Alice is flying the flag for glamour in the Borders

Beauty therapists Alice Mackay and client Amy Thomson.
Beauty therapists Alice Mackay and client Amy Thomson.

A beauty therapist will be flying the flag for glamour in the Borders when she represents the region at a national competition later this month.

Alice MacKay’s Beau Boutique, which she runs from a log cabin in the garden of her home in Valley View, Clovenfords, is the only Borders beauty therapist to have made it to the final of The Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards (SHABA).

The 24-year-old will be travelling to the finals at Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel with high hopes of success on Sunday, September 16, after she was nominated in three categories - best beauty therapist, best beauty salon and best brow artist.

Alice launched her business at the tender age of 17, but her ambitions for a career in the beauty field began much earlier.

She explained: “My mother tells me that I said I wanted to be a beauty therapist when I was just five years old, so it goes back a long way.

“My business is by appointment only and it’s grown through word of mouth. It was one of my clients who put me forward for the competition and then I was asked to submit my business information. It followed that there was a voting process in May and my clients voted for me.

“I was overwhelmed when I made the shortlist in three of the five categories. It’s a great honour because I will be up against some of the biggest salons in the country.

“I started the business when I was just 17 in the summer of 2012, working out of the house, and then had the log cabin built in the garden in the winter of 2013.

“I have recently taken on someone to help me with the business and I am ambitious for the future. This is such a huge honour and I’m hoping that I can impress the judges. I believe they will be assessing my social media and there could even be a ‘mystery shopper’ come to my premises.”

The former Braw Lass, named course Student of the Year in 2012 and 2013, while studying at Borders College, remains modest about her success.

She said: “I am extremely grateful to all my clients, family and friends for voting for me, and I am overwhelmed to have got through to the finals.

“To have made it to the top eight beauty therapists in Scotland is in itself such an achievement and one that I am very proud of. It’s amazing to have been recognised for doing a job I love and take great pride in. I look forward to what the future holds for Beau Boutique.”

Alice was awarded a scholarship at the Spa at La Manga Club, a 5-start resort in La Manga, Spain in 2013, before returning home to build her own business.

Since then, Beau Boutique has successfully been offering beauty therapies for hundreds of clients from the Scottish Borders and beyond, offering services such as eyelash extensions, LVL lashes, HD brows and eyebrow threading.

The Scottish Hair & Beauty Awards (SHABA) is Scotland’s largest and most successful independent hair and beauty awards.

The annual competition, now in its eighth year, has been growing steadily each year and attracts hundreds of entries from salons and individuals across Scotland.

Entries are judged by a panel of industry professionals, each of whom brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the judging process.