Essence of Beauty is located in Harborne and offers a range of beauty and health-based treatments. My mother was a regular patron their and went for a variety of treatments. Most recently I went for a nail treatment as trusted the staff members to give me a high-level personalised service. Previously, I have had some difficulties with other nail salons, but Essence of Beauty have always been ready to adapt and consistently make me feel welcome and comfortable.
Getting into the shop was difficult but possible. Firstly, getting to the shop front itself was made hard by car parked up in front of it. This meant I had to squeeze past the car and a plant pot to get through. However, the staff were super helpful and actually moved the plant pot so I could get passed. The entrance itself was on a big step and I did have fears that my dad would need to use the ramp for me to get in. Luckily between him, my PA and two of the other staff we were able to get inside. For those visiting with less manpower I would encourage you to bring a ramp as not everyone would be able to give the force necessary to help the chair up.
The shop itself was quite small and tightly spaced. I had to go slow, and it would take multiple tries to get around. The staff were very understanding and helpful and this wasn’t stressful at all because there didn’t feel to be a rush. Although not ideal I would not be put off by the confined nature of this shop because the staff are so relaxed and patient. Although I would not be able to access the rooms where some of the different beauty treatments were offered, I was more than able to have nail treatments at the front of the shop.
I was having shellac gel nails done for my graduation. I discussed my outfit for the day with the beautician, so she was able to help me pick the best colour. I had originally been thinning of choosing a blue to match my dress, but she instead encouraged me to pick a pink that would pop against the dress. The beautician sampled the colours on my nail, so I was able to pick the best pink. Having chosen my shellac nail colour, I sat down with my friend and prepared for the nail technician to do my nails. Previously I have had problems at some salons as they refused to serve me as they thought my left hand was too difficult to do my nails on. Although I do need someone to stretch out my left hand while the nail technician applies the varnish it is possible and very simple to do. The nail technician started to paint my nails, readjusting herself and the machine as she did so. As the machine is mobile it was simply a case of lifting it up for my left hand, which is exactly what she did. I understand that some disabilities would make having your nails done impossible but firmly believe a practical solution is more often available to try for most individuals.
The nail technician/beautician that saw me was very observant, kind and helpful. She is a family friend but has always been very social and interactive with all her customers (or anyone she meets really)! We discussed my graduation and gossiped about mutual friends which made the whole experience really nice.
Leaving the salon was just as challenging as entering as it again involved a lot of manoeuvring around to be able to exit. As before though, the staff were very patient and despite being technically difficult it was not stressful at all. I could not praise Essence of Beauty enough and would recommend both my able-bodied and disabled friends to make the trip if they want a fantastic job done with excellent service.