As I am writing this I am on the train heading down to the Fashion Innovation awards in Galway which I am really excited about. Just this morning I squeezed in a manicure and I thought it would be useful for me to do a list of people in the beauty industry I know I can completely rely on.
When it comes to beauty I've had my share of disappointing treatments in terms of service, treatment, feeling of hygiene and end result. It's beyond annoying to make an appointment, pay for it, and leave knowing you could have done a better job yourself.
The following are some of the most professional people I know, have never let me down in any way, and are truly talented and skilled.
The Dublin Make Up Academy - Based on Fitzwilliam Street Upper Kim O'Sullivan and Kelly specialise in eyebrows. Think of any fashion model with good brows in Ireland and it's likely she is a regular client. If I am honest I didn't know if a simple brow shape appointment could live up to the hype. I had been to other places with mixed results but after speaking to beauty Lynn Kelly on a shoot I decided to book in. Upon entering you are greeted with smiles galore and girly chats. Copies of The Secret are lying about and genuinely these ladies practice what they preach. It is full of positive energy here. Surprisingly the treatment is pretty painless, even the waxing, and magically you leave with thicker brows. The secret is in finding the baby hairs and tinting them making the best of what you have, and of course encouraging you to grow them. Here you truly are in the hands of professionals and some of the nicest people in the industry. I booked my mum in for an appointment and she returned saying they were equally as lovely to her. That kind of consistency says so much and makes me know that everyone is important here - as they should be - just some places fall short of the mark. Book in, it's worth the wait and once you're a regular they seem to be able to squeeze you in a bit quicker!
Polish Nails - Dublin seems to have had an explosion of nail bars lately. Walking around the city centre there are so many drop in cheap and cheerful places. Whilst these are fine for a file and paint, as I learnt the hard way, if you are looking for something longer lasting and more technical you need stalwart professionals. Queue Leanne and Emma! I don't mind spending on quality but I want the end result to be exceptional, long lasting and elegant. I think nails are a fabulous expression of personality but I like mine quietly premium with a solid foundation. Think a perfect red, or a classic french or a coral pedicure - nothing too exciting but I'm quite meticulous. Anytime I deter from here I am quickly reminded why it's not such a great idea. Their premises is peaceful and discreet and they would never let on that an A-List celebrity could have been in just before you, or a high flying executive. Everyone gets the same stellar treatment and nails that last and last. I would be amazed if anyone was ever disappointed with a manicure or pedicure here.
I used to go to smaller salons scattered around Dublin. I also used to have much more time on my hands. Since getting much busier I find myself needing a salon that can just make an appointment happen, be it last minute or early in the morning, rather than me jumbling up my diary so as to suit them and their staff. It's been a really good decision overall and since my first appointment with Peter Mark I have never once been let down, be it last minute or booked weeks in advance. In short when you are dealing with a bigger salon, they have the staff and they have the appointments. I am in possession of the hair of a lioness. When tamed it can be a wonderful thing but it needs strong arms, patience and skill. I can do my hair but for filming and events I can rarely get it looking polished to camera standards thus blow-dries are a regular feature in my diary. Megan does my colour here and Aaron does a brilliant quick blow dry. The staff here stick to a schedule and if you are booked in for two pm you will be in your seat at a minute past. I love the efficiency here. I also love the standard and have never been disappointed!
Though not quite a beauty appointment, my bi-weekly training sessions with Sophie Kavanagh, John or Kevin Belton are so important to my overall appearance and well-being. I've been training here for almost a year.
Throughout November and December last year I went through a very stressful period where nothing seemed to be going right in certain areas of my life. Training consistently was a really important commitment. I felt a bit like things were falling apart around me but after my gym sessions I would feel optimistic enough to try get back into the swing of things. Gradually things began to improve and I'm in a much happier place now and I feel training regularly (whether I like it or not) has to become part of my life. When you're self employed and also creative I think developing some consistency and routine in your life is so important. Ciara Allen a make up artist wrote a great piece on the link between creativity and anxiety and I think there's a lot of truth to it. Like many in similar fields I have no idea what each week will bring but having someone hold me accountable to turing up to sessions, not to mention the stress relief and endorphin rush benefits after a session makes me realise how important here is. They do classes although the speciality is discreet personal training sessions and I can't recommend these guys highly enough.
I could go on and on and I know there are so many other brilliant therapists, manicurists, and trainers out there but these are the people I know I can rely on. Who else should I check out?!
x Holly x