Cailley LaPara

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Varet Street is now home to not one, but two strikingly unique and well-loved beauty salons. Earlier this month, Hello Beautiful moved from Williamsburg into a storefront only a few doors down from Wild Oleander, a Bushwick gem since 2017. 

Now, if you follow either business on the ‘gram, you might have seen some similarities drawn between the outside looks of each one: flamingoes, astroturf, palm trees. Wild Oleander openly posted a comparison photo on their Instagram, contemplating the new salon’s design, “They say that ‘imitation is the highest form of flattery.’ But is it?”

@Wild_Oleander’s Instagram post.

Some comments on Hello Beautiful Salon’s Instagram state, “Hmmmm this looks exactly like @wild_oleander ….. and ironically on the same street. How is that even possible?!?!”

But rather than breed contention, the two businesses, each brimming with its own personality, complement each other. Think chocolate and peanut butter, or a new hairstyle and fresh manicure. Great on their own, but we want ‘em both.

And the salons’ proximity to each other will only boost the already-thriving local business community on Varet. “The community’s been lovely to me. Everyone visits with their dog. We’re happy so far. It’s gotten real busy,” said Rebecca Faye, owner of Hello Beautiful.

Still in its soft launch phase at their new location, Hello Beautiful might be new to Bushwick, but not to Brooklyn. Established in 1999, Hello Beautiful has been a one-stop-shop for edgy looks— complete with vibrant hair color, tooth charms, makeup and nail art—and Style, Glam and Drag clothing and accessories from House of La Rue, for 20 years.

Comments from Hello Beautiful Salon’s Instagram.

Of the move to Bushwick, Faye said, “[Bushwick] is more up-and-coming and it feels to me more like how old Williamsburg used to be, with artists kind of floating around and just a little more homey. Most of my clients are happier I’m here.”

Just a hair clippers’ throw away from the decked-out mannequins populating Hello Beautiful’s front window is an astroturf-laden alley filled with palm trees, a neon yellow umbrella and a new gnarly surfboard. This is Wild Oleander’s entrance.

More tropical than glam rock, this spot offers clients intricate nail art, waxing, microblading and hair styling, all while surrounded by wood paneling, leafy wallpaper, and general Brady-Bunch-in-Hawaii vibes (plus all the Playboys on the walls). Wild Oleander is also part-shopping destination, boasting vintage clothing and accessories.

The Wild Oleander’s storefront.

So… is there tea? Nah. Though both salons are here to keep Bushwickians feeling beautiful, you’ll get a unique experience at each place and will walk out with a one-of-a-kind look. “Our work is so different,” said Sandra Hatton, owner of Wild Oleander. Maybe we’ll even see a collab between the two one of these days.

The businesses along and around Varet have a long history of working together and supporting one another. Hatton experienced this when putting together Wild Oleander back in 2017. “The whole neighborhood helped us,” she said.

Check out Hello Beautiful’s new location at 232 Varet St., then walk a short ways to Wild Oleander at 222 Varet St. Shop, sit, and get pampered at both—combining styles to create a unique, funky look is definitely a Bushwick past-time.

Editor’s note: article was updated with comment and screenshots from Instagram at 10 a.m., May 23.

Cover images courtesy of Hello Beautiful Salon.

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