Beauty apps have hit the market hard, with advertisements all over bus stops and underground billboards. We are a society of convenience and speed, why shouldn’t our salon appointments be as simple as we want them? The Haute Heel team has set out to find the best mobile beauty apps available in London so you don’t have to waste your time reading hundreds of mixed opinions. This week, Carmen reviews mobile beauty app Blow LTD, a beauty platform that also operates in Manchester and Birmingham. The services include OPI nails (from £35), massages (from £60), hair (from £39), makeup (from £50) and spray tans (from £49), including group packages for those get-ready-at-mine nights.
I go for a massage or a facial about once a month, alternating between the two treatments. Blow offers the same 60 minute Decleor facial as a salon near my home. The price I usually pay (as I book last minute) is £58.50 through Treatwell, which is usually £65. The price on the app is £75, but I received a first time user discount so it came to £52.50. Pretty good deal if you’ve just signed up. The Decleor facial was slightly differently to the one at my local spa. The therapist said that they receive different training and use different products from the range e.g. dry exfoliator (mobile) vs scrub (in-store). Overall, it was a good experience. I mean I was so relaxed that I fell asleep promptly after she started…
In terms of the user experience, everything was easy with Blow. However, the treatment reviews have a simple ‘5 star rating’ where unfortunately, you can’t see any written feedback when selecting your therapist. Once the treatment is done, there is an easy ‘rebook’ button on the app to organise another session. The drawback is that it doesn’t give the option to choose the same person. There is also an option of cancelling free of charge up to 12 hours before my appointment. I haven’t used other apps before but I’m a regular customer of Treatwell. In comparison, the images on the Blow app is predominantly ‘white’ and ‘perfect’ whereas I’d prefer to see images of ‘real’ people of different sizes, skin tones etc.
The payment options are limited to card payments (no double-click for Apple Pay), and had to be inputted manually as opposed to a mobile scan. I’d also like to see the option of adding the booking to your calendar, which Treatwell has. I experienced some glitches where the app would crash or return to the home screen when it shouldn’t. After I paid, there was no confirmation page, instead I had to track it down under ‘Bookings’. Next, I received two emails: first confirming the booking request and second confirming the appointment itself, along with the steps to get my home ready. You also won’t receive your Pro’s details (the therapist) until 24 hours before the appointment. The booking status on the app was confusing, it showed a name as well as, ‘currently searching for a professional’. The mixed message is somewhat disconcerting.
Would you book again?
On the day of my treatment, the beautician was one hour late. However, I received a call from the app letting me know and I was credited with £15 for my next appointment. For the reliability factor and to ensure I get the beautician I’m familiar with, I prefer my local salon.
What does the therapist say?
The therapist used to work at a salon but wanted the freedom to work on her own terms and during hours that she set. She noted that Blow was ‘not perfect’ and still in need of development. However, she likes the platform because despite the lack of security checks for its customers, they hold client data and this provides a feeling of security for her. The company takes a 50% cut, which means she is left with very little, however she says she’s only half a year into freelancing so doesn’t mind.
She also felt that there should be specialised treatment for those with reduced mobility or other special concerns. She had a client who was immobilised but Blow didn’t advise her of this. Nevertheless, she adjusted the treatment as best as she could, which lead to the customer rebooking regularly.
I would recommend that Blow takes the opportunity to claim this niche market – especially as a ‘mobile’ provider.
Looking for a facial? This is The Haute Heel founder’s favourite in London.