Blushington is making a New York City comeback.
The makeup and beauty lounge is returning to brick-and-mortar for the first time since shutting down its five nationwide locations upon the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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On Sept. 9, the company will open the doors of its 1,800-square-foot Columbus Circle flagship in Manhattan, marking a homecoming of sorts for the brand, which has spent the last two-plus years growing its e-commerce business and conducting virtual activations.
“Prior to the pandemic, digital just didn’t play a role for us — we were so focused on our brick-and-mortar strategy,” said Blushington’s chief executive officer, Natasha Cornstein. “In the face of total uncertainty, we have two choices: we can give up, or we can reinvent, and reinvent really fast.”
When the pandemic struck, in-person makeup and skin care services comprised most of Blushington’s business. In its shift to digital, the studio began offering online makeup classes and launched its Blushington Academy for Artistic Advancement, a series of interactive courses for professional makeup artists.
“The pandemic gave us an opportunity to bust out of our four walls — it gave us the opportunity to go deeper into the customer’s desire and meet the customer where they are,” Cornstein said.
Bringing its hard-won pandemic learnings and newfangled omnichannel approach into the brand’s brick-and-mortar 2.0 strategy, Blushington’s flagship opening will also usher in a new service for the brand: blowouts.
“The Blushington philosophy is all about personalization,” said Cornstein. “It was really a natural evolution for us to add hair, and have that convenience all under one roof.”
Cornstein believes the addition of blow-dry services, which will start at $55, will play a key role in the flagship’s success and beyond as the company also embarks upon franchising for the first time.
“As we built our digital platform throughout the pandemic, it really reinforced in our minds that there is demand for Blushington in many markets,” Cornstein said. “In order for us to accelerate our expansion, franchising was a great option for us.”
Among the cities the company is looking to expand to within the next few years are Houston, Atlanta, Nashville, Orlando and Dallas, the latter having been the beauty studio’s most popular location prior to the pandemic, and one where the company is eager to return.