Beauty therapists confess their worst mistakes: "I waxed the actual skin off her face."

When we think about visiting the beauty therapist it is often the end result we envision – the perfectly manicured brows, full lashes, and smooth or bronzed skin.

The process to get us there is often a second thought. Perhaps it isn’t even a consideration at all or maybe the pain and awkwardness is something we just don’t want to think about, so we don’t.

But for beauty therapists, the process is the most important part and often for them, it is far from glamorous, in fact, it is often dirty, bloody, smelly and raw (literally).

From learning the tricks of the trade where practice makes perfect (and creates pain along the way) to dealing with clients who perhaps should have visited a shower before their appointment, beauty therapy is often quite the opposite of what first springs to mind when we think of beauty.

Hairdressers translated: this is what they’re really thinking when they’re doing your hair:

Video by MMC

“To learn how to wax or to do any of our treatments we need to practice; in beauty school it is on each other,” *Taylor told Mamamia. “To say there are a lot of mishaps would be an understatement. I remember one of my worst experiences was when I waxed the actual skin off someone as well as their eyebrows. It left red, sore, swollen skin and hurt the other trainee A LOT. She wouldn’t let me come near her again.”

For *Lisa her blunder came when learning to do a Brazilian wax. “I literally waxed her shut from top to bottom. I think it was a combination of too much wax, the wrong technique and the wrong place but her parts were very much sealed tightly shut, the wax was like superglue in the last places you’d ever want it. I had to get the instructor to assist and it took about an hour to fix the problem,” she said.

Lisa also recalls the time she was learning how to apply fake eyelashes and she accidentally got the adhesive in the other student’s eye. “It really irritated her eye and it was left red and very sore for about a week.”

The beauty horror stories don’t stop after beauty school though, and some of the most shocking and repulsive accounts come from appointments with paying clients.

women getting a wax
So many things can go wrong. Image: Getty.

There are sometimes issues of the toileting variety, where, a skill we have usually mastered by age five, are missed or not quite executed properly.

“I have had more than a few clients come in with bits of faeces still stuck to their pubic hairs. Although they always have the option to wipe with baby wipes before I begin their treatment, for whatever reason some decide not to and there can be a surprise or two left behind. If it happens I then have to discreetly wipe it away for them,” Taylor said.

As well as poor wiping neglect, there are also times where women have started their periods during treatment or as Taylor describes “let some go” while they are in that region. “They think because it is silent we can’t tell, well we can,” she said.

It isn’t always the waxing that leads to issues it can also be massage appointments that see therapists confront some ‘pointy’ situations.

Lisa said that there have been numerous times where male clients have found a little bit too much pleasure in her massage treatments.

“Often it happens when they’re on their backs and I am massaging their legs. I will notice the towel moving and a stiff bump where their now erect penis is pushing, often very visible. Mostly I ignore it but sometimes they will apologise, and I then have to acknowledge the situation and pretend it doesn’t matter. In reality though it makes me super uncomfortable.”

All jobs have their pros and cons, but for most of us they aren’t quite as unglamorous as those faced by the people who often help make us glamorous, our beauty therapists.

Shona Hendley, Mother of Goats, cats and humans, is a freelance writer from Victoria. An ex secondary school teacher, Shona has a strong interest in education. She is an animal lover and advocate, with a morbid fascination for true crime and horror movies. You can follow her on Instagram