New York City Beauty Guide: Where to go for hair cuts, eyelash extensions, mani-pedis and waxings

NYC Beauty: Where to go for hair cuts, eyelash extensions, mani-pedis and waxings

I’m often asked which beauty salons I would recommend in New York, so I thought I’d write a post once and for all, gathering the salons I usually visit when I need a haircut, a waxing, eyelash extensions, or getting my nails done.

Over the years, I’ve shopped around at various salons. For a long time price was the primary decision factor for me when it came to beauty treatments, but as I’ve gotten older (and after some truly terrible experiences, thank you Groupon!) this has changed, and I’m happy to pay a bit extra for good service and a great result.

The salons I mention below are places where I’ve been a regular customer for several years. They are all places with high standards when it comes to treatments as well as service, and no, I don’t receive any kind of compensation for recommending these places.

Regarding tips: It is customary to tip at beauty salons, but how much? I’ve asked around among my friends to gauge how big a tip you should leave. Apparently, a good rule of thumb for New York City is around 20% if you’re happy with the experience, which is the same tip you would leave when dining out.

Regarding upsells: One of the things I find most annoying about beauty salons, is when they try to push all sorts of additional treatments and add-ons on you. When I’m getting a treatment, I just want to be able to lean back, relax, and enjoy the pampering without constantly having to fend off attempts at upselling. The salons I mention below are really good at not being pushy, and that’s something I really appreciate.

Hair Salon: Brave

Brave is a Japanese hair salon with many branches in Tokyo. The hair stylist, who usually cuts my hair, is from Japan, and when I visit, we often chat about Japanese restaurants in New York City and Japanese series he thinks I should watch.

A standard haircut costs around $85, but there are often deals for first-time customers, and the haircut comes with a complimentary hair wash with a scalp massage (soooo nice!), a shoulder massage, and hair styling.

Read my blog post about Brave >>

Brave New York, 138 E 61st St # 203, New York

Eyelash Extensions: Ebenezer

At Ebenezer, the result is consistently flawless and the lashes last longer than at any other place I’ve tried. There’s also an Ebenezer in Koreatown, but I always go to the salon on 6th Ave because the staff are so nice, and the lashes are always perfect.

There are many different types of lash styles to choose from, but the staff are really good at guiding you so you end up with something you’re happy with. They are a bit more conservative in their approach to length and volume than many of the other, cheaper salons in the city, and they prefer to get you something that looks natural, so if you want a bit more wow-kapow, remember to mention it. I get one of their most expensive extensions, but they’re worth every dollar. For me, extensions typically last a month or more, and considering how little I otherwise spend on myself, I don’t mind splurging on lash extensions.

While they’re working on your lash extensions, you also get a quick foot and hand massage. Ebenezer is cash only, so remember to stop by an ATM on the way. If you share a post on Instagram and tag the salon, you get a free eye gel mask during the treatment. At Ebenezer, it’s important to book in advance, as they’re often fully booked for days on end.

Read my blog post about Ebenezer >>

Ebenezer Eyelash Extension, 1006 6th Ave 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018

Nails: QQ Nails & Spa

QQ Nails & Spa is a chain of nail salons in New York. I discovered them by coincidence, as I was in urgent need of a mani-pedi and they were the only salon with time available. At QQ, it’s often possible to just walk in. Sometimes there’s a bit of a wait, but especially on weekdays, it’s rarely a problem. Also, the prices are very reasonable, and the standard of treatments is consistently high.

QQ is the only place on the list that tries to upsell me. Every time I’m there, I’m asked if I want to buy a foot-spa package instead of a regular pedi. I politely decline and that’s the end of the discussion:)

QQ Nails & Spa, 1051 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10065

Waxing: European Wax Center

European Wax Center is also a chain, and I go there for the same reason I go to QQ Nails; a consistently high standard of treatments and reasonable prices. Depending on which branch you visit, it’s also often possible to get a walk in appointment, which is great for spontaneous waxers like me. Fun thing: European Wax Center is also one of the only salons that have tried to down-sell me, letting me know that I would be completely smooth and fine with a less expensive treatment than the one I had picked.

European Wax Center, 1191 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021

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