Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


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Best IN BEAUTY

Professional Beauty Awards 2018

On February 25, the winners of the Professional Beauty and World Spa & Wellness Awards 2018 were announced at a black-tie dinner at Grade I London venue Tobacco Dock. The evening was opened by Professional Beauty’s managing director Mark Moloney and editor Eve Oxberry, and hosted by comedian Stephen K Amos, who presented the awards to the deserving winners. Guests stayed to party the night away and celebrate the success of the winning businesses.

Turn the page to find out how the 11 Professional Beauty winners made it to the top, and for more on the World Spa & Wellness Awards winners, check out our sister site worldspawellness.com/awards

BOUTIQUE BEAUTY SALON OF THE YEAR

WINNER

Zen Lifestyle – Bruntsfield, Edinburgh

With three treatment rooms, Bruntsfield is the smaller of the two Zen Lifestyle salons. Both offer clients a welcoming but stylish environment, catering for people who like salons that are trendy but high quality.

Opened in 1999, the business is known locally and nationally for high standards of treatments and training. Recently, Zen has upped its investment in the next generation of therapists, holding seminars at local colleges to help beauty graduates prepare for life in the working world.

For its managers and directors, Zen offers an extensive leadership development training programme with an external training company.

The salon’s “innovative treatments, loyal staff and impressive work in the local community” were among the things that made it stand out to the judges.

” These awards are massively important to the industry so to win just means everything to us. The team put 100% into the salons day in and day out and we do so much training to ensure the very best for our clients”

Kieran Fowley, director, Zen Lifestyle

Finalists

Emma Wilson Urban Spa London
Hooker & Young Skin Tyne and Wear
The House Beauty Spa Liverpool
R Retreat Oadby, Leicestershire
Virgo Beauty Goring on Thames, Oxfordshire
Willow Beauty Ballymena, Antrim

LARGE BEAUTY SALON OF THE YEAR

Zen Lifestyle – Hanover Street, Edinburgh

Zen’s larger salon in Hanover Street wowed the judges with its welcoming atmosphere and impressive treatment delivery. Opened in 2011, the salon offers a huge range of treatments from brands including Murad, Medik8, CND, Elemis, Caci, Nouveau Lashes and many more.

Judges were impressed with the business’s strong branding, which features in every detail of the salon, from appointment cards to towels and chocolates. They also commented that Zen offers great value for money, delivering reliably good treatments from welcoming staff in a stylish environment.

Owners Fiona and Kieran Fowley were praised for their business know-how, with the group’s training programme, social media presence and thorough procedures for ensuring customer care and satisfaction all making Zen stand out as a winner.

” We have a strong team and the culture they display, the values and positive attitude they all have is tremendous; and we couldn’t do what we do without them. They are the most awesome team”

Kieran Fowley, director, Zen Lifestyle

Finalists

Concepts Beauty & Wellbeing Huddersfield
Esqué Leamington Spa
Silhouette Beauty Salon Castlederg, Tyrone
Simpsons City Centre Nail & Beauty Salon Lincoln
Tessa Stevens Health & Beauty London
The Treatment Loft Exeter

DAY SPA OF THE YEAR

Pure Day Spa, Newtonards, Down

Pure scooped the top spot because of its luxurious customer journey, high-quality service and attention to detail. Led by director Elaine Murphy, the Northern Ireland countryside retreat aims to help clients escape the pressures of the world.

Judges were particularly impressed by the spa’s treatment menu, which is packed with rituals from all over the world, including Balinese philosophies and ancient Thai traditions, and several unexpected special touches such as complimentary champagne, personalised robes and Belgian chocolates. Another stand-out point was Pure’s commitment to client retention, with judges praising the business’s loyalty card system, which awards customers a complimentary treatment for every 10 stamps. All staff were noted as being “professional, courteous and welcoming”, which helped the spa receive top marks for the experience.

” It’s just amazing to win, and the absolute best way to start the year. These awards are very important to the industry and really help to raise the standards throughout”

Elaine Murphy, director, Pure Day Spa

Finalists

Banya No.1 London
Devonshire Spa Buxton, Derbyshire
Inside Spa Nelson, Lancashire
Spa Experience by Better Wimbledon, London

RESIDENTIAL SPA OF THE YEAR: 11 ROOMS OR MORE

The Spa at Pennyhill Park, Bagshott, Surrey

Five-star countryside resort Pennyhill Park is an impressive operation. Spanning 45,000sq ft and with facilities including 21 treatment rooms, three hydrotherapy pools, a sensory room, laconium, ice cave and swimming pool complete with underwater music, our judges agreed it truly had the wow factor.

Run by spa director Darren Dixon, Pennyhill Park’s team is committed to providing a luxurious stay with a personal touch. This really stood out to judges, from the warm and consistently welcoming feel throughout the client journey to the relaunch of its own product range The Spa, which is used in all treatments, giving a more bespoke touch.

Our mystery shopper awarded her treatment top marks, stating it was the “best facial I’ve ever had”, while our announced visitor was impressed with therapists’ technical knowledge. The spa’s goal to put the customer first has resulted in guest satisfaction for the past 12 months coming in at an amazing 94%.

” We’d love to thank all the staff for their hard work. These awards are really important as they help to raise standards across the industry. Having won this award now for the second time, it just proves that The Spa at Pennyhill Park is committed to delivering excellence, time and time again”

Katie Pratt, spa therapy manager, The Spa at Pennyhill Park

Finalists

The Spa at Cameron House Loch Lomond
Gaia Spa Plymouth
The Spa at Galgorm Ballymena, Antrim
Serenity Spa at Seaham Hall County Durham
The Woodland Spa Burnley, Lancashire

RESIDENTIAL SPA OF THE YEAR: 10 ROOMS OR FEWER

Dormy House Hotel & Spa, Worcestershire

Judges were so impressed with the experience provided by Dormy House that one commented: “For the first time in a very long time I have found it extremely difficult to criticise and find any real negatives at all. They just did everything right.”

Particular areas of strength noted were customer service, effective marketing, food quality, accommodation and treatment tailoring. The spa prides itself on the quality of its massages, with therapists having been trained by Beata Alexandrowicz, founder of Pure Massage Spa Training Method.

Spa manager Zoe Douglas describes the spa as fun and unpretentious, and ultimately aims to make guests feel at home. The introduction of Natura Bissé in 2016 drove a 14% increase in revenue, while subsequent pop-up events, limitededition pacakges and wellness weekend initiatives have also helped the business grow.

” It feels incredible to win. I really didn’t expect to be picking up this award tonight. We’d love to thank our team, as without them we wouldn’t be able to do what we do”

Zoe Douglas, spa manager, The Spa at Dormy House

Highly Commended: The Spa at The Midland, Manchester

This category was particularly closely fought, and The Spa at The Midland’s high standard of therapists, dedication to monitoring and acting on guest feedback, and “totally delicious food” inspired judges to award it Highly Commended.

Finalists

C Bay Spa at Carbis Bay Hotel St Ives, Cornwall
Como Shambhala Urban Escape at Como Metropolitan Hotel London
The Coniston Spa at The Coniston Hotel Skipton, North Yorkshire

THERAPIST OF THE YEAR

Rebecca Griffiths, The Secret Spa, Chester

As the owner of successful salon The Secret Spa, and with 20 years’ industry experience under her belt, Griffiths has been making waves in the industry as a facial specialist – and it’s paid off. At the awards practical judging day, judges were blown away by her personable consultation style and her use and understanding of different massage techniques.

The judges were also impressed with Griffiths’ ability to tailor her methods to suit clients’ needs and her development of bespoke treatment addons in salon, which resulted in a business growth of 5% last year and an increase in client spend.

In the last 12 months, Griffiths has worked hard to build on her reputation in the industry, working with Parisian skincare brand Darphin to develop signature facials, undergoing advanced training with Caci and Crystal Clear, and teaming up with local charities.

” This is literally the best feeling ever. I didn’t even begin to imagine I’d win this. These awards and the recognition they bring are so important; it’s what helps to drive small businesses. I’d like to thank everyone who puts on the awards, the judges and everyone at Professional Beauty”

Rebecca Griffiths

Finalists

Victoria Barnes Ostara Therapies at Quay Place, Ipswich
Deborah Anne King Angel Loving care, West Lothian
Jody Adele Taylor Skin Deep, Doncaster
Dorthe Thomas Dorthe Thomas Spa, Andover

NAIL PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Katie Barnes, Katie Barnes Training Academy, Warwickshire

Having reached the finals in this category several times, Barnes’s dedication to educating the next generation of techs and becoming an ambassador for the industry finally scooped her the trophy for 2018.

Barnes was awarded high points for her digital approach to learning, using her YouTube channel Katie B Nails to share techniques with peers, as well as launch her reputation on a global scale – Barnes is the only UK semi-finalist in this year’s Nails Next Top Artist competition. On the awards practical judging day, judges gave top marks for her nail art designs, cuticle work and explanation of the treatment to the client.

Barnes’s story of expanding her training academy twice in the past seven years to offer more training spaces and provide more job and apprenticeship opportunities to budding techs also impressed.

Finalists

Michelle Brookes

Beauty Lounge, Doncaster

Kayley Cairns

The Nail Boutique, Brentwood

Bethany Denby

Matisse Hair Studio, Bradford

Metta Francis

Freelance, London

NAIL SALON OF THE YEAR

Coco Nail Bar, London

Located on London’s Portobello Road, Coco Nail Bar aims to offer a level of service to match the area’s upmarket vibe. Judges were wowed by “above and beyond factors” such as the choice of more than 600 polishes, on-site cocktail and coffee bars, sushi to order and Apple TV to watch with wireless Sennheiser headphones during treatments.

Open seven days a week and until 10pm, the salon aims to keep clients as happy as possible, which is why owner Tima Reshad and her team switched to a management software that offers both online and app bookings.

In April last year, Coco added two extra treatment rooms to accommodate services other than nails, and enlisted the guidance of consultant Liz McKeon to further improve on the business. The salon also recently created its own cuticle oil to use in treatments and retail to clients.

” It’s the third time we’ve won this award and we really weren’t expecting it. These awards are like the Oscars of the beauty industry and we’re just delighted. I’d like to thank the staff; it’s because of their hard work and professionalism that we’re the success we are”

Tima Reshad, owner, Coco Nail Bar

Finalists

Nails & Brows London
Podology Saltburn
Simply Gorgeous Derby

EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

Spa Experience by Better

Spa group Spa Experience rebranded from the name Spa London in 2016. It runs spas within Better leisure centres across London and further afield in locations including Taunton, Somerset.

The group aims to offer all staff long-term career development via clear career paths. Each employee has an ongoing training plan and also has the opportunity to further their development with the support of GLL through course sponsorship.

The company runs monthly awards that give incentives for a broad range of achievement areas, including highest retail sales, highest number of rebooks, and most customer comments, allowing all therapists a chance to succeed.

Employees are encouraged to develop their skills and contribute their ideas to the business through monthly team meetings.

” We are so delighted for the team. Coming from a social enterprise, winning this award gives us the motivation to move forward and continue doing what we’re doing. We want to thank the team. We couldn’t have done this without them.”

Melissa Evans, national spa manager, Spa Experience by Better

Finalists

Beauty Matters Leeds
NKD Waxing Nottingham
Saks Hair & Beauty West Bridgford
Salon at Number 5 Cambridge

MEDICAL AESTHETIC CLINIC OF THE YEAR

EF Medispa, Kensington, London

EF Medispa founder Esther Fieldgrass’s interest in technology and innovation is infused into the clinic’s machines, protocols and products, supporting its ultimate aim of giving clients impressive results.

Judges said the clinic’s staff go above and beyond for customer care, something it achieves through its structured, bespoke approach to treating every client. Each is assigned a treatment coordinator to see them through their treatment plan, and EF Medispa encourages thorough and continual client feedback on every area of the treatment journey in order to keep improving.

The medispa’s clinical yet relaxed ambiance made judges feel at ease, while the “sophisticated, attractive” space was clean and well maintained in all areas. The clinic has recently upped its focus on training and has already seen an increase in staff motivation and retention.

” We always want to do our best for our clients so to win this award means everything. We’d love to thank our whole team, absolutely everyone, for all their hard work, dedication and commitment. We really appreciate it”

Rudi Fieldgrass, director, EF Medispa

Finalists

Chester Medispa Chester
London Professional Aesthetics London
MediZen Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham
Radiance MediSpa Exeter

MAKE-UP SPECIALIST OF THE YEAR

Rachael Divers, Barnsley

Rachael Divers’s passion for opposite ends of the make-up spectrum – bridal and SFX – gives her a broad range of technical skills and creative ideas, judges noted on the practical judging day. In particular, her interaction with her model, gentle techniques and choice of shades to enhance the eye colour were commended.

Divers’s enthusiasm shines through in her continued training, having attended classes in advanced eye make-up artistry skills and Asian bridal make-up, business development and entrepreneurship workshops, a VTCT Level 3 Media Makeup course and the Mastered Val Garland School of Make-up course. Divers has built on her business’s success and attracted new clients by regularly updating her blog, something she says has helped solidify a positive reputation in the industry. She has recently started a YouTube channel and plans to soon start creating tutorial videos.

” It feels absolutely amazing to win this award. It’s quite breathtaking, I’d love to thank all the judges for their time and recognising something in me and my work. I’m just delighted”

Rachael Divers

Finalists

Suzanne Christie Edinburgh
Camilla Collins London
Sita Gill London
Samantha Lyann Lincolnshire
Clare Pearson Oban

This article appears in the Professional Beauty April 2018 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the Professional Beauty April 2018 Issue of Professional Beauty