by Susan Lucas
Since Time Magazine and Travel + Leisure proclaimed Charleston as the City with the most beautiful people in the U.S., I’ve been wondering what makes us so attractive. One possibility is our access to King Street, where beautiful people can be seen embellishing what nature bestowed, not to mention making a lot of wonderful wardrobe choices from chapeau to stiletto.
In local boutiques we have some of the best and most hospitable professionals to advise and direct us, buyers constantly watching the market for change, and international connections to the latest and most beautiful of everything.
Cos Bar, Blue Mercury and Stella Nova each offer a different perspective and product line and if you’re a beauty junkie, you’ve checked them all out. People head for Cos Bar for many reasons, not the least of which is that rare and valuable downtown commodity, free parking. Pop in, pick up what will keep your face on the Most Beautiful List and leave with something that will make you feel even better--more time. But they also have a friendly staff with great advice, your personal history and buying preferences at hand and real time demos. Cos Bar recently added a neat little Spa in the back where you can find all sorts of luxurious services.
Lush Cosmetics will soon add their handmade, simple and socially responsible twist to the King Street mix, taking the space formerly occupied by the Olive Oil Shops at 316 King. This wildly successful U.K. company makes ugly packaging cool, and serves up inventive forms of familiar toiletry items in bars and tubs, tablets and jellies.
Natural Hideaway MediSpa has a beautiful spot near Upper King in one of Patterson Smith’s impeccable and historic buildings. Some of Charleston’s most famous and youthful faces sneak upstairs at 43 ½ John Street for a more permanent solution to aging; I’m not saying who. A little Botox goes a long way, facial fillers and laser treatments even longer. Add wrinkle, age spot and varicose vein removal and you’ve pushed the clock back years. Take that, Mother Nature!
Salon Couture partners Carol Hammond and James Clinton at 302B King have cut, colored, curled and otherwise styled beautiful Charlestonians since 2005. That’s a long-running story with good reason. Hairstyles change and products evolve; good stylists have to be right there with them especially if they’re competing on King Street.
I always like Jerry Schauer’s downstairs Spa Adagio in the Francis Marion Hotel. Because the FMH offers such a rich combination of historic Southern beauty and European stateliness, you get beauty services and the added bonus of feeling like you’re on vacation.
If all this leaves you feeling a little too consumer-ish, sit down and work on your inner beauty at the Pauline Sisters Book and Media Center at 243 King Street. There’s a beautiful little chapel inside, a lovely garden, many books and other resources to tone up your inner qualities and you couldn’t wish for a nicer welcome than the one offered by the Paulines.
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