As any girl who's smudged her freshly done nails while trying to tie her sneakers for a quick workout before meeting clients for dinner knows, it can be impossible to balance self-maintenance with a demanding work schedule. Especially in New York, where "lunch hours" are all but banished and most people consider leaving work at 5 p.m. to be "early." Not coincidentally, many of the women who work these late hours are also the ones who have cash to spend on looking good, so a lot of beauty services are now offering extended hours and house calls for women who are willing to pay extra for it. Like Tamar Vezirian, who recently did a spray-tanning house call before 6 a.m., reports the Times:
“I started noticing that no one was open late,” said Ms. Vezirian, who charges $100 and up for a house call, depending on what time it is and how far she has to travel. “So I decided to be flexible and tan at all hours of the day and night. Anytime anyone wanted a tan, I was available.” She has begun carrying her equipment — a pop-up tent that looks like a large flat circle and a 40-pound suitcase —on most outings, even to dinner with her boyfriend. “It’s like my right arm,” she said.
In addition to needing self-tanning services around the clock, women like to have their eyelash extensions done at odd hours, as well. Eyelash aesthetician Courtney Akai sometimes even gets self-conscious about working so much:
“I’m almost embarrassed to say I work 6 to 7 days a week, 12 hours a day,” she said. “It’s ridiculous, because I do eyelash extensions. But in this kind of industry, you can’t be 9-to-5. You have to accommodate the client and work around their schedule or you will lose them.”
It's a vicious cycle! The women who work long hours to do your nails and hair now don't even have time to get their own hair and nails done. Which is too bad, because for some women, self-maintenance is about more than just looking good — it's a matter of remaining mentally stable:
Lisa Belsky, a consultant on the Upper West Side, has Joanna Czech, an aesthetician at Paul Labrecque, over to her apartment once a week, after her children have gone to sleep, for a facial, nail service or eyebrow grooming. “I juggle a lot each day,” she said. “Kids. Job. And one very tall additional male child, my husband. Making time for myself is difficult but critical to my mental state, and that time rarely coincides with Paul Labrecque’s hours.”