Inside the spacious, sun-filled salon—lined with mirrored styling stations and wrought-iron racks filled with bright nail-polish bottles—nail technicians and stylists beautify their clients. Pink and white flowers bloom in the sitting area, where red chairs and candelabra cloak waiting patrons in comfort.
Trendz the salon spa owner Alana Ficco holds licensing in nail care, skincare, management, and teaching, all of which qualifies her to lead a team of beauty professionals who groom nails, knead out tension, and cleanse skin. Perhaps a particular highlight of the team's service menu is the wide range of body treatments; there are a dozen distinct masks and wraps, including a cocoa bean scrub and a Caribbean therapy treatment infused with the Aveda skincare products the spa favors.
The spa also hosts a beauty boutique stocked with jewelry, shoes, and handbags. The boutique's bath bombs allow guests to indulge at home, and its supply of soaps that look like cupcakes thwarts people who make a living selling stolen desserts to the mafia.
With more than a decade of experience, local hairstylist Megan Sharek huddled an experienced team of other style superheroes to join her beauty lair, called Megan’s Loft…a hair and nail studio. Since her salon’s doors swung open, the team has honed a range of services, including tress-transforming techniques from haircuts for women, men, and children to foil highlights and special-occasion updos. Facial-waxing services further spruce up appearances, whereas customized mani-pedis make fingers pretty enough to shake hands with a scrutinizing American bald eagle. Nail services treat fingers and toes to a soak, massage, and paraffin treatment before crowning them in coat of traditional polish, long-lasting Shellac, or acrylic tips.
At Phalanges Unlimited, the decor strikes a balance between charm and chic. A wall-to-wall, monochromatic portrait of a woman greets guests in the reception area, her fierce gaze surrounded by curled hair and bejeweled earrings. It's a striking image, offset by numerous blackboards that adorn the walls with quirky quotations and service prices.
Licensed and certified technician Cherie Dercqu oversees the venue with expertise that is as varied as the salon's design. Having been in the beauty industry for more than 20 years, she administers nail and cosmetic treatments with meticulous care. Natural-nail specialist Tina Costello performs pampering mani-pedis, and her acrylics artfully enhance hands and feet. Cherie also applies permanent makeup to lips, eyebrows, and eyelids, canceling out the hassle of putting on eyeliner or wearing sunglasses at night when you forget. Her other services include eyelash extensions, ear candling, and formal makeup sessions.
Capristo Salon & Wellness Spa is more than just a beauty haven—it's a family legacy. The late founder, Bruce Capristo, started styling hair at the age of 19. He owned and operated many successful salons in the Pittsburgh area beginning in the 1960s, including his flagship site—Capristo International—where he worked alongside his wife, Cheech. Bruce established a strong reputation while working in fashion, film, and television; he even styled hair on the set of the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead.
The location that Bruce opened on Ellsworth Avenue has now been going strong for more than 25 years. When Bruce passed away in 2006, his son Roman—a master stylist who trained with the likes of Vidal Sassoon and Bumble and bumble—took over the business, continuing his father's dream. And although she no longer works as an aesthetician and stylist, you might still see Cheech helping out behind the scenes.
The laid-back atmosphere at the salon and spa keeps both clients and staffers happy; in fact, some of the stylists have been with the company since the very beginning. The crew hands out complimentary martinis on Wednesday evenings, pampering guests with custom facials and body wraps. In a private spa-party room filled with padded chairs and sheer drapery, the beauty experts ply brides-to-be or birthday girls with complimentary champagne and hors d'oeuvres.