Professional Beauty London review
This year’s Professional Beauty London show was one of the most vibrant, buzzing and innovative to date. Some 32,249 industry professionals visited ExCeL over two days on February 26–27, to see the latest launches, learn new treatment techniques and business tips, and make connections with other industry leaders to help grow their businesses.
“This year’s show’s been really good. We’ve had lots of leads and people who really want to spend money,” says Karen Betts, director of Nouveau Beauty Group, Nouveau Lashes and High Definition. “Last year we did really well but this year we’ve actually tripled our best sales.”
Visitors aIso praised the range and variety of products on offer as well as the treatments being demoed, which gave them a first look at the trends set to shape the year ahead. “I come every year to see what’s new in the industry. Everything is under one roof,” says Rebecca Powis-Jones, owner of Bella Beauty in Bristol. “I like to actually see and touch products rather than just order online.” Donna Grey, director of Beauty Box in Dartford agreed, adding, “We come every year to PB London in February and Manchester in September; we never miss a show. We like to be in the know and see what’s going on. You’ve got to come if you’re a professional in the industry.”
From treatments to help clients with sleep issues, to products that protect skin from the effects of pollution, PB London showed the biggest market trends via it’s packed exhibitor line up. Comfort Zone and Voya demoed new sleep treatments, while brands including Decléor and Aromatherapy Associates discussed the benefits of prebiotics in skincare.
“For me, Professional Beauty is a real melting pot of all the great minds of the beauty industry,” says Decléor’s general manager Sarah Power. “It’s the number-one location where you get thousands and thousands of professional therapists, salon owners and spa owners coming together to hear what’s on trend, what’s new, and to be inspired and educated, and we love being a part of that, especially as we have so much interesting news to share with existing and new customers.”
Visitors keen to discover the latest retinol formulations, which promise the anti-ageing benefits without the associated side effects, swung by the Skinbrands and Murad stands to see their latest launches.
ON THE NAIL
Powder dip products, “nail rehab” treatments designed to give clients a break from gel and of course Gelish’s long awaited Polygel system all launched to the industry at PB London. Gelish also unveiled a dip system, as did Cuccio, while OPI showcased its new Gel Break collection that helps get nails strong and healthy between gel treatments.
“We had great leads and some really great openings as well,” says OPI commercial director Lisa Bennett. “It was really busy. You can tell Professional Beauty puts a lot of investment in to getting people into the show.”
Meanwhile skincare company Heaven made its nails debut with the launch of a gel-polish system. “The show was so busy, which was great,” says Heaven chief executive Deborah Mitchell. “We opened a lot of accounts but we’re very choosy over who we work with because we don’t like overselling in one particular area.”
Multi-technology machines that offer several treatment options took centre stage, with brand new models making their debut at the show. 3D-lipo launched 3D-ultimate, which combines radio frequency with cryo, cavitation and ultrasound to treat both face and body. Managing director Roy Cowley says, “It was an excellent exhibition for us and a great launch platform for our new 3D-ultimate machine. We sold a lot of devices and generated a lot of leads. If you’re going to do any show, then it’s got to be PB London.”
Caci’s most recent launch, Synergy, was also on show, demoing its simultaneous tech delivery system. Simultaneous delivery is also behind the success of Advanced Esthetics Solutions’ new launch at the show, Square Epil from Bios, which is a laser that blends alexandrite with Nd:Yag to help overcome limitations posed by each.
BREAKING NEW GROUND
More than 300 industry leaders from around the world flew in to debate the big issues in spa at the 2017 World Spa & Wellness Convention, which took place as part of the Professional Beauty show.
Topics on the two-day agenda included stress management, staff retention and team empowerment. Speakers included Justin Musgrove, chief executive of The Bannatyne Group, who spoke as part of the Manage and Boost your Fitness Operations session, and Reena Hammer, managing director of Urban Retreat, who shared her advice on leading your team to success.
There were also networking sessions on both days, which saw leading industry names host breakout sessions on topics ranging from mastering KPIs to managing millennials.
MAKE THE GRADE
The Education Forum, in association with Habia, returned, offering the industry’s top college heads and leading employers a chance to discuss the opportunities and challenges around getting students industry ready and raising standards.
Lecturers heard from Helena Field, ex Mandarin Oriental spa director and general manager of the UK Spa Association, on enhancing beauty therapy pathways to meet the needs of the sector, and Emma Williams, national spa manager at Nuffield Health, as part of a panel on what colleges need to do to meet the ever-changing needs of salons.
Carol Dodd, a beauty tutor from Essex, said: “It was fantastic to see such a broad spectrum of employers with experience of spa, aesthetics, health, beauty and recruitment”, while Helen Harmer, head of the beauty department at Harlow College, commented: “I’m not sure what we’d do without it. All lecturers need to attend.”
The International Manufacturers and Distributors Forum hosted international pavilions on the show floor, plus a conference. Delegates heard from Joel Palix, CEO of Feelunique UK, about e-commerce in a cross-border world, and Matthew Twigg, head of vendor management at Amazon Beauty Europe, on retail opportunities for professional brands.
EVERY SECTOR COVERED
There was plenty on offer for other industry specialists such as make-up artists, who took the opportunity to check out the bright colours of SS17 make-up lines. Artdeco’s Hypnotic Blossom collection, for example, featured vibrant fuchsia and turquoise shades, and attracted a lot of attention to the stand.
“We were so busy on Sunday we barely stopped. We sold a lot and have some promising leads for account openings,” says Nicola Mealia, managing director of distributor Chleo Enterprises.
There was also newness for waxing therapists to discover, such as Perron Rigot’s Cirépil Cashmere wax, which is specially designed for sensitive skin. Judith Emslie, marketing manager for Perron Rigot and Thalgo, says: “On the Perron Rigot stand we sold quite a lot of products, and the waxing seminar we ran helped to drive more people to the stand.”
Having launched its own waxing product line at the 2016 show, Sienna X was back for 2017, this time with a focus on showcasing the revamped branding for its tanning line, with select accounts given a sneak peek. Brand founder Nicola Matthews says there was still a healthy buzz around waxing, too: “It’s really positive to see the waxing side of the stand busy this year,” she comments.
There was increased interest from visitors for nutrition supplements this year, as products to support beauty and wellness from the inside out become more talked about. Image Skincare launched its Yana Daily Collagen Shot, billed as improving skin hydration and elasticity, and offered samples on its stand to many intrigued visitors. “On Sunday we had really good footfall and surpassed our sales expectations,” says Image Skincare consultant Philip Banfield, adding: “We obtained a lot of new leads.”
Put the dates in your diary now for this year’s next UK Professional Beauty shows, in Belfast on June 11 and Manchester on October 8–9.