I’ll admit it in writing: I am perpetually running five minutes late. Add dodgy transport, and five can easily become fifteen minutes. Add buying last minute presents for hosts/hostesses and the desire to turn up to events looking presentable and my poor friends on occasion wait for quite some time*. Recently, I’ve found several grooming establishments housed in shopping emporiums that have helped me to keep lateness to a minimum. If you too groom/shop/tear around London after work in a frenzy, I suggest you do them all under these roofs…
I have this one down as a facial joint because I recently had a brilliant one there, but if you need anything grooming-related, this place does it. Seriously: they wax, they pluck, they cut and they do make-up in the Urban Retreat. If you wanted to get all your beauty treatments done under the one roof, this is the place for you. I’m a little less sold on the shopping experience at Harrods (great brands, bad layout; that beauty hall makes me sad/mad/angry) but, y’know – it’ll do.
– LIBERTY LONDON – MARGARET DABBS //
There is no better shop in my opinion. Liberty do it all – classy, kitsch and a touch of kink in beauty, fashion and homewares: if I have a minute to spare in London, this is where I’ll be. When I’m run off my feet, I’ll take them to the lower ground floor, where the podiatrists on hand at Margaret Dabbs slough and file them better again. N.B. Liberty also offer some stonkingly good facials upstairs in their treatment rooms.
I’ve been Strip-ping (couldn’t resist) for as long as I’ve been waxing. Two things about Strip: they’re speedy and they’ve perfected the art of a low-pain wax. Clever Topshop, then, for installing a Strip for those of us who shop for party dresses en route to said party and realise a little hair removal is in order. Let them apply the post-wax oil and no redness will you have.
– FENWICK BOND STREET – GIELLY GREEN //
My mum and I often head to good old Fenwick’s for a browse around Christmas time. Their jewellery section: second only to Liberty. Tucked away on the ground floor is a mini Gielly Green blow dry lounge, where I recently had my uninspiring hair teased into luscious locks in a mere twenty minutes.
– SELFRIDGES – BLINK //
Selfridges have made a concerted effort to pull itself back from the nadir to which it sank during the late noughties. One of the instalments to lure in Londoners is Blink Bar, which sits in the more interesting beauty section (a collection of curios and niche brands, rather than the usual big names). While not quite private enough for my liking – a nosy shopper could enjoy quite a spectacle of hair removal – there is no disputing that the women working here can take out a millimetre-long hair with a thread in double time at a very reasonable price.
* Poor friends reading – I fully intend on honouring the promise to leave earlier in the future. And thank you of your endless tolerance.