Wax (eyebrow and bikini)
Beth Solomon at Charles Grayson Spa

Like a good hairstylist, a great brow/bikini waxer inspires loyalty. Solomon is that person. Starting at $17, she shapes your brows to perfection, keeping your arches intact (and symmetrical!). The same goes for her bikini waxes—whether it’s the $60 Brazilian (probably the best service she does) or $30 partial, Solomon’s bikini wax is short, sweet, and amazingly less painful than any other in the area.
Charles Grayson Spa, 6401 Morrison Boulevard

Place for an inexpensive facial
The Aveda Institute

It’s no secret you can get an inexpensive cut and color at this local beauty school, but enrolled students perform many more services at super-low prices. In addition to the $12 manicure, $8 eyebrow waxing, and $40 body wrap (choose from mud, algae, or essential oils), patrons can also receive a ninety-minute facial for only $45. If you want something new, try the Essential Back Treatment (it’s like a facial for your back) for $30.
1520 South Boulevard

Place to get a killer workout

The ladies of B-Risqué Fitness work it, and by “it” we mean everything—your glutes, your thighs, your tris and bis, everything. But instead of waiting for the class to end, you’ll be shakin’ that booty in anticipation of the next song where you can whip your body up, down, and around a pole. The signature, diverse class offerings (a strip tease without actually taking off any clothes) incorporate strength training and toning exercises with high cardio fitness for ultimate buff-body results.
3814 Monroe Road, 704-343-2775;
8816 University East Drive, 704-921-0057

Top Shoe Repair

When your favorite heels start to sound like nails on a chalkboard as you walk down the street, it’s time to make a pit-stop at Top Shoe Repair. Located on the Omni Hotel side of Trade Street, just before the walkway to Founder’s Hall, this busy cobbler will put the strut back in your step in just a day or two. Top Shoe tops our list because of location, great customer service, and price. Shoes come back shined and sturdy, and a heel/toe repair runs you around $20 per pair. Well worth it for your prized Allen Edmonds.
101 S. Tryon Street, 704-334-6022

Men’s grooming
Emerson Joseph

Charlotte’s male population doesn’t have to settle for the corner barber or a girlfriend’s stylist to look good. Emerson Joseph, located next to Harry & Jean’s in uptown, is the city’s premiere men-only grooming boutique. Its menu rivals a plush L.A. spa, with exclusive member benefits such as concierge service and invitations to social events. But no worries, the average guy off the street can walk in for a straight-razor shave ($30-$38) and a full-service cut ($44), which includes a massaging shampoo, hot facial towel, hand detail, cut, styling, and shoe shine. Oh, and did we mention you get a beer, too?
221 S. Tryon Street

Anna’s Alterations

Bridesmaid dress too long? Pants need to be hemmed? Straps need to be shortened on your favorite sundress? Anna’s talented staff can handle all of that, plus any other alteration crisis you can think up—all at reasonable prices (between $7 and $14 to hem pants). This is the place Charlotteans of all ilks take their treasures to be repaired and reincarnated.
440 E. McCullough Drive, 704-547-9900;
8324-502 Highway 51, McMullen Creek Market, 704-543-6080;
2400 Park Road, 704-348-5488

Dry cleaner
Ballantyne Cleaners

This dry cleaner claims to be Charlotte’s first all-organic dry cleaner, leaving no odor or allergy-causing residue on clean clothes. Since dry cleaning is one of the most toxic businesses around, we were intrigued. The business is relatively new, but so far it’s been a hit with customers. Prices are similar to conventional dry cleaning, and a convenient location across from Earth Fare makes this a smart choice to protect your own health, the health of workers, and the environment.
3429 Toringdon Way

Bike shop
Bicycle Sport

This shop is for the serious biker and the wannabe. From the Trek 7.2 fx for $430 to the Trek OcLV Carbon 555 for $7,000, this place has the best of the best, including brands like Gary Fisher, Serotta Fierte, Scott, and Orbea. The shop carries kids and adult bikes for street, road, and mountain biking. And with onsite repairs offered, you can walk in with a problem and wait while they work on it.
2916 Selwyn Avenue

Limo service
Racing Limos of Charlotte, Inc.

Cruise the Queen City in a limo decked out with flames and racing stripes. Die-hard fans fall hard for Racing Limos of Charlotte’s Race Shop Tour packages, but if that doesn’t sound like something the wife would go for, charm your way into a racy ride by booking a wine tour. Racing Limos also does weddings, corporate events, and kids’ parties, all at prices comparable to traditional limousine services.
1227 Well Spring Drive

Local blog

When the D.A.’s office dropped the case against the punk who stole her car and then totaled it last year, Kelly was “smoking mad” and started a blog. She posts mug shots of every person booked at the jail, crime-scene photos, police report summaries, and more. Cops support her cause, and they often feed her info. There’s also a handy list of links to all manner of law-enforcement sites.

Make-up artist
Wanda Brown at Nordstrom

Laura Mercier cosmetics have long been popular with Hollywood’s elite, largely due to flawless coverage and classic colors. So it’s no wonder that when paired with the right make-up artist, Mercier’s products look phenomenal. Brown, formerly of the Mercier counter in Nordstrom and now a cosmetic department manager at the store, can turn blotchy, uneven skin into a picture-perfect face straight out of InStyle or Vogue. First, she’ll assess your needs—i.e. bridal wear or natural, office look—then she’ll create a regimen that includes an arsenal of Mercier’s (or Lancome’s, Chanel’s, Clinique’s, and more) most popular goodies.
Nordstrom, SouthPark, 704-442-6000

Personal chef
Bill Bigham

As a host, all you have to do is get the vino and Crown Royal. Bigham will take care of the prepping, shopping, cooking, and serving. His greatest satisfaction is a clean plate, and that’s the usual result. Dinner party meals run $50-$60 per person. To see him in action, drive to Lowes Foods at Promenade on Providence for a free cooking class on the second and last Friday and Saturday each month.

Personal organizer
Carson Tate of Living Simply

You’re going to adore Carson Tate and Living Simply. Why? Because she’ll convince you to donate those ten pairs of designer jeans you haven’t worn since Clinton was elected. She’ll teach you how to organize your home office files. She’ll help you plan your move so your family isn’t living out of cardboard boxes for a month. Quite literally, Tate and her staff of five will create order where there was once chaos.

Personal shopper
Madeline Blake at Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus has one of the finest collections of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories anywhere. But it can be a little overwhelming. This is where Blake comes in. Bringing twenty years of experience in the fashion world, Blake builds a wardrobe to suit your body type, coloring, budget, and personal taste. Her expertise will enhance your look as she encourages you to select items that make you feel comfortable and beautiful. Her service is provided at no cost to the customer (except for the clothes); just call NM for an appointment.

Health club


Yoga/Pilates studio
Iron Butterfly

Modern Salon and Spa

Dry cleaner
Long’s Dry Cleaning

Elizabeth House

Something Classic

Frame Warehouse

Concierge service
Simply Done

Local blog
Paid to Party (

Ballot Blooper
Concierge service, Bobcats Arena

Yeah. The basketball team does a great job of ushering in losses.

Categories: Feature, The Buzz