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).
A two-floor American bistro with a European art-deco motif, Tête-à-Tête Café is, as its name suggests, an optimal spot for good conversation and delicious food. The former is most likely spurred on by exotic coffee drinks, teas, and the café's vibrant artwork. The conversation may come to a quick halt, though, as soon as steamed New Zealand mussels, flame-broiled burgers stuffed with bacon and cheese, and plates of lobster ravioli arrive at the table. But the discussions will certainly continue when it comes to dessert—if only to try to decide what to order. If signature mille crepes and napoleons don’t make the choice difficult enough, there are 11 mousse cakes to choose from, including a caramel bavarian-cream rendition that’s enrobed in Belgian chocolate, and a raspberry mousse wrapped with joconde. Tête-à-Tête Café’s second floor features an intimate bar and lounge that keeps the spirit of its name alive with signature martinis that are great for toasting, sipping, and bobbing for olives.
After earning his BFA at the nationally renowned Rhode Island School of Design, Kevin Tarasuk began exhibiting his darkly surreal paintings at galleries around his hometown of Miami before making the move to New York City. Now, he helms the Painting Lounge, a personable art studio where students learn the proper techniques of painting, such as composition, shading, and glaring at clocks until they melt. In workshops, Tarasuk has earned praise from his ecstatic students, who have heralded him as “a very, very talented artist” and “a patient and engaging teacher.”
Carter Kustera's hand-painted works of art have been exhibited internationally as a part of U2's PopMart Tour and the national branding for Barneys CO-OP and Jonathan Adler stores. Carter Kustera's requirements ask that customers send an image of the person, pet, or perfectly portioned deli sandwich to undergo artistic apotheosis as a minimalistic outline emblazoned in black, red, light blue, light pink, kelly green, or lavender. Each individualized portrait is ensnared within the permeable pores of hot-press paper with gouache brushstrokes, a more opaque form of watercolor that appears richer and more reflective than other diluted dyes. Customize your silhouetted self-image with your choice of caption to verbally embody your personality or confuse viewers by epitomizing someone else's.