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Nestled in the bosom of the twinkly delights of Rufus Court is a beauty tardis. Step through the chic white doors of Rebecca Jayne Make Up Studio and you’ll be transported and transformed in a welcoming world where everything is tinged with a soft glow and smells divine.

I don’t have a great relationship with my hair. We fall out on a regular basis. Before I moved to Chester I visited the same salon for around 20 years. I had a hairdresser that shouted at me. He was superbly trained, and I loved how he cut my hair, but visiting was an ordeal. He couldn’t keep staff because he was so miserable, and woe betide anyone who asked for a cup of tea!

Since moving to Chester I’d visited a couple of upmarket chains but felt like my hair had been cut with a template, as though I’d been on a conveyor belt like a Raggy Doll. This all added up to my hair being box-dyed at home every colour under the sun, including a particularly nice washed out green, and becoming overly long, dry and split.

I met Leanne Smith of Leanne Victoria Hair Design through SisterHub and knew she had a wealth of training and knowledge behind her. State registered with the hair council with over 17 years’ experience, a master colour degree, management experience, a CV that includes Saks and Regis and now an independent brand.

When she told me she was holding the launch event for moving into her own salon and wanted to perform a transformation I jumped at the chance! She told me how excited she was to do a complete make-over and I was nervous but excited too. Leanne visited my house the week before my appointment and gave me a skin test and listened to what I wanted, looking at the photographs I’d saved. Long – short, fringe – no fringe, silver – blonde, curls – straight. I was being very indecisive, but Leanne picked out exactly what I wanted and made sure it would suit me. We agreed I’d go much shorter, icy blonde and some pearlescent pink, hand-painted chunks through the ends for my holiday in the sun which would wash out after a couple of weeks.

On the day of Leanne’s Launch event, I arrived at the salon in the afternoon to have my make-over. She welcomed me with a hot drink and it was just so peaceful in the court, such a lovely place to be pampered. The salon is small but perfectly formed. Rebecca Jayne’s make up station is at the front with a hoard of beautiful ornate mirrors and lots of vintage looking brushes and trinkets on the dresser. Leanne’s salon is behind this, a wonderfully comfy chair in front of a mirror with a shelf plenty wide enough for a cup of earl grey, my specs and my phone.

Leanne is an advocate for the Monat brand of hair care and the smell that washed over me when she was massaging my scalp masterfully was heavenly. Whether it was the glass of fizz, the soothing music or Leanne’s magic hands, I started to drift off.

Leanne works lightning fast and you can see her confidence and expertise. The colouring of my hair took a little longer than expected due to my at-home abuse with whatever box-dye took my fancy when I was grocery shopping for the last 8 years’ but once that was complete, the cut took her minutes and was exactly what I wanted. She listened to me which is essential and something I’d rarely experienced before.

After my hair was transformed Rebecca Jayne arrived and perched me on a stool to perform miracles on my face. Rebecca is a lovely girl and also super confident and quick with what she does. She also listened to what I didn’t want despite me not knowing exactly what I did want, except that my lashes should be huge! (Well I am from the North East). A smoky eye and a natural lip made sure I felt made up but I didn’t feel like I stood out.

I’d brought a change of outfit for the event, which was to be held in Alexanders. As I changed into my long black dress and added some jewellery and heels I felt new and confident and beautiful. I waited outside the salon before going into Alexanders and one of the other SisterHub members Lindsay wandered straight past me on her way to the event. I called out and she turned around and squinted!

During the course of the event, Leanne once again transformed my hair by adding a curl with GHD’s and demonstrating to the ladies present how this is done. As someone who has tried this at home before I can say that the tips come in very handy and have already made it easier to attempt.

We then enjoyed prosecco and more pampering. Rebecca Jayne stayed to demonstrate her wonderful products and a nail technician joined us to do some simple polishes. Foxy Frocks displayed their wonderful selection of handbags, shoes and unique clothes. Leanne also provided everyone with a thoughtful goody bag full of treasures including free samples, sweets and a hairbrush branded up with her logo. A raffle was organized with some exclusive prizes including lots of treatments, products and gifts. There was even a chance to win a coaching session with the amazing Lindsay Rocke! The raffle was in aid of Macmillan and raised well over £120!

My time with Leanne was something I’d never experienced before despite having visited many, many hairdressers. I left feeling special and relaxed rather than stressed and self-conscious and I really can’t wait to go back.


*Photos courtesy of Marie-Claire Ashcroft*