When you’ve got a special occasion coming up and you want to look ?, getting your hair, nails or makeup done professionally can take some of the pressure off. All you have to do is sit there and read Twitter while someone makes you look ten times better than you could have managed with all the YouTube tutorials in the world. Even more conveniently, mobile beauty therapists can come to your house, so you don’t have to leave the sofa.
As with most things, a raft of Uber-style apps are making that service even easier to come by, and The Glam App is the latest one to hit London. Founded in the US, it’s available in 19 locations there and just crossed the Atlantic. It covers zones 1-6 and offers hair, nail and makeup services at a place you choose – perfect for us lazy beauty addicts.
You choose from a limited menu of style options, and it’s not entirely clear what each one includes. I went for the Smoky Eye, but it’s not obvious whether that only includes eye makeup or whether it’s a full face deal:
That’s all the information you get. I ended up asking my stylist once I’d booked, and she explained that it does include the rest of your makeup – but it should really be detailed in the app.
There are three levels of stylist available: graduate (BSG), mid-level (JRS) and senior (VIP), and prices vary accordingly. However, if you’re lucky, you might get a higher-level stylist than you pay for, depending who’s available. I booked the junior level and got a senior stylist, which was a bonus!
Booking an appointment
You can either book for ‘ASAP’ or specify a time. Your request is then sent out to available stylists and you get confirmation when one’s accepted. I tested the app by making a zone 1 booking in the very early hours of Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon and got a confirmation within minutes, but for trickier times and places it might not be so straightforward. The app doesn’t say anywhere what hours stylists work from and to (unlike rivals Blow Ltd, who specify “7am ’til late” – although they only cover zones 1-2) so it’s not clear whether you could theoretically book an appointment for 3am. This probably means you could put the request in, but wouldn’t be likely to get a stylist to accept.
Booking is a bit of a pain at the moment. The app asks you to type in your address which it then matches to a database – and if it doesn’t find it, there’s nothing you can do. The error message advises you to pick a nearby address and then put your actual address in the comments, which is rubbish. Also, once I did that, I got a message saying comments weren’t working at the moment, and I’d have to email them instead. Not good.
Also, the text confirmation said 04:00 and made me panic that I’d accidentally booked for 4am – but they meant 4pm, thankfully.
My stylist Belén turned up bang on time at 4pm, pulling a huge trolley of beauty goodies. She didn’t mind at all that I wanted her to work in my bedroom (the joys of London flatshares) and got right to work. She asked lots of questions throughout about exactly what I wanted, which meant I got exactly the result I was after – she checked with me at every step to make sure I was happy.
I chose a purple smoky eye with a more neutral lip, and from a base of no makeup ended up with this gorgeous creation:
Then it was time for me to style my hair, get dressed and head out. It’s not clear in the app whether you can book someone to combine services, ie get your hair and makeup done at the same time – it’d be useful to do both at once.
The app says that all services take 60 minutes, but Belén actually worked on me for twice that. Considering the fee is fixed, that’s amazing dedication to the job – and was more than likely because we were chatting and joking the entire time. My housemate thought I had a friend over because we were laughing so much!
Once your appointment is done, you get an email receipt, and the app asks for a star rating, optional written feedback and whether you’d like to leave a tip for your stylist. If you liked your stylist, there’s an option within the app to book them again, and they also have a booking code they can give you if you want to recommend them to someone. However, it might not be as easy to get a specific stylist at the time you need them – they might be busy, or not working.
Aside from the booking issues, making an appointment with The Glam App was easy-peasy and I got someone awesome at the time and place I wanted. She did a great job and I’d gladly book again.
I’ve also had my nails done by a Glam App stylist (albeit at a PR event) and again I was pretty happy with the result on my poor unloved nails:
Prices for The Glam App are similar to Blow Ltd’s, and cheaper in some cases depending on the level of stylist. Blow offer 30 minute appointments for makeup, whereas Glam’s are an hour, and they cover a wider area of London. However, you can’t combine services, whereas Blow offers makeup and blow dry packages.
Like Blow Ltd, The Glam App is available on iOS and Android. Which one works better for you will depend on whereabouts in London you are, what service you need and which phone you have, but we really like The Glam App and will be reaching for it next time we want to look smokin’ without, you know, actually trying.
Main image: iStock/Milan Markovic