Setting out to create a comfortable environment for her skincare and waxing clients, aesthetician Jodi Shays founded the Queen Bee Salon & Spa in Culver City, CA in 2004. A native of Bristol in the west country of England, Jodi has over two decades of experience in skincare and hair removal. Self-trained in the ways of waxing, she was mentored by the late Nance Mitchell of Beverly Hills. With Mitchell’s guidance, Jodi realized that waxing need not be a horrid experience—that it could be fun and less painful at the hands of someone who had a passion and love for what they were doing. Enter the Queen Bee Salon & Spa, which was founded on the belief that a highly trained staff will consistently provide perfect service. Since opening Queen Bee, Jodi has developed a cult following that includes celebrities like Hilary Swank, Busy Philipps, and Kathy Griffin, among many others, inspiring her to open the second Queen Bee location in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.
How did you get your start as an aesthetician?
I feel as though I came out of the womb an aesthetician. Since there wasn’t much need for what I loved in the UK, I knew if I crossed the pond that I would be in the land of beautiful people and could practice my passion. After spending several years being mentored by some amazing aestheticians, I decided to go solo and eventually opened the first Queen Bee Salon & Spa in 2004. I recently opened the second Queen Bee location in beautiful Brentwood, California in February 2012.
What sets Queen Bee apart from the competition?
Our key point of difference is our dedication to provide the most perfect service. We only use the best products on the market and strive to stay ahead of the game when it comes to research and technology. We focus on results and pride ourselves on outstanding customer service with an amazing staff of highly trained and educated ladies who take the time to educate each one of our clients. Queen Bee yields an environment that clients feel good about walking into and luxury services that won’t break the bank.
What treatments are most popular amongst your clients in the summer months?
Brazilian waxes and custom airbrush tanning—purely because in California, people spend more time at the pool/beach. I have found that a great deal are also savvy to harmful UV rays and prefer a safer tan to a more harmful one.
Why is client history and proper knowledge so important to review before performing & choosing the correct peel for a client?
We do a thorough examination of our clients’ skin to determine if it’s in the right condition for us to peel it. You can’t just go in and ask for a peel—we in fact turn people away. We have people who will lie to us to get a peel—but because our staff is extremely knowledgeable, they can determine if somebody is using a retinol or other peeling product.
What is the difference between soft and hard wax? What are the pros and cons of each? Why does Queen Bee use soft wax?
We use a hybrid of soft and hard waxes. You have to have a wax aggressive enough to pull the hair from the root and we have found that hard wax does not always do this. Yes, hard can be less painful, but we have tried every wax on the market and if we thought hard wax was the best, we would be using it. Queen Bee uses a soft wax that doesn’t adhere to the skin, it has a buffer in it that leaves the skin soft and not sticky.
What makes Queen Bee airbrush tanning services so incredible/how do you achieve and keep, a flawless spray tan—what should a potential client look for in a salon?
Our department, headed by Liz Pino, is full of a bunch of perfectionists. Liz and her team actually take the time to talk to you about what you want—if you want to go darker on your legs and lighter on your face, we’ll make it happen and make it look good. Not many places offer the amount of customization that we do.
Liz Pino’s key tips: “When wanting to maintain a good airbrush tan, you always want to treat your skin well. Keep it moisturized with water based, alcohol free, moisturizer. Pat your skin dry after every shower and don’t scrub your tan. If you need to exfoliate at all, do so very lightly and minimize it to your dryer areas, i.e. don’t scrub your tummy or chest.”