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Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


A year of innovation

2017 Launches


Lash lifts have been this year’s ultimate beauty buzzword. While the treatment itself is not brand new, 2017 saw a huge spike in launches, including The Eyelash Emporium’s Gravity Defying Lashes and Lash Perfect Lash Lift.

The lift has really taken off because it’s a great alternative for clients who struggle with the maintenance of extensions. Unlike perming, which usually curls from the centre of the lash, this treatment lifts right from the roots. It has many benefits for the lash artist as it requires little equipment, is less fiddly and has good profit margins.


Nail treatment menus got a revamp with the introduction of dip systems, a new medium promising time-poor techs the durability of acrylic with the finish of gel polish, but with no curing required.

The systems use medical-grade resin painted on to the nail, which is then dipped into a micro-fine coloured acrylicbased powder, built up in layers, before adding a clear coat and sealing with a top coat. Major launches in this category included Artistic Perfect Dip, Cuccio Pro Powder Polish, Gelish Dip, Kiara Sky Dip Powder and Entity’s Dip and Buff.


The anti-pollution skincare trend continued to grow, with education focused on the skin-ageing effects of blue light, which is emitted from smartphones and tablets.

Heaven Skincare’s Prism Age Defiance Cream was a standout launch, using natural ingredients such as anti-glycation compound I-carnosine to protect skin from this modernday ager while stimulating collagen production.

Murad also launched mineral sunscreen City Skin Age Defense SPF 50, which uses the antioxidant lutein to create a barrier on the skin, protecting it from blue light.


Christmas came early for nail techs when Gelish unveiled its hard gel and acrylic hybrid product Polygel at Professional Beauty London in February.

The formula infuses the best qualities of liquid and powder acrylic and hard gel, providing a strong and flexible enhancement, while removing the bits techs don’t like by not setting until it’s cured. Polygel can be used as an overlay or to sculpt and the brand promises “super adhesion” to prevent lifting.


Pro tanning brand St Tropez launched a gamechanging innovation – the first ever sheet mask infused with self-tan. The Self Tan Express Bronzing Face Sheet Mask uses a tanning serum packed with hyaluronic acid to provide a streak-free, dewy glow while nourishing skin.

The colour in the single-use mask develops over a 15-minute period – five minutes for a light glow, 10 for a golden sheen and 15 for a deeper tan.


Brightening cushion compacts with the oil-controlling properties of blotting paper took centre stage this year, welcoming in a new era of skin mattifiers. Murad and Clarins were the first pro brands to bring out the next generation of mattifying heroes but with the added benefit of protecting skin from environmental aggressors.

Murad’s Matt Effect Blotting Perfector contains marshmallow and French green clay extract to absorb sebum and detox skin, while Clarins’s Everlasting Cushion Foundation SPF 50 contains a lightoptimising and anti-pollution complex.


Skin rejuvenation took another leap forward with machine manufacturers launching devices that use plasma technology. The non-invasive treatment tightens and improves skin elasticity by delivering energy in the form of plasma, which causes skin to contract, reducing the signs of photoageing.

Plasma Elite was one such device to hit the UK this year. It creates a micro-millimetre-sized pulse of “plasmatic lighting” on the skin, helping to reduce crow’s feet, age spots and eye bags. Crystal Clear’s Plasma Lift is also proving popular, and Cosmedico is already planning the launch of a plasma device next year.


There was a huge resurgence in aromatherapy this year, with pro brands using the moodchanging powers of essential oils to tap into the mindfulness trend. Elemis led the way with the launch of its Life Elixirs range, aromatherapybased products that address different emotional needs in five oil blends.

Others that expanded their identity into the wellness arena included Espa, whose essential oil-rich Restorative Balm provides a sense of calm with a quick application to temples and wrists, and Scentered’s aromatherapy-blended candles and balm range, now distributed in the pro market by Gerrard International.


This was the year fitness fanatics focused on their skin, with treatments popping up to get our faces in shape. Decléor’s Facial Pilates used a sculpting exercise to reshape the contours of the face with three massage techniques, while Face Gym expanded into its first standalone space in London to deliver muscle-stretching and strengthening facial workouts. The brand even uses a very mini exercise ball to aid with lymphatic drainage and muscle tone. Fitness infiltrated skincare and make-up products too, as brands worked hard to keep consumers looking good while they work up a sweat.


It was the lash market’s year and one innovation that completely switched up the game was Lash FX’s reusable Magnetic Lashes. Billed as a UK first, they use magnets to connect a top and bottom layer of strip lashes through a client’s natural lashes, blending seamlessly to create a natural, fluttery look. Aimed at time-poor clients, there are four styles that can be sold at retail – perfect for use between extensions.


With the wellness trend showing no signs of slowing, Aromatherapy Associates created a Wellbeing Treatment menu to help smaller salons tap into the movement.

The brand worked with a panel of experts, from nutritionists to life coaches, to create four 60-minute treatments that reduce anxiety, restore vitality, instil resilience and help clients to destress. Accounts praised the specialised massage movements and life-affirming mantras used within the treatments.


Microblading was one of the year’s biggest hits. While the brow-sculpting treatment is an old art, in 2017 it saw a massive resurgence and kept semi-permanent make-up artists up and down the country fully booked. Brow Perfect, KB Pro and BCI all launched training courses for the specialist treatment, which involves drawing individual hair strokes into the skin of the eyebrow area, using a fine blade on a handheld tool.


Nutrition honed in on skincare in 2017, in a bid to show image-conscious consumers that they can boost their beauty from the inside out. ANP led supplements’ beauty-friendly rebrand with its Skincare Boxes – one-a-day packs of pre-dosed skincare supplements in tear-off portable packets that mean there’s no excuse to forget to take them, even on the go. The brand also revealed its own makeover with pretty, eco-friendly packaging that added to the appeal.


It was about time skincare expertise was incorporated into mani and pedi products, and OPI did just that with its Pro Spa range, which was developed with a dermatologist. The 14-product line-up includes a Soothing Moisture Mask, Micro Exfoliating Hand Polish and Moisture Bonding Ceramide Spray, all of which could easily be mistaken for facial skincare. Key ingredient cupuaçu butter is rich in antioxidants for free-radical protection and helps prevent the breakdown of collagen and elastin.


This year, salon software companies were working hard behind the scenes on innovations to make running a beauty business easier. With paperless salons the goal, Phorest introduced cloud-based digital consultation forms with the option to email the form to clients ahead of their visit to save time. PB Award-winning salon Beauty at the Gate took matters into its own hands and developed Consult with Confidence, a concept it is now rolling out to other salons, which gives instant access to client records with the ability to easily add notes and images.


Dermalogica updated its hero Daily Microfoliant powder exfoliator to tackle modern-day aggressors while smoothing skin. Daily Superfoliant contains active resurfacing AHAs along with activated binchotan charcoal, niacinamide and antipollution technology – another of the year’s beauty buzzwords. The advanced formula works to absorb pollutants that can lead to premature ageing; a great example of how skincare technology can be used to update clients’ favourite products as their skin needs change.


Gone are the days of one tan fits all. Some of the most innovative launches to date came onto the market this year, such as Australian brand Mine Tan which bought its colour base concept to the UK, where therapists choose a base depending on the undertones of the client’s skin. Meanwhile, JK Group’s Mystic Tan reinvented automated tanning booths with Mystic Kyss, which allows the client to fully bespoke their tan by selecting a colour, scent and intensity.


Famed nail repair system IBX developed a coating to promote healthy nails with the launch of IBX Boost late this year. The flexible but strong, selflevelling coating allows gel or lacquer wearers to protect their nails while wearing colour rather than just in-between gel or enhancement applications, as with the original IBX. It can be applied over natural nails or under gel polish, and claims to extend colour wear for up to three weeks.


At the start of the year, machines brand 3D-lipo launched its most exciting device yet, the 3D-Ultimate. Blending almost all the tech a salon or clinic owner could need for nonsurgical face and body treatments, the machine incorporates face and body HIFU, duo cryolipolysis, radiofrequency, shockwave and cavitation. In a market where clients are constantly after the latest beauty fix, it helps to be able to offer it all under one roof.


Tapping in to both the sheet mask and beautytech trends, Italian company Baldan Group launched an innovative technology-led face mask to the UK market in June. Operated via a smartphone, Play Skin is an at-home device that uses microcurrent on facial muscles and cells, and claims to help regenerate skin in 10 minutes. Electrodes are placed on top of a hydrogel sheet mask packed with vitamins and co-enzyme Q10.


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

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Treatments that use powerful ingredients and ingenious tech to turbo-charge skin are hot this month, plus we review the newest lash lift on the market

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