Entering The Beauty Barn boutique spa feels as welcoming as owner Corrie Gallant’s radiant smile.
Located in small-town Ontario, Canada, in a country setting, this unique space—it was literally a barn lovingly converted by Corrie and her husband, Mark—is quiet, peaceful, and feminine.
The spa’s outdoor space features bunkies for stays and private treatments, a labyrinth for contemplation, and an ample deck space for yoga and events – which brings us to Beauty Barn’s “Awakening to Better Beauty” story.
Corrie trained in Oncology Esthetics with industry leader Morag Currin (read our interview on oncology aesthetics) and is a licensed Medical Oncologist Esthetician.
Passionate about safer beauty, she was invited to Washington to attend private meetings with Congress members to speak on product regulations for the beauty industry. Many mainstream product ingredients can be toxic to those experiencing cancer and related treatment protocols.
You might be familiar with the “Look Good Feel Better” program from the inserts in women’s magazines over the past 30 years. Sponsored by major cosmetic, beauty and personal care brands like Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, and Estee Lauder, LGFB holds workshops led by trained cosmetic advisors and hair alternative specialists where women with cancer can learn how to manage the appearance-related impacts of cancer and its treatment.
Corrie volunteered her time for these workshops for many years but felt the brand involvement was becoming increasingly stringent, where certain cosmetic lines (the brands donate the product) were the only ones allowed to be used, regardless of whether they were best for the client’s skin or needs.
So she sought to do something herself. And do something she did.
She rounded up volunteers, photographers and other local businesses and founded the ‘Awakening to Better Beauty’ event in 2014. The spa invited the local community and oncology department nursing staff to nominate a friend or loved one undergoing cancer treatment. The response was overwhelming (and as they had to cap attendance, it was hard to turn anyone away).
The Beauty Barn invited these women to join them for a complimentary pampering spa day using safe products approved for people who are hormonally compromised.
Pre-2020, the event offered beauty, hair, make-up, wigs and manicure services. During the pandemic, they shifted to internal wellness with yoga, breathwork, reiki, and reflexology, which worked so well that future events will combine the modalities.
Volunteer photographers were on hand to capture the moments, many joyful, some tearful, all emotional.
“It’s about the whole person, reducing stress. No guilt, just let me do this for you,” says Corrie. “It takes a village to pull together such a special event. I like to think that the ladies can forget about the stressors of treatment just for one day. We want to create an event that allows these ladies to focus on nurturing themselves by experiencing a day of fun, laughter, indulgence and memories.”
The Beauty Barn hosted their private 2022 event during World Wellness Weekend (Corrie is the WWW ambassador for Brantford & Brant County, Canada). They have also been at work with plans to expand this incredible event concept to other spas that offer oncology esthetics.
If you are or know of a clean beauty spa that would like to get involved, please visit thebeautybarnspa.com/awakening-to-better-beauty-event or email Corrie directly at email@example.com.
Event images are courtesy of volunteer photographers who generously donated their time:
Delicate Impressions Photography