The “Dreway” Effect

Andrea age 12 with her beloved mum Jannett

Louise Whelan

Andrea Kirwin has an aura about her, not only is she super friendly, honest and open, she’s the kind of person that naturally radiates positivity. Andrea is an amazing beautician, an advanced skincare therapist, a semi permanent make-up specialist, and a brow and lip expert. She does collagen facials, chemical peels and microdermabrasion to name but a few and is also a single mother of two children. Her clients rave about her transformations due to her passion for the job, her sharp precision and an excellent eye for detail. Andrea uses only the best products with her clients. She was one of the first in Ireland to use the Australian brand asap skincare which she has been using for two years. Andrea is a local girl from Pearse Street who now lives in Irishtown.
But she wasn’t always so confident in herself.
Being a beautician wasn’t something that Andrea thought she was going to be, it was something she fell into. She loved school and thought she would end up being an air hostess but unfortunately her mum got sick and Andrea left school at 17 to help her at home. Sadly her mum Jannette passed away at age 38. Andrea had a job then in a factory for two years until it closed down and all of a sudden found herself wondering what she was going to do as she didn’t get to do her Leaving Certificate. So she went to FÁS for guidance and while there the idea was mooted to start a hair and beauty training course. However, the waiting list was huge, so after a walk around Grafton Street, Andrea found herself at a college called Galligans. She chanced going in and discovered they had only one spot left on their beauty course, which, as you can imagine, was really expensive. However, Andrea’s dad, Patrick Kelly, put her through college, and as well as doing the day course Andrea also studied at night to ensure she learned everything she needed. And her efforts paid off as she was awarded Student of the Year by her college, the highest award given by the college. Andrea praises the teachers there for really taking a shine to her and helping her at a time when she was going through a bad stage of her life.
After graduating Andrea worked in Westwood, Sandymount, a luxury health club and spa. There she received further training in what was a really intense high standard working environment. This was a hard time for Andrea, having lost her best friend, her mum, and she was feeling lost and still grieving and trying to find her place in the world. Those hard times led Andrea down the wrong road because, like so many, she didn’t know how to deal with the loss. Despite loving her job, going in every day, Andrea still felt depressed and didn’t enjoy life. But things got better after having her daughter Ella (who will be 15 in May), whom she credits as her saving grace.
When Andrea was 23 and working in Lynsay’s Hair and Beauty salon in Ringsend, she noticed that most of her clients that came in were attendees of the Abundant Grace Assembly Church in Irishtown. Andrea always had a big faith in God and as a young child would go in and light candles for people. While doing a client’s eyebrows she heard about the church so Andrea decided to visit it herself. From the minute she walked through the doors she felt a sense of peace and a sense of belonging. People there loved her for who she was even in her brokenness. They taught her to go within and learn to love herself and have a relationship with God. This was a turning point in her life. Andrea met with Pastor Sharon Perry who was from Northern Ireland, and was an amazing mentor. Every year a team of young adults would come down from the North and do a summer scheme in Abundant Grace so Andrea met many like-minded people her own age which eventually led to her visiting them on the weekends up in Ballymena. Then on a whim she decided that was the life she wanted and she moved up North and went to Bible college. She also opened up her own salon with the help of Pastor Sharon, and she integrated prayer and worship music as part of her daily work and routine.

Later Andrea worked in Greystones in the prestigious salon Up To My Eyes having formed a friendship with the owner Elaine McParland after the pair met on a tattoo eyebrow course; this gave her more experience and expertise in her skill set. Andrea is a firm believer that we meet people for a reason and she speaks so highly of Elaine, like her guardian angel who always saw the potential in her, helping her rise up to be the best she can.
During this time Andrea met and befriended a Christian man called Sam who she ended up having a long steady relationship with. She met Sam in a church in Wales. They fell very much in love, and on a city break to Berlin got engaged and were planning a life together as a family unit. Sadly though, Sam suffered with mental health issues in his life and tragically passed away before any of that happened.
Andrea decided to move back home to deal with her grief yet again and she did that with the help of people around her and her strong faith pushed her through her darkest days. That was five years ago.
Now Andrea has a beautiful 4-year-old son and she’s as busy as ever, still working twice a week in Up To My Eyes salon in Greystones and also in Lloyd’s pharmacy in Ringsend midweek. She also goes back and forth to the North to all her clients. Her weekends however, are spent with her children. Last year Andrea worked on herself, her self love, her mindset, her vision for the future and what she wanted her life to look like. She continuously does meditation, self image scripting, gratitude lists and will be attending courses throughout the year with her mentor Kim Calvert from Dynamite Lifestyle. Andrea joined Inner City Running Club, led by Dwayne and Carl and is now training for a half marathon. She has also put her name down to run the Barcelona city marathon in May, which she’s doing as a tribute to her mum Jannette. Andrea will be the same age this year as her mum when she passed away, so this is a huge significant year for her.
Andrea’s hard work, grit and steely determination, and of course her faith has seen her achieve many things and overcome many obstacles. Currently, she is in talks with Google Community Engagement in regards to the delivery of education and training in the area. This looks like a great opportunity as Andrea knows she can help so many girls get on the education and training ladder, especially those who may be vulnerable or lacking belief in themselves; with an added bonus of a journey of self discovery along the way.
So watch this space… Andrea Kirwin can be found on Facebook and Instagram on Dreway_Beauty