You Can Get So Many Beauty Services at Home Now — But Should You?February 21, 2019
It’s Friday night. You’re frazzled from a stressful workweek. You promised your friend you’d rally for her birthday party. But you look a mess, and also, you’re just so tired. A few years ago you might have bailed, but tonight you pick up your phone and request a blowout. You tap around and add a makeup application along with a manicure. On your way to the shower you order dinner to be delivered to your door. You listen to a guided meditation while being beautified. An hour later you’re a different human being.
“We’re so overburdened with things we have to do, and so many things are demanding [our] attention,” says Dr. Shannon Caspersen. “These apps that say we’ll come to you and make life easier are very alluring.” Dr. Caspersen, who’s board-certified in adult, child, and adolescent psychiatry and addiction medicine, personally uses Glamsquad, an on-demand beauty company that dispatches hair, makeup, and nail pros via a website and an app. “People want to multitask. I have someone come to my office to blow-dry my hair so I can be replying to emails.”
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And the trend is building momentum, says Amy Shecter, chief executive officer of Glamsquad. “The younger generations, they’ve only grown up with Postmates, Uber, and Lyft,” she says. “There’s a sense of expediency that they get by having things done at home.” Glamsquad, while not the only such beauty provider in the game (others include Priv and Stylisted), is now enlarging its footprint with a product line.
Back in 2014, Glamsquad offered blowouts to time-strapped New Yorkers, but “the goal was to be a beauty brand—to do blowouts really well, add services, expand markets, and ultimately begin to sell products,” Shecter says. “We had 200,000 appointments last year, and every one was a micro lab. Our clients gave feedback to our beauty pros, and our pros gave feedback to us.” The resulting collection, including a blowout lotion and a dry shampoo, has a calming scent.
For skin-care seekers, there’s the Ritualist, which provides facial services in New York and San Francisco but has trained aestheticians available for group events in most major U.S. cities. Like Glamsquad, the Ritualist developed its own line, Apto Skincare, which was so beloved that it raised the brand’s profile even further.
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If your physical state requires more attention than your hair, you can access new solutions in minutes. Feeling sluggish? Try typing “at-home vitamin IV” into your browser. Bingo! Founded in 2013, The I.V. Doc concierge service delivers drips in 23 U.S. cities, as well as in London and Ibiza. “We’re so overstretched that we have to make sure we’re operating on our A game, because none of us can afford to be sick,” says Maura Mandell, co-founder of the new StriveIV, which brings vitamin infusions to homes in New York City, Westchester County, and parts of Connecticut.
Years ago Mandell, a former corporate lawyer, was experiencing severe autoimmune issues. A visit with an integrated-medicine doctor led her to a restorative program that included (among other things) a clean diet and high-dose vitamin IVs. “I went from being nearly bedridden to feeling 100 percent better and 20 years younger in six months.” Frustrated by how hard it was to schedule regular appointments to receive the IV drips, Mandell eventually researched how to start her own on-demand company and tested similar ones on the market.
“We wanted to be that convenient [service] but also the gold standard from the medical perspective.” Now StriveIV offers 15 preservative-free vitamin-and-mineral drips targeting issues like fatigue and jet lag; prices range from $149 to $349. And when your stress levels skyrocket, you can even pick up your phone to get help with your mental health.
Apps like Headspace give lessons in meditation, and Talkspace, an online- and mobile-therapy company, allows users to message and chat with licensed therapists. “Technology has changed society and our expectations on how we want to live our lives,” says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital. “We have more options available to us, and as a result we are more demanding.”
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So all this convenience might make you wonder: What’s the point of getting out of your bathrobe anymore? Holistic-health expert Frank Lipman considers services like at-home IV drips quick fixes rather than long-term solutions that can keep you fit. “I’m always wary about these kinds of things becoming a trend,” says Lipman, who founded Be Well Health & Wellness. “If you want to be healthy, it takes effort.” He encourages people to establish healthy habits like altering their diets, meditating, exercising, and spending time with their families.
It’s also important to remember that there’s a difference between applying false eyelashes and injecting Botox. Can both be done in your home? Technically, yes. Should any provider be allowed to come into your living room and stick a needle into your body? No. Before booking a service, do your homework: Look into how each company onboards its service providers (how are they licensed?) and what safety precautions are in place. Think about consulting with your doctors before trying new treatments. Remember that an IV drip doesn’t replace a doctor’s visit and remote messaging with a therapist isn’t the same as a face-to-face session with a trusted professional. But getting a blowout in your bedroom while ordering groceries for the week? Yeah, that’s pretty awesome.
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