New 'Event' Salon Opens in Basking Ridge
Bella Rouge, sharing some of the Sandra John Interiors building off Route 202, provides pampering and pretty preparation for special events.
When you're looking forward to a special day, sometimes getting ready can be half the fun.
Melissa Castner of Basking Ridge, who has been a free-lance event hair and make-up specialist for the last few years, now has opened a salon that shares some of the space of the Sandra John Interiors building at the intersection of North Maple Avenue and Route 202.
Of course, those who are getting ready for a wedding or prom can have their hair prepared, their make-up done or even create their own signature scent. There's also a serene spot to capture a quiet moment through aromatherapy.
But Castner said that along with making clients look their best for milestone events such as bar mitzvahs, local women also will just drop by before an evening out that may be special to them, even if it's not a red-letter day on a calendar.
"Women need pampering," said Castner, herself a mother of three who had been working on a part-time basis before the salon's official grand opening last Friday.
After training in Arizona, where she lived for a while before moving back to her home state of New Jersey, Castner said she became involved in the "editorial" side of beauty-making, including arranging for video and modeling portfolios.
Her services also can just provide a convenience for clients.
One of her specialties is braiding hair for gymnasts. Bernards Township Mayor Carolyn Gaziano, who attended the grand opening, said she wished that Bella Rouge had been open when she spent hours braiding her gymnast daughter's hair.
Castner said she hopes Bella Rouge also will become a place where women can go to special an evening out just to enjoy themselves.
Others on Castner's staff include Meghan Glynn, a stylist and make-up artist; Jodi O'Donnell, a make-up artist, and Agnes Genova, an aesthetician, who also is Castner's mother.
Castner said she spent a long time searching for the right location.
Sandra John Interiors continues to occupy most of the building at 374 N. Maple Ave., across Route 202 from the Olde Mill Inn.
John said that MHM Properties, a home management and real estate firm, also moved into an office in the building earlier in 2013.