As Editor in Chief of American Salon, Kelley Donahue reports on all aspects of the professional beauty industry, including salon business-building strategies, seasonal hair and fashion trends, salon services and techniques, and timely issues impacting manufacturers, schools, salons and distributor principals. In addition to conducting photo shoots--one of which was the recipient of an ABBIES Award for Best Magazine Cover--Donahue also travels extensively throughout the U.S. and abroad, sourcing out new trends and representing American Salon at major industry functions and educational events.
When it comes to delivering instant gratification, LA's newest bastion of beauty on trendy West Melrose Avenue is literally hands and feet above the rest. Varnish—the brainchild of Kimberly McIntyre, an environmental attorney, and sibling Jennifer Noonan, who owns the adjacent NOM maternity fashion boutique—fills the big LA nail void between intimidating, pricey salons and unsanitary chop shops by providing stellar manicures and pedicures at very affordable prices. Designed in the spirit of a hip hotel lobby replete with state-of-the-art equipment, a magazine newsstand and bright, comfy Italian furniture, Varnish caters to the copious walk-in crowd of men, women, teens and kids by offering a full array of services. Clients in the midst of a "panicure" can opt for a Quickie at the Nail Bar, which includes the requisite cuticle care, nail shaping, massage, polish and quick dry for just $12. Those with time on their hands can try the "Wickedawesome Manicure," featuring a hand soak, moisturizing sugar scrub, soy and shea butter massage, and polish for $18. Not surprisingly, McIntyre and Noonan are also raking in more big business by throwing private bachelor or bachelorette, birthday or baby shower bashes for $1,000 a clip. Get the party started!
Varnish nail salon's bright, modern interior