Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


ask the EXPERTS

I’m an MUA trying to get session work. What should I know about working on set?

Being successful in the make-up arena requires you to know much more than the latest trends. Applying your trade in film, TV and fashion means understanding the rules of etiquette, which when you’re on set can vary considerably.

As with anything in life, hindsight and experience are priceless, but in an industry where there is an ever-increasing number of make-up artists compared to the paid jobs available, having a poor attitude can cost you your career.

The hard and fast rules regarding what constitutes good on-set etiquette are: being punctual – so plan your journey well in advance; making sure that you’re dressed professionally and your kit is clean; and being respectful of your colleagues.

I also get approached for advice on what you should or shouldn’t do when working with celebrities. Actors and singers are human beings doing a job just like the rest of us. Being complimentary and letting them know you appreciate their skill if you’re a fan is fine but acting star struck is not.

For example, asking for selfies in between takes on set is a definite no-no. Celebrities will often take photos of themselves in the make-up room if you’ve done a look that they love and that’s when you ask if they mind you taking a photo to document it. Never presume you can take their picture.

Also, don’t be over familiar. Seeing a celebrity on TV or in magazines can make you feel like you know them but you don’t. Take the time to get to know them like you would any other client and be mindful about the opinions you share on social media relating to celebrity gossip. You never know who you might end up working with, and being caught out sharing derogatory comments could come back to haunt you.

Hannah Wing is a professional make-up artist, owner of Bellus Femina and judge for the North Warpaint Make-Up Championships. She will be talking about “On-set etiquette: what you need to know” as part of the Warpaint Stage at PB North on October 21.


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How can I make male clients feel comfortable during an intimate wax?

It’s really important to make your clients feel relaxed when performing an intimate wax, especially if they are new to your salon. Simple things like being warm and friendly, direct in conversation and acting in a professional manner will all go a long way to making them feel at ease.

You also need to explain what’s involved in the treatment and provide clear instructions on what clothing needs removing and the purpose of the wet wipes in the room.

Another absolute must is making sure your client is stretching with you when you’re applying and removing the wax because certain parts of their body will need a bigger stretch to help minimise the discomfort and allow the hairs to be removed effectively. The bigger the stretch, the more comfortable they will be.

You should also turn down the temperature when applying hot wax.

Due to the skin in this area being thinner and more fragile, it will help reduce the heat sensation and sensitivity and allow the application of wax to be more tolerable. For clients to get the best results, explain the appropriate aftercare advice, even if you went through it with them the last time they came in.

The common don’ts for the next 24 to 48 hours are no gym or swimming and to avoid wearing tight clothing. They should also invest in an antibacterial soothing cream and apply this regularly to the area.

Jenny Hunter is a waxing specialist and trainer for Waxü, delivering the brand’s intimate waxing course at specialised venues. She will be demonstrating “How to perform the perfect male intimate wax” as part of the Intimate Treatments Seminars at PB North on October 21.

I want to make the move from therapist to manager. Where do I start?

Are you a strong seller and excellent at rebooking your clients? That’s fantastic and all credit to you, as you are clearly a very valuable senior therapist, but despite all of that, you might be feeling frustrated that you’re still not being considered as a suitable candidate for manager. What more can you do to prove yourself?

The single biggest attribute you’re likely to be missing is a strong sense of commercialism, and until you develop this skill, you’ll never make a good manager. This often requires putting the business’s needs before your own, and in the case of a lot of therapists, it requires a complete shift in your perspective.

A prime example is understanding why a certain annual leave policy needs to be implemented to protect the business and ensure that sufficient staff are on hand in the most valuable times of trading. Are you able to fully get on board with this even if it conflicts with your personal views? Can you communicate this to your team so that they understand the need for the policy?

If the answer is no to any of these questions, then it’s likely that you do not yet have the necessary mindset to become an effective manager.

Yassmina Denideni is salon manager at specialist waxing salon nkd () in Leicester. She will be talking about “How to make the move from therapist to manager” as part of the Business Skills Stage 1 at PB North on October 22.


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I want to grow my nail salon’s presence on Instagram. Where do I start?

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for any industry, especially one as visual and client-focused as nails. Being online and easily accessible means you can fill your books and grow your business based on reviews and recommendations faster than ever before. But how can you make sure you’re maximising the limited time you have between appointments to prmote yourself effectively?

Firstly, look at your business from the client’s point of view and use its strong points to create your brand. It’s easier to make a plan and create content for your channels if you know what you’re selling to the world. Make guidelines for your colour scheme, layout options and general look and feel of your posts, and stick to them.

Next, figure out which platform you engage with your target market on the most, for example Instagram, and dedicate the majority of your time to it. Then, use your other platforms to direct followers to the content on your best-performing channel using link functions such as the “Share on Facebook” button on Instagram.

Use direct messages (DMs) to engage with your followers but push booking enquiries to your email address to avoid spreading yourself too thin. Lastly, use your insights. All the platforms offer these on business accounts, so use them to see if people are using your call to action buttons and when your followers are most engaged.

Tammy Koslowski is a nail tech and owner of NAF! Salon in Glasgow. She will be talking about “How to plan and measure your social media success” as part of the Business Skills Stage 2 at PB North on October 22.

How do I ask my boss to give me a pay rise?

If you’ve been working at the salon for a long time, it’s natural to feel you should be earning a little more money, but how can you get your boss to agree?

Consistency is the key to being noticed and rewarded. Turn up for work on time, stay in the business long enough to build up a loyal, regular clientele, and educate yourself daily on the latest product and treatment trends that your clients are watching on social media.

Once you establish yourself as a reliable and knowledgeable individual, your clients will be desperate to fill your column and invest in the advice you give them. As for your boss, they will see that you’re an asset they want to keep, which is your time to have the conversation about pay.

It may be the case that your boss wants to promote you but running the business is costly, and as an employer they need to make sure the salon is protected, putting money aside for expensive hiccups that will need urgent attention, which can take away from promotions.

Until you have a chat with your boss about pay, why not look at other opportunities to earn more for yourself and the salon. Commissions, bonuses and incentives are there to motivate you and top up your pay.

Louise McFadzean is founder and managing director of Zest Skin Spa in Edinburgh and The Edinburgh School of Beauty. She will be talking about “How to get your boss to give you a pay rise” as part of the Business Skills Stage 2 at PB North on October 21.


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Is it worth integrating LED light therapy into my treatment menu?

LED phototherapy has long been recognised for its regenerating and anti-inflammatory benefits and is now one of the fastest growing skin treatments due to the versatility and unrivalled profitability that today’s systems provide.

Phototherapy is the application of specific low-level light wavelengths, which energise cellular processes to fuel repair. Cells that are energised function better and renew faster to promote youthful, healthy and radiant skin. It offers a gentle alternative to more invasive procedures that use heat or chemicals to trigger a wound-healing response.

With light therapy, the low-level energy doesn’t induce trauma, making it safe and suitable for all skin types. It’s particularly effective to target problematic and sensitive skin conditions such as acne and rosacea and extends new treatment opportunities in these areas.

The best thing is that it can be integrated in a multitude of ways to upgrade regular treatments, supercharging cells for enhanced results. From express LED facials and bespoke combination protocols to post-treatment calming and ongoing skin health programmes, it can be tailored to clients’ needs to give the best complexion boost.

Ultimately though, you need to be confident in delivering results for your clients. With so many LED applications available, making the right investment decision can be daunting. Not all LED devices are created equal and that’s what I will be talking about in more detail at Professional Beauty North in October.

Louise Taylor is director and co-founder of Aesthetic Technology, the manufacturer of Dermalux LED Phototherapy systems. She will be talking about how to “Transform your treatment menu with LED light therapy” as part of the Advanced Treatments Stage at PB North on October 21.

How can I spot signs of abuse among my clients?

One in three women will experience abuse in their lifetime, with two killed each week, according to research from the Office for National Statistics.

Therefore, the role you play in your clients’ lives is so important – a kind and sensitive word from you, a trusted professional who can signpost them to support, could change their life.

Those experiencing abuse may not tell anyone for several reasons. Abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, harassing, coercion or control. Does one of your regular clients appear withdrawn or anxious? Are they more careful getting on and off the treatment couch? These signs could indicate that something’s not right.

Some abusing behaviours may affect their appointments. They may not show up or have to cancel due to injury or control, and with experience, you tune into genuine-sounding reasons for these events. You may also notice when they are in salon they have to respond to text messages right away or get home quickly and seem anxious about it.

Behind the Mask offers hair and beauty professionals free access to online learning to help them to spot the signs that someone is experiencing domestic abuse and respond in the best way. With some insight, our relationships with clients may reveal what’s hidden behind their mask.

Julie Knight is founder of Behind The Mask. She will talk about “Recognising abuse – how to save a life” on the Professional Beauty Live Stage at PB North on October 21.


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This article appears in the PB October 2018 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the PB October 2018 Issue of Professional Beauty