The great writer Jorge Luis Borges once said, “I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” Well, I’ve seen paradise, and there aren’t any books. There are, however, spa pedicure chairs, hard to find makeup brands and Champagne bubbles aplenty. Oh, by the way? Paradise is in Warwick.
I know, right? As much as I was incredibly excited to try Retail Therapy Beauty Bar – which combines the elements of a hair and nail salon, spa, boutique and café – my excitement was tempered by the fact that I was going to have to drive down Route 2 to get there, and once I did, I’d be in Warwick, and how pampered can you possibly feel across from PetSmart? It turns out, very pampered.
From the minute I walked inside, all the buzz outside was gone, and I was in heaven. Owner Anita Kiernan greeted me and lead me through the surprisingly expansive beauty boutique, past the blowout bar, to the nail area. Where Mimi, would be giving me a Champagne manicure and pedicure. Their levels of service are designated by beverages: espresso and wine spritzer are quick fixes, Chardonnay is the regular mani or pedi and Champagne is the deluxe spa version. While I was disappointed that there would be no bubbly used on my toes, that disappointment quickly disappeared when Anita offered me some in an actual glass. I opted for Pinot Grigio and sat back to soak in as much relaxation as possible.
As Mimi did her work (which was very good, probably the best pedicure I’ve ever had, which included a sugar scrub and a foot mask), Anita brought me out a plate of snacks – like goat cheese crostini with lemon and chive, and mozzarella caprese skewers – and told me a little about Retail Therapy. “This is where I would want to go with my girlfriends,” she explained. The fact that the beauty bar offers complete spa services, cosmedical procedures, hair and nail services, a makeup bar, a place to shop and a place to sit and enjoy a cocktail and a snack means that it’s perfect for big groups, without the inevitable lag that comes when friends go for beauty services together. Think birthday or bachelorette party. Hell, think Thursday night, when there are food and drink specials for Ladies Night.
After my Champagne pedi, I got a Champagne gel mani (turquoise, with a hot pink and glitter accent nail, perfect for lounging poolside). Then, Anita brought me to her makeup chair and showed me some of their exclusive lines, like Inglot from Poland and Gorgeous Cosmetics from Australia, and her own line of Retail Therapy makeup, which has an amazing high def foundation. I left looking and feeling great, and with an Inglot bronzer that I’ve used every single day since then. The next time I need a break from my errands, I’m definitely stopping by for a little dose of paradise.
1276 Bald Hill Road, Warwick