Finally, the season you live for is here—it’s summer, people! In. The. Hamptons. Although you know that remaining beautiful (and ever youthful) is a year-round, comprehensive endeavor, many of you have used the fall and winter to your full advantage. A lot of us have surely concluded the last in a series of body sculpting procedures, ultra sonic slimming and particle-free, hydra-infused micro-dermabrasion, yes? And of course your mink lashes are flawless, and your little “jiggle-no-more” has been relocated to your lips and cheekbones. While your primary color weave and keratin smoothing treatments are locked in until Labor Day, right?
Fret not. If you’re a little behind or just can’t, won’t, fathom turning down the beauty dial volume—we’ve got you covered here at HudsonMOD. As a nationally licensed colorist, stylist, beauty and grooming editor and anti-aging product expert, I’ve worked at and seen many of the top salons and spas internationally, with much of that time spent in Europe and Beverly Hills. And, like you, my quest for endless exterior maintenance (and reversal) is on constant red alert. How could it not be?
Now, while looking effortlessly beach-chic in the Hamptons for a few comes naturally, we all know that even at our most relaxed, we want (need) to be camera-ready, even if there are no photogs jumping out from behind sand dunes or flash bulbs going off at the Ina Garten-approved cheese shop. Hence, our self-improvement regimen doesn’t stop just because we’re re-enacting the more glamorous scenes from Revenge. (It really is must-see television).
Knowing that when most of us travel, we tend to stock up on beauty services, sometimes even stopping for a Brazilian Wax before the tarmac. No guilt, here. So, although you or your invaluable assistant can just as easily get a referral for the best smoothing blowout or red carpet facial (or look online), HudsonMOD decided to take a beauty tour of the Hamptons for you, hand picking a few spa and salon gems that will spare you the dreaded turn-around-and-walk-out scene (we’ve all been there). This isn’t to say that other establishments not on our list couldn’t please you too, my goal was to be objective, based on seasoned skills, customer service, pride of work and all around store look and feel. Oh, lest we forget, parking. Many of the finest locations are hidden, tough-to-spot-while-driving boutiques and Hamptons’ traffic alone is enough to make you blow out your own hair—if you haven’t pulled it out already.
Here’s a useful tip: Book early, book now, reconfirm—and, most importantly, allow for travel time and parking. Be sure someone from your camp has printed out the directions or entered your appointment addresses in your phone or GPS. One wrong turn in Hamptons’ seasonal traffic can cost you a good half hour. Incidentally, most of our selections also provide outcall services, not to mention a few that specialize in traveling beauty appointments. Hopefully, we’ve saved you some time and helped you become gorgeous and Hamptons ready.
If you’re having a slew of services or a major day of beauty that can bypass all the travel concerns, then consider the East End’s true full-service beauty spot with the most “it” factor. 27 Hampton Salon in Southampton can be easily overlooked—until you step in and you’ll instantly realize why it’s frequented by some heavy-hitting fashion and media boldfaced names. The salon has Fifth Avenue richness inhabited by even warmer, gracious manners. Its beautiful, compact space is well designed and provides just the right amount of privacy where needed; after all, we don’t want to eliminate all the buzz.
The staff at 27 Hampton Salon is kind and well trained, and the ever-present co-directors, Bianka Lefferts and Karen Ruggiero, are there to make sure everything happens exactly as you expect it to. There is plenty of parking in the back, with quiet service rooms—waxing, skin care and spray tanning—nestled below the main floor. Add the professional makeup room, color bar nook and a small, yet segregated “man space” and you’ve found a truly gorgeous one-stop shop. The salon’s elite service products (Brazilian Blowout; Goldwell Color) and luxe retail (Oribe, Ouidad, Kérastase and organic Tata Harper) reflect the beach chic philosophy of the Hamptons perfectly. Try on some serious lift serum and a miracle makeup session from their RuLef skincare line and you’ll step out feeling like a bouncy starlet.
When even the helipad is overscheduled in East Hampton and you’re forced to drive to the East End, let’s start our beauty guide from the west, as in Westhampton. Despite the unspoken rivalry (snobbery), the Dune Road area and its beach residences in Westhampton are breathtaking. Westhampton Bath & Tennis is a sprawling, surfside jewel; think Waldorf Astoria meets South Beach. Although their Luna Mesa Spa and Salon are separated on the property, their services are prepared for even the most discerning guests—a real treat. The property’s size also permits comfortable wedding parties. About a mile from the surf, Brunetti Salon resides on Westhampton’s Main Street. Headed by salon industry leading educators Mary and Michael Brunetti, their expertise in all-things hair is an invaluable insurance policy in its own right.
Heading down the Montauk Highway toward Hampton Bays located on another Main Street (you fall in love with all the Americana of the place), you’ll find E Day Spa & Salon, a mid-sized, well-appointed full service boutique that’s known for great work without all the East End hype. Of the many services, it provides Balayage coloring techniques (I highly recommend it), Keratin smoothing, threading and great spa techniques. The E Day Spa & Salon also stocks the in-demand HydroPeptide skincare line (one of my favorites). Remember, since we’re driving, you can send the man in your life to Mario’s Barber Shop because it’s just down the street from E. This is the spot in Hampton Bays for a classic, lightning-fast haircut as well as a traditional hot-towel shave. Come meet the burly and loveable owner, Joe Marino, who comes from a long lineage of barbering masters. Joe also knows everything and everyone in town.
Aside from the great 27 Hampton Salon, Southampton is brimming with beauty talent. Revolve Hair Salon is a modern, full-service, hippie-chic and brand-conscious newcomer with a cool kids following. True to its craft and planet-conscious charities, Revolve creates with Davines Color, Moroccan Oil and Privé products. Owner Alicia Cook and staff are not only great stylists, but can satisfy your more avant-garde impulses as well. New to the area is John Dillon Salon & Day Spa, which provides a full range of services with an accent on keratin smoothing, twisting, hair weaving and extensions. The laws change quarterly on keratin hair smoothing, so call ahead—and find out the latest on this in-the-news technique.
For many locals, Kevin Maple Salon is just the place. A slim stairway off Jobs Lane (pronounced J?bes) leads you to an open-air, large studio with a welcoming and spacious lounge area. This salon has a classic and chic environment with a seasoned staff to accommodate your needs. La Carezza is also a notable spa salon within a large space, and I would lean toward the spa services, such as Endermologie (body contouring and circulation) and Hydrotherapy (healing salts, seaweed and essential oils—for men and women). And Ernie is reportedly the best scalp massage therapist around with his use of custom-blended oils targeting your particular needs.
Also in Southampton is Anana’s Day Spa, an award-winning spa for advanced massage/lipo massage, body treatments and micro-dermabrasion skin care. Its large foot spa area is known for one-hour spa pedicures, and Anana’s provides a dry bar (with a view) for post-treatment relaxation. For those demanding “hard wax” Brazilian procedures, they’ve got it. And Anana’s Day Spa also features Yonka skincare products for men.
If your summer digs find you in the center of it all—Bridgehampton, Watermill, Sagaponack or Wainscott—there are plenty of high-end spa and salon options to help you stay fine-tuned. Two boutiques with Manhattan locations have made themselves available for their summer clients, Valery Joseph Salon and Vincent Da Silva at Gil Ferrer Salon, the latter is open year round with plenty of parking. Both salons have received the highest accolades in hair technique as well as salon services. For those used to NYC ’tude, you should be prepared to pay for le printemps de la vie of these two high-caliber salons. If you choose to avoid all the pomp and circumstance and just require great hair at fair prices, try Capelli Hair and Skin, an underground haven of beauty, also featuring a Hamptons classic, Judith Desirée Skin Thérapie.
For those hanging your hats in East Hampton, the choices for maintaining a hair salon regimen are surprisingly slim. M Salon (on the back side of Main Street with public parking) is a smaller full-service salon with master stylists doing notable work with color, keratin smoothing, glamour blowouts, extensions and nails—but it’s not a tranquil oasis by any means. Located in a quiet upstairs corner is where you’ll find A-Studio Day Spa & Laser specializing in an advanced menu of skin and body esthetics, ranging from classic and prenatal massage, reflexology, lymphatic drainage and laser treatments to Hydradermie Lift facials. Naturopathica Spa prides itself on rebalancing holistic health and has been repeatedly voted best spa in the Hamptons. Look for Red Horse Plaza (with abundant parking) or you’ll zoom right by. With regard to its advanced massage and esthetics techniques, Naturopathica’s philosophy is one that can touch us all. The spa’s founder, aromatherapist and herbalist Barbara Close, is often called “The Formulator” because she merges modern science with ancient ingredients to help find ways to penetrate anti-aging skin delivery in a safer, non-toxic way. A definite plus to the spa’s location is that you can drop the kids off at rock ’ n’ roll bowling across the street. If you like to separate your services, Elegant Touch Nail Spa has you covered with four manicure and three pedicure stations, plus waxing. It’s located near the Newton Lane train station where parking is more manageable—with Bucket’s Deli next door. Across the street you can also find East Hampton Barber, an official landmark and a 75-year staple.
As we head east, Sag Harbor is not only abundant with talent, escaping celebrities and a tad more artsy, you won’t be giving up the glam here. Salon Xavier, owned by Xavier Merat, has a dedicated, veteran staff and an elite following of die-hards. The atmosphere is an open-air woody-loft chic space housing a true full service salon and features a full complement of body treatments including classic massage and Thai bodywork to Shirodhara (a-ma-zing), lash extensions, Brazilian Blowout-branded keratin smoothing, hair extensions, custom facials, 02 Oxygenating treatments, mani/pedis and more. Many salons carry Rene Futerer products, but Xavier Salon is trained in its healing properties as a hair restorer. Did I mention how nice they were?
Smack in the middle of Sag Harbor’s Main Street there’s Salon 66 (formerly Marty’s Barber Shop, another Hamptons staple). Owner-stylist Jackie Fuchs has earned her master designer status, with an equally impressive roster of notable clients and previously owned local salons. A smaller, yet very open studio awaits those in need of a great haircut, color or extensions and includes a large, windowed privacy room. Goldwell Color and GK Keratin Smoothing (one of the safest—and what’s currently on my own hair) are offered. The salon is intentionally pared down to restored modern chic as a place even a man’s man could feel comfortable having his hair colored in. Salon 66 is the perfect solution for those among us who value clean lines and hands-on personal service.
Next up is Montauk, the last stop on our sun-kissed car trip lying at the easternmost point in Long Island. Once referenced as the non-Hamptons Hampton for its working class roots, Montauk is now a highly sought-after (and not inexpensive) refuge from those trying to limit their social calendars, hide from P. Diddy or just remain in pure sleep-beach-drink vacation mode. Montauk’s hospitality venues give you more exercise options for staying in shape, even if you’re only burning calories from the surf to the spa to the surf again. Many people like to reverse the order—staying in Montauk and making cameo appearances in East Hampton.
If you have kids in tow, Gurney’s Inn Resort & Spa is a truly decadent retreat-by-the-sea for adults, while the younger set can enjoy the amazing lifeguard-protected beach via the watchful child services staff or the heated indoor or outdoor salt water pools. And if you and yours decide to indulge in a healing spa experience, what could be better than a steam or utilizing the world-class gym with its only-in-the Hamptons Spin center? The Salon has an ocean view and promotes wellness via Rene Futerer products, while the Spa is nothing short of amazing with many of the treatments harnessing what’s right at their doorstep—the sea. With a plush service menu too extensive to list (and equally, wonderfully man-friendly), you should take note that Gurney’s Inn inhabits, according to the website, “the only authentic Thalasso Center in the continental US, utilizing seawater and seaweed in a marine enriched environment for therapeutic purposes, both preventative and curative.” With an oceanfront suite or separate cottage, this is one holiday the whole family can walk away feeling completely on top. I’d highly recommend Gurney’s Inn as a spa/salon staycation apart from your own Hamptons hideaway, even for a few days.
Montauk Yacht Club: In a word, WOW! The MYC, as it’s referred to locally, certainly has incredible activities and sporting venues—tennis, horseback riding, sightseeing, clam bakes, surf lessons, deep sea fishing and more—but it’s focused on seamanship, spa-ing and yachts. What better way to commute to the Hamptons for the season? The Spa Salon treatments are for the discerning, while some massages are perfectly matched to the MYC’s tennis, yachting and socializing stresses. Start your experience with a pre-season body scrub tissue massage, or French Gommage. Then consider the MYC’s Spa Reflexology or Botanically Charged Body Wrap to heal and seal your bronzed body with calm and moisture upon departure. Male and female city slickers will feel right at home with the Collagen upgrades and Vitamin C infusions. You simply can’t go wrong here. Heaven on Earth, people.
Now for a truly decadent option: I know whom I’m dealing with. That means you, HudsonMOD-ster. If you’re in tip-top, Grade A beauty health and just couldn’t dream of exerting this kind of energy into your overbooked holiday, well, don’t. Let the services come to you. Healing Hands offers mobile masseurs specializing in Swedish, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone and Rain Drop massage therapy and provides “facial parties” for your groups at home. For all around hair and esthetic services, Primp In Home delivers top, vetted talent to your front door. Need to stay lean and stretched? Norma Jean Pilates delivers “on and off shore” services with group studio, one on one or in-home. If you find yourself between injectable procedures, et al www.AmericasTopCosmeticDoctors.com provides worthy recommendations by zip code.
Wasn’t that easy? Now all you have to do is show up ready to enjoy your well deserved summer vacation in the Hamptons. And to your beauty and peace of mind, I say, Namaste. Or, if you prefer, ’til next time fellow beach lovers.