Lesson 16: The Beauty Parlour

I can say for sure that one business that is flourishing is the beauty business. I seem to come across new beauty parlours every day. Maybe it’s just my imagination, but they definitely are mushrooming all over the place.

I see people frequenting the parlours, walking in hurriedly with their dishevelled hair and pale faces. But, they always look much happier, relaxed and even glamorous on their way out! Their smiles and shiny blow-dried hair makes them seem like they’re going to step up on to a stage or a film screen!

Earlier, it was mostly women. Nowadays, I see men using the services of this growing beauty industry too. Parlours provide body massages and special treatments for hair and skin. Beauticians have become specialized in their skills with training courses. Some hair stylists have become quite famous. For example, India’s Habib has become internationally famous.

I have a few friends, both boys and girls, who work in the beauty industry. They say it is hard work. But if you are skilled, polite, courteous and friendly with the customers, then you can quickly earn loyal clients who always ask for only you when they come to the parlour. So, you can make extra money with the tips given by happy customers over and above the basic monthly salary.

I suppose the beauty business isn’t going to fade very quickly. But whether I’m going to be a part of it or not, remains a question!

A) Vocabulary: Please use the following words in your own sentences:

Flourish/flourishing – to grow well/growing well
Mushrooming – growing very rapidly or quickly
Frequent – to visit a place often
Dishevelled – untidy clothes or hair
Pale – having less colour than normal
Glamorous – (from the word glamour) superficial beauty
Glittering – (from the word glitter) – shining
Fade – to lose colour

B)Write a few lines on any one other business you think is growing well
these days. For instance:
1. Fitness centres or gyms.
2. Playschools for little children.
3. Call centres.
4. Cyber cafes.
5. Or any other business you would like to write about.

C) Here are some well known idioms. Please read, understand, enjoy, and start to use them in your daily life.

1. ‘The best of both worlds’ – means you can enjoy two different opportunities at the same time.
“By working part-time for two days a week and looking after her kids, she managed to get the best of both worlds.”

2. ‘Speak of the devil’ – this means that the person you’re talking about turns up at that moment.
“Hi Rubina, speak of the devil, I was just telling Sara about your new car.”

3. ‘See eye to eye’ – this means agreeing with someone.
“They finally saw eye to eye on the business deal.”

4. ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an event that happens infrequently.
“I only go to the cinema once in a blue moon.”

5. ‘To cost an arm and a leg’– something is very expensive.
“Fuel these days costs an arm and a leg.”

6. ‘A piece of cake’– something is very easy.
“The English test was a piece of cake.”

7. ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – to accidentally reveal a secret.
“I let the cat out of the bag about their wedding plans.”

8. ‘To feel under the weather’ – to not feel well.
“I’m really feeling under the weather today; I have a terrible cold.”

9. ‘To cut corners’ – to do something badly or cheaply.
“Cutting corners in business makes for bad products.”

10. ‘To add insult to injury’ – to make a situation worse.
“To add insult to injury the car drove off without stopping after the accident.”

11. ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ – to not judge someone based solely on appearance.
“The first time I saw her, she looked very arrogant. But we are good friends today. Turns out, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

12. ‘To hit the nail on the head’ – to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.
“He hit the nail on the head when he said this company should train its staff to increase efficiency.”