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.
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