When celebrity stylist Joel Warren was asked how long it took him to launch The Salon Project, a new venture that promises to revolutionize the beauty industry, he laughed and then replied, “A lifetime.”
During a visit to his posh salon in Saks Fifth Avenue at Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station, Warren, looking dapper in his black jeans and fedora, spoke passionately about how he has taken the traditional salon experience to the next level by delivering a more streamlined approach with a futuristic edge.
Unlike the standard salon model that involves multiple people working on a client’s hair and beauty needs at once, Warren’s concept is more intimate. When a client steps into the salon up to two stylists assist them and stays with them for the duration of their visit, from check in and consultation to shampoo, cut, color and makeup to check out. Each station is equipped with a sink, so the client never has to leave the chair.
“I took a look at the way the clients were being seen at everyday salons — women with wet hair walking around, towels falling off — and I thought this was not luxury, it was a chore and not what it is supposed to be,” he says. “I wanted to make it better.”To enhance each visit, patrons experience a virtual program that enables them to view different hairstyles and makeup colors based on superimposed computer-generated images shown on an iPad.
Committed and driven, Warren drew on more than 30 years of experience, learning the trade from top stylists such as Louis Licari and eventually co-owning Warren Tricomi, one of the hottest salons in Manhattan. When it was time to execute his vision, Warren was ready.
His one-stop-shop concept sells an extensive assortment of the best beauty and high end hair care products, including Oribe, L’Oreal, Kerastase, Bumble, and Living Proof. Warren also plans to offer products geared to those who suffer from hair loss.
“The Salon Project is very unique,” he says. “We are curating something that doesn’t exist anywhere.”
To enhance his clients’ beauty journey, Warren put a state-of-the-art medispa on the premises, so his clients don’t have to travel far for more advanced treatments. He says his services — at the medispa and salon — are within reach and offer different levels of pricing.
“It’s not like you can’t come here and get a $40 blow-dry,” he says. “It’s all a la carte. You just need to figure out what you want. There is really something for everybody.”Warren’s exclusive partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue, he explains, has given him a tremendous opportunity that no other salon has.
“I have salon support and a partnership to help me drive business into the place,” says Warren. “We have events, personal shoppers. We have everything going on here that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
“Get clothes and jewelry,” he continued. “Eat downstairs. You can even get alcohol. You can stay the whole day and walk out an entirely new person.”
With The Salon Project at Saks, his first and only Long Island location, Warren is set to open 11 more locations, with Manhattan and Boca Raton next. In the meantime, Warren, who doesn’t show any signs of fatigue and is completely energized by the buzz surrounding his salons of the future, jokes that his next project is figuring out how he can clone himself.
The Salon Project is located at The Shops at Walt Whitman Mall. They can be reached at 631-421-0002 or thesalonproject.com
Inside the medispa
The Salon Project offers a medispa onsite with the latest innovations in anti-aging and rejuvenating skin and body treatments.
Services include CoolSculpting (a nonsurgical fat-reduction treatment that uses a handheld device to freeze and destroy fat); ultherapy (a noninvasive procedure that lifts and tightens the neck, chin, and brow, and improves lines and wrinkles on the chest); HydraFacial (hydraderm-abrasion facial that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection), and IPL — Intense Pulsed Light treatment (erases mild sun damage, freckles, brown spots and irregular pigmentation).
Trained aestheticians can also provide Botox and Restylane therapy; microdermabrasion (an instrument that gently scrapes the skin to reduce light scarring, discoloration, sun damage and stretch marks) and dermaplaning (a method of exfoliation that uses a surgical scalpel to gently scrape off dead skin cells on the surface of the skin for a smoother, brighter complexion).
As if that weren’t enough reasons to stop in, the medispa will also offer minor cosmetic procedures for the eyelids and under-eye area. All the magic takes place in a private area in the salon.