Ever wanted a pinot with your pedicure? How about a beer with your blowout? Or a Floradora cocktail with your facial? You can line up each of these treatments (and beverages) at ritzy new beauty bar Soak, on Chapel Street in South Yarra.
Billed as “the first fully licensed beauty bar in Victoria”, it’s a mix of owner Carlie Lansdown’s love of Scandi design, high-end boutiques and New York’s subterranean jazz bars. A 15-metre-long, blush-pink manicure station – with a shiny desert-red marble top – doubles as a bar, so you can make your mani a little boozy.
The space, by local interior designer Kimberley-jade Bawden, also has polished-concrete floors, colourful timber panelling and brass skirting. It’s softened with textured furnishings such as plush stools, velvet poufs and wine-red leather banquettes.
Off the main drag are hair and make-up styling stations, two beauty rooms, a spray-tan space and a pedicure room that converts to a private function space (for hen’s parties, birthdays and other events) with the help of heavy room-dividing curtains.
On the beauty menu, there’s everything from brow lamination and skin peels to waxing and make-up application. But if you can’t decide on just one treatment – or you’re looking to truly treat yourself – the $399 All About Soak package is the way to go. Over more than four hours, it includes an express manicure, deluxe pedicure, express facial, brow sculpt and tint, lash lift and tint, blowout and a glass of bubbles.
At the bar, find Italian prosecco and fruity French rosé; easy-drinking whites and reds (including a sauvignon blanc from Tasmania and a pinot noir from Tarrawarra Estate in the Yarra Valley); beers and ciders; spirits on the rocks; and a something-for-everyone list of cocktails. There’s the Fairy Floss Spritz, a lychee-infused Martini, a classic Cosmo and cocktail specials that change each month. When Broadsheet visits, it’s a Smoky Sour with Irish whiskey, lemon juice and a brûlée top. A selection of petits fours and cheese platters are also available.
Before opening Soak, Lansdown spent 10 years working in the beauty industry in Brisbane. “Coming from Queensland, I absolutely loved the amazing hospitality industry that Melbourne has,” she says. “To me, it just made sense to combine this with my background in beauty to create something special.”
Beauty treatments range from $10 to $699 and are bookable online.