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Skin-Deep Beauty 

Stephanie Parrino, a board certified esthetician, has been fascinated with skin care since childhood and over the years has gained expertise in techniques and products that can improve almost any skin condition, including acne scars.

"Skin care has been a hobby since I was young," says Parrino, whose independent practice is located in Glenn Michael Salon and Beauty Bar (1623 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-6848). "I've worked for a plastic surgeon and for a salon, but now I'm independent. I try to use all-natural ingredients on the skin, and I can customize things for the skin (using ingredients such as fruits and other natural products). I can't cook, but I can whip up a skin care recipe."

As a matter of fact, once she has analyzed what a person needs to rejuvenate and maintain their skin, she often gives them recipes for things they can concoct at home, a practice she's dubbed "Good Skin from the Kitchen Cabinet."

For those not inclined to mix up their own products, Parrino sells products from SkinCeuticals and Image Skin Care, "cosmoceuticals" that have to meet strict FDA standards. Parrino also uses special techniques for repairing and rejuvenating skin, including microdermabrasion, LED photorejuvenation, skin polishing, gentle peels, exfoliation, vitamin C masks and products and more to take care of problems such as acne and acne scars, sun damage and brown spots. She also offers waxing and brow reshaping.

"I'm probably unique in New Orleans, because with the experience I have, it has offered me the opportunity to try things that haven't been tried before," she says. "I can just do skin renewal in a different way, customized to the client so I can get some good collagen and elastin in the skin.

"For acne scar treatment I use a combination of gentle peels, microdermabrasion, skin polishing, the LED photorejuvenation and various vitamin C products and masks to help with the discoloration and to rejuvenate the indentation of the skin and the scars themselves. It improves each visit, and they can see it from the very first visit."

She also offers a range of anti-aging treatments that also are tailored to an individual's skin and what they want to accomplish.

"You can change skin," Parrino says. "You can make it so much better and so much younger. My favorite saying is: 'Never let an old person move into your body.'"

Parrino works by appointment only and offers free consultations.

Local Culture On a Bun

Restaurant owner Brad Daigle operates his Southern Po-boys (720 Claiborne Drive, Jefferson, 835-3035) on a simple philosophy of delivering quality New Orleans food in a welcoming atmosphere. An although he bought the 27-year-old eatery less than two years ago, he feels he's ready to expand to other locations around town.

"I hope that within another year you'll see a few other of these around," says Daigle. "Our mission is to ensure a high level of quality food ... and our dream is to franchise our unique New Orleans service."

Best known as a midday spot that serves hot plate lunches that change daily, muffalettas and a full range of po-boys to both dine-in and take-out customers, Southern Po-boys also serves dinner, something added after Daigle bought the place.

"For 30 years it was only open until 5 p.m.," he says. "I started doing dinner when I opened, but we're still trying to get the word out about that, but we pack them in for lunch."

Among the best selling sandwiches are seafood po-boys piled with shrimp, oysters, catfish and softshell crab, meatball sandwiches and roast beef po-boys smothered in gravy. In addition to soft drinks, the eatery serves beer and wine. Part of the reason for the restaurant's popularity, Daigle says, is that the food is fresh, cooked in a New Orleans style and served with heart. Even the restaurant itself is a monument to the city, with walls plastered in art of old New Orleans scenes and restaurant staff that considers regular customers to be part of their extended family.

"We do a lively business every day," Daigle says. "I attribute that to good, quality food and a great atmosphere. Everything we make is from scratch; we try to use the freshest high-quality products we can find. We concentrate on making the food good and right. It's New Orleans original home cooking at it's finest."

New Place to Relax

Locals and visitors to New Orleans alike have a new place to find respite from the stresses of the world at Spa Aria on the mezzanine level of the historic Hotel Monteleone (214 Royal St., 523-9990), which has been operated by four generations of the Monteleone family since 1886.

The full-service spa offers everything from manicures and pedicures to facials, massage, body wraps and more. Spa Aria is part of the final phase of a $65 million renovation to Hotel Monteleone.

Shopping Resource

In January, Gambit Weekly will expand this section to include news about special sales, trunk shows, store events and expansions. To submit information for the weekly column, please fax Kandace Graves at 483-3116 or email her at kandaceg@gambitweekly.com. Information should be submitted at least 10 days before publication date.

click to enlarge Esthetician Stephanie Parrino knows how to optimize the beauty of your skin -- and keep it looking great.
  • Esthetician Stephanie Parrino knows how to optimize the beauty of your skin -- and keep it looking great.
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