Base Coat Modern Nail Salon X Gallery focuses on a chemical-free experience

The latest venture of Tran Wills, Base Coat Modern Nail Salon X Gallery will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday, September 14, when the combination nail salon/art gallery joins the lineup on Tennyson Street in the Berkeley neighborhood. Wills, whose name has become synonymous with style and small-business savvy in Colorado, owns the place with her mother, Sally Le.

"She's been in the nail business for a while," Wills explains. "I have aunts and uncles and cousins who own nail salons -- it's pretty typical in Vietnamese culture. I've just always been in this world, and my mom was sick of working for other people. I wanted to help her open a nail salon, but I wanted to do it 100 percent differently than the normal nail salon."

See also: Tran and Josh Wills help visitors find the "other" Denver at the Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast

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Artist Estee Fox is in search of a pretty vagina

Estee Fox's original piece hanging with other student work at Auraria.
Talk about art on the cutting-edge! On Friday, February 1, the show Estee Fox: fox tales ft. 7 and marbles -- an eclectic mix of videos, paintings and live music -- will open at Edge Gallery, complete with a screening and discussion of Fox's performance piece "How to: A Pretty Vagina." As the artist explains: "For my performance, I cut off a piece of my vagina. This is not about being sick, but of being well in the world. While I was candidly citing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the global sense, I am more specifically drawing attention to the aesthetic genital mutilation in the U.S. This procedure is more commonly know as labia-plasty. It arose with the invention of the designer vagina."

See also:

- Circumcision: Colorado to stop Medicaid coverage of snipping newborn boys' foreskins

- Residue Denver: Artists act out at Edge Gallery
- Susanne Mitchell documents African culture at Edge

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Mustaches: They're gross, they scratch my face, and the Civil War is over

Never caught with a mustache: Nick Valensi and Humphrey Bogart, A.K.A. total babes.
Editor's note: Mustaches are derigeur on uncles, cops and closing pitchers, but they've also become a fixture on the upper lips of the young and the hip. In fact, it's hard to imagine a time since the Civil War when razors were so ignored. But the look can be polarizing, and Westword contributors Samantha Alviani and Bree Davies each represent the opposite ends of that spectrum. See Alviani's take in "Mustaches: they are exciting and they celebrate a classic ode to manhood,"; here's Davies's:

Instead of burying my position on facial hair between paragraphs full of my manifested obsession with a bygone era of male style and the notion that I'm almost always attracted to the only clean-shaven gay man in a room, I'll just say it: I fucking hate mustaches. I hate them. I hate them almost as much as I hate beards, and I only hate beards more because they have a higher volume of unnecessary facial hair on a normally attractive dude.

See also:
- Winning Movember, week 4: On the sexuality of the mustache
- What's in your bag? Fake mustache, tickets and more!
- James Holmes hearing: Mustache, outburst, no decision on unsealing files

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Mustaches: They're exciting, and they celebrate a classic ode to manhood

tom selleck stache.jpg
Check out this glorious mustache.
Editor's note: Mustaches are de rigueur on uncles, cops and closing pitchers, but they've also become a fixture on the upper lips of the young and the hip. In fact, it's hard to imagine a time since the Civil War when razors were so ignored. But the look can be polarizing, and Westword contributors Samantha Alviani and Bree Davies each represent the opposite ends of that spectrum. See Davies's take in "Mustaches: They're gross, they scratch my face, and the Civil War is over"; here's Alviani's:

My love and appreciation of the mustache began at a young age, when I came across a picture of my dad taken in the early '70s. The photo was probably shot somewhere in New England, and Dad was leaning casually against the post of a wooden fence, decked out in bell-bottoms and a classic -- yet slightly unkempt -- handlebar mustache. A different incarnation of that mustache would show up a decade later when he was working in politics; groomed and polished, it had an air of seriousness, but was no less exuberant.

See also:
- Movember in Denver
- The ten most glorious and iconic mustaches of all time
- Gentlemen, keep your mustaches: An open letter to the Durango Police Department

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Style Strike bags fashion fans with its first episode

Photos by Natalie Gonzalez
The crew films an interview next to the style board.
Style Strike debuted yesterday in the plaza of the Denver Pavilions. In this home-grown reality show, host Samuel Schimek -- of the I Heart Denver store in the Pavilions -- chooses audience members with old, out-of-style accessories to "strike" and replace with new items that are actually in "style."

Every Wednesday through August 15, the Pavilions will feature a new Style Strike, focusing on different kinds of accessories. Yesterday, three lucky winners took home brand-new, trendy bags -- and I received free movie tickets just for showing up!
See also:
-- Denver Pavilion's new series Style Strike
-- Cash Mob at I Heart Denver

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Stay with me, bra: Finding a home for the girls

Categories: Beauty, Fashion

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Pictured: Not me in a Wacoal bra.
"You need to throw that thing away as soon as you get home," says Tracy. "You see how it's riding up in the back?" I do see. I'm standing in the bathroom of a suite at the Ritz-Carlton with Tracy, a woman I just met, and she's appalled -- appalled -- by my undergarments. Well, undergarment.

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Vibrators: A pop-culture history of this buzzed-about device

Like gay marriage, marijuana use and tattoos, public perception of female sex toys is not what it used to be. While male sex toys still weigh heavy on the shame scale, a female pleasure device is mostly seen as a cute novelty. Encountering one while snooping is comparable to finding a rutabaga in the fridge or a Kid 'n Play record on the shelf: more "Oh, that's interesting" than "You filthy slut."

In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, which opens tomorrow at the Bug, takes us back to a time before female sexuality was acknowledged, when the buzzing phallus was used to treat women for "hysteria" -- and once its alternative uses were made known, was vilified as an unmentionable weapon of evil, a disgusting appliance of hell-bound harlots.

In honor of this theatrical monument to the social evolution of female sexuality, we are proud to present this brief pop-culture history of the vibrator:

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Body sugaring for summer -- I got the full Brazilian!

Categories: Beauty

J. Wohletz
It's almost swimsuit season, and I was sporting a rocking case of "winter bush."

Ladies, we all know what that is: You wear jeans and heinie-hiding girl-brief panties all winter long, into early spring, and when you finally snap and look down at your privies in the shower, it looks like you are hobby-horsing a yeti.

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Calling all mods: Mods Mayday at the Skylark Lounge

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It's difficult to say exactly what "mod" means in 2012. Even when the movement reached its zenith in London in the early '60s, the definition wasn't clear: not quite hippie, not quite punk, not quite English, yet not quite American, either. Inventing a sort of bohemian dandy aesthetic, the mods wore pork-pie hats, listened to jazz records, gobbled down amphetamines like pac-man and rode Vespa scooters through London, on their way to fights with "the rockers." Ah, but some would say that's not quite right, either. In its evolutions from the Quadrophenia/mod-punk revival of the late '70s to the Britpop aesthetics of the mid-90s, what's considered mod has gone through many changes and titles -- yet, like the Supreme Courts definition of pornography, you know it when you see it.

Here in Denver, the mod lifestyle of high fashion, scooters and record-collecting has been growing, due in part to groups like the Denver Vintage Reggae Society, whose events allow people to get dressed up in mod (or skinhead, ska, northern soul, etc.) gear and dance to records made before most of them were even born. And this Friday, May 18, you can check out these bohemian dandies yourself at the Mods Mayday 2012 event at the Skylark Lounge, featuring DJs spinning ska and northern soul, as well as live music by The Manxx and The Sonic Archers.

Westword reached out to Mods Mayday 2012 event organizer Steve Antonio to discuss scooters, music and shopping for mod clothes in Denver.

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A thick history of beards and facial hair (infographic)

Does a beard make the man? It depends on who you ask. Historically, beards were used for warmth, intimidation of protection from enemies, but in modern times, women find beards only about two-thirds as attractive as a clean-shaven man. In Colorado, beards can be a seasonal look for the October-March snow, but are also worn year-round in homage of the pioneers who settled this land. (Or perhaps beards are really hip in some social circles.) Learn more about beards with the below infographic, then work on turning that stubble into a face rug everyone will look upon with envy.

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