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Best Colorist
Alexis Antonellis at AKS
694 Madison Avenue

Anyone can go to a famous colorist and pay $400 for highlights — if he or she can squeeze you in between the celebs getting their touch-ups. The real trick is finding someone talented who is on the rise and can give you his or her full attention. A single process with Alexis Antonellis, still a junior colorist at AKS, is only $75-$100 (highlights, $165 to $185), and she creates the kind of natural but brilliant look that has people stopping her clients on the street. She likes to pair pale skin with dark hair, pink tones with strawberry shades, and olive complexions with deeper reds and auburns. But you might want to hurry — Kim Basinger was recently spotted in her chair.

Creighton at Vega NYC
36 West 17th Street, Fourth Floor

For a more casual atmosphere — but equally brilliant color — fashion stylists and acolytes alike flock to Creighton at his Chelsea salon. He's anything but conservative, often using three or four shades on the same head, but don't worry, clients say: He has an uncanny sense of what will look good. Plus, his quirky sense of humor and best-buddy appeal will put even a first-timer at ease (highlights start at $150).

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