Empowering our teens

EMMA CONNOLLY finds out about workshops aimed at educating teens and tweens on skin care and helping them to recognise their inner beauty
Empowering our teens

PASSIONATE: Sherna Malone of shernamalone.ie

BRONWYN Conroy is the doyenne of beauty and skin care in this country — and now her daughter has relocated to Cork where she’s running workshops to empower teens and tweens, and sharing the wisdom of growing up in the industry with a newly launched website.

Sherna Malone moved to Rosscarbery with her husband and twin daughters and works as Sales and Marketing manager in the Celtic Ross Hotel.

But after being Managing Director of the beauty school founded by Bronwyn for more than 15 years she wanted ‘to tap back in to that Sherna’.

“I am an absolute product junkie, I love talking about products, testing them and helping friends with their skin concerns, etc, so I decided to start shernamalone.ie focusing on skin and how to have the best skin possible,” she said.

She also runs teen and tween workshops designed to make the teenage journey ‘less bumpy’ and help them recognise their inner beauty.

Sherna remembers growing up with Bronwyn as mum: “She was always just mum up to the point when I was old enough to realise that she wasn’t the same as other mums! She wrote a weekly column in the Sunday Press and would also have been on the TV.

“Her school was the first Beauty Therapy Training School in Ireland and 46 years later it’s still training beauty students.”

Naturally, then, the importance of following a skin care routine was something instilled in Sherna from a young age.

“Once your skin is damaged, it’s incredibly hard to revert back. My mantra, which I learnt from mum, is ‘prevention is better than cure’.

“No matter the day, I have my morning and evening routine which will always be a cleanse, tone/acid resurfacer, serum, moisturiser and of course SPF!

“During the week I will do various masks and some exfoliation. I’m a big fan of facial tools and will use them in my routine every other day — things like a derma roller and a facial massage tool.

“When mum had her own skincare products it was great, I would have been a teenager and I used them all the time.

“As I have become that bit older though, the products I use would have a lot more active ingredients in them, which is really important for tackling skin concerns — pigmentation, lines, etc. The joys of the ageing process!”

And while she loves makeup and experimenting with different looks, she says “there is no point in covering your face with makeup if the skin underneath is not at its best”.

“Instead of using concealer to cover up spots, figure out what’s causing the spots and try and find the right skincare products to address those concerns.

My approach is very much less is more. Let your skin peek through!

“For those who have issues with their skin, I know makeup can be that crutch, but my advice would be if your skin is really affecting you and your confidence, go to a dermatologist. They will be able to help you find a treatment plan and set you on the right path to improving your skin.”

While still in Dublin, Sherna ran teen and tween workshops which she is now introducing here.

“My Teen Life Workshops were born when I was in the beauty school in Dublin. We would always have transition year students who would spend a week with us and more and more often I saw these wonderful girls who were very shy and unsure of themselves and I just felt I needed to help them on their way.

“I have an honours degree in psychology that, together with my beauty training and experience, gave me a great foundation to put together a one-day workshop where I could cover important topics with them all in a fun, informative way.”

She feels there is a lot of pressure on young girls when it comes to their appearance and that while advice from parents can fall on deaf ears, they are far more likely to listen to someone else.

“This is the time when acne can rear its head and make young girls lives a misery. There is also this pressure to be just like the bloggers they follow.

“They want the look, the products, the outfits. Some just cannot see their own inner beauty.

“I want to teach them that different is good and different makes the world a better and more interesting place. I am there to help them be the best version of themselves and navigate them through what can be a tumultuous time, both physically and mentally.”

She says the workshops are designed to ‘empower girls with the skills necessary so they can mature into confident, self-assured women and be their best happiest selves, all in a fun, practical, informative way.’

“I will introduce them to the skills and knowledge that are necessary to bring the best out of themselves while also tackling issues they may face and helping guide them to making better choices along the way.

“I will give them the confidence to feel at home in their own skin and to present to the world the best version of themselves.

“If you are a teen and finding the path of teenagerhood a little bumpy, if you are feeling a little awkward in social settings, or if you are unsure of skincare/makeup then you will definitely learn something to take back with you.

“I will be covering everything from Practical Skincare and Make Up, Well Being to Confidence Boosters, Communication Skills, Interview Tips along with the importance of your Personal Brand (internet) and Modern Manners.

“Afternoon Tea is included, and this will be a lovely opportunity to sit and discuss things they’ve learned or questions they might have.”

As a mum of tween twins, Ella and Zoe, she says this is the perfect time to start the conversation around personal care, skincare, confidence and the importance of being happy within yourself.

“I hear the conversations coming back from school. There is so much pressure to be liked, to be the same as everyone, and to follow the herd.

“They are just starting to go through some dramatic changes in their body and mind and ones that can be quite scary,” said Sherna.

Relocating from Dublin to Rosscarbery in 2014 was a move she never regretted.

“We sold the school, which is still training students in Blackrock, Dublin, and we just decided to go on a little adventure! My husband always holidayed in West Cork as a child and we re-located initially to Clonakilty.

“People thought we were bonkers, but it just felt right and there has never been a day where we have questioned our move here. Our quality of life is so much better than it was in Dublin and we now call Rosscarbery home.”

See shernamalone.ie for more.

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