Belly dancing, parties add to Solana Beach lady’s ‘beauty lounge’ concept


By Claire Harlin

On any given day, you might walk in to Bella Sareena Beauty Lounge and find a belly dancing class or a teenage girl’s beauty-centered birthday party taking place. Or, you may smell the steeping mint leaves in owner Orly Perez’s homemade tea, or you may hear the majestic vocals and guitar strums of the girl at the framing shop next door practicing her tunes. That’s all in addition to the variety of all-natural health and beauty services you can find there.

“I wanted a space where I could do more than just beauty,” said Perez, an esthetician who opened the business earlier this year at 128 E. Cliff St. in Solana Beach.

Perez, a native-born Israeli who now lives in Solana Beach, said she puts a big focus on her Old World customs and Middle Eastern values. The bohemian, artistic decor and soothing instrumental music hit you as you walk in the lounge, which features a Moroccan tea bar. Perez uses fresh herbs from an on-site garden in her concoctions — such as mint and orange blossom — which she offers to every guest.

Bringing in her belly dancing instructor to teach a class once a week also speaks to the lounge’s Middle Eastern charm.

“It’s something that I love; that’s why I have it here,” she said. “It’s not like aerobics or zumba. It’s a very feminine dance and it fits with the whole theme.”

She said she was inspired to put on parties for girls to teach the importance of health and beauty at a young age. At these parties, guests can make their own lip glosses, perform mini-facials with chocolate and clay masks and do Moroccan foot scrubs while eating Moroccan pastries and drinking tea.

“In this whole movement of beauty that has come about, we’ve lost appreciation for the basics,” she said, referring to the unnatural or possibly damaging practices that have become popular. “This next generation needs to know how to simplify and enjoy who they are.”

Orly’s relationship with her own daughter, 5-year-old Sareena — the business’s namesake — is also an inspiration to encourage mothers and daughters to enjoy beauty services together. She specializes in teens with acne, as well as pregnant moms experiencing hormonal-induced skin problems.

“When I was pregnant with Sareena I started getting hyper-pigmentation like crazy so I started getting facials and I realized they really do work,” said Orly. “That’s what inspired me to become an esthetician”

“I know it must be really hard for teenagers,” she continued. “What I do is worth it just to see the smiles on their faces and their renewed confidence when they get a facial.”

Bella Sareena carries a variety of professional skin products, and Orly specializes in mineral makeup and doing makeovers for special events. She also offers microdermabrasion, eyelash extensions, specialty prescription facials and spray tan packages. For more information, email or call (858) 880-6860;