Getting an entourage of beauty professionals to show up at your door is no longer a privilege reserved just for celebrities and the ultra-wealthy. Thanks to a growing number of on-demand beauty apps, summoning hairstylists, makeup artists, masseuses and even personal trainers to a home, office or hotel is not just possible, it's often easier than swiping your smartphone screen to call an Uber car.
In fact, these services are being referred to by some users as "Ubers of beauty," due to the convenience, accessibility to a high-end experience and ability to execute all payment transactions online.
"Beauty has always been about instant gratification," says David Pirrotta, owner of David Pirrotta Brand Management, a Los Angeles-based firm that markets beauty lines including Rodin, Ilia and Sachajuan.
Lauren Remington Platt started an on-demand beauty app called Vensette three years ago after realizing there was no convenient way to transition her look from her day job in finance to the cocktail parties and charity functions she attended in the evening.
"I wanted to create something that my friends and I would want to use and also considered how women want to interact with beauty in the Digital Age," says Platt.
Vensette, based in New York, now has artists available for hire in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
Vensette artists are trained to re-create styles displayed on the company's website.
"The key is consistency," says Platt, who was impressed by the uniformity of Starbucks when creating her company.
In addition to on-demand beauty apps that dispatch artists for at-home services, several apps aim to make the booking process for beauty appointments more convenient.
Think "Open Table for beauty," as some are referring to apps like Beautified and Beauty Booked, which allow users to make last-minute appointments at salons and fitness studios in various cities.
Beautified, which is available in New York and plans to launch in L.A. in 2015, partners with salons, spas and exercise studios such as Frederic Fekkai, Bliss and Barry's Boot Camp.
"Women are time-strapped, and we provide them with a tool to help their day be more efficient," says Beautified co-founder Annie Evans, adding that, for women who are traveling to a new city, an app like Beautified eliminates the often time-consuming process of searching for a salon or spa, then hoping for an open appointment.
On-demand beauty apps also offer artists for weddings, bridal parties and fashion industry events.
Fashion publicist Shana Honeyman discovered an app called GlamSquad when the makeup artist she hired to work on a client's look book bowed out with food poisoning 45 minutes before a photo shoot.
Honeyman was hooked.
"I love a salon experience," she says, "but when on a tight timeline, having someone come directly to you feels decadent and time-efficient. It's the best of both worlds."
A list of beauty-on-demand services
Here is the low-down on some of the new beauty-on-demand services.
Founded: 2011 by Lauren Remington Platt, with services available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
Signature feature: Consistency. Vensette artists are trained to create several key looks as reference points for clients to choose from.
Services include: Hair and makeup.
How it works: The client books a service on the Vensette app or website, and an artist arrives at your home or office within 45 minutes.
Pricing: Hair, $100; makeup, $150; hair and makeup, $200. V by Vensette, a more customizable service available for photo shoots and high-profile events, is $300.
Founded: 2013 by Julia Carmona and Lauren Katzberg, with services available in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.
Signature feature: Options. Customers can browse artist's bios, photos, pricing and reviews, and choose which artist and look is the best fit.
How it works: Book an appointment through the Stylisted app or website by choosing the service needed, date and time.
Pricing: Varies from artist to artist and is indicated from high to low in each beauty professional's profile, much like a restaurant guide.
Founded: July 2014 by Jocelyn Loo and Maile Pacheco, with services available in Los Angeles, Orange County, Las Vegas, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.
Signature feature: Glamour. As indicated by the beauty company's name, glamour is at the center of its service, with glam hair and makeup looks available, including fake eyelashes and group bridal packages.
How it works: Book via BeGlammed's app or website, choose the city, date and time. Individual hair or makeup appointments take no longer than an hour; hair and makeup appointments take 90 minutes.
Pricing: Services start at $95 and vary by city.
Founded: 2013 by former corporate attorney Anna Santeramo, with services available in Los Angeles.
Signature feature: At the end of each service, users rate their beauty professional. Users can also request the same beauty professional again should they favor someone for a certain service.
How it works: Book a beauty professional via the StyleBee app, choosing from a variety of services, such as blowouts and even face painting. Appointments must be booked a minimum of two hours in advance and ideally a day ahead.
Pricing: Blowouts, $50; makeup, including lashes, $85; men's cuts, $50; face painting, $50; 60-minute massage, $120; 90-minute massage, $150.
Founded: 2013 by Annie Evans, Hannah Bronfman and Peter Hananel, with services available in New York and plans to launch in L.A. in 2015.
Signature feature: A tightly curated selection of salons, spas and fitness studios, from brow waxing to barre classes, picked by the company's editors. Useful when traveling or trying to find a new service.
How it works: Download the app and select the service or class desired. Available appointments, dates and times will show up for you to choose from.
Pricing: Varies on type of service, specific salon, spa or class selected.
Founded: January 2014 by Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder of Gilt Groupe, Victoria Eisner, Jason Perri and David Goldweitz, with services available in New York and L.A.
Signature feature: A dream team of executives plus creative director and veteran hairstylist Giovanni Vaccaro and director of makeup artistry Kelli Bartlett. GlamSquad artists are trained in the brand's proprietary technique for consistent results.
How it works: Beauty services are booked through the GlamSquad app or website. A customer chooses from a menu of hair and makeup looks, and an artist is dispatched to the customer's preferred location.
Pricing: Blowout, $50; braid, $75; updo $85 and up; makeup $75.
Founded: May 2011, with services available in numerous cities, including New York, L.A., Las Vegas, Chicago and Miami.
Signature feature: The app and website are mobile and online marketplaces for booking beauty and wellness services. Makeup artists, hairstylists, personal trainers and massage therapists can use the site as a professional platform for their businesses. Users have access to about 260,000 beauty professionals in 15,000 cities and towns listed on StyleSeat.
How it works: Enter the service desired, location and date into the app or on the website, and a list of beauty professionals appears with each person's photo, rating, pricing and bio. Users can book an artist directly after reviewing the details.
Pricing: Varies depending on service and beauty professional chosen.
Founded: March 2014 by Joseph Terzi and Morris Sutton, with services available in L.A. and Manhattan.
Signature feature: Variety. In addition to beauty services such as blowouts, spray tans and manicures, Priv also offers professionals who specialize in reflexology, gymnastics and self-defense. Priv also allows users to ping their preferred beauty professional directly to book an appointment.
How it works: Book appointments through the free Priv app by selecting service and date and time needed. A list of beauty professionals shows up on screen with a photo, rating, prices and availability.
Pricing: Ranges from a child's haircut for $45 to customized group fitness training for $160.
Founded: 2012 by former L'Oreal brand marketing executives Hillary Hutcheson and Ritika Gill, with services available in L.A., New York, Miami, San Francisco, Dallas and Houston.
Signature feature: BeautyBooked has partnered with Allure magazine, utilizing the beauty-dedicated magazine's popular "Directory" reviews on its website and app. Clients can use the reviews to discover and select new spas and salons.
How it works: Log on to the website or app and select the service desired, city and area, date and time. Available appointments will appear along with a corresponding Allure-fueled review. A reward system gives users BB points that can be used to receive beauty products and perks on services.
Pricing: Varies among different salons and spas.