Red Carpet Queen
Red Carpet Queen is a surprisingly spacious and elegant space for a less-than luxurious stretch of Parkdale. While progressive Parkdale devotees might say that the area is rapidly on the up-and-up, I did detect the faint smell of urine as I made my way along Queen West to the salon's front entrance. A few stray shopping carts and curbside litter, too, which made the interior floating wooden steps seem even more of a juxtaposition.
Red Carpet Queen hasn't rolled out the literal red carpet as of yet, but it has transformed a former real estate office into a salon plush with stylish equipment and fixtures. The space is set to a backdrop of exposed brick and black washing stations with airy waxing rooms and an open reception. It's a hugely impressive sight for a couple of first-time salon owners (with whom, unfortunately, I don't get a chance to chat), with its central feature hidden behind one unmarked white door.
"This is the endermologie machine," says Mana Saranj, a friend to Red Carpet Queen owners Sophia Welsh and Cidalia Lopez. Mana previously operated her real estate business out of the space and offers to tour me around the newly minted salon.
Endermologie, she explains, is a type of non-surgical deep-skin "stimulation" that helps to lift, tighten, and smooth wrinkled skin and is particularly effective on cellulite. "This machine," she says, motioning toward the ultrasound-looking device, is one of only three LPG machines in the Toronto area. One is in Mississauga, and another is in a plastic surgeon's office."
The French-made machine is intended for use on the face and body and is entirely painless, according to Mana. The financial cost, however, is not.
Though you may start to see results after five treatments, a minimum number of 15 is recommended and each individual body session costs $150. If you don't want to pay à la carte, however, you can opt for one of Red Carpet Queen's memberships, which start at $3,000 for two sessions per week for three months.
Endermologie aside, Red Carpet Queen offers everything else you would expect from a typical salon — cuts starting at $60 (men $35), colour and highlights from $60 to $110, full body waxing, facials, eyebrow tinting, makeup application, and manicures and pedicures.
Indeed, this is certainly a place where you can get primed head to toe (and a couple dermal layers below), before reemerging outside for that elegant Parkdale jaunt.
Photos by Jesse Milns