If you happen to be a gal about town, you have a distinct set of problems pertaining to finding a balance between having a full social agenda and finding time to look fantastic while fulfilling the obligations your social agenda is full of. I know, it's tragic: right up there with an epic papercut and stepping in a really yucky puddle. I'm weeping tears of Chardonnay as I write this.
Issues of privilege and first world problems aside, there's no denying that at the end of a long workweek, I'm not feeling my most fabulous. I'm exhausted, ready to decompress, in need of some me time for pampering, relaxation, a fresh mani/pedi. But I've also got somewhere to be in two hours. So cue the mad dash home, the quick shower, grabbing whatever I can find to wear, running out the door again only to arrive 15 minutes late for my plans. Don't get me wrong: I'll have fun wherever I go, it's just hectic getting there.
So when Luniac Glamour offered me a Friday at 5pm appointment for a “glamover,” it was like tiny cartoon birds were chirping in my ear. One stop at a salon for hair, makeup and jewelry? Yes, please.
Luniac Glamour, owned by Jaclyn Altieri and Kristen Lemoine, is a cool concept for a couple of reasons. It's a full service salon that manages to have a fun, stylish aesthetic while emphasizing that natural beauty is better than anything that comes out of a bottle. It's also a boutique that exclusively sells things made by Rhode Island designers. Because the items are handmade in limited quantities, the inventory is always changing, but Luniac regularly carries clothing and accessories from I'm Your Present by Kelly Eident, Pretty Snake by Project Runway alum Joseph Aaron Segal and Chances R Designs by StyleWeek favorite Toni Lyn Spaziano. The East Greenwich location has been open for a year, and their second location – with Rhode Island's only walk-in blow-out bar – just opened in the Arcade.
I walked in for my appointment, having run out of work early, and was immediately greeted by Jaclyn for the first part of my glamover transformation: new jewelry. She designs earrings under her own line, LuniacStyle, and everyone who comes in for a glamover gets a pair to take home. I chose a pair of oversized gold wire teardrops with hot pink and yellow crystals strung through them – sparkly enough for evening but light-weight enough to wear all day. Fabulous.
Next, Kayla brought me over to her chair for a blowout. The salon uses all Oribe products, which are infused with real gold flecks that create a luminous look that lasted through all three days of my blowout. She had a couple of tricks up her sleeve, like Royal Blowout spray (which cuts drying time in half), and setting each section into a pin curl so that the hair cools in that shape and retains bounce and volume longer. While Kayla did her thing, I remarked to her that I couldn't believe how quickly she was working. “I love doing blow-outs,” she said. “They're my favorite thing.” Good thing: the walk-in blowout bar, which is unique to the Arcade, is going to see a lot of traffic. There isn't anywhere else in the state where you can walk in without an appointment, like you can at a nail salon, and walk out half an hour later with a fabulous ‘do.
After my hair was done – in 20 minutes, as opposed to the 45 every other stylist has ever taken to straighten my serious curls – Kristen brought me over to her makeup chair. She asked me what I was doing for the evening (dinner downtown with friends and drinks afterwards with a special guy) and how I wanted to look. “I'm a more is more person,” I told her, “but I still need to sit across from people and not look ridiculous.” “Great,” she said. “I'm all about enhancing your natural beauty anyway.” Kristen applied Dermalogica's Skin Smoothing Cream followed by Skin Perfect Primer, and proceeded to create a look with a smoky-inspired eye that was a little dramatic, but definitely not overwhelming. She followed that with a creamy lip stain by Sweet Pea & Fay that lasted all night. I loved the look. (It was one of the few times I've had my makeup done professionally where I haven't changed or added something afterwards. I know. Problems of privilege.) The best part of the whole thing was that after an hour and a half in the salon, I looked and felt refreshed and fabulous, and for once made it to my dinner reservations early.