New Brunswick's Newest Salon on Easton Avenue Literally Rose From the Ashes

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Noir Lash Bar opened in December with the vision of being an oasis in a woman’s busy day, a place where she can be surrounded by the salon’s elegant decor, listen to some smooth R&B, enjoy the relaxing scent of a vanilla candle, and feel pampered.

Clients leave the world behind when they enter the salon at 15 Easton Ave. to get a facial or to have their lashes and brows done just so.

Guests are met by a faux champagne cart, a large logo with the brow brush cleverly incorporated and owner/operator Alexis Stevens’ happy smile. 

“I chose an all-white aesthetic because I feel white is welcoming and inviting,” she said. “I wanted to create a vibe for women when they come here, where they just feel warm and welcoming. Basically, like you’re sitting in your wealthy aunt’s living room, and it’s so pretty and luxurious.”

For Stevens, Noir Lash Bar also represents a dream that literally rose from the ashes.

Her first salon was destroyed on Feb. 7, 2023, when a fire raced through the 100 block of East Front Street in Plainfield. In all, the blaze that took firefighters more than nine hours to extinguish left 30 people homeless and engulfed eight buildings - including Stevens’ Blushh Beauty Bar.

The next morning, in the harsh light of day, she could finally see that her shop had been reduced to a burnt-out husk.

“I couldn’t even go in it, it was burnt to nothing,” Stevens said. “It looked like (the dystopian sci-fi series) ‘The Walking Dead,’ no lie. I just couldn’t believe it. You just put everything into something - I woke up the next morning and I wanted to have a heart attack.”

Blushh Beauty Bar had also been born from heartbreak. Shortly after a car accident, Stevens began to ask herself the big questions in life, like, “What do I really want to do with my life?”

She had a successful corporate job, and she and her husband Will were raising two children, but she had long harbored a dream to open a salon.

And although she was heartbroken by the fire, she was determined to try again. You could say she gets that mettle from her mom, who raised her alone in the Fort Washington section of Manhattan after Alexis’ father died when she was 1.

Just days after the fire, Stevens went for a walk around New Brunswick and eyed a small space on Easton Avenue that had apparently been a small restaurant or bodega. It was clearly abandoned, even if there were no “for rent” signs on the door. So, she made a few phone calls, worked out the money with her husband, formed a business plan, and decided she was going to give it another go in New Brunswick.

“My clients have mostly been students and professionals,” said Stevens, who opened the doors at Noir Lash Bar on Dec. 13. “We love that. We have a lot of nurses and health care workers (from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital).

“It’s a great location, and I get a lot of foot traffic and a lot of people from the high-rise buildings. They’ll say, ‘Oh, I walk right past and I didn’t know you were here.’ ”

Story & Photo By: Chuck O'Donnell