Top of the Town: Best Of 2019

• • • SHOPPING & BEAUTY • • •

By Carrie Havranek and Amy Unger with Kristen Rinaldi

In the sixth annual Best of the Lehigh Valley competition, the stakes were high—locals cast more than 20,000 votes across 93 different categories. Why were they crowned the best? Read on to find out!

Best Facial

Skinterest Skin Care Boutique

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You’ve probably heard that beauty is only skin deep, but the ladies behind Easton’s Skinterest Skin Care Boutique may beg to differ. “I think what really sets our treatments apart is how deep we dive into them,” says Catrian Schutzer, who owns the boutique with Chelsea Cornelius. ”We understand that internal factors play a huge role in overall skin health. So we hone in on diet, hormonal factors, stress and environmental factors. We really try to understand the whole picture to get to the root issue and start from there.” Skinterest moved from Downtown Easton to the Simon Silk Mill last September and offers a plethora of pampering and primping options: everything from massages to exfoliation to, of course, facials, which can range from a quick, 30-minute pick-me-up to a more involved process. Schutzer’s personal favorite is the Gua Sha Facial. “It’s one of our longer facial treatments that includes facial cupping, energy work, regenerative oils and a deep-tissue facial massage that uses rose quartz gua sha stones to lift and contour the face. The difference after one of those is undeniable and it feels freaking amazing!”
Photography by Alison Conklin

1262 Simon Blvd., Easton | 610.258.1702 |

Best Waxing

European Wax Center

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Nanci Emiliani-Gerhard’s mantel must be getting crowded—European Wax Center has secured “Best Waxing” honors for the fourth year in a row. But taking the title time and time again isn’t something she takes for granted. “It is extremely humbling to have won every year since we opened our Airport Road location in 2015,” Emiliani-Gerhard says. “Honestly, we pride ourselves on building relationships. We have seen so many guests through some life-changing milestones—engagements, weddings, pregnancies and so much more!” And there’s always room for new faces in the EWC inner circle—including those who might be a little apprehensive about joining the club. But fear not, Emiliani-Gerhard says, “EWC offers the Four Steps To Gorgeous process where skin is prepped and treated for the most comfortable, pain-free experience possible.” In fact, newbies get a freebie. “First-time guests can enjoy a complimentary brow, underarm, ear or nose wax,” says Emiliani-Gerhard. “Female guests can receive a complimentary bikini line, or half-off a bikini full/Brazilian as their first-time discount.”
Photography by Alison Conklin

Various Area Locations |

Best Manicure & Pedicure

Le' Spa

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Decisions, decisions. Should you go bold with Big Apple or Wild Tigress? Or maybe keep it more understated with Pretty Polynesian or Sundown in Bali? Whatever mood you want to convey in technicolor form on your fingers and toes, chances are you can find just the right hue at Le’ Spa in Allentown. Manager Shelby Katz says there are more than 4,000 colors to choose from, and those shades don’t just come in a bottle, either. A lot of customers are dipping their toes—and fingers!—into one of the newest trends in the mani/pedi world. “[Dip powder] can last up to a month versus two weeks for a gel manicure,” Katz says. “It is healthier for your nails than acrylics and almost as strong.” With 20 years of business under its belt, Le’ Spa knows a thing or two about pampering, so even after your cuticles are in tip-top shape, you may decide to stick around for extra indulgences. “My favorite service is our lash extensions,” says Katz. “They enhance your eyes and help you wake up beautiful and ready to start your day.”
Photography by Marco Calderon

3145 Lehigh St., Allentown | 610.798.9111 |

Best Hair Stylist

Jay Morgan of
j. morgan salon and home

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A lot of hair stylists begin their training in cosmetology school, but Jay Morgan began to learn his trade much earlier, while he was growing up on a farm in Tennessee. Morgan recalls giving some of his first haircuts to his family’s Irish setter, General, and honing his color skills on the barn cats. From there, he graduated to his grandmother, who let him wash and set her hair before church on Sundays. Fast forward through a more formal training regimen (including, yes, cosmetology school, and then working with Redken NYC as an international platform artist for 20 years), and Morgan can now snip and clip to his heart’s content at J. Morgan Salon in Easton, which he opened with Jamie Thomas in 2009. Morgan says he makes it a point to establish a connection with each and every person who takes a turn in his chair. “It’s amazing how a haircut, style or hair color can be mood altering,” Morgan says. “If someone is having a horrible week, month or year, it brings me joy that I can uplift them and give them confidence to feel great.”
Photography by Marco Calderon

252 Spring Garden St., Easton | 610.258.3480 |

Best Bookstore

Let's Play Books

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Books are certainly the main attraction at 244 Main Street in Emmaus; after all, the white brick establishment is a bookstore. But Let’s Play Books is much more than just a place to dig into the latest bestseller. Owner Kirsten Hess calls it a community destination. “Events have always been our driver,” she says. “We host over 100 events a year—and we work with over 15 schools that cover five school districts, really connecting us to a large portion of the area!” Let’s Play Books first opened in a smaller space in Emmaus in December of 2013, not long after Hess and her family moved to the area. While keeping things humming along at what is one of just a handful of independent bookstores in the area is incredibly demanding—seven-day workweeks are the norm—Hess says it’s also incredibly rewarding. “Although most of my time is spent buying books or coordinating events, enjoying one-on-one time with a child or a teen and helping them find the book that really makes their eyes sparkle—no paycheck can top that.”
Photography by Alison Conklin

244 Main St., Emmaus | 610.928.8600 |

Best Women's Boutique

AM Luxe

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Ann Marie Supinski opened AM Luxe after 38 years of retail experience at national brands across the country. Here, she continuously curates a collection of unique pieces that are urban in design and feminine in feel, made for the sophisticated woman who knows what she likes.
Photography by Colin Coleman

74 W. Broad St. Suite 280, Bethlehem | 610.419.2037 |

Best Men's Shop

The London Shop

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Since opening in 1939, The London Shop has valued quality, selection and unsurpassed customer service. Spruce up your wardrobe in a warm, friendly atmosphere with a team that provides personal attention.
Photography by Colin Coleman

339 Northampton St., Easton | 610.258.0161 |

Best Accessories Store


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For over 10 years, the team at BOUTIQUETOGO has traveled to conventions far and wide to be able to provide their clients with what’s new and exciting in fashion. Distinctive jewelry, handbags, gifts and more are in store!
Photography by Colin Coleman

522 N. 19th St., Allentown | 610.437.1663 |

Best Home Décor


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Domaci is where old meets new. Find unique furniture pieces that are built to last a lifetime and that are eco-friendly. Then, accessorize with home décor like their best-selling Verde Candles or vintage-inspired posters.
Photography by Andrew Tomasino

21 E. 3rd St., Bethlehem | 610.419.4111 |

Best Home & Garden Store

Dan Schantz Greenhouse

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At Dan Schantz Greenhouse, even the most amateur gardener can thrive. The greenhouse only offers products when it’s time to plant them. This month, start your fall vegetables and maintain your bedding plants!
Photography by Andrew Tomasino

2031 29th St. SW, Allentown | 610.797.2774 |

Best Fine Jewelry Store

Bixler’s Jewelers

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Hundreds of diamonds and settings at the lowest prices makes Bixler’s the clear choice for all your jewelry needs.

3900 Hamilton Blvd., Allentown | 610.821.8641 |

Best Women’s Salon

Rooted Salon

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Rooted offers the most pleasant salon experience in a warm and cozy setting. Owners Brandon and Katelyn Quigney have an undying love for hair and hospitality, making sure guests can enjoy a glass of wine while attaining the hair they’ve always wanted.
Photography by Matt Bishop

6636 Hamilton Blvd., Allentown | 484.860.3060 |

Best Consignment Shop

The Attic

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Shop The Attic’s vast selection of women’s designer and vintage clothing and accessories. With new arrivals daily and can’t-beat prices, being stylish is easier than ever. Bring in your former favorites for cash or store credit.
Photography by Colin Coleman

516 Main St., Bethlehem | 610.756.0281 |

Best Spray Tan

Organic Tans & Beauty Bar

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Whether you’re looking for a natural glow, a pre-vacation bronze or a full-on island tan, Organic Tans will airbrush you to perfection! Try their New Quickie and shower in as little as one hour later.
Photography by Matt Bishop

1752 W. Allen St., Allentown | 610.821.8888 |

Best Makeup Artist

Makeup by Roxy

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Available in studio, on location or at a destination across the globe, Roxy Williams and her team of stylists bring knowledge, skill and technique to every appointment. Let Makeup by Roxy take you to the next level of gorgeous!
Photography by Colin Coleman

301 Front St. Suite 3, Catasauqua | 484.764.1769 |

Best Eyebrow Artist

Stefani Flowers

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Lash and microblading artist at Lehigh Valley Laser and Aesthetics, Stefani Flowers has the ability to transform sad brows into full masterpieces. Follow along with her work at @steffynicolee.

1251 S. Cedar Crest Blvd. Suite 303, Allentown | 610.297.6249 |

Best Massage

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa

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Give Hand and Stone’s Himalayan Salt Massage a try, which utilizes warm salt crystal stones to soothe away stress and tension. It combats electromagnetic overload from electronic devices, and improves sleep and overall balance of the central nervous system. What’s more, it leaves the skin silky smooth!
Photo courtesy of Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa

Various area locations |

Best Men’s Haircut

Gentlemen’s Barbershop

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Gentlemen’s Barbershop blends a mastery of traditional skills with the trends of today. They promise a perfect cut every time, even offering beard trims, hot towel shaves and more. Photo courtesy of Gentlemen's Barbershop

26 N. 4th St., Easton | 610.253.1101 |