The new place for cheap, quick hair and makeup? Thanks, Penneys

The PS . . . X Glissed pop-up at the Mary Street store is no-frills – and a no-brainer

Penneys are democratising professional beauty services, and anyone who is snobby about beauty and hair should be quaking in their boots. Photograph: Stephanie Zieber

Penneys are democratising professional beauty services, and anyone who is snobby about beauty and hair should be quaking in their boots. Photograph: Stephanie Zieber

 

It is always the same when you go into Penneys. You are just popping in for some cotton pads and a pack of socks, but you come out with a pair of pyjamas, a duvet set, a velvet suit (I actually did buy a velvet suit there recently with great ebullience and satisfaction) and two pairs of shoes.

Now, you can come out with all those things, plus freshly done hair and makeup. At least if you head to Dublin’s Mary Street store, you can. PS . . . X Glissed is a pop-up that opened on February 5th, and will be in place for three months. I have fallen for it wildly – Penneys are democratising professional beauty services, and anyone who is snobby about beauty and hair should be quaking in their boots.

I confess, I have always wanted a halo braid. This is a single thick braid which encircles your head in a sort of stereotypically elegant, Nordic milkmaid sort of way. I do not possess the dexterity, skill (or patience) to create a single braid which uses every bit of hair on my head. I could weep for trying.

Laura Kennedy admiring her braid in the PS . . . X Glissed pop-up in Penneys, Mary Street, Dublin
Laura Kennedy admiring her braid in the PS . . . X Glissed pop-up in Penneys, Mary Street, Dublin

I confess also that I was sceptical about this pop-up. Quick, affordable makeup and hair services cheaply accessible to all? I headed in to see for myself. What is the catch? There isn’t a catch. Ashley, an experienced, Peter Mark-trained stylist, who confessed to me that her favourite work is upstyling, and braiding in particular, gave me the halo braid of my dreams in about seven minutes flat. I went in with freshly washed and dried (that morning) hair. Ashley did the rest. The price for my mythical, joyous braid? €15. Anyone who has attended respectable salons (at least in Dublin) will know that this sort of price is unheard of. I slept in the braid last night – it still looks perfect. Ashley told me how to get three or four days out of it, and I will follow her advice.

A close up of Laura Kennedy’s halo braid which was done at PS . . . X Glissed pop-up in Penneys, Mary Street, Dublin
A close up of Laura Kennedy’s halo braid which was done at PS . . . X Glissed pop-up in Penneys, Mary Street, Dublin

Milling around

I generally don’t like the feeling of exposure, so avoid any service that requires me to sit in the middle of a store with people milling around. Anyone who has been to Penneys in Mary Street will know that it is their busiest. Thankfully, there was a half-partition which enclosed the pop-up, which made me feel far more comfortable. This is a no-frills service, not a luxury one. There’s no faffing about, but the staff are warm, friendly and attentive. As you might guess, the area is stocked with products used by the artists and stylists, so you can buy them if the mood strikes you.

Perhaps if the pop-up does well enough, it might become a permanent fixture

I wanted to hate Penneys makeup brushes, mostly because I have spent approximately €17.3 million on expensive brushes over the years. I still love my expensive brushes, but the Penneys own-brand PS . . . brushes are very affordable, and very good. I bought four of their 141, a small silver-handled setting brush – it might be my favourite.

That brush is also a favourite among the makeup artists at the Glissed pop-up , who are fully qualified, experienced, and know exactly what they’re doing. Customers choose from a menu of looks (the same goes for hair) but they aim to please, are happy to customise, and will adapt things to make styles work for individual customers’ needs. You will pay €15 for dry styling, €20 for makeup application and €5 for their lash and liner service (plus the cost of lashes), and can choose any of the styles on their menu, beautifully illustrated by Conor Merriman.

Perhaps if the pop-up does well enough, it might become a permanent fixture. I, for one, would welcome the beauty service industry’s new overlords and their sensible pricing. This takes beauty services from the lofty heights of special occasion to the accessibility of every day, just because.

The PS . . . X Glissed pop-up at Penneys Mary Street takes both appointments and walk-ins. Customers can secure appointments by booking online at psbeauty.glissed.com or calling 01-5240053.

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