Los Angeles Health & Beauty
8850 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Massage is typically a practice in receiving. You book a session, luxuriate in touch and pressure, and feel good. But it can also be a practice in giving: The Lifehood, a massage studio tucked into Culver City’s PLATFORM, is built on the idea that feeling good can be contagious. You can, of course, book a treatment for yourself, but you’re also encouraged to pay it forward by booking one for a friend or loved one. The idea is that your friend, in turn, will book for a friend, who will book for a friend, and so on. You can tailor massages by need—maybe you’re a deep tissue fan, maybe you’re the lymphatic drainage type—and opt into treatment add-ons like CBD gumdrops, cooling balms, signature oils, audio meditations, and virtual reality journeys.
Lynette Hagins is a certified Human Design analyst. In 2006, Hagins was going through a midlife crisis. She felt like something wasn’t right, though everything appeared perfectly normal on the surface. She started researching Human Design, which is a system that uses your birth data to reveal how you’re built so you can make decisions that respond best for your path. All of this information is encoded within your Bodygraph. It may sound complicated, but Hagins is available for readings—and she’s actually more like a teacher who can help you discover and work with the knowledge that’s already in your own body.
8490 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
Sessions here range from 30 to 75 minutes and are designed to “work out” the muscles in the face to release tension, support circulation, and ultimately have a beautifully sculpting, lifting effect. Each treatment starts with a warm up before going into cardio, sculpting, and cool-down therapies. Your trainer begins by gently using the knuckles to work in cleanser. With swift hand-flicking and pinching techniques the therapy gets under way, tapering off with deep finger sculpting for contouring: The trainer’s fingers dance over your face to help de-puff and stimulate lymphatic drainage. It’s different, fantastic, and feels both rejuvenating and soothing.
Osea Skin Studio
1732 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
It feels like a Venice Beach bungalow inside this Venice Beach bungalow: intimate, calm, airy, and cozy. And the treatments are on another level. They’re experts at gua sha (a sculpting, lifting, toning therapy in which an aesthetician smooths a stone tool over the face to stimulate tissue and ease tension); it feels cooling, relaxing, fantastic. You can always customize your facial, but there’s no improving upon the Deep Sea Age Defying treatment, an ultrapampering mash-up of LED light therapy, lymphatic drainage massage, and cranial therapy to support circulation and promote skin (and overall) balance. Whatever your skin needs, they have it here, and the glow you saunter out with is stunning.
The Gallery Hair Salon and Creative Studio
5770 Melrose Ave.,
It’s uncanny: Stress dissolves the minute you walk into this hair salon/art gallery/photo studio. You can always spot cofounder Joe Espinoza, across the room—he’s the majestically tall hairstylist and colorist with the cool hair (last time we visited it was a sophisticated navy blue). Some of Espinoza’s clients come to him for wild color, but he’s also a master of more conventional styles. There’s a bit of wellness woven in, too. You can choose to listen to meditation sounds while you get your hair or makeup done (there’s an in-house makeup artist)—they also sell essential oils, smelling salts, and the goop pink salt scalp scrub. Pieces from local artists cover the walls, energizing the entire space. “We dreamed of this place being a spot for local artists to show their work,” explains cofounder Drew DeMartinez. “Instead of just doing highlights and beach waves, we wanted to bring an element of art into hair, to make the salon experience less transactional and feel like more of a collective.” Images courtesy of Jenae Lien.
Sofie Lyddon is an intuitive and empath who primarily works with Tarot. During her “Wild Wisdoms” sessions, she’ll immediately make you feel safe, connected, and seen. A standard Tarot healing session is 30 to 45 minutes and followed up with a recap of the reading. Lyddon also offers a quicker three-card spread, which she can guide you through in person or over email. We like the way Lyddon helps us reconnect to ourselves—and just reminds us that we’re okay, we’re normal. She’s also great at explaining Tarot—and making it fun—in groups. (If you want to host a workshop for friends, email [email protected])
The Main Barre
560 S Main St., Downtown
This simple, spacious dance and barre studio is in an iconic old building downtown. There's exposed brick and huge windows that let in tons of light—and give a good view of downtown—as you work out. But the main draw is owner Audra Skaates. A dancer, boxer, and professional athlete, Skaates has been empowering clients through dance and movement for more than two decades. She’s so incredibly fun to be around. And she makes you feel confident—even when you’re mid-plank during one of her workouts. This is an inclusive, empowering place to feel your best.
Royal Heritage Tattoo
1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
goop staffers average about three to four piercings per ear. And odds are at least half of those were pierced by Stephanie Anders. In addition to a steady hand and excellent aim, Anders has a soothing bedside manner that makes you almost forget she’s about to force a giant needle through cartilage. Find her at her Abbot Kinney Boulevard shop, Royal Heritage Tattoo, or make an appointment with any one of the tattoo artists on staff for something more permanent.
1934 14th St., Santa Monica
If you didn’t know it was there (right off Pico), you could entirely miss Altus. It’s less a gym and more a healthy-lifestyle community hub that comes with trainers, chiropractors, alignment experts, massage therapists, and more. They take it seriously: Altus requires a membership, so you need to commit. Once you’re signed up, expect a full-body assessment followed by a thorough exploration of your goals and how to achieve them. Far from being terrifying, Altus adopts more of an old-school, hand-holding approach. They don’t want long-term members: Once you’ve gotten to where you personally want to be health-wise, you’re set free.
Yoga terminology (Iyengar or hatha, yin or flow) rolls as easily off our tongues as the ABC’s these days, but the trauma-sensitive kind taught by Laura Mckellin was entirely new to us. Mckellin developed her style while working with patients at the Veterans Association in Denver after obtaining a master’s in somatic counseling psychology. Nowadays, in Los Angeles, Mckellin is available for one-on-one somatic healing sessions in the comfort of your own home, or you can join her class at Light on Lotus in Mar Vista.