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The Future Of Beauty Havens In The New World

As we gradually ease back into the opening of beauty clinics, nail salons, and spas, familiarize yourself with the newest protocols, and what it entails to get a facial, or eyelash extensions these days.

We hear the phrase 'new normal' being thrown around constantly these days, but have we really though about what this really means for the different aspects of our lives? Homes have turned into schools, offices, gyms, bake shops—nothing seems normal, but as we move on into this new phase of our lives, adopting 'abnormal' practices may actually just usher us into a new world where safety, mindfulness, and consciousness make up the new norm.

For us beauty lovers, the quarantine sure took a toll on our routines—we're talking regular salon visits, nail appointments, eyelash extensions, facials, the works! The past few months taught us that exposed roots aren't that bad, imperfect nail polish is okay, and taking the DIY route can actually be therapeutic, as opposed to stressful.

But we have to admit, we ladies consider heading to these havens for beauty a huge part of our self-love and self-care rituals, and three months without it can definitely leave us craving for some alone time in the beauty clinic soon. But is it safe? With a few more outlets already open apart from essential stores like groceries and drug stores, Metro Manila is finally seeing these establishments opening their doors gradually for customers who are willing to go back to their 'normal', albeit surreal way of life. 

Ahead, we interviewed three industry insiders on their take on this 'new normal' for beauty clinics and specialty personal care boutiques, and share with us the measures they are taking to ensure that their clients, as well as their staff, are well taken-cared of in this new phase we're in. Read on to hear from Rachelle Bravo, Founder of New Lounge (Eyelash Extensions and Nails), Dr. Kaycee Reyes Founder and Head Dermatologist of Luminisce, and Abby Borja, Head of Marketing for the R2 Group (Nailaholics, Hey Sugar, Vivere Salon). 


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Safety first

The first concern on people's minds when they step out of the house is ultimately "is it safe for me and my family?" Once this question is answered, the decision to push through or not follows. As the General Community Quarantine extends til the end of the month, business still have a bit more time to prepare and beef up their safety protocols across all their properties. Rachelle shares, "Ultimately, lives come first before any gains. But we need to find a balance on valuing life while still providing livelihood for our people. We are stepping things a notch higher by ensuring everyone's health and safety in our lounges." 

Dr. Kaycee foresees more activity for Luminisce, but expresses concern over minimal personal contact for now. "Luminisce recently made new guidelines for the opening of the clinic this June, with new protocols established for both patients and employees. However, online consultations and product deliveries will still be preferred over in-patient services to limit physical interactions and of course, lessen the risk for infection", she shares.

Speaking on behalf of the R2 Group, Abby tells us that as soon as the lockdown happened, their company decided to take action and revisit their safety protocols—"As early as March when the ECQ was implemented, we’ve already started developing new safety protocols because some medical advisers informed us that this will definitely last longer than we thought." 

This 'new normal' happening to these beauty havens show us how the world is ultimately shifting, and nothing will truly be back to regular programming. With this, we take a deeper look at the above-mentioned safety protocols they've developed for their brands:

New Lounge, being the go-to brand for ladies who love to prettify their lashes, has taken all the necessary precautions before finally deciding to re-open their doors to the public. All their eyelash specialists underwent two-week safety training and have all been tested through rapid test kits prior to returning to work. And since they will be the ones in the venues for hours on end, Personal Protective Equipments or PPEs shall be worn as they perform lash services while guests a.k.a. 'lash dolls' bring their own PPEs or purchase one at the lounge. No book displays and physical menus will be displayed, as everything, including rates are already available online. 

It also goes without saying that their lounges will be frequently cleaned, especially surfaces before and after each appointment. Daily sanitation, anti-bacterial misting, and the presence of high-grade air purifiers will be seen in-store. While customers are expected to be responsible for their own safety, reminders will be visible at all New Lounge branches, and the new rule of 'no walk-ins', 'no-mask, no entry', and 'body temperatures of above 37.6 °C are not allowed' will be strictly implemented. Customers have to pre-book their slot online, and fill up a health and travel declaration form to be absolutely sure.

And now that everyone will be wearing a face mask for the unforeseeable future, all focus goes to our eyes—and natural-looking lashes are key! Stay tuned to their Instagram page for updates on when you can finally book your next lash session!


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Luminisce on the other hand, while they've been active throughout the quarantine with their facial kit deliveries (At-Home Peel kit and At-Home Facial kit), shares that with the reopening of their branches, every room will be disinfected before and after use with low concentration ozone and UV rays to remove viruses, bacteria, and even odor in every corner of the clinic. Dr. Kaycee also shares that "safety protocols begin with our employees. They are trained from wearing and removing their protective gear, entertaining scheduled patients, and maintaining social distancing."

Just like New Lounge, Luminisce only allows customers to enter the premises if and only if they have a pre-booking done. Online pre-screening will be done by the clinic's doctors, and only a limited number of patients are allowed inside. Disinfecting foot baths, footwear change, temperature checks will be available along with individual patient protective kits. Children are encouraged to be left at home for now, for everyone's safety and peace of mind. Follow Luminisce on Instagram for all the updates you need!


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Missing your regular nail salon dates? You're not alone. The past few months may have taught us to DIY it, but nothing beats a professionally done set of nails. Can I get an amen? Nailaholics, along with the entire R2 Group of brands, has taken the cleaning and sanitizing game to a whole new level, to ensure that once they fully open (they have reopened just less than 15% of their 160+ stores nationwide), clients will feel 100% safe to enjoy their favorite services!

Social distancing will be strictly implemented for clients, which means at least one seat apart and one meter apart (sorry—no more gossiping with your gals while in-store). All their service providers will be wearing PPEs including face masks, gloves, and face shields too. And because they want to keep everyone safe, customers are required to wear their own face mask too, or else they will be denied entry. A foot bath, in-house alcohol and sanitizers will be present, and sanitation of doors and handles will be done every 30 minutes. 

To take things further and to take advantage of technology, cashless transactions are recommended, and online Health Declaration Forms upon entry will be done, alongside their Centralized Appointment System, which allows clients to pre-book appointments in advance to avoid queueing. In dire need of getting your nails done? Keep all these in mind! Follow them on Instagram for updates on when your favorite branch will open!

A BEAUTY-ful future

While the pandemic continues to affect our lives in unprecedented ways, brands like New Lounge, Luminisce, and the R2 Group remain hopeful, and optimistic amidst uncertain times. Rachelle goes on to say, "One of our greatest assets is our workforce—keeping our lounges open, safe and ready to serve all guests will ensure livelihood for our beloved people. This may be a hard time for all but this is also a time to stand for each other, for our families, our community and the society. We have to find ways to be comfortable in this new world, to not let fear overpower us. It may be a new and strange environment, but it is still our home after all."

For Dr. Kaycee and the rest of the Luminisce group, their focus is on thriving amidst change, stating that "This pandemic has changed the way we live, for better or for worse. Yet, I think that the best way to thrive in these times is to be open for change, find new opportunities, be relentless in positivity, and always choose to keep moving forward." This, we truly resonate with. 

And last but not least, while we patiently wait for R2 Group's stores (Nailaholics, Hey Sugar, Vivere Salon, Sports Barbers, French Tips, Ooh La Lash, Maxwax, Happy Brows), we join with them in the spirit of moving forward with sustainability and loving local in mind, not just for the business, but for the country, and the planet as well. Abby shares, "Please support local brands. There are many of us who offer world class products and services. Please choose more responsible brands, those that have more purposeful initiatives and create more positive social impact. For example, Vivere Salon, the first Sustainable Salon in the Philippines; or Hey Sugar, 100% purely organic services while using local produce. Choose wisely and invest in services that pamper you sans the guilt. It’s okay to take care of yourself, don’t let anyone think otherwise. Self-love is so much more important now. but you can do it in a way that also cares for others and the world around you."

Here's to the future of beauty clinics! See you soon in one of our favorite beauty spots, dear reader!

Lead photo via Content Pixie on Unsplash


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