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The ins and outs of beauty treatments abroad

At some point in life, most of us will have to attend an event overseas, whether it is the wedding of a friend or relative, a hen or stag party, or a family holiday. When in the UK, us beauty fans will have their little black book of go to salons to visit for event preparation, but what happens if you are in an unfamiliar place?

 

The key thing to remember when you’re in “holiday mode” it’s vital to take the same precautions as you would at home - picking salons you know nothing about and merely choosing the first place you come across, or that is cheap, is likely to end in, at best, a dodgy manicure, and at worst, injury or an allergic reaction.

 

I have just returned from bridesmaid duties at a wedding which led me to both Melbourne and Sydney in Australia, so I thought I would share my experience and advice for having beauty treatments in an unfamiliar setting or country.  I had holiday treatments at home, several pre-wedding treatments in both cities down under, as well as a few post-wedding treats when back in Manchester – it’s hard work being a bridesmaid!

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A week or so before jetting off, I had gel nails at an unfamiliar salon in Manchester, eyebrow threading and waxing at places recommended by friends and family, and a trim at my usual hairdressers.

 

By the time I made my first stop in Sydney, it was time to have my gel nails removed and replaced. I chose a salon based on the really high levels of cleanliness I could see they had. This is a key thing to look out for when choosing a salon on holiday - ignoring the convenient proximity to your hotel and the attractively low prices, it is more important to look out for sparkling clean equipment and surroundings, and well turned out staff.

By the time I made my first stop in Sydney, it was time to have my gel nails removed and replaced. I chose a salon based on the really high levels of cleanliness I could see they had. This is a key thing to look out for when choosing a salon on holiday - ignoring the convenient proximity to your hotel and the attractively low prices, it is more important to look out for sparkling clean equipment and surroundings, and well turned out staff. 

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In Melbourne, I had henna applied as is the tradition for Indian weddings. For such an intricate and skilled treatment, it is even more important to choose someone completely qualified and very experienced. Our henna lady was booked by the bride after a recommendation, and had studied in India – she also only used organic, natural henna, which was a real plus.

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I had my hair and make-up professionally done in Melbourne and due to the obvious distance involved, I was unable to go through the usual consultation process. While having your hair and make-up done overseas is unlikely to pose much of a risk, if you have ever suffered allergic reactions or anything similar when using certain kinds of make up or hair treatments, you should always make a beautician aware before your treatment begins. If you are particularly sensitive to certain smells used in beauty products, this is the time to say – no bridesmaid wants their eyes to water all day or to suffer an attack of sneezes due to an overwhelmingly sweet or fruity hair product or make up setting spray.

 

Following the wedding, it was time for relaxing full body massages, and I went with the recommendation of my Aunt who was repeat customer. This is a great way of finding reputable salons abroad - ask around the local community, ask the receptionist and staff at the hotel you are staying in, and if attending a wedding or other event, use the other guests’ experiences to guide you in the right direction.

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Luckily my beauty experience was faultless and apart from some peeling henna after sitting in the sun too long, I had no complaints or problems with the treatments I had. The wedding went off without a hitch and the Bride looked exquisite and was very happy with the make-up and hair for her bridesmaids. It is only too important to remember that whilst abroad do not to take risks with beauty treatments as an injury or infection could ruin your trip and the memories of your holiday.