The Makeover Squad

Get glamorous in the express lane at a local salon


There are few things I genuinely enjoy more than a day of beauty. I’m talking hair, makeup, manicures, the works: a whole afternoon devoted to nothing but pampering, beautifying and relaxing. But while it’s high on my list of things I like, it’s low on my list of things I have time for (or can afford very often). At this time of year, though, time is at an all-time premium. Not only do you have to shop for your whole family, you have to decorate your house, wrap all of those gifts, travel to deliver them and cook for those visits – you actually have to make time to attend all of those holiday parties. And Santa’s little helpers can’t exactly show up looking sleep deprived and covered in flour, especially to dressy festivities.

The good news is that La La Luxe Salon has actually found a way that you can fit in every beauty service you need to look effortlessly glamorous this holiday season – and it isn’t a time machine. Their Express Yourself package, though, feels equally as magical. Picture this: you sit in a salon chair while your hair, makeup and nails all get done at the exact same time. Sound like a miracle? Well, it kind of is.

When I arrived at the East Side salon, Chelsea shampooed my hair, and then sat me down to start the services. She began my Oribe 24 Karat blowout (which utilizes a pomade that actually has 24 karat gold flakes in it for extra luminosity), while Jeannine brought over a manicure stand with a selection of current OPI polishes for me to choose from. I went with a festive, surprisingly elegant gold glitter, it being the holiday season and all. And while she started removing my nail polish, Amy came over, armed with Becca and Tigi cosmetics, asking me what kind of look I’d like for the evening.

Having all three ladies work on me at once could have been overwhelming, but the sheer amount of fun we were having in the process made that an impossibility. At one point, salon owner Leah Carlson came over to take pictures of the process – in part because I was one of the first people to try the service, and in part because, well, it’s not every day that you’re treated like an A-list celebrity who’s getting ready for the red carpet.

After – I kid you not – a mere 45 minutes, I was completely made over. My hair looked amazing. My nails were perfect. My makeup was beautifully applied; I even picked up a couple of pointers about how to use a fan brush and how to create a “just bitten” lip (red stain, shiny – not glittery – gloss). I left for an evening on the town feeling like a different, perfectly coiffed person. The next time you don’t know how you’ll get everything done, leave it to the experts to handle your beautification. You’ll have people wondering how you managed it all, and managed to look so great afterwards.