Drybar is about to get some competition.
On Monday, new speed service salon, MB45, will bring simultaneous blowouts and manicures to the residents of downtown Manhattan — in 45 minutes flat.
Located on Worth Street in TriBeCa, the 650-square-foot space could accommodate 10 clients at any given time, said co-owner Fernanda Lacerda during a walk-through of the salon Tuesday evening.
“The industry is going in that direction,” Lacerda said of the proliferation of highly specialized beauty service operations.
“You go to a place and you want a specific service — and you want people to master that. We were doing a lot of manicures and blowdrys — and increasingly together,” Lacerda continued, referring to Maria Bonita, the full-service salon in NoLIta that she opened 14 years ago and still runs. “This service was something I was doing at Maria Bonita, and it was intriguing to me that this service wasn’t available for the mainstream.”
But beyond the obvious convenience factor of the combined services, the price is equally compelling. MB45’s signature blowout and manicure costs just $65 — a competitive price by New York standards where a blowout at Drybar costs $45, and manicures at neighborhood spots such as Tenoverten and Jin Soon charge $25 and $20, respectively.
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Speed services are among the hottest sectors in the beauty industry right now, ranging from spaces that offer two-minute glycolic peels to 45-minute root touch-ups. Drybar pioneered the “beauty bar” model with its blowout-only salons, but MB45 is taking it a step further with the addition of a second service — which could prove to be an even more lucrative business model. Potential for repeat clientele is high, with blowouts and manicures being the two beauty services that people get weekly.
Lacerda said prices get a little higher if a client opts for add-ons but not by much. She pointed out that in many salons, gel manicures cost double that of a regular manicure, but not at MB45. A gel manicure add-on costs just $10 extra because the service is still completed within the 45-minute time frame, she said. A braid or updo add-on tacks $15 on to the price, and makeup application an additional $25.
The space was designed entirely by co-owner Manuela Giannini, a former interior designer, who explained she wanted the salon to be “very New York.” The cement floor and industrial, unfinished look is the anti-Drybar, with tiled walls that are meant to be a reference to New York subways. Giannini said she was inspired by classic downtown restaurants such as Pastis and Balthazar.
The two women refer to MB45 as the “cool, fashion daughter ” of the more classic Maria Bonita and have plans to build a franchise. More salons are on the drawing board for in Manhattan this year, and ultimately the women are thinking of creating salons for airports, hotels or even malls.