A Beauty Salon with a Difference

Read my interview with Geelong beautician and organics advocate, Justine Morgan, on chocolate fake tan, knitting between clients and why we should boycott chemicals. Oh, and starting her own business.

Love this chaise lounge, both the colour and style!

Tell me about your range…

“Well, all the make up is organic: it’s vegan, it’s certified organic, no animal testing, it’s made in Australia. So you can eat it and you’d probably get a bit of a bellyache but it’s not going to hurt you.

It’s also water resistant and sweat resistant, so you can wear it to the gym or to the beach and things like that.

It’s a beautiful product, it all smells really nice… well, it doesn’t really have a smell but some [of the products] have  a nice rose smell to it, or vanilla.”

“There’s Spray Tan and there’s also what’s called an Invisible tan, which is like a rub-on tan. That’s anti-aging, helps with cellulite  and , again, is organic. The colouring is from cacao beans so you go nice and brown, not orange.”

Products used: Elusyion mineral cosmetics, Ecotan for tanning, Bio Gel for nails

That sounds very yummy!

Yes. (She laughs but I’m completely serious. Those gorgeous smelling products always lure me in, bless their cotton socks…)

Just on another note, I like the way this salon looks, as in that couch mixed with that dressed (I speak with my hands a lot but that probably isn’t very helpful for a written interview. Just picture a lady excitedly flailing her arms around, intrigued by the unusual pieces of furniture.)  It looks vintage?

Yep, it is! I got it off Ebay and then fixed it up.

So, this doesn’t have the normal salon feel. You know, all white and kind of clinical…

I wanted it to feel comfortable, not sterile. Not like people were afraid to touch things.

And, you knit as well?

I knit. I crochet.

I took a look at how this crafty beautician wittles away her time ‘between clients.’

These uncanny make up bags sell for $15

Wow, I said, admiring the nifty little make up bags she has on display.

So, when you’re not with people coming in for services, you’re working on your knitting, and other homemade stuff?

She grins and I take that as a yes.

What made you want to start your own business in Geelong rather than work for someone else?

“The main reason is that I was inbetween jobs and I chose to take a part time job in a supermarket and I got injured. I’ve had to have surgery, and with recovery – and how long that’s going to be – I know that I probably wouldn’t be able to work a full time job.

I’ve trained in beauty therapy and remedial massage, not that I can do massage anymore with my injury…

So, that was one reason for starting my own business,  knowing I could say – ‘Ok, I only want to have four clients a day today and tomorrow I might push myself and have six.’

There’s that and there’s also having worked for other people and not feeling that the customer was number one, it was more the dollar was number one, and I understand that you’ve got to make money but you’re not going to make money until the customer feels comfortable and keeps coming back

That’s a great reason to start your own business… How have you found the location so far?

There’s a lot of passing foot traffic, so im kinda hoping that once people remember that im here, it gets busier.

And, (she pauses and a laugh escapes) It can be an interesting location at times: I’ll say interesting!

[NB: Gel-ous Beauty is located in the heart of the Geelong CBD, on Union Street. Its nearby shop neighbours include a pub and the mall.]

So what’s your vision for this salon?

Offering people things which don’t contain chemicals, that are going to not only help their skin but – it’s a health thing as well – because you’re not putting chemicals….

You know because they’re always saying,“this causes cancer and that causes cancer” so if we can get rid of chemicals” that’s really good.

And just people feeling comfortable.

“I know a lot of women that may not feel that they look pretty and things like that, they’ll avoid going to salons because they think they have to look a certain way before they go to the salon, I don’t want people to think that they have to be perfect all the time.”

You can just be you, you’re perfect in your own way.

That’s beautiful.

Just going back to the healthy side of your salon …the  no chemicals aspect and stuff like that, I’m guessing that’s something really important to you?

Yes… Not only for people but also for the planet. If it can be done without chemicals, I don’t see why people are still using chemicals.

Justine found vintage dresser on Ebay and, with some love and paint, made it her own!

Gel-ous Beauty, Ph. 03 5222 1015, Facebook page

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