Class of ’87

Last weekend I hosted a college reunion for nine beauty therapists – some who are still in the trade and others who are now doing other things. Our course was a three year hairdressing and beauty therapy course, back in the day when the only college you could train in was Weston-Super-Mare. We started with 14 girls and one boy –  Richard Page, really wanted to be a make up artist, and left after the first term, leaving 14 girls, who, through the recent powers of Face Book, have managed to find each other and get in touch. There are only a couple who have fallen through the net and Richard has ended up being a very well known make up artist now living in New York!


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We met in 1984 and were together for three years, some living in the digs, others travelling to college on a daily basis. This was back in the 80s when shoulder pads and puff ball skirts were in. White stilettos, and hairspray. Well before mobile phones, internet and gel nails. There were no spray tans or non-surgical face lifts. No laser hair removal, or eyelash extensions, or semi-permanent make up. The industry has grown very fast in the past 20 years, and a few of us who are still in the trade have seen these new things come in to salons over the years, and have grown with them. Extra training. More knowledge…. and that doesn’t even begin to cover the explosion into the field of holistic therapies!

It was interesting over our tea, cake and Prosecco, to hear how many of the girls used facial wipes! I nearly had heart failure. They were probably tempted in by all the marketing in magazines and TV just like any other consumer. Salons must find it more difficult to explain the issues behind using these disposable, germ harbouring, skin stripping, facial wipes. (They just move the dirt and make up around the face, containing preservatives to stop bacteria and fungi growing when the packet is opened, which aren’t good for your skin. Many also contain alcohols which dry the skin, and no ones tells you that if you do have to use them – for emergencies – the skin should still be washed afterwards to remove this chemical residue). I doubt many salons actually take the time to explain the pros and cons nor do they retail any alternatives. I do! I sell the Jane Iredale Magic mitt. A micro fibre cloth just needing water. It removes all make up and it’s perfect for travel, festivals, and lazy teens! Although for me I am a bit old school and still like to feel a cleanser on my face, this little gem is salon top seller.