Traditional Indian therapies go hand-in-hand with modern beauty techniques at a new beauty clinic in an historic Whanganui building.
Neeti Gautam opened Beautyology in the Ladies Rest building in St Hill St on August 6, offering henna tattooing, threading and Indian massage as well as facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing, makeup and hair services.
"I use natural henna, not chemical henna, and 100 per cent almond oil," Gautam said.
"Indian massage works on acupressure points and I do New Zealand massage as well."
The facial products are herbal and traditional Ayurvedic facials will be available soon.
Gautam, who is originally from a small town in India's central Madhya Pradesh state, has been in New Zealand for seven years.
Her maths-teacher father wanted Gautam to have a maths-related career and she went into software engineering. However, Gautam has a strong artistic streak and enjoys hand and machine embroidery, sketching and painting.
So when the stress of her IT job and long hours of travelling began to affect her health and reduced her time with her young daughter, she decided on a change of career. After completing a beauty course, Gautam trained in specialist hair techniques with a Bollywood hairdresser.
"I wanted to do creative work and it's stress-free," Gautam said.
"I want to stand on my own feet."
Gautam says she has had amazing support from the Whanganui community and feels at home in the Ladies Rest building.
"I like this place, especially because it's for women. This building is very good and there are so many functions and activities. Women feel comfortable here."