This NYC Spot Is a Haven for Hair, Makeup and Skincare

Blushington, a chic space for hair, makeup and skincare, is back in action after a hiatus during COVID. It's impossible to not feel joy and positive energy when entering the new brick-and-mortar location in the Columbus Circle nabe in Manhattan. Buzzing with hairdryers, chatter and talented, personable beauty pros, it's quick to become a go-to spot for New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike. Here, CEO Natasha Cornstein and new brand ambassador Monaé Everette, share more about the 57th street beauty staple.

What was your original inspiration for Blushington?

Natasha: Blushington’s co-founders, Stephi and Nicki Maron, had a vision of creating the premier location for beauty services, and as CEO, I’ve been able to transform the business in tandem with the changes happening all around us (changing consumer behaviors, in-demand services, the pandemic, etc.). I am really excited about our return to brick-and-mortar. When we decided to return with a flagship location, we felt it was important to address consumers’ growing preferences for richer in-store experiences and combine that with greater convenience and personalization. Our new flagship in Columbus Circle allows us to enhance our ecommerce platform and offer our online continuing education programs while optimizing our clients’ time as they return to in-person work and social engagements. We also wanted to continue to empower beauty entrepreneurs to own their own businesses, which is why we will be offering Blushington franchises in the very near future.

Tell us about your experience during COVID and how you pivoted to where you are today. Any tips for others who experienced the same hardships and are hoping for a fresh start?
Natasha: Due to regulations, we did have to close our stores during the pandemic; however, this enabled us to take a step back, rethink our business model and approach the post-pandemic landscape with a new understanding of consumer behaviors. My advice is to take risks and lean into partnerships. Don't ever be afraid to try something new. Gone are the days that consumers want to go to (or have time to go to) multiple locations for beauty services and we pivoted our business model to reflect this. With our new flagship, we have expanded to offer three of the most in-demand beauty services—dry hairstyling, express skincare and professional makeup applications—all under one beautifully designed roof. We know that while our customer is eager to return to in-person experiences, there is now a greater demand for convenience and personalization. Not only have we expanded our service to include blow-dries for all hair textures, but Blushington will be available for franchising opportunities within the coming months, enabling beauty entrepreneurs all over the country to establish their own business with a proven model. 

Why did you choose Columbus Circle in NYC to reopen?

This Columbus Circle location is perfect—this whole area has become such a vibrant part of the city. Plus, the midtown location makes us easily accessible to both residents and tourists, whether they want to stop in first thing in the morning, during lunch, or before going out in the evening.

Tell us about the design and the décor!
Natasha: We wanted to create a space that was open and inviting and turned away from the faces on the wall to something that represented a safe, calm and comfortable space for consumers returning in-store. The soft-colors of the nature-oriented wallpaper signifies growth, wellness, sustainability and community. The wallpaper is really special to us—we worked with makeup-artist-turned-fine-artist Leigh Viner, whose prints Blushington has carried since 2011, to create an exclusive design.

How did you choose staff—what were you looking for?

Natasha: I’m really happy to say that we have 18 returning artists in our new flagship. We looked for what I like to call a "trifecta of excellence." Blushington is a place for people who are extremely skilled at their craft, who love being a part of the Blushington community and who don’t let anything hold them back.

How did you choose which brands and services to include?
Natasha: The first thing we look for in a brand is performance—is it truly exceptional? That’s why we love and offer 111SKIN, Kerastase, Anastasia of Beverly Hills, Beauty Rx, Erborian and Stila.

Professional makeup applications are at the heart of everything we do at Blushington. Express skincare is something we started offering pre-pandemic, which our customers loved because their skin gets a fantastic boost before the artist applies the makeup. Blow-dries were the next obvious choice—offering all three services together makes so much sense because our clients can save time and take care of their most pressing beauty needs all within the same appointment. We also offer bridal consultations, everyday makeup instruction, teen classes, private events and more.

Monaè Everett just signed on as a brand ambassador—how did you choose her?
Monaè brings a wealth of expertise in styling all types of hair, which was a major point of differentiation for us. Her creativity, passion and knowledge she can share in training our stylists made her the perfect artist.

Monaè, how did your conversations with Blushington come about?
Monaè: I was referred to Blushington by a fabulous agent, Tekoa Nash, who followed my career and understood my passion for diversity and inclusion within the hairstyling industry. She knew that we would create a major impact. 

Why did you think this was a good fit for you?
Monaè: Blushington sees the beauty in all hair textures and understands the importance of stylists being able to service all client beauty needs.

What do you hope to bring to the company? And what is your first order of business in this new role?
Monaè: My first order of business in this position is to create a hands-on training experience for the Blushington artists to aid in their confidence, proficiency, and speed in styling all clients and hair textures.

What are your favorite aspects of the brand? And of the space at Columbus Circle?
Monaè: My favorite aspect of Blushington is that they celebrate beauty in all complexions and hair textures. I love the location of the Columbus Circle because it is literally in the center of Manhattan and near the epicenter of the world’s top news stations, editors, and fashion capital. This lends itself to having many power players as clients.

How do you choose which brands you’re going to work with—what is important to you?
Monaè: When choosing the brands in which I partner after I confirm that I like the product or tool, I focus on the alignment of our missions. My mission is to empower artists with the education needed to style all hair textures, which decreases the overall beauty bias’ towards curly and coily hair. Blushington and I share a mission to empower and increase the confidence of women, overall, through beauty.