They say that after the pandemic we will enter the roaring 20s (once again) so maybe a bar/beauty hybrid is just what we need.
It’s an idea so genius we’re kicking ourselves for not thinking of it first. SOAK Beauty + Bar is Victoria’s first fully-licensed beauty bar. Open from 10 am to 9 pm, it offers tanning, waxing, manicures, pedicures, facials, makeup application, and blow waves (to name a few), all with a side of bubbles (or whatever drink floats your boat).
Owner and Managing Director Carlie Lansdown is the mastermind behind SOAK. She has over ten years of experience as a beauty therapist and previously co-owned and managed a beauty salon in Brisbane. The inspiration for SOAK came from the desire to connect people.
“I was inspired by the notion of bringing people together in a welcoming and empowering space, and I hope SOAK Bar + Beauty can deliver something new and exciting to Melbourne,” Carlie said.
Yet, there was a slight delay in ‘bringing people together’ at SOAK due to the Melbourne lockdowns, which hit the beauty and hospitality industries equally as hard. To remain true to her mission, Carlie began an IGTV series called Unpolished to keep connected with her followers, one way or another.
“We got to work straight away, creating an IGTV series called Unpolished, where our customers could keep up with us as we discussed many different topics and had some fabulous guests join us. We’re so proud of that as it gave our clients and followers a little bit of fun throughout our journey of isolation,” she adds.
The 200 m2 Chapel Street location was executed by interior designer Kimberly Jade Bawden and brand and design consultant Rhys Ferguson. Carlie imagined the interiors to be a combination of Scandinavian design, high-street boutiques and intimate underground NYC jazz bars. She likes to describe it as ‘indulgent yet energetic’. She also loves the different textures that help separate the space but also keep it modern and flowing.
And just because it’s a bar doesn’t mean it’s not serious about skin. SOAK stocks Dr Spiller and Velvet Concept and offers various skin treatments and peels in conjunction with traditional beauty salon services. The most intensive is the herbal peel, says Carlie.
“These are fantastic for almost every skin concern, from minimising and preventing fine lines and wrinkles as well as minimising acne scarring and large pores to perfecting skin texture and glow,” Carlie said.
One potentially confusing thing about a bar/beauty hybrid is figuring where it fits in a client’s beauty rituals. Is it pre-drinks and makeup application before a Saturday night, Friday bubbles and a facial, or both? Carlie says that clients are free to enjoy SOAK however it fits with them.
“Here at SOAK, we cater to your busy week and all the ups and downs that come with it, whether it’s nipping in for a quick brow refresh on a Tuesday morning before work, grabbing a coffee and a brazilian on your lunch break or going all out with your bestie at the weekend for some lashes with a side of liquor,” she said.
Now that’s cleared up, it’s time to get the dirt on the tough questions. What is Carlie’s drink of choice? She says her go-to is an espresso martini, but she also loves SOAK’s newest addition, You Gin Me Right Round, which is bound to impress even the pickiest of cocktail connoisseurs.
“It’s made with crushed ice, peach juice, lemon juice and hibiscus syrup served with a shot of Ink Gin on the side for you to get in on the fun,” she said.
You know what they say, it’s five o’clock somewhere! Bottoms up, ladies.
Take a look at the gorgeous images here:
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