Best of Arlington 2023: Fitness & Beauty

Photo May 29 9 36 43 Pm

Ultramarathon runner Michael Wardian (Courtesy photo)

Editor Pick
Local Athlete

Michael Wardian

You may have seen 48-year-old Michael Wardian whizzing by, ruddy beard and ponytail bopping along, during one of the two 6-mile runs he completes almost daily. Or perhaps you caught a glimpse of him in 2019 when he ran a 90-mile loop around the D.C. Beltway on one of the hottest days of the year. Or when he logged the equivalent of 10 marathons (263 miles) in almost three days during Covid quarantine by running around his Arlington Forest block for 63 hours straight. Or maybe you saw him in the news in the spring of 2022, when, inspired by Forrest Gump, he spent 61 days crossing the continental U.S. on foot. It’s the euphoria, he says—that proverbial runner’s high—that 28 years ago got him hooked on the sport in which he now holds several world records, although he also counts CrossFit and pickleball among his passions. “It’s one of the best feelings ever…the elation of doing something hard,” says the Arlington local, a partner at a shipping company and professional marathoner whose sponsors include sneaker company Hoka, T-Mobile and DMV favorite District Taco. To date, he has completed more than 200 marathons and more than 100 ultra-marathons.
–Stephanie Kanowitz


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Personal trainer and yoga instructor Damion Moss (Photo by Skip Brown)

Reader Pick
Personal Trainer

Damion Moss

It takes a lot for a fitness studio to stand out in the nation’s fittest city—a title Arlington has held for five years running. Damion Moss says his success has little to do with the actual workouts. “I don’t think I’m any better or worse than any other trainer out there. We’re all using a lot of the same stuff,” says the former Howard University football player, who launched DMossFitness seven years ago and in 2022 co-founded the Sukha Center, a Black-owned and -operated yoga studio in Clarendon. “It’s about the relationship-building. I think that’s where I tend to excel.” Still, a 50-minute session with Moss isn’t all schmoozing. Clients can expect to be pushed with strength and cardio exercises, plus stretching and yoga. “My approach to training is holistic,” Moss says. –Stephanie Kanowitz

Other top vote-getters:

Sheila Cordaro (COR FIT), Chauncey Graham (Gold’s Gym Ballston), Aryan Siahpoushan (Method Fitness)


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Brow guru Vicky Modica (Photo by Michael Ventura)

Reader Pick
Eyebrow Shaping

Beauty Brains Brows

Vicky Modica likes to say she has a great “browside manner.” It’s imperative when she’s literally in the faces of about 50 clients per week—trimming, tinting and shaping their eyebrows to perfection. A celebrity makeup artist for 20 years (her past clients include Paris Hilton and John Waters), she still offers makeup services, though the bulk of her work for the past decade has been brows. In 2021, Modica opened Beauty Brains Brows inside hˉom Salon in Courthouse, where she chats with clients about their goals, facial structure and brow hair before pulling out her tweezers (no waxing or threading here). “What I do is more about a bespoke one-on-one,” she says. “I have a really good eye for shape and color.” –Stephanie Kanowitz

Other top vote-getters:

Arlington Threading & Waxing, Azure Dream Day Spa, DuPont Threading Arlington, European Wax Center, Hair Play Salon, Perfect Eyebrows, Urban Halo Salon


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Pickleball at Lubber Run Community Center (Photo by David Moss)

Reader Pick
Pickleball Court

Lubber Run Community Center

Four lighted outdoor courts at Lubber Run Community Center are lined for multiple sports, including basketball and volleyball, but pickleball is the current favorite. Open since the fall of 2020, the courts are free to use and require no reservations, attracting about 60 players (aka picklers) on any given day. In a pickle for a partner? It’s easy to find one upon arrival. “You can just drop in and pick up and play with the people who are out there,” says Nakish Jordan, a county recreation services supervisor. “Pickleball is a really social sport that way.” Bad weather? Lubber Run also offers drop-in pickleball indoors on select days. –Stephanie Kanowitz

Other top vote-getters:

Army Navy Country Club, Thomas Jefferson Community & Fitness Center, Vinson Hall Retirement Community, Walter Reed Recreation Center


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The art of the fade cut at Mr. Moore’s Barbershop (Photo by Michael Ventura)

Editor Pick
Old School Shave & Haircut

Mr. Moore’s Barbershop

James Moore Sr. founded Mr. Moore’s Barbershop in 1960, opening his doors to everyone regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or anything else. Decades later, he passed his shears on to his son James Jr., a retired Arlington County firefighter who has run the business on Langston Boulevard full-time since 2020. The elder Moore died in 2021, but James Jr. is carrying on the tradition of service, cutting hair at nursing homes and giving free back-to-school cuts to kids. In the shop, he sees 25 to 30 clients a day (the fade cut is the most often requested), encouraging them to put down their phones and chat. “We try to have a more personal experience,” he says. –Stephanie Kanowitz


Hair Play Salon

Naoual Benjelloun and Soukayna Sara Sehnouni of Hair Play Salon (Photo by Lisa Helfert)

Reader Pick
Salon in Arlington

Hair Play Salon

Other top vote-getters:

Casals Salon Collective, hŌm Salon, Jon David Salon, Salon Joseph, Smitten Boutique Salon, Urban Halo Salon


Reader Pick
Salon in Falls Church

Nash Hair Design

Other top vote-getters:

Kess Hair & Skincare, Rooted Mane, Tinner Hill Hair Salon


Reader Pick
Salon in McLean

Eclips Salon & Day Spa

Other top vote-getters:

Dolce Vita Salon & Spa, Elements McLean, PR at Partners Salon, Salon Sage, Tom & Deniz Hair Studio


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(Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash)

Reader Pick

Azure Dream Day Spa

Other top vote-getters:

The Adara Spa, Eyes on Skin Spa, Honey Skincare Studio, Massage Envy, Skin & Wellness Centre, Urban Halo Salon


Reader Pick
Place to Learn Martial Arts

Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do

Other top vote-getters:

EvolveAll, Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts


white golf ball on green grass field during daytime

(Photo by Steven Shircliff on Unsplash)

Reader Pick
Golf Course

Army Navy Country Club

Other top vote-getters:

Washington Golf and Country Club