I had read about blowout bars in bigger cities before – those beauty quick stops where you pop in for a new ‘do on your lunch break so you can have your hair done for your evening plans – but had wondered what the big deal was. Can’t you just stop at your salon? I wondered. Just make an appointment. But, things are not always so easy to plan as that – and it’s not like we had one in Providence to try, anyway.
But still, when La La Luxe’s Leah Carlson let me know that her Wayland Square salon had just opened one, I was intrigued. So, on a day when I had important plans for the evening, I headed there on my lunch break to make a stop at their bar. La La Luxe’s chic space had been changed around to include a long bar in the middle of the room, with chairs around it for easy blowout access. Jamie Millmather introduced herself to me as my stylist for the day, and asked if I’d like Amy Gonyea to do a quick makeup touchup while I had my hair done. They twisted my arm – I mean, really, who would want to leave looking even better than she had planned? – and I agreed.
As Jamie washed my hair, she told me her story. She’s recently back in Providence after a brief jaunt in Park City, Utah, and back at the salon she called home before she left. Since Jamie has been back, she’s been focusing on developing new color techniques, like the painted, sunlight highlights she’s been doing lately to create glowing, natural looking color.
We sat at the blowout bar. As Jamie did my hair, Amy consulted with me about my evening plans. I was headed to a fashion event and would be wearing cheetah, so I asked for dark and vampy, even though it was the middle of the day. (What? In fashion time it’s always fabulous o’ clock.) After that, it was a flurry of talk about beauty products. Jamie used Prime and Straight in my hair, products made by Living Proof, the MIT-developed line out of Boston. Amy used Smashbox, Cargo and a gorgeous Beach Tint and Glossy Lip Tint combo on my lips as a more subtle option for the day, and instructions for what to do at night. The two of them worked so quickly and well together that I was done with the entire thing in under an hour, and I left feeling gorgeously glam. This is the kind of bar stop I could get used to.