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A chat with Tshepo at Birdhaven

Tshepo Phashe is one of the original beauticians at toast&co, joining the salon when it opened in 2008. Though she left the next year for a short stint, she was back in 2011 and has been part of the team ever since.

“I love what I do because it makes people happy,” Tshepo says.

Nails drew Tshepo to study as a cosmetologist at Parktown College. She liked how a well-done set instantly boosted a person’s look, leaving them feeling powerful and beautiful. Once she  started studying, though, she found she loved it all, facials and massage and spray tans. Each technique offered a unique twist on uplifting and taking care of people.

Once she started working she found she especially liked waxing. It has instant results – and she is very good at it, working quickly and efficiently.

“When you feel beautiful, you feel confident,” the beautician says. “You feel like you can conquer the world, whether you’re going for a meeting or to a wedding.”

And it’s not only women who are being treated to Tshepo’s talents. Men also come in for appointments. “Things have changed,” she says. “They’re not embarrassed to get their treatments.”

Some of them are her regulars. Over the years she’s got to know a set of clients who choose her every time. “That is a testimonial that I’m doing my thing and I’m doing it well.”

Part of why people book with her is because Tshepo prides herself in staying up to date with an industry that evolves every season. “We are part of the fashion industry, so there is always a change in trends, like popular colours and shapes of nails, and new treatments and products.

“If you don’t keep up with the trends you’ll be stuck in the twilight zone. You always have to be training, reading and interested in what’s going on.”

Last season glazed nails were in. This season sugar nails, with their beautiful texture, are all the rage. “You have to learn how to do each changing trend to keep up.”

Tshepo’s favourite nails are the classic French, but she likes the new spin on it too: the black tip.

Her beauty regime in the morning starts with a jog. “It’s good for the body, my mental health and for my skin. Can you see the glow?” she laughs. Then she puts on an exfoliating cleanser followed by a hydrating serum, a moisturiser and sunscreen. Finally she adds a little foundation and her signature lashes.

“My lashes make me smile with my eyes!” she says with a winning grin.




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