Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


Best beauty LAUNCHES OF 2018


Vegan beauty was booming this year as customers became more conscious of their choices, opting for products free from animal byproducts. British skincare brand Elemis was ahead of the game, launching its vegan pre- and pro-biotic Superfood Skincare System at Professional Beauty London in February.

The plant-based and nutrient-dense range features an oil-gel technology Facial Wash, nourishing Facial Oil, Pre-Biotic Day Cream, made with the brand’s Supergreen Complex; and Superfood Grain Complex-infused Pre-Biotic Night Cream. Elemis will be adding a jam-gel textured Blackcurrant Jelly Exfoliator to the range next year.


With the at-home beauty product market continuing to grow, skincare brand Environ launched a smart device for salons to retail to clients. The Focus Care Skin Tech+ Electro-Sonic DF Mobile Skincare Device, for use in between appointments to boost treatment results, uses the same types of ultrasound as the brand’s professional-use machine, with sonophoresis increasing the absorption of skincare while iontophoresis enhances the skin’s permeability by passing a weak electrical current through it. The device is ideal for customers with anti-ageing concerns but can also get more distinctive results with rosacea- and acne-prone clients.


With more studies this year conirming the link between aromatherapy and a reduction in stress and anxiety levels, the founders of Crystal Clear launched Quartz Spa to give salons and spas an affordable wellness option to add to their menu. The collection’s three signature blends – Happiness, Hope and Energise – combine aromatherapy oils with whole pieces of clear quartz crystals, known for their rebalancing properties, to soothe mind, body and soul. Products include a body wash, aromatherapy candle, mineral scrub, and bath and massage oil, and a menu of 14 treatments launched alongside the range, varying from a Detox Wrap to Jet Lag Reviver massages.


Generation Z changed the beauty landscape this year by demanding brands create results-driven products that are also fun to use. As a result, a whole host of new textures made their way into the industry, the biggest being jelly, and Katherine Daniels and Germaine De Capuccini were the first pro brands to deliver. Katherine Daniels Essential Miracle Cleansing Jelly applies as a jelly but changes to an oil when massaged with water, removing the most stubborn dirt and make-up, while the Germaine De Capuccini Sperience Green Tea Jelly massage medium provides better value for therapists than traditional oils, with one sachet lasting a whole treatment and only costing £3.72.


Clever products that work to remove the signs of sleep deprivation on the skin were a big hit this year. Dermalogica was among the first to see the potential for salons and spas to help clients with this issue, launching gel-cream Sound Sleep Cocoon, which works overnight to aid the skin’s repair and recovery process.

It’s formulated with Persian silk tree extract to reduce the signs of fatigue and kakadum plum extract to brighten. Elemis also launched Peptide4 Night Recovery Cream-Oil this year, a product which works with the skin’s natural circadian rhythm to help it restore itself.


2018 was the year that plasma technology became more mainstream, with a range of professional brands launching machines for small and large salons. Popular device manufacturer CACI worked Neon Plasma skin-tightening technology for facial rejuvenation into its Skinbreeze machine, delivering an electronically charged gas to the skin. Meanwhile, Accor’s NF+ Cosmetic Corrector was launched into the beauty market this year and was hailed for its ease of use – the pen only weighs 95g so practitioners can maintain a healthy posture during treatment.


This was the year vitamin C products were turbo-charged, using smart technologies and systems to deliver the ingredient in an even more effective way. Leading the pack was US cosmeceutical brand Image Skincare which added Hydrating Water Burst to its popular Vital C range, using advanced emulsion technology to deliver the beneits of vitamin C more deeply when rubbed into the skin.

Meanwhile, pro brand Exuviance’s AF 20% Vitamin C20 Serum Capsules encapsulate vitamin C in an advanced bio-degradable substance, keeping the serum’s potent ingredients stable, while AlumierMD’s EverActive C&E Serum has a different component for the vitamin C powder, keeping it separate from the serum until the moment of use so it remains super fresh.

Ffitness FEVER

Treatments specially designed for gym-goers to help keep their skin and muscles in tip-top shape pre- and post-workout were popular, taking the athleisure skincare trend to another level. Spa brand Espa created the Strength and Resilience Massage to help fitness fanatics recharge quicker, using advanced techniques such as yogic stretches and rapid pressure to revive tired muscles. French skincare brand Sothys got in on the action too, unveiling pre-workout Smoothing/Warming Professional Treatment, which prepares clients for exercise, and post-workout Nutri-relaxing Remodelling deep-tissue massage, which prevents stiffness.


Although microblading has been popular for a couple of years, 2018 saw the service get an advanced makeover, with new training and techniques from highly respected brands coming to the fore. HD Brows entered the semi-permanent make-up market for the first time at Professional Beauty London, offering accounts the choice of two treatment options – an inill, where fine strokes of pigment are added to sparse areas, or the full brow treatment, where fuller coverage is given with shading and hair strokes.

Ffinishing Touches Group also launched its Bespoke Blading training, a ive-day course that covers how to create natural-looking brows using the brand’s Nano Blade tool, giving those new to the industry an access to market and seasoned pros a new technique to try.


The wax market was shaken up this year with some innovative new pro brands making their mark. Ashmira Botanica launched at Professional Beauty London and was praised by experienced waxers for its shimmering purple strip and peelable waxes and skincareinspired pre- and post-wax care, including a Protective Face Cream, Comfort Balm and Replenishing Body Lotion. The other name on everyone’s lips was hair-removal brand Wax:one, which was developed and launched by Sweet Squared. The system gives smooth results while minimising the risk of ingrown hairs due to its low melting and working temperature.


Gel-polish brand Candy Coat did something no other company in the sector has done before this year, launching a subscription box service exclusively for nail professionals. The pro boxes for salons and independent techs have gone down a treat and include six bottles of gel polish along with manicure tools and nail accessories every month, working on a pick ‘n’ mix concept. The brand has shades in 15 finishes, including rich glitters, colour change, confetti, marble, holographic and translucent.


Advanced laser hair-removal technology became accessible for salons on a smaller budget when 3D-lipo launched its 3D-Trilogy Ice at Professional Beauty London in February. The machine combines three wavelengths in a single handpiece to target different tissue depths and anatomical structures in the hair follicle. The single high-energy pulses gradually heat the dermis and damage the hair follicle via the Trilogy Ice In Motion protocol. This way the therapist can achieve full coverage of the contact cooling system to make the process as comfortable as possible for clients. Trilogy Ice offers low treatment costs and doesn’t require any consumables, making it an appealing option for salons looking to introduce more advanced treatments.


With the lash industry growing at an unprecedented rate, anything that can help make the extension application process for an artist run more smoothly is bound to go down well. As such, in-house and freelance lash artists were wowed by extension brand Novalash’s touchscreen device Aura. The humidity gauge allows techs to measure the temperature in their working environment so they can make sure it’s at the right Fahrenheit for proper curing of the lash adhesive. It also provides a moisture percentage and tracks the 24-hour average minimum and maximum temperature – pretty smart.


The only product to contain its patented Vinergy technology, Caudalie Premier Cru The Serum took five years to bring to market and was developed in partnership with Harvard Medical School genetics professors. The serum helps restore the skin’s mitochondrial mass and energy production, supporting cells to defend themselves against ageing. Its ingredient combination, which includes grape-seed polyphenols, vine resveratrol and viniferine, and water-like texture makes the serum tolerable for sensitive skins despite its high concentration of the Vinergy complex.


Murad made peels less scary for apprehensive clients when it launched its Technoceuticals Peels. While the peels use active ingredients such as retinol, the brand has created a luxurious ritual around the treatment, with touches such as facial massage elements and a closing ritual that involves wiping a warm towel over the back and massaging in Youth Builder Massage Cream. These elevate a treatment known for its potential to cause slightly uncomfortable sensations to a nurturing and enjoyable experience, while the formulas themselves blend antioxidants and hydrators into the acids to promote skin health without irritation.


This year marked a significant shift in consumer buying behaviour, with clients wanting a more gender-neutral approach to products and services. As such, Skin Regimen, a unisex skincare line founded by Comfort Zone, was a standout launch. The products help clients protect their skin against pollution and were developed for city dwellers of any age and gender, packaged in a neutral design to relect this message. There are 10 items: Cleansing Cream, Microalgae Essence, 1.85 HA Booster, 10.0 Tulsi Booster, 1.5 Retinol Booster, 15.0 Vit C Booster, Tripeptide Crea, Urban Shield SPF 30, Lift Eye Cream and Night Detox.


Given that it’s notoriously dificult to achieve truly natural-looking results with semi-permanent make-up (SPMU), K.B Pro worked hard on its reformulated pigments and advanced the ield with the improved selection. The pigments are infused with laxen to help the colours fade out naturally longterm without leaving any of the warmth residue that SPMU artists try so hard to avoid. Adjuster shade Boston was launched alongside the new line and can be used to lighten any of the mid-range colours. There are also clever shades specifically formulated to combat unwanted tones – like St Lucia, to tackle dark grey and blue hues.


Created to allow a custom it for every nail and versatility of length, Glitter Planet UK’s Revolution Nail Forms proved a huge hit with techs when they launched onto the market this year. Easy to get to grips with for both newbie techs and those who have been creating enhancements for years, the forms it snugly around the finger while sitting lush to the side walls to create the all-important smooth, tight c-curve, and it almost all shapes and sizes of nail bed. Made from a super-strong, durable and sticky material, the forms also feature grid cutouts to give an extra helping hand.


Gelish aimed to give techs total artistic control of their designs with its Art Form Gel 2-D Technology. The one stroke nail art formula allows nail artists to create intricate artwork with no wrinkling, marbling or inhibition layer, to add a design finish to any soak-off gel polish or poly product manicure. The gels are packaged in no-tip packaging with a comfort grip, ensuring no spillages or product waste, and come with a custom brush wiper insert that helps to control product pick up for precise application. The 24 colours can be blended together to create bespoke shades.


Billed as the next generation of vitamin A, cosmeceutical skincare brand Medik8 impressed the industry when it launched its Crystal Retfinal this year. Packed with vitamin A derivative retfinaldehyde, it works with the skin’s natural mechanisms to help enhance collagen production and encourage cellular turnover. The gel-cream-textured serum comes in two strengths and the brand claims it works faster than retinol at irming, plumping and resurfacing skin. Meanwhile, the patented timerelease delivery system stops the skin being overwhelmed – a solution for clients too sensitive to retinol but who would beneit from its results.

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

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