In our fast-paced, multi-tasking society, one of our greatest commodities is time. Time for spin class. Time to pick up the kids from soccer. Time for an episode of “New Girl.” Time to simply breathe. It’s probably why, in our desire to squeeze in a little “me time” in our ever-complicated schedules, the concept of beauty bars, or express beauty treatments has taken hold in Orange County.
Irvine-based Drybar, specializing in $40 blowouts, has led the way in popularizing these efficient, money-saving services, and it has been joined by a host of other similar beauty services. Whether you’re a bride-to-be in need of services for your wedding party, a busy working mom or simply someone looking for a quick beauty treatment, these hair, makeup and facial bars are sure to fit your schedule and budget.
Sure, facials are functional, but no one said they can’t be fun, too. It’s the idea behind Meghan Mae Ellis’s new Newport Beach oxygen facial bar – a 40-minute, $35, no-down-time treatment that takes the ouch out of facials. The standard oxygen facial includes a cleanse, light exfoliation, masque, oxygen infusion, eye/lip cream application, and SPF, with optional add-ons for $10 each. There are no extractions and no post-facial irritation. Plus, unlike typical facials, this is perfect for a group outing like a bridal party since treatments take place at the bar (the chairs recline), with female-friendly movies playing on two flat screens and a complimentary beverage.
SAS Shampoo & Style
For those who need more than a single service, this Costa Mesa salon offers a little bit of everything in the style department. Founded in April 2012 by mother-son team Monica and Mike Ruggieri, SAS offers a braid bar, blowouts and makeup – including full face, eyes only and lash extension add-on ($10). Braid bar pricing ranges $10-$45; blowouts $35-$65; and makeup $20-$35.
Opening in 2013 with three locations, including Santa Monica, West Hollywood and, most recently, Fashion Island, Skin Laundry has helped expand express treatments into the world of med spas. This 10-minute treatment is administered by a licensed registered nurse in a treatment room with an FDA-approved laser to deliver intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy, according to CEO Chris Carey. Since it’s a non-ablative (non-wounding) laser, it doesn’t take the skin off and there’s no downtime, Carey says. “Skin Laundry is the perfect antidote for problem skin,” says Carey. It helps with surface rejuvenation, decreased pore size/pigmentation and collagen stimulation and leaves skin smooth, soft and supple. Skin Laundry also offers its own four-step system, including cleanser, toner, SPF sunscreen moisturizer, and night renewal cream, with prices ranging $14.95-$29.95. Signature Laser & Light Facial is priced at $75 for a single session with discounted packages and memberships available, and your first treatment is free.
Meleesa the Salon
In 2011, Meleesa Miller, owner and founder of Meleesa the Salon, a full-service salon in Huntington Beach, decided it was time for a braid bar. “Braids are the easiest way for a woman to express herself creatively, to stay in fashion without breaking the bank,” she says. For under $35, customers get a braid style of choice with tips and information to help them replicate the style at home. The braid bar is available on a walk-in basis.
Offering five blowout styles with the option to customize your own, this Irvine Spectrum Center salon (which made its debut in Beverly Hills in 2010) wants to give you the ultimate blow dry in 30 minutes for $35. “Everyone is so busy nowadays and women always want to look good and are always on the run, and MyBlow LA allows them to pamper themselves and relax, and walk out feeling refreshed and beautiful,” says owner and founder Gretty Hasson. :: myblowla.com
With a location in West Hollywood that opened in 2011, this makeup and beauty lounge concept has found a home in Fashion Island. CEO and founder Stephi Maron envisioned a place that could provide professional makeup application at affordable prices in a fun atmosphere. Customers can choose from six signature looks – including “Simply Glowing,” “Life of the Party” and “Cutting Edge” – or a more customized approach. The process takes about 30 minutes and includes a free glass of Champagne. Makeup application ranges from $10 to $50.
With a British blue theme greeting guests (owner and founder Cristiano Negri hails from London), visitors to this Aliso Viejo salon can expect the royal treatment. “We like the idea of our clients being treated like princesses, surrounded by opulence and style, which they deserve,” he says. Offering 30-45-minute blowouts for $35 – with a $25-for-25-minute option as well – other services include braids, up-dos, clip-in extensions, straightening, makeup and lash bar. Negri says his plan is to become a go-to for brides, bridesmaids and wedding parties. There are eight looks to choose from, but any look can be customized.