I think I may be at my happiest after a good manicure. I know it’s cliché, but if you know me at all you’ll know I’m not actually the biggest beauty queen, and yet I feel so good when my nails are done.
So, just over a week ago I visited the Cowshed Beauty Salon on Carnaby Street. I’d sauntered past the window a few times before, not quite daring to go in, thinking there was always a better time to visit, a time when I need real R&R.
That time came in the form of my sister’s brief visit to London, where we hit the spa, and then went for matching manicures.
Getting to know Cowshed
I’ve not yet featured Cowshed on the blog before, but I don’t quite know why! They hold the same ideals I would if I ran a beauty business: holistic approach, sustainable ingredients, no animal by-products (save for organic beeswax and honey) and no testing on animals.
Alongside their balanced approach, the aesthetic of their salons is reminiscent of a twee independent boutique in a pretty market town. All they’re missing are window boxes full of giant daisies and perhaps a relocation to Oxford or Cambridge!
On the day
First off, I’d like to thank the Carnaby Street team for being so understanding when it came to our booking. My sister and I got stuck in the underground during the recent snow, and we were getting close to our appointment time, so I emailed and asked if it could be changed. The manager was quick to offer a later slot – which we gratefully accepted.
When we did (finally) arrive, we were sat at the large wooden table in the middle of the store to fill out consent forms, and go over any health issues with a member of staff.
Then we were led to the back, where we sat back in the large green recliners and were tucked in with a cushion that we could lay our hands on. We were both given a choice of herbal teas (I’m going through a berry tea phase so obviously went for their wild berry blend) which came in little teapots with matching cups.
Our manicurists then started work on our hands with a little bit of small talk in-between. It was really pleasant, having my polish removed, hands massaged and moisturised, cuticles trimmed and new polish applied. I quite literally need to be tied down to truly relax, so this was the perfect time for me to let my mind wonder – no screens, no distractions.
I came away very happy, with neatly-shaped almond nails polished with two coats of Peach & Love, a warm pink that complements my skin tone. My sister went for a dusky purple shade, and we both really enjoyed laying back chatting while our nails dried – something we haven’t done since we lived at home as teenagers!