Simply The Best

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Manhasset salon celebrates milestone anniversary

“People will stare. Make it worth their while,” said Harry Winston, a man who knew how to make a woman sparkle. As one of the premier salons on Long Island, nuBest Salon and Spa does the same, but it is so much more than a place to get primped and pampered. It is a true lifestyle destination.

When Michael Mazzei opened nuBest in 1973, he brought with him a passion for beauty and fashion. Now, 45 years later his son, Jamie, and nephews Vincent and Christian lead a team of more than 125 professionals, all of whom are an integral part of the family business that occupies 20,000 square feet of Manhasset real estate.

“My father had previously owned a chain of salons, but he always admired this spot,” said Jamie Mazzei of the Manhasset building nuBest is housed in, which was formerly the old Best and Company department store. “His dream was to put everything under one roof, which is a little unorthodox to put all your eggs in one basket, but he did it anyway.”

Mazzei, who serves as creative director and hair designer, along with his cousins are responsible for training staff and keeping the salon up to date. He came into the business in 1987 after going to school at Aveda and then over to London to train at Vidal Sassoon.

From left: Artistic Director Christian Fleres; nuBest owner Michael Mazzei; Creative Directors/designers Jamie Mazzei and Vincent Mazzei (Photo by Alex Nuñez)

“My father shared his experiences with me and he was always very keen on staying current with the newest techniques,” said Mazzei, of his father, who is still very hands on and involved. Mazzei also noted that nuBest still holds classes every Tuesday night for the staff, who never stop passing on education to grow the salon. “We decided to renovate the salon to what you see today and you really can spend the entire day here. There’s not a service or expert we don’t have or can’t provide.”

What is unique about nuBest is that each staff member has a specialty, whether it be coloring or cutting hair. Michael’s philosophy has always been that it is “better to be a master of one thing than a jack of all trades.” Hair designers use top styling products from brands like Oribe, Kérastase and Celeb Luxury, a very innovative color maintenance product, which recently won an award in Italy.

nuBest is an integral part of the Manhasset community especially when it comes to charity. Among many organizations and institutions, Mazzei said the salon is involved with the Tower Foundation, the Manhasset Coalition Against Breast Cancer, Northwell Transplant Center and partner with the Americana.

Gloria Sombrotto has been the general manager of nuBest for 28 years and has seen the business grow first hand. More than just a salon and spa, nuBest offers laser treatments, micro abrasion, color treatments, and nail and makeup services.

“Michael has always been involved in beauty and fashion and he feels fashion sets the trend for what happens in beauty and vice versa. As the beauty trends change, so do our needs,” said Sombrotto. “Michael’s partner is a master colorist and they developed ARTec, the first ever color depositing shampoo (that business was sold to L’Oréal in 2002). “We’re constantly creating what’s next. We [nuBest] have a reputation in the industry and we strive to maintain that and always go above and beyond.”

Sombrotto also shared how nuBest became what it is today, and it’s all in the name.

“When Michael bought the building in 1973, it was the old Best and Company department store,” she said. “Someone walking by asked Michael what he was doing with the building and Michael said, ‘yes, it’s going to be the new best,’ so he put a twist on the spelling and that’s how we became nuBest.”

On June 23, nuBest officially celebrates its 45th anniversary. It is a family legacy that will continue to live on for years to come in the generations of Manhasset families and those who know that true beauty is an art that takes shape from the inside out.

nuBest Salon and Spa is located at 1482 Northern Blvd., Manhasset. For more information and a list of services, call 516-627-9444 or visit www.nubestsalon.com.

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Jennifer Fauci is the managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Boulevard and Anton Media Group’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of three PCLI awards.

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