It’s not everyday that you can stop into one beauty salon in the heart of the city and get prepped and primed for a special occasion. But at PREEN Hair & Beauty, you can. I do love a good pampering, from getting my nails done, my hair did, going on a shopping spree, or getting a massage during a spa day – there are a handful of ways to have me 100% relaxed. But sometimes it’s one of the most visual of treatments that can give those butterflies, enter the makeovers at PREEN.
PREEN is an award-winning hair and beauty salon with excellent hair stylists led by owner Katherine Sweeney who offer clients an array of services from balayage, highlights and full colour changes to the humble hair cut and blow-dry. And then the salon also has two secret weapons in their in-house brow and makeup artists, Kath Mulhall and Nadine Reid.
Brows have become such an important aspect for women (and men), because it helps us shape our face and enhances our makeup thereafter. Kath Mulhall is easily one of the best brow queens in Dublin, and she’s only a young one. Award-nominated Kath joined the PREEN team in November 2017, and works in the downstairs room of the salon where clients can relax in one of the big retractable arm chairs. A specialist in threading, Kath can transform brows with absolute ease, from simple touch ups to fully creating semi-permanent brows for those whose brow hairs just won’t grow, (or behave!).
Kath has taught her colleague Nadine the wonder ways of brow creation, meaning the salon has two brow artists in-house in addition to their handful of hair stylists, and that is always a plus. I went in for my first ‘browover’ last month with Nadine, and I cannot recommend her more! Both Kath and Nadine work with utter professionalism, I felt comfortable from start to finish. Sitting in one of the leather chairs downstairs, Nadine first asked what kind of brow finish I like, then she let me know what the process would be, before getting me to lie back, relax and close my eyes.
Nadine works fast yet is very precise. At points, she asked me to help keep my skin taught by guiding my finger above my temple and to pull slightly, while the other protects my eyelashes. If you have not received a threading treatment before, I do recommend them but I will warn you it will probably give you a slight shock, hurt that little bit and your eyes will tear a little – but these are all natural! Kath is always in the room with Nadine during brow appointments, and the pair check each other’s work for support and creative criticism. Personally I loved the result, and have been back since for another browover.
Brow treatments are available from €22, (mens from €15).
There is something magical about receiving a makeover from a friend and from a professional, and I’m lucky to say that Nadine Reid is both of those. Like Kath, Nadine is based in the downstairs rooms of PREEN, with a mini makeup studio, vanity mirror and deep counter that displays all of her gorgeous makeup products and tools. Having joined the salon in 2016, Nadine makes all of her clients feel at complete ease with her charming and bubbly personality.
Her professionalism is reflected in that she wants to enhance your look and ensure you’re not out of your comfort zone – Nadine truly understands how makeup can help a woman (and man) feel goodnight the inside. A well-known makeup artist around the country, Nadine’s clients have included Doireann, Aoibhin & Ailbhe Garrihy, Mary Kennedy, Dominique McMullan, Charleigh Bailey, Niamh Walsh and Nadia Forde, and is often called upon for professional photoshoots.
When it comes to big events or award ceremonies, I rarely get my full pamper on, but when attending the Eir Spider Awards 2017 I did exactly that with thanks to Katherine’s excellent team. First I headed down to Nadine and propped myself up on the high chair in her mini studio for 60 minutes of heaven. She began with my skin, adding primer and prepping spray then specifically primed my eyelids. Using the XIP Professional Eyeshadow Palette, Nadine created a deep pink-plum smokey eye with false eyelashes (applied near the end). For my base, she opted for a light matte finish with subtle shimmer, medium contour and natural blusher; while for my lips we opted for a pink-nude colour to compliment both my dress and eyeshadow. My brows were filled and perfected, highlighter enhanced my features and with a spritz of setting spray I was all done.
This may all sound standard, but Nadine’s precision definitely is anything but. Her skills are amazing, and the feeling of a little transformation for a special night out is otherworldly. She chats throughout the makeover, and double checks about any allergies whilst explaining products too. I absolutely adored my makeover, I truly felt special and ready for the pre-party and awards ceremony – plus the many compliments I received sure did boost my confidence that slight bit!
Makeup applications are available at €50.
Women can ya,e a while to find “their” hair salon and the right stylist. My first appointment at PREEN was three years ago, when I headed in for a cut and colour refresh. Without repeating my previous post, I was delighted with this experience and really felt like a VIP. Katherine Sweeney is not only the owner of the salon but also a brilliant hairstylist and knows exactly how to cut, colour and style.
Returning to my evening of prep & prime for the Eir Spider Awards last year, after I finished with Nadine I headed back upstairs for an upstyle with Jordan Dunbar who is one of the coolest kids on the hairstyling scene. I told him about my constant battle of flat hair that does not want to behave, and with my makeup and dress in mind, Jordan recommended we go for a half-up half-down style with a curled finish – and I was more than happy to oblige.
Using hair care serums and products by Kevin.Murphy, he first back-combed my hair around the crown to add volume. Then he used the curling tong to give my hair bounce, next sectioned off pieces, twisted and pinned them in at the back. Jordan worked efficiently and made me feel comfortable throughout the process, and beautiful at the end.
Upstyles are available from €55.
PREEN also has hair & makeup packages that offer a combined selection of either a blow-dry or updo with full make up application, to select from the brilliant menu, as illustrated by Holly Shortall! Click for more information
Images © Nirina Plunkett, PREEN