Lisa Mann – Beautiful Soul
By Stella Nicholls, photos by Stella Nicholls and provided by Lisa Mann
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes, then learn how to do it later.” Richard Branson
Vampire Facial. When I first heard the term, I imagined a frozen ‘Twilightish’ type result, perhaps a little glittery and definitely unmoving, unable to frown. Of course, I was wrong; it just shows how much (or little) I know about modern beauty treatments!
Lisa Mann runs her own beauty salon in the beautiful market town of Totnes. You might feel that to gain the latest in beauty treatments that you’d need to head over to London, however, with Lisa’s passion for learning and staying abreast of what’s trending, you would be wrong. In fact, not only do Lisa and her therapists know a thing or two about how to keep skin looking fresh and rejuvenated but they have taken their treatments to a whole other level by offering Cancer Touch Therapy for people living with or recovering from cancer, too.
Lisa had mentioned, during the lead up to our meeting, that she would like me to ‘experience’ one of the many treatments they provide. I agreed, excited at the thought but as the day drew closer, I found that I was a tad nervous; I didn’t know what the treatment would entail. Am I the only woman on earth who feels self-conscious at the prospect of a beauty salon treatment, I thought? Were we talking a ‘mini pedi’ (I have bony ‘E.T.’ toes) or something a little more invasive (I’ve never had anything waxed)? I needn’t have worried.
That Lisa is an expert in her field, and a consummate professional is a given, but she is so much more than that. I found her to be one of the kindest and warmest individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. She soon had me feeling at home and almost before I had had a chance to ask her all my questions, she had whisked me off to the salon bed for an hour of unadulterated relaxation. I got the feeling that she was ‘saying’, enough talk, now feel. I distinctly remember thinking – I could live like this!
Lisa originally grew up in the Midlands, but it was when she moved to Somerset that she found herself with some really interesting connections which led to her being invited to castles and stately homes to perform her beauty treatments. She says they even had an opportunity to go to Windsor where she worked with some well-known celebs (who shall remain nameless as, of course, discretion is key, and she would never reveal who they were). She also had a day up in Tetbury, near Prince Charles’ residence, and says, all in all, she got “loads of beautiful, beautiful clients.”
Whilst the plan was always to start a salon, being on the road and meeting so many fascinating people was way too much of a lure. She described how her husband, Michael, would do all the heavy lifting, packing and repacking the large seven-seater Chrysler between visiting each stately home while she did all the treatments for the Ladies and Countesses. She said, “It was really lovely!” What an experience!
Lisa’s health started to suffer, and she was eventually diagnosed with MS in 2016, which was perhaps a catalyst in settling down and establishing the beautiful salon that she now runs at China Blue in Totnes. She had always wanted to be closer to the sea, so the setting was ideal.
Lisa has ensured that she keeps up to date with her training and education, often travelling to London to learn new techniques and keep progressing in her career. She needn’t have worried that being down in Devon would mean she was out of touch. She laughed and said that some of her influential clients contact her and say, ‘Been to London, had this facial, you need to do it now!’. And so, she does, booking herself onto the course to learn the latest and keep up with her qualifications. She loves learning and says it is one of the things that she is driven by – knowledge and education is vital, especially in her industry.
She has received some rave reviews from far and wide about the quality and care that she takes in her work, amongst them Brides Magazine and Conde Nast Traveller (which can be seen in detail on her web page).
But for Lisa, perhaps the feedback closest to her heart is from some of the clients who have received specialist Cancer Touch Therapy treatments from her. (The therapy was developed, taking advice from trained oncology massage teachers, advisors within the oncology team at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust and Macmillan). The therapy, for those currently living with or recovering from cancer, is ‘a safe and beautiful way of providing guests with a remarkably comforting experience, allowing an opportunity to truly relax’. A gentle therapy that helps ease pain from aching muscles.
She has also recently been trained in Hydrotherm Massage Therapy, where warm water-filled pads are placed on top of a regular therapy couch. During my visit to Lisa, I was given the opportunity to experience it for myself and it was heavenly. For someone like me, who suffers from backache due to too many hours bent over a keyboard, I could quite happily have this treatment every day, or at least on a regular basis and I was left feeling soothed and very relaxed.
Lisa recently achieved her Level 5 at night school, graduating in September 2018, which enables her to teach and operate as a training academy and will enable her to pass on her skills and talents to others. She says that as much as she loves her work and progressing in her career, it’s not just for herself though but also about helping other people. She has been known not to charge those who are ‘poorly and in real need’ and says,
“Obviously, I need to keep my business going but it’s more about doing something to help somebody too. It’s very important to me that we try and get them better.”
A beautiful soul through and through and as we chatted, I felt myself ‘tearing up’ more than once.
Lisa talked me through many of the treatments that the salon offers, from anti-aging (which I was particularly interested in, being on the ‘downward slope’ of the hill) to fat freezing. Suffice to say that she is a veritable fountain of beauty knowledge, and I definitely wouldn’t do her justice if I tried to explain each treatment; best to pop onto her website and take a look.
As I drove back to Exeter from Totnes, I had an immense feeling of wellbeing which I knew wasn’t only from the treatment I’d received, although that did play a big part. It was enhanced by the knowledge that I’d spent time with a woman who exudes kindness from a caring heart that goes so much deeper than the skin.
To find out more about Lisa Mann and make an appointment at her beauty salon, pop onto her website.