Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting and working with some awesome ladies who are either getting married this year, or who came to The Little Vintage Beauty Parlour for a bit of Saturday glam. One thing I love about my job is the conversation that flows when you are working on someone - I can spend anything between one hour and seven hours with lovely hair and make up clients - and it is so interesting to get to know what attracts clients to book US for their special occasions.
I often feel that the Hair and Make Up industry, or the beauty industry in general, is seen as somewhat shallow - at the end of the day we are enhancing your visual features, making you feel your most beautiful, we focus on the visuals - but that isn't why the likes of me do what we do - it's not all about the latest products and brushes, for me, my decision to change my career is more than skin deep.
I felt, what with this being Valentine's Day and all, I would write a little bit more of a personal post about the most important relationship I believe you will ever have. Plus, I'm about to release my second horror book today - so that will give you an indication of how much Valentine's Day means to me!
For me, there is quite literally nothing better than seeing somebody grow in confidence in front of your very eyes. It might be the first time they have tried a cat eye, a glamorous hairstyle or being shown how to create a look that makes them feel a million dollars, the difference between the start of a makeover and the end can be nothing short of miraculous. And that, for me, is more than a skin deep transformation; it's something for the soul, something that may remind a woman of who she used to be, who she wants to be and who she really has been all along - we have not done all the work, we have just worked our magic to bring out YOUR kind of beautiful! I pride myself in the work that I do - whether it's working with a bride, transforming a character for stage or screen or working with a gaggle of wonderful women at the Parlour; I like to think I am a curator of self-love, with a mascara wand and a lip brush.
Being someone who has always battled (silently) with HUGE confidence issues, I know how wonderful make up can make me feel, not because I see it on the outside - I feel it on the inside. Just before Christmas, I was asked to step in front of the camera, for a change, to have some professional images taken for the Parlour - believe it or not this was completely out of my comfort zone, but it did put my belief in the art of hair and make up to the test! I feel the confidence brimming, I can talk with more confidence, I walk with vigour and I move with purpose. Deciding to retrain as a Hair and Make Up Artist in my thirties was no accident and, whilst I had dreamt of doing so in my younger years, I wanted to try and help people rebuild their confidence in a way that I knew how - because I had been there and done that. I had been the new mother who was told she would not wear make up anymore, struggling to adjust to a new life and a new body to go with it. I have been someone struggling to fit into an industry for people who are 'skinny' or 'pretty' and I, quite frankly, want nothing more than to champion any woman who wants to raise their confidence - occasion or no occasion, ideals or no ideals, that is what my job is for - for the camera, for the many, many beautiful faces I get to hang out with on a daily basis but, perhaps most importantly, for the soul.
I have been told this week that our work at the parlour has really helped people, that I have been chosen as a bridal make up because my personality shone through and made people feel comfortable. Products and skills aside, I really cannot think of anything better than to continue making my lovely clients feel at one with themselves and to be told that these are often my client's base reasons for booking me. But, mostly, I cannot think of anything better than this, because I know how misaligned the world can make you feel when you don't fit into a box or struggle to cope with the endless streams of unrealistic expectations that are thrown at us, every day and I also know that even the smallest of changes can align your soul make you feel that little bit braver.
So, this Valentine's day, I invite you to do something to care for yourself, whether it's trying out a new product, booking yourself in for a treatment or taking the time to accept a compliment - we only have one skin, we may as well learn to love it!
Happy Valentine's Day!
Stay Peachy xx