Ask the Experts
When should I use traditional and reverse L&P French application techniques?
There are so many liquid and powder (L&P) French manicure application techniques but I’ve found some clients are better suited to one than others.
The traditional style of French application uses the three-zone method – starting with a bead at the white free edge, followed by a second bead in the stress area (known as zone two) and a third at the cuticle. However, there are a few things you can do to perfect this technique.
When applying the white bead, angle your brush so the bristles are pointing up when you’re pressing the product out as this ensures the smile line area stays thick and the free edge thin. Creating this structure with your brush also means less filing later.
To create a crisp smile line, use the point of your brush to sweep from the centre to the outer corners, then tuck the product in at the smile line as it polymerises. Although a fan of this technique, I’ll admit that it only suits those who have long nail beds with no imperfections, clients with short nail beds will find it much less aesthetically pleasing.
For those with short nail beds, the reverse application technique is a dream come true, but it takes practice to get right. It involves bead application on zone two first and then the cuticle area, before finally applying the free edge bead.
To achieve the perfect application, use an opaque pink polymer at zone two and blend it towards the cuticle. Then, apply a translucent pink at the cuticle area to create a more natural effect and prevent an obvious line when the extensions are growing out. You should file the product at the smile line before applying the free edge bead to get a crisp line.
Using opaque polymers will mask any imperfections on the nail plate and can be extended past the client’s own free edge to create the illusion of length.
Carrie-Leigh Allen is educator for professional nail brand Artistic, an award-winning nail tech and qualified FE lecturer.
What’s the best way to rectify a client’s bad self-tan job in salon?
Knowing how to repair a self-tan gone wrong is one of tanning specialists’ best-kept secrets but, unfortunately, it’s not a quick job.
The most effective way to remove a client’s bad home tan is by first getting as much of the colour off the skin as possible. If you offer exfoliation treatments in salon then recommend your client books in for one as it’s the best way to speed up the fading process.
If not, advise your client to exfoliate before coming in to see you to get the colour as even as possible. They should have a good soak in the bath, followed by an exfoliation with an oil-based product – those with citric acid are most effective because it’s a natural lightener and exfoliator. You should also explain to your client that coming to a professional guarantees a stress-free, flawless glow and that as a fully trained specialist you can offer a bespoke service, tailoring the tan to suit their skin tone and lifestyle. Maintaining the spray tan properly after treatment will also help avoid streaks in future applications, so make sure your clients use exfoliating gloves in the shower every two to three days and invest in an oil-free moisturiser.
Lucy Jones is education manager for UK distributor Natalie Roche, which distributes professional tanning brand Xen-Tan. She has 16 years’ industry experience.
What information should I include on a waxing consultation form?
When designing a specialised waxing consultation form for your salon, you need to include a section on contraindications that could affect the condition of the skin during or after hair removal.
If specific contraindications are not discussed beforehand it could result in skin lifting, known as “skinning”, on the area that’s being treated. This will make it sore and could put your salon at risk of an insurance claim being made.
The contraindications to include on your form include the use of Roaccutane, AHAs and BHAs, vitamin A derivatives, retin A, retinol and steroid creams, as these can make the skin fragile.
For example, Roaccutane, a tablet form of acne medication, affects the condition of skin all over the body and can stay in a client’s system for between six months and a year after use. A patch test should be provided to ensure the client is suitable for waxing services.
Your consultation forms should also be updated every three to six months, and clients should sign and date the form on each review.
Jenny Hunter is a waxing therapist at wax specialist salon NKD in Nottingham, lead trainer at the salon’s training academy and brand ambassador for professional waxing brand Perron Rigot.
How can I explain the skin-ageing effects of a bad diet to clients?
Ageing is biological but we can keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay by looking after our skin and keeping our energy levels up. The key is eating a healthy, mainly plant-based diet.
Diet plays a big part in the ageing process. If your client’s diet mainly consists of processed foods then they will age faster. Food is life fuel but if clients only eat processed “pretend” food, then they are not getting the essential nutrients their bodies need to stay fit and youthful.
Advise your clients to incorporate foods that contain vitamin C into their diet because the antioxidant content is great for improving skin texture, as well as essential fatty acids – omegas 3 and 6 – as they encourage good skin tone. An easy way clients can do this is by eating avocados and sardines.
Vitamin B2 is a key player in keeping the nervous system, eyes, skin, mouth and hair in good condition and clients need it every day because the body can’t store it. Foods that B2 can be found in include liver and Marmite.
Finally, your clients need to be drinking at least seven glasses of water a day. I can’t stress enough how important water is to prevent dehydration because our skin appears uneven when we’re not detoxifying.
Yvonne Wake is a wellbeing and lifestyle consultant and nutritional expert for professional skincare brand Aromatherapy Associates.
I’m a lash artist; what’s the best way to ensure a client’s eyelid health?
Ask your client, would she spend a significant amount of money on a haircut, colour and style without purchasing the necessary aftercare products? The lashes on the eyes are just as important as the hairs on the head but it can be easy for clients to forget to give them the correct care and attention, or neglect them completely.
By using a cleanser specially formulated and developed for the eyelid and lashes, they will help prevent harmful bacteria that can cause redness, itching and other irritations.
Giving lashes and eyelids some extra TLC encourages antibacterial properties, can soothe blepharitis and promote anti-ageing, which is important around the eye area where the skin is extremely delicate.
It’s especially advantageous for clients who are avid wearers of strip lashes or eyelash extensions, which are more prone to a build-up of debris and other foreign objects if not maintained correctly.
Cleansing regularly alongside extensions also makes infills quicker, as the lashes remain in immaculate condition. Using a cleanser as part of your lash-extension treatment will demonstrate the benefits to clients, making it easier to retail it.
Bridgette Softley is co-director of pro lash brand Nouveau Lashes and works as an international permanent make-up trainer and eyelash extension specialist in Purley, London.
How do essential oils work and which skin conditions are they good for?
Essential oils are effective in addressing multiple skin, body and mind disorders thanks to their rebalancing properties.
Each essential oil contains 150 active molecules and has the same molecular structure as our blood and lymph. Therefore, the body recognises and absorbs them into the deepest layer of the skin – the dermis.
The rapid absorption allows us to turbo-boost the effectiveness of other professional products used in treatment by acting like a magnet and drawing them deeper into the dermis, giving magnified results.
Inhaling essential oils also has benefits. The oils stimulate the highly sensitive cells at the back of the nostrils, sending signals directly to the brain and alerting the limbic system, which is connected to the parts of the brain that control memory, stress levels, and hormonal and emotional balances.
This makes them a powerful tool in treating the emotional state. So, encourage clients to take a deep breath of any essential oils used in treatment before applying them to the skin.
Also, it’s important to note that some essential oils treat certain skin conditions better than others. Neroli is great for dehydrated skin as it increases hydration levels; iris helps those with slackened skin as it targets lines and wrinkles; and damascena rose decreases sensitivity in the skin by strengthening its protective barrier.
Fiona Brackenbury is education director at skincare brand Decléor and is responsible for product and treatment development. She has more than 25 years’ industry experience.
What support should I ask for from the product houses I stock?
You may work exclusively with one product line or several, but it’s imperative to maximise your sales of product as much as, if not more than, treatments. Don’t be afraid to chase your brand rep for information if it will help you do this.
Ask them for news of awards they’ve won and press mentions, and use these to create shelf talkers to sit alongside products and draw attention to them. Ask for support for any events you want to hold. For example, they might provide extra samples, auction prizes or even an education rep to give a presentation during the evening.
Use social media to repost and retweet new product launches or award wins from your brands as this will help your followers associate you with them. Don’t forget to tag in the brand too.
Some brands offer co-op advertising. You can use this to maintain awareness of your salon locally but also to harness the established awareness of your product lines to draw consumers into your salon. Build a strong relationship with your brand rep so that you are on their mind when it comes to sharing information.
Abigail Segall is director of Freedom PR, which represents brands in the health, beauty, fashion and lifestyle sectors. The company was established in 2001.