Capital lunchbreaks: 60-minute makeovers

You've only got an hour, so use it wisely: get groomed and gorgeous. From speedy blow-dries to mini manicures, we've picked the capital's best beauty treatments for anyone watching the clock

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    Amazing Nails

    Good, solid manicures and pedicures. A manicure is £28.50 and takes 30 minutes; a pedicure is £28.50 and takes 45 minutes.At Mane Line hair salon, 22 Weighhouse St, W1 (07775 780 744) Bond St tube. Open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm by appointment only.

    Andrew Jose

    Light-filled and relaxing, this is one of the best mid-range central salons for a quick blow-dry if you’re keen to get on and not spend hours chatting to your stylist. It cost our tester with a mid-length bob £27 and took about 25 minutes.1 Charlotte St, W1 (020 7323 4679/ Tottenham Court Rd tube. Open Mon, Thur, Fri 9am-6pm, Tue, Wed 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-5pm.

    Beauty Lounge

    The down-to-earth, no-frills British sister of its LA original, Beauty Lounge is as popular with local workers as it is with celebs like Sienna Miller. Tans, waxes and facials all feature on the treatment menu. Or how about an eyelash tint and give the mascara a miss for a couple of months? It costs £15 and takes 15 minutes. Add an eyebrow tint and the ‘combi’ is £18 and takes 20 minutes.2 Percy St, W1 (020 7436 8686/ Goodge St or Tottenham Court Rd tube. Open Mon-Fri 9.30am-6.30pm, Sat by appointment.


    Open since last December, Bloww (yes, that’s two ‘w’s) is a huge, impressive hair and beauty salon just off Regent Street. Upstairs is where you have your hair done and there’s acres of space so no one feels crammed in. It can do a wash and blow-dry for £30 within 45 minutes. The decor throughout is chic and modern with a boudoir twist so it feels cosy, despite the size. Downstairs you can have synchronised massages, dry or wet flotation sessions, try the wet stone room or the heavenly rasul (steam room). There are lots of treatments to choose from if you’ve got less than an hour. There are a number of wraps, which take 45 minutes; alternatively, a real treat is the Pantai Luar hot oil (£95), where hot dumpling-like pouches of oil and fruit are rubbed on to your back for deep muscle relaxation. 4 Regent Place, W1 (020 7292 0300/ Piccadilly Circus tube. Open Tue-Sat 10am-7pm.

    California Nail Bar at 20:20

    The 20:20 optician on Tottenham Court Road is an unlikely spot to find a fantastic, speedy manicure and pedicure but the California Nail Bar is tucked away inside. Let staff know you’re in a hurry and you should be in and out in no more than 30 minutes with two therapists working simultaneously. £35 for both treatments.216 Tottenham Court Rd (020 7631 0477/ Goodge St tube. Open Mon-Sat 10am-7pm.

    Charles Worthington

    Never mind the outfit: what really makes you look polished on a night out is well-kempt hair and nails. Charles Worthington’s ‘Desk to Dancefloor’ package is perfect for a proper spruce-up before hitting the town: the blow-dry and simultaneous manicure from expert Marian Newman takes 45 minutes and costs £60. 7 Percy St, W1 (020 7631 1370/ Goodge St tube. Open Mon-Thur 8am-8pm, Fri 10.15am-7pm, Sat 9.15am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm.


    Fairly new to the scene, this dimunitive beauty salon charges by the minute rather than the treatment. So if you’ve only got a quarter of an hour to spare, that’s a bonus: go for a quick back massage or a file and paint for your nails. If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, you might want to try mixing and matching treatments of your choice. From £7.50 for a five- to ten-minute ‘top-up’ treatment. 12 Poland St, W1 (020 7734 2020) Oxford Circus tube. Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm.

    Fordham White Metro Spa

    BEST WEST-END SPEED BEAUTYWhat started as a hairdresser known for its laidback vibe with DJs at the turntables now also does beauty treatments. Speed freaks could try the eyebrow shape (£15, 15 minutes) coupled with a maintenance manicure (£18, 30 minutes). It also does a quick blow-dry too; it costs £30-35 and takes just half an hour. 47 Greek St, W1 (020 7287 8484/ Tottenham Court Rd tube. Open Mon, Tue 10am-7pm, Wed-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat 10am-6pm.

    Groom at Selfridges

    Brand-new to Selfridges’ ground floor, Groom takes an ultra-modern approach to beauty treatments for the time-poor. Two therapists work on you at the same time in your own private booth (one of three decorated with images of 1950s screen sirens), either for an hour or 30 minutes. For the half-hour slots, choose a combination of mini-sprucing treatments, which include a brow tidy, half leg wax or flash oxygen facial. Prices from £55.400 Oxford St, W1 (0870 837 7377/ Bond St tube. Open Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9.30am-8pm, Sun 12noon-6pm.

    Inner Space

    BEST FOR INSTANT CALMThis place is run by international organisation Brahma Kumaris, which encourages self-development and meditation. Creative Meditation takes place (for beginners as well as the more experienced) every Wednesday and Friday at 1pm for 30 minutes. There is also a relaxation room in which you can just, well, sit. And breathe. It’s all free.36 Shorts Gardens, WC2 (020 7836 6688/ Covent Garden tube. Open Mon-Thur, Sat 10.30am-6pm, Fri 10.30am-5pm.

    Innes Lounge

    Combining the Japanese approach to stress relief with the concept of buying time, Innes Lounge is right on the mark. Prices start at £10 for a 15-minute acupuncture taster session.17 Shepherd’s Market, W1 (020 7629 7210/ Green Park tube. Open Tue-Fri 12noon-9pm, Sat, Sun 12noon-7pm.

    Jo Hansford

    This Mayfair salon renowned for its colouring and excellent highlights has a number of quick fixes for dull hair. The aptly named Flying Colours – colours applied by comb – takes half an hour and costs from £75. Otherwise, a Smudge, which is a quick dash of tint over those pesky, visible grey hairs, can be done in as little as five minutes and costs from £35.19 Mount St, W1 (020 7495 7774/ Bond St or Green Park tube. Open Tue-Sat 8.30am-6pm.

    Lee Stafford

    This Soho hair salon is an institution and offers a number of speedy treatments. Downstairs, expert beauty therapist Lena Jackson will do a Mini Manicure or pedicure in 15 minutes (£15); a Mini Massage in 30 minutes (£35) or a Mini facial in 30 minutes (£45).155a Wardour St, W1 (020 7494 1777/ Piccadilly Circus tube. Open Mon 10am-6pm, Tue-Wed 8am-8pm, Thur 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-6.30pm, Sat 9am-5.30pm.

    Martyn Maxey

    The lunchtime express deal here doesn’t only save you time, it also saves you hard cash. In just 45 minutes you get a hair treatment, blow-dry, mini-manicure and a big cappuccino for £45; they would cost about £30 more to buy separately. Bargain.18 Grosvenor St, W1 (020 7629 6161) Bond St tube. Open Mon-Sat 9am-6.30pm.


    A Mayfair institution offering excellent (though expensive) hair and beauty services. If it’s a speedy blow-dry you are after, book with Matt, who is something of a speed-meister and will have you in and out within half an hour (a blow-dry costs £65 with Matt, £30 with a junior stylist). Downstairs the nail team will do you a thorough manicure in half an hour for £32.25 Albemarle St, W1 (020 7629 6969/ Green Park tube. Open Mon, Sat 8am-6.30pm, Tue-Fri 8am-8pm.


    BEST FOR MALE GROOMINGA new day spa and grooming shop for men, Nickel does a number of super-quick 30-minute treatments, including the express facial (just £29), manicure (£20), pedicure (£25) and, for the more adventurous, an Alpha Beta chemical peel for a glowing complexion (£50).27 Shorts Gardens, WC2 (020 7240 4048/ Covent Garden tube. Open Mon 12noon-6pm, Tue, Wed 10am-7pm, Thur, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12noon-5pm.

    Saco Hair

    Brand-new to London (though there’s a sister shop in Montreal) this salon boasts a clutch of Vidal Sassoon-trained stylists who really know their stuff. Let them know time is short and they can whack on a conditioning treatment and get your bonce blow-dried in 45 minutes from £40.71 Monmouth St, WC2 (020 7240 7897/ Covent Garden tube. Open Tue 9.30am-5.30pm, Wed 10.30am-5.30pm, Thur 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9.30am-5.30pm.

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