Back in November, I attended the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Gala at the Loews (1200 Market Street). The stage was set to be a really special night: the guest of honor was my friend HughE Dillon (read about HughE’s story here – it’s incredible), I was attending with my boyfriend and his parents, and, frankly, this was the first “gala” I’d ever be attending. I knew I’d be waiting till the last minute for my dress (which turned out to be a rental gone wrong), so I wanted to plan out the other aspects of completing a “gala appropriate” look in advance. After a full day of frantic, last-minute shopping at KOP, I found my dress (now on sale for half the price – NBD), and all that was left was to enjoy my day getting ready around the city.
First up: the hair. Now, my hair and I get along pretty okay, and don’t get me wrong, I can wand it like a champ, but I wanted something special to match the drama of my gown for this night. I’d been wanting to try Salon Thalia (1520 Locust Street) for a while, so when they offered for me to come in, I knew gala day was my day.
First of all, the place is huge. It’s totally deceiving from the outside, but ample salon space is so welcomed in the midst of a cray city. I was greeted by Travis, a Senior Stylist of who I was an immediate fan. My shampoo session was actually great (for once in my hair care history) because they had a footrest so my short legs were not dangling in thin air while I leaned back.
Travis talked me through the look I wanted as I showed him photos of my dress. A lot of the time I just trust the stylist to give me something great, but I loved that Travis asked me frequent questions about what I was looking for and walked me through the decisions. This side-swept look we ended with was everything I could have wanted and more. I felt glam and it was something I would have never been able to achieve on my own. A shampoo & blowout starts at $40, and they’re currently offering a promo for $5 off, activated by a few social media likes. Get ready guys: makeup-less photo of me coming atchya.
My next stop was (duh) makeup. Now in case you’re not already taking advantage of the relatively affordable services the beauty stores in our city offer, let me fill you in. First, Sephora (1714 Chestnut Street), offers two levels of makeup services by appointment, each with a different minimum purchase (so basically, buy your foundation and a lipstick and get your makeup done for free). I’ve done this before, loved my look, and found new products I became obsessed with, so well done, Sephora.
However my needs have brought me to ULTA (1619 Walnut Street) more and more lately, so I wanted to see what they offered. Turns out they have paid makeup consultations at some of their stores, but ours is not one of them. But the makeup gods were smiling down on me as I was checking out one day and saw a flyer for a Laura Geller makeup artist visit the exact day of the gala. I made an appointment, not knowing anything about Laura Geller, but trusting any makeup artist could do a phenomenal job. And she did. 🙂 I next had to move on to the dreaded false lash applications. You can get this done by a professional but I prefer to do this myself as I’m not comfortable with people and my eyes. Recently my friend got some eyelash extensions done and seeing the results has me wanting to search for the best eye lash extensions near me, to find out more about this type of beauty treatment in my local area. For now, though I’ll struggle with the stubborn falsies.
When I popped in, the two artists were set upright as you walked into the store. I was so lucky to sit down with Marissa, the National Make-Up Artist for the brand. I described what I was looking for, (again) showed a picture of my dress, and let her get to work. I am a pretty big makeup fan, stemming from my years of watching YouTube videos of beauty bloggers, so discovering a new brand was really fun. I did end up buying two of the products Marissa used on me: the Love Me Dew Lip Crayon and the Brow Sculpting Palette (I seriously can’t say enough good things about this one – it’s my absolute favorite). The experience was awesome, and thr next time I see ULTA offering one of these, I’m so in.
When I finally got home and put my dress on, I felt really, really beautiful. Spending some extra time running around to make my look something special was so worth it. We had a great time at the gala, and my transformation was something I’ll be looking back on for a while.
If you have any blowout/makeup secrets for where to snag deals in this city – please share in the comments! xx
Disclosure: My blowout was complimentary. All opinions are my own.