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FROM SKIN TO SNAKESKIN

Cue offers everything from micro-dermabrasion to miniskirts

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Lots of women know that the cure for getting over a bad day can sometimes be as simple as treating yourself to a new shade of lipstick.

At Cue, which opened on Feb. 3 in Bay Ridge, Lynn Sanders and Natasha Antonovsky specialize in the concept of makeover as mood transformer, and they refuse to let their customers walk out the door until they’re looking "absolutely fabulous" from head to toe.

"I get excited to help people look good," co-owner Lynn Sanders told GO Brooklyn.

Cue, formerly the site of Blush Salon Spa, on Third Avenue at 87th Street, aims to transform "the whole woman" by offering indulgent spa treatments, hair and makeup services and trendy boutique clothing with personal shopping assistance - all under the same roof. It’s the one-stop shop for becoming a new and improved you.

"Our concept is to keep you looking great at any age," said Sanders. They do so by tempering brutal honesty with a sort of sixth sense about what looks good.

"If something doesn’t work for a customer, I tell her to take it off," Sanders emphasized. "Our ultimate goal is the customer’s happiness."

Sanders and Antonovsky, who met through mutual clients while working at separate salons, want their customers to feel at home, offering tea and conversation as clients browse the brightly lit clothing boutique at the front of the store.

The clothes range from sequin-studded Italian designer jeans to flirty chiffon blouses with ribbons and lace, all neatly arranged on hanging silver racks bordering the spacious display room. Most clothing ranges in size from 0 to 12, but Sanders emphasizes that Cue will work with each individual customer by making special request orders when possible.

Funky, trendy accessories such as beaded purses and chunky bangle bracelets round out the contemporary collection, which changes every two weeks as Sanders and Antonovsky add new items obtained from boutique shows and up-and-coming fashion manufacturers.

"We’re trying to offer a unique style," said Sanders. "If you buy an outfit here, you won’t see it on anybody else."

The philosophy at Cue is that "style and fashion, when put together correctly, can make a woman of any age sexy and feminine," said Sanders. When one woman came to Cue for a pre-Valentine’s Day makeover, Sanders picked out a shirt that matched the woman’s eyes and complemented her body type.

"Every woman wants her boyfriend or husband to acknowledge her," said Sanders. "Her boyfriend had never acknowledged her style before, so she was shocked when he told her how beautiful she looked. She said from now on, she’s buying all her clothes from me!"

Cue’s owners are particularly excited about their upcoming spring line, which will include more colorful shoes and handbags.

"Now spring is in the air, and everyone wants color," said Sanders. "We won’t bore you. No more drab - there will be colors that pop!" Cue’s inventory already includes lots of creative touches: sequined sandals, black purses studded with fluorescent buttons and gemstone pendant necklaces.

But the perfect outfit is only the beginning. French double doors lead to the serenely lit spa services area, where Antonovsky, who has 25 years of skincare experience, performs skin treatments such as waxing, ultrasonic micro-dermabrasion and facials using Dr. Murad products.

Sanders, who has been cutting hair since she was a teenager, does customized coloring and designer haircuts in an adjoining room. A masseuse is also available by appointment for reflexology sessions as well as Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone massages.

Recently, two Bay Ridge residents, Laura Daly, 18, and Maryann Orlando, 52, were queens for a day at Cue. Daly, a salesgirl at Cue, called her makeover a good experience that she would recommend to her friends.

"Lynn said she was just going to do a little makeup," said the high school cheerleader, "but then she went ahead and did everything." After her glamorous makeover, "people saw her around the neighborhood and wanted to get their hair and makeup done too," said Sanders.

"I don’t usually look like that," Daly said. "The makeover showed a different side of me." Orlando, modeling Cue’s more mature styles, a fitted skirt-suit with a snakeskin pattern, looked like she could have walked off the set of "Sex and the City."

So far, Cue’s customers have ranged from a young woman getting ready for a romantic weekend away to an older one preparing for lunch at the Plaza Hotel. Sanders and Antonovsky pride themselves on "honesty and expertise" and want their customers to walk away "loving their hair, skin and outfit."

In the same way that your best friend wouldn’t let you wear something that didn’t flatter you, the owners of Cue go out of their way to help their customers find the best outfit, makeup and hairdo for each individual.

"We want to help them look and feel as good as they can," said Sanders. "It’s exciting and rewarding. It’s all about the woman!"

See Spa Directory for more information about Cue.

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