Fix Beauty Bar vs. Blow: The manicure-blowout face-off
Since the city's original blowout bar, Blow, in the Meatpacking District, has been offering this combo service for many moons (2005), we visited both salons to bring you this comparison cheat sheet on how they measure up—on everything from the seamlessness of services to products used and price.
Where should you prep for the slew of holiday parties that will soon fill your calendar? Read on... —Lisa Elaine Held
Fix: Fix has a comfy waiting area and a super functional set-up. Tables are arranged in a square (pictured) so that your manicurist can sit across from you while your stylist stands behind, and nail dryers are built into the bar so that by the time your hair's dry, so is your polish. The clientele? Upper East Side moms and 20-somethings getting prepped for date night. Bonus: Fix offers you wine as soon as you arrive.
Blow: Blow is set-up like a typical salon, with a long row of chairs, and the manicurist does your nails by standing next to you and holding your hand. But what it lacks in reception seating and customized combo-service stations, it makes up for in downtown New York cool. It's fun from the moment you enter, and by the end of my appointment, I had practically made a drinks date with my stylist.
Fix: Fix gives you a blowout menu with six styling options, but they can customize, too. My hair stylist was generally friendly and did a good job (albeit getting a lot of water down my neck during washing). But in general, the stylists seemed to be much less experienced than at Blow.
Blow: This salon takes its blowouts really seriously. My stylist, Greg, was passionate about the process of creating the "proprietary perfect blowout" and making it last as long as possible (which I can attest to)—and Blow has an academy where stylists from all over come to learn it. Stylists have confidence and skill, because they have tons of experience and regularly do cuts and color, too. Their proficiency has made some women dependent. "I have one client who didn't wash her hair for 17 days while I was on vacation last year," Greg told me.
Fix: For hair, they use Redken and L'Oreal. They win by a landslide on nail polish selection, with tons of Essie and OPI colors and choice shades from prestige brands like Chanel (pictured) and Nars.
Blow: Hair products are all the salon's in-house Blowpro brand. The products are free of baseline chemicals like parabens, sulfates, and sodium chloride, and are adorably packaged. Polish choices are minimal. Bring your own.
Fix: 45 minutes flat, with both services totally in sync. Fix's hair dryers are unbelievably fast—my thick, unruly mane was tamed quicker than I thought possible. Cost: $55 no matter what.
Blow: Just over an hour. My manicure didn't start until maybe 15 minutes into the blowout, so I had to stick around for the top coat and drying. Cost: $58, $68, or $78 depending on your hair length and texture.
Blow is like Fix's sexy, big sister, and while that may change as Fix grows up, both salons offer quality time-saving mani-blowouts to help you rock your holiday style this year. For value and speed (and wine), head to Fix. For long-lasting, top-tier services from experienced stylists, Blow is your spot.