Best of Kansas City 2017: Beauty & Arts

photo courtesy of Ashley white

  Best Style Blogger

  Ashley White, Le Stylo Rouge

   With more than 18,000 followers on Instagram and a loyal following on her style blog,, Ashley White is the go-to authority when it comes to fashion in KC. White loves to give personality to traditional pieces such as blazers, leather jackets and pumps, and she rocks just about anything striped. Le Stylo Rouge has been featured in Marie Claire, and she was recognized as one of 50 Most Stylish by StyleBlazer in 2016. When she’s not blogging about her latest looks, you can find her dressed to the nines, complete with her classic Ray-Ban aviators.


  Best Hair Extensions

  Bravadas Wigs & Extensions

   If you’re looking for voluminous, natural hair, schedule a free consultation with one of Bravadas Wigs & Extensions’ trained professionals. Bravadas offers add-on, clip-on and tape-in hair extensions to give a bit of extra body and texture to your hair and help you switch up your everyday look; natural-looking human hair and synthetic wigs; hair pieces; and skin and scalp solutions to help boost your confidence. 11004 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan., (913) 608-5170,


  Best Relaxing Massage

  Blu Bird Spa

   Take time off from your stressful day to get a rejuvenating massage at Blu Bird Spa. Offering services like a full-body massage tailored to your individual needs, body scrubs, hot stone massage and prenatal massages for expecting mothers, there’s something for everybody. The massage therapists at Blu Bird have extensive knowledge about massage techniques like deep tissue, myofascial release, muscle and posture stretching, making sure they can help solve clients’ pain problems. Massages are known to improve blood circulation, relieve stress, allow deep relaxation, reduce anxiety and promote a greater feeling of well-being. 7399 W. 97th St, Overland Park, Kan., (913) 955-3200,


 photo courtesy of Rockstar Nails & Spa


Best Nail Art

  Rockstar Nails & Spa

   For beautiful, precise nail art, it’s hard to beat Rockstar Nails & Spa. Not only does it have the classic mani-pedi at an affordable price, it also has nail art ranging from intricate patterns and trendy tropical fruit to blue-and-white Royals designs and festive holiday themes. The nail technicians are highly trained, attentive and take their time to perfect clients’ nails. The salon is kept spotless with top-notch sanitation and an advanced ventilation system to make sure clients feel comfortable and relaxed during their visit. 4309 NE Chouteau Trafficway, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 459-7638, Rockstar Nails & Spa Facebook page


  Best Local Band

  Katy Guillen & The Girls

   We dare you to find more hard-rocking chicks than Katy Guillen & the Girls. Comprising lead vocalist and guitarist Katy Guillen, bassist and vocalist Claire Adams and drummer Stephanie Williams, these soulful blues/rock musicians play with enough power and energy to melt faces. When they’re not touring the country playing shows for a growing number of adoring fans, you MUST catch them on their home turf Aug. 4 at recordBar.


  Best Dance Troupe

  Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

   As the only official second home of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Kansas City is fortunate to have KCFAA and its inclusive programs. Alvin Ailey himself chose KC over Los Angeles in 1984 due to the positive response of the community to his company’s work. KCFAA strives to make dance accessible to all people, teach young people critical life skills and encourage diversity of people and ideas. Aside from offering dance workshops, camps, multimedia performances and year-round studio classes, KCFAA also hosts its annual Symposium, which fosters awareness of issues regarding diversity at the local, regional, national and international level. Be sure to stop by the studio in the 18th and Vine Jazz District on First Fridays for free dance lessons. 1714 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 471-6003,


  Best Theater Company

  KC Repertory Theatre

   Now in its 51st year of performances, the KC Rep is the professional theater in residence at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Considered a leader in the arts community, the KC Rep employs 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators; serves more than 100,000 patrons from a five-state region; and engages 10,000 Kansas City metro schoolchildren through its education and outreach programs. Through the OriginKC: New Works Program, the Rep offers playwrights the financial, creative and artistic resources required to develop vital, diverse theatrical works, like What Would Crazy Horse Do? by Larissa FastHorse. 4949 Cherry St. and 1 H&R Block Way, Kansas City, Mo., (816) 235-2700,


  Best-Under-the-Radar Art Fair

  Unplaza Art Fair

   Explore the road less traveled with PeaceWorks’ annual fundraiser, the UNplaza Art Fair, Sept. 23-24. If the Plaza Art Fair feels too mainstream (and expensive), this local-artists-only showcase of ceramics, paintings, jewelry, textiles and more is a more intimate celebration of the arts. The 27th annual fair will take place at a new location, Southmoreland Park, and is sure to offer the unexpected.


  Best Museum

  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

   The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art topped the list of Yelp’s “Top 10 Museums in America,” even beating out the Met in New York, and any KC local could easily tell you why: the Nelson’s regal architectural style, its sprawling green lawns with whimsical shuttlecocks and awe-inspiring sculptures, its free admission, its expansive galleries and its numerous popular cultural events, to name a few. The museum’s diverse collection of artifacts spans nearly every genre and touches nearly every corner of the globe, not to mention the new Bloch Galleries, filled with an impressive collection of 29 impressionist and post-impressionist masterworks by the likes of Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Nelson is an absolute treasure, placing our Midwestern town on the national arts and culture map. 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 751-1278,


Best Jazz Group

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

   This not-for-profit organization, led by artistic director/conductor Clint Ashlock, presents a series of concerts featuring guest instrumentalists and vocalists or a theme to showcase the diversity of jazz. Comprising the city's finest musicians, KCJO has been nurturing the growth and preserving the rich heritage of jazz, an art form for all ages, since 2003. Youth and community outreach programs, such as jazz camp, master classes and artists in residence, are also an integral part of the orchestra's mission. Be sure to catch "Jumpin' Down Route 66," a celebration of rhythm-and-blues classics, Oct. 6 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.


  Best Arts Venue

  Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

   World-renowned architect Moshe Safdie's original plans for this iconic piece of KC's skyline were first sketched on a napkin, and today the Kauffman Center is the ultimate venue for performing arts in the entire region. The modern marvel contains two performance halls with state-of-the-art acoustics and sophisticated aesthetics. Brandmeyer Great Hall, which serves as the lobby, has floor-to-ceiling glass windows anchored by 27 cables and offers stunning views of downtown. Home to the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera, the Kauffman Center caters to a variety of audiences so everyone can experience excellent performances. 1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., (816) 994-7200,


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