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Brits spend £6.4 billion a year on cosmetics, with London topping sales

Despite the cost-of-living crisis causing many of us to change our spending habits, Brits are continuing to spend billions on small luxuries such as cosmetics.

New research from comparison site Idealo revealed Brits are big spenders when it comes to cosmetics, with London and the South East splashing out the most.

The “lipstick effect” describes how, during times of financial crisis, we tend to spend more money on small luxuries – like high-end lipsticks – to bring us comfort.

While investigating this effect, Idealo noted that demand for lipsticks has risen by a huge 1,006% since the cost-of-living crisis started in the UK.

The UK’s spend of £6.4bn a year on cosmetics is actually 7% less than in 2020, when spending hit £6.9bn due to the pandemic leading people to find joy in small indulgences while stuck at home.

Londoners are currently spending the most on beauty products (£983.6 million per year), followed by households in the South East (£892m) and the West Midlands (£653.5m).

Refillable toiletries and local sourcing among top six spa sustainability practices

The top six sustainability practices implemented by UK spas have been revealed in a report by spa booking agency Spaseekers.

Top 6 spa sustainability practices

1. Refillable toiletries

2. Towel reuse policy

3. Local sourcing

4. Plastic reduction

5. Energy-efficient lighting

6. Dual-flush toilets

Out of Spaskeers’ 400 spa partners, 117 have been awarded the Green Spa logo for their commitment to sustainability.

Of these 117 partners, over 90% have removed plastic, reduced water and energy waste and provide locally sourced food.

The majority (95%) have embraced refillable toiletries, and 90% have replaced conventional light bulbs with low-energy alternatives in public areas.

To further reduce water usage, 80% of Green Spa partners have installed dual flush toilets.

Spaseekers director Jason Goldberg said, “By implementing these ecofriendly initiatives, [spas] not only contribute to the wellbeing of our environment but also enhance the overall spa experience for guests.”

News in brief

Fletcher’s Cottage Spa has partnered with The Academy to provide a private therapist apprenticeship programme to help boost recruitment in the industry. The course will provide private apprenticeships, training and recognised qualifications with a guaranteed job at the end of the course.

Ashmira Botanica has partnered with iconic department store Harrods, London, to launch Ashmira Botanica treatments within H Beauty. The Chinese medicine-inspired treatments will use the brand’s vegan products and therapists will be trained by brand founder Tracey Smith.

World Wellness Weekend will be returning on September 15-17. The three-day celebration will see 8,000 venues and professionals in 150 countries open their doors to encourage the public to try new fun group classes with friends, family and colleagues.

Helen Ward, PB Awards Educator of the Year 2023, has launched The Hair and Beauty Directory. The website aims to help consumers find credible salons in their area, giving information on qualifications and insurance, and showcasing the salons’ work. Salons can sign up for free for the next six months at

Advanced Esthetics Solutions has welcomed Eddie Campbell-Adams to the team as national sales manager UK and Ireland. Campbell-Adams brings over 20 years’ industry experience to the role.

Final chance to enter Professional Beauty Awards

The deadline to enter the beauty industry’s most prestigious awards is fast approaching, with entries closing on September 1, 2023.

From exceptional spas and boutique salons to top-notch therapists and employers, there’s a category to showcase every talent.

The shortlist will be revealed in October, and the winners will be announced at a grand celebration at The Brewery, London on March 3, 2024. In addition to a trophy, winners will receive industry recognition as well as dedicated PR support.

PB Awards 2024 categories

• Spa of the Year

• Boutique Salon of the Year

• Large Salon of the Year

• Skin Clinic of the Year – sponsored by Million Dollar Facial

• Spa/Salon Team of the Year

• Mobile/Home-based Beauty Business of the Year

• Nail Salon of the Year

• Therapist of the Year

• Employer of the Year

Enter the 2024 awards at

UK ranked 13th best wellbeing destination in Europe

The UK ranks among the best countries in Europe for relaxation and wellness, with Ireland taking the number-two slot,

Statistics specialist Slot Tracker created a points-based index system that evaluates the number of spas, yoga/pilates centres, hiking trails and national parks per 100,000 people to award each country a relaxation score out of 10.

The UK was found to be the 13th most relaxing European destination with a relaxation score of 6.14/10.

However, people residing or holidaying in Iceland have the highest chance of stress relief, with an overall score of 9.26/10.

Ireland, famous for its countryside, follows in second place with a score of 8.13/10. The region also had the fourth highest number of spas per capita among the top 15 and over three times the amount of national parks as the UK (29.63).

News in brief

Rudding Park is now offering a Woodland Spring Bathing Experience with the addition of two freshwater tubs, hidden in woodland. Guests can enjoy a magnesium-boosting soak with a host on hand to serve champagne, cocktails or a refreshing beer as guests relax.

Sothys has joined with The Coniston Hotel to launch four new treatments within Nàdarra Spa. The spa is now offering Sothys’s Youth Enhancing, Hydrating and Detoxifying facials, as well as the Sothys Organic Experience, and Nàdarra Spa’s Blossom Ritual with Sothys.

Nouveau Beauty has launched a new product category, professional tanning. Already offering professional brow, lash and permanent make-up products, the company will now sell and train therapists in Sienna X, Fake Bake and Bronzie.

Staffordshire’s Moddershall Oaks has opened a new couples’ treatment space, The Sanctuary, which features two standalone bathtubs looking out over the stunning rolling hills surrounding the spa. The spa is also launching a new treatment menu which includes a selection of exclusive bathing rituals.

BTL has extended its team of global key opinion leaders with the addition of Dr Sherina Balaratnam. Dr Balaratnam, medical director at S-thetics, is a qualified surgeon with over 23 years’ medical experience.

Revealed: hottest wedding beauty trends of 2023

Searches for “Natural glam bridal make-up” have increased by 700% on Pinterest from last year.

Beauty Daily by Clarins delved into Pinterest data to uncover the biggest beauty trends shaping the wedding season this year.

Ethereal themes are also trending for weddings with “ethereal-inspired make-up” seeing searches increase by 300%. These looks are characterised by a bolder use of highlighter, kitten eyeliner and shimmery eyeshadow.

When it comes to nails, floral French has been declared the wedding manicure of 2023. Searches for “French tip manicures with flowers” have increased 100% from last year, within Pinterest’s wedding category.

“Short, classy nails” are on the rise too, increasing by 400%, especially after Sofia Richie’s short and simple wedding manicure where she wore Bio Sculpture’s Sweet Candy Breath. Searches for “pearl chrome nails” have increased by 2,500%, while “pearl French tips” searches are up 200%.

Taliban orders salons in Afghanistan to close

The Taliban has ordered all beauty salons to shut their doors in the latest in a series of attacks on the freedom of women in Afghanistan.

The Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Propagation of Virtue made an announcement on July 4 saying all beauty and hair salons must shut within a month.

“The deadline for the closing of beauty parlours for women is one month,” Mohammad Sadiq Akif, a spokesperson for the Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Propagation of Virtue, said, referring to the official ministry notice.

Beauty salons were previously banned in Afghanistan when the Taliban were last in power between 1996 and 2001. However, they were allowed to reopen after the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan and remained open since.

British Skin Foundation and ITN launch Skin: Below the Surface programme

The British Skin Foundation has partnered with ITN Business to release Skin: Below the Surface, a new programme exploring the impact of skin conditions on mental health.

Presenter and journalist Louise Minchin will interview individuals who have experienced the mental toll of living with a skin condition, intending to help foster a greater understanding and compassion within society.

Skin: Below the Surface will also feature commentary from dermatologists, and psychologists on the different skin conditions. These experts will discuss treatment options and the connection between skin health and psychological wellbeing. Companies that have released treatment options will also participate.

The chief executive of British Skin Foundation, Matthew Patey OBE, said, “We know the enormity of the impact skin conditions can have on mental health and how isolating that can sometimes feel. Working with ITN Business has given us a fantastic opportunity to highlight the issue.”

News in brief

Glasgow beauty destination Naf! Salon has rebranded. Now House of Naf!, the space will expand the offering of Naf! School, and also add be growing its retail and event spaces.

CACI’s new Scottish Training Centre held a full week of consecutive one-day CACI Advanced Training that attracted 22 delegates from across Scotland and the North of England. Following the training day, each therapist participating was certified as a CACI Advanced Therapist.

Hydropeptide has entered into a partnership with Harvey Nichols as it continues its roll-out in the UK. The brand launched a custom space in the store’s London flagship and is taking up permanent residency in Beyond Medispa on the fourth floor.

Ellisons is now the exclusive UK wholesale distributor for nail brand The Gel Bottle. Nail pros can now find over 250 The Gel Bottle gel polishes, BIAB, nail essentials and accessories along with 50+ of sister brand Peacci’s salon-matched polishes.

Mesoestetic hosted 15 medical professionals and 30 aesthetic practitioners at its headquarters in Barcelona. Over the week, the practitioners enhanced their skills and expertise through tailored hands-on training. The brand will run a second training week in October.

IIAA announces Salon of the Year Awards 2023 winners

Skin Matters Holland Park and The Beauty Place Hove were among the winners at IIAA’s Salon of The Year Awards 2023 in June.

The brand owner and distributor welcomed 150 of its top UK and Ireland skincare professionals to celebrate their achievements this year, as well as 30 years of IIAA.

Hosted at the Pan Pacific London Hotel, the awards were presented by Classic FM host Zeb Soanes and Dr Matthias Aust, Environ’s new independent medical advisor.

The IIAA award winners

Salon of the Year UK: The Beauty Place Hove, East Sussex

Salon of the Year Ireland: Wexford Skin Clinic, County Wexford

Platinum Salon of Excellence: Skin Matters Holland Park, London

Gold Salon of Excellence: Aura Skin and Laser Clinic, Waterford, Ireland

Silver Salon of Excellence: The Chalet, County Carlow, Ireland

Bronze Salon Of Excellence: Mary Haworth Beauty Culture, Ashton-under-Lyne

Green Salon of the Year: Feel Good Therapy, North Yorkshire

Therapist of the Year: Yvette Greenway, Feel Good Therapy, North Yorkshire

Community Champion: Helen McBurney Skincare, Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Business Game Changer 3 Rooms or More: Hilltop Beauty Salon, London

Business Game Changer UK 2 Rooms or Less: Elegance of Gidea Park, Essex

Business Game Changer Ireland 3 Rooms or More: Enhance Skin and Laser, Cavan

Business Game Changer Ireland 2 Rooms or Less: The Gym Howth, Dublin, Ireland

Beauty and nail businesses join £2 billion legal claim against energy firms

Twenty-four UK beauty and nail salons across the UK have joined a legal claim aiming to get compensation from energy giants.

Law firm Harcus Parker has launched group litigation against energy suppliers that are alleged to have paid secret commissions to third-party brokers.

The undisclosed commissions, which were added on to the unit cost of gas and electricity, are said to have falsely inflated energy prices for up to two million businesses in the UK.

The law firm’s research revealed that one energy supplier offered brokers as much as 10p/ kWh in commissions. This cost was then added to customers’ bills frequently without their knowledge.

So far, Harcus Parker has signed up more than 2,000 businesses and is urging more beauty businesses to join the claim.

Alfaparf Milano acquires Xpert Professional

Italian beauty company Alfaparf Milano has acquired its UK and Ireland distributor Xpert Professional with Xpert Professional founder David Donnellan remaining as managing director.

Now that Xpert Professional is owned by Alfaparf Milano, distribution for its 15 professional hair and beauty brands, which include professional skincare brand DIBI Milano and APG Tech, will be managed in-house.

One of the first initiatives following the acquisition will be a new training academy and offices in Bank in London, set to open in late Summer 2023.

Lisa Marangon, european sales manager at Alfaparf Milano, said, “We have worked with David for 25 years and have been incredibly impressed with the team’s achievements in the Irish market.

“The UK market remains one of the most innovative and revered throughout the world, and this acquisition shows how heavily invested in, and serious we are, about growing our presence in this particularly important market, as well as in some other European countries.”

KLM rebrands as Beauty & Skincare Essentials and expands portfolio

UK beauty distributor KLM Marketing has rebranded to Beauty & Skincare Essentials, creating a new distribution and marketing hub for brands seeking distribution in UK salons and spas.

As well as continuing to look after existing brands including Australian Bodycare, Phytomer, Vie Collection, Essenzza and Covermark, Beauty & Skincare Essentials has just added eco and vegan-friendly lip balm brand Beauty Made Easy and Spanish aromatherapy brand Alqvimia to its portfolio.

The group is also planning to introduce Phytocéane from Phytomer soon.

Managing director Fiona Peerless said, “After KLM was acquired in 2019 following a management buyout, we reimagined our business and offering to beauty and spa brands, while expanding into cosmetics and other wellbeing sectors.

“Covid interrupted our momentum, but the recent addition of new brands means now is the perfect time to focus on the future.”

Diary dates

// September 15–17

World Wellness Weekend


Wellness event that will be celebrated by 8,000 venues across 150 countries.

// September 17

Babtac & Cibtac Awards

The Fairmont Windsor Park

Awards celebrating individual practitioners, salons and educators.

01452 623110

// September 24–25

Professional Beauty North

Manchester Central

The largest beauty exhibition in the North returns with product launches, education, competitions and more.

020 7351 0536

// October 14–16

Salon International

ExCeL London

An international exhibition featuring the world’s top hair brands as well as creative stages and a business education programme.

020 7351 0536

// October 15–16

Olympia Beauty

ExCeL London

Now under the Professional Beauty Group umbrella, Olympia Beauty will run alongside hair show Salon International.

020 7351 0536

// October 26–30

British Beauty Week


Emphasising “The Power of Beauty”, the week will focus on the themes of talent, growth and ESG.

This article appears in August 2023

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This article appears in...
August 2023
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Editor’s Comment
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