Last Tuesday I was invited along to a beauty blogger’s event in Leeds City Centre at Q61 Studio, a premium salon in the heart of town. Now, although I’m far from a beauty expert, I wanted to share an Instagram-style snapshot of the evening so you could one, discover more about this beautiful new addition to the city and two, see what went on throughout the evening.
Greeted by a glass of champagne and a delicious looking cupcake (I say “delicious looking” because I quickly swerved that sugar filled delight as soon as it started to make it’s way over to me), we were introduced to Q61 founders and husband and wife team, Helena and Michael Linsky.
It was great to discover the story behind the salon opening, as Helena described how, after struggling to get her nails done prior to her honeymoon and then being disappointed with the service she finally received, she came home to Michael and declared that “one day, we’re going to open up a beauty studio.”
Filled with ideas and eager to start, the pair started to make plans on their honeymoon and eight months later in November 2015, Q61 opened its doors to the public. If you’re familiar with the city, then you’ll find the salon right opposite Nandos at 5 Duncan Street, on the same side as Pieminister and Five Guys – typical me, being able to relate it a food joint or three.
The whole ethos around the salon is that the customer will always come first. Now, you might think that’s a standard but trust me, I’ve been to salons where the service was poor, I’ve been double booked and made to wait, the treatments weren’t done properly. Shall I go on? So to have a philosophy of “We’re here for one reason: you. You’re our passion” and to actually live by it, is a true testament to the couple and their staff.
It was such a nice evening catching up friends and meeting new faces, faces that I’d spoken to on Twitter but never actually met in real life – topped off only by receiving the most relaxing pedicure I’ve ever had.
Towards the back of the salon stood three pedicure booths, with built in foot baths – such a great design detail, which allows the customer to sit back and relax without facing out into the rest of the salon. I had a beautiful hot coral pink nail polish added from OPI called Kiss Me I’m Brazilian.
Sharday, my therapist, had that friendly-but-not-overbearing personality that I like in a salon. I like to sit back and enjoy my treatment without having to worry about filling any awkward silences. She used a gorgeous coconut and white ginger body butter to finish and I sat and rested my little tootsies for a while longer in my private booth.
I was also treated to eyelash extensions and even though I was nervous, the process was quick and painless. I soon realised however that I really didn’t like having them on, and this is in no way a reflection of the salon. They did a very natural finish, great application and I was super pleased on the night. But I wear a lot of eye makeup, including winged eyeliner every day, so taking my eye makeup off the following night was such a task. These eyelashes, however, would have been absolutely perfect for someone other than myself and Amy Winehouse back in the day.
The team at the salon said they’d be more than happy to remove them for me, but I’m too impatient and I removed them myself by steaming my face and rubbing olive oil over my lids to loosen each lash. Not a treatment I’d get again, but let me just reiterate it was totally because of how I felt with them on, not the application.
If you’re looking for a new salon to try in Leeds then I’d definitely recommend Q61. I’m booking myself back in for a Swedish massage at some point so I’ll let you know how that goes. View the full treatment menu here and thanks to Helena and Michael for inviting me along to see the hard work and passion that’s gone into this launch.