Many people dream of winning an award at the Emmys, but Veronica Brayman has actually done it. Four times, in fact, for her outstanding achievements while working on As The World Turns. In addition to styling soap stars, Veronica also primped daytime talk-show hosts throughout her 17-year career. Today, she puts that authoritative expertise into running ESSA Salon & Spa, where she and her staff of stylists work with hair products including Redken, Cutler, and Kérastase to turn standard salon services, such as haircuts and color work, into opportunities for red-carpet treatment.
Veronica isn’t the only one with plenty of styling experience; many of the other staff members have been plying their trades for more than a decade, too. From senior colorist Rich Delloff’s quarter-century body of work built in New York City, Long Island, and even Las Vegas to designer Arsen Aronov’s background in New York City salons such as John Frieda, the team’s collective résumé is strong. It even includes a massage therapist, Maria Luciana, who has almost 20 years of experience. Drawing on the salon's arsenal of products, including Veronica's ESSA line of hair and makeup products and Yon-Ka Paris skincare concoctions, the stylists design detailed and flattering bridal packages, which make bridesmaids sparkle like champagne, groomsmen shine like new coins, and fire eaters look hot enough to melt Pluto.
The Messina family started creating fine pastries and baked goods at Dortoni Bakery in Levittown in 1976. Over the years, their business expanded to include a pair of upscale pastry shops (La Bonne Boulangerie), a pizzeria (Red Tomato Pizza), and Messina Market. At the marketplace, visitors choose from a sumptuous selection of cold and toasted sandwiches, fresh fruits, and veggies, watching in awe as chefs prepare omelets, paninis, and burgers without harming a single spatula. A 20-foot display case shows off an impressive spread of housemade quiche, pot pies, and vegetarian dishes, the dinners taunting grumbling stomachs from their safe perches behind the glass. Gift Baskets—such as the candy-stuffed junk-food package or Italian gourmet basket—reward loved ones with parcels of sweets, fruits, jams, and jellies. Also available are catering services that supply weddings, holiday dinners, and luncheons with everything from country-style barbecue to Russian caviar.
Flour drifts down through the air, the motes catching briefly in the light from the wood-fired oven. Inside, fontina, smoked mozzarella, and ricotta melt across the handcrafted crusts, forming warm tributaries of cheese. Nearby, chefs sprinkle fistfuls of broccoli rabe, prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, and eggplant onto fresh dough or stew san marzano tomatoes to craft a thick sauce the deep crimson color of a sports car that just discovered it left a hair curler in. The cooks look to traditional Neapolitan recipes and forge crusts from a simple combination of flour, yeast, water, and salt. In an effort to protect the environment, the staff at Red Tomato Pizza?from the same owners as Dortoni Bakery in Levittown and Messina Market in East Norwich?also serves hormone-free meat in the glow of gentle LED lights and uses recycled glassware.
A gold mermaid watches out over the bustling activity inside NY Splash Beauty Salon. As jets of water splash up against the gilded sculpture, clients seated at the reception bar relax before and after treatments, soaking in the sounds of tiny crashing waves. During appointments, stylists pamper patrons above the neck with haircuts, color treatments, and makeup applications. On the spa side, nail technicians clip, buff, and coat keratin covers with vibrant hues. Their waxing experts remove unwanted follicles from legs, arms, and faces in procedures that take less time than shaving or securing an eviction notice for squatting hairs.
When it comes to fixing teeth, no fete is too large for Dr. Grace Hsu. She whitens, extracts, and implants chompers as needed, and even takes special care of children’s teeth. The Invisalign-certified dentist straightens crooked teeth, and she uses a special computerized smile-preview program that digitally edits photos to show patients how their teeth can look after cosmetic services or if they finally got that incisor tattoo they've always wanted.
While a person might wear clothes ranging from basic tees and pants to slinky cocktail dresses, they can't lump everything together when it comes time to do laundry. That’s why the technicians at Fabricare Cleaners offer laundering services in addition to their three styles of dry cleaning: one for basic items, one for fragile items needing special care, and one using biodegradable, eco-friendly detergents. They have a reciprocal relationship with the Fashion Institute of Technology, in which they teach the school how to service garments and the school teaches them how to understand construction. This training enables them to immediately recognize stains and fabric type, allowing them to accurately protect and clean clothes by using fabric-friendly chemicals and buttons previously worn by secret-service agents.
After more than 30 years in the business, the owners recently upgraded the facilities to incorporate green technology and use less energy during their processes. In their upgraded facility, the staff can efficiently clean clothes, furs, house decor, and shoes, which can be dropped off in one of the 24-hour kiosks and are returned with the shop’s free delivery service. They also provide reusable garment bags, helping cut down on plastic waste and large cat nests found in the closet corner.