courtesy of Caliente Adult Superstore

Listen, we understand. Lots of people hear the term "adult superstore" and feel the creepy-crawlies, imagining weirdos in trench coats stroking their mustaches and lurking around dark corners. But you're about as likely to see that scene at Caliente Adult Superstore as you are to find a doctor prescribing leeches at Jackson Memorial Hospital. At this huge, sparkling-clean shop in Hialeah, the customers look like the folks you'd see walking around Dadeland Mall on a weekend afternoon. The store setup is simple and easy to navigate. You've got sexy undergarments to your left, some DVDs to your right, and all the toys you can dream up in the middle. The staff is friendly and willing to help answer even your silliest question without judgment. Plus, with its strategic location between some anonymous warehouses, Caliente is perfectly placed for a clandestine visit. There's no need for a billowing trench coat — unless, you know, you're into that kind of thing.

Razor's Edge is the definition of a Miami neighborhood barbershop. That means regulars, lots of bull sessions, and good people. Jose Burgos and Yami Aguila, two of the barbers, are Cuban, fun, and know how to make you comfortable. The new guy is Manny Verde, also Cuban and also talented. They are also very good at any kind of trim. The price for a regular haircut is $17. And if you want a pedicure or a manicure, you can get those too. OK, so the place is in a strip mall between a dollar store and a pool store. This is Miami, remember — everything is in a strip mall. Hell, that makes parking a breeze. And the neighbors will all get to check out your new do.

Readers' choice: Golden Touch Haircuts & Shaves

Elle Air Blow Dry + Makeup Bar
Photo by Cedric Killings

You need an extra spark in your step. Your options: a third cafecito of the morning, an excruciatingly cold shower, or — our personal favorite — getting your makeup professionally done. Not only will you emerge feeling like a million bucks (minus the Cuban-coffee jitters), but also the application lasts three times longer. If you have a special event coming up, it's even worthier of the splurge. At Elle Air — a stylish shop on Harding Avenue in Surfside — customers can choose between full-face makeup applications (for $50) or eye makeup only ($25) , a distinction that not every salon offers. It's also a one-stop shop: It also provides hairstyling services and treatments (from $28 to more than $275), including highlights, keratin treatments, and spotlights. Elle Air is intimate in the best way, staffed with courteous and accommodating experts working at a local business where the needs of the customer come first and last. Forget about that cold shower. Grab a seat in one of the plush white chairs at Elle Air, and let your stylist do the rest.

Anastasia Molchanov Salon

Living in Miami has so many benefits: the warm sun, the sandy beaches, the ocean waves, the pristine hotel pools. Of course, those are the very same things that also fry your hair into a massive, out-of-control frizzball. If you feel like a cross between Bozo the Clown's insane secret twin or suddenly wake up to find a family of squirrels nesting in your coif, don't panic. Just call Alexia. A vintage-loving, tattooed version of a Disney princess, this wonder woman will turn even the freakiest, most damaged hair into something runway-ready. If you want to go bold, she'll totally give your hair that purple ombre look you want, but if you simply don't want to be mistaken for a homeless poodle, she'll do that too. In fact, Alexia does it all — keratin, color, cuts — all while you sip Nespresso in a convivial salon that's sort of a hip, modern-day version of Dolly Parton's hair palace in Steel Magnolias.

Getting the hippest hairdo doesn't always mean straying into the hipster-approved shop in the trendiest part of town. In fact, going that route can often leave you saddled with a cooler-than-cool stylist who wants to dye your locks like a My Little Pony character or snip your strands into an angular Sprockets-worthy creation. Instead, head to the comfort and sleek classiness of Bellezza Spa in the South Miami burbs. This salon has been a staple for 27 years for good reason. Its experienced hairdressers can style your hair as fashionable or as simple as you want, with men's cuts starting at $35 and women's haircut and styling for $75. There's even a little clothing store in the salon stocked with designer duds to keep your look as fresh as a South Beach breeze. Bellezza's in-house spa — offering simple peel treatments for $50 and more cutting-edge procedures like an oxygenating facial for $165 — ensures your glowing skin and painted nails outshine Ocean Drive's neon lights.

Readers' choice: Avant-Garde Salon & Spa

The Standard Spa, Miami Beach
Adrian Gaut/The Standard Spa

The word "spa" conjures images of soft meditation sounds, whooshing waterfalls, and, oddly enough, that old Mattress Giant commercial ("If you're looking for that ooh-ahh feel!"). At the Standard Spa, you'll get all of that plus your ooh-ahh feels and so much more. When you walk into the classic Belle Isle hotel, an immense sense of serenity hits you. The tranquil views of Biscayne Bay are so calming that you might forget why you're there. Oh, the spa, that's right! The whole setup is like stepping into a time warp — vibrant colors, marble backdrops, and all sorts of strange, vintage-inspired lighting. Weekdays, $80 gets you into the spa, where a steam room, warming hamam, and dry sauna await to wring the stress from your body. (That price goes up to $160 Friday through Sunday.) The Standard also offers individual services, including massages (get a bone-melting Hurts So Good 60-minute one for $175), manis (go for the Worshiped Hands for $45), pedis (Worshiped Feet runs $75), and facials (choose from more than 20 options, starting at $165). Expect to leave revived and totally refreshed. Ooh-ahh.

Readers' choice: The Standard Spa Miami Beach

Agua Spa
Courtesy of Carma PR

Miami in the '90s was a paradisiacal mélange of 19-year-old models dwarfed on a dirty Washington Avenue by six-foot-tall drag queens, all eclipsed by oddball megastars like Dennis Hopper and Madonna prancing around the scene. At the epicenter of that gritty glamour was the Delano Hotel. Twenty years later, the gorgeous white edifice with the Alice in Wonderland aesthetic remains a big box of beautiful secrets and fun just waiting to happen. Since all things '90s are back, head upstairs to Agua at the Delano for a pristine and memorable spa treatment that will leave you with the glow of a guy or gal ready to hit the SoBe clubs for the first time. This rooftop refuge is as white as the lobby and overlooks the soft waves of the Atlantic. If you're in from out of town, you'll appreciate the seaweed sunburn-relief facial, and for those who just can't say no, there's a red-wine facial to shed off those years. A basic facial for men starts at $165 for a 60-minute treatment, while a sea-calming treatment for women starts at $175 (with a recommended $40 booster to replenish the skin). At Agua, you can leave looking like you had work done without going under the knife and without saying goodbye to true minimalist luxury.

Vanity Projects
Zack Balber

Kro Vargas, better known by her Instagram handle @Krocaine, is a nail artist in the truest sense of the word. Stick out your cuticles, fork over $70 to $180, and holler, "Kro, do whatever you want." She'll slather your fingertips in a psychedelic collage: a pixelated yin-yang, twinkling-heart pupil, and a fat blunt leading into pink smoke. And those are just a few of her freestyles on shorter nails. Kro, who was born and raised in Miami, began working at Vanity Projects in June 2015. Her love of nail art started young, when she was maybe 5 or 6 years old, while visiting her grandma in Queens and painted her nails for the first time. She tinted them a dark blue, which got her in trouble with her traditional grandma, and topped each one off with a white daisy. Nowadays, she has gone full Monet. On larger nail canvases or when she uses acrylics, nails become mosaics. She has reinterpreted Joan Miró's Women and Birds at Sunrise and paid tribute to Sailor Moon and her doting cat Artemis. Kro knows how to play with highs and lows surrounding nail culture, but no matter what, she always makes sure you're left slaying.

Sobe Tan by Fabiola
Courtesy of Sobe Tan by Fabiola

It's one of the great ironies of life in Miami: In one of the sunniest cities in America, flanked by the sexiest beaches on Earth, many locals either have no time to soak up rays or are concerned enough about skin cancer to slather on the SPF 70 whenever they hit South Beach. "But wait!" you say. "Everyone I see here has perfectly bronzed tans!" Touché, dear reader. That's where an advanced technique known to modern scientists as a "spray tan" comes into play. It's not a procedure without risks: Go to the wrong place, and you'll wind up Trump-colored. Sad! Fortunately, the trained spray-tan artists at Sobe Tan by Fabiola ensure you always walk out the exact shade you requested. Want just a hint of color? That's precisely what you'll get. Hoping to walk out a vibrant mahogany? All good! After all, Fabiola has misted the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. Prices range from $30 to $70, and the friendly and professional staff will tell you how to make your tan last as long as possible. Appointments can be booked online and are quick and painless. Miamians may be living a great lie that we spend our days tanning to a perfect shade, but Fabiola's services are the truth.

Readers' choice: Boca Tanning Club

In a few short years, the beard has gone from lumbersexual fad to completely acceptable for professional settings and even a sure-fire way to impress the fairer sex. However, for most men, it's beyond just a trend. Those hirsute cheeks are an easy way to forgo the constant need to shave every day and suffer the dreaded razor burn. Still, growing a beard comes with its own hygienic requirements, lest you end up with a wiry mess of facial hair and flaky skin that's neither sexy nor fashionable. That's where Gentlemanly Inc. comes in. This Wynwood grooming-products startup has been pushing its $20 beard oil around the neighborhood at places such as the monthly Miami Flea. Gentlemanly's oil comes in four varieties: the Houndstooth, the Pinstripe, the Paisley, and the Plaid. The Plaid, made with spearmint, lemongrass, and eucalyptus, leaves an invigorating scent first thing in the morning and can easily replace the use of any overwhelming cologne that will have you smelling more papi chulo than fine young gentleman. The oils help moisturize both the hair and the skin underneath, and a quick comb through will ensure the oil is evenly distributed. The price is also a bargain, considering most beard oils go for $50 to $75 online and are often hard to find in local stores. In addition to being sold at the Miami Flea, Gentlemanly Inc. pops up at Wood Tavern's Sunday Backyard Boogie and the nearby Nurbana 305 boutique.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®