Best of Santa Barbara® 2016: Looking Good

Salon Patine
Paul Wellman

My Mutts! This mutt has been made over. We knew we were getting a whole new world of smells and beautiful places to leave our mark when we made the move here to Santa Barbara, but woof woof! I had no idea what awaited my beastly bod once we started calling this place home. Belly rubs and head pats are only the beginning.

I experienced a true trifecta of transformation recently when I had the best beauty makers in town tend to my coat and my nails and everything in between all in one day. First, I went to Salon Patine for some much-needed styling and a custom color treatment that has me feeling and looking at least 10 human years younger! This boring gray-and-white bicolor has always wanted to be blonde like those yellow labs everyone loves. From there, it was pure pampering for my paws with the ladies at Aqua Nail Bar. Their all-natural process and family-run atmosphere had my tail going the entire time. I finished the day with a trip to see Dr. Terry Perkins and his medical spa team at Evolutions for some long-overdue relaxation and revitalization; the compliments have been nonstop ever since. I even had a muscled-up, handsome pit bull so impressed during our evening rounds at Elings last night that he was ready to have a go at Dug.

It’s been just as easy to upgrade my Midwest wardrobe, thanks to a gem of a place, Diani. The State Street boutique, curated by the fashion sense of English transplant Caroline Diani, has exactly what you’re looking for and, dangerously enough, exactly what you didn’t yet know you needed. But have no fear, ladies! My personal, quirky kitsch style is still very much intact thanks to the forever vintage offerings of Victorian Vogue and the regularly occurring discoveries of fashionista gold at Alpha Thrift. Even my eyeglasses and sunglasses, something I haven’t changed since I was a pup, have enjoyed an upgrade thanks to Occhiali Fine Eyewear. Irwin Eve is a wizard at making four-eyes look fabulous, even when you already have four legs!

Of course, Dug is in no danger of succumbing to the makeover madness. His fashion sense ​— ​still very much circa 1954 despite his being born more than five decades later ​— ​is at least looking more crisp and fresh than it has in years thanks to the dry-cleaning magic of Ablitt’s. Their pickup and delivery option takes the “go fetch” out of doing laundry, and I can’t say I miss it. Interestingly, Dug has had a bit of a grooming revolution thanks to Richie’s Barber Shop. It is a barbershop with flat-screens and black leather couches and some major dude-flavored swag. I fear he may eventually move in.

Anyways, that’s it for now.

Wet kisses and wags, Dot

Hair Salon

Salon Patine, 3206 State St., 898-1133,

Finalist: Mishay Salon & Spa

Nail Salon

Aqua Nail Bar, 3455 State St., 687-8483,

Finalist: Angels Nail & Spa

Medical Spa

Evolutions Medical & Day Spa, 350 Chapala St., Ste. 103, 695-2172,

Finalist: The G Spa

Clothing Boutique

Diani, 1324 State St., 966-3114,

Finalist: Lovebird Boutique & Jewelry

Vintage Store

Victorian Vogue, 4289 State St., 967-4626,

Finalist: Punch Vintage

Thrift Store

Alpha Thrift Stores, many locations,

Finalist: Catholic Charities

Eyewear Selection/Sunglasses Selection

Occhiali Fine Eyewear, two locations,

Eyewear Selecton Finalist: Costco

Sunglasses Selection Finalist: Solstice Sunglasses

from left: Sue, Sasha, and Neil Ablitt of Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Launderers
Paul Wellman

Dry Cleaner

Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners & Launderers, 14 W. Gutierrez St., 963-6677,

Finalist: One Hour Martinizing

Barber Shop

Richie’s Barber Shop, 1187 Coast Village Rd., Ste. 6, 845-9701,

Finalist: Montecito Barbers

Day Spa

Float Luxury Spa, 18 E. Cannon Perdido St., 845-7777,

“We are so thrilled to once again be recognized by our community in Santa Barbara! After nearly eight years in business, we are proud to have the very best therapists and staff in town.” —Natalie Rowe, owner

Finalist: Evolutions Medical Spa

Place to Get a Facial

Peaches Skin Care, 6 E. Arrellaga St., 563-9796,

“We have been taking care of skin naturally for over 30 years, so to finally be recognized by the Santa Barbara community for what we do is an absolute honor and validation of how much we care. Thank you.” —Lisa Pfeiffer, owner

Finalist: Skin Deep Salon

Consignment Store

Jessica Fine Consignment, 2008 De la Vina St., 687-2755,

“It’s about rotating and recycling, making space in your own closet or finding a special item you couldn’t otherwise afford. . With consignment, everyone wins!” —Jessica Cashman, owner

Finalist: The Closet


Nordstrom, Paseo Nuevo Mall, 17 W. Canon Perdido St., 564-8770,

“Nordstrom is very fortunate to be able to provide quality footwear and service to the Santa Barbara community. Thank you!” —Mike Gentry, store manager

Finalist: Macy’s

Jewelry Store

Bryant & Sons, two locations,

“Working for a family business always makes you feel welcome, and I think that feeling gets passed on to our customers. Thanks, Santa Barbara.” —Myla, employee

Finalist: Waxing Poetic

Lee Thompson
Paul Wellman


Lee’s Tailoring, 4141 State St., 967-5728,

“I’ve been doing this since 1967, and I love what I do. It’s more like a hobby to me. I love working with textiles and can handle just about any alteration for men, women, or children. If it’s not right, we will make it right.” —Lee Thompson, owner

Finalist: Tony the Tailor


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