By Sarah Royce-Greensill
Sometimes, getting ready can be the best part of a night out. Grab your girls and some vino, whack on the tunes and the party has already started. But it isnt half hard work. Theres hair to be washed, blow-dried, curled and spritzed; faces to be cleansed, moisturized, primed and made up; nails to be filed, painted and retouched when you smudge them doing your lipstick, by which point its time to re-zhoosh your hair honestly, its enough faff to make us stay at home watching Strictly in our pyjamas.
Luckily, the team at Blow Ltd feel our pain and have provided the perfect antidote in the form of their new fast beauty bar in Covent Garden. It is essentially, a one-stop beauty shop. An enormous menu, displayed fast-food style, allows you to choose from nine blow-dries, three types of manicure and three make-up looks, to create your ideal beauty combination. All you need is the outfit.
The fast beauty bar prides itself on its speed: theres no painstakingly slow nail painting here. Blow-dries take 30 minutes, make-up and manis 15, and you can get the whole shebang (nails, hair, makeup) in just 45 minutes. Prices are, refreshingly for West London, equally as snappy: £25 for a blow-dry, £15 for make-up or a mani, or £50 for the lot. The bar sells a huge range of the products it uses, plus many more including Laura Mercier make-up, REN skincare, Essie nail varnishes and theres an online shop with an even bigger range.
Kitted out with iPads for each guest (flick through online look books if you want to order off menu), the bar follows 10 commandments based on common niggles including We will never ask you about your last holiday (we know you have way better things to do with your time) and We will never leave you looking like a drag act when all you asked for was dewy skin.
At 5 or 6pm theres a real party atmosphere: I spied lots of women arriving as blank canvases with topknots and no make-up, carrying crumpled dresses ready to be steamed, and walking out forty-five minutes (and a couple of glasses of champagne later), bouffed, manicured and preened to perfection. If thats not £50 well spent, I dont know what is.
Blow Ltd, 8 Slingsby Place, St Martin's Courtyard, Covent Garden, London, book online at www.blowltd.com
OFFER: Every Monday from 7am-7pm from January 13th to February 10th book in for a blow dry and they'll throw in a 15 minute nails or make over (worth £15) for free! Monday's just got a whole lot more bearable.