‘Facial treatments will be higher risk’ - Beauty industry ‘unclear’ when business can resume
- Credit: Polly Vincent
Many of us are looking forward to feeling a bit more glam as lockdown is lifted. As businesses start to reopen, some professions which involve being in close contact with others have been given little guidance. Reporter EMILY THOMSON spoke with the people who give us that feel good factor.
Many industries are adapting to a ‘new normal’ to keep customers safe and socially distanced, having to introduce measures that are transforming the way they work.
But what do you do if you’re a business which relies on being up close and personal?
Polly Vincent is owner of Enhance Cosmetic Clinic, in Pakefield, which specialises in permanent makeup and dermal filler.
Her treatments involve close contact with clients, and the need for social distancing has posed a problem for the business - and the industry.
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The 32-year-old said: “It’s very difficult because everything we do is in close contact and although we always wear PPE and have strict hygiene procedures, we will have to do a lot more to ensure staff and clients are safe.
“Going back to work is going to be a lot harder for us with less clients and more time spent cleaning and decontaminating. It won’t be one in, one out and everything will have to be single use.
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“But facial treatments will be a higher risk for us so anything below a face mask will most likely be the last treatment we provide.
“It will be a new normal, but we are prepared to do what we can to open safely.”
Despite these uncertainties, Ms Vincent is looking forward to reopening and making her clients “feel good” again.
She added: “It has been really difficult because my life is my business and to have that taken away from me has been a real struggle.
“I can’t wait to open so we can give our clients that feel good factor they deserve.”
Rhia Bell, 22, owner of Lashes by Rhia, based at Gapton Industrial Estate, near Great Yarmouth, says she has a waiting list of clients desperate for a new set of lashes.
Ms Bell said: “I now have 70 girls all needing a full set when everything reopens, and everyone wants to be the first person.
“It’s one of those things that becomes very addictive. My clients tell me having nice eyelashes gives them a confidence boost and makes them feel better with no makeup on.
“But the government haven’t given any guidance. There was speculation about re-opening in July but no one is sure.
“When I do reopen, I will be introducing new rules. I wear a mask anyway, but I will also be asking clients to wear a mask, not bring visitors to an appointment, sanitize hands and waiting in their car before they come in.”
With her only source of income taken away, Ms Bell said it has been a difficult time.
In a bid to keep her business going, she has been creating personalised strip lashes for those who can’t go without.
Ms Bell added: “It has taken my livelihood away and it can be quite lonely when you’re used to having such a social job.
“But I have had so many lovely messages from my clients because you end up with a really close relationship with them.”
Andrew Brown, 31, is a tattooist at Indigo piercing and tattoo on Lower Goat Lane, in Norwich, says they have no confirmed date to reopen but have set their hopes on July.
Mr Brown said: “We haven’t received any official guidance in accordance to how we will have to change, but as a studio practice we have what I consider to be a very high level of hygiene practice and work in a very clean and sterile environment.”
Mr Brown, from Peterborough, said he is uncertain how much tattooists’ services will be in demand when restrictions are lifted but said they have still been receiving enquiries.
“It’s a hard one to judge as obviously many people haven’t been working and still have bills to pay, so I’m unsure how people are financially and if a tattoo would be their first choice,” said Mr Brown.
“But it’s been surprising and also humbling the loyalty of our customers as we are still receiving emails and messages via Instagram for both tattoos and piercings.”
All three professionals have completed extra training in Covid-19 prevention and hygiene.