Wednesday, October 31, 2012

7 things I hated about being a Beauty Therapist

Image adapted from Sérgio (Savaman) Savarese via Wikimedia Commons

I was a beauty therapist and makeup artist in my time PT (pre-Tricky). After studying feminism at uni the decision to become someone who faffs about with skincare and makeup raised a few soon to be perfectly coiffed eyebrows.

Despite my lecturers almost having heart attacks on my transition to the beauty world, I never saw what I did as anti-feminist. Every day in my job I made women feel better about the skin they were in. I might not have agreed with everything they chose to do, but telling them they can't wax off every single hair on their whole body because I thought it made them look prepubescent isn't very feminist either. Each to their own and all that jazz. Or all that vajazzle as the case may be.

Making women feel beautiful was actually pretty awesome. I was good at eyebrow shaping and given virgin eyebrows could make you look like you'd had an eye lift with a bit of wax and some perfectly aligned tweezers. I was also good at speedy brazillians but that's a different and rather more painful story.

There were definitely downsides to the job though:
  1. Forgetting client names/faces. If you spend 90% of the time with your client looking at their vag, it's bound to happen. I'd usher them in to the room, wracking my brain about who it was, come back, remove the towel and BINGO... "So, Janet, how'd your date with Stewart go?". I never forget a vagina.
  2. Whiffy clients. Ladies, please, if you've been at work all day and popped in for a quick wax on the way home, you're not at your freshest. It's not hard to use the freshening wipes provided. You're paying for them after all.
  3. Manky clients. Completely different to the whiffy clients because these ones just filthy all over. I once had a young girl come in for a massage and the grime around her neck made me want to puke. When she piped up with "if you see any ticks just flick them off, I've just come back from camping", a little bit of my soul died.
  4. Cranky latecomers. I get it, shit happens and you're late. But when you arrive 20 minutes late for a 30 minute appointment then yell at me when I tell you we have to downgrade your treatment? Then I get shitty and the urge to not be so gentle with the wax on your labia. Seriously gals, don't piss off your waxer.
  5. Unrealistic expectations. Having a client request a makeup style that you know will look horrible and despite trying to persuade them they'll look shit unless you tone it down, they are adamant they want the catwalk look. So you do it... and they hate it... and you have to take it off and re-do it all, putting you behind schedule. The urge to scream "I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO" is rather strong.
  6. Feet. Having to touch someone's feet when you have podophobia brings on cold sweats and panic attacks. I went to therapy to help with my issues and I could focus and get through it but I would have to disinfect my hands afterwards. With bleach. I once did a pedicure on a woman who only had nine toes as a result of an "accident" involving her brother and a sharp axe.
  7. Assumptions. People generally assumed that I was a Beauty Therapist because I was too stupid to do anything else. They always I assumed I was a high school drop out. I was a uni drop out, GET IT RIGHT! It was with these folk that I'd always use the big words and I'll never forgetting pulling the dihydrogen monoxide joke on one of those bitches clients.
So there you have it. There were more positives than negatives and a lot of that was to do with the girls I worked with who made it fun. I even liked them enough to invite them to my extremely-awesome-but-strictly-budgeted wedding, so that's saying something.

On a side note, if you have a weak constitution, turn on SafeSearch when you *ahem* search for images of a facial.

What do you hate about your job?

24 comments:

  1. You are shaming me into having a shower before I go and pick up the kids from daycare this afternoon.
    As for what I hated about my BC job (before children). I was in stockbroking, so I could write a novel about that subject.

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  2. You made me have a laugh! Thanks

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  3. Smelly vages. Ha! My beautician told me a few years ago I'd be surprised with how many women come in unclean. She was telling me about a lady she had done that week that must not be good with the loo paper because the wax came off brown. Yeah. Vomit.



    Go you with the pedi's! I get it. I hate feet, even my own, hence why I go for pedi's every now and then.

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  4. I hate how much cake I eat when I'm at work!
    I've always wondered how beauty therapists handle the dirty ones. I couldn't do it.

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  5. Kelley @ magnetoboldtooOctober 31, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    my pelvic floor got a workout at the thought of hot wax on my labia.

    What do I hate about my job? The fact I have to go there?

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  6. Yikes. Dealing with people can be a pain. But I bet it's fulfilling making people feel good about themselves though.

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  7. What_Sarah_Did_NextOctober 31, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    Hehehe, thanks for the giggles. While I LOVE spending time at the beautician's, I ALWAYS make sure I'm clean before I go. I was shuddering when you mentioned the manky client. Ewww.

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  8. Hahaha "all that vajazzle". I love you.

    Seriously. Horrifiying. Profession. But thank God for beauty therapists!

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  9. Oooh it can definitely be horrifying. But the good outweighs the bad for the most part.

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  10. On behalf of all beauty therapists, THANK YOU :P

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  11. I find it weird people would pay me to pour hot wax on their labias. Labii?

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  12. You do learn how to hold your breath a bit :P
    I'd forgotten about the food at work thing! One salon I worked at had Nando's next door...

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  13. FFS!! I've waxed a lot of bottoms but never had that problem thankfully!!!

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  14. A laugh and a learning experience is what its all about, Anne x

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  15. If they provide baby wipes that is all you need!

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  16. And by brilliant you mean vomit worthy, right? :P

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  17. Totally with you on the foot thing. I am so foot phobic. I can't even stand other people touching my feet when I have a pedicure, let alone having to cut someone elses dead foot skin off. Gross. I feel sick just thinking about it.

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  18. Excellent post Glow! You are not alone on the podophobia...I'm always amazed how practitioners and clients alike often give little thought to what it's like in the other person's shoes. It's like when I was recently having an expensive haircut and mentioned that my hair was thinning. The girl did not need express her opinion that it was a sign I was reaching menopause. My doctor could have told me that for a lot less!

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  19. I could never see a podiatrist because I would spend the whole time freaking out at the whole idea :P My doctor would have charged you $100 for that :S

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  20. See I'm strange, I can handle other people touching my feet, but then if they want to come anywhere near me afterwards they have to go bleach their hands.

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  21. I only just found this post. I'm so happy to read what a beautician thinks about these things and know I've been doing the right thing all along. I always have a shower before I get a wax. Always. I feel bad enough that someone has to get down there that there's no way I wouldn't make sure I turned up for my appointment clean.

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  22. On behalf of all Beauty Therapists, thank you!

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  23. Umm..I cant believe people in society think being a beauty therapist is a job for "dumb" people. We learn things Doctors learn such as the anatomy, physiology and biology of the body. We need to know everything about everything when it comes to the body. We need to have a great deal of common sense, after all we are using high tech equipment and we have a duty of care to clients if we were "dumb" you would hear about beauty therapists burning clients with hot stones and wax everyday.

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