In almost 30 malls sprinkled across four states, Beauty Plus Salon beckons prospective makeover recipients with a fleet of skilled stylists and a colossal selection of professional beauty products. "The beauty industry never slows down," staffers say on Facebook, so "neither do we." That's why mall-goers find Beauty Salon open seven days a week. Between the retail shelves that average 500 nail polish colors, clients get gussied with services that pamper hair, skin, and nails.
With more than 386 locations dotting North America, JCPenney Optical's ubiquity is matched only by its extensive selection of contact lenses and designer frames that includes brands such as Armani Exchange, Liz Claiborne, and Nicole Miller. Despite this wide reach, all lenses are cut at the same optical laboratory, ensuring a consistency of quality and a pretty good idea of where to look if your glasses run away from home. Each location has an independent state-licensed doctor of optometry, who can perform vision exams and help clients determine which type of vision correction will work best.
Ludovico's proprietor Don Sozio and his two children and granddaughters whip up a menu of Italian sandwiches, pizzas, and homemade entrees using ingredients imported directed from Italy. Hot sandwiches, including the chicken parmigiana sandwich ($7.45) and grilled veggie panini ($7.35), crammed with fresh eggplant, roasted pepper, and broccoli rabe, are best bets for diners looking for a bite of home-cooked goodness or bait for a mozzarella monster trap. Original recipes revive classic comestibles, such as the stuffed portobello mushrooms ($8.99/lb.), grilled with crabmeat and spinach stuffing and capped with a hip new shredded-cheese wig. Snack-sized twice-baked potatoes ($6.99/lb.) compete for diners' affections with mouthfuls of gelato, desserts, and freshly brewed lattes and cappuccino.
Since the late 1950s, The Little Shop has evolved from a fabric shop to a quilting center that wraps needle-wielders in a comfortable, creative, and supply-packed environment. Its comprehensive roster of rotating classes keeps curious quilters and beginning thimble-holders satisfied, challenged, and armed with new stitching skills. Crafters with armloads of books, makeup, and Dawson's Creek fan fiction can sew durable supply tote bags ($25 for two classes) or breezy, chic scrunchy Kathy's bags ($25 for two classes) to lighten their loads. Or, sewers can ditch hands for the precision and speed of motors with a two-session machine-quilting class ($30).
Kinetic Skateboarding outfits athletes with skating gear, shoes, and sportswear from dozens of brands such as Nike, Adidas, and Volcom. Skating gear autographed by professional skaters Dennis Busenitz, Andrew Reynolds, and Chris Cole allows pavement skimmers to forge their favorite athletes' signatures on Mother's Day cards. The shop also stocks brands such as Altamont and Vans Syndicate that distribute products in limited quantities, ensuring that each Kinetic Skateboarding visitor can acquire a distinct aesthetic.
Woolplay offers more than 100 kinds of yarn and easy-to-follow classes for fiber fanatics of all abilities. Classes last around 1.5 hours, and use time far more wisely than 90-minute horror-musicals about action figures. Take a three-class series, such as Learn to Knit, which instructs beginners on casting on, purling, and knitting. Learn to Knit in the Round, a two-class series, spotlights circular and double-pointed needles, which students employ on a hat-making journey. Single-session classes maintain a pointed focus, like a surgical laser or hoop-jumping dolphin. Easy Lace introduces students to a simple lace pattern, which could eventually find its home in a cozy scarf. Fixing Your Mistakes reveals how to correct for human error, a less burdensome task than repairing sloppy mittens knit by parakeets. Some classes require a $10 to $30 materials fee; check the schedule for more details.