By Brigid Morrissey

Blowout and Simple Makeup 
Primp Style Lounge 
Expert: Samantha Stewart
What It Is: A blowout includes the shampooing, blow-drying, and styling of the hair. In the blow-drying technique, a round brush is used to add desired volume and smoother follicles. The makeup includes a layer of foundation, eye shadow, mascara, and lipstick. Primp’s makeup specialists improvise the color combinations and makeup blends.

Preparations: The only treatment where preparation is necessary is if you choose the Dry Style. Come ready with clean, dry, product-free hair.

Cost: $35 for a Blowout, $20 for Real Simple Makeup. Primp Packages include: Primp a Little (four appointments for $135), Primp a Lot (12 appointments for $395), or the Primp-a-Holic (20 appointments for $650). Primp also offers a membership. The Big Primper membership includes a $60 fee at the beginning of every month, which includes two blowouts, then any blowout after for only $30 each. Ten percent off all products and wait list priority are some of the other membership perks.

How Quick Are Results: You’ll walk out of Primp looking brand new. Depending on the length and texture of your hair, styles can last up to five days.

Time Commitment: Sessions last about 45 minutes from shampoo to finish.

Frequency of Touch-Ups: While some clients only book for special occasions like weddings or events, others book appointments every couple of weeks.

Experience: I was greeted with a warm smile and offerings of a beverage. I passed on coffee, Sprite, and wine and opted for a glass of water with a striped pink straw. Samantha guided me to the shampoo bowl and we engaged in light conversation as she rinsed my hair and gave me a scalp massage. When I sat down in the style chair, I was given the opportunity to choose my style: do I like volume? Tighter curls or loose waves? Up or down? Knowing the stylists at Primp are hired for their expertise, and knowing that my expertise is minimal, I left the decision up to Samantha. OK, loose curls hanging voluminously at shoulder-length it is. She assured me that her products and hot tools were up to any task, a feature that bodes well for all types of hair textures, lengths, colors, and thicknesses. As I gazed in the giant mirror reflecting the numerous styling stations, Samantha transformed my hair from “just got finished at the gym” to “beauty contestant” in 45 minutes.

My makeup experience was similar. I bombarded Samantha with questions about the do’s and don’ts of eye shadow, blush and bone structure, and other curiosities while she elegantly guided her collection of brushes across my cheeks. By the end of the entire process, I was in a trance of relaxation. Only after noticing the transformation was I able to snap out of it. I was ready to take on the day.

Rapid Spray Tan 
Glow, Organic Mobile Spray Tanning 
Expert: Reed Van Inwegen
What It Is: A technician sprays you from head to toe with a custom color in a 6 x 6 foot enclosed tent.

Preparations: It is best to be freshly showered, shaved, and exfoliated. Avoid skin products with oil, like Dove or Olay. Most of the care is required after the application. Wait at least three hours to shower with a rapid treatment, and 8-10 hours after a standard treatment. Because the bronzer can rub off before your first shower, it’s best to bring dark, loose clothing to put on after treatment. For best results, keep your skin moisturized, but don’t use products with Alpha Hydroxy Acids (they fade your tan much faster). If this seems like a lot of information, don’t fret – Reed has a list of instructions for you to follow.

$50 for a Rapid Spray Tan, $40 for a Standard Spray Tan

How Quick Are Results: For a Rapid procedure, results show anywhere from 1-4 hours from spray time, depending on the look you’re going for. I waited three hours to achieve “dark” skin status. I walked out of the booth with a noticeable difference in color, and the spray darkens until you wash (don’t panic! That’s how it’s supposed to be). Standard sprays are more inconspicuous when you leave the booth, but results show the next day. Depending on how well you care for your tan and your activity level, the organic treatment can last 5-11 days.

Time Commitment: For newcomers, carve out about 20 minutes of your time, because Reed likes to inform you of the process. Regulars can walk out in 10-15 minutes.

Frequency of Touch-Ups: You can go in as often as you like! A lot of clients go in prior to an event, like a wedding or professional portraits, but overall people just naturally feel better with a little color. 

Experience:I’ve had prior experiences with spray tans. You walk into a room with fluorescent lights and cold, hard furniture. The attendants give you a glance-over before robotically reciting the newest deals on the products, and then without much explanation, ship you off to one of the 20 identical doors to fend for yourself.

No, thanks. I’ll stay pale. But walking into Glow, I was met with fluffy couches I could get lost in, chocolates and cookies on the counter, and music drifting into the waiting area from the back room. I signed in and took a seat, but it didn’t take long before Reed’s friendly grin welcomed me into the experience. She ushered me into the changing area, which is connected to the spray tent. The next part was slightly mortifying, because I am timid when it comes to revealing my body, but the professionalism Reed displayed quickly reassured me to bare it all. I stripped off all my clothing and donned the disposable panties, footies, and hair net Reed set out for me. Reed’s greatest attributes are her attention to detail and her customer service. Your comfort is her priority.

Reed is also intuitive – when it comes to your skin, she is quietly observing you as soon as you walk through her doors. Her probing questions (“Have you had a tanning experience?”” or “Do you want your look to appear as if you’re sunkissed, glowing, or returning from a day at the beach?”) all serve her ultimate purpose: “I want to understand how you perceive your tan and match that; It’s not about what I think looks good. I want you to be happy.”

I stepped into the tent as she was acquiring the necessary information, and then she mixed the unique blend of organic ingredients (which she developed herself) based on all the answers I provided. She took me through a step-by-step process in which she sprayed and tended to each part of my body. The hard-to-reach places and parts of the body where your skin gets creased or moist were glossed over with a foam brush for the most natural look. When the afternoon sun bounced off my newly glowing skin, I couldn’t help but smile knowing I avoided the damage real sun can cause.

Photo by Melissa Donald