Skip to main content

Scaling Beauty Service Bars

With consumer interest, investor funding and immense geographical growth, fast facial bars and cosmetic dermatology studios continue to rise.

In 2010, Drybar made a splash with its affordable, easy-to-book, fast blowouts. Now, skin care and beauty treatment companies are taking a similar approach, in an effort to democratize the category typically dominated by luxury or med spas and dermatologists. 

With a new fast facial bar popping up seemingly on every corner, easily accessible cosmetic dermatology appointments and Botox studios rising in popularity, it’s easier than ever for consumers to receive wellness services. And they want them. McKinsey and Co. estimates the U.S. spend on wellness products and services to be more than $450 billion and growing at a rate of more than 5 percent annually. The company also reports that 45 percent of consumers intend to spend more on services over the next year. 

Related Galleries

Consumer demand is matched by investment in the space. Fast facial bars, especially, have secured significant funding over the past few months. Glowbar closed a $10 million Series A round this January. In December 2022, Heyday raised a $12 million Series B extension, following its initial $20 million Series B two years ago.

The investor interest isn’t expected to slow. An industry source told WWD that this is a category where there can be multiple winners, given that until now the landscape has been fragmented with one-unit studios or operators. With this in mind, investors will look to scalable models that can expand nationally. Furthermore, as these fast-service models allow for shorter treatment times and affordable pricing, consumers are beginning to skew younger than in years past. 

Job opportunity in the space also reflects category growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of skin care specialists is estimated to grow 17 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is a faster than average growth. 

However, with several entrants to market and traditional options like med spas still reaching consumers, differentiation, education and scalability are key. Here, leaders in the fast wellness service space share their approaches to the category. 

In 2013, Skin Laundry, which plans to close 2023 with a total of 60 locations, entered the market with fast, affordable targeted laser facials. The company’s signature laser facial, $250, lasts just 15 minutes.

As with several of the fast beauty service bars on the market, Skin Laundry is able to achieve the “most aggressive price point” and offer shorter treatments by leaving out “the fluff,” according to chief executive officer Gregg Throgmartin.

By implementing an ultra-gentle approach with Long Pulsed Yag lasers and thermofractional devices, Skin Laundry is able to treat patients without downtime. While currently, the company recommends visiting twice per month for best results, they plan to roll out a new protocol that shifts this to once a month, furthering convenience.

Aside from being “laser-focused” on laser treatments, Skin Laundry is also harnessing data to differentiate itself.  

“We have done more treatments than anybody, not in the U.S., but anybody in the world. This year we’ll do roughly 750,000 treatments. We’ve been in business 10 years.…We have done millions of treatments. Yes, it’s about the device you use, but the most important thing is the protocol,” Throgmartin said. 

Fast facial bar Heyday took a similar approach when it launched in 2015. The company, which plans to have more than 50 shops by the end of 2023, has been focused on modernizing the spa category. 

“It’s a really, unfortunately, outdated category where they’re not necessarily delivering on the needs of what a younger cohort of consumers wants,” said Heyday cofounder Adam Ross. “Time, cost and convenience kept coming up as three barriers to engagement.”

At the start, Heyday addressed these by offering affordable and shorter treatments combined with a seamless experience through the physical locations and easy check-in/check-out model. Now, the company has added an array of facial enhancements to its menu, such as gua sha, diamond tipped microdermabrasion and light therapy, to offer further personalization

You May Also Like

Glowbar, while also a facial bar, takes on a much more simplistic approach in comparison to its competitors. Rather than offering add-ons or multiple kinds of facials, the brand, which plans to have 12 locations by the end of 2023, only just one service: a 30-minute facial, $55 for members and $65 for drop-ins.

“There is no complicated menu of services that clients have to blindly choose from and no crazy upsells,” said Rachel Liverman, CEO and founder. Instead, aestheticians use time in the treatment room to customize the service based on the consumer’s needs by implementing things like extractions, LED light or high frequency.

Ever/Body also entered the market in 2019 focused entirely on cosmetic dermatology with services like Botox, Morpheus8 RF microneedling, Keravive and Emsculpt NEO. Last year, the company raised a $38 million Series B from a mix of investors including Tiger Global Management, Addition and Fifth Wall and later a $55.5 million Series C funding.

“Ever/Body was created to be an alternative to luxury, medical cosmetic dermatology, with a focus on accessibility, a focus on serving those that have been historically underserved. We’re really leaning into diversity and inclusion,” CEO Amy Shecter said. 

Shecter said within the cosmetic dermatology market, consistency is key, so the company has invested heavily into comprehensive training programs for providers. 

“We are controlling the quality and consistency by which we’re holding ourselves accountable to a very high standard of medical expertise,” she said.

Along with this, consumer education is key. With every service, a consultation is offered so that guests can first discuss their goals and providers can ensure they are opting for the best treatment. Schecter said the brand’s commitment to personalizing each guest’s treatment plan is a key differentiator. Ever/Body is expected to have approximately 16 locations by the end of the year.

In 2016, Nicci Levy created a quick service model for noninvasive cosmetic treatments, like Botox and lip fillers, with her aesthetics brand Alchemy 43. Several key concerns informed Levy’s model, including industry fragmentation, lack of gender inclusivity and inaccessibility of appointments. Therefore, Levy has aimed to make Alchemy 43 a convenient, luxury and inclusive experience, with an uber-focused menu that allows for more daily appointments than a traditional med spa, so guests aren’t left waiting.

Face Foundrié and Oasis Face Bar both centered their business around a franchisee model to ensure accessibility. (Heyday has also shifted to a franchise model.) Oasis Face Bar, which launched in 2018, has created a more social model with its open-layout studios and successful in-store events. Oasis Face Bar Miami owner Ana Puente said the franchise approach and in-studio events have allowed owners to survey what consumers are reacting to in order to inform other locations. For a franchisee, educating the nearby consumer is essential said Puente. She pointed to social media and influencers as elements the brand is currently harnessing to drive traffic.

Face Foundrié has also utilized social media to identify skin care trends and newness to ensure the brand’s studios offer the most up-to-date services. For example, it added on the TikTok famous jelly mask to its list of services. Face Foundrié has developed its own skin care line, too, which includes six stock keeping units, and has opened an aesthetics-focused school in Minneapolis. Founder Michele Henry noted the program is completely booked, and she is focused on expanding its footprint.

While there have been several category entrants, companies aren’t concerned about competition. Instead, they are welcoming the newcomers, as they all have similar missions to democratize beauty services.

“It’s exciting for us that there are other concepts out there that are continuing to grow and evolve because we believe that a high tide raises all ships,” Henry said. “Ultimately, if you’re paying attention to your skin and your skin care needs, that’s great because that’s all we hope for.”

The Glow Squad


Skin Laundry

Year founded: 2013

Funding: To date has relied solely on internal investments. 

Number of locations: Opening 30 in 2023 for total 60 locations. 

Unique value proposition: Offers quick and affordable laser facials with little-to-no downtime; Expansive database to inform future decisions.



Year founded: 2015

Funding: $45.2 million 

Number of locations: Opening 30+ in 2023 to total 50-plus shops across the country. 

Unique value proposition: Franchise model; personalized facials.


Silver Mirror

Year founded: 2016

Funding: To date entirely self-funded. 

Number of locations: 12 by year-end 2023.

Unique value proposition: Luxurious approach to the facial bar model with personalized treatments and premium enhancements.


Alchemy 43

Year founded: 2016

Funding: The brand declined to share funding details, though Crunchbase reports $3.2 million.

Number of locations: 14 by year-end 2023.

Unique value proposition: Convenient and affordable noninvasive offerings, including Botox and fillers. 


Oasis Face Bar in Miami

Year founded: 2018

Funding: Privately funded; Cost to open ranges between $80,000 and $130,000 depending on the market. 

Number of locations: Opening more than four in 2023 to total more than 14 franchises. 

Unique value proposition: Franchise model; open store layout similar to a hair salon; offers facial parties, which the brand noted continue to trend. 



Year founded: 2019

Funding: $110 million 

Number of locations: Approximately 16 by year-end 2023.

Unique value proposition: Accessible and easy-to-book cosmetic dermatology services. 


Glowbar Kelsey Ann Rose

Year founded: 2019

Funding: $10 million 

Number of locations: 12 by year-end 2023.

Unique value proposition: Consumers wash their own faces to ensure a 30-minute no-frills facial. 


Face Foundrié

Year founded: 2019

Funding: To date entirely self-funded. 

Number of locations: Opening 42 in 2023 for a total 65 franchises. 

Unique value proposition: Franchise model; proprietary skin care line.