Hot on the Highstreet Week 195: Fashion Week Ready

For all those fashionistas out there in need of a beauty fix during Fashion Week, I have compiled a little black book of helpful contacts and beauty bars who will primp and preen you ready for another day of catwalks and couture chaos.

Blow dry – After back to back shows and after parties you will be feeling drab and drowsy. Blow dries are the perfect pick-me-up, a quick and glamorous solution to tired limp locks. Blow Bar in Islington is a lovely little boutique, closer to the catwalk try Hersheson blow dry bars in Westfield Shepherd’s Bush or New Change in the city.

Mani-Pedi – For stand-out nails, WAH Nails is the best of the bunch. Located downstairs in the Topshop flagship store on Oxford Street, here you can mimic the trends from the designers or select a design from the colourful Wah inspiration board. If you are hanging around the Notting Hill area I urge you to try Sophie Gass, this stylish salon will prettify your fingers and toes whilst you sip a cappuccino and browse on their ipads.

Speedy Facial – The Bliss brand is brilliant for quick and revitalising treatments. Visit the Sloane Avenue venue and try the 30 minute Oxygen Blast facial, which I found had amazingly relaxing and glowing effects.

Roots refreshFOUR salon is just off Regent’s Street and specialises in hair colour treatments. The charming girls will lighten and brighten your roots, so you’ll be ready fabulously fast.

Mini massage– Stiff from carrying too many lookbooks and squeezing into uncomfortable heels? Treat yourself to an indulgent mini massage, best found at the Space NK Spa. I can recommend the 30 minute Reviving Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage.

Hopefully after these little luxuries you will look and feel like a supermodel, and will be ready to watch the pros strut down the runways all day long.

Hari’s Hair and Nails, King’s Road


Hari’s is my dream salon… a kooky King’s Road venue to get both your hair and nails spruced up. It is a beauty hot spot, frequented by famous faces and always busy and buzzing.

With over 35 years experience as one of London’s most famous hair and beauty retreats, Hari’s philosophy is to nurture and develop its own talent with a team of innovative stylists, many of whom have been with the company for over 15 years. They please both men and women with their exemplary colour and cutting, and fabulous Sophy Robson nail art services.

On a rainy Friday afternoon the salon was chaotic, full of pretty girls needing a make-over before the weekend. Luckily the 19 bus stop is just a few steps away so I jumped in before being soaked to the skin, ready to let the Hari’s crew beautify me. I initially noticed the quirky interior, every mirror station is differently designed and the detailing gives the salon real personality. The colour and pattern explosion reminded me of the 90’s – a kind of Girl Power haven.

Sophy Robson is something of a phenomenon, and her permanent nail station at Hari’s is a real asset to the salon. Designing and painting the nails of celebrities worldwide, including on site at the London Olympics, Robson has brought nail ornamentation to the forefront of fashion. Neringa is Sophy’s top nail girl and I was lucky enough to have my fingernails in her capable hands. Deciding on an assortment of 10 different Sophy signature styles she got to work immediately, a speedy expert. Tut-tutting at my bitten nails, she gave me a quick manicure before coating the nails in clear base coat. The ten designs (mini hearts, camouflage, flowers, polka dots, candy stripes, houndstooth, clouds, ice-cream, dalmatian and Giles eyes) each involve different coloured varnishes and complicated patterns. The techniques are tricky but Neringa completed each nail efficiently and swiftly painting the intricate designs immaculately.

After sitting downstairs for nearly 90 minutes of nail art, I was escorted upstairs for my hair cut and blow dry. I was lucky enough to be with Andy, one of the most experienced stylists at Hari’s. Known for his versatile and sharp skills he greets every customer with a warm smile and a sweet manner. He trimmed my hair before giving me a volumising blow dry. Using Kerastase products and his hands to scrunch my hair, he managed to bring out amazing natural waves. Teaching me as he worked, he convinced me I could do the same at home.
Hood up and coat on, I was ready to face the rainstorm outside, my nails and hair perfectly prepped and preened ready for the weekend. I can’t imagine a more fun and fabulous place to hang out on a Friday afternoon… Hari’s is a hairdressing heaven and a nails sanctuary for London’s most stylish girls and boys.

Details: Hari’s Hairdressers King’s Road 233 Kings Road, London, SW3 5EJ 020 7349 8722

Hari’s Hairdressers Brompton Road 305 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2DY 020 7581 5211

More information here.

New York’s Best Nail Bars

There aren’t many cities that have truly embraced the nail art trend… Londoners are taking cautious steps towards the new fad (with WAH leading the rest), apparently Japan are wildly creative with their designs and possibilities… I knew little of NYC’s opinion of the fabulous fingertip fashion. Spending five days in the Big Apple, I had the opportunity to try the latest trends in nail art and scour the streets for the best beauty bars. Here’s my top three:

Primp and Polish

Brooklyn-bound hipsters will find comfort in this blissfully calm and laid-back nail salon. I was impressed by the sophisticated decor and design, stools and plush reclining chairs are lined up ready for pampering. Boys and girls alike visit P&P for all kinds of treatments, but the classic mani’s and pedi’s seemed to be most popular. My friend indulged in a pedicure and assured me it was the best she had ever experienced, luxurious and invigorating, perfect for her weary sight-seeing feet. I went for a nail art manicure with the Queen of Designs, Kieu Bui. After a lovely exfoliation, massage and extensive cuticle work, Kieu got to work on some NY themed nails: stars, stripes, cocktails and the piece de resistance, an abstracted Statue of Liberty. The girls gathered round as she drew expertly on my nails, with precision and flair… it was a mini-masterpiece. I absolutely loved this nail bar and the district of Williamsburg that surrounds it… we spent the ideal Saturday morning, adorning our nails at Primp & Polish, drinking delicious coffee from Black Brick (just round the corner) and browsing in the boutiques.


Hidden in the heart of the Nolita area on Elizabeth Street, this cute and glam venue offers the best waxes and manicures in the neighbourhood. It is located among the hippest stores in town – the girls visiting this salon are clearly regulars and all their chattering resembles a scene from Gossip Girl. Nail Art is a must at Valley, everyone has it and the wackier the design, the better. A quiet but efficient girl called Ayumi filed, soaked and buffed my toes before applying pink gel polish and decorating with glitter and an immaculately drawn American flag. I noticed plenty of other beautiful patterns and emblems, one girl even had a miniature picture of her beloved dog painted onto her thumbs. They have become known here for their elaborate glitter patterns and, trust me, it is hard to resist the trolley of bottled sparkles. The coolest nail bar in Manhattan and a must try for nail art fanatics.

Beauty Bar

The all singing, all dancing Beauty Bar is more bar than beauty but wins its place on the list for the original concept and fun vibe. I was initially a little disappointed to see garish Halloween decorations up but aside from this minor discrepancy, I was wholly impressed. This is a retro girl’s dream and offers a manicure and martini for just 10 dollars. Unfortunately having already had both my hands and feet painted to the extreme, I didn’t have the chance to try out the beautician’s skills… but next time definitely. Have your nails painted, grab a partner and dance the night away.

With so many cool nail bars in New York, it is difficult to know who to trust: for nail art Primp & Polish and Valley are unbeatable and for fun Beauty Bar is the New Yorker’s favourite.