New beauty trend: The full-service bar

Beauty-focused retailers want shoppers to come in to pick up their favourite products but to stay for one of the services. We checked out three of the latest new beauty bars.

There’s a new trend that’s popping up in the beauty retail world and it’s changing the cosmetic game. Say hello to the full-service beauty bar situated right inside your cosmetic store or counter, creating a space that takes beautifying to a whole new level. Beyond purchasing your favourite skincare at the counter, retailers want you to stay and enjoy one of their beauty services, too. These one-stop-shops make checking off your to-do list easier with expert advice and personal service in a luxe environment. So next time you think you’re running in (with unruly brows) just to pick up your favourite shampoo, you might be pleasantly surprised to leave with perfectly shaped brows. We are certain that this is the future of cosmetic shopping.

We recently visited three retailers to check out their new beauty bars:

Holt Renfrew Beauty Bar

Holt Renfrew Beauty Bar, Yorkville Mall

The New Holt Renfrew Beauty Hall at Yorkville Mall, Toronto

Holt Renfrew in Yorkdale Mall, in Toronto, recently unveiled the first full-service beauty department, offering a range of on-the-spot beauty treatments as well as a private spa service area. The primp and polish bar allows customers to stop in without an appointment for the following services: a blow dry, manicure, wax (facial) and lash and brow services. In addition to this, they have private skincare suites featuring some top skincare lines, such as La Mer, Sisley Paris and La Prairie, where customers are able to experience a facial and other treatments with their preferred line. Holt Renfrew plans to update the beauty department in all retail stores in the near future.

One of our favourite services: Drop off your brushes at the beauty bar for a complimentary cleaning, or have your makeup bag assessed and updated by a Holts consultant.


The Beauty Rx Area at Shoppers Drug Mart, Bayview Mall

The Beauty Rx Area at Shoppers Drug Mart, Bayview Mall

Beauty BOUTIQUE at Shoppers Drug Mart in Bayview Village Mall, Toronto

The Beauty Boutique at Shoppers Drug Mart in Bayview Village recently underwent a facelift, emerging with a fresh and impressive new look that spans the entire first floor. Their beauty Rx area is light and vibrant – the perfect spot for a proper skin analysis which can be done by one of five trained consultants. Look for similar upgrades to the Beauty Boutique concept store with the same implementation across the country in the near future.

One of our favourite services: After getting a makeup touch-up, I learned how to create an ombre lip!


Murale in Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver

Shoppers Drug Mart’s sister store, Murale, also offers a full range of services from facials to a professional brow bar. The exclusive Murale stores are currently in the following six locations across Canada. Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver. On a recent visit, we stopped in to pick up on some toiletries but were whisked away to a private back room for a relaxing facial. No appointment required. We love a little impromptu, late-night grooming.

One of our favourite services: Getting married? Have zero makeup skills? Invite your bridal party for a fun and interactive lesson.