Large windows spill sunlight across the contemporary loft that houses Janet Rufin's Parlor, illuminating a funky portrait of a teal-lipped George Washington and delicate vases of yellow tulips at each stylist’s station. Inside, owner Janet Rufin, a master stylist with more than 19 years of experience who specializes in color correction and precision cuts, oversees a team of trained stylists. Though they are divvied up into different levels of expertise, Janet ensures clients always receive customized hair treatments and, as New York magazine puts it, "one-on-one attention from a doting staff."
Each haircut starts with a consultation and therapeutic shampoo and condition, and starburst and T-section highlights lighten locks at specific points on the head. Pravana products smooth unruly curls while Davines, Neuma, and Ecure shampoo and styling products make clients event-ready. Janet is not only dedicated to helping her clients with their beauty goals—she also looks out for her junior beauticians. The salon's apprentice program teaches aspiring stylists the ins-and-outs of the hair world as the experienced team keeps a close eye on their performance, ensuring treatments are well-executed and combs are never mistaken for scissors.
Time Out New York writer Laura Lanz-Frolio initially considered the cascading flowers and pink lighting inside Supple Spa’s sunset room somewhat kitschy. That all changed once her massage started. “None of this will matter once you’re facedown on the massage tables, covered in actual rose petals,” she wrote in her 2011 review of the city’s best couples-massage rooms. Each of the spa’s five treatment rooms feature a romantic theme––one resembles a Parisian terrace, while another looks exactly like Fabio––and folding partitions crinkle to reveal a second massage bed so that pairs can indulge together.
Supple Spa’s other services––facials, body scrubs, rose-infused bathwater soaks––garner equal praise from publications including New York Magazine. As they pull high-quality Dermalogica products, the spa’s technicians uphold their self-set level of opulence, which falls just shy of outfitting each client with a scepter. Supple’s confines, though decorated for couple’s retreats, also host spa parties for up to 10 guests.
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.
Sometimes one of the most relaxing things is a simple ritual—knowing exactly what is supposed to happen next without even thinking about it. The same sequence of events unfolds at each of Red and White Spa's four locations. As soft music plays, a friendly staffer greets each client and immediately offers him or her a complimentary glass of lemon- or cucumber-infused water. In-depth consultations are next on the agenda. The spa's experts listen to each client's goals and beauty concerns, and then together they select the perfect treatment.
The process is one of the reasons the spa with the red and white decor is successful. Testimonials praise the relaxing atmosphere and little extras offered by the spa, as well as the spa's services. These include facials that use products from such reputable brands as Dermalogica and Intracuticals, and classic waxing.
Master colorist Joel Warren and master stylist Edward Tricomi—both of whom earned their stripes crafting coiffures for New York City’s fashion elite—lend their names and shared knowledge to Warren-Tricomi Salon, a hair-care boutique with locations across the East Coast. The duo’s venture has caught the attention of magazines such as InStyle, Elle, and Seventeen—hardly a surprise, considering the high profile they earned while forging ‘dos for Fashion Week and developing their own line of hair-care products. Following the example of their salon’s founders, expert stylists shape locks with precision cuts and shift shades with INOA ammonia-free color products. The team banishes frizzy curls with relaxers, adds shine with glaze, and elongates strands with natural-looking hair extensions. Across the salon, nail technicians polish and refine fingernails and aestheticians fend off attacks from irate bees as they employ freshly gathered wax to banish fuzz on lips and legs.
MessLook Hair Salon & Beauty Spa was made for comfort and privacy. In separate rooms for couples and singles, massages, facials, and waxing help clients work toward their beauty goals before job interviews or attempts to hide in the wax museum’s movie-star wing. Inside the salon’s rooms, one of nine technicians increases blood circulation and lessens pain with a massage, reduces cellulite with a seaweed or mud body wrap, or treats acne and clears skin congestion with an oxygenating facial treatment. Soft nature sounds float through the air, and candlelight gently flickers near plush massage beds, but that flame isn’t the only source of light inside the rooms. A halo forms around large wall mirrors, and light bounces off hundreds of crystals in the large chandelier over the front desk. The mani-pedi area welcomes sunlight, and the steam room is a rainbow of color with green, purple, and red neon lighting setting the wood benches and stone walls aglow.