So you've used up all your annual leave, and there's no more bank holidays until Boxing Day. Don't despair - head to one of London's beautification stations to beat the back-to-work blues instead.
CHECK THIS OUT: London's best at-home beauty services
Everyone knows that good hair days are the best days. Unlike our perma-coiffed friends in New York, we Londoners tend to opt for the lazy, wash-and-go approach - or aggressively apply dry shampoo, hoping that no one notices that the result is less Kate Moss and more Kesha. Thankfully, Hare&Bone has put glossy, Stateside-style grooming on the (breakfast) menu. The sleek Fitzrovia salon how opens its doors at the crack of dawn (well, 8am) to dish out speedy blow-dries and up-dos.
www.hareandbone.co.uk. Tue-Fri 8am-10am. From £25.
What's the best way to shake yourself out of a back-to-work slump? A dye job that's ostentatiously office-unfriendly. The new Soho outpost from Dalston dip-dye pioneers Bleach offers signature pastel colour treatments from £55. The only blues you'll get here are the mermaid hues being mixed up at the in-house dye station - which also doubles up as a cocktail bar when the sun goes down.
www.bleachlondon.co.uk. From £55.
Thanks to a new vanguard of mobile beauty services dispatching therapists to far-flung corners of the capital, transforming your office into a makeshift day spa has never been easier. CitySwish’s express treatments can be booked with the tap of an app at just an hour’s notice – and you can slot their Power Pedi into your lunch break.
So-called ‘intensive’ pedicures often end up offering little more than a slick of colour and some cocoa butter, but this one actually lives up to its name. After buffing and filing, the therapist will paint a chemical peel on to any dry patches with a dainty brush to leave feet baby soft. Of course, there’s something a little incongruous about sitting al desko, feet soaking in a dinky inflatable bowl which could double up as a pool for a teacup pug. And if your office has glass-panelled meeting rooms, you may garner a couple of perturbed looks from passing colleagues – they’re probably just jealous.
Available Zones 1-3. www.timeout.com/cityswish. Power Pedi £45.
In the basement of the newly jazzed-up House of Elemis, you'll find the Speed Spa, which dishes out fast beauty fixes for time-starved urbanites. The menu is refreshingly concise, as are the treatments themselves, which pack the maximum benefit into the minimum time frame. The neck and shoulder massage may take just 15 minutes, but the de-knotting is as effective as other, longer treatments that I've road-tested. No time is wasted on annoying fripperies like aura cleansing or gloopy oil - always a bonus.
Next up is a speedier version of Elemis's signature Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial. If you're scared of treating your face like a stretch of the M25, don't be. The treatment actually feels really quite luxurious, and will leave your skin looking like you've sneaked in another week of holiday. Turns out that when it comes to prettification, impatience can be a virtue.
No, we're not advocating shopping under the influence. From Friday, BYOB stands for Build your own Birchbox, as the web's loveliest beauty and subscription service heads offline to set up shop as a pop-up in Selfridges. Shoppers can fill a beauty box with five mini-products from top brands like Benefit, Nuxe and Bluss for just £15.
www.birchbox.co.uk. Fri Aug 28 - Sep 28.