The Beauty Bar Opens Carmel location, partners with non-profit to pamper cancer patients and survivors

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer/ Amy Payne

For seven years, Erin Hunt lived in south Florida where she ran an accounting and marketing business. To unwind, she frequented specialty spas and salons that served alcohol while providing various services. When Hunt and her husband moved to Indiana after having their first baby, she was eager to have a girls’ day out with friends.

“We went out for manis and pedis and I asked, ‘Can we have wine?’” recalls Hunt, who considered sneaking it in in Dixie cups before coming up with a better idea.

“I decided the Hoosier state needed a salon bar that serves wine and cocktails while clients get pampered,” says Hunt, who in July 2014 opened a full-service salon on Geist Reservoir that offers manicures, pedicures, skin care, hair styling, massage therapy and hair removal. “We focus on the girls’ night out concept, so we do lots of bachelorette parties, book clubs, bridal events. We make it a more intimate, fun environment.”

They also do team-building events with coworkers. Plus, they cater to their regular clients, of which there are many.

This summer the salon partnered with Hello Gorgeous, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that provides complimentary, professional makeovers and cosmetic education to women battling cancer. The Beauty Bar received training from the Hello Gorgeous staff and now participates in monthly makeovers in which they select a cancer patient — either someone who is currently enduring chemo treatments or has entered remission — and provide a complete 4-hour makeover, including hair, nails, facial, a new outfit from Maurice’s and a floral bouquet from McNamara Florist.

“We want to offer these women a break from their medical fight and just enjoy a day of bliss,” says Hunt, noting that the person who submits the nomination gets to stay with the makeover candidate and get pampered as well. When the makeover is complete, friends and family are invited to Eddy’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill for lunch and the big reveal. “It’s a huge surprise. That’s when the joy gets taken to a whole other level.”

Training for the Hello Gorgeous campaign requires additional hours — not only for staff to understand important medical issues such as taking precautions to prevent infections but also providing tips on how to make a patient’s beauty day top-notch.

“These brave women are battling cancer, and that’s no easy feat,” Hunt says. “When we have these ladies in our chair, we want to make it the best, safest and most memorable experience we can.”

In September, Hunt opened a secondary Beauty Bar location, which serves the Carmel and Westfield area. Though the Hello Gorgeous makeovers are not yet offered at the Carmel Beauty Bar, Hunt is currently working on partnering with nearby vendors and hopes to offer the experience there sometime after the first of the year.

For more information about the Beauty Bar, visit To nominate someone to receive a Hello Gorgeous makeover, go to

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