As the author of “Simply Sophisticated: “What Every Worldly Person Needs to Know,” Suzanne Munshower can spot a class act when she sees one. For instance, she say, champagne and caviar are sophisticated; corned beef and cabbage are not. Polo is; ping pong isn’t/ Mozart is; Manilow isn’t. So what exactly makes a salon sophisticated? Here are Munshower’s “Top 10 Signs You’re in a Sophisticated Salon.”

  1. Tapes or CDs of soothing classical or new age music are being played rather than rock ‘n’ roll from the local radio station complete with blaring commercials for tractor pulls.
  2. An array of sophisticated magazines – Harper’s Bazaar, the New Yorker, W. Vanity Fair, Vogue – is on hand for your clients’ reading pleasure, not the latest Star or Enquirer. And the copies are the salon’s own, not dog-earned, ancient issues bearing other client’s mailing labels. There’s ni TV set visible (this ain’t no sports bar).
  3. You are offered a selection of upscale beverages, which might include mineral water, herbal tea, hot Earl Grey or Darjeeling, or espresso (not Expresso), and you sip from china or glass.
  4. The staff is garbed in uniforms or business dress as opposed to sweat-suite or jeans. The nail technician’s hair is stylishly groomed – without long, dangling split ends than can stick to your nail polish!
  5. Certificates attesting to the staff’s advance education are neatly framed upon the wall. If anything else is on the wall, it is neatly arranged framed posters and artwork. Nothing anywhere in the salon is stuck on the wall with cellophane tape, nor are work areas or mirrors cluttered with personal mementos or photos of latchkey kids, underdressed lovers, or beloved pets.
  6. The nail stations are clean, and you never notice spots of nail enamel on the table, lamps, chair, or other salon furnishings. (No one wants to sit at a station that looks like one giant color swatch.) Nor are you ever forced to look upon leftover bits of previous client’s nail or cuticles. Yeah!
  7. Your manicure or pedicure includes reflexology or other genuine massage techniques rather than the old ‘wiggle, wiggle, push, push, pattycake.”
  8. Whether you wear natural nails or enhancements, your technicians suggests a sophisticated length and creates a beautiful, natural-looking nail rather than letting you leave the salon looking like some distant relative of Fu Manchu.
  9. The retail area is as well-stock and chic as your area’s most expensive department store. That means attractive displays, testers, shelves without gaps of missing inventory, and never speak of dust.
  10. Your nail technicians talks about you – not Oprah, O.J., or her theory of what really happened to Kurt Cobain. Your nail technician also talks to you rather than gossiping with fellow staff members about horrid boyfriends, strict parents, or, that truly unforgivable sin, other clients’ personal affairs.”

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