Best Facial 2016 | Agua at the Delano | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
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.

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.

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.

When it comes to obtaining the perfect breasts, who wouldn't feel comfortable under the care of Dr. Leonard Roudner. Under the excellent moniker "Dr. Boobner" has been enhancing Miami's tatas with great results for 27 years. And after 18,000 procedures and countless success stories, it's fair to conclude he possesses "the gift." Originally from Australia, Dr. Lenny is a University of Melbourne Medical School grad who completed residencies at Miami Beach's Mount Sinai Medical Center and Loyola & Affiliate Hospitals in Chicago. In 1989, he established the Aesthetic Surgery Center in Coral Gables, where he has been practicing since. His aesthetic eye and skilled hands — along with a slick office, friendly staff, and the latest techniques — attract customers from around the world. For the paparazzi-plagued crowd, he even offers patients a private postsurgery exit from his clinic. Dr. Lenny's patients have been featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Penthouse, and all of the major fashion mags, including Vogue and Allure. Consultations are free, but prices for procedures vary depending upon what you're in the market for. Check out Dr. Lenny's website, where he maintains an archive of before and after patient photos, showcasing some truly beautiful busts.

Karli Evans

Don't be surprised when mid-tattoo session at Ocho Placas, a neighbor drops by to hand out Cuban coffee for everyone in the room; that's just the type of vibe that emanates from this neighborhood shop in Little Havana. Fifteen years in and plenty of celebrity clients later (including Lil Wayne and Birdman), Ocho Placas is still affordable and faithful to its relaxed, artistic beginnings. Vibrantly crafted pieces line the walls as artists and customers bounce friendly banter back and forth — a nice distraction from the pain throbbing from the piercing tat gun. Though the shop is best known for its classic American work, thanks to an expansion — including a new second floor — in 2013, the eight resident artists and renowned out-of-town guests ink their indelible marks in all forms and styles. Owners John Vale and Javier Betancourt, who carry the torch from late founder Jose Carreras, are true artists. (Vale sings in local punk band Furious Dudes, while Betancourt recently launched the multimedia project This Is Meant to Hurt You, to "re-imagine subjects that have been traditionally maligned by polite society," such as tattoos and fetishism.) As one customer summed it up: Ocho Placas is "a quality tattoo place that puts the bullshit aside and outputs some great shit."

Readers' choice: Ocho Placas

With its picaresque, sailboat-dotted harbor and well-heeled residents, Coconut Grove is one of the last places in Dade you'd expect to find someone dangling from the ceiling by the metal hooks embedded in his flesh. Unless, of course, you walked into New Age Body Piercing. Established way back in 1998, the shop quickly became known as the best place to get pierced not only in the Grove but also in the whole city of Miami. Yes, they do your basic earrings, but creativity is encouraged at New Age, which has hosted suspension demonstrations where skilled participants hang from the ceiling by only hooks in their skin. But even if you're not that extreme, New Age will welcome you with open arms. The shop doesn't list prices (and in fact won't discuss them over the phone), but they're competitive. Safety and hygiene come first. Fun and hospitality are a close second.

Photo by Carolina del Busto

Leather handbags, elegant jumpsuits, handmade jewelry, affordable prices. No, these aren't the building blocks of a fashionista's fever dream. They're the core business of Earthy Chic Boutique. This Design District clothing and jewelry shop officially opened its doors in October 2015, but the boutique — the vision of two Miami gals, Eileen Perez-Carrion and Priscilla Reyes — has been in the making for more than five years. Perez-Carrion and Reyes got their start selling handmade jewelry at local events and markets, including Wynwood Art Walk and the Sunday Market at Mary Brickell Village, as well as on their online store. During that time, they also caught the attention of People StyleWatch, E! Online, and Life & Style magazine, among other fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle tastemakers. But their goal, as Perez-Carrion told New Times, "was always to have our own brick-and-mortar store, as well as online," a dream that finally came true less than a year ago. Aside from selling their own line of Earthy Chic jewelry (whose pieces are crafted in sterling silver and other materials), the ladies also sell items from local brands, including swimsuits by Palm d'Or Swimwear and pants, dresses, and other pieces by Australian designers Stylestalker and Quay Australia. And with tops around $50 and maxidresses from less than $100 to select tassel necklaces starting at $36, being fashionable doesn't have to come with a heavy price tag.

Readers' choice: Emporium

Courtesy of CA Modern Home

The trademark exterior style of Miami Beach homes is undoubtedly historic art deco, but on the inside the aesthetic is much more modern. Think bright colors, bold materials, and sleek but sensuous lines. Think serving mojitos at a sleek white Knoll dining table surrounded by Philippe Starck's famous transparent ghost chairs for Kartell, Russian models curling up on a bright-orange BluDot sofa, and hanging your bikini to dry on one of those brightly colored Eames coat racks. That's just South Beach style. Pretty much everyone in the neighborhood designs their condos like the interior of a boutique hotel lobby. But where to get furniture like that without having to go through the hassle of crossing a causeway? Well, at CA Modern Home, of course. Owned by Miami Beach native Jesse Brody (a furniture designer in his own right), the store is constantly stocked and expertly curated with some of the finest design objects from the past 60 years that will fit perfectly into almost any SoBe abode. Pieces can get pricey — a sleek Aron extendable dining table will set you back a cool $5,404, while an über-hip Alcove high-back two-seater runs $10,410. But the place also stocks all sorts of home accoutrements, from kitchenware to pillows, that are difficult to resist on any budget.

Courtesy of Chernaya Bridal House

Browsing for wedding wear is to normal shopping what a John Woo shootout is to a stoic documentary about a gunfight. If there were an army of cameras to follow you in super-slow-motion with a swelling dramatic orchestra punctuating every encounter with an inattentive salesperson and hideous dress, that wouldn't be so far from how the experience feels. The climax of your personal gown-shopping action blockbuster, though, comes as you walk through the glass doors into Chernaya Bridal House, a swank shop in the fashionable heart of the Design District. Chernaya is located just across the street from the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the location doesn't feel like an accident. Immaculately designed dresses from international names like Marchesa, Elie Saab, and Alon Livne hang under spotlights along the wall like priceless sculptures in a modernist museum. Shoes are framed in glass cases like Picassos in a stark gallery. Chernaya holds regular trunk shows that are the matrimonial wear equivalent of big-name art debuts. Yes, you'll pay a premium for these luxury brands, but again — this is your wedding we're talking about. Kick those slow-mo cameras into gear and get dramatic. You've earned it.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®