Forget about bar or Santa crawls, a beauty bar crawl is the best new option for a girlsâ€™ night out since your mother told you to simmer down at a pajama party. Gal pal Beatrice Aidin and I hit New York City streets near Union Square for some hair, brow, and facial pampering, and, of course, female bonding.
First stop was DryBar at 4 West 16th Street. All blowouts here cost only $40, and the location is part of the â€œNo cuts No Color Just blowouts for only $40â€ phenomenon that has blown eastward from California, where the concept originated in 2008. The salons have a delightful formulaâ€”each location looks like a girlish lounge with whimsical mirrors, cute lights, and a glass of champagne at the ready. Styles are chosen from a menu that brings home the bar lounge theme: Straight Up, Manhattan, The Cosmo, The Mai Tai, Cosmo-Tai, Southern Comfort, Hot Toddy, and Up-Tini.
My stylist Stephanie gave me a combo of the Straight Up and Manhattanâ€”straight, slightly turned under, with volume at the top. Working with stylist Matt, Beatrice went for Southern Comfort, volume with curls, which looked great on her normally straight do.
With hair in place, we headed over to Clear Clinic at 21 19th Street for a microdermabrasion treatment. This center, the brainchild of dermatologist Eric Schweiger, MD, is a one-stop shop for acne and acne scar treatment. It really tries to reduce the trauma of acne by encouraging walk-ins, offering late appointments, and teaming patients with a Personal Acne Coach, a physician assistant who guides them through the process of finding the right solution for their condition. The place is a veritable play yard of lasers and light-based devices, which aim to target acne at its core source. From deep cleansing, blue and red light seassions, lasers that kill acne causing bacteria, to a whole swath of devices that minimize scars, the Clear Clinic menu is a no nonsense approach to acne treatment.
Luckily, my blemish days are behind me, so I opted for the microdermabrasion treatment, a professional mechanical exfoliation process that stimulates collagen production and left my skin smooth and glowing. Many thanks to Jillian Cirillo, the licensed aesthetician who explained every step, and much to my surprise, said I had good skin. For chronic acne sufferers, the clinic recommends its Clear Clubâ„¢, amembership program that bundles services for more cost effective treatment.
For the finishing touch, Beatrice and I ended our eveningâ€™s prep at Boom Boom Brow Bar, 35 7th Avenue in Greenwich Village. Even at 8PM, the place was hopping with regulars getting their brows and lashes tinted, and brows waxed. As every makeup artist advises, brows really frame and open up the face, and Iâ€™m a firm believer of this. What I didnâ€™t know was the benefit of brow tintingâ€”it actually makes your brow hairs look thicker and remarkably fills in the sparse areas, requiring much less powder to get a full brow look. My technician Danielle sized up my color and applied the dye, which sits for only 10 minutes. After a wipe down, she gave me the wax over and a trim, shaping my brows in a natural looking wayâ€”more full than thin, but tamed. And to my surprise, she showed me the correct way to apply brow powder (never pencil, mon dieu). Sweep a thin line of powder at the bottom ledge of the brow then brush it upward and follow with gel.
Boom Boom is a small slip of a shopâ€”girly, dainty, and definitely fun. Book an appointment online for a full range of tweezing and waxing for the body and face. If you go during a weekday, you might even meet Boom Boom, aka Malynda Vigliotti, the shopâ€™s founder. And donâ€™t forget to check out her specially created products, including the new Brow Job ($49), which contains peptides, vitamins, and amino acids to beef up scrawny brows in just one month.
Blownout, scrubbed, and waxed, Bea and I were off on an art opening adventure. But thatâ€™s another story.