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Best of the East Bay 2011 - Style and Beauty

The A+ places to perfect your look


Changes Day Spa, Joe Budd

*Guide to: A New You


 *More Reader Picks


 *Q&A with Sheri McMullen


 *Editor Pick: Bargain Hair Service



Guide to: A New You
*Go-to summer beauty picks

*Reader Pick
Place to Get a Facial
First stop: Skin Ovations to scrub and hydrate your skin. Start with a back treatment to get yourself dress ready, then finish with the four-layer vitamin C facial for a bright summer glow. 822 Hartz Way, Ste. 102, Danville, (925) 968-9217, skincareovations.com.

Changes Day Spa, Joe Budd*Reader Pick
Day Spa
For a one-stop beauty service shop, visit Changes Salon & Day Spa, which offers spa treatments (request the grapefruit-scented Spa Glow), St. Tropez sunless spray tans, Shellac manicures, and summery hair services from messy bob cuts to ombré highlights. 1475 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, (925) 947-1814, changessalon.com.

*Reader Pick
Hair Colorist
Don’t fear the mohawk. Infinity Salon’s Daniel Brodigan may rock an unconventional do, but he doles out top-notch hair services tailored to a person’s face and lifestyle. Thin woven highlights are his specialty, which he prefers over the trendy ombré effect. (He reminds us that ombré can be achieved by simply letting highlights grow out.) 3449-B Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 876-8996.

*Reader Pick
Nail Salon
Everybody’s talking about Shellac, the long-lasting gel-polish now offered all over the East Bay, including the winning Bollinger Nail Salon. Bollinger recommends a light-colored Shellac on long nails, paired with the paraffin wax or sea salt spa scrub, and moisturizing mask, offered in the Signature Package.
Locations in Concord, Danville, Livermore, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek, bollingernailsalon.com.

*Reader Pick
Personal Shopper
Planning a summer vacation? Carolyn Rovner of C2 Style will help fill your carry-on with outfits that are trendy, versatile, and weatherproof, and that “don’t scream tourist.” She’ll also clean out your closet and suggest adding some of her summer favorites—perhaps a modern cardigan, espadrilles, nautical styles, brightly colored accessories, or a fedora? (925) 202-9332, c2style.com
—Serena Renner

*More Reader Picks

Duchess, 3587 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 962-0208, shopduchess.comshopduchess.com.

*Consignment Shop
Main St. Rags, 1380 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 943-1459, rockridgerags.net.

*Lingerie Retailer
Bonne Nuit, 1387 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 935-1195, bonnenuitlingerie.com.

*Maternity Couture
Stork’s Nest, 802 Sycamore Valley Rd., Danville, (925) 820-2220, shopstorksnest.com.

*Men’s Business Attire
Daskalos, 1243 Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek, (925) 937-1808, daskalosfashions.com.

*Men’s Casual
Atlas, 1356 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 933-8050, atlasshops.com.

*Men’s Haircut
Katharina’s Hair Styles for Men, 306 Rose St., Danville, (925) 451-2499.

*New Boutique
Prim, 520 Main St., Pleasanton, (925) 399-5648, shopprim.com.

*Place for Vintage Finds
Alameda Point Antiques Faire, (510) 522-7500, alamedapointantiquesfaire.com.

*Place for Waxing
Skin Ovations, 822 Hartz Way, Ste. 102, Danville, (925) 968-9217, skincareovations.com.

*Place to Buy Accessories
Labels Luxury Consignment, in Berkeley and Walnut Creek, labelsluxury.com.

*Shoe Store
Footcandy, 1365 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 937-3668, footcandyshoes.com.

*Shopping Neighborhood
Walnut Creek

*Women’s Hair Salon
Changes Salon & Day Spa, 1475 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek, (925) 947-1814, changessalon.com.

Q&A with Sheri McMullen
*Reader Pick: cocktail wear shop

At McMullen, unique details don’t come at the expense of comfort, and whether you need an elegant Phillip Lim dress or a sheer tank and Drew KellyMartha Davis sandals, owner Sherri McMullen will help you feel “effortlessly chic” for any night out.

Diablo: What are some of your favorite looks for a night out on the town?

Sheri McMullen: In California, we love our denim, and I’m excited to see more flair this season. High-waisted trousers, like the Marrakesh by MiH, are flattering on all women, and can be paired with a blazer and a great blouse. For a more dressed-up look, I’m a fan of the bronze and nude jersey dresses by Helmut Lang, with draping in front and around the neck, or anything that sparkles and shines. And wedges are a woman’s heel for the season: They’re comfortable enough for the day but sexy enough for night.

How about accessories?

I love a great statement necklace. Scarves are really hot right now, too, and can offer a nice pop of color for the T-shirt, jeans, and jacket look, or with a cocktail dress. Of course, every woman needs a great clutch—one in black and one in metallic.

What’s your dress-up philosophy for summer?

Summer is all about feeling relaxed, soft, and pretty, so you shouldn’t have to think about things that are uncomfortable. If you’re constantly fidgeting, that garment probably won’t work.

Any tips for color this season?

There are two extremes for color right now: bolds like coral and fuchsia, as well as my personal favorites—desert colors like nude and blush. I also really like the all-white look mixed with gold.

1235 Grand Ave., Piedmont, (510) 658-6906, shopmcmullen.com
—Serena Renner

Bargain Hair Service
*Editor Pick: Get a good hair day on a dime 

ShutterstockI walked into the Paul Mitchell School in Pleasant Hill with modest intentions: trim my unruly mane, add long layers, and weave in subtle highlights to gear up for summer. But as I entered the warehouse-meets-TV-show-set space at 5:30 p.m.,

I began to feel adventurous. Music was blaring, and student stylists showed off bouncy bobs, sideswept bangs, and funky layers with bright colors peeking through. Still,

I had reservations. This was a beauty school, after all, and I worried that my $42 hair service would mean uneven ends and skunky streaks.
Things started off safe. My stylist, Sonia, picked out a gold highlight shade with the help of a beauty school teacher, Mindy, who checked in periodically to ensure that Sonia was making the grade. It was comforting to know that Mindy would come to the rescue if any botches did arise.

But this constant monitoring also added time. This I realized when it was 8 p.m. and my head was covered in foil. My stomach was growling. Thankfully, Sonia offered to grab me a burger at nearby Five Guys while my highlights set. Burger in my stomach and InStyle in my lap, I started to loosen up for this late-night hair adventure. I watched as other students styled each other and felt excitement when my new golden shine was revealed—and wasn’t tinted orange. Upon final review, Mindy did notice that one side was cut a little shorter than the other, but she snipped up the problem side and expertly added subtle bangs. I left at 10 p.m., with a fresh look for about $50 total.   

100 Crescent Dr., Ste. D, Pleasant Hill, (925) 691-7687, school.paulmitchell.edu

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