Pucker, a brand new makeup bar located in the heart of Soho, is much more than a makeup salon (though it’s an excellent one, at that). Yes, the artists are professional, polite and extremely talented (ask for Lauren, she’s a beauty wizard). And it’s true, you will walk out looking and feeling amazing, whether you select something from the salon’s fabulous menu of services, or decide to collaborate and come up with a unique look. But there’s also something very special about the atmosphere inside this beautifying bar. “We wanted the studio to feel like your cool best friend’s townhouse,” says architects Kit and Phillip von Dalwig of Manifold Architecture Studio. Which it does, combined with the vibe of a members-only club, minus the snobbery. And all you have to do to get in is make an appointment.
One of the greatest things about Pucker is that you can come straight from work and literally leave all of your 9 to 5 baggage behind—there are changing rooms, as well as secure lockers where you can store your belongings and either pick them up later or have them messengered to you for a fee. There’s a DIY hair touch-up station, complete with amenities and two huge mirrors, so you can fix up your hair post-appointment. Gym devotees will love that there’s a shower, stocked with delicious Malin + Goetz products, so you can still squeeze in a workout—and then rinse off—before getting glam. Two comfy lounges give you the opportunity to relax with a cocktail and hang out with your friends post appointment (come with a group, it is more fun that way). And our favorite part? The professionally lit “selfie station” (so brilliant, because you know you’re going to be Tweeting and Instagraming up a storm), so you can take the creme de la creme of selfies and share your finished look all over your social media sphere.
The makeup bar itself is amazing for many reason, perhaps the nicest of which is the fact that you don’t have to worry about being pressured to buy any products. In fact, the only makeup available for sale is Pucker’s line of lipsticks (which are fabulously named after popular ’90s clubs of yore, such as Limelight and Danceteria). But there’s never even a hint of having to buy, so you can relax and enjoy your experience without the worry that often comes with department store makeovers. And if you prefer, you can bring in some your own products in for the artists to use. Pucker’s prices are also so reasonable, the highest of which is $50 for a complete look. This really can’t beat, especially in New York City.
The studio is open, spacious, sleek and comfortable. There are eight makeup chairs total, divided up between two roomy tables, all of which are kept organized and clutter-free, thanks to the custom-made drawers within each station. Luxe, satiny capes — which were designed by Sandro Masmanidi of Project Runway fame — make clients feel truly pampered (in addition to protecting their clothes). The makeup artists are all highly trained masters of their trade and will work with you to make sure you get the look that you want.
The brainchild of business woman Hiyam McKelvey, Pucker came to life after she had her makeup done at her home for a special event. “I had never felt so beautiful or confident,” recalls McKelvey, who is now the founder and CEO of the salon. “I knew that I had to bring that transformative feeling to as many women as possible.”
Her co-founder and Creative Director, renowned makeup artist Julio Sandino, agrees: “There is nothing I love more than transforming a woman through the power of makeup,” he explains. “And I don’t just mean the way she looks in the mirror, I mean the more subtle things, like the way she stands up straighter, holds her head higher, and adds a little sway to her step. That’s what I want for every woman who comes through the doors of Pucker.”
Here, here! So book an appointment ASAP for a complete look, a “quickie,” or even just some extra lashes. You’ll be glad that you did, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be back, most likely with a crew of friends in tow.
129 Grand St
New York, NY 10013
All images courtesy of Pucker