Love: spending time at the House of Angel

The minute you start talking to House of Angel’s Dora Ban you see what sets her apart from so many other beauty therapists. Her USP is herself, and her incredible passion for genuinely connecting with her clients. She is also passionate about the use of sunscreen (her mother experienced skin cancer first hand) and organic beauty, two things that I myself am equally as obsessive about.
Her skincare brands of choice include Ilcsi, a 100 per cent organic brand that she worked with extensively in Hungary, where she was born and lived until four and a half years ago. After moving to New Zealand and deciding to exchange her career – as an art teacher – for her passion, she began working full time as a beauty therapist. She started the New Zealand leg of her beauty career – she had previously practised part time in Hungary – at the now-closed organic salon House of Radiance, before becoming one of the most sought after therapists at Mount Eden’s Body Tech Spa for several years. There she was schooled during many training sessions on what New Zealand had to offer in the way of beauty brands, and soon discovered what she did – and didn’t – like. “In Europe I worked with lots of amazing French, German and Swiss brands,” explains the internationally trained cosmetologist, “alongside Ilcsi. I couldn’t believe it when I discovered that I could get it in New Zealand as well.” It was the first brand that she selected when she opened House of Angel in a space in Grey Lynn health and wellbeing studio re:ab on November 1 last year, and Environ was soon to follow.
“I love Ilcsi because it has such a great history and has been around since the 1950’s as a reputed organic brand,” she explains, “and Environ really is one of the best professional ranges available right now.” She loves both brands for their all-natural approach as well as the way that their products can be customised to create the perfect facial for each client’s skin concerns. She says that the 2011 approach to professional skincare analysis is “treating skin conditions as opposed to skin types, and I ask all of my clients about their lifestyle, diet, stress levels and any hormonal issues that could be behind what’s causing the condition in the first place”. All of her facials include a free eyebrow tidy and scalp, hand or foot massage too, which is a fabulous added bonus.
When asked about the differences between New Zealand and Eastern European women when it comes to beauty she immediately says how amazed she was at how “low maintenance” we appeared to be when she arrived in the country all those years ago. “Here women are so outdoorsy and relaxed about their looks,” she explains, “and sun damage and pigmentation are definitely the biggest beauty concerns.” Having said that, she adds “even after spending years in the sun they still look younger to me than Eastern European women, it really is amazing! It must be something in the air!” She does wish they would care for their skin a little better though, “in Europe women have a facial every month as it helps keep their skin clear and at home products work even better”.
Also a trained make up artist, the petite brunette works exclusively with another great good-for-you brand, Jane Iredale mineral make up. Her favourite product – and mine – is the PurePressed Mineral Powder, a micronized mineral base that is all concentrated pigment and no fillers. Because of this concentrated pigment, a minimum amount gives incredible coverage and becomes a foundation, powder and concealer all in one. It also gives high sunscreen protection without the need for synthetic ingredients, which for Dora – and for me - is a huge thumbs up.

This story first appeared in the fabulous Ponsonby News, you can read it here.


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