I have always sought out beauty treatments and therapies at pivotal points in my life when I have felt the need to invest a little extra time and money into myself, be it trying to sort out my misbehaving skin in my twenties or dealing with post separation stress. Running on empty, in need of a recharge or simply looking to escape from the world for an hour; beauty treatments and therapies provide the perfect enforced opportunity to stop, switch off and refocus, amidst the busy world we all live in.
During a particularly stressful period a few years ago I starting having reflexology treatments and I can honestly say that hour of ‘me time’ every few weeks became my sanctuary to escape to and a chance to breathe and refocus. The amazing Karen at Karen Jones Reflexology has the most gorgeous little sanctuary of calm in her garden and I’ll never forget the instant feeling of weightlessness that I felt walking in there. The treatments that I return to multiple times all have something in common – they are all delivered by people who genuinely invest in the people they are treating and provide more than just a ‘service’. Yes the hour of pampering is bliss and rejuvenating but I think what sets a beautician apart from a beauty therapist is that word exactly – ‘therapist’. To have the people skills to read your client’s body language and demeanour, when they walk into that space, is something that I feel is integral to building a therapist/client relationship and from a business point of view will ensure repeat custom. How often have you been to the hairdressers and just wanted to switch off with a magazine and a cuppa, but instead find yourself making small talk to be polite. This is your time, not theirs!
Equally, a practitioner who can tell when you want to talk during a treatment, or need to offload/rant is worth their weight in gold. It’s reading those signs and being able to put your client at ease, in what can be quite a vulnerable situation (the whole ‘do I take my bra off for a facial?’ dilemma springs to mind!) which sets good treatments apart from the excellent ones.
I apply the same principal to important events in my life. With the wedding only 10 weeks away (have I mentioned this….!) I have sought out people to be there in the lead up, and the day itself, that I know will put me at ease and I feel 100% comfortable with. I want to be able to share one of the most important days of my life with people that have become friends, rather than meeting strangers on the day. I have entrusted my lashes, nails and basically my face to the lovely Becky at Urban Beauty Bristol who, as soon as I met her over a year ago, I knew shared the same passion as me for skincare and treatments but also had the people skills to make the time that I spend in her treatment room more than just a service. I leave feeling fired up and passionate about my skin, but also like I’ve just spent an hour with a friend – plus having had an amazing treatment – the perfect combination.
I always think back to when I first started having reflexology and if I’m perfectly honest I felt almost embarrassed to be spending, not an insignificant, amount of money purely on myself for me. I felt the need to justify and quantify what I was getting from it, given that there were probably more pressing things needing my monetary attention at that time. And then I met Karen, who apart from having quite frankly magic hands, reminded me that I wasn’t just a mum, or a social worker, or a daughter, with a list of jobs as long as my arm. I was also me, and to continue carrying on with that long list of jobs I had to invest back in myself. I’ll never forget her pressing a beautiful bottle of Neals Yard bath soak into my hands as I was leaving and telling me to go home and have a long hot bath. ( She also didn’t judge me on the appalling state of my feet at the time – an actual hero!)
I did a little poll on my Instagram of when people last booked themselves a beauty treatment or therapy and so many people said they never had! I’ve touched on this subject before in my post ‘What beauty means to me‘ but I feel so strongly that as women (or men!) we should be able to carve out a little bit of time, just for us, without feeling guilty or that we should be doing something more productive with our time. Even if that is just having a cup of tea in peace, or finding the most luxurious bubble bath you can, pouring yourself a Baileys, and locking the bathroom door for an hour!
Disclaimer: These are personal recommendations of services that I have enjoyed and I am under no financial obligation to post about them.
If you are Oxfordshire based then Karen can be found at https://www.karenjonesreflexology.co.uk/
For Bristol based beauty and skincare treatments check out http://www.instagram.com/urban_beautybristol