A sleek black car driving through a seaside road in Santa Barbara pulls up to the curb in front of oceanfront hair studio Salon Del Mar to reveal Daily Nexus Uber contest winner and fourth-year biopsycology major Roxy Massoodnia, along with her three senior buddies — biopsychology major Elizabeth Sovakian, biology major Jenn Cohenmehr and English major Anita Tokatyan.

Starting off their day at Fess Parker Resort’s premier hair studio, Massoodnia and company were treated to a free hair styling and makeover with high quality salon products by talented stylists and technicians. After their makeover, the girls enjoyed a VIP dinner at the Southern, seaside Italian-inspired Cadiz restaurant in historic downtown Santa Barbara, where they got to spend $100 on authentic Italian entrees with market-fresh ingredients featuring local farmer’s market fresh produce, harbor fresh seafood and fine glasses of wine, all the while being followed and photographed by our very own Nexus photographer.

And the best part? The experience was all free and all courtesy of Uber, a dynamic, accessible car service that connects drivers to riders in a highly-comfortable environment at an affordable price. Uber, a San Francisco-based taxi service which connects customers with private drivers, provided one of their luxury Black Cars for the night and offered to cover the entire makeover and up to $100 for dinner.

How did Massoodnia and her friends receive a VIP car, a free makeover, free dinner and a professional photo shoot? By Massoodnia simply typing “DAILYNEXUS” into her Uber mobile app. Massoodnia was randomly chosen from UCSB students who entered the promotion by using the Uber application with a promotion code provided by the Daily Nexus.

According to Massoodnia, “The Uber Experience” was a serendipitous event that shocked her and her friends.

“When I first found out that I had won, I was in utter disbelief,” Massoodnia said. “I had to let it sink in for a couple of days — it’s quite a prize.”

Massoodnia also said Uber was a great alternative to calling an expensive taxi or using Bill’s Bus to go downtown.

“I’d definitely recommend Uber to anyone whom is tired of the Bill’s Bus scene when going downtown,” Massoodnia said. “The app is so easy to use, and the estimated timing and prices of the ride make it very advantageous compared to other taxi services.”

Overall, “The Uber Experience” was one that Massoodnia and her friends will never forget.

“The whole experience was fantastic and shared with some of the best people I’ve met at UCSB,” Massodnia said. “The salon and dinner were delightful, and the transportation with Uber made us feel so upper echelon.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Kenneth Song / Daily Nexus

A version of this story appeared on page 4 of Monday, February 3, 2014’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.