Review: BLUSH, Ashburton
A Back, body and bonce restoration project at this cute and characterful salon in the heart of town (& a special offer for you!)
Hair and beauty appointments tend to fall into two categories, don’t they? There’s the ones that feel like a chore and only get booked in when you’re becoming a safety hazard being out in public (ie. people tend to walk into a lamppost because they’re too busy staring aghast at your unruly bonce); and there’s the ones that can’t come around soon enough, because it always feels like a total treat. Have a guess which one BLUSH Hair & Beauty in Ashburton falls into? Yep, yeppity-yep, lop off the ‘B’ and you’ve got L-U-S-H. Which my experience was. Totally.
Have you been to Ashburton recently? I’ve always had a soft spot for this ancient and sophisticated little town on the edge of Dartmoor. I love the vibrant, yet laid-back vibe; I love how elegant it feels with its hotchpotch of colourful townhouses lining the compact little streets; and I love the array of boutiques, antique shops and deli’s in town that make it feel as though its thriving. It’s always a pleasure to wander around and if you’re looking for a decent salon to sort you out post-Christmas, you’ll find that here, too.
BLUSH fits right in, neat and snug. I say snug, not because it’s tiny, but because I don’t think I’ve ever come across a cuter salon. Right in the heart of town, across the road from a busy bakery (which is amazing, I’m told by Team BLUSH), you’ll find this hair and beauty salon. Its sleek black exterior keeps things smart (and a tad mysterious) for the townsfolk and then inside a little hub of warmth and a total Tardis.
While the downstairs, all low ceilings and period charm, is given over to the hair side of the business – including a barber’s – upstairs two further floors are dedicated to treatments. I’d say that Anna and her team have made very clever use of the space and of the features. Have you ever had your hair washed while looking out onto a babbling stream outside?
A quick peruse of the treatment list and you’ll find all of the standard beauty maintenance ones that you’d expect, along with a selection of more bespoke treatments. The Granite and Wild Herb Body Therapy, for example, is inspired by the nearby moors, with a granite body polish and a wild herb body wrap. There’s also a Guest Therapist section, so you can tell this is a salon that’s always looking to showcase new things to its visitors.
My little visit gave me a taster of what’s on offer, as I tottered upstairs to give the ‘Upper Body Tranquil Trio’ a try with the lovely Jasmine. Apparently this package began life as a seasonal special (they’re very good at putting together regular packages and offers, by the way), but people couldn’t get enough of it, so it’s now taken up permanent residence on the treatment menu. It’s a back exfoliation to soften things up, followed by a tension-busting back and neck massage and then a ‘Drift Away’ hydrating facial.
It was just what I needed in the depths of winter, since my back hadn’t seen daylight for months and the massage on top of a good buffing, was deftly executed, knots well and truly banished, in time for Christmas.
A word on the products used at this salon, by the way, because I think this is a particular stand-out feature for BLUSH. Owner Anna has really done her research and brought in a range that you might not necessarily have come across before. That can always be a little scary, opening your body and pores to the unknown; but I was really impressed with what’s on offer. For the body, they use products from Natural Spa Factory based in Bath, as well as Buff Natural Bodycare (read my review of this brilliant brand here). And downstairs, in the salon, it’s Davines. The unifying strength of all these? Paraben and sulphate-free, as well as sustainable.
And speaking of the bonce, my visit concluded with a rather rejuvenating ‘Wake-Up Call’ hair mask and blow dry, with a side of coffee, cookies and decent conversation, delivered by head stylist and salon manager, Charlotte. Who is Wonder Woman in my eyes.
The whole experience took my bonce from frizzy and lacklustre, to swishy and shiny. And I loved it. I reckon you will, too (especially with the special offer, below!)
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Those who care about what’s going onto their skin and hair and what it’s doing to the planet; anyone looking for a friendly, welcoming little retreat where they’ll be able to get everything done under one roof.
Not for: Those expecting Redken, or Dermalogica, nor those looking for a spacious day spa vibe, with chill-out rooms and extensive facilities. This is a hair and beauty salon (albeit one that delivers a pretty indulgent experience).
££: Excellent value for money, I’d say. My package costs £55, and a wash & bouncy blow-dry costs £35. Luxury mani’s & pedi’s cost £30 – £35.
Special offer for Muddy readers: get yourself 20% off hair and beauty services when you spend £20 or more (excluding Saturday’s). Just quote ‘Muddy’ when booking. GO GO GO!
BLUSH Hair & Beauty, 4 West Street, Ashburton, TQ13 7DU, Tel: 01364 652531. blushashburton.co.uk