Grooming on the go

There was a time back in early 1999, when having your nails done meant getting a French polish on your wedding day.  Then along came Nails Inc and a plethora of other brands and before you know it we’re in 2013, where nail art is the norm and people change their polish to match their outfits.  Nail colours have become sell-outs (witness Chanel’s Jade green in 2009), nail bars are ubiquitous, and bold hues, two-tone half-moons and jazzy sequinned tips are routine.  We even have the ‘statement nail’ (where one fingernail on each hand is different to the others).  And this month, sees a launch that will further revolutionise our grooming patterns.  Nicknamed fast beauty or grooming on the go, November sees the opening of not one, but two new brands that offer blow-drys and manicures in under 30 minutes, all under one chic roof.


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Cheeky Parlour in Shoreditch

The first, which launched last week, is called Cheeky Parlour and is under the same umbrella as the hugely successful members-only Soho House Group, owned by Nick Jones.  Branching out from the exclusive bracket that is currently a requirement for entry to the Houses, Cheeky is the first nail bar to offer drop-in blow-drys, manicures, cocktails and even an in-house DJ in the evenings. Open 5 days a week (from Wed-Sun), the concept is a no-appointment-needed guide to fast grooming.

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 Cheeky nails 21 shades

At Cheeky Parlour, polishes come in 21 colours and you get to take home the bottle

Expanding on the model of the hugely successful US Drybar salon – which launched in 2000 & has enjoyed phenomenal success – Cheeky has created an environment where you can pop in for a cheap blow-dry and polish before a night out, or hang out with friends and enjoy grooming along with cocktails and tunes.  A manicure costs £10 (& you get to take home the bottle of varnish) with a supplement for nail art features of £1.50 per nail.  Blow-drys come in four different styles (try Pump It for volume or Ruffle My Feathers for beachy waves), plus up-do options that include plaits and a topknot, and cost £15 a pop.  Vintage furniture and a Shoreditch location ensure an air of in-the-know cool, and for social media fans the salon has a dedicated Selfie Studio complete with pro lighting and equipment, so you can instantly Instagram your look.



Cheeky sweets and the Treatments menu (Images from:

The second brand, Blow, launches on November 11th with a similar concept, only this one cleverly also offers make-up.  Opening their first outlet in Covent Garden next week, the company has aspirations to revolutionise the grooming market, with expansion into the Middle East and Russia on the horizon, and future salons planned near tube stations and schools for time-poor mums.  Led by business guru Dharmash Mistry (the entrepreneur behind Lovefilm and MyWardrobe) and former editor of Elle and Grazia, Fiona McIntosh, this brand has two hugely knowledgeable heads at its helm.

 Blow Ltd Look 5 - City Blow £25

The City Blow £25

Blow Ltd Look 2 - Luxe Blow £25

The Luxe Blow £25

The salons are aiming to attract the high-achieving working woman and will be open 7 days a week for up to 14 hours a day, meaning you can get a file and polish before an important morning meeting or a blow-dry after your 7am visit to the gym.  There are both drop-in options and book-in appointments, and prices start at £15 for a 15 minute manicure and £25 for a 30 minute hair fix (try the City Blow for Manhattan sleek or the Luxe Blow for A-list locks, both above).  Make-up options include Party Face and Day Face, again costing £15 for 15 minutes of beauty blending.  Packages that maximise your time are available for a discount, with stylists working on your hair whilst technicians simultaneously perfect your nails, ensuring you can have all three treatments complete within 45 minutes (total cost £50).

Blow Ltd - Day Face £15

Day Face, £15

Blow On-Trend Nails £15

On-trend nails, £15

 Blow Ltd package 1 £50

Multi-treatment offers at Blow

Much like nail bars have revolutionised how we treat our fingertips, this fast beauty concept will set a new precedent for grooming.  At the moment the launches are London based, but watch out for the expansion… there’ll be one popping up on your doorstep before you can say bouncy blow-dry.

Cheeky Parlour is open Wed-Sat 10am-10pm and Sun 11am-7pm. Closed Mon and Tue. 1st Floor, 64-66 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London, E2 7DP. Go to 

Blow Covent Garden opens on November 11th at 8 Slingsby Place, St Martin’s Courtyard, London, WC2E 9AB. T: 020 7240 7987. Open Mon-Wed 7am-7pm, Thurs-Sat 7am-9pm, Sun 10am-6pm. Visit for more info. 

For a review of Cheeky Parlour also see: