Elie Esper, the creative director and founder of his eponymous salon, has shown off his talents on magazine covers and runways from Paris to the Middle East, and was the official hairstylist of Couture Fashion Week in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Though his avant-garde designs have won international acclaim for more than 16 years, he still takes pride in beautifying brides before their trips down the aisle. Drawing on professional products from Kérastase, he washes away dirt and wig powder before infusing strands with color and sculpting shapes that defy both gravity and convention. His ability to bridge the gap between elegant and edgy attracts brides from around the world to Elie Esper Salon for wedding consultations and trial runs.
The Ridgefield Salon & Spa's owner, Darcey Wulkan, is also a licensed massage therapist and certified aesthetician and has been a local beautifying presence in Fairfield County for more than 17 years. Along with her staff, Darcey provides a suite of aesthetic services ranging from basic to downright indulgent—encompassing everything from classic mani-pedis and full-body waxing to decadent facials built around ingredients such as 24-karat liquid gold, caviar extract, and diamond dust. The newly remodeled spa features two pedicure chairs, complete with shiatsu massage jets, to make it even easier to schedule mani-pedis with the a friend. Massage therapists knead out knots in a private treatment room, where cocoa-colored walls and tranquil black-and-white photos of nature lend a relaxing aura akin to watching Yanni do yoga.
Clients stepping into any one of Connecticut's five Kennedy's locations are transported to a simpler time when men were gentlemen and a trip to the barber was a relaxing social experience. The polished wood-trimmed d?cor and vintage leather furnishings echo that bygone era, and the smell of after-shave and sounds of scissors clipping away locks complete the portrait. Barbers offer cold beverages and hand-selected music before trimming hair or cleaning away stubble with the almost-forgotten art of the straight razor.
To render this atmosphere social, most locations sport a lounge with saloon tables, billiards, and more modern appurtenances such as flat-screen TVs and butler robots. This spirit of old-school personal service showcased amid elegant, throwback d?cor has helped Kennedy?s win a number of accolades, including the Best Barber Shop award from Orlando Magazine six times, most recently in 2013.
Though the exposed pipes, elegantly dark wood floors, and high ceilings of Amitie Hair Studio give an industrial feel to the salon, the styles coming out the door couldn't be more different. The staff specialize in romantic, flowy looks, courtesy of their Brazilian keratin treatments and Japanese perms. These help change the natural texture of hair, whether it is pin-straight or full of kinks, to create face-framing layers that flow together. Once hair has the correct body and texture, they can then cut it into trendy styles or add a touch of color to give it dimension. In addition, they do makeovers to help you look your best for special events such as weddings and the annual magic-mirror convention.
From the exterior Doric columns to the interior marble countertops and charred ebony damask wallpaper, a sense of elegance pervades the SERI Hair Salon. After a sit on the leather furniture in the waiting room, clients enjoy Aveda-approved hair treatments to transform their looks. Besides basic haircuts for men and women, the salon delivers Japanese perms, a straightening method designed to improve hair's softness while it reconditions thick, frizzy, wavy, and surfer-infested strands. Professional makeup services include wedding packages and preparation for outdoor photography, and skincare treatments range from basic softening services to medspa-level chemical peels.
With the steady hands of a surgeon and the precision of a laser, the lash artists at The SERI adorn lids with mink and silk extensions. Each extension is adhered to an individual lash using a medical-grade adhesive that resists clumping and protects the eyelashes. Extensions range in thickness, length, and curl. This allows clients to choose the look that best flatters their features, unlike an inmate selecting his prison uniform and prison eyelashes.