When you think of Beverly Hills, CA, you are more then likely to think about rich people driving expensive cars around pristine streets lined with designer stores and salons. Along with these images, you probably have already depicted the attitudes of the people occupying the famous city as either uninviting or snobbish. Whatever predetermined thoughts you have about the city of Beverly Hills and the businesses and people that occupy it, I want you to wipe them clear from your memory bank. Through the telling of my experience in the 91210 I will show you that there is much more to the city of BH than affluence and air. On one block, in particular, there lies several business and business owners that care about the average customer just as much as we care about their celebrity clientele. The love they have for their crafts exude throughout their space and penetrate all that are fortunate to cross their paths. Two businesses that are a highlight of the 400 block of Camden Drive in Beverly Hills, CA are Boniface Skin Care and Batia & Aleeza Hair Salon. Nestled in a quaint brick laden building, the businesses occupy the upstairs and downstairs spaces.
I was fortunate to have met Kathleen Boniface, Owner and esteemed Esthetician at Boniface Skin Care, during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. It was the passion and energy for her bringing forth the beauty within that drew me to want to find out more about her philosophy. Tall, blonde and reminiscent of a modern day Barbie doll, I did wonder what could we possibly have in common when it came to our experiences and definitions of beauty. How could she connect and understand the plight of average clients that only wanted to have one quarter of the amount of turning heads she had when walking down the street? The answer is easy, Kathleen Boniface connects with all people and more importantly, her knowledge of skincare and bringing forth your inner glow transcends all divisions and boundaries.
I had a chance to visit Kathleen at her Beverly Hills studio and had a first hand experience of what it means to become a part of the Boniface family. That right, when you become a client of Kathleen’s you become a client of an intricately woven network of people that she has built throughout her Beverly Hills neighborhood and abroad. Whatever you need that doesn’t fall under her personal conglomerate of services, she can get you with one phone call or meeting. Botox, done. Surgical cosmetic procedures, not a problem. Internal healing through Ayruveda medicine, covered. Whatever you need to complement the beauty that is within, Kathleen is sure to map out in your personal plan. And that’s the thing, unlike other Esthetician’s and skincare studios, she doesn’t have a generic menu of services that she offers to all clients. No, no, no. Everything at Boniface Skin Care is customized to each client that walks through the door. “Every client starts out with a free consultation where I will ask as series of questions to determine their background in relation to their skin,” articulates Kathleen. “I will then discuss with them their goals and proceed to do a full diagnosis of how we will work to correct their problems and meet their goals…solving problems of the skin is like solving a mathematical equation.” Math was never my best subject, so I was thrilled that I found someone that could finally do all the work for me!
Kathleen has always loved the finer things in life and it was her artistic side that ultimately drew her to her present day career. As an avid painter, she decided to go to school to become a make-up artist. This is when she found out that she could also study to learn about the skin as well and opted to pursue an Esthetician license as well. “When I began my coursework at beauty school, I would get a lot of older clients and I was so amazed by how I could make them feel with certain treatments on their skin,” states Kathleen. This is where she really began to hone in on the ability to utilize energy and touch in combination of treatments and techniques to bring out the best in skin and people she interacted with. During her early years, Kathleen began to apprentice at another local salon owned by a friend, but her schooling was not, and is still not, done. She continued to take courses and has been formally trained in the art of microdermabrasion and oxygen treatments among others. Once she decided to branch out on her own, Boniface Skin Care was born and it has been growing ever since.
Within her studio, Kathleen uses products such as Environ and the Echo2 Plus Oxygen Treatment and Silk Peel Dermalinfusion systems. The Environ skin care system was formulated by a prominent South African plastic surgeon whose quest to understand skin and skin cancer began after treating a couple patients with melanoma. The products are world-renowned and are rich in vitamin A and other nutrients for the skin. It is through the use of these products and state-of-the-art machinery, like the diamond-encrusted wand used for Silk Peels or Dermalinfusion that elevate your skin to the next level under Kathleen’s care.
I received the Boniface treatment which was customized to my skincare needs. I tend to have problems with blemishes and breakouts, so I was anxious to get under Kathleen’s care. She incorporated three specific treatments that targeted clearing away the bacteria deep within my dermal layers and embedding zit-zapping, skin nourishing products. After about an hour and a half, I rose from the comforts of her luxurious spa bed a new woman. Literally, my skin felt refreshed and most of my breakouts had already calmed down. The next day, my skin was even clearer and I could already see the dead skin began to slough off, revealing smooth and blemish free skin underneath.
The “family” consisted of a multicultural mixture from countries that spans from Japan to Africa. Despite their difference, they all had one thing in common, they all love what they did and they all made you feel like you are a part of an extraordinary hair styling, eyebrow shaping, make-up application experience. Having been in the Camden Dr. location for 7 years, Batia and Aleeza know all to well that the surrounding area salons can feel unapproachable and that’s what sets them a part. “When you come into our salon, we really take the time to get to know you and make you a part of the family,” says Batia.
Additionally, they take the time out to analyze your hair and to give you the best cut and style for your face and lifestyle. Instead of following trends, Batia & Aleeza sets trends that are best for you. Other stylists that comprise their empire include Seble from Ethiopia, Tomymi from Japan, Beatrice who brings the Latino flair to the salon and Barbara Gates who happened to work in New York for one of the duos assistants from 30 years back. Each of the stylists iterates that the energy of the salon is what makes it a pleasure to contribute to the thriving atmosphere. Eyebrow and make-up artist Marco will help to finish your look with his precision and apt for detail. Last, but certainly not least, is Ronnie at the front desk. He will help to orchestrate your experience at the salon.
I had the opportunity to get both my eyebrows threaded by Marco and my hair trimmed and sculpted by Seble and Batia. Utilizing Batia & Aleeza’s own line of shampoo, conditioner and gel, Seble was able to enhance my own natural curl pattern. After Batia gave me a wonderful trim, Seble worked the nutrient rich products throughout my hair utilizing a twisting technique that left me with cascading corkscrew curls that were not hard and crisp, but soft to the touch. I have to admit, that this styling was different for me. However, the ease of the style is one that will keep me drawn to it for time to come.
And for those of you thinking that you will still need to venture somewhere else to get a fabulous manicure, then you got that wrong too! On the same block you will find a wonderful manicurist by the name of Berta. Don’t worry, visit Kathleen and she can give you the inside scoop on who to talk to and where to go. So, your beauty oasis is all found in one compound and I am telling you that you will not only love the way you look, you will love the way you feel!
Boniface Skin Care is located at 419 N. Camden Drive, Suite 228 in Beverly Hills, CA. For a free consultation and more information about Boniface Skin Care, please visit the Website at www.bonifaceskincare.com or contact Kathleen Boniface at 310.990.8234.
Batia & Aleeza Hair Studio is located at 415 N. Camden Drive in Beverly Hills, CA. To set an appointment or for additional information, please visit the Website at
or call 310.657.4512.