Dusk Masthead

Canberra’s new blow dry bar – emphasis on bar!

Emma Macdonald

What could be better than glamming up for a night out with a blow dry and professional makeup?

How about doing it while sitting at a marble and concrete bar on Lonsdale Street in Braddon sipping on champagne?

Saloon gets our applause for the most perfect name. Part hair and beauty salon, it will offer all the latest beauty treatments—from full make-up, spray-tanning, cosmetic tattooing, waxing, tinting, and lash-lifting—as well as hair washing and blow dries aplenty.

But with the salon wrapping itself around a large and elegant bar stocking local wines and French champagnes, it is also a place you can come simply for a drink and chat. Salon/Saloon— either way book us a seat, please!

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Glam-squad owners Sarah Wright and Jaki Bradley (above) are preparing for their October 31 launch after stocking up some impressive career experience between them.

Sarah is a degree-qualified photographer and worked on film internationally before making the transition to makeup artist, and later hair stylist.

She has many years working for Mecca Cosmetica, also studied with Toni and Guy and is the business planner of the venture.

Jaki is a fully-qualified beauty therapist and cosmetic tattoo artist – ready to take you to your best version of brow, eyeliner and lip tattooing including using the latest in less-invasive digital tattooing. Obsessed with makeup, Jaki has spent five years as a colour specialist at Mecca Cosmetica and is your go-to girl for skincare and makeup expertise.

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Together, Sarah and Jaki have taken the plunge to open the city’s first walk-in blow dry and make-up bar that will cater to everything from weddings and formals, to hen’s nights, birthdays, and one-off events where women want to present their most professional face. Even a simple case of having a bad hair day can be fixed with a quick 20-minute appointment. And let’s face it, a Friday night dinner with friends can be that much more fun with a professionally-applied smoky eye.

“We want it to have a very fun and relaxed vibe and for the bar to be the central focus. Sometimes the best bit about getting ready is sipping a wine with friends and chatting while you do your makeup and we will have that same excitement and energy in here,” says Sarah.

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While the pair envisage taking bookings for events, their central location on Lonsdale Street – in the former Peachy Keen shoe shop – means they are also preparing to take in passing traffic from anyone deciding on an impromptu freshen up to their look.

“We’d love for people to wander in and chat and then get a quick blow dry, or have a fresh makeup for the day or night,” says Jaki.

Saloon will be open from 10-6pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-8pm Thursdays and 10-7pm Friday and Saturday.

Depending on how busy it is, Saloon will try and take as many walk-in appointments around their bookings.

“Even if people are not sure, they can pop in, have a chat, maybe have a drink and if they want to experiment with a makeup look we are there to help,” says Sarah.

Clients will be encouraged to start or finish their various treatments with a glass of sparkling and no one will be rushed in or out of appointments.

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Selfies will also be encouraged with a bank of Hollywood lights. Meanwhile, Sarah’s photography qualifications mean that those who want to immortalise their new looks can have a professional capture them then and there.

Taking that a step further, the pair will also offer makeup tutorials and group classes for all those who have wanted to learn the tricks of the trade from experts – with the event photographed for posterity – and Instagram.

When it comes to hair styles, the girls are asking you to bring out your inner 90’s supermodel by choosing one of the memorable looks—Cindy Crawford volume, Naomi Campbell sleek and straight up, ‘I woke up with hair like this’ Kate Moss, Elle Macpherson’s cascading curls or Linda Evangelista short and dramatic.

With everyone currently obsessing about brows, Jaki can offer everything from a wax and tint, to henna, to digital tattooing. She can provide consultations to anyone wanting to take their makeup to the next and more permanent level.

Saloon prices range from $50 for a wash and blow-dry to $100 for a full-makeup including lashes.

the essentials

What: Saloon Blow Dry Bar
Where: 53/30 Lonsdale Street Braddon.
Hours: 10-6pm Tuesday-Wednesday, 10-8pm Thursdays, 10-7pm Friday to Saturday.
Website: www.saloon.com.au

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Emma Macdonald

Emma Macdonald has been writing about Canberra and its people for more than 20 years, winning numerous awards for her journalism – including a Walkley or two – along the way. Canberra born and bred, she’s fiercely loyal to the city, tribally inner-north, and relieved the rest of the country is finally recognising Canberra’s cool and creative credentials.

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