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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Expat Entrepreneurs

After lots of visits to different salons for nail, face, hair and body services, I have concluded that the best places to look for these treatments are from the entrepreneurial expats I've met along the way. Before I'm regarded as someone who doesn't think outside the box, or isn't trying to assimilate - consider this: some of the styles and expectations you have when getting some sort of service done are just different in other countries. I learned this (unfortunately) after being given a mullet-esk haircut, being dyed platinum blond through a highlight cap (have you ever used one of these??  They are dreadfully painful), getting multiple pedicures that involved neither water nor massage (admittedly, the two main reasons that I pay for a pedicure), and getting a massage that involved keeping on all clothing and not laying down. I've had lots of beauty appointments here. I'm sticking with the foreigners!

That's not to say there aren't good services in town. For my first Mother's Day, Jon gave me a massage and facial at the Four Seasons - both were amazing - and both would drain our bank account if done more than once in a blue moon. Value and quality both considered, here are my recommendations.

HAIR: Terrie Orr, BA Hairdresser
Terrie Orr is a delightful woman from Ireland, which makes her even more delightful for the great accent she possesses. She speaks English (goes without saying), her Spanish is quite good and she is a great hairdresser. I have gone to her exclusively for cuts and highlights since my last hairdresser (who lived just a few blocks away) permanently left the country. Making things even better, Terrie has recently moved from Belgrano to Palermo, much closer to my place - always a bonus. You can email her for an appointment, she is very responsive.  Watch out near holiday/travel times, the other expats all want to get their haircut pre-trip too so she books up early at these times. As of 2013 a haircut and color was ~AR$450.  A steal compared to US prices.

BODY: Jennifer Klueppel, Masseuse 
As for body treatments, this is limited to massage for me. For a great massage, I go to Jennifer Klueppel. Jenn is a Canadian that has moved to Argentina "permanently" (as nothing is really permanent in Argentina, just say that she has no immediate plans to leave). She had a place called the Buenos Aires Life Centre that offered massage, yoga and other various services, but then she went and had a baby (a really precious little boy!) and the Life Centre broke up. Jenn will return to massage again after spending time with her newborn and I will be tops on the list of people waiting for her triumphant return. As of 2013 a 1 hour massage was ~AR$300. Compare to the Four Seasons AR$800.

NAILS: Cassandra Wootton, Esthetician
Happy girlie girl
Cassandra is new in town, from chilly Canada and has arrived just in time for hotter-than-anything Argentina. She's just getting started so she is offering some services now with more to come soon. I have had a manicure, pedicure, shellac manicure (this is oh the rage in the north, has yet to appear in mainstream Argentina) and brow waxing. Let me digress by saying that many salons advertise facial waxing (depilacion) yet I have not encountered a single place that actually offers this service. When I've gone to have my eyebrows waxed, depilacion de cejas, I have sat while someone goes to town on my face with a tweezers. Ouch. Back to Cassandra: She's fantastic. Great products, great massage for both manicure and pedicure and all around nice to chat with. Her prices are more than fair, and on one occasion she even made the trek out to my house so that I didn't have to leave the kiddos (obviously, I paid her transportation). On this same occasion, my daughter woke up early and saw the end of my manicure - she was jealous to say the least. Cassandra, without hesitation, painted my 2-year-old's nails alternating shades of green and pink. She has made insta-friends with Gretchen, and ranks pretty highly in my book as well. As of 2013 a regular manicure & pedicure were ~AR$350.

So contact them, book with them, and enjoy the wonder of finding hidden gems within a world of bad highlights and water-less pedicures. You're welcome in advance :)

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