Color pops inside of La Exotique Beauty & Fashion. It’s seen not only in the jewel-toned cocktail dresses that hang from racks, but also in the lipsticks, blushes, and eye shadows that line the beauty counter. These beauty products do more than present a colorful palette, however. They’re hypoallergenic and made from natural fruit extracts, which are gentler on the skin. Earth’s bounty also goes into La Exotique’s line of skincare products—including botanical facial cleansers, mango hydrating cream, and mineral mud masks.
As one of the co-owners of Velvet Rose Beauty Bar, LaPonda McArthur brings 23 years of experience in cosmetology when helping clients look and feel their best. Under the care of experienced hands, clients can shed dead ends and update their ’dos with designer cuts and styles. In addition, the salon keeps appendages polished with mani-pedis, chases away tension with massages, and smoothes flyaway follicles with blow-dries.
Inside these sister salons, skilled professionals revamp bodies, heads, hands, and feet with a full menu of glamorizing services. Stylists at both the Little Italy and Mt. Washington salons perform custom haircuts for both women and men and specialize in color services, doling out single-process shades, corrective color, partial highlights, or thought-illuminating skylights. They can also make permanent waves with chemical treatments or scare hair straight with japanese hair smoothing, and those looking for full-body pampering will find massages, rejuvenating facials, and nail treatments.
Brandi Nuttall, the owner of Dolce Salon & Spa, must believe that you can never have too much of a good thing. Expanding upon her first and second Dolce locations, which measure in at 12,000 and 13,000 square feet, respectively, she opened the third hub in 2007, and now there is a fourth. The 30,000-square-foot behemoth built in 2007 houses 62 styling stations, 21 spa rooms, 14 pedicure thrones, a makeup counter, a brow bar, and manicure stations. All four locations boast the same services—though at different scales—as well as men’s hair and spa treatments and bridal styling. Unlike hotels that charge extra for doorknobs and oxygen, the salons have a generous streak. They provide hairstyling services to those who donate to Locks of Love, spa services to local foster children, and hair clippings to areas affected by oil spills.
Usha Salon & Day Spa might best be known for meticulous threading services, which twice garnered a spot on Baltimore Magazine's annual "Best Of" list. But the skills of the house stylists and aestheticians don't stop there. They can also reshape coifs with stylish cuts and add face-framing dimension with highlights services. Nearby, Usha's henna artists use traditional Indian techniques to install intricate designs that are perfect for standing apart from the crowd or blending in with a pile of tea-stained lace. Clients can also take a break from humdrum chores with soothing facials and massages.
At Neal's, a team of highly trained pampering professionals apply the latest age- and ache-combating techniques to restore beauty and bliss to flushed faces and embattled backs. During the customized, one-hour European facial, an aesthetician will perform an analysis of the frumpled face in question before administering a thorough cleansing and exfoliating vegetable peel to exorcise the ear-framed masterpiece of dead, dry skin cells (a $70 value). Afterward, a facial massage kneads away tenderness and eases facial stress brought on by years of awkward elevator small talk.