Having always worked in beauty I’ve had access to fantastic cosmetic products, often before they’ve launched on the market: the most innovative anti-ageing cream, the new nail enamel collection, the latest perfume from Italy. My nail polish collection rivals some of the smaller salons’, and I have enough face masks in my bathroom cabinet to give myself a different facial every night of the week. But when it comes to hair I need expert hands to work their magic on me, and with hairdressers re-opening across the country post-COVID-19 it’s time to look forward to some pampering at these London beauty destinations. Worried about going out after 3 months of lockdown? Duck & Dry’s Senior Brand Manager Fatima Naveed shares the blowdry bars’ new practices: ‘Social distancing measures will be firmly in place. There will be sanitizer stations across the store. Staff will ensure that they disinfect all the hairstyling tools after each blow dry. Lastly, we will also look into providing face masks for the client and staff for full protection.’ And while we still wait to hear when beauty salons will be allowed to reopen, we can still book for future treatments. No more excuses, it’s time to come out of our bunkers and support independent businesses. All gifted treatments described I received pre-lockdown.
From light-hearted word plays such as ‘Hatched in London’ to their egg-shaped styling pods and Up, Up & Away Feather Light shampoo, luxury blow-dry bar Duck & Dry makes the most of its duck theme. The salon vibe is all about fun, with party music playing throughout, a Prosecco bar, a group styling area and of course Instagrammable areas. From glamorous blow drys to romantic up dos, stylists can recommend a style to suit the occasion. I opted for a signature blow dry: in 45 minutes my hair was washed, brushed, blow dried, curled, backcombed and sprayed to achieve perfectly bouncy relaxed beach waves. The firm head massage was a particular highlight and the blow dry lasted a good 48 hours. Although post-lockdown Senior Brand Manager Fatima Naveed confirms that a cut and blow dry is on everyone’s wishlist! And that Duck & Dry will be extending their treatment menu, ‘adding more nourishing hair treatments to tame post-quarantine locks’. From £30 for an express blow dry, book here.
At hair salon and pilates studio Clo&Flo, sister duo Florence and Chloe take care of your beauty and wellness needs thanks to sleek blow drys, expert manicures and 1:1 pilates sessions. With exposed brick walls, neon signs and artfully placed greenery the place feels welcoming and relaxed. I opted for the aptly named Power Hour: in 60 efficient minutes I received a Kerastase hair treatment, beautifully bouncy yet light-as-air blow dry, and a file and polish in a stylish slate grey colour (although I’m told nudes and reds are clients’ favourite shades). The manicure still looked fresh four days in, and to keep those soft waves going for an extra day all I had to do was tip my head forward and spray a little dry shampoo for re-discovered oomph. If you need reassurance on post-lockdown measures in place, Clo&Flo detail their 9-step protocol online, including social distancing, use of PPE, no drop-ins and anti-bacterial cleaning. From £10 for an express treatment, book here.
I discovered Coco Beautique through Treatwell and got chatting to the lovely owner Lorna Brennan over a bikini wax – as you do. Lorna has the incredible knack for making you feel completely at ease even in the most awkward position, so much so that I actually look forward to my waxing appointments. And the warm welcome and cosy interiors help cement this salon’s relaxing vibe. If a spot of waxing doesn’t feel like a treat, Coco Beautique also offers eyebrow and eyelash treatments. From £10 for a 15-minute treatment, book here.
Starting as a skincare range harnessing the natural benefits of grape seed oil from the vineyards of Bordeaux, Caudalie opened its first Vinotherapie Spa in 1999, with founder Mathilde Thomas overseeing the development of each treatment. These luxurious beauty rituals have been condensed into 50-minute versions available at the boutique-spas to suit city dwellers’ need for effective yet indulgent treatments. From tired skin to pigmentation and blemishes, there isn’t a skin concern that can’t be tackled by the therapist’s expert hands. I opted for the Vinoperfect Facial, a radiance-boosting facial which involves a luxurious cleanse, gentle scrub, nourishing oil, draining and toning with a jade roller, and the most satisfying facial, head and shoulder massage you could wish for. I came out not just looking rested, but feeling entirely relaxed, with those ever-present knots in my shoulder loosened and a much-needed glow in my cheeks. From £79 for a 50-minute treatment, Caudalie is taking bookings from 25th July. Book here.
With a clinic on London’s Sloane Street and a range of high-end skincare products to her name, award-winning skincare expert and facialist Lisa Franklin offers incredibly tailored facials, ensuring each treatment addresses the skin concerns of the individual. My bespoke facial delivered exactly what I had requested: decongested, hydrated and refreshed skin. The one-hour facial performed in the rose quartz adorned private clinic was the ultimate luxurious experience, featuring state of the art technology, scientifically advanced products, and good old-fashioned hands-on treatment, all delivered with the highest level of service. In these 60 minutes my skin went through a double cleanse, steam, extraction, hydrating mask, oxygen therapy, chemical peel, serum and SPF. My skin came out looking and feeling so healthy, this is the kind of treatment you can easily get hooked on. From £95 for a skin peel, Lisa Franklin is taking bookings from 1st August. Book here.
What is more indulgent than a facial? A facial combined with a shoulder massage. Visiting the Cowshed spa located just off London’s Carnaby Street, I’m shown into a cosy treatment room with soft music playing in the background. Opting for Cowshed’s signature facial, my face is double cleansed, steamed and exfoliated, followed by a little extraction. Every Cowshed product used during this treatment smells as delicious as I remember from when I used to use their hand wash and body cream. This is then followed by a CBD oil with which the facialist performs a deep tissue massage. All the muscles in my face are thoroughly worked to be loosened. The massage is extended to my neck and shoulders, and while a mask is working its magic on my face, I’m treated to a scalp massage. I wish I could do this every day. From £95 for a 60-minute treatment, Cowshed hasn’t yet reopened, but keep an eye out here.
What beauty treatment is top of your list post-lockdown? Please leave a comment below to let me know.