Happy 2015… it’s time to get fresh! And salons are only too happy to kick-start new year’s makeover with services, treats and extras – some of which aren’t even on the menu.
Here’s what’s up: the salon has always been a place where women get real, way beyond the blowout and the touch-up. Many a secret has been shared and kept over the shampoo-bowl, and this feeling of connection is part of the intangible “glue” which bonds us to our favorite beauty shop, stylist, brand and product.
The power of human touch –scarce these days– is one of the primary reasons we return to the salon and spa. Kristina Saindon, Education Ambassador for Revlon CND Creative Nail Design, enhances every guest visit with added touch-points: an add-on milk bath as part of a pedicure, reflexology and pressure point treatment to relieve stress, even escorting clients out to the car and helping with that darn, pesky seat belt when polish
is wet. She says, “It’s simply making it all about them.”
Blanca Urano, owner and stylist for Waterstone Salon and Spa in Austin, TX, says, “I’m quite sure we were the first in Austin to offer Botox at a salon, and the first to offer on-site child care, too.” Every third Wednesday of the month, Dr. Gary Urano boosts the altitude and attitude of salon clients with refreshing injectibles at “Botox Happy Hour”, just one of the unusual extras at Waterstone that keeps clients coming back for more. And speaking of refreshing, the Waterstone team pours libations, including complimentary coffee, green tea, sparkling water, soda and red and white wine. Another big plus: covered, complimentary parking, rare in the hustling hub which is Austin. Clients also enjoy scalp massages, free Wifi, and often complement their new look with exotic handmade hoop earrings and other jewelry created by local artist Rene Guest, which incorporates iridescent peacock feathers and precious-gem beads including tourmaline, labradorite and aquamarine.
“Where tiaras are mandatory and reading good books is the RULE” – this is the mandate laid down by Kathy L. Murphy, author, stylist, Founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Clubs and proprietress of Beauty and the Book, recently relocated to The Nail and Hair Shed in Hawkins, TX. In addition to purportedly crafting the highest hair in the Lone Star State, Murphy takes pride in rolling out the leopard-print carpet for authors passing through East Texas, and literary events and book signings are this salon’s signature. Murphy often styles authors and other celebrities while clients watch the makeovers. Murphy’s following extends far beyond the salon, in fact. Each year, the Annual Pulpwood Queen Book Club Convention, aka Girlfriend Weekend, convenes in Nacogdoches, TX, now in its 15th year (the next conference to be held January 15-18, 2015).
A bit less boisterous but equally intriguing is the eclectic experience created by MyLan, owner and head stylist of Opus Arcade Salon in Palo Alto, CA. The salon showcases the work of local artists, including salon clients. Opus Arcade recently introduced salon-goers to the paintings of Andy Statmiller, whose sensual, melting ice cream images are applied to wood. MyLan bought her 7-chair salon in the summer of 2013, when carpal tunnel syndrome from years of hairdressing motivated her to develop a Plan B. Her freewheeling interior includes a collection of antique birdcages. Another concept in the works involves inviting a local artist to paint portraits of clients, on the spot. “Stressed-out, high-powered clients really respond to the nurturing feeling we create here,” says MyLan.
HAIR & HEART
David and Galina Witchell’s Welcome Home™ Hair Salon and Spa is also Boutique, Makeup & Nail Boutique, greeting visits with a bar offering teas, coffees and water. At the State Street location in Newtown, PA, Cheryl Stuart makeup artists offer facial waxing, eyelash enhancement and full makeup consulting. Every Friday, Welcome Home™ offers a special date-night promo, with discounted blowouts and free cosmetic gifts with a makeup session. And the boutique makes it possible to try on dresses for everyday fashionistas and gowns for complete prom or bridal services for special occasions. What more could you want? Well let’s talk shopping! David and Galina are very happy to announce they have recently expanded into a location across the street with DJW Home, including the latest in domestic and imported housewares and gifts. Finally – truly one-stop beauty for daily living!
Hair care and nail hotspot Paint Shop Beverly Hills in Los Angeles helps clients get their party on with cocktail-themed pedicures, including Ritas and Rocks, a refreshing foot treatment which combines heated stones, emollient avocado, tart fresh lime juice and a pitcher of ice. Since moving from their original Beverly Hills location to more spacious digs on LA’s fashionable West Third Street near the Beverly Center, full hair care services, guided by the seasoned hand of master colorist and salon co-owner Domingo Serquinia, have been added. Co-owner Julie Serquinia’s motto: “Happy Hour, All the Time.” Paint Shop patrons often bring their own premium tequilas to sip and share.
Beverly Hills-based makeup artist Bobbe Joy Dawson, owner of Bobbe Joy Makeup Studio and founder of her own brand, MAKEUP! Bobbe Joy, has “done” the faces of Lucy Liu, Scarlett Johansson, Naomi Watts, Jennifer Tilly and Hillary Duff. Brow services are a common add-on at many salons, but Bobbe Joy cautions against hurried salonistas who want to wax your brows (she recommends tweezing only, and judiciously at that). Dawson’s own lush brows, among other assets, are inspired by her life-long admiration for Sophia Loren, and she believes that an anemic brow, like an anemic body, is a cry for help. “Sometimes, we need professionals to help us discover our uniqueness. In the last three decades, most of us have lost our own personal relationship with being a full-fledged woman,” she says.
However, if your brows need tending and you’re nowhere near Sepulveda, head for NYC’s West Village, to the Boom Boom Brow Bar. Again, a Happy Hour theme pervades, with groovy grooming “combo platters” combining waxing and tints (above the belt only) with names like Nooner and Rehab. Topping the menu for chi-chi: the Tammy Faye Lash Tint. Michelle Bouse’s Beauty Boutique in Toluca Lake, CA lashes out –literally– at studio executives from nearby Disney and Warner Brothers studios. She offers semi-permanent lash extensions, in addition to a full array of hair, skin care, makeup and spa body services. Her special “something extra”? Beauty Sleep. Free. No Extra Charge. Music, Aromatherapy, Lighting, Cuddly Blankets and Heated Bed included!
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Steven Uccello, owner and stylist for The Bird Nest Salon and Gallery, offers only a single styling chair –upholstered in robin’s egg blue– at his quaint location in Guilford, CT. This charming spot features paintings and other creations by local artists in the space. Uccello says that small and quirky are assets, versus liabilities at The Bird Nest, which he opened three years ago. The décor blends high-tech essentials with unique, funky pieces, using upcycled vintage furniture in the place of mass-produced industrial modular stations. “These are generic times, when everyone feels like a bar-code,” says Uccello. “By contrast, coming here is a very personal, whimsical experience. I have many loyal clients who make the drive from urban areas where there are plenty of big salons.” Estetica first caught up with Steve as he was preparing for a cut-a-thon to benefit the Smillow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Sometimes the owner becomes the very soul of a salon, and its just a smile and ῾hellohowaya᾿ that keep us coming back over and over again.
By Victoria Thomas