What is beauty? It’s a question that people have grappled with for years, yet here in Townsville beauty experts have been able to keep up with snap trends and long-term looks thanks to our determination and desire to provide premium services on par with the big cities. Here in Townsville, we are certainly a city with a focus on beauty – so how have these trends evolved, how do they affect you and how do our services compare to those in the big smoke? Let’s explore this.
EVOLUTION OF THE TOWNSVILLE BEAUTY INDUSTRY
To look at how far we’ve come, we first need to explore the foundation that makes beauty what it is. When it comes to this, Dr Mark Vucak, a surgeon at Queensland Plastic Surgery lays out the fascinating and simple formula that creates a base for our ideal look.
“The definition of beauty is not complicated because it’s just basic symmetry. So if you look at a supermodel and then the average person, the difference is that the supermodel has very good symmetry. For example, the distance for your eyes should be 33mm, which should be the same distance from the base of your nose.” However, Mark notes that there is an exception. “The people who are thought to be the most beautiful are not the people with perfect symmetry, they are people with a little bit of off symmetry like Angelina Jolie. This is because when you are looking at somebody and they’re too perfect, you think, ‘that just can’t be right’, so your brain re-calculates it.”
When it comes to the evolution of the industry, Mark says he has seen an increase in patients making changes to their problem areas, with a rise in loose skin and breast reductions. This doesn’t surprise Skin Therapist, Mariana Vucik from Chrysalis Medispa, who says that “more millennials are seeking medical grade treatments.”
“People are becoming more proactive with their purchases and seeking out more ‘active’ and ‘results driven’ products and treatments. This is why the use of laser and injectables has grown so majorly.”
As the need for a ‘step out of bed beautiful’ style permeates the industry, several businesses are noting a definite shift in the choice of beauty treatments.
“We’ve seen a huge demand in eyelash extensions over the past 12 months because people want to wake up and have their regime made easier,” says Jodi Wright from Capelli Hair Gallery, who notes that spraytans have also seen a steady rise.
Having our locals mix healthy workouts into the beauty regime is also a growing trend, with Zoe Spillane from Fitness with Zoe saying “outdoor fitness is definitely on the rise”, with the biggest boom for this going to the over 30s category.
Adding to the evolution of our beauty industry is the growing acceptance of plastic surgery, which in itself has changed in the past decade. This is something that almost everyone in the industry puts down to the rise in social media and accessibility to products and treatments.
“Plastic surgery, skin and wrinkle treatments are no longer something we hide,” says Zoe. “We are sharing these things on social media, documenting them on YouTube and Snapchat and having open conversations about them. Nothing is hidden anymore and people are more willing than ever to accept people’s choices when it comes to beauty.”
HOW HAVE THE TOWNSVILLE BEAUTY TRENDS CHANGED?
One of the biggest changes in when it comes to Townsville beauty is the acceptance of male grooming, which almost every beauty industry has seen a rise in.
“An increasing trend of male grooming has benefited the industry over the past five years,” Mariana says. “A big one is that people are becoming more mindful of their skin in regards to sun damage and UV rays for both genders,”
This change has even broken into the professional field, with both male and female professionals embracing good health and beauty regimes in order to present the best version of themselves.
“It’s important for anyone to feel confident in themselves and looking and feeling your best can play a huge part in that,” says Jodi. “Personal confidence can help you to succeed in all areas of your life and there’s a massive market for that amongst business professionals.”
“It’s true,” Zoe adds. “Nothing beats the feeling of walking into a room and feeling confident, but this confidence doesn’t just happen, you create it. We are working longer hours than ever before so we need to try and find a balance between work and home life. Townsville’s health and beauty services offer a chance for a little me time in a busy week.”
Mark says he has also noticed a difference with his patients after their procedures, saying, “People feel a lot better about themselves after cosmetic surgery. This gives them more confidence in life, which is reflected in their business life.”
WHAT IS THE ‘TOWNSVILLE LOOK’?
So what look are both experts and locals aiming for? It turns out that a vast amount of people in Townsville gravitate towards the ‘natural’ look more than anything else.
“I would say we have the outdoors type look,” Mariana says. “Generally here in the northern tropics, you find that everyone tends to be outdoors for most of the year, so you do have the casual makeup, natural style that we have going. People want to portray that look of health, ideally.”
Jodi builds on this, saying that not only do we enjoy the natural look, we also take “high-end trends and create a casual version of it to make it wearable every day of the week.”
“The heat here is a big thing so everything has to be lifestyle friendly. Tans and eyelash extensions are big here as they just make life so simple,” says Jodi.
On top of that, Mark says Townsville also has a focus on the ‘barely there’ corrective surgery compared to places like the United States, where he worked before.
“When I was in Atlanta, people would have four facelifts by the time they got to their sixties, whereas in North Queensland we generally only do one. In saying that, the past 10 to 15 years has seen a change in the whole concept of face-lifts. There’s a difference between looking tight like in the US and looking fresh, which is what we’re trying to do in North Queensland. It’s flowing, there’s more fat grafting and we’re aiming for more shape than the flatter windswept look here. People want a really nice, natural appearance.”
HOW DOES TOWNSVILLE BEAUTY COMPARE TO THE BIG SMOKE?
It turns out that whilst the natural look is certainly favoured here in the tropics, it can also have a downside.
“If you head down south, everyone dresses differently and they have much more makeup on. Whereas when you come up north we’re all about fitness, health, living in the outdoors and doing sporting activities. Everyone wants that healthy look,” Mariana says. “Down south you’ll also notice that people age more intrinsically, whereas here in the tropics people tend to get that excessive sun damage in their skin. People here and around the world pair tanned skin with looking fit and healthy so our services do tend to sun damaged skin and our treatments are focused on the effects of our tropical lifestyle.”
Repairing sun damage isn’t just limited to skin either, with Tamara from Capelli saying it also permeates their industry.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in our clients wanting to maintain the integrity of their hair,” Tamara says. “This is vital in North Queensland where our hair can easily become damaged due to the environmental factors along with the stress of chemical services.”
Thanks to the rise of social media, we are now all one click away from keeping up with our competitors in big cities. Zoe, who has a strong social media presence, says connecting with clients is also easier – and more budget friendly – than ever.
“You don’t have to spend a lot of money on advertising to stand out anymore. Small businesses are now connecting with clients before they even step in the door and customers are deciding if they want to be a client all from a simple scroll,” Zoe says, saying that this means both customers and businesses can see even more budget benefits.
“We are starting to see a fair playing field for standards across the Townsville health and fitness industry thanks to social media. On top of that, regional cities like Townsville have the benefit of lower overheads which results in lower prices for the customer.”
Instant access to social media and apps such as Instagram and Pinterest have also allowed us to take advantage of new, emerging trends the moment they happen. They have also allowed us to tap into a broader range of services, which Jodi from Capelli says has really benefited the region. “We are getting more and more training events to North Queensland each year so the level of experience and skills are up there with the larger cities now and we can offer the same services on the same level,” Jodi says.
Mark agrees, adding “Queensland Plastic Surgery offers all the same cosmetic procedures as the capital cities. Our doctors are always updating their skills and using all the newest procedures. We would be on par with all the capital cities for procedures, services and prices.”
If there’s one aspect that we can embrace more than the big cities, it’s that we have the perfect environment to nurture our inner beauty as well.
“When you look after your body by exercising daily and eating nutritious foods you start to feel like the new you is on the rise.”
“You have more energy, you are less stressed, less bloated, your skin is radiant, honestly the list goes on and on,” Zoe continues. “All of these benefits help towards finding inner beauty which in my opinion is one of the hardest things anyone can find. Accepting and loving the person looking back at you in the mirror every day is one of the struggles a lot of people face, but looking after your body right is one step towards finding inner beauty.”
So whether it’s on the outside, inside or both – the drive to provide high-end services on par or better than those in the big cities in a way that makes everyone feel beautiful is stronger than ever. This culture of raw, organic beauty in Townsville goes above just looking good. It shows that we’re a city who aim to be our best – both inside and out.