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The Covent Garden Salon, London

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  • 3.0 star rating
    24/8/2014

    Slightly hit and miss.

    1) a deluxe shellac manicure took over an hour and started to chip after three days.

    2) I've been here for a bikini wax many times and the staff turnover seems really high! One of the assistants left me feeling rather patchy, whereas the most recent beautician did a great job.

    3) Last time I came here I had booked online for a 1pm appointment. I turned up and was asked to take a seat, and then given a cup of tea. The tea was so piping hot I couldn't actually drink it. Then, another person turns up and gets taken downstairs before me... I presume they double-booked as I had to wait an extra ten minutes after my scheduled appointment to be seen to.

    As another reviewer has mentioned, the prices are actually quite steep for the quality of service you get.

    As such, I now to go a nearby Splash salon which is significantly cheaper for shellac manicures and tends to offer a slightly more consistent experience each time I make a repeat visit.

  • 1.0 star rating
    28/10/2010
    First to Review

    I was just in this salon for a "deluxe" manicure. I am now at home, really put out by my experience.

    When I stopped by yesterday to see if I could have a manicure, I was asked what kind: express or deluxe. I said I wanted my cuticles seen to and was told that could only be done in the deluxe manicure which takes one hour and costs £35. Although that seemed a bit steep for a manicure I agreed.  

    Then I was told there was no possibility to fit me in yesterday but today there would be time. I asked for the first appointment after lunch and was given a one o'clock slot. I said then that was okay but that I would definitely have to be out by two o'clock as I had to depart for a media appearance by 2:15 from my flat in Maiden Lane.

    When I arrived for my appointment at 1 pm today, there seemed to be no one in the shop but myself and the receptionist, who was taking a call on the telephone. I stood there for five minutes while she took several other calls, then finally told me to sit down on the couch. I reminded her at that time that I would HAVE to leave by 2, as I had to be at another appointment. She said that would be fine.

    At no time did she or anyone else offer to take my coat or bags, or offer me a sip of water or tea or indeed, anything. After another five minutes sitting on the couch a young woman appeared from the back and asked me to come in. She did not offer to take my coat or give me water, either, so I stuffed my coat and scarf into my shopping bags.

    She got me to choose my colour, but the one I picked seemed to be not to her taste so I asked for her recommendation and she picked a pale natural pink opaque shade. I thought "why not" and we began.

    She sat me down at the manicure table and started to file my nails after asking how I wanted them done. Then she realized that she had seated me on the wrong side of the table, and that the things she needed were in the cupboard on my side, so asked me to change sides with her. I thought that a bit odd, but did so. Does she not usually work there?

    As she worked I couldn't help but notice that the file she used on my nails had been used previously, but decided not to say anything about it. The tools also did not look any too clean or sterile, which did worry me.

    She left quite a lot of my cuticle unclipped, in my opinion. And for a "deluxe" manicure, the water she soaked my hand in was cold, she did not make any attempt to put lotion on my hands and forearms as is usual in my experience, and there was no hand or lower arm massage given, also what one would expect from the special, higher-cost, £35 deluxe treatment.

    The nail varnish was applied far too thickly, in big globby drops. I thought to myself, that's never going to dry, unless they maybe have one of those fancy ultraviolet lights with warm fan things, and even then it's dicey. And no, there was only the normal small electric fan for me to wave my fingers back and forth in front of, which was not enough warmth or light or air to dry such a thick layer of paint. The fan, which was aimed at my face, went up my nose, made my throat hurt and made me cough, and as I had been given no water or tea, there was nothing to drink to ease the discomfort. I finally turned the fan away myself with my wet nails because by this time, the technician was working on her next customer.

    My one-hour manicure began at quarter past the hour (and there weren't any clients ahead of me, so I don't know what the hold-up was) and finished (because there WAS another client after me at 2 pm) 45 minutes later, at which point I was left on my own with the fan.

    I had to leave and of course the globby thick polish came off on the first thing my fingers touched, which was my leather handbag. I was simply furious at the way I was treated at this salon, and now in addition to being late, I had to stop at Boots on the way home to buy nail varnish remover and cotton pads so I could take the mess off my fingernails as I walked through the Covent Garden market!

    I now have rough uneven cuticles and no polish and will have to go to some other salon in hopes of getting a decent job done.

    I regularly visit Los Angeles and Vancouver and have gotten manicures at all these locations. This one was by far, by a long, long country mile, the worst one I have ever had.

    UPDATE: I had a reply email and a telephone call from the owner, Fernando Leon. He apologized profusely and insisted on refunding my £35 for the manicure. He told me the girl who did the work is new and has had trouble learning the job and would be fired. I told him I didn't want her to lose her job, but he said it was not the first time she had let them and their customers down. I'm sad about that, and now feel the salon is worth trying again since they went out of their way to make it right. But I hope they give her another chance.

  • 1.0 star rating
    3/1/2011

    I went there only once.

    I thought it would be a great place for me because I could get my hair done and get waxed in the same place.

    The hair was okay, but I've had much better, but the waxing was terrible. The person waxing me was openly talking about her sex life which made me really uncomfortable (true story...)
    And apparently she didn't know what she was doing because my hair grew back in no time like if I had shaved it and not waxed.

    They didn't even give me a student discount because it was the wrong day or something.

    They are over price and incompetent....

  • 3.0 star rating
    17/5/2012

    It seems The Covent Garden Salon has sorted out some of their issues since others have reviewed.  A colleague of mine went here a few days ago for a Shellac manicure and had a good experience so I figured I would try it.

    I was able to book pretty last minute, but was only able to get the 'express' service, which doesn't tend to your cuticles.  As it's been three weeks since my last Shellac, I was a bit on the desperate side so I took it.  I can deal with cuticles on my own.

    The salon was clean and they got me settled in a timely fashion.  The woman who did my nails (I didn't get a name, sorry) was very nice, and did a very good job.  She definitely took care with what she was doing and I was pleased with the results.  

    I thought the price was a bit much - £50 for an express Shellac, but it's a pricey neighborhood, so I shouldn't be surprised.

  • 1.0 star rating
    4/10/2011

    I should have read the other reviews before i made the appointment. When i walked in at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon, the place was disconcertingly empty. Despite the complete absence of clientele, I was waiting for so long that in the end I left.

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From the business

Specialties

We offer Cutting-edge Hair Cuts & Styling, Wella & L'Oreal Colouring, "Racoon" Natural Hair Extensions, "Yuko" Permanent Hair Straightening and Brazilian Permanent Blow Dry (Keratin).

Our Beauty For Her and Male-Grooming For Him include: Waxing & Sugaring Hair Removal, Fake Bake Spray Tanning, St Tropez Tanning, Bikini Waxing (Brazilians & Hollywood's), Male Waxing (Boyzilians ), Crystal Clear MicroDermabrasion and Oxygen Therapy, Crystal Clear Anti-Cellulite treatments, Dermalogica Facials and Body Treatments, Eyelash Tinting, Perming and Perfect Eyelash Extensions. Swedish, Aromatherapy, Hot Stone and Deep Tissue Massages, Shellac Nails, Bio-Sculpture Gel Nails, Manicures and Pedicures, "Universal Contour Wrap," the smart way to loose those extra inches. New: Ellipse Laser Permanent Hair Reduction, Skin Rejuvenation & Acne Treatments. Plus Gift Vouchers available, the perfect gift!!

History

Established in 2002.

The Soho Salon and The Covent Garden Salon are professional, unisex, friendly, stylish hair and beauty salons, which have been awarded five stars by the "Good Salon Guide".

Meet the Manager

Alastair G.
Alastair G. Manager

Friendly & Professional