This article was first published on InsideIreland.ie in July 2011.
Whether you’re jetting off to somewhere exotic or making the most of a staycation, it’s time to pack away the winter woollies and break out the summer clothes!
The summer is officially here and for a few weeks we can hope for bright sunshine and warmer weather, especially after the harsh winter we all had to endure. However, after a long season of heavy jumpers, woolly tights and boots, we might not be as ready to step out into the sun as we first thought, making it a perfect reason to pop to our local salon and pamper ourselves.
Eden Beauty, situated in Lisburn, Co Antrim is owned by beautician Claire Armstrong and Inside Ireland managed to grab a few words with her, to learn more about her and the beauty industry.
Claire has been working in the beauty industry for 11 years, after she left school to enrol into a private beauty school.
“I went to Bronwyn Conroy, a private beauty school in Belfast, and there I was able to get trained a lot quicker, compared to having to train for three years elsewhere. I received a high qualification and was then very fortunate to be able to go straight into full-time employment.
“I actually came to Eden Beauty for a period of work experience when I was at school. It was owned by Patricia Clarke then, but during that week I learnt a lot and she gave me a lot of advice. As I studied and trained at Conroy, I continued to work in the salon on a Saturday, for the extra experience. Nearer my graduation, there was a vacancy at the salon. I was very fortunate to be given the place and I actually started working the Monday after I graduated.”
While some salons focus on tanning, and others on manicures and pedicures, Eden carries out a number of treatments and beauty experiences.
“People are taking a lot more care of themselves now, men and women, so we cover most areas at Eden Beauty. At the minute, waxing and electrolysis are very popular, as it’s coming into the summer and everyone wants to look nice if they’re going on holiday and want to enjoy the sunshine.
“We would carry out a lot of massages and facials as well. We use the Guinot skincare range and its great – we have a lot of regulars who would come to us for that. It can range from an older client, to a teenager with problem skin.
“There are a lot of treatments out there which are fads and are around for a while, but don’t last. You always need to renew your training and keep up with the latest products, and try to stay one step ahead of everyone else in the industry.”
With the range of treatments on offer at Eden, there is ultimately something for everyone whether you pamper your skin or your nails. Even Claire has her own favourite treatment.
“With regards to clients, I like waxing as you get to chat to the clients the entire time. I also love facials because people are so relaxed. It’s lovely to know you’re helping someone to relax and enjoy their treatment.
“People are so stressed these days and they need it a lot more, so it’s nice to be a part of that for them. It can also be very rewarding, as you get people in with different skin problems, but you can genuinely help them. People usually fall asleep during a facial, which is really satisfying as you know you’ve done your job properly!”
And when it comes to Claire herself?
“It doesn’t tend to happen very often, but I enjoy getting a facial or massage every once in a while. It can be difficult having your own business as you can’t relax the same. You always remember something that you have to do, or if the phone rings you have to go and answer it, so sometimes I’ll go to my friend Elaine’s. She also owns a salon, but when I go to her I’m like a ‘proper client’ so I can fully relax and enjoy the treatment.
“If I was looking a pedicure though, one of the girls here at Eden would do it. It’s really relaxing and you’re toes look lovely at the end.”
Aside from making you look and feel better, facials carry a range of health benefits for your skin, as Claire explains: “It cleanses your skin, which, in turn brightens your skin. During a facial you’ll usually get exfoliated which helps to remove the dull, dead skin of the surface and make your skin subtler and gives it a glow. It can also help your make-up sit better as it is fresh skin and the improvement in your circulation puts some colour into your cheeks.
“It’s also fantastic to keep wrinkles at bay. Every thirty days, your skin renews itself, but as you get older the regeneration process slows down. Older skin will build on the surface more as a result, which is how wrinkles form. So, in theory, if you get a facial once a month, you’re keeping your skin in as best possible condition as you can, and therefore preventing wrinkles as much as you can.
“The sun also has a large part to play with your skin. Ideally, you should stay out of the sun as it dries your skin out so much, and people don’t realise it until years later when it’s far too late. Sadly, there’s nothing you can do about it then, as the damage has been done. I would recommend people use fake tan instead. It’s much safer, but still gives you a lovely golden summer tan.”