A New Kind of Bar

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Highly specialized beauty bars make it easier than ever to achieve an effortless salon style.

By Regina Molaro and Allison Hata

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The beauty stations at DreamDry in New York City welcome guests for blowouts and other styling services.

Across the country, women with elegantly tousled hair, expertly applied makeup and glowing skin walk the streets with confidence and grace. While their straight-from-the-salon styles may have once come from an ultrachic spa offering a wide selection of treatments, today’s growing beauty bar trend giveswomen the opportunity to indulge with singular services.

Focusing on one or two services that could range from blowouts and brow shaping to waxing, facials and lash extensions, these beauty bars offer salon patrons a way to navigate the spa and beauty scene with a new kind of ease.

“Specialized beauty bars are much quicker and more affordable,” says Jacqui Stafford, fashion editor and author of “The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Every Budget.” “There’s been an evolution of [them]—the best ones even offer wine and a … pampering experience.”

At the forefront of the trend is Sania Vucetaj, who opened the doors to Sania’s Brow Bar nearly a decade ago after working on A-list clients at Bergdorf Goodman’s spa in New York City. Shortly after, brow-grooming stations were popping up all over Manhattan.

“Women are realizing that a specialized beauty bar is always a safer option,” Vucetaj says. “A wrong shaping can be truly devastating. Since it’s the face, there’s no faking it—unless you can artistically master the pencil. Also, if damaged, the brows take a long time to repair.”

Vucetaj keeps her services simple, with just two basic options on her menu for well-manicured brows. Women can visit the charming three-story space for a sophisticated shaping while receiving expert advice on maintaining brows to frame and brighten eyes. Men are also welcome at Sania’s Brow Bar, where she will groom and trim brows for a natural yet clean appearance.

Over the years, the beauty bar trend has grown exponentially and extended its reach to include services of all types. “Beauty bars that are focused on a particular niche beauty area are a great way for women to quickly and easily look and feel good,” says Matana LePlae, co-founder and CEO of Lashfully, a salon focusing on custom eyelash extensions. “This doesn’t necessarily involve a long spa day … and can easily be incorporated into their weekly or monthly regimen.”

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“Beauty bars … are a great way for women to quickly and easily look and feel good.” —Matana LePlae

Lashfully, an upscale Bay Area beauty lounge, opened its newest location in Orange County, Calif., less than a year ago, offering more than 70 different types of eyelash extensions to clients. Longer, fuller lashes are in reach for women who visit Lashfully with options ranging from a full set of thick extensions that last for up to a month to “glam lashes” that fall off naturally in two or three days.

The beauty stations at DreamDry in New York City welcome guests for blowouts and other styling services.

“Women want beauty experts in a particular field, and Lashfully’s artists and products are focused on lashes—we have beautified tens of thousands of eyes so that expertise is important,” she continues. “Lashes are a great way to enhance your own natural beauty. We have a variety of temporary and longer-lasting lash services as well as products that range in natural to dramatic styles, so there’s a lash for every woman and every occasion.”

In February 2013, designer, stylist and fashion icon Rachel Zoe partnered with Robin Moraetes to unveil DreamDry, an innovative blow-dry and styling destination in New York City.

“We’re seeing all types of beauty bars trending right now—from hair and nails to makeup, waxing and even dental whitening,” Moraetes says. “Women love the convenience of easily and affordably booking these specialized services.”

Inspired by Hollywood glamour, DreamDry offers a chic menu ranging from standard blowouts to specialty styles that incorporate intricate braids and knots. Clients are presented with iPads upon arrival to view the electronic menu, browse the style section or find inspiration by accessing trend reports. Before leaving, they can sip Champagne, tea or coffee and upload their photo to the DreamDry Dossier, an online database that tracks their styling history and preferences.

Industry experts predict that beauty bars will continue to sweep the nation from coast to coast through the next year, leaving a trail of beautifully groomed women in their wake. Whether you’re seeking highlights, a facial, eyelash extensions or a simple blow dry, it’s likely you’ll find an outpost offering a tailored service for every beauty need. B