An interview with an Expert.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Vicki; owner of the high-flying house of beauty that is The Beauty Lounge.
“Welcome!” says Vicki, who’s six weeks off her due date but somehow still
prancing around like a doe, face aglow with a mix of pride, pregnancy and sunlight as we settle into one of her spacious treatment rooms.
he beauty industry is a difficult one to crack- who or what inspired you to pursue it?
It’s the only job I’ve ever done- I’ve been doing it nineteen years. I started a two-week beauty internship at fourteen and instantly fell in love with it. I was even a beach masseuse in Fiji at one point. I worked all over the world as a manager, such as in the Sheraton’s spas in Australia, then I decided I wanted to work for myself. I’ve always known [beauty is] what I want to do.
How was The Beauty Lounge conceived?
I took a lot of inspiration from a salon I managed in Ilkley. I have always wanted a house of beauty and I still can’t believe we’ve finally got it, largely due to the support from my husband and mum.
Even when we found this house, you wouldn’t believe the state it was in. It’s over 200 years old! It needed completely gutting, but I love olde-worlde [style]. I’ve kept the beautiful, original features of the building, like the hand-painted glass window at the top of the stairs, the floor in the entrance and the fireplaces. We browse antique shops to decorate the house so it all ties in. It’s everything I wanted it to be.
What treatments do you offer?
Where to start! We offer facials, massages, reflexology, acupuncture, waxing, Moroccan spray tans, make-up, LVL lashes, manicures and pedicures in our luxury double-pedi room, to name but a few.
We also have set packages, special events, kids sparkle parties and a build your own package option. All include free refreshments. I love it when the house is full of people, it’s wicked! We even have fizz Fridays- all the customers show up from work and we load them with cupcakes and prosecco then stay open till 9pm.
We had a saxophone player at our last event and now we’re even thinking about building a bar! Clients tell me “I absolutely love coming here”, particularly when they’re leaving quite merry…
Sounds right up my street! What is your most popular treatment?
We do a hell of a lot of facials because we’re a gold salon for Dermalogica and number one in Yorkshire, meaning we are experts and get all of the new stuff three weeks before it comes out. It takes a lot of training and you have to renew your Dermalogica expertise every year, so most salons don’t bother but it’s important to us. If you come to us with a skin complaint, we can sort it. We’ve been doing skincare for so long, customers really trust us.
Do you run any special promotions
On the first Monday of every month we have Happy Monday, where customers can enjoy 10% off all products and future treatments that are prepaid for that day in salon or over the phone. It’s a discount day to help with pay day, and one less thing to think about.
Which is your favourite treatment?
I love the results of the environ facials. They’re crazy! It works as deep as [wrinkle-relaxing injections] without the needle, actually lasts longer and is a hell of a lot cheaper at £40 for an hour and fifteen minutes. Similarly, the brand new Dermalogica skin peel takes only thirty minutes, gives similar results and comes with a skin kit for after care.
What’s the story with your online store?
Our website stocks Dermalogica at very competitive prices. A lot of our clients live in London where these products cost an absolute fortune. We have a herbal shop on there too, stocking organic bath salts and tablets for tanning, digestion, and slimming.
This industry changes practically hourly. How do you keep up with current beauty trends?
Research. Try before you buy is the way to do it. Henna brows are about to go massive, I think. They look beautiful but the [training] course is very expensive, so salons charge £30-£35. We do a wax and tint which gives the same effect for £12, takes the same amount of time (30 mins) and only lasts one week less than henna! I wouldn’t pay £30 for near enough the same result so I don’t expect my clients to. I’m trying to put my own henna treatment together called Beauty Lounge Brows but just not charge as much for it.
Of all the major trends, which are here to stay, and which are getting the boot?
Shellac is here to stay. Thank god, I very rarely hear “oh no. I’ve smudged it” now! On the other hand, minx died a death! I have thousands upstairs- god knows what I’m gonna do with them all!
Do you ever find yourself inspired by beauty icons and celebrities?
For us, celebrities are people that have been successful in beauty, not people from Towie. There is a skin doctor who used to be a plastic surgeon- when his wife was diagnosed with skin cancer, he put all his money into health-oriented skin care. That’s who we look up to. For me, it’s about preventing your skin from needing [wrinkle-relaxing injections]- prevention is better than a cure.
And lastly, boy or girl?
“Girl!” she says excitedly. We give each other a certain look as if to say, “of course it is!”. I have a feeling she’s going to be one very lucky little lady indeed!
The Beauty Lounge
Wilsden BD15 0JW
Tel: 01535 271158