Just before my graduation, my friend Melissa messaged me to ask for local hair salon recommendations.
I couldn’t remember the last time I had visited a salon. I would usually get my hair cut twice a year by my sister, who was formerly a hairdresser.
That being said, I had followed Altar on Instagram for a while and loved the vibe of their salon and their finished looks. I told Melissa that I hadn’t been. but if I was going to book in anywhere, it would be here.
I did exactly that a few weeks later and headed into the salon one evening after work. Altar is quite literally around the corner from where I work in the Cultural Quarter, so it is super convenient for me to book an appointment after my shift.
Melanie is an absolute megababe – totally chill and great to chat with. She’s the kind of girl you feel like you’ve known forever and I love a good natter while getting my hair done.
I got a wash, cut, blowdry and style for £27.50 and left the salon feeling six inches of hair lighter, bouncier and sassier.
I booked in for a second appointment this week, and had the same again – just to tidy my hair up for my holiday. The salon decor is beautiful – filled with fairy lights and prints and murals from local artists Katrina Wilde and Chloe Breeze. It’s definitely my kinda vibe.
The Davine products used on my hair smell incredible (particularly the hair spray) and the whole experience is so relaxing and chilled.
I also, very excitedly, booked in for a manicure.
Bear Beauty Studio, run by Castle in the Stars owner Leanne, recently opened inside Altar.
Leanne is a graphic designer, so really, is there anyone better to create incredible designs on your mani?
When I told her this, Leanne admitted she was nervous about people thinking a graphic designer couldn’t possibly do nails, but said: “Now I just see it as a different canvas – it’s still art!”
Personally, I couldn’t have agreed more. I booked my appointment weeks ago and have been stalking her designs on Instagram ever since.
I had previously been wearing acrylics done at Nails by Annabel, which had caused a few weak nails that had snapped, but the rest of my naturals were in pretty god condition.
On both of my thumbs and one pinky, Leanne applied a gel-x extension, which is a soft gel nail extension, to make all of my nails the same length,
After prepping, buffing, tidying and filing my nails, Leanne made a start of the design I had sent her for inspo by one of her fave nail artists @beautyworksbyamy.
It was quite an abstract design with negative space and animal prints that I had been looking at getting for a while. Leanne was the perfect person for the job.
She used The Gel Bottle shades in Peony and Candy, as well as a black and white to create the design featuring half moons, leopard, cow and zebra print and some leafy designs.
After around an hour and a half, my beautiful set was completed with some NAF cherry cuticle oil (which smells incredibleeee).
I left with an adorable Bear branded envelope containing a loyalty card, branded aftercare sheet and 10% off voucher which was a gorgeous touch. It’s the little things that make the biggest difference to an experience.
I had the best few hours at the salon and I think it’s really important to take that time out for a pamper sometimes. Massive thank you to Mel and Leanne at Altar and Bear Beauty Studio for making me fabulous for my holiday!
Check out my IGTV video below of the salon.