Be they decked-out socialites of the Upper East Side, Brooklyn’s style-setting scenesters, or haute bohemians in West Village cafes, New York City residents live and die by their beauty regimes. If you’re in the market for a thoroughly urban sprucing, here are the salons, barbershops, and beauty destinations worth checking out.
Everyone wants to make a splash on the streets of New York. When you’re stomping these streets—among the whirring lights and ever-changing onlookers—you know when you look good (and, alas, when you don’t). Why not take some time during your next Five Boroughs visit and preen like New Yorkers preen? Here are our musts for enviable coifs, noteworthy nails, movie star brows, and truly transformative makeup.
Cut and Colour
We all feel loyalty to our trusty hairstylists from back home. They tell us the best stories, listen to our woes, and fill us with confidence as they shape our manes into tried-and-tested styles. But isn’t it time to sidestep safe?
De Berardinis Salon: Dashing and deft stylist Adrian De Berardinis boasts a world-class styling pedigree, and NYC’s trendsetters have flocked to his Chelsea salon for looks they’ll love. De Barardinis and his team of boundary-pushing stylists and colourists execute precise, inspired cuts and enlivening colour that celebrates your natural beauty and turns heads. De Berardinis Salon, 155 West 21st Street, 212-967-0927.
Eva Scrivo Salon: Elegance abounds throughout this renowned salon, where Eva Scrivo and her staff take pains to free their clients from looking overdone or out of touch. Scrivo—Martha Stewart’s stylist of choice—offers a full-body beauty experience, from neat, sleek chops to natural colour to a full range of skincare and makeup services. Eva Scrivo, 903 Madison Avenue, 212-677-7315.
Jeff Chastain Salon: There’s something about talented, tattooed Jeff Chastain and his sought-after team of stylists and colourists that keeps us coming back for more. Located on the fifth floor of a Chelsea office building, this beautifully-appointed destination has a fantastic hideaway feel, while Chastain’s intuitive chops and his team’s sumptuous colour has made believers out of the fashion world’s toughest critics (a.k.a. top magazine editors and trend-conscious modelling agencies). Jeff Chastain Parlour, 29 West 17th Street, 5th Floor, 347-204-7100.
John Barrett Salon: The distinguished Mr. Barrett—whose handsome salon has topped Bergdorf Goodman since the mid-1990s—is the only name in hair for a saucy mix of socialites, powerhouses, and movie stars. From specialty bars for ponytails and braids, to distinguishing cuts, colour, and conditioning treatments, this destination befits the legendary store that resides beneath it. John Barrett Salon, 754 Fifth Avenue, 9th Floor, 212-872-2700.
Sally Hershberger Downtown: Should your noggin need a fashionable reboot, this Meatpacking District outpost of Ms. H.’s celebrity-centric salon (sister to the Hollywood original and a swish uptown outpost) offers mythic cuts that leapfrog today’s trends. Her affable, able staff (including our personal favourite, Ruben Colon) will have you flipping your hair like one of Charlie’s angels. Sally Hershberger Downtown, 423 West 14th Street, 2nd Floor, 212-206-8700.
Sometimes, scissors are entirely unnecessary to achieve a new look. Give a blowout a try.
Blow: This pioneering blowout bar in the Meatpacking District introduced the blowout craze to the city, and has won over the masses with its signature BlowPro products. Blow’s customized blowouts, up-dos, chignons, and express styling services are favourites among the fashion editor set, and win over new superfans every day. Blow New York, 342 West 14th St., 212-989-6282.
DreamDry: Stylist extraordinaire Rachel Zoe enters the blowout world with sexy, straightforward styles that cost between $20 and $40. Featuring seasonal styles, exclusive products, and an easy, breezy feel, this duo of locations—Columbus Circle and Flatiron District—makes the grade. DreamDry, 35 West 21st Street, 212-886-5194.
Drybar: For a glam-on-the-go experience that will lift any lady’s spirits, without a ton of fuss, Drybar offers the skills of professional hairs stylists at a fraction of the traditional salon cost. Its five New York locations are hives of good vibes, and everyone emerges prettier than they were upon entry. Drybar, 222 East 34th Street, 212-561-5392.
Looking up and down for a beautiful brow? Look no further.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Studio: Should your arch need a lift, go to the best—meaning Anastasia Soare, celebrity eyebrow queen, who has handpicked and schooled a team of top brow-shapers to staff up her pair of New York City boutiques (located in two midtown Sephora stores). It’s amazing how a little brow love can reframe a face and drop years from one’s appearance. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Studio, 597 Fifth Avenue, 212-980-6534.
Blink Brow Bar: Located within the hallowed halls of Henri Bendel, these British browmasters will take your everyday arches to eye-catching waves that offer youthful, dramatic, and clean effects. Should your eyelashes need some attention in the form of lasting curl or tint, look no further. Blink Brow Bar, Henri Bendel, 712 Fifth Avenue, 212-904-7979.
JINSoon Hand & Foot Spa: This trio of transporting nail emporiums go the extra mile to ensure that your nails are strong, healthy, and gorgeous—and that your experience is a little trip to heaven. From essential oil-based pedicures to deluxe nail art appliqués, your stems will take the cake. JINSoon Hand & Foot Spa, 421 East 73rd Streetm 212-249-9144.
Valley: The technicians at Valley are no joke, yet they inject a great deal of fun into the filing, buffing, cuticle-tending, lacquering experience enjoyed by its devoted clientele. Known for its gel polish, top-notch extensions, and eye-popping nail art offerings, it’s a must for any nail-rapping glamour girl. Valley Nails, 198 Elizabeth Street, 212-274-8985.
The Blind Barber: It seems so obvious, yet somehow the Blind Barber is the first chop shop of its kind to double as a top-of-the-line barbershop and a packed-to-the-gills saloon. The Blind Barber, 339 East 10th Street, 212-228-2123; blindbarber.com.
Ludlow Blunt: Fellows, wrangle those chops, bangs, and mullets with the gentlemanly assistance of Ludlow Blunt’s skilled barbers. Formerly an outpost of Tommy Guns, this handsome, throwback barbershop sets a gentlemanly stage for inspired cuts and steady-handed shaves (done the right way). Ludlow Blunt, 138 Ludlow Street, 212-477-1151.
Have you visited any of these New York beauty emporiums? Where do you go for a touch of preening when you’re in NYC? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by Andrew Stone
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About the author: AndrewStoneAndrew Stone
A Brooklyn-based writer and editor, Andrew Stone covers architecture and design for Interior Design magazine and is the former editor-in-chief of Los Angeles Confidential. A busy bee within the worlds of culture, style, and dining, he has interviewed celebrities and hot shots aplenty for various publications. Stone nurtures his two-decade love affair with his city as the resident Manhattan reporter for Hg2.com. Stone is the author of both Hg2 New York and Hg2 Los Angeles. What makes him a hedonist? "The desire to have firsthand knowledge of life's great offerings."