Buvette Masthead

The Lab goes south

Beatrice Smith

A disclaimer: I am not impartial to the success of this business.

In fact, I was invested the moment I walked into what was then called BrowLab in 2015—an eighth of a clothing store in Braddon, with a single treatment chair and two smiling faces—co-owners Sianne Fitzsimons and Tegan Daley.

My investment? Not money or shares, but the furry caterpillars on my forehead, which have been lovingly transformed over three years by expert hands.

It wasn’t just my brows that were transformed either. From their humble beginnings with that single chair, Tegan and Sianne expanded their business to five staff and an airy loft on Elouera Street in Braddon. In 2017, they rebranded to The Lab to represent the variety of services they offered: makeup, waxing, lash lifts and more. And now, it’s time for an even bigger change—an expanded space across the bridge, in the heart of Manuka.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for a couple of years now” explains Sianne “but have been waiting patiently for the perfect space,”

The team found their new location five months ago, and have been quietly renovating it ever since, in preparation for Monday 2 July when they throw open the doors, relocating completely from Braddon.

But those who loved the Elouera Street loft won’t be disappointed. You might have thought it impossible to find a space as casual-cool, but Franklin Street has delivered this in spades.

A wide, light-filled space on the second floor (some might know it as the old Canberra Pilates), the open-plan feel is amplified by stripped back floorboards and whitewashed walls.

While the heritage windows and view across to ONA Manuka might give you déjà vu, one unique aspect that was love with at first sight for the team was the courtyard garden that sits at the heart of the space. Yes, a secret roof terrace if you will. Filled with lush greenery, this Insta-worthy view sits behind the waiting area, which is separated from the treatment area by a centrepiece of dried florals, courtesy of Laurel and Lace.

The Lab’s range of skincare, makeup and wellness products for sale will be coming with them too (albeit a more tightly curated selection) and Sianne assures me that their approach to beauty will be the same.

“The Lab is basically the lazy girls guide to beauty,” She says. “People know us for our brows but we are super excited to bring a new service very soon to make your beauty routine even easier!”

A bigger space, a central locale and better parking, were on the top of the girls wish list. With Manuka’s Smart Parking system as well as a plethora of free one-hour parks within a minute’s walk to The Lab, clients will be able to book in for appointments without having to build in an exorbitant amount of time to find a park.

“We are sad to say goodbye to Braddon, we really loved our little community there,” says Tegan. “But Manuka makes perfect sense for us and we are excited to be part of the iconic landscape, it’s so beautiful and the people and surrounding businesses have been so welcoming”

Froth this face on the daily MUA @telisaorzelek for @rebelmuse_au

A post shared by The lab. (@itsthelab) on

Accessible via an unassuming door in the centre of Priceline Manuka’s façade, the expanded space will give the team the physical room to introduce their other obsession – skin.

Keeping it all about the face, the girls are bringing their own unique flair to the world of facials very soon. In the meantime, enjoy beautiful brows, in a beautiful space in the centre of one of Canberra’s oldest shopping precincts.

For Tegan and Sianne, it’s about staying true to their brand ethos and signature style whilst continually evolving and keeping it fresh and fun.

As if the new space wasn’t enough, The Lab are kicking their first week in Manuka with a bang. As a big thank you to existing and new clients, they will be offering 20% off all services for the first week.

The Lab will be open in Manuka from Monday 2 July.

the essentials

What: The Lab
Where: Level 1, 18 – 20 Franklin Street, Griffith (Manuka Shops next door to Priceline)
When: Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 am – 7.30 pm Saturday 10 am to 2 pm
Bookings: 02 6295 2486
Website: the-lab.com.au

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Online Editor involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise, you’ll find her at the movies or ordering a cheese board. More about the Author

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