Living in Rockridge – Get a Total Makeover, All Along College

Rockridge News article about College Ave shops

College Ave. in Oakland’s popular Rockridge neighborhood is home to many highly rated health and beauty businesses. Discover just a few in this article, re-printed with permission from the Rockridge News, April 2023. By Susie Wyshak. Compass REALTOR® and Rockridge resident.

Beyond clothing, surprising ways to re-invent your look along College Avenue.

Pavé Fine Jewelry – Style your old jewelry

Have old jewelry that’s too good to sell or give away but too “not you” to wear? “Transforming old, unloved jewelry into new pieces has been a big part of Pavé’s business in the past 40 years,” says Michael Endlich, owner of Pavé Fine Jewelry. “Styles change and elders pass down cherished jewelry that’s not quite current,” he says. 

Customers bring their jewelry in, and Pavé will redesign it, repurpose it into something they want to wear. Imagine a brooch into bracelets. Cufflinks into earrings. Rings into necklaces. “It can be a wonderful way to incorporate Grandma or our parents into our lives. You keep the ancestral connection but make the jewlery your own.”

Customers can also bring in heirloom jewelry to be maintained and repaired. Pavé can also melt precious metal jewelry into something new and recycle gems.

Master jewelers work at Pavé’s own workshop, rather than sending it out as other jewelers may do. The sales people at Pave are mostly jewelry designers with many gemologists on staff. 

5496 College, (510) 547-7000,

Yours Truly Permanent Cosmetics – Style your face

Oh to have that summery freckle-nosed look year round! Now you can. Yours Truly owner and artist Megan Hessler attributes an Instagram “freckle filter” for a new trend in freckle tattoos that last 1-3 years. Not a freckle fan? Black beauty marks add instant glamour.

Illusions of fluffier, more even, thicker, crisper eyebrows are in reach. Hessler’s team of certified and licensed Body Art Practitioners help clients of all genders touch up their looks without the hassle of makeup or hair dye. Hessler herself sports “brow lamination,” for a brushed-up look.

Lash-line tattoos help the eyes pop, with semi-permanent eye liner adding even more lid definition and a “fresh awake look,” without the smudging or skin irritation. Megan herself models the benefits of lip blush. This full-lip tinting, nothing like the bold lip liner of the 80s, solves uneven lip coloration or lack of pigmentation. 

“The year 2016 marked a turning point in semi-permanent cosmetics,” Megan explained. “Dyes and techniques used today have become much more natural looking, unlike the harsh, blue-green, metal-based facial tattoos of past decades.” What happens after 1-3 years? The tints simply fade away. Unless you come in for touch ups, that is.

5292 College Ave,

The Yoni Temple – Style your hair (yes that one)

How Berkeley can Rockridge be? The Yoni Temple opened its College Ave. location in 2021, bringing the community “a safe, sacred space where you can relax and feel pampered while receiving a wax.” The salon uses organic, biodegradable waxes in a peaceful, earthy setting.  Waxing in Rockridge Oakland Yoni Temple

Beyond the boutique’s Berkeley spirit, Manager Tessa Bagwill reports that during the pandemic people let their hair grow out and were “rocking underarm hair.” From that time also sprang the  “Berkeley Brazilian.” This style evolves waxing trends of the past few decades into a new “do” combining a natural 70s look with the famous Brazilian style — made less painful thanks to soothing music and balms. They’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

Along with waxing, the women-owned, women-run boutique’s estheticians offer eyebrows and eye lash dying. Everyone is welcome at The Yoni Temple, which is committed to body positivity..

5831 College, 510-239-3052,

Arellano Salon – Style your wig

So it’s time to get a wig. Hair stylist Carlos Arellano offers a solution to those wanting something other than an “off the shelf” wig look: He styles wigs to naturally fit with a face’s shape and with a customer’s style. “When you buy a wig, it doesn’t come tailed to your face,” he explained. Arellano takes the same approach to cutting and styling a wig as he does with hair.rockridge hair salon Arellanos

Arellano — a hair stylist since the mid-70s — can also dye wigs as long as they are made with 100% real hair. “People who have had chemotherapy and want to wear a wig will come in or I will go to their house to style their wig,” he said. Clients with hair toppers (hair pieces attached by combs) and hair implants also look to Arellano to cut and color their hair. Arellano has styled hair at his cozy Rockridge salon since the mid-1990s. 

5475 College, 510-207-4672,

Seeking a new career along with your new style? The Rockridge businesses you just read about all employ state-licensed artists who honed their craft in school and on the job. 

Susie Wyshak is a local real estate agent who enjoys helping people and businesses. She lives and works in Rockridge, and serves Berkeley and beyond.

Check out this article next

College Ave Restaurants, Bakeries & Food Shops in Rockridge near BART - Top Picks With Google Map

College Ave Restaurants, Bakeries & Food Shops in Rockridge near BART - Top Picks With Google Map

An Airbnb guest asked me what restaurants I recommend in Rockridge that are in walking distance from my rental on Lawton Avenue. What better reason…

Read Article