Meet the brains behind the new Saint Heliers skin and beauty salon raking in rave reviews
When it comes to skin treatments, there’s typically two camps of clients: those who want results and those who want relaxation. However, there’s far and few options in between for those who want the best of both. That’s a gap Saint Beauty, St Heliers new beauty destination, aims to fill.
Opening in June, the raved-about skin and beauty salon is already delighting Eastern Suburb locals. Located in the heart of Saint Heliers, just steps from the beach, it’s the calm oasis the sun-soaked suburb had long been missing.
Ahead, ProCollective caught up with founders Bex Hunt and Emma Hughes, to learn about their journey and how Saint Beauty came to be.
ProCollective (PC): Firstly, congratulations on your partnership and opening Saint Beauty this year! What inspired you to go into business together?
Bex: Thank-you it has been a very exciting time to see all our hard work and vision all come together. We met about seven years ago when working together. We both used to say we would love to open a beautiful modern salon in St Heliers one day. The timing was just right.
We fell in love with the space and location of an old salon in the village. After closing it for a month for a full renovation, we couldn’t be happier with how it’s turned out. We work very well together, sharing similar ideas, tastes, and style, so it has made designing the salon, the treatment menu, the products, and vision for the salon very easy and natural.
PC: Together you have 30 years of beauty experience, talk us through your respective journeys to starting Saint Beauty.
Bex: We both studied in Newmarket at the College of Camille about 15 years ago. From there I have worked in some amazing salons and spas across New Zealand, Australia, and London. Working in London was definitely a highlight – I worked in Soho at Cowshed spa and Strip Wax Bar in Chelsea. Then, I opened a small salon in Melbourne called Kempt Beauty but when I got pregnant, I just wanted to move home to New Zealand. While I was home with my kids, I worked part time at salons and kept up to date with the beauty industry on my Instagram page and blog, The BeautyHunt. My youngest is about to start school so the timing for me to start Saint Beauty was perfect.
Emma: After studying at the College of Camille, I worked in several salons and spas in Auckland. Most recently, I’ve been working in my small home-based salon in St Heliers, alongside a skin and beauty clinic in Remuera.
PC: what are three words that encapsulate the Saint Beauty experience?
Bex: relaxing, professional, and luxurious
Emma: results, relaxation, and luxury
It was important to us not to compromise between relaxation and results as you can have it all and we believe we have encapsulated that at Saint Beauty.
PC: How would you sum up the overall vibe and aesthetic of the Saint Beauty space?
Bex: We wanted it to feel calm, inviting, and high end. We have a lot of white, gold and wood. We weaved in a bit of Saint Heliers Beach with some beautiful big shells, neutral tones, and textures. The vibe is very professional and skin focused.
Emma: Saint Beauty is a place where our clients can come for honest advice, quality treatments, and care. Our space is clean, fresh, and inviting. Our clients can feel truly comfortable no matter what treatment they are receiving, with professionals who genuinely care.
PC: What is Saint Beauty’s philosophy when it comes skin?
Bex: Our skincare philosophy embraces a holistic approach that combines premium skincare and science-backed treatments.
Emma: At Saint Beauty, we understand that every skin is unique. Our focus is on helping clients achieve their skin goals by improving the concerns they have with their skin, holistically, from the inside out.
PC: At present, how many staff members make up your team?
Bex: At the moment it is just the two of us. Once we have built up a client base, we will be looking for our next Saint superstar! The response and support from the bays community has been amazing already so we are very grateful and excited about that. We have five treatment rooms. One is a spray tan room and one has a shower for our beautiful body scrubs and packages, so there’s lots of room to expand.
Emma: Bex and I are both working fulltime at the moment. We will be looking to expand our team as we progress the business. It will be important to us to find the right people though who share our values.
PC: How do you go about selecting what brands to align with and what brands do you currently work with?
Emma: We are excited to be using products that we know and trust and are predominately sustainably sourced. Not all products are made the same, and the delivery of the active ingredients is an important aspect for us. As an up-and-coming business, we also like supporting local suppliers.
PC: What is your favourite treatment to perform and why?
Bex: A facial with lots of massage! It can be a relaxation facial or a results-driven medi facial but it must include lots of massage. I also love brows and spray tans. I just love making people feel good and confident.
Emma: I really love giving my clients advanced facials with relaxation. A results-based treatment doesn’t mean it can’t feel good too! Ultimately, I love the variety of treatments we provide, which means we aren’t continuously doing the same thing. Performing a relaxing body treatment also brings us lots of relaxation when we are in the zone.