Cindy Barshop may have a familiar face. She gained reality-TV fame as a cast member of The Real Housewives of New York City, but she found success much earlier when the Madison Avenue spa she founded more than 10 years ago grew into a hair-removal brand known throughout the country. Completely Bare’s waxing specialists dab bikini lines with the shop’s proprietary blend of ouch-less wax, which adheres to hair instead of skin to avoid the painful pull that often accompanies a waxing session. The blend is hypoallergenic and does not cause acne, which makes it ideal for depilating sensitive skin and touchy bodily zones. Routine waxing sessions add extra sparkle with the salon’s vajazzling service, which bedecks newly hair-free spots with up to 70 Swarovski crystals arranged into such shapes as hearts, stars, peace signs, and MPAA ratings. The spa specialists also migrate beyond the below-the-belt area to polish the rest of the body with facials, laser hair removal, spray tanning, and teeth whitening.
Housing Works provides advocacy, job training, healthcare and housing support for low-income and homeless people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Housing Works Thrift Shops and Buy the Bag help fund this effort by selling new and used donated goods. Shoppers can explore shelves upon shelves of donated items in search of a new designer shirt, a vintage necklace, or a set of hand-painted bowls.
Modani adds dramatic, modern flair to homes and offices with sleek, space-maximizing living room, dining room, office, and bedroom furnishings and accessories. With an emphasis on hidden storage, Modani's clean, luxurious designs draw the eye along graceful lines, making pads approachably impressive and understatedly welcoming. Give flowers a chic new hangout with the Double X metal vase ($110), or store blankets and other living-room necessities in the metallic, padded golden chest, which doubles as a safe room for Barbies ($140). Modani can also transform an abode with post-baroque flair with pillar-candle holders ($30–$35) or make a corner earn its keep with the Canelle side table ($150).
Macy’s Vision Express outfits eyes in alluring new specs inside five New York locations with on-site labs that can churn out single vision lenses in as fast as one hour and bifocal or progressive pairs within three to five days. Frames from D&G, Prada, Dior, and Fendi accent faces with on-trend designs wrought from wire and plastic with crowned crystal and enamel accents. Seasoned optometrists discern up-to-date prescriptions by scoping out eyes during routine exams, honing in on changes in vision and potential ocular-health problems.
Click and Improve is an online database that fixes homeowners up with licensed contractors, repairmen, and industry experts. With hundreds of services available at the click of a computer mouse, the business's online process breaks down the exact details—and the exact price—of each service before sending a home-improvement specialist to the site. Customers use a drop-down menu to choose the service they need completed, and after filling out a thorough questionnaire and birthday wish list, they can attach videos and photos to their web account to more accurately convey repair needs. Click and Improve then rounds up competitive bids or offers pre-priced services, and upon the job's completion, homeowners relay their feedback through the company's website.
A globetrotting photographer specializing in editorial, portrait, and fine-art photography, Marc Burgess harnesses the experience needed to capture all images and emotions. At the studio or on-location, he shoots everything from headshots to models such as Rebecca Epley of America’s Next Top Model. He also covers weddings and has snapped commercial images for publications such as Modern Living. Various packages include options such as wardrobe tips as well as professional hair and makeup. And to assist others on their paths to photographic prowess, he also leads workshops that focus on varying aspects of the craft.