SD: The Best Barbershops in Vancouver

For those who prefer a short cut and shave, the barbershop is preferable to the ‘salon’ being without harsh product smells and noisy blow-dryer action. The barbershops in Vancouver range from old school neighborhood locations with walk-ins only to hipster hang-outs with tough guys covered in tattoos from head to toe. Here are our 8 picks for a great haircut, facial maintenance, and the proper product to keep you dapper in between trims.

Here are our 8 picks for a great haircut, facial maintenance, and the proper product to keep you dapper in between trims:

18th Amendment Barber Shop in Gastown

18th Amendment Barber Shop is based on tradition and designed for the modern man. The shop specializes in hot towel shaves, beard and mustache trims, classic haircuts and fades. The ambiance feels authentic and the decor is heavily influenced by nostalgia, making it perfect to take a step back in time for a short time.

Regal Barbers in Downtown

Born from the ashes of the former well-established barbershop in downtown, these barbers have banded together and created a shop that others compare themselves to. Offering cuts, styling, straight razor shaves and eye-brow shaping, threading and a grooming club with members pricing.

JD’s Barbershop in Gastown & the Vancouver Club (members only)

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JD’s is the brainchild of Judah Down, a master barber, hairdresser and colourist of 15 years who switched gears in 2002 and opened his first barbershop in Gastown. This shop caters to men and women and offers specials that include $ off for students and scotch for grooms.

Image via @jdsbarbershop

Barber & Co in Gastown

A member of the Union of Barbers, in league with the Donnelly Group, Barber & Co is the sort of place you’ll come for a cut, trim or shave and then spend the afternoon hanging out. The atmosphere is traditional yet vibrant with 5 locations from Gastown to Main Street.

The Belmont Barbershop on East Broadway

Senior barber, Rich Hope, made his bones as a musician/songwriter and has been with the Belmont for 5 years now. The Belmont is old school, the room is roughed up, and a stuffed deer head keeps watch over the shenanigans that only hockey fanatics would understand and partake in.

FortKnight Barbers in Gastown

All the barbers at FortKnight are proud residents of Gastown and through old time customer service and advice, they strive to give you style. FortKnight is also a great place to unwind, catch up on the latest news and receive topnotch service.

Farzad’s Barber Shop in Yaletown

Blink and you may miss this tiny bastion of cutting and shaving. With 2 barbers – owner Farzad and Noriko from Tokyo – this Yaletown hole-in-the-wall often has a motorcycle and an obsession with perfection. Traditional to eclectic modern, they cut it all, with no attitude.

Man Cave Barber Shop in Yaletown & Metrotown

The Man Cave Barber Shop is supposed to be a place where every man can call his own but times are a-changing. The lady barbers have moved in and there is a regular female client who brings her dog every month. Carrying organic and cruelty-free products, great pricing and a walk-in policy, patrons can be in and out in 15 minutes. Man Cave offers convenience and quality that cannot be beat.

Whether you want a cut, trim and clean, mustache wax and curl, or the full deal with a straight razor and hot towel, picking the perfect barbershop in Vancouver is hard as they seem to be popping up all over. Take our advice and try these first.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.

 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

 

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.

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.

 

SD: Best Poutine Joints in Vancouver

Widely believed to be invented by a trucker in Quebec and its name literally translating into ‘a mess’ from the French, poutine has been appropriated in various incarnations all across North America and possibly the world. Every location offering this messy dish of fries, cheese curds and gravy puts a twist on the traditional. Here are some of our favourite Vancouver offerings:

Here are some of our favourite Vancouver offerings:

Spud Shack in New Westminster

 

The ‘Night Market’ poutine is a one-of-a-kind creation featuring kimchi, ginger beef, crispy wontons, spicy mayo and a sprinkling of chopped green onions. Aptly named for the Asian night markets that the Vancouver suburbs are famous for, this one will make your head smoke and have you running for a bubble tea house for dessert.

Edible Canada on Granville Island

Poutine taken to a foul level! Edible Canada is the go-to restaurant for foodie’s that relish Canadian ingredients combined in classic dishes. Try the duck poutine with fried egg topping in a cast iron skillet for brunch with a sparkling wine. Divine.

Smoke’s Poutinerie in Downtown

Smoke’s makes no bones about being all about global domination with their poutine. The iconic recipe includes a smidgeon of rosemary in the chicken based gravy, squeaky cheese curds, and trans-fat free canola oil for the blanching. Veghead’s can also request veggie or peppercorn gravy.

La Brasserie in the West End

This chic Franco-German comfort food joint may have smaller portions than the other poutine purveyors, but what they lack in size they definitely make up for in flavour and boldness. Try their infamous truffle poutine for a taste bud tantalizing treat.

Dunn’s Famous in Downtown

Dunn’s is a chain out of Montreal and is situated in the heart of downtown. Living near Dunn’s is trouble for the adventuresome fast-foodie, as they are creative poutine makers with an extra tasty gravy. Daily there are specials that range from smoked meat to avocado toppings. Pair with a $5 brew and lunch is served.

La Belle Patate in the West End

The only recommended restaurant on the list that uses meat-free gravy, so vegetarians rejoice at the option. With over 30 types of poutine and an all-you-can-eat option, this place was made for Saturday morning gorging while waiting for the Extra Strength Tylenol to kick in.

The Oakwood on West 4th

Served in a cast iron skillet, this super traditional dish is crafted from Kennebec potatoes with unique veal-bone gravy, cheese curds (all the way from Quebec) and topped with thick slices of hickory maple smoked brisket. Grab a local brew while you are at it and don’t get any on your favourite plaid flannel shirt.

Mean Poutine in Downtown

Mean Poutine may have begun as a little business for two big BC Lions football players but the Southern BBQ Poutine is all that and more. Open until 4:30am for those post-Granville strip nightclub munchies.

The Wallflower Modern Diner on Main Street

Change it up and have your traditional poutine as a side to The Wallflower’s creamy beef stroganoff. A duo that will leave you reeling and completely satisfied. Always eager to satisfy the most demanding palette, the poutine is also available in a very popular vegan gluten free and version.

Whether your taste in poutine ranges from vegan to extra-meaty, traditional to kimchi topped, we are sure you will find what your taste buds desire within this deep-fried and cheesy list.

This article was originally published in StyleDemocracy.com.