Thursday, August 25, 2016

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ®

Secret Salons Spotlight Solo Service

Lisa Greene
Photo: Laurel Marcus

Have you ever wondered where the stars get their glam on particularly before dawn in preparation for the early morning talk shows? Have you ever wanted a custom array of private beauty treatments curated just for you? Would you like to know someone who can play Fairy Godmother (albeit a much hotter version) to your Cinderella while you luxuriate in a secret sanctuary?

Meet Lisa Greene, founder of Luxury Hair Plus http://www.lhp4beauty.com/, the expert "beauty concierge" who can make all your dreams -- from non-invasive, state-of-the-art anti-aging facial treatments, hair removal, mani-pedis including Minx Nails, brow tweezing, all hair services including growth solutions/custom wigs, toupees and extensions, guaranteed fat loss programs, massage and make up application; come true--all while bringing beauty and health together, focusing on what is best for you. Sounds too good to be true, even before I mention that she is on call 24/7, as are the beauty professionals (the little mice er, make that royal estheticians in the fairy tale analogy?, lol) who work with her in her convenient midtown (57 W. 57th St.) location.


"I never feel like this is work, since this is what I love to do," stresses Greene, a former publisher of BE (Black Elegance) Magazine. This incredibly youthful-looking mother of four adult children sought to reinvent herself in 2008 with Luxury Hair Plus after her decision to leave publishing and concentrate on her natural strengths and her first love -- the beauty business. "I am in love with the art of transformation and passionate about providing healthy alternatives that actually deliver." Realizing that human hair was a booming industry (hers is all sourced only in the U.S. as "foreign hair can be made from anything" and is not to be trusted), she began there, but presciently added the "plus" to the name enabling her to, ahem, "grow into a full on provider of everything beauty."

Lisa Greene being hair styled
Greene also realized from conversing with clients that it would be beneficial to have a private facility for those "who were embarrassed to visit a typical salon due to hair loss issues as well as those that complained about the environment in your average salon...the noise, the waiting, or just the desire to have access off hours." Although Greene did not want to name names of her celebrity clients, I have it on good authority Supermodel / Author Beverly Johnson and BET bigwig Shelia Johnson use her products and services as well as Victoria Secret Models, Miranda Kerr and Barbara Fialho.


In addition to the individual treatments available in this unique atmosphere designed by Greene (another major talent of hers is interior design) resembling a luxury cruise ship ready to take you on your beauty adventure, group events such as bridal services or other beauty events can be scheduled as well. I had originally been invited to sample an unnamed mystery anti-aging surprise which turned out to be TCT (Trans-dermal Carboxy Treatment), a fantastic new anti-aging mask, however upon arriving with a full face of makeup, Greene mentioned that I might want to reschedule in case I was averse to leaving "sans fards" (more on that later).

Anna Antal & Isabel Anton
Photo: Rachel Chandler

Upon my realization that it was not only the same Carboxy treatment that I had recently treated myself to a series of four at my longtime spa, I found that the two salons also share the same supplier! While I am a huge fan of the Carboxy (it really does smooth, plump, soften fine lines and give a glow) but not the 40+ minute relaxing downtime it requires, we decided I would come back for a Minx silver nails manicure before fashion week -- can't wait! Since I am a longtime devotee of Advanced Skin Care Day Spa (literally steps away at 140 West 57th St), and have been a client of co-owner Isabel Anton (along with Anna Antal) for over 20 years (yikes!) I wanted to mention their fine salon which boasts a celebrity following including Alicia Keys, Emma Watson, Karolina Kurkova and Candice Swanepoel, who flock here for custom facials and laser hair removal. As Isabel often reminds me, my once large pores have shrunk noticeably, thanks to her skin care knowledge and expertise.

Alicia Keys
Photo: Paola Kudacki

Speaking of Alicia Keys, you may know from watching the new season of "The Voice," from seeing her perform at the DNC Convention, or even from reading about it in her Lenny Letter , Ms. Keys recently adapted a full-time policy of going bare-faced (even on stage). Other celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow have embraced the trend at parties. Even Singer Adele who's known for her awesome eyeliner game, as well as an occasional "Konstantly Kontoured Kardashian" will Instagram a makeup free (but not filter free) shot just to stay relevant (however it doesn't last long).

Alicia Keys no makeup
Photo: Alicia Keys Instagram

The already "makeup questioning" Keys began her crusade in earnest quite by accident -- upon arriving fresh faced at a photo shoot for "In Common" her latest single, thinking that she would be getting her makeup applied, she was told by her "beautiful photographer Paola, "I have to shoot you right now like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!" Thus started a #nomakeup movement which Keys was already feeling a need for. I tend to doubt if she would have been so ready to "uncover" her previously blemished skin without Antal's custom facials, Carboxy treatments and packets of the slightly less strong at home version of Carboxy.

As for my own foray into the "natural look," while Nike's slogan may be "Just do it," I tend to subscribe to Nancy Reagan's war on drug catch phrase: "Just say No."  As I mentioned, It is hard enough for me to walk out of the salon post treatment without my "face on" prompting the incredibly smooth skinned Isabel's admonishment: "You don't need makeup. Skin needs to breathe!" While I know she's right, those thousands of makeup tutorials on YouTube are not there because nobody watches them. Yes Avon-- I agree that wearing makeup "makes the world a more beautiful place." (See video)




- Laurel Marcus

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