Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty



Ask the Experts

Ombré lips are trending. How can I create this look on clients in salon?

The term ombré – which means tones of colour that shade into each other – is a creative twist that we haven’t been able to get away from the last couple of years, and it shows no signs of slowing down. The latest ombré must-have is now all about the lip.

The trend grew in popularity after models walked the catwalks of designers including Dior, Miu Miu, Jason Wu and Kenneth Cole with a strong outer-to-inner lip fade. Since then, make-up pros and enthusiasts have gone wild for a two-tone lip. If your salon offers make-up services, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and creating this ombré look on clients isn’t as hard as you’d think. Preparation is the key to pulling it off.

First, apply a lip scrub across the upper and lower lip, followed by a swipe of nourishing balm to moisturise and soften. Leave the balm to sink in for a few minutes and then blot away any excess with a tissue to give you a smooth base.

Carefully apply a dark shade of lip liner to the outline of the lips, creating your shape, and then gradually fill them in with the same pencil – shading towards the corners and middle of the lips. However, remember to leave the centre colour-free, ready for your second tone.

Using your paler lip liner colour, apply it to the middle of the lips before asking your client to press them together to create the ombré effect. They should only do this once as rubbing together too much will cause the colours to blend too much.

For added shine and dimension, press a light gloss into the centre of the lips. To complete the look, tidy up the edges with light application of concealer to really make the ombré pop.

Rachael Keeley is head make-up educator for beauty group High Definition and has worked for the company for four years. She regularly works on fashion, beauty and celebrity shoots for magazines.


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What are the pros and cons of becoming a franchisee?

The main advantage of opening a franchise with a recognised brand is that it offers you the independence of running your own salon but with the benefits of having a well-known name behind you, which will help you attract and build a loyal client base.

In 2014, I decided to open a franchise with French skincare brand Guinot in Gerrards Cross. Although there were many advantages to doing this, I did face some hurdles in the process of setting up.

One of the things you might find challenging at first is getting to grips with the systems you’re required to follow. Personally, I found having a set business structure a great help because all the troubleshooting that comes with opening a new business was done for me, but if you don’t like following a pre-defined system, this might not be for you.

However, being a franchisee means the hard work of developing a marketing plan is completely cut out – seasonal and six-weekly cycles are planned by the brand and delivered to your salon.

As with any business, I was aware of the impact that setting up my own salon would have on my social life. It was hard work for the first couple of years while I was building a solid base for the business, but two years on I can safely say that I’m now able to have an active social life with family and friends. Stick with it and you’ll soon see it was worth it.

Tina Rai is skincare brand Guinot’s Gerrards Cross branch franchisee, which she opened in 2014. Prior to this, Rai ran a successful home-based salon, Tina Rai Health & Beauty, in Uxbridge.

Help! My client’s tan won’t take. Why is this happening?

If you’re sure you’ve sprayed correctly and given an even coverage, then it’s most likely that your client has something on their skin which is acting as a barrier. Body lotions and rich shower creams can stop the DHA in a tan from reaching and reacting with the outermost layer of the epidermis and turning skin the desired golden brown.

The other cause could be that they’ve done the initial rinse off using a body wash. Many solutions are designed to initially be rinsed off using warm water only – to remove the outer guide colour, so clients avoid any colour transfer on their bed sheets – before washing more thoroughly in the morning.

Pre- and post-treatment communication is vital to ensure clients get the result they want. This means making sure they are fully aware of the prep they need to do, such as waxing or shaving eight to 24 hours in advance and not wearing body lotions, oils, deodorant or perfume to their appointment, as these will act as a barrier to the tan.

Nicola Badmus is lead trainer for professional tanning brand MoroccanTan, which is distributed by Sweet Squared in the UK and Ireland. She’s worked in the industry for 11 years.

What’s the best way to sell clients a course of skin-rejuvenation treatments instead of a one-off?

Demand for non-surgical aesthetic treatments is at an all-time high. Consumers are turning towards non-invasive technologies to improve the appearance of their skin, which has subsequently resulted in strong growth in the number of non-surgical aesthetic practitioners operating in the UK.

I speak to many salon and clinic owners who say their clients are becoming increasingly aware and demanding treatments with the latest technologies, despite there sometimes being little clinical evidence to back up efficacy claims. In the end, the best way to sell your treatments and boost footfall comes down to one thing – results. New technologies and products can obviously help to attract new customers via an initial buzz created by good consumer marketing. This is ideal when you’ve just made a new investment; however, it’s crucial not to rely too heavily on this.

Implementing a long-term business strategy around the new product is essential. When creating this some key points to consider are: will your clients gain good-quality results from this product? Can you expect high customer satisfaction? Is there clinical evidence to back up your claims? If the skin-rejuvenation technology you use allows you to achieve consistently outstanding results, you’re sure to generate strong word-of-mouth referrals from your existing clients, which will lead to more bookings.

These are much more likely to generate you good-quality leads and a greater return on investment when compared to the latest flash-in-the-pan skin-rejuvenation technology.

Dr Samantha Hills is clinical and training manager at machines manufacturer Lynton. After completing a PhD in physics and pharmaceutical sciences, Hills worked in a post-doctoral position carrying out research into lasers and other light-based methodologies.

How can I give my salon a face-lift on a budget?

With clients looking to treat themselves and get party-ready ahead of the festive season, you need to make sure your salon is up to scratch for winter.

First impressions are everything when it comes to getting clients through the door, so step out onto the street and consider your salon’s overall impact from the perspective of a new customer.

Whether it’s a fresh lick of paint, putting up some new posters in the window or getting festive with some tasteful Christmas lights, it’s easy to give your salon a new lease of life on a budget.

While it’s important to consider the look of your salon, it also makes sense to have equipment that’s easy to clean. Opting for furniture in black or white is both practical and timeless – whatever the vibe of your salon. Monochrome pieces will blend in with your interiors and won’t look out of place if you decide to revamp your salon again in the future.

When selecting furniture also consider the different treatments you offer and the space available to carry them out, and then choose those that can be easily stored away to keep your salon tidy.

Save space by selecting trolleys that are both practical and slim, with just the right amount of storage.

Ian Rarity is an interiors expert at Salon Services and has worked with the company for more than 30 years.

How can I encourage my clients to dedicate more time to body care?

Although the face is the most visible part of our anatomy, it’s equally important to take good care of the skin on our bodies by exfoliating to remove dead skin cells and moisturising to keep the skin looking young. Clients need to do this all year round to combat aggressors such as central heating and sun exposure.

One of the main benefits of body-care treatments is a feeling of relaxation and wellbeing, but they also help maximise the results of other treatments and sessions, including facials, tanning and gym programmes. Tell your customers about this.

Encourage clients to view body treatments as an important element of their overall beauty regime in the same way that sports massages are recommended as part of an athlete’s training programme. Your therapists also need to make sure they recommend the most appropriate products for moisturising, exfoliating, toning and anti-cellulite; working in harmony with the treatments on offer to give the most effective results for the client. If your clients see it working, they’re more likely to keep using the products and return for more body treatments.

A good way to retail body products is to include them in a package; either offer a treatment plus product at a discounted price or give a discount on the product following treatment.

Marian Harvey is managing director of professional skincare brand Thalgo and also oversees waxing brand Perron Rigot, which is part of the Thalgo group. Harvey joined Thalgo UK in 1984.

How can semi-permanent make-up be used to improve the look of lips?

Semi-permanent make-up can be used in a variety of ways on the lips and liner is just the start. Improvements in needles and pigments mean that therapists can now do a complete contour of the lips using liner and all-over colour.

Semi-permanent lip blush can enhance the natural shape of the lips and give the illusion of plumpness. Combined with lip liner treatments, you can create a perfectly symmetrical shape with a beautiful cupid’s bow.

It can also make the lips appear more defined. By blending different pigments – with darker at the outer line, lighter inside the edge and almost no colour in the centre – the lips will immediately appear fuller and plumper.

Lip procedures can be used to create a natural look, using specialised techniques to blend the pigments and avoid a visible line or painted-on appearance. For the best results, the final colour should be matched to the client’s skin tone so it looks completely natural – with the potential to go bolder after that if they prefer.

Laura Kay is a permanent make-up specialist. In 2015, she founded the Laura Kay London Academy, teaching new and experienced technicians permanent brow, lip and eye liner procedures.

This article appears in the Professional Beauty November 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the Professional Beauty November 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty