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If you live in Los Angeles, you’re able to experience sunshine pretty much all year round. However, I’m sure you’ve been feeling the temperatures rising the past couple of months. I know I feel it where I live: DTLA.
I’d love to get to the beach more often to cool off, but getting to the west side in LA can be a bit overwhelming—with its influx of people, limited parking, and traffic. The stress and anxiety I feel when commuting from the eastside of LA to the west can feel a bit much. Luckily, LA is close to so many neighboring cities, so it’s easy to get away and treat yourself to a relaxing and rejuvenating day without having to deal with the infamous traffic. So much of living well is in knowing what your needs are. For me, traffic can be overwhelming and heighten my stress levels, so opting for a quick vacay is so necessary for me to reset before the busy week ahead of me!
My favorite nearby destinations are the beach cities in Orange County—Newport Beach and Laguna Beach specifically. If you leave LA at non-peak hours, it can take around forty-five minutes to an hour to get to these spots.
From a good sweat session to a holistic oasis, here are some of my must-visit places in Orange County the next time you plan a self-care day trip down south!
If the temperatures are cool enough, I do like to incorporate being active outdoors into my day. Starting with a morning sweat sets up my day for success. I’ve accomplished something healthy for my mind and body before lunch - it’s the best feeling! There are tons of hiking trails in Orange County, many of which will have views of the ocean or canyons nearby. Even getting a little walk along the beach can feel so nice!
If it’s especially warm out, there are tons of boutique fitness studios in Orange County that I enjoy as well. Depending on what you’re looking for, there are so many options ranging from strength training to restorative yoga. A few favorite studios of mine include F45 Training Newport Beach, Ra Yoga, and The 12.
F45 Training Newport Beach - One of my favorite things about F45 Training is that no matter which studio location you go to, the programming is identical. So, if you typically go to F45 in LA or any other city, you can explore F45 in Orange County and know that you are going to sweat it out in the same way as you would at your home location.
Ra Yoga - All the classes at Ra Yoga are heated; ranging from 75 degrees to 110 degrees, so you are guaranteed a good sweat! If you are looking to really work your body, there are strength-based yoga classes offered. If you prefer a calmer flow, there are restorative and even prenatal sessions that are more gentle for your body.
The 12 - This may have been the first Orange County-based boutique studio I’ve ever visited. The classes move quickly, with each day focusing on a different muscle group. It is a great gym to go check out if you’re also looking into nutrition coaching, as they want members to have a more well-rounded approach in achieving the health and wellness goals you have.
It’s important to note that wellness is not just fitness and nutrition; it’s about treating your whole self. I believe areas such as acupuncture, gua sha, and cupping are essential to rebalance your mind and body.
If you’re an active person like me, you can hold inflammation in your body from all of the workouts and movement you get into your life. All of the holistic approaches mentioned above can help drain your lymphatic system, reduce inflammation, and clear any blockage you may have in your body. Magnolia Wellness in Costa Mesa (a few minutes away from Newport Beach) is an excellent wellness haven to help ignite your well being.
Who doesn’t love a massage? BodyCentre Day Spa in Costa Mesa is an affordable spa experience that has been operating for over 20 years. They offer massage services as well as skincare treatments. It’s truly a full-service center where you can unwind after your very long day. Ranging from HydraFacials to spa samplers– where you can try a massage and a facial in the same package– they truly have it all. If you’re not ending the day with a massage - you’re doing it wrong.
Things are weird. Times are changing. It seems like just when we’re starting to get a grip, there’s another surprise. When it comes to beauty, we've had to adapt on our own due to salon closures, keep an eye on preparations and protocol changes during those closures, try to know what we’re doing before booking an appointment once they reopened, and maybe even brave the journey back to the salon. Whether you live in a place where salons are open, you’ve experienced a second shutdown, or you straight up haven’t had a haircut since March, we can all probably agree that we’re expecting some differences in the salon and spa world thanks to COVID.
We wanted to gauge how everyone is thinking and feeling about all this, so we put out a poll on our Instagram, asking you all what you expect from beauty salons right now.
Here’s what you had to say...
53% of you have returned to the hair salon by now, while 47% of you have not. This makes sense, because every area of the country is different when it comes to cases, closures, and mandates, and every person is different when it comes to risk and safety.
While many hair salons have begun operating outdoors due to government regulations, 58% of you said you’re fine with getting your haircut indoors, while the other 42% are more comfortable keeping it outside.
58% of you said you’d rather go to your hair salon than have your stylist come to you. I get it, home is a safe space, probably shouldn’t let any outsiders in.
69% of you said you’re “totally!” going to tip more for services once you start receiving them again. During this time without our stylists and aestheticians, I think we all realized how much we need them and appreciate them, and many of us are willing to show them a little extra gratitude to make up for the time we spent apart.
But, most of you aren’t. 56% of you said you have not cut or colored your own or a friend’s hair, because it was too risky, while the other 44% just “had to!”
Only 29% of you have returned to nail salons, while the rest are sticking to at-home manicures. Maybe we’re all just getting really good at it? But probably, it’s because a lot of them are still closed down, or because it’s a little more difficult to get a pedicure outdoors (we need our massage chairs!).
Our last poll question asked about what differences you’ve all noticed when heading back to the salon, and you all had a lot to say...
It’s a beautiful thing to see how the salon and spa community has come together, taken precautions, and adjustments, all so they can continue to help us look and feel our best. If you haven’t spoken to your stylist lately (or even if you have), don’t forget to shoot them a thank you and let them know you appreciate them.