Sunset Corners Fine Wine & Spirits

Buying alcohol is both exciting and tedious. On one hand, you're stoked to pick out your next buzz, but at the same time, the process of roaming aisle after aisle in search of that perfect scratch for your thirsty itch can be tiresome. Chain liquor stores send out used-car-salesmen-like employees who constantly demand to know whether you're "doing OK" or if they "can help you find anything." Yeah, you can help me find my favorite beer at half the price! That's why it's worth the drive to Sunset Corners Wine & Liquors, a locally owned shop with friendly employees and a family atmosphere to go with a staggering selection. Shop more than once and they'll remember your name, ask you how you're doing, and then offer you some cheese, sausage, and a glass of wine. In fact, Sunset Corners has a full cheese and deli section stocked with everything from Italian prosciutto to Spanish jamón to Bucheron goat cheese straight from France. When you can tear into some fresh burrata while shopping for bourbon, it's not such a chore to shop for alcohol.

Readers' choice: Total Wine & More

Portofino Wine Bank
Courtesy of Portofino Wine Bar

There are shops you visit to grab a quick bottle for the beach or a dinner party, and there's no shame in that! But if you're a true connoisseur, there are also places where you'll want hours to browse the vino from all over the world. Portofino Wine Bank in South Beach and Brickell Wine Bank in Brickell are definitely the latter kind of store. The Wine Bank carries more than a thousand varieties from across the globe, from Australian coastal Pinot Grigio to Chilean Cabs to vintage French Bordeaux. When you're looking for a great wine, you don't need an airplane hangar packed with millions of bottles — just a carefully curated, diverse selection of the finest on the market. Even better, you don't have to have a degree in enology to enjoy your visit: The owners and staff greet you at the door, ask what you're into, and help steer you in the right direction, all without making you feel like a rube if you can't tell a Merlot from a Muscadine.

Safar Miami
Courtesy of Safar Miami

A good hairdresser is like a good lover. Both should have your best interests in mind, and both should go to great lengths to help you feel like your best self. You'll have to use Tinder and other methods to find a significant other who meets those qualifications, but for your hair, check out Safar Miami in South Beach. The hairstylists there take the time to get to know clients before helping them decide on the right cut and color. Don't want their opinion? No problem. This isn't your mom's beauty parlor, where the hairdresser alone knows best and turns your long hair into a bob even though you requested only a trim. Owner Gaston Safar opened his first salon in Boston more than 40 years ago and expanded to the tony South of Fifth area eight years ago. His talented daughter Allison runs the salon and cuts the locks of A-list celebrities and high-school students alike with the same level of friendliness and attention to detail. A men's cut ranges from $50 to $65, and a women's cut and blow-dry runs $75 to $95. Color services cost $85 and up. Safar also offers nail and waxing services ($15 and up), in addition to makeup application ($60-plus) and a full list of bridal beauty services ($70 and up). Once a month, Safar even hosts free events such as themed parties, trunk shows, and rooftop yoga sessions for its clients. And did we mention they make a mean cappuccino and always have the best snacks?

Readers' choice: Atma Beauty

Blendz Barbershop
Courtesy of Blendz Barbershop

A young man strides into Blendz Barbershop with a purpose, scans the room, and then finds his target: the shop's most requested barber, Christopher "Criztofferson" Betancourt. The new customer, a Florida International University student, echoes a story Betancourt hears all week: He's one of the nearly 60,000 fans following the buzzcut artist on Instagram (@criztofferson) and he's dying for one of his signature "freshies." Who can blame the kid? There's no time for trial-and-error while on the hunt for a dope cut in Miami. If you're looking for a spot guaranteed to transform the uneven mop on your head into a crisp, clean hairstyle, end your search at this shop in West Miller Square, where owner Lester Gonzalez and his team have spent the past three years making their name. Barbers like Jorge Perez and Jose Ibarra are well-versed in intricate artistic designs, and all of them excel at precise tapers, remarkably balanced fades, and other GQ-approved styles. Criztofferson has become famous on Miami's college campuses thanks to his knack for speedy "freshies" and because after his day shift at the shop, he takes his services on the road to trim stars such as the Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside, rappers the Game and O.T. Genasis, producer Rvssian, and internet sensation LeJuan James. Prices vary by barber, but customers can expect to spend $8 to $15 for a shapeup, $18 to $30 for a basic haircut, and $40 including beards. There's a busy rush of clients toward the end of the week, but you usually won't wait too long, especially if you call ahead for an appointment with one of the shop's 12 skilled barbers.

Readers' choice: Tru Cutz

Beauty Wellness by Arlette
Courtesy of Beauty Wellness by Arlette

Cara Delevingne is to eyebrows what Terry Crews is to pecs. The model-turned-actress has 40 million Instagram followers in large part because of those ludicrously perfect arcs above her eyes. But before you grab your tweezers and begin plucking away in despair, know this: Even Delevingne uses a stylist to get those tiny hairs just right. And thanks to Beauty Wellness by Arlette, Miami's reigning queen of eyebrows, you might just start amassing your own Instagram brow army. Shop owner Arlette has more than 16 years of experience working with eyebrows and is a true master of her craft. There is no eyebrow massacre she can't mend with her skillful threading, which runs $25. The eyebrow connoisseur takes her time with every customer and is extremely detail-oriented. And her talents go far beyond eyebrows. Her shop also offers lash lifts/perms ($85), makeup application ($85), airbrush makeup ($100), makeup classes ($85 to $100), eyebrow waxing ($20), upper-lip waxing ($10), and upper-lip threading ($15). Just remember to 'gram those results.

In Miami, neon means paradise. And after one step inside this futuristic, eye-popping temple to tanning, you'll know you're on a rocket to somewhere sexy. The front desk is framed in purple lights. Once you're past that, with a bottle of body grease in hand of course, it's on to the important decisions: Spray or light? For the former, the salon has more luxurious-sounding options than a Maserati dealer. How about the Norvell Auto-Revolution ($18.88)? Just remember to keep your fingers and toes spread; you don't want any weird zebra lines. For a lamp tan, Electric Sun offers almost a dozen options across its three locations. A pair of iDome ($18.88) stand-up tanning rigs offers 37 lamps, music, air-conditioning, a mister, and aromatherapy. All this thing needs is wheels to drop you off on South Beach.

Readers' choice: Boca Tanning Club

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental
George Apostolidis

Living in Miami isn't always great for the nerves. When you aren't staring at "cones of concern" and listening to meteorologists warning of impending death by hurricane, you're probably risking life and limb on I-95. Sure, you've learned to Zen out amid the 305's particular flavor of tropical chaos, but sometimes you need something extra. That's where the Mandarin Oriental comes in. Think of this spa as the nuclear option for your stress levels. Tucked away in Brickell Key, this luxurious, five-star relaxation haven allows guests to take a break from reality with an array of treatments, ranging from Thai massages ($295) to illuminating oxygen facials ($250) to ocean and earth body wraps ($195). Yes, the prices fall decidedly into "emergency option only" for most Miamians, but you aren't paying for any ordinary spa visit. At the Mandarin Oriental, the staff is incredibly meticulous about its standards. The highly trained therapists are some of the best in South Florida. Service is topnotch. Arrive early and spend some time in the luxe sauna and steam rooms before your treatment, such as the 50-minute customized essential facial ($160). You've survived another day in Miami — you've earned this.

Readers' choice: The Standard Spa, Miami Beach

The perpetual humidity-drenched summers in Florida might theoretically keep your skin looking younger than that of your pals, who weather the full four seasons, but by August, Dade dwellers are forever asking themselves: "Do I look dewy or greasy?" Let's be honest: You probably look greasy. That's what makes facials such an essential luxury. Skincare by Pevonia, located in a converted house near South Miami, has been caring for Floridian skin for three decades. After 30 years and nothing but rave reviews, this small, locally owned spa is the perfect place to pamper your largest organ. You can flush the hurricane-season funk out of your face with a deep pore cleansing for $80, a high-tech microdermabrasion for $100, or a luxurious apple facial peel containing wine and flower acids for $145. Face up to the fact that your face could use some TLC.

Alibi Nail + Beauty Bar
Courtesy of Alibi Nail + Beauty Bar

There's a fairly limited set of circumstances when a manicure or pedicure would require an alibi. Perhaps you've launched an international hacking attack while getting your toenails buffed, or you've committed high treason by leaking state secrets to a rogue agent sitting in the next chair while you each get your pinkies filed away. Or, if you're in Miami, you might simply need Alibi because you desire some topnotch service and a little pampering — Alibi Nail + Beauty Bar, that is. You don't need any excuse to feel good at this Alibi, thanks to the complimentary mimosas and champagne for you to sip while technicians soak, shape, scrub, massage, and polish — using only natural, chemical-free products. Alibi is well known for its nail art, and its specialists can turn your fingernails into tiny works of art. Manis start at $25 and nail art at $6 per nail. And, boys, before you start feeling left out: Alibi has a pampering treatment just for you, complete with a manly, musk-scented scrub that really puts the "man" in "manicure."

Unless you're the type who wears a lot of silk bathrobes and spends hours lounging on velvet bedspreads — and more power to you if you are — you're probably picky about whom you pay to rub your glutes. So why spend big bucks for another cattle-call-style massage place in a big South Beach hotel when you can get a personalized and therapeutic experience at Dania Beach's Awesome Aura Massage. This isn't a massage palace with 50-foot waterfalls and hundreds of employees; it's a small space that isn't easy to find from the street. But once you enter the Buddha-happy, peaceful atmosphere, expect to be treated right by the highly trained staff ready to perform a range of therapeutic massages, from Swedish to deep-tissue to Hawaiian lomi lomi. A one-hour session costs $70, and a discounted package of five hourlong massages runs $300. Ask for Holly for a full body-and-mind experience, and you'll be content you chose Awesome Aura.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®