Looking good in 2011

BBQ sandwich

WELCOME WINTER: It’s cold and dreary outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you have to trudge through the early part of 2011 feeling that way on the inside. Think of winter as the perfect time to treat yourself to a little something extra in the beauty department. Fortunately, there are a couple of new places on campus to help women—and, yes, men, too—do just that.

BANISH THE BLUES: Bluemercury (3603 Walnut St.) occupies the storefront that formerly housed Douglass, the beauty, skin and hair care shop. Patrons will find many of the same amenities inside Bluemercury—shelves of facial scrubs, moisturizing masks, and anti-aging serums, as well as smoothing hair gel, fortifying hair masks and perfumes. Lines include Clinique, AHAVA Dead Sea face, hair and body treatments and all-natural REN products. There are also plenty of blushers, lipsticks, eye shadows and foundation to keep your face looking fresh and lovely through the winter months, including goodies from Smashbox and Bobbi Brown.

SMALL PACKAGES: Unfamiliar with some of Bluemercury’s brands? Don’t be afraid to ask one of the friendly sales clerks for a sample to take home. They’ll happily give you trial sizes of some of their products before you commit to an entire bottle. The store also sells small-sized items perfect for the not-so-expensive indulgence—from lip balms and bottles of hand lotion to emery boards studded with glittery faux-rhinestones and sturdy makeup bags to hold all of your new purchases.

NEW ‘DO’: If it’s a more dramatic beauty lift you seek, the Adolf Biecker Studio (138 S. 34th St.) may be just the ticket. This business is a full-care hair salon, and the staff also does manicures, pedicures and waxing. Most notably, the price is right: Haircuts start at $30 ($35 for haircut and style), manicures run just $18 and pedicures $37. Waxing ranges from $12 for the upper lip, to $18 and up for a brow, and $60 and up for a full leg.

EVERYTHING ZEN: Don’t let the low prices fool you—this salon has plenty of nice flourishes you’d usually see in establishments that charge much more for their services. Patrons are invited to slip a smock over their clothes (a thoughtful touch), and may even be treated to a complimentary hand massage. The salon space is bright and airy, and the stylists and colorists use all-natural Aveda products.

COLOR-PERFECT: Before dying your hair, colorists will first test a small amount of product on your skin to ensure patrons aren’t allergic to the products (allergies are not uncommon, one stylist says). The studio offers traditional highlights ($65 and up), as well as the increasingly popular technique known as balayage, where colorists paint highlights onto the hair, resulting in natural-looking color without obvious roots. That technique starts at $75.

Originally published on January 20, 2011