Pretty Much Everyone is Trying to Emerge From The Pandemic Looking Better Than Pre-COVID

Hannah Seligson
·4 min read
Photo credit: MilosStankovic - Getty Images
Photo credit: MilosStankovic - Getty Images


“Hearst Magazines and Verizon Media may earn commission or revenue on some items through the links below.”

A year spent wearing masks, staying indoors, and staring at screens can take the bloom off of the rosiest of roses. So it makes sense that now that lockdowns are lifting and many parts of the country are inching toward a return to more normal social interactions a certain group of service providers is seeing business boom.

“Everyone wants to come out of COVID looking like a butterfly,” said Melissa Doft, a Park Avenue plastic surgeon, who is booked solid until the first week of June. “Weddings are happening, brides are calling again, people are looking forward to a fun summer.”

There has been a documented increase in cosmetic surgeries in the past 14 months, but Doft said there’s a new race-to-the-finish-line feeling in the air. “Some patients are booking facelifts without even meeting me in person.” Along with coming warmer months, the uptick in business coincides with the CDC’s loosening of travel regulations and announcements by many companies that they plan to open offices again in September. “We are getting a lot of people who double or triple up on procedures. They want to do their eyes, but they also want to do a tummy tuck,” she said.

Photo credit: courtesy of Melissa Doft
Photo credit: courtesy of Melissa Doft

On the less invasive front, the at-home beauty service Glamsquad saw its business in New York City, which includes manicures, pedicures, blowouts, and haircuts, rise by 50 percent last week. "We anticipate it will continue as the weather gets warmer and events and special occasions start picking up," said Giovanni Vaccaro, Glamsquad's artistic director. He noted that the rise has been most noticeable in geographic areas that had the longest shutdowns. (Miami, not surprisingly, was Glamsquad's least affected market during the pandemic due to limited restrictions, ease of booking outdoor services even during winter, and a high volume of visitors to the state.)

“People know it’s getting to be that time to reenter the world and they are preparing for it,” said Alison Colbert, who runs Spa De La Mer at The Baccarat Hotel in Midtown Manhattan, the luxury skincare line’s only standalone spa. “We are getting a lot of requests for two-hour facials,” she said. The most popular is the Miracle Broth facial, which they are booking now at a rate of 50 per week (the broth is made from kelp harvested at a specific time of year from the ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia).

Photo credit: courtesy of Spa De La Mer
Photo credit: courtesy of Spa De La Mer

For her own reemergence, which Doft is hoping will happen with a trip to Europe this summer, the plastic surgeon is considering a little bit of botox around her eyes, a chemical peel, and her office’s new anti-cellulite treatment Qwo, an injectable recently approved by the FDA. “Like everyone, I ate a little bit too much at the beginning of quarantine. I was baking a lot, and we were having these multi-course European style meals.”

Others are more focussed on the sartorial side of reemergence. Tamu McPherson, a Milan-based content creator who runs the fashion and lifestyle site All the Pretty Birds, says while her body may not be as sculpted as it was before the global pandemic, she has been amassing a great wardrobe during quarantine. When lockdown in Milan lifts, don’t expect to find her in flats and elevated lounge wear, she’ll be wearing dresses by designers such as Christopher John Rogers and Hanifa. “I purchased a ton of fancy things because I know I will wear them at some point,” McPherson recently said in a phone call from Milan. “If I could get dressed up right now and go to Balthazar I would,” she said.

Photo credit: courtesy of Tamu McPherson
Photo credit: courtesy of Tamu McPherson

Similarly, Lauren Santo Domingo, founder of luxury fashion e-commerce site Moda Operandi, recently posted, “The sun is out the temperatures are heating up, and if you are anything like me, you can’t wait to get dressed again. What does that mean? It’s time to raise the hemlines and show some leg.” To that point, she suggested a $3,500 metallic gold Paco Rabbane mini evening dress as a way to “own being the best dressed sidewalk diner.”

For some, reemergence looks, or at least aspirations of ones, trend in direction of more is more, instead of a continuation of elastic waist pants and nap dresses. In her first reentry back onto the circuit last summer in Milan, McPherson wore a a big, poofy Cecile Bahsen dress. Even though sales of high-heels were down 71 percent in 2020, McPherson says her audience has been excited about getting out of their flats. “I think people are going to go back to them [high heels] because they are so gorgeous and beautiful,” she said.

If all goes well with the national vaccine rollout in the coming months, many people are hoping that the most pressing question asked of them will no longer be, “Which vaccine did you get?” but, instead, “How do you look so good?”

You Might Also Like