top of page

Express Beauty Service Adds Stop in Cobble Hill

The neighborhood’s beauty and wellness scene has a new member whose investors also backed Solidcore and Madison Reed.

Illustration by Zac Crawford @theartistzac

Beauty services are experiencing a revival in New York City. In Manhattan, you can undergo microneedling at JECT, book an EmSculpt ab treatment at Ever/Body and get a lymphatic drainage massage at Emily Oberg’s Sporty and Rich flagship. Now, an emerging skin-care destination is bringing express, customized facials to locals in this neighborhood.

Glowbar is a New York-based facial spa offering professional services such as extractions, dermaplaning, LED, light chemical peels, high frequency, cavitation and microcurrent. Each facial takes no more than 30 minutes and comes in at $65, or $55 for subscribing members.

Glowbar opened its first location in TriBeCa in 2019. It has opened a handful of studios throughout the Tri-State area, including one in Williamsburg, and later this month, it will open its eighth studio in Murray Hill. The business model checks the “speed” and “convenience” boxes required of retailers today, and the Cobble Hill Smith Street location, next to Lululemon, opens as the ripple effect of Brooklyn’s beauty and wellness boom makes its way this side of the L train.

Benefit, the beauty retail chain known for its Brow Bar, is a stone’s throw away. Ph7, which offers "non-toxic" manicures and pedicures, is a brisk walk down Court Street. My personal go-to for acupuncture, and occasionally reiki, Element Natural Healing Arts, is nearby. So is luxury clean beauty retailer Shen Beauty, though founder Jessica Richards announced this week that the business is pivoting to pure e-commerce.

This bubbling beauty community, coupled with the unofficial rule that those who live in Brooklyn do not leave Brooklyn on the weekends, led Rachel Liverman, Glowbar’s founder and CEO, to set up shop in Cobble Hill.

“There's this resounding thing with Brooklynites where you don’t leave the area on the weekend,” Liverman said on a Zoom call. “You don’t go into Manhattan. It’s an unspoken thing.”

Liverman lived in Cobble Hill for three months during the early shelter-in-place days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before launching Glowbar, she was an early employee at Birchbox, where she led sales and sourced products, and worked for Beautyblender as its head of visual merchandising and business development.

Beauty was in Liverman’s blood even before she began her career. Her grandmother, Catherine Hinds, founded a beauty institute that became one of the country’s first accredited schools of esthetics in 1979. Liverman’s mother is the school’s president and chief executive.

“My mom was always asking me, ‘Are you getting facials?’ And I would say, ‘No, they're too long, they’re too expensive,” Liverman said. “I was like, ‘There should be a 30-minute facial for $65 with a membership component. Make it the most efficacious facial you can get. Deliver results every single time, no bullshit.’ Here we are.”

A Seventies advertisement for Catherine Hinds, beauty businesswoman and Liverman's maternal grandmother. (Provided imagery)

In January, Glowbar closed a $10 million round of Series A funding led by Peterson Partners, a firm whose portfolio also includes Allbirds, solidcore, Bonobos and Madison Reed. (Fittingly, Liverman’s husband refers to Glowbar as “the Untuckit of facials,” she said.)

Glowbar plans to use this round of funding to support studio expansion throughout the Tri-State area. Locations on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and Hoboken, New Jersey are soon to come.

The in-studio experience begins with a wash bar, where clients wash their own faces before entering a treatment room. There, they’ll receive a customized facial that is a combination of extractions or demaplaning, followed by use of a high-frequency device and a soothing mask with red light therapy.

“Our most popular treatment is dermaplaning, which is a surgical blade taking off that first layer of your epidermis,” Liverman said. “It leaves your skin feeling like a baby's butt. It also helps makeup apply easier and helps your product penetrate more.”

Treatments begin and end within 30 minutes. On the way out of the studio is the product wall, where professional-grade skin care by brands such as Environ, iS Clinical and EltaMD are for sale.

“Our retail offering is always going to be focused on professional results, which I believe are from professional products,” Liverman said.

Glowbar’s core demographic is Millennial and Gen Z women, and there is a small, but growing percentage of men.

“About five percent of our clients are men,” Liverman said. “What that tells me is we're tapping into a new market, not just an already established market. A lot of our clients have never had a facial before because prior to Glowbar, it was inaccessible in many ways – it's expensive, it's time-consuming, you don't know who to trust. Glowbar solves for all of those.”

80 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page