A Salford beauty salon owner is optimistic about the future of her business but frustrated that she has been forced to delay reopening.
An aesthetician and beauty therapist’s job description includes many of the things we have been asked to refrain from over the last year.
The makeup, tan and beauty industry has been shunned since the start of the coronavirus outbreak due to bans on close physical contact, which has caused salon owners and customers wanting their beauty treatments to lose out.
Claire Whincup, owner of Sunkissed Tanning in Eccles, feels the ‘beauty community were pushed out and left out’ during the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said: ‘The first lockdown brought out that pubs could reopen.
“We weren’t given the same opportunity to reopen the same way that pubs and leisure was.
“My sunbed shop is probably one of the cleanest places that you could wish to be, and then you could go in Wetherspoons and sit next to some old man who has been bladdered while they throw up at the side of you – but as long as you’ve got a mask on you can quite happily go and sit in that seat next to him.”
The inherent health risks that beauty services bring means that salon owners across the UK are taking hygiene concerns even more seriously to ensure their doors won’t be forced to close again.
Mother of two, Claire ensures all staff and customers abide to social distancing and provides a clean, hygienic environment.
The beauty professional is also willing to become vaccinated to ensure the safety of her customers.
She said: “I’ll definitely be having the vaccine as soon as I am invited.
“Sadly, with no health conditions and being 40, I’m one of the latter brackets.
“I need the vaccine as our customer base is huge.
“We have people using our sunbeds who control health conditions which makes them vulnerable, so it’s essential me and all my staff are vaccinated to protect our customers.”
Excited about reopening, salon owner Claire explains she was also anxious.
She said: “I was absolutely delighted with the reopening.
“I am one of the lucky ones, I have got a loyal customer base.
“When I bought and refurbished Sunkissed, I couldn’t afford a new sign – budget had simply ran out.
“[The sign’s] like an old stalwart, and I feel like she’s part of the shop’s history.
“So the fact I am now trying to bring the business back after the toughest 12 months, both professionally and personally, I thought it might be quite nice to include.”
Claire continued: “You start thinking about things and, you know, what if people of all of a sudden have started to become self-reliant?
“I formulate my own self tan, but what if all of a sudden everybody has learnt to rely on self tan rather than paying for sunbeds?
“It is difficult for me.
“All of a sudden you’re seeing the press on acrylic nails with all the designs on them in B&M and Home Bargains…
“What if people have actually got used to this lifestyle rather than paying more for a service?
“Everybody’s found ways to still look good throughout lockdown in Salford, so that makes you think ‘why are customers gonna come and pay X amount of pounds when everybody has kinda found ways to work around it?'”
Sunkissed Tanning offers a wide range of exceptional treatments including sunbeds, facials, nails and aesthetics.
Claire has also provided beauty treatments to famous faces such as Love Island’s Tommy Fury and Jemma Lucy.
The salon opened December 2017 and boasts 5-star review.