Erwin Gomez opened the doors of his Karma salon and spa last night to celebrate the Emerald Spring. This meant heavily made up Hu models, miniature cupcakes, Moet & Imperial champagne, and complimentary mini-manicures. Despite the biting temp, the point was to toast a new warmer season. Gomez, a whiz at eyebrows, opened his spa in late September.
He’s busy when it comes to making up the media. On Wednesday he made up Elle Editor-in-Chief Robbie Myers and his makeup jobs don’t come cheap — $200 a pop. “She’s brilliant and pretty and that helps because I don’t have to work so hard,” he said with a knowing laugh.
Gomez is all about discretion. At his spa, parading around in robes is a no-no. “I respect people’s privacy,” he said, explaining that all changing happens inside the treatment room and no one sees what anyone is getting done.
Speaking of which, it’s time for my mini-manicure. My manicurist takes one good look at my nails and asks if I go to one those “corner shops.” Uh oh. I say yes and she eyes me with a slight scolding and tells me I should come to her. She says she won’t cut my skin as opposed to my cuticle and she’ll only charge me 22 bucks. Time eases on and I’m getting a wonderful watermelon basil vodkatini scrub, which exfoliates my hands. She spends a few minutes raving about the Bourbon Bubbler, a pedicure for men and I contemplate which members of Washington’s media might consider it. NBC’s Chuck Todd? Soon she whips out a caramel-colored tube and slathers the faintest amount of illuminating cream on hands and arms followed by steaming hot towels. I slowly realize I’ve been glitter bombed. Nonetheless, the overall result is a perfect manicure, no chips, bubbles or skin imperfections.
Karma is all about pampering. As if that’s just a first course, another woman brings me sorbet and a skinny glass of water, which I think initially is vodka. Outside the dimly-lit nail parlor, guests are sipping champagne as some men awkwardly try to chat up the models who are stationed down a long hallway. Top Chef star Spike Mendelsohn also made an appearance, chatting with guests after getting an afternoon haircut with stylist Peggy Iaokim.
Gomez tells me he’s looking forward to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner as he’ll be working around the clock. “Definitely a big event,” he says. “I do house calls. I get really excited. So much goes on in Washington. I’m so grateful.”
Kim Kardashian has a Washington lookalike.
A model poses amid flashbulbs.
Obligatory, and yet delicious, Washington party cupcakes
A Hu model gets a manicure.
Photo credits for front main picture, manicure and Moet champagne: Travis Vaughn