By Stephanie Ila Silver-Silberstein
It was inevitable. My best friend’s engagement to her boyfriend of seven years came as no surprise to anyone. It was a long-awaited happy occasion for all and yet, still, a part of me dreaded it. You see, one of my ex-boyfriends would be on the guest list for her upcoming engagement party. I’ve managed to avoid him for four years now and this party would mark the end of that streak. It might as well have been my 10-year high school reunion. The pressure was on – I needed to look fantastic
After a couple of minor breakdowns, a few journal entries and some serious hours of Pilates, I was more than emotionally ready. And of course, a romantic evening with my very loving current boyfriend was exactly what I needed to remind me of just how much I was unnecessarily freaking out about this. After all, it’s been years. I’m totally over it. I’ve moved on. Gosh darn it, I did find love again! But come on, all you Romy and Michelle fans can understand my plight, right?
I began my reunion makeover about a month before the big night. Thirty days seemed like the perfect amount of time. Anyone could stay disciplined about anything for a few weeks, and it was just enough time to produce some tangible results. So, I did what any rational female in this situation would do. I lost 10 pounds. I also religiously cleaned my face and applied a mask twice weekly with some amazing products (see my article on Mario Badescu). I was cutting it close, but about one week before, I dragged my mom’s credit card and my almost 10-pounds lighter body to Bloomingdale’s. I bought a fabulous outfit—a pretty pink chiffon halter by Laundry and winter white striped pants by Kenneth Cole. Did I mention the weather forecast said snow? Oh well. There was no time to dwell.
Before I knew it, the morning of the big event was upon me. Fortunately, I had an appointment with the-be-all-end-all of confidence boosters…The Ted Gibson Salon. With a limited budget of time and money, I had to be selective about what necessary final touches I was to make in this ultimate glamorization process. I decided that the following needed immediate attention: hair, makeup, nails and eyebrows. Suffice it to say, Ted Gibson (both the man and the salon) made me feel like a million bucks the second I walked through the elevator doors and into the spacious loft which was under the influence of what I imagine to be some serious Feng Shui. This new and exclusive salon is sure to have the chicest Manhattanites talking! New York City designer Kimberly Peck created a calm and intimate yet sophisticated and modern oasis. I felt so cozy sipping Chardonnay on their chocolate brown leather banquette, wrapped in a thick satin robe and surrounded by white-washed walls softly lit in pink.
Ted Gibson has said, “Every woman wants to feel sexy, desired and special. I really listen to what they have to say and bring out their most beautiful self.” Well, I must say that everyone at the Ted Gibson salon aims to do just that. Feeling as pampered as Angelina Jolie (one of Mr. Gibson’s many famous clients), I received a complimentary hand massage while David, my talented hairdresser, brought my hair to a most lustrous shine. David used the brush, iron and dryer with such care and grace, it was almost as if he was doing yoga and tai chi while styling my hair! I practically floated over to Sasha, the manicurist, and within minutes, I felt like I had known her for years. As the aromatherapy cuticle oil rejuvenated my dry winterized hands, I felt relaxed yet excited for the evening ahead.
In addition to being stylists to the most famous actresses and runway models, Ted Gibson and his business partner Jason Backe are recognized internationally as top educators for the Aveda Corporation, and they use their skincare products exclusively. Their makeup artist, Zahra, is adorable and clearly passionate about what she does for a living. A perfectionist at heart, she shaped my eyebrows beautifully. My eyes never looked so wide and bright, and the many people who complimented me in the weeks following most certainly agreed with my observation! My makeup was flawless as well. Having been professionally made-up for one too many bridal parties to look like a clown, I usually opt to do my own makeup. But Zahra’s work made me rethink that notion. The light pastels she used got me psyched for the spring and made me feel feminine and pretty. Her application was precise but innovative. She was half-surgeon, half-artist.I was particularly intrigued with her use of Aveda’s eye shadow palette. For instance, she used a shimmery light tan hue to highlight my cheekbones and a glittery pink cheek color on my eyelids.
A tour of the rest of the salon, revealed two pedicure stations, a waxing room, a facial room and a VIP room for private use by celebrities. “Some day,” I mumbled under my breath, “Some day.” But in the meantime, I’ll take feeling like a celebrity and being treated like one by the gracious, sophisticated and friendly staff at Ted Gibson any day!
In less than a month, my hair was shiny and straight; my hands smooth and polished; my brows plucked and arched; my makeup feminine and flawless; my outfit stylish and one-size smaller than usual. But more importantly, I was also happy with life, in love with my boyfriend and excited for my best friend and her fiancé. Keeping those last three things in mind was what really made me feel beautiful the day I saw my ex-boyfriend and everyday thereafter, for that matter. A trip to the Ted Gibson Salon didn’t hurt either.
Ted Gibson is a full-service salon located at 184 Fifth Avenue (between 22nd Street and 23rd Street) on the 2nd Floor. Call 212-633-6333 to make an appointment or visit http://www.tedgibsonbeauty.com.