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.
Backed by their intensive training and certification in venous-disease treatment, Dr. Alex Afshar and his team beautify skin and reduce discomfort with minimally invasive treatments. After one-on-one consultations, the medical professionals shrink varicose vascular tissue with laser or radiofrequency ablation, or help banish spider veins with sclerotherapy injections. In addition to promoting healthy veins, the staff at Vein Institute of Connecticut restores youthful tones to facial spaces with Juv?derm and Botox, and boosts the body's natural defenses against dust and eye-pokes with Latisse eyelash supplements.
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.