When you think back to your halcyon days of teenage discos, sometimes the best part of the night was the time spent getting ready with your girl gang. You can now recreate the experience on a luxe level with the bride to be or friends by spending the day getting glamorous before you hit the town. If it’s for a hen party, it will be a welcome relief for a bride to be to get her hair and make-up done, without having to make any big decisions.
You can also use the opportunity to get some great group shots to keep and frame (and post on Instagram, of course!) while everyone is red carpet ready. Getting lots of team bride shots on the day is a great bonus as it can end up harder than you think when the big day arrives and the bride is in peak demand for photo ops. It’s also a particularly nice idea when all the ladies are prepped for their close-up. Read on for our low down on getting Sexy in Dublin City. Dublin’s top beauty bars.
Never underestimate the power of a good blow-dry to make you feel uber glamorous and put a spring in your step and a swish in your mane. The widespread appeal of a great blow-dry has seen the advent of specialist blow-dry bars in Dublin city centre; salons that focus on fabulous blowouts and treatments and less of the roots and split ends. The only thing that could be better than getting your tresses tended to, is spending some time getting them tended to with the hen crew, until you collectively emerge ready to hit the town like a squad of Victoria Secret Angels (and let’s face it the bouncy beachy waves are the most achievable VS angel goal).
Dry and Fly
Amazing interiors and a location just off Grafton street, this is a more like venue than a salon. Think exposed bricks, sleek surfaces, a bright, airy New York loft feel, Kevin Murphy products and an in house bar for a drink while you dry. You can choose from a photographic menu of hair looks so there’s no need to worry about your desired look getting lost in translation. Options for blowdries ranging from the “dash” (sleek and smooth) to the “velvet” (lots of volume and bouncy curls), so you are guaranteed to find an option to suit everyone in your group. My personal favourite is the “Ty twist” for a boho beachy wave.
With a larger hen posse or group (not just for hen celebrations!) you have the option of exclusive hire of the salon for three hours. For 20 people and €50 per person, you can have a private party with personal playlist decorations, a choice of gin or prosecco ( or tea and coffee) and a team of stylists providing a signature blowdry for every guest. It’s a fantastic way to get coiffed while having some craic and catch –ups with the girls. This is definitely ranking very high on the cool meter right now. Check out the larger booking options at Dry and Fly here.
Photo credits: Anthony Woods
A new addition to the BT family, the Brown Thomas beauty Lounge on Clarendon St, has a wonderful Aveda blowdry bar. The hair menu ranges from dry style revamp, to a power hold blowdry, but most importantly every option includes a delightful ritual of renewal treatment. The ritual treatment is like a mini clothed back massage before the hair action begins – great for relieving any wedding stress! The Aveda bar has the suitably glamourous surroundings you would expect from a Brown Thomas outlet. The salon can offer group booking, but with a maximum of 3 chicks at any time, it’s a better option for a smaller group (6 to 10 people). You can contact them here.
Also worth a mention for a smaller group looking for some bouncy hair glamour, in a lovely space is Hot Air by Oslo. With clean, bright and Neom candle scented surroundings, Mespil Road and Ranelagh they offer a high standard blowout service, alongside packages that include options for upstyle, braids, and makeup application and the process is as pleasant as the result. An expert blow-dry look will set you back €28 per chica or a speedy dry style can be yours for €19. Both of the salon locations have plenty of attractive restaurant and drinks options nearby. Check out the Dylan hotel near the Mespil salon for a glamorous cocktail or the Exchequer wine bar in Ranelagh.
Make Me Up before you go-go
If you think your bride to be and guests would prefer to perfect their own blowdry and makeup skills Beauty Bootcamp based on Lower Leeson St in Dublin 2 offers private full or half day courses for hen parties. Tutors will share all the tips and tricks of the trade, including how to do your own winged liner and master polished hair at home. Nearly all the cosmetics and hair styling tools and products are provided so it’s a literally a matter of byom (bring your own mascara for hygiene reasons). You apply your learning on the day (under supervision) so by the time you are leaving Beauty headquarters, the gals are sufficiently beautified and ready to hit the town, and hopefully have picked up some useful hair and make-up hacks that will come in handy during wedding season.
The Make Up Bar run by the Make Up Crew beauty school is also based in Dublin City centre in Anglesea Street and offers two different options for hen parties from €30 to €39 depending on numbers. You can opt for a workshop event where you learn and apply techniques with your own make-up kit over a glass of bubbly and the VIP is the model for the group. Or you can opt for a makeover style event where you can sit back and let the professionals work their transformative magic.
Both options are two and a half hours long and promise that the ladies will leave selfie ready either way. The garden in Nolita, the roof of Roberta’s in Essex Street and the Porthouse on Eustace Street are all good options for a post makeover cocktail within heel walking distance.
EF Creative Studios
EF Creative Studios are based in Ringsend offer both hair and makeup, and makeup only options for hen parties. If your gang already knows their strobing from their contouring, you could organise an eye-makeup party for your group, for €25 euro a head, and ensure the gals have perfect peepers. Or for €60 you can go for the works and get a full makeup service plus a dry hair re-style (think boho braids or some curling). For a group of four or more you’ll get a private powdering room in the studio which you can decorate for the hen. Expect to find brands like YSL, Charlotte Tilbury and MAC in the artist’s kit. It could be a good opportunity to try some new brands without the purchase pressure and test-drive their staying power on your night out. It’s also a gorgeous, soho inspired studio. Bright, airy and includes a selfie light to ensure you get those ‘gram photos nailed. For bookings contact Emma and the team directly here.
If you’re organising a hen party for a bride to be who you know is much more into aesthetics than assault courses, a day with the bffs spent dedicated to dolling up is definitely worth considering. The bride can have a ball and try out some new looks with the ladies, and there’s the added bonus of removing the stress of having to get ready in a hurry. For the glamorous bride to be, organising an activity that leaves the gals ready for cocktails and cameras can be a real hen winner.
If any of you ladies have tried the above venues or can recommend more, please leave your comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts. x
If you’re looking for a hen party activity idea with a stylish feel, then hat making with Aoife Harrison is right up your street. Based in Dublin, the talented and lovely Aoife will show you and your group how to create your own fascinator or simple hat.
This is the ideal hen weekend activity for a bride who loves fashion or hats (obvs!). This is also great if you just want to learn some new skills or for a work / team building event. It’s a great activity to combine with a day at the races in Leopardstown or the Horse Show in Ballsbridge.
We asked Aoife to tell us why she thinks this is a great hen party activity. Read on to see the 6 reasons why this hat making hen party in Dublin ideal for you and your hen crew.
Location Location Location!
We are based in the centre of Dublin, we are 5 minutes from Grafton Street to we are easy for a hen party to get to and its a close to town if they are going for a meal or drinks after! We can also travel to a hen party anywhere in Ireland if the party isnt in Dublin.
No Experience Necessary
Nobody needs any prior experience to do this. All we use is a needle and thread and we give a demonstration at the beginning. We are there to assist the group make their piece.
Age is only a number
Its suitable for all ages. We would actually say that it’s suitable for ages 12-80! Sometimes hen parties like to include family members on part of the day and this is a great activity that works for all ages groups.
Creative juice buzz
Everyone leaves with their own creation. People sometimes worry that they might not be creative but this is activity shows that everyone can make their own unique piece. You are learning something new at this class and you can go away with the knowledge of how to make your own headpiece.
The workshops is €50pp and this includes prosecco and nibbles along with all the materials you will use in the class. Plus, the bride or guest of honour goes free!
It’s the perfect opportunity to make your headpiece for the upcoming wedding. It’s an amazing feeling when you are wearing something you created yourself.
Hat making hen parties are available with Aoife in Dublin for €50pp and the bride goes free. Aoife offers this in her Dublin 2 studio and she also offers mobile hat making party options. Click here to contact her.
Check out these amazing photos from the Downton Abbey Experience for these lovely ladies last week! I think the pictures show how much fun this quirky and different hen party activity is. The dream for the Downton Abbey Obsessed Bride! It lasts 3 hours with an hour and a half of playing games and then a gorgeous afternoon tea spread. The Downton Abbey Hen Party Experience costs €50pp and is available to book via Bash here.
The mothers of the bride and groom may not always be up for raucous hen party activities like pole-dancing or drawing a naked male model (although some are!), but that doesn’t mean they have to be left out of your pre-wedding celebrations. A lot of brides now organise a separate low-key event to involve the happy couple’s mothers and other female relatives. It can be a lovely way for the women of both families to get to know each other better before the big day. And come on, if you’re only supposed to get this “bride to be” experience once so you need to milk it! Mum’s the word: How to host a hen fit for your mother-in-law!
1. Spa day
As the most important guests after the bride and groom, the mammies deserve a bit of pre-wedding pampering. For laid-back luxury in the beautiful surrounds of Enniskerry, check out the spa packages at the chic Rainforest Spa at Summerhill House Hotel. You can start the day with a glass of Prosecco and afternoon tea, or book an overnight package with dinner to really get away from it all and enjoy some quality time.
2. Memory Lane
Host a get-together at home that will really help the in-laws to bond. Ask the guests to dig out their old photo albums or home videos of the bride and groom and have a giggle sharing childhood tales. You can always have a sneaky peek of the pics beforehand and hide the really cringeworthy ones if you like!
3. Time for tea
It’s hard to beat the old school charm of an afternoon tea enjoyed in an opulent setting. Or, if you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, most spa hotels can arrange for you to take your tea in the comfort of your bathrobe after a relaxing treatment. Some of our favourite afternoon tea spots in Ireland include: the luxurious lounge in Dublin’s Westbury Hotel, Gregan’s Castle in the beautiful Burren, and the vintage-chic Ballyvolane House in Cork. Or bring the tea party to you with these great mobile options.
4. Cocktail party
Glamorous mammies, (and even grannies!), will enjoy getting dressed up to the nines for a good old-fashioned cocktail party. Every woman loves a bit of Sex and the City! The Vintage Cocktail Club in Temple Bar is top of our list with its exclusive setting and relaxed, vintage vibe. Other classy cocktail joints around the country include Tribeton or the House Hotel in Galway, and Suas rooftop bar or Long Island in Cork. If your mum is more of a sherry or port fan, the candlelit Copper Room in Limerick will be right up her street. Or check out this BYO cocktail option in Dublin.
5. Wine and dine
Pop on your glad rags and enjoy an evening of fine dining and good company at a top restaurant. Some ladies of a certain age may have rather traditional tastes in food, so it might be a good idea to check that the menu appeals to everyone before booking! Also do your research on your chosen restaurant’s atmosphere –when organising a fun night out with a group you’ll want somewhere on the livelier side.
Getting crafty with your gal pals has never been more fun. Around Ireland there are fun workshops popping up from learning the art of graffiti to making your very own silver ring. Some even include prosecco and food so you can keep all happy. Here are 5 ideas for cool craft workshops in Ireland. These are perfect for activities to do with friends on a hen party or an excuse for sunday funday.
Teaming crafting with cocktails sounds like a super fun session to us, especially when it’s BYO cocktails! What does this mean we hear you ask? BYO cocktails are when you bring your own alcohol (so vodka, gin, rum, whiskey – whatever your tipple) and your very own cocktails are mixed for you by some cool and very skilled mixologists. This means that everyone gets to drink their preferred drink. The crafting option is up to you. You can decorate knickers or a garter OR make some fun headwear. This cool activity (very apt for your hen party) is available in Dublin. Check out more details here. You can also skip the crafting and just go for the BYO cocktails!
Here you get to make your very own ring! Design and sculpt your own unique ring from jewellers wax and enjoy a tasty lunch with prosecco. At the end of the class, you can choose to have your ring professionally finished and posted to you. You can choose silver or upgrade to gold if you prefer. The Carve Workshops can take place in Tribeton in Galway city or within 200kms of Galway. Grace covers Dublin so it’s a great option for a hen party or for a group of ladies who want to do something different. You can contact and book with Grace directly on Bash.
Flower crown making is the ultimate boho chic hen party activity. Enjoy an afternoon making a crown of gorgeous, seasonal wildflowers. Sophie is based in Sligo but her workshops can take place all over the country. Sophie is an amazing horticulturalist and can even decorate your venue to make it really special. Workshops in Sligo can be held in a funky cafe or a sleek art gallery. Homemade treats are included and groups are welcome to bring their own beverages. Later on, wear your handmade creations for a bohemian-themed night on the town! You can enquire with Sophie directly on Bash here.
This definitely on the list for the alternative or badass bride! This cool and quirky workshop by All Out Design takes place in a funky warehouse studio in Dublin where you can learn the art of graffiti. Street art experts will show you how to create a graffiti tag, how to spraypaint a stencil and finally how to create your very own graffiti piece. Your group will enjoy a glass of prosecco along with excellent pizza to enjoy while you admire your creations. Very cool.
Collars come in and out of fashion but are always stylish. Create an on-trend accessory that you can wear again and again in this unique Dublin based workshop that will teach you how to make and decorate a Peter Pan collar. Develop your dressmaking skills by making a wool felt collar from scratch using a pattern. All materials are supplied and you can bring your own Prosecco to enjoy while you sew. Find out more here.
If you’re planning a hen do for a traditional bride-to-be, why not switch things up a bit with a 2017 twist? Bring some sass to an afternoon tea with a drop of gin, or up your spa-game with a ‘Glamp n Pamp’ experience with Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans. Sound good? We thought so! Here are 5 traditional hen party activities with a twist.
Hotel du Vin’s gin-inspired afternoon tea is a must for any hen party’s to-do list. The tea kicks off with a selection of mini sandwiches and savouries, followed by a delicious array of scones, cakes and candy floss (yes, candy floss). Their Gin and Tonic pairings are perfectly matched by Fever-Tree, allowing you to discover a new, exciting array of glorious gin concoctions! Excited? Us too! Check it out here
Take regular glamping to the next level in luxury with Mad Dogs & Vintage Vans new ‘Glamp n Pamp’ experience! The boutique eco glampsite is situated in the heart of the Wye Valley, and guests get to stay in four vintage caravans while a shower shack is located nearby with hot water on demand. Discover a range of luxurious, rejuvenating treatments, including hot stone massages, detox facials, reflexology and foot scrubs, all amongst a truly wonderful setting. Find out more here
For the activity, fitness loving bride, 1Rebel’s new and exclusive bridal sessions will have your hen party planning nailed! A £40 package can offer one 1Rebel session of your choice (be it the Ride, Reshape or Rumble session), a blow dry at Barber + Blow, a superfood bellini, mini prosecco bottles and some decorations to make it even more special! Get in contact with 1Rebel here
Turn up the style-dial on your afternoon tea with Voltaire! This cool cocktail and champagne bar in the city offers an alternative twist on the traditional afternoon tea by teaming it with cocktails! Hurrah! Three miniature cocktails accompany each course and include everything from Pumpkin with Rosemary Infused Vodka to a Hendricks, Elderflower and Cucumber Martini! Plan your party with Voltaire here
For the yoga-loving bride, discover bhuti, a wellbeing retreat in the heart of Richmond. Offering bespoke bhuti hen dos which include an hour and a half of gorgeous treatments, a full day of pampering, yoga classes, access to the exclusive members lounge and lunch in their fabulous vegan kitchen, your bride-to-be will be over the moon! Get in touch with Bhuti here