She was always going to be a beauty therapist... whether she knew it or not!
I always thought I just fell into becoming a beauty therapist. You know the feeling when you aren’t really doing anything all that productive so you think ‘this will do’. That was me at 19. I’d finished school, dropped out of uni and was kind of just going through the motions in random jobs that I didn’t like all that much.
Until one day a family friend pulled me over and said do this course and there could be a job in it for you at the end. So I did, because hey I wasn’t doing anything I really loved so it was worth a shot. But it was always just going to be temporary, until I had the motivation to go to uni or whatever.
But, now that I reflect on my life leading up to that point I realize I was probably always destined to get into this line of work.
There’s plenty of photos of me as a kid with a face COVERED in shimmery blue eyeshadow and dressing up for fashion parades and performances... you had to look the part. There are also a lot of memories, as many kids would have done I'm sure, of raiding mums make-up stash. (One day if you're lucky I might post those photos)
Then came high school. Guess who was the one that got called upon to wax legs leading up to sports carnivals… because you know, aerodynamics. And if anyone had a gigantic pimple? This chick would be the first to volunteer to squeeze the life out of it.
So it seems this industry found me and I’m glad it did.
Now I still love popping pimples (but I’m sure I’m a little more tactful). And its one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Not just for the epic pops. But for the confidence that clients will gain when their skin clears up. To know that they don’t have to resort to harsh medications like roaccutane (more on that soon) and that they don’t have to put up with painful cysts and pimples.
One conversation that happened early on and has stuck with me over my career was a young client, he can't have been anymore than 15-16 at the time. With really bad acne. It was painful and he hated having photos taken and just anyone looking at him really. After he’d been coming in for awhile and a series of treatments he’d actually started to get quite chatty (some clients it can take awhile, and others it's like you've known forever at that first appointment). The conversation got really raw and honest... he'd said that before he’d started his facial treatments he’d wanted to scold his face with boiling water because scarring from a burn would be more bearable than his acne. YEP all the feels! And I was really shocked by that. Having had pretty good skin myself I didn't fully appreciate the profound impact of a skin condition like acne has. But I did from that moment on.
This kid paid for his own treatments, did everything to the letter. With a whole lot of discipline, his skin had got to a point where it was looking so much clearer and feeling heaps better. His girlfriend had even commented because now, her boyfriend was happy to have his photo taken and wasn’t hiding all the time. We couldn't even get a candid before photo because there were just none of him. But most importantly he had a new lease of life and new found confidence in going about his day. He now knew there were options and wouldn't have to resort to extreme measures.
So from that day I knew, I wasn't JUST a beauty therapist... I knew there's an important role to play. To empower people and have them feeling a whole lot more confident in their own skin. Whether thats through a massive transformation or simply holding space for the hour or so you're in the treatment room.