Do the 'Do

"Party XX: Top Twenty"

Tarted up in rubber dresses, vamp-red lipstick, and all manner of exciting styles and attire, "Salon Sessions" attendees are generally ready for anything. Since May of last year, Julie Ross and Julia Martin, founders of Blood and Butter Productions, have been hosting the Wednesday night parties at the Mission's ever-popular Beauty Bar. The parties, now biweekly, are costumed affairs -- past themes have included Geisha Night, Star Wars, Espionage, Kiss and Makeup, Kings and Queens, Beauty School, and Paparazzi. And the most popular nights thus far? "Everybody loved the Showdown one, which was all-western ...the Andy Warhol Factory was good, too," says Ross.

But it was the Superhero night that we dropped by last fall, though leaving cape and moon boots at home. Within the bar's small, bustling space, with its Cosmo-pink ambience and '50s salon seats, were hair and makeup artists from Architects and Heroes glamming up volunteers with big 'dos, glitter, face paint, and much in between. Several revelers showed off costumes, while others who arrived looking only beautifully trendy at least left looking even better for a night about town. Unfortunately my hairdresser for the evening -- cocktail in hand and rather excited by its effects -- didn't quite help me realize my catwalk dreams; rather, the result of her primping was a trio of ratted braids (perhaps a hippie-for-the-new-millennium look?). No hard feelings on my end, just relief that no locks were shorn.

For the next Salon Session, "Party XX: Top Twenty," the stylists -- from Glamarama, Cowboys and Angels, Edo, Diva, and more -- will again leave scissors at home, so don't let fears of potential beauty disasters keep you away. Attendees are asked to choose from one of the 19 themes of the past year's parties. And with his own "best of" selections, resident DJ Otter mixes sultry d-floor beats. The festivities commence at 9 p.m. on Wednesday at the Beauty Bar, 2299 Mission (at 19th Street), S.F. Admission is $3-10 (proceeds go to Deena Davenport, whose home was recently lost in a fire); e-mail for more information, or call Beauty Bar at 285-0323.

P.S. Inhibitions should be left at home.

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