Manchester’s blow-dry and make-up bars tried and tested – where to get party ready this Christmas

It’s December, and we’re hurtling headlong into the Christmas party season.

Whether it be a work Christmas do or a friendly festive gathering, now is the time you’ll be dusting off the gladrags and possibly thinking of getting someone else to do the hard work of making your hair and make-up look presentable.

Luckily, here in Manchester there’s a whole host of one-stop beauty shops where you can get your party hair AND make-up sorted by professionals in one go.

The female members of the I Love Manchester team headed out to test four of these wonder-salons in Manchester. Here are the results…

Blowout by Kate London, Spinningfields

Rhian before and after at Blowout by Kate London

Tested by Rhian Sugden

What’s the salon like?

Next door to 20 Stories and the brand new Ivy on Spinningfields, it’s a great location for anyone who wants to go straight out after being glammed up.  It’s a bright and airy salon, with fabulous décor as glamorous as a cocktail bar.  You sit at the bar while getting your hair blown, sipping a glass of champagne.

What are the hair and make-up options?

Upon arrival you are handed a menu which includes the most popular blow styles: The Blowout – smooth tresses with lots of body; Death in the Afternoon (fun and flirty with plenty of bounce), Black Velvet (skyscraper straight with the best straightening irons on the case), and French 75 (sultry tousled bed head).

Make-up options are endless. I went in not really knowing what I wanted but the make-up artist was very helpful. The heavier make-up look seems to be in at the moment, but that wasn’t something I wanted. I got glam but not too heavy.  Eyelashes are included at no extra cost.

How much is it?

Wash and blow dry is priced at £30 or £33 with hair extensions.

Make-up is £40, fake eyelashes are included.

Do you get any extras?

A complementary glass of champagne is included in the price. You can buy further glasses of fizz for £5.


My hair stayed big for most of the night and the make-up would have lasted another day if I hadn’t taken it off.  My hair has a tendency to drop quite quickly so they must have miracle hair-drying equipment. I’ll definitely be back!

The Blowout Kate London, No 1 Spinningfields, Quay Street, insta: @Blowoutmcr

Blow at Debenhams, Market Street

Tested by Louise Rhind-Tutt

What’s the salon like?

Blow Ltd has a salon on the ground floor of Debenhams on Market Street as well as mobile stylists who can visit your home or office. They’re open from 7am in the week making it easy to pop in before work, and pride themselves on express services including hair, nails or make-up in 30 mins.

What are the hair and make-up options?

A menu includes six blow-dry options – luxe (big and bouncy curls), starlet waves (old-school Hollywood glam), beach waves, power blow (lots of volume), straight blow, and smooth, and a choice of three “up dos”.

You can choose between four classic make-up looks – cocktail (retro chic with red lips and liquid eyeliner), a golden look (healthy and shimmery), a party look (bold, defined eyes), or a smokey. You can tailor them if you’d prefer something in-between, or go for a fast fix of just eye make-up.

How much is it?

Fast fix prices – braids, eye make-up or mini manicure – are £15 for 15 mins. A wash and blow, make-up or classic mani are £25 for 30 mins.

The signature package (blow dry and make-up) is £45 for 60 mins. Party lashes are an extra £10, and it’s an extra £10 for long hair or extensions.


I was delighted with the result. I’ve never felt so glamorous, and it lasted really well even after heading out in the Manchester rain afterwards!

Blow Ltd, Debenhams, Market Street, M60 1TA, w: 

Barn//It, John Dalton Street

Tested by Georgina Pellant

Georgina before and after at Barn//It

What’s the salon like?

More than just a hair salon, barn/it offers everything under one roof from massage and beauty treatments to hair styling, make up and holistic therapies. You can even meet with a nutritionist to discuss improving your diet.

What are the hair and make-up options?

Straight, wavy, blow dry with hair up or Brazilian for super-smooth locks.

With make-up, the sky’s the limit. I had a smoky eye look with contouring, but their in-house make up artist is proficient in lots of styles and is happy to replicate a style you like or help you find something new to suit you.

How much is it?

Just Eyes and Lashes – £35
Make-up & Dry Style – £45
Make-up & Blow dry – £55, you can add Lashes for £10

Do you get any extras?

All prices include a complimentary glass of prosecco or cocktail from the salon’s own mixologist.


I was really apprehensive to have this done and although the end result is pretty different to my usual style, I surprised myself by really enjoying the experience. It was lovely to be pampered, the whole team were so helpful and the whole look stayed put throughout the evening.

Barn/it, New Church House, John Dalton Street, M2 6LE, w:

House of Evelyn, Spring Gardens

Dianne before and after at House of Evelyn

Tested by Dianne Bourne

What’s the salon like?

About as glitzy as it gets with a huge chandelier at the centre and blingy gold decor wherever you look.  You feel like you’re on a film set!  House of Evelyn also offers a comprehensive range of beauty treatments and hair services, as well as the blow-dry and make-up we tried.

What are the hair and make-up options?

You can have a traditional blow dry, Brazilian, or curly wand big hair (which I went for), and a range of make-up options. On my visit I went for the salon’s 60 minute makeover package where they work on your hair and make-up at the same time for a super-quick look to get you ready for your do.

How much is it?

The 60 minute makeover (for hair and make-up) is priced at £59.

If you’d prefer to book for individual treatments, blow dries start at £25, while party make-up is £35, plus £5 if you want fake eyelashes as well.

Do you get any extras?

You are offered a complimentary glass of prosecco or hot beverage of choice on arrival.


I loved how quick it all was as they really did do it all in 60 minutes, and it feels like a real treat in an opulent setting inside the salon. My hair stayed big and bouncy all night, and while the make-up was a little heavier than I would normally go for, I did love the smokey eye look.

House of Evelyn – House of Hair and Beauty, 40 Spring Gardens, M2 1EN, w:


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