By Bailey Beckett
There’s something uniquely beautiful about the modern-day salon. You go in feeling standard, and you come out looking like a star. It may last minutes, hours, a week, but at that time you feel transformed. That notion – the promise of beauty and glamour by someone else’s hands—is accessible and romantic all at the same time. And sexes be damned, men enjoy it, too. A buzz at Super Cuts may trim your hair, but a new look at a top salon is something you wear.
New York Lifestyles put on our smock to investigate at the elite Eluit Salon on the Upper East Side. Long a favorite of celebs and Park Avenue socialites, the style sanctuary offers a full-service menu of treatments, from cuts to color to make-up and brows. Owner Eluit Rivera the best of the best: La Coupe, Joseph Martin, and Oribe before going solo. He has worked with talents as varied as J. Lo, Penelope Cruz, and Sheryl Crow and been highlighted in top fashion magazines like W, InStyle, Marie Claire, and Bazaar.
COLOR MY WORLD
Eluit would be at the helm of our day of “man-pering,” but first it starts with color. Grays! Out with the grays! For men, it’s the proverbial crossroad. (The coincidence of a 25-year high school reunion the next month had nothing to do with it.) To help guide me in this quest was stylist, Lisa Estridge, a graduate of the school of Eluit. She’s followed him for years, and there’s no one more he trusts. Says Rivera: “Lisa creates the perfect shades, never compromising the richness of colors.”
Estridge serves up some much needed Champagne as she inspects the color. Like many seasoned stylists, she’s curious, asks questions and offers counsel. She and Eluit speak in shorthand and he gives her the nod of approval before she disappears to create her potent cocktail: a gooey-cream that will coat my hair for the next 30 minutes. And then, voila! The dark locks teaming with grays is now a lighter shade of brown.
Then Rivera leads us to his workspace which is separated from the rest of the salon. A curved wall gives it a sense of privacy but also an air of openness. He examines the color, the previous cut and the symmetry of the face, and confidently begins his work. All the while he is gregarious and engaging. The key is sharing and listening to the client, he says. Our session is seamless. From our time together, this much we know: he travels back and forth to Puerto Rico every other week to see family, he is the master multitasker balancing cut and conversation effortlessly, and that his sense of style extends to all areas of the salon, which he designed himself. It’s clean and pristine, with angle and art aplenty.
Previously quartered on 65th Street and Madison Avenue, he’s now housed in a top floor of a tall building off 60th Street (home of the neighboring Le Bilboquet, the upscale French restaurant). He finishes in an hour, and it looks fantastique.
Finally, the brows. Yes, it’s all about the eyebrows (especially for this brand). Robin Narvaez is quick to recognize this and begins her work. She is a master stylist boasting a star-studded resume that includes the locks and lashes of Jane Fonda, Tilda Swinton, and Hillary Clinton. She also has a unique experience working with men, like Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas among others. Narvaez is almost incredulous that more men don’t participate. It can make you look years longer, she says, and more distinguished. She plucks, plucks, plucks, avoiding the wax for simplicity. The ouch is made easier by the “a-hhh”.
The day is done, and we leave looking like a star. Hats off (literally and figuratively) Team Eluit.
For more information on Eluit Salon, visit eluitsalon.com.