Shine On, Holiday Glam Girl!


The days are noticeably shorter, there’s a chill in the air, and the holiday invitations are piling up—three great reasons to revamp your look from head to toe!

Rather than playing it safe this holiday season, think outside the box when it comes to hair, makeup, and fashion.  Lindsey Kruzel, owner of Elle Kay Salon in Basking Ridge, says it’s the perfect time of year to spice up your appearance.  “I can make a woman look completely different by customizing her hair and makeup to accentuate the shape of her face, her complexion, and her skin tones.”

Faina Shapiro agrees.  Her new apparel boutique, located atop the Diamond Dream Jewelry store in Bernardsville, is all about customization, too.  “Since this is a new venture,” she says, “it’s a work in progress.  I welcome clients’ opinions on what they’d like to see.  I want to meet their fashion needs.”

Both Kruzel and Shapiro are embarking on new enterprises to exceed the haute desires of their fashion-forward friends and neighbors.  Kruzel took over Elle Kay Salon last year with the vision of making her shop a destination for upscale beauty that trumps the New York experience.  “We have a great group of girls, and they honestly care about our clients.  It’s a friendly, pampering environment.”

Meanwhile, Shapiro has been making women shine for 30 years, but in a different light.  She and husband Edward have adorned women with elegant jewelry since 1985, but after a recent trip to Italy, Faina was inspired to bring the European fashion aesthetic to the Hills community.  “I love Italian fashion, so while I was traveling in Italy, I began looking at what’s going on in the world of design.  I felt the European retail style element was missing in Bernardsville.  In Italy, men’s clothing is typically sold on the first floor of a building, and women’s clothing is often found on the second floor.  Since there was space on the second floor of our jewelry store, I was drawn to the idea of extending the quality I see in Italian jewelry into an apparel shop that brings in European and other quality designers not typically found here.”  As a result, the Shapiro’s rechristened their business Diamond Dream Jewelry and Apparel.

But clothes are only part of the total package.  Women know that to look their best in dynamite attire, they must feel their best, too, and that’s where a beauty professional comes in.  Glowing skin highlighted by cover model makeup and shiny hair crafted into a chic ‘do only add to the feminine mystique.  “Loose updos are really in right now,” says Elle Kay’s Kruzel, “but it’s also a great time to try darker highlights or a new cut such as a bob or an asymmetrical style.”  In addition, she reminds women that transitioning from summer to winter means altering one’s regime to insure radiant skin and Hollywood-inspired features.  To that end, Kruzel can assist clients to attain the utmost in customized, flattering beauty.  She’s offering a holiday promotion whereby clients who come in for hair services can opt to include a makeup session the same day for half price, and get a personalized beauty lesson to boot.  “As I’m applying the makeup, I teach the client how to do it herself.  Clients may not realize that I’m a makeup artist as well as a hair stylist,” she adds.

Every woman knows that a staple of special occasion apparel is the little black dress, but this holiday season Shapiro recommends some trendy options.  She says, “Jump suits and wide-leg pants are popular.”  As for color alternatives, she states, “White is big for the holidays, and burgundy is also very strong.”  She adds that navy, grey, and silver are in vogue as well.  For those who want to keep with tradition and treat themselves to a stunning new dress for that upcoming gala soiree, Shapiro says a white dress, rather than black, can go the distance.  “We have a gorgeous white dress from the Italian designer Antonelli that is festive but can go further.  It can be worn with a shawl and some beautiful jewelry for an evening look, or pair it with a jacket for the daytime.”  She feels strongly that classic clothes are a timeless investment, as evidenced by how she shops for herself.  “I always look for how often I’ll wear it.  I want to be able to wear something to work, then to dinner, and all year round so I get my money’s worth.  I love having options.  Maybe now I’ll wear it for a dressy occasion, but in a year I’ll make it more casual by dressing it down.”

Certainly, Shapiro and Kruzel are poised to fulfill every client’s desire to be perfectly coiffed and dressed to the nines for the season’s festivities.  However, they are also committed to service well beyond the winter months.  Shapiro explains, “I’m bringing in lines that aren’t over-distributed because my clients want unique brands with classic appeal.  I will continue to try to find very good designers in Italy and France and up-and-coming designers with similar great quality like the one from Brooklyn I’ll be featuring in the spring.”  Likewise, Kruzel sees the big picture as servicing the community.  “We are a family salon,” she says.  “I want the moms out there to know that we cut children’s hair.  Our prices are affordable for children, and in the spring we’ll run a children’s special.  We have a nice, welcoming atmosphere.”

Surely, diversity and flair are the hallmarks of couture and beauty, and they are aptly represented by Elle Kay Salon in Basking Ridge and Diamond Dream Jewelry and Apparel in Bernardsville.  Be certain to stop by, treat yourself to some holiday pampering, and set free your inner fashionista to be the belle of the ball!

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