Meet Danville Salon Owner Susanna Stroberg-Gora
Big City Glam
Props for Builders and Titans
Susanna Stroberg-Gora, Pleasant Hill–raised salon owner and upscale makeup line creator, was born and bred on glamour—you could say it’s in her blood. Entering the beauty biz as a model at age 14, she soon was cutting hair—doing asymmetrical cuts before they were a thing—and traveling from Los Angeles to New York for work.
“It exposed me to the latest trends, challenged me to always stay current, and inspired me to breathe luxury into moments,” she says.
Selfie friends with musicians (such as Questlove from The Roots) and other celebrities, this image consultant, makeup artist, and sought-after hairstylist continues to dish out big-city, next-level style at her Danville salon, Opivu. opivu.com.
Secret to Success
Believe in fate, never burn a bridge, and have good posture. “Standing up straight is the easiest trick to looking energized and confident . . . plus, it makes your butt and everything you’re wearing look really, really good,” Stroberg-Gora says.
Look out for Stroberg-Gora’s Fake Bags Suck, a designer handbag consignment business with its own line of purses. “I always say if you can’t afford the big bag, get the smaller one—not the knockoff,” she says. “It’s about having that moment of authentic luxury.” fakebagssuck.com.
She heads to Penrose in Oakland for the service, food, atmosphere, and cocktails. “Penrose touches every sense, and the menu changes all the time, so it stays new and inventive,” says Stroberg-Gora. “Chef Charlie [Hallowell] comes out to the tables.”
Stroberg-Gora swears by the power and quality of couture heels—specifically her black Fendi stilettos. “They’re sexy hot, look like new after four years, and I wear them with everything—shorts, jeans, a gown.” She hits her favorite shoe mecca, Walnut Creek’s Neiman Marcus, for posh pumps.
Desert Island Essential
Her must-have is from her high-end, high-pigment Opivu Cosmetics line: Lashmere Mascara ($36). “How would I get off the island if I couldn’t bat my lashes?” says Stroberg-Gora. The conditioning mascara contains vitamins, minerals, and cashmere for soft and flexible fringe.
Beverage of Choice
Try margarita or tequila. “My dietitian says tequila is cleanest for my body,” she says. For her go-to marg, hit El Nido in Danville. “They make the best ones in town and treat you like family,” she says.
Mind Over Matter
“I choose meditation over coffee; it’s non-negotiable in my busy life,” says Stroberg-Gora. She practices Transcendental Meditation and runs the Iron Horse Trail in Danville or around Lake Merritt to keep her mind and body sharp.