SD: Top 8 Tattoo Parlours in Vancouver

Same as finding the perfect salon or barber shop, finding a tattoo artist in a city overflowing with them can be a daunting task. Do your research and don’t cheap out because you always get what you pay for!

Funhouse Tattoo on Cambie Street

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With an owner that has thirty years experience and holds 5 international patents on tattoo technology, one expects exceptional tattoos from this establishment. Holding all their artists to the highest standards, Funhouse has a no-ego allowed policy and pretty dope digs.

Image via @funhousetattooingbc

Gastown Tattoo Parlour in Gastown

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Blending old school values with modern day safety standards, Gastown Tattoo Parlour not only gives you fresh ink but loves the challenge of cover-ups and has a sister company that will get rid of the old s*it all together with a laser removal system.

Image via @gastowntattooparlour

Adrenaline Vancity on Granville Street, Downtown

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Adrenaline is more than just tattoos, they do body modifications, sell on-trend skate and freak wear, and computer skins that may get you kicked out of the boardroom. For mad tattoo skills, see Bill. He’s the quiet one in the camo gear and selection of tunes including Social D.

Image via @adrenalinevancity

Rainfire Tattoo off Commercial Drive

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Owner Katia views tattooing as a sacred part of the human experience and creates all the artwork that she uses for imagery – sacred geometry, mandalas, dot-work, and black/grey. Using only vegan inks and products, this parlour is a must-visit for those who require a spiritual aspect to their body art.

Image via @rainfiretattookatia

The Fall Tattooing in Downtown

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Part tattoo parlour, body mod studio and art gallery, this is Vancouver’s largest space dedicated to body modification. It is always buzzing with the hum of machines and human interaction when the lower level is rented out for cool events.

Image via @thefalltattooing

Paradigm Tattoo Company – Cohen Floch on West Broadway

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From Saskatchewan to Taiwan to Vancouver, owner Cohen Floch, does big best (in our humble opinion). His portfolio includes a spectrum with full sleeves with dense imagery, oriental stylings to smaller pieces including nurses, hipsters on bikes and beautiful animals.

Image via @cohenflochtattoo

Sacred Heart Tattoo off Main Street

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Started by Adam Sky in 1993, Sacred Heart has weathered many rainy seasons of Vancouver and still survives with quality tattooists. Known for their American traditional, the tattooist and special guests cover all genres and the new owners are really nice.

Image via @sacredhearttattoo

Electro-Ladylux on Commercial Drive

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Electro-LadyLux is Vancouver’s original female owned and operated tattoo shop, founded in 1995 by Teresa Johnson, BFA, and still going strong. A cozy space with amazing ink by mostly female talent.

Image via @electroladyluxtattoo

Happy inking everyone and a few things to remember – the consultations should always be free, there is no shame in male tramp stamps and you should always keep the little card with the follow-up care instructions. Just saying.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

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SD: Best Hotels for a Weekend Stay in Vancouver

Whatever your reason for wanting a weekend get-away – stress, work, kids or in need of a little ‘me’ time – a mini-vacation is perfect. Escape for a short time but a good time at any of these hotels in Vancouver. The city’s hotels are known for having great character and unique histories to back them up. Whether you want upscale and fresh, or want to be transported back in time, you will find it on this list.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

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This iconic hotel is postcard perfect with enough history and charm to keep King George VI and Queen Elizabeth content. Without even leaving the building, you can shop for a new Vuitton, die at Dior or go for broke at Gucci, then eat in the highest rated restaurants, before venturing across the rotunda to the Vancouver Art Gallery for some peace, quiet and Emily Carr.

Image via @fairmontvan

L’Hermitage Hotel

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Salt water pool. Isn’t that saying it all? Add to that an outdoor garden and terrace, complimentary newspaper and high-speed internet and there is absolutely no need to take them up on the complimentary touring bicycles service. Just lay there and when you need a nosh, head down to Medina Cafe for waffles.

Image via L’Hermitage Hotel website

Rosewood Hotel Georgia

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If your dream weekend getaway involves putting the finest of everything into your mouth, then savor the week at the Rosewood. Work from the bottom up by starting at the notorious Prohibition cocktail lounge, then dine at award-winning Hawksworth Restaurant, relax in the 1927 Lobby Lounge with a cozy snack before retiring to the Bel Cafe for a full-on decadent sweet platter. Finish your vertical trip with al fresco relaxing at Reflections Garden Terrace, Grab a robe and loosen the belt!

Image via @rwhotelgeorgia

Shangri-la Hotel

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This hotel offers luxurious comfort with distinctive Asian touches in their warm wood trimmed suites which are larger than most downtown condos. Each room, with floor-to-ceiling windows, provides a romantic view of the twinkling city skyline in the evenings. Wake-up and arrange your day around private yoga and pilates sessions, full-body spa treatments and a relaxing tea ceremony in the Library.

Image via @shangrila_van

Opus Hotel

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Tiny but impressive, Opus is located in the heart of Yaletown, amidst the raised cobblestone sidewalks, Starbucks patio, and the delightfully exotic Urban Fare grocery experience. Pet-friendly and a mere five-minute walk to the marina and seawall. Ask about their ‘Steal My Heart Elopement Package’ and celebrate your love in the freshest air and cozy style.

Image via @opushotel

Wedgewood Hotel & Spa

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Founded by the now-deceased wife of notoriously furious Nelson Skalbania, the Wedgewood is all about old-world luxury, velvety charm, and top hats. Set in the heart of downtown with an unassuming entrance, guests step in and are instantly transported back to the Baroque era. Be sure to pack your powdered wig!

Image via @wedgewoodhotel

The Sylvia Hotel

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No one stays at the Sylvia Hotel to be pampered and lose themselves. They stay at the Sylvia because it is a stone’s throw from the beach at English Bay, all the characters that hang there in the summer and the abundance of shwarma shops. Keep your eyes peeled for YouTube star Spandy Andy, who has been known to summer in the city. Can you say Gasolina?

Image via The Sylvia Hotel

The Westin Bayshore

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A hotel literally on the water next to the urban rainforest called Stanley Park. Guests enjoy views of the coastline, distant mountains, and easy access to all of the best things to do in Vancouver. Guests can either reinvigorate with an ocean-side jog or bicycle ride in Stanley Park but ensure you pop a couple of band-aids in your pocket. The park is full of ducks, squirrels, small cute birds and a few gnarly raccoons that will take your hand-off for a peanut.

Image via @westinbayshore

St. Regis Hotel

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With the right planning, sports obsessed guests can snuggle in their team jerseys at the St. Regis Bar & Grill, hit a few games at Rogers Arena and BC Place, stumble back to Gotham for surf and turf, and then grab a little for later at the in-hotel liquor store. Sweet!

Image via@stregishotel

Being an international waterfront city, Vancouver caters to visitors from all around the world and our hotels reflect this in their unique deals. Always ask if there is a ‘special offer’ happening. It could be anything from a free upgrade because it is your birthday or a deal on a coastal cruise with whale watching.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

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SD: The Best Nail Salons in Vancouver

In certain circles, a woman without enhanced nails is a rare bird indeed. Natural nails are such a thing of the past to a point where nails are coordinated with looks, lifestyles and purely for shock value. Here is our list of salons that definitely stand out from the crowd and bring creative inspiration to their services.

La Lotus Nail Spa in West End

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This award-winning company in the West End specializes in two things – nails and lashes. Their pricing is affordable and the results truly scream money. So popular is La Lotus that they offer incentive programs for businesses! Ask about their Corporate Program to keep your co-workers looking smoking hot.

Image via @lalotusnailspa

Joyride in Kitsilano

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With 7 signature nail treatments, firstly you select the Joyride of your choice and then you select from their beverage menu a fresh Glory Juice, organic tea or a piping hot Americano. A stand-out on their menu is The Sophia package which is devoted to moms-to-be. The package includes all natural products and an additional hand and foot massage.

Image via @joyridevancouver

Onyx Aesthetics Studio in Gastown

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Currently the only CND-exclusive salon in the Lower Mainland, the Onyx is known, not only for their amazing work but having a studio interior inspired by the glamour of Old Hollywood imbued with natural elements of the west coast. Onyx is one of those boutique businesses you enter and immediately think this is the coolest place ever. Take a peek at the gallery of hand painted nail art and a fantastic selection of accessories, you’re sure to be impressed.

Image via @onyxaesthetics

The Salon Beauty Bar in West End

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Specializing in non-chip and bio-sculpture gel nails, this business has won numerous awards and is a neighbourhood favourite. Not content with just a simple buff and polish? Request and thoroughly enjoy a luxury manicure experience with an additional paraffin wax treatment and hand massage.

Image via @thesalonbeautybar

Poised Nails in Coal Harbour, Yaletown

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Poised Nails offers many services, but for those who want their hands getting noticed, this is the salon that will give you unique nails every time. The UV Hard Gel and embellishments are a great deal and on Monday and Tuesday, customers receive 15% off all nail services.

Image via @poisednails

The Ten Spot in Yaletown

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This franchised beauty bar in Yaletown has been recommended by literally every editor of national beauty publications as the place to get your nails done. Expect creativity, professionalism, all with the highest quality products and the utmost regard to health and sanitization standards.

Image via @thetenspot

Varnish Nail Lounge in Yaletown

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Offering an extensive range of nail services in their stylish location, Varnish also uses the highest quality brands that nail fanatics love. Choose from your favourite colours including Butter London, Essie, OPI, China Glaze and don’t forget the Swarovski Crystals to add that extra bling factor.

Image via @varnish_nails

Frilly Lilly in Yaletown

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Frilly Lilly opened its first boutique in 2005 and since then has spread like wildfire across Canada and the US. Incorporating whimsy and femininity as part of their branding, they immediately tossed aside the perceived cold and sterile atmosphere of nail salons. Visiting is still an experience and you can really relax while the technician creates your nails knowing that they implement many sustainable practices as part of their philosophy.

Image via @frillylilly

There have been so many advancements in artificial nail products that nail technicians can make the most natural-looking or the insanely unnatural nails in the world, so have some fun when choosing and enjoy the personalized service, friendly banter, and the compliments.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

 

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SD: The Best Beaches in Vancouver

In Vancouver, going to the beach is not an activity that requires a lot of pre-planning. If anything, the hardest decision is which beach to pick, as there are so many with great qualities. From the corner of Robson and Granville, all the beaches listed here are accessible, either by walking or transit.

Sunset Beach

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Just off Beach Avenue and next to the Aquatic Centre, Sunset Beach is a sandy expanse with access to the ‘little boats’ that ferry tourists and shoppers back and forth to Granville Island. Designated a quiet beach, it is a wonderful location to lay back against a huge weathered log and watch the sailboats slip under the Burrard and Granville bridges on their way to the False Creek marinas.

Image via yourvancouverrealestate.ca

Trout Lake

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A small beach compared to the others on this list, but the attraction of Trout Lake is that it is located in a quiet residential community surrounded by large green spaces dotted with families and friends playing sports or just chilling with a cold one. Evenings are for BBQing, skateboarding and off-leashing your dog from 5-10pm.

Image via @troutlakecc

Second Beach

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Walk north from English Bay into Stanley Park and you will find ‘Second Beach’. It is renowned for the Siwash Rock, its large outdoor heated pool, playgrounds and traditional snack bars with greasy French fries, potato chips, frozen ice cream treats and amazing sunset views.

Image via @woxunwang

Third Beach

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From Second Beach, keep following the Seawall until you come across the next strip of beach. A favourite location for secluded cuddling and grilling, Third Beach is rougher terrain but well worth the walk for the full nature immersion literally 20 minutes from downtown’s crowds.

Image via @third_beach_vancouver

Wreck Beach

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Call it what you will, but Wreck Beach will always be more than a ‘clothing optional’ beach. There is a sense of community and visitors will find food, fun, art, dancing and lots of nudity. August 10th is the annual Bare Buns Run, so if you are interested in getting your ‘naked’ on in a big crowd, that is definitely the day to blend in and feel the wind behind your…

Image via @wreckbeach

Spanish Banks

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For anyone who wishes to step away from the city, but still have cell phone reception and stay within walking distance to great restaurants, this urban beach is for you and your furry pet. With designated off-leash areas and long sandy beaches, it is perfect for that romantic evening romp.

Image via @lhmack62

Kitsilano Beach

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Kits Beach on an average day is akin to an American coming-of-age movie with pretty young things playing volleyball, slathering on sunscreen and tanning, holding raucous BBQs and cruising the seawall in all the latest gear. When that gets tired, the crowd heads over to Cornwall Street and continues the party on the numerous outdoor patios with mas cervezas.

Image via @nutmegsxo

English Bay Beach

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In the summer months, this log-lined sandy expanse is packed from morning to night with people who enjoy swimming in the ocean, suntanning, eating curbside snacks of popcorn and pretzels, having picnics with squirrels and Canadian Geese, and the occasional sighting of the infamous Spandy Andy and his boombox.

Image via @vanbeachco

Jericho Beach

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Jericho lies between Kits Beach and Spanish Banks and is the chosen location for The Vancouver Folk Music Festival’s annual event. Concert goers enjoy the music, the festive atmosphere and the numerous pathways which are perfect for walking and cycling. Jericho is also a popular launching spot for those who enjoy water sports and there is always a bevy of colourful kayakers and paddle boarders cruising around.

Image via @chantiellemac

Buntzen Lake

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Buntzen Lake is tucked north of Anmore in Indian Arm Provincial Park. The beach is an active hydroelectric reservoir with a man-made recreational are and is actually accessible by transit on the C26 (1.5 hours). The beach area may be small and the water cold but that doesn’t stop people from swimming, paddling, and canoeing. There is a launch (no power boats allowed, though), hiking trails, and wildlife, including bears. If you choose to trek, keep your dog on leash and your snacks close.

Image via @buntzenlake.ca

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

 

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