By Maria Tettamanti
Extreme Makeover, The Biggest Loser, Celebrity Fit Club – let’s face it folks, America loves a good makeover. So does Isa-Beles Boutique owner Isabel Salazar. Only you won’t have your dreadful "before" photo plastered on the tube for all the world to see – all you’ve got to do is step into her vibrant shop on Coral Way for a head-to-toe transformation.
Born in Colombia, Salazar moved to New York at the age of 14. A Miami native for the past 12 years, she worked as a stylist for the likes of Missy Elliott, Gloria Estefan, Lil Kim and other celebrities. "I figured, if I can make an actor or socialite feel fabulous, I would love to do that for ordinary people," Salazar says.
For the past three years, Salazar’s Isa-Beles Boutique has been a one-stop-shop for a woman’s two passions: pampering and shopping. Visits start with a quick Q&A, then a half-hour mini facial ($30) with Indonesian Joesef products followed by a paraffin wax hand treatment ($12). Afterward, Salazar applies MAC makeup ($15). "I only make up half of each client’s face so that they can finish the other half and learn how to do it all by themselves," Salazar says. Salazar then assesses each client’s body by weighing them and recommends one of her 12 different body shapers ($55-$90) – invented by Salazar herself.
"When I was a stylist, there was always something that just didn’t fit right," she says. After meeting with numerous plastic surgeons in Colombia, she invented her own line of compression garments. "They’re made from surgical fabric and clients lose eight inches once they put them on – it’s like instant lipo," Salazar says. They also help melt away the pounds due to their tightness Salazar adds, "Like a corset, they mold your body."
After each mini makeover, Salazar handpicks outfits to suit each client’s needs. The boutique boasts an array of reasonably priced ($15-$55) L.A.-based designers like Vizio, Lette and Entro, designer-inspired handbags, hand-painted sundresses, earrings, bracelets, Colombian lingerie and swimwear. Balinese photo albums, candles and incense are also on hand. "I have a little bit of everything," Salazar says.
Ain’t that the truth. A makeover and eight inches off those pesky problem areas? Sign us up for an Isa-Beles intervention.
Isa-Beles Boutique; 2379 Coral Way, Miami; 305-860-2001.
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