The price of beauty

Is it really worth it?

With the cost of living hitting an all-time high, we look at whether the beauty industry will be impacted and what this means for you, our valued customer.

Historically the beauty industry has proven to be recession-proof. Statistics show that in the 2008 UK recession, the beauty industry powered through the economic storm and wasn’t seen to have reclined in product or service sales. Most beauty consumers see having a treatment or buying a product as a necessity, not a luxury.

Since Covid-19 hit in 2020, the beauty industry was forced to shut down all salon services due to face-to-face contact. With this in place, we saw sales soar in ‘at home’ beauty products and equipment. Many people continued to perform beauty treatments on themselves, from DIY waxing kits to purchasing UV lamps and gel nail polishes.

With the cost of living increasing, home kits and DIY jobs may be a continuing practice for lots of consumers, but is it really the same? And is it safe?

More than just a treatment

As a beauty therapist with 16 years of experience, one thing I have learnt is people don’t just come for the aesthetic result. The job title ‘beauty therapist’ speaks for itself.

‘Therapist’  means so much more than one who offers a treatment to enhance another’s appearance aesthetically. It’s listening to someone who doesn’t feel listened to in their personal life, it’s offering a sanctuary for those who come to have a break from the kids, it’s a hand to hold when taking that first step to building self-esteem back up. Beauty therapy awakens various different feelings in people; what that feeling may look like is different for everyone, and some clients may not even realise that’s why they keep returning.

I once offered my 93-year-old neighbour a head massage whilst she was sitting in her chair. My partner thought I was acting a little strange. When she left, I asked him, “How would you feel if you were 93 and, in the past 15 years or so, no one had stroked your head or made you feel loved from physical comfort.” He took a moment and said “ I never even thought of it like that, that must be quite a lonely feeling.”

This is exactly the point, beauty therapy isn’t always just seeking the final aesthetic look. It’s the feeling of care, nurture and appreciation that goes with it. This is something money can’t buy, and in my humble opinion, it’s what makes beauty treatments so appealing.

What price for an experienced therapist?

With intense practice and precise attention to detail, you could be very satisfied using your home gel nail kits. Maybe not so much on the DIY waxing, but you can’t replicate that feeling you get from an experienced and attentive therapist.

As well as seeing an extortionate increase in financial outgoings we have also seen an increase in mental health issues. Social media has become a tragic crisis concerning body confidence and self-esteem. This, I believe, has also contributed to customers continuing to purchase cosmetics products and keep up with their beauty regimes. Overall, self-image is something that is ingrained in our daily vision, whether it is welcomed or not.

But is this how it should be?

The answer is no. It’s not how it should be. But what I do agree with is doing what’s right for your mental well-being. If having your nails done or indulging in a relaxing massage helps you to feel better, then you absolutely should do what is right for you whilst living within your means, of course.

In conclusion, I think it’s fair to say that, yes, we may see the beauty industry dip this time around due to the advanced home kits now available, but it will never be a replica of the experience and expert treatment you will receive from a trained professional.

By Elizabeth Slator

Beauty expert Elizabeth Slator

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