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August 29 2014

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The 411: Gaia Venuti of Milan’s Bahama Mama

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A good nail salon is hard to find—especially in Milan, where an emerging mani-pedi culture has made them few and far between—but Bahama Mama certainly fits the bill. The beautifully outfitted enclave is more than just a destination for a polish refresh. “I wanted to open a place where you can take care of yourself and, at the same time, buy some new vintage pieces, get something to eat, and drink freshly extracted juices while reading a fashion magazine,” explains owner Gaia Venuti. The non-traditional nail salon/spa/vintage store/juice bar format somehow works, and that has everything to do with Venuti’s impeccable taste (she moonlights as a vintage dealer, so the clothing selection is, in a word, outstanding) and the attention to detail she extends to every facet of the space. Think of Bahama Mama (it’s named after Venuti’s favorite Essie lacquer) as a one-stop shop for an pro manicure (the polish variety is vast and includes Chanel Lacquers and more standard colors from OPI), a wax or beauty treatment (using natural products by Dr. Vranjes), a fresh carrot-apple juice and appetizer plate, and a new-to-you vintage Miu Miu blouse. While she’s fortunate to have most of her beauty and style necessities right at her fingertips, Venuti still has plenty of other favorites to share, just in time for MFW.



The Lips and Tips: MAC and Essie
“All red, all the time. I love MAC Satin Lipstick in Ruby Woo and Essie’s polish in Bordeaux or Really Red—it’s shiny and really sexy.”
Available at www.maccosmetics.com and www.essie.com.

The Hair Heroes: Mason Pearson and Elnett
“I think every woman should have a Mason Pearson hairbrush. It’s an absolute essential. And for product, I think Elnett Satin Hairspray is simply the best.”
Available at www.nordstrom.com and www.ulta.com.

The Best in Balayage: Gianluigi Gargaro at Aldo Coppola
“For my hair, I’ve been going to Aldo Coppola on Corso Vercelli for a while. My personal stylist is Gianluigi Gargaro, and I think he’s the best in town! His color is simple but chic.”
For more information, visit www.aldocoppola.it.

The Signature Scent: Chanel
“Chanel No. 5. Just one drop and I’m done.”
Available at www.chanel.com.

The Skin Saver: Sisley
“Every morning I use Gel Nettoyant Gommant Pour Le Visage by Sisley, which makes my skin bright and soft. Then, at night, I cleanse with Giorgio Armani’s Velvety Cleansing Milk—it’s smooth and has a lovely scent.”
Available at www.nordstrom.com.

The Workout Routine: Dance, Dance, Dance
“I opened a dance school and studio two months ago called Black Mama, for adults and children, and it’s where I go myself to exercise. We offer all kinds of classes, and I take a lot of them. In my second life, I want to be Beyoncé!”
For more information, visit www.blackmama.it.

The Vintage Advantage: Flea Markets
“I’ve been selling and collecting vintage stuff for more than ten years—I look for a lot of eighties and nineties pieces, but really anything that captures my attention. I find everything at flea markets, but I can’t ever say where; that’s the first law of vintage shopping.”

Photo: Courtesy of Bahama Mama

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