Living a high-octane, hectic city life means that time-economising is key – even downtime needs to be planned out precisely like a military operation to make sure you’re making the most of your precious free hours. I live most of the year in Stockholm and found myself back in London for a few days and time was in short supply – that’s why I was keen to try out Blush + Blow, all-round aesthetic bar, which offers the full spectrum of beauty treatments under one roof. By Ellie Day
Nestled in leafy Fulham, the salon was initially founded by Bridget O’Keeffe, makeup artist, beauty blogger and entrepreneur, in response to her feeling that South West London was lacking a salon which combined excellent customer service, great value for money with the all-important fun factor. She wanted to create somewhere clients enjoyed being, as well as a venue from which they would come out feeling restored – and with a new look to show off. It’s a tall order, as London is already packed to the brim with beauty salons offering everything from bird dropping facials (probably going to opt out of that one) to facial massages specifically for tech fiends, but this salon looks to take it back to basics, offering the traditional treatments you’d expect – blowdrys, spray tans, massages and manicures.
London is already packed to the brim with beauty salons offering everything from bird dropping facials (probably going to opt out of that one) to facial massages specifically for tech fiends.
I stopped by for a gel manicure and even upon entering the salon you could see that this was a place developed by an ‘influencer’ with an eye on being Instagram-friendly. Pastel shades and throne-esque chairs, the interiors are all about creating a sense of wellbeing and relaxation.
Shown through to meet my nail therapist, I was settled in with a cup of tea (chamomile, for ultimate calm) and set to work on the most taxing part of the visit – picking my desired nail colour. Blush + Blow’s therapists are primed to make recommendations on the best colour for your skin tone, which can often lead to you trying out a new hue you previously wouldn’t have thought to wear. Disappointingly, the first two colours I chose were nowhere to be found in the salon, so instead I opted for a shimmering mushroom/gold, with a darker, glittery bronze nail on each ring finger for some extra detail.
The gel manicure took thirty minutes from start to finish – my beauty therapist was efficient, but without making me feel the treatment was being rushed through, spending the time chatting about everything from London life to our favourite books and how it felt to go back to our respective hometowns for a mini-break. The time flew by and by the time I left, I had a smile on my face and an immaculate manicure on my hands. That evening and for every day over the following two weeks, I spent my time making sure to gesticulate more than usual, to draw maximum attention to my newly-treated nails.
Blush + Blow recommend that their gel manicures will remain in peak condition for around a fortnight, depending on how much you use your hands; washing up dishes being a notable culprit for weakening nails and chipping varnish. Mine started to wear away after a week and a half, so from now on I’m boycotting all housework. After my visit, I’m planning a spray tan for when I’m next back in the UK, to ward off the winter blues and remind me that summer will soon be on its way – and I’m confident that I’ll be in safe hands.
Manicures at Blush + Blow start from £29, with the gel manicure reviewed costing £38.