Professional Beauty South Africa Nov/Dev 2021

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CUNNING COMBO Microneedling + radiofrequency

TRENDSPOTTING What’s hot right now?

Branching Diversify your revenue streams


November / December 2021 | probeauty.

Pat Clarke






Patricia Clarke Johannesburg, South Africa • Symphony Health cc Tel: +27 11 793 2321 / 792 2641 • Email:



IN THIS ISSUE Regulars 7

Industry news

Local and international news


Crowning glory Focus on hair


In the market

Latest product launches

Spa Focus

Interview 23


Talking to… John Knowlton

Founder of Cosmetic Solutions

Defining the future of business

Personalisation is key

Features 33

Business 14

Ask the Experts

All your questions answered

A different type of radiation How blue light affects the skin


Product Focus

Needling devices


Trendspotting into the future The hot list

Aesthetic Medicine


Creative ways to diversify your revenue streams during tough times


Innovative ways to up business


It’s show time!

Latest needling modalities


A personal view of Professional Beauty London


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Needling to know

NailFile Issue 47



Cover source: Nora Hutton on Unsplash

So, here we find ourselves at the end of another tumultuous year, still in the grips of the Covid pandemic and battling the effects of lookdown, but hoping that the steadily increasing number of double-vaccinated people will gradually help free us of this horrific scourge, which has cost so many lives and livelihoods. For our lead story, we spoke to several salon owners prior to the detection of the omicron varient to see what business has been like since the onset of Spring and whether they had seen an uptake in business. Traditionally, in non-pandemic times, this is when business starts picking up in the run-up to the holiday season. Some owners told us that treatment business is still down due to clients’ Covid anxiety about close-contact treatments, but that retail is doing well. Others have said, encouragingly, that they definitely see signs of ‘green shoots’ – a term that signifies growth or renewal in terms of economic recovery following a period of recession. What is clear from these salon owners is that they have all had to ‘make a plan’ to adapt their businesses to the Covid economy. In this issue we include a very useful article on how to diversify your revenue streams, as well as another on what trends to look out for in 2022. We have also included an article on how personalising services will be the way of the future. The Professional Beauty team wishes all its readers a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. Joanna Sterkowicz Editor

Publisher Mark Moloney Managing Director Yolanda Knott 011 781 5970 Commercial Director Philip Woods 084 759 2024 Editor Joanna Sterkowicz 083 411 8512 Marketing Manager Stacey Platt Sales Executive Marike O’Reilly 083 631 4907 Sales Consultant Charlene Dickson 079 116 3262 Operations Executive Obey Dube Design Saveer Sugreem Published by T.E. Trade Events (Pty) Ltd 1st Floor, Rapid Blue Building 263 Oak Avenue, Ferndale, Randburg Tel: 011 781 5970




The publisher has taken all reasonable measures to ensure the accuracy of the information in this journal and cannot accept responsibility for errors in omissions from any information given in previous editions of this journal or for any consequences arising thereof. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form by any means, whether electronic, mechanical and/or optical without the express prior written permission of the publisher. Additional pics:,, www.pixabay. com and


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Salons report varying degrees of business since spring Client anxiety

Image by spabielenda from Pixabay

Over the past few months, prior to the detection of the omicron variant, the number of in store beauty treatments for the Sorbet Group of salons had increased. Says Sorbet CEO, Linda Sinclair: “As our guests are now out and about more than before, we have seen an influx of treatment business. Male grooming has been the most resilient category, but retail sales have not fully recovered yet. Supporting consumers’ ever changing beauty routines and requirements remains a critical part of our retail growth strategy.” Alchemy Skin & Body in Graaff-Reinet has experienced a surge in business since spring. Says owner Corli Schoeman: “The classic grooming and gearing up towards warmer weather has seen pedicures and waxing greatly improve. We have seen a shift in retail as customers now regard salon products as personal care rather than luxury goods. I’ve maintained a healthy split between services and retail, the latter generally overtaking.” Esna Colyn of the Imbalie Group (Placecol Skin Care Centres, Perfect10 and DreamNails) reports that these salons have experienced ‘green shoots and overall positive growth for our group’. She continues: “This is despite the fact that July was a very difficult trading month, especially for the KwaZulu-Natal region due to the rioting. We have just concluded our national annual awards functions and summits for all our salon owners and the overall mood is positive.”

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Gina Gall of the multi award-winning Professional Skin Care Lab has had some clients phoning to check if her staff are vaccinated before making bookings. “My staff and I are fully vaccinated,” comments Gall, “and some clients only come in once they are double-vaccinated themselves. “July 2021 was our absolutely worst months since the Covid era, but there has been a steady increase of 8% in turnover each month, compared to our Covid figures and not what we made pre-Covid.” Many of Gall’s clients have emigrated overseas or moved to the Cape. “There are some new word-of-mouth clients and others whose previous salons closed down. We’ve become considerably more active on social media since Covid, plus we’ve run more specials than ever before and revived our loyalty schemes. “In the past, longstanding clients have said that they come to the salon because of what I do for their skin and not because of specials, but now these very same people are wanting specials and loyalty points. It’s clear that people have less disposable cash and even those with a disposable income have been cutting back, so we have seen a reduction in business. People are definitely making their products last longer. In mid-November we experienced a sudden explosion in bookings but things quietened down soon after,” explains Gall.

Online shop

When lockdown first happened last year, Marisha Pawlak of Crystal Clear Skin Care Clinic in Parkwood decided to revamp her online shop, which hadn’t really been working. “I changed my website developer and sales really took off,” states Pawlak. “Just as well because treatment business remains only 30% of what it was prior to Covid. A lot of clients who used to come in for regular treatments now just come in to buy products. Treatment business increased temporarily in October and our doctor-performed aesthetic treatments are always fully booked.”

Waxing and pedicures prevail

Pieter Olivier of The Beauty Clinic in East London has found that treatment business is still down compared to pre-Covid, but that there is a fair amount of waxing and pedicures. “Clients are still wary of facials but I do see signs of some green shoots with treatment business picking up. Our biggest problem is that since Covid, therapists who have left salons are now doing treatments at home and some may be operating below the radar. “Last year during lockdown we opened a gift shop adjacent to the salon and it’s thriving, while sales of our top salon brands are going well,” concludes Olivier.


INDUSTRY NEWS Professional Beauty hosts successful Bryanston event

Dozens of delegates attended the Professional Beauty Conference & Mini Expo held on 25 October at Johannesburg’s Bryanston Country Club. In addition to top conference speakers such as Kerry Viljoen, Charne le Roux, Diana van Sittert, Lesego Masekela, Justin Hawes, Marisa Dimitriadis, Sally Harvey and Jenny Asherton-Smith, the event also played host to 19 table top exhibitors from the beauty, nails and aesthetics sectors. Says Professional Beauty commercial director, Phil Woods: “The feedback from both delegates and exhibitors was really positive and our team is now working full steam ahead on several live events scheduled for next year.” Delegate Mary Fani of @MaryGold Glam Studio, commented: “The conference was very exciting and professional. I came across a lot of informative people and businesses in the industry and I am very happy to have attended an initiative such as this.” Kundai Maradze of Infinity Wellness Spa added: “Professional Beauty events are always packed with

insights and educational information. A conference like this grows both your personality and your business. I wouldn’t miss a Professional Beauty event for the world. The experience is amazing!” Elmari Gouws found that there is always something new to learn. “A host of like-minded individuals in the industry, coming together to grow!” Exhibitors at the conference included: Indulgence Spa Products; Lime Light; Gina at Work; Hitech Group; Dandelion Distribution; Gemco Distributors/Eyenvy; Bio Sculpture; Leonelda Products; Astra Health Systems; Stretch Innovation (Pty) Ltd; Radiant Healthcare; Access Consciousness; My Abby Range; BTL Medical; The Spa Consultants; Best Lasers; Trendity; Booksy; and Cosmoprof Foundation. Miranda Isaakidis of Indulgence Spa Products commented: “The show was brilliant and it was so lovely to connect with the industry and the quality people who came to our stand. Furthermore, it was motivating to see that the industry still exists, plus we’ve met new people as well.” The BTL Medical stand attracted a fair deal of interest. Said Loren Harris: “There was definitely an air of happiness at the event with lots of people around and networking with each other.” Allyson Viljoen of Bio Sculputre admitted that she didn’t come to the expo with big expectations because of Covid. “However, we experienced really positive visits from clientele and had quality conversations.” In amongst the new leads that came Milk Solutions way were delegates from outside Johannesburg, namely Mossel Bay, Ladysmith and Cape Town. “At a smaller venue like this you can get into deeper conversations with people,” noted Karen Ellithorne.

Business owners urged to beware of fraudulent activity A Gauteng-based salon owner, who discovered that one of her therapists was involved in fraudulent activity, is urging other salons and spas to be vigilant in their operations. Says the salon owner (who does not wish to be named): “It was recently brought to my attention by a client that one of my therapists, who had been with me for several years, appeared to have been processing payments on her own credit card machine instead of the salon’s credit card machine. “Further investigation revealed that, unbeknown to me, this therapist had been performing treatments on my clients in their own homes ever since lockdown commenced last year and had been receiving the payments privately.


“This came as not only a huge shock to me, but also a massive disappointment as this was supposed to be one of my trusted employees.” The salon owner is advising her counterparts to be on the lookout for such activities.

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Régima reaches 25-year milestone Professional skincare brand, RégimA, recently celebrated its 25th birthday at its head office in Bedforview, Johannesburg. Because of Covid restrictions, the celebration was restricted to the company’s team and distributors. Attendees later shared their memories with clients. A lucky draw for RégimA stockists with 25 prizes up for grabs added to the ‘feel good moment’ factor of the day. Founder Jacqui Faucitt notes that during its first five years of manufacture, RégimA was targeted at plastic surgeons, anti-ageing aesthetics doctors and laser clinics. She continues: “Then, due to demand, RégimA highly skilled skincare professionals joined the throng following the same

goal, to make a positive difference to lives, and there have been thousands who have gained confidence in their personal and professional lives since then. It is an amazing feeling to have been part of these transformations. “Professional Beauty has played a huge part in RégimA’s successful journey, always being the cement for the industry. As we are fiercely competitive, the awards we have won over the years have really boosted us greatly along the way.” During the 25th birthday celebration event, the RégimA team pre-launched the new RégimA Medic range, which has been in trials for almost two years and which, Faucitt believes, will take the aesthetic medicine sector by storm.

Changes at Patricia Clarke The Contouring Gel from Patricia Clarke now boasts new, environmentally friendly packaging, while the gel itself has been reformulated to include more actives. In addition, new garments have been added to the Patricia Clarke range of garments. Says Symphony Health’s Christelle Newsum: “We have had the same packaging since 2001, so we thought it was time for a change, especially as we have also improved our formulation by adding more actives. The new dark metallic blue packaging is very eyecatching and more sophisticated than what we had before. We are finding that clients show an immediate reaction to the new packaging as it stands out from other products. Midnight blue is associated with our logo branding and with changing our packaging to a dark metallic blue, we can now create brand coherence.”


The new packaging features a straight closure at the top of the tube and the lid is now a flip top, with a secure, tamperproof seal that has to be removed before use. A better direction of use note has been added on the back of the tube, as have warnings and a full ingredients list. Newsum explains that the packaging is made from EVOH 5 multi layers, a type of packaging which ensures that the product stays stable and that no oxygen can penetrate the layers, thus also preserving the fragrance. “EVOH barrier is an environmentally friendly alternative with high barrier properties made from recyclable materials,” states Newsum. “Our trademarked logo remains as is. The packaging and contouring gel are manufactured locally but all of the actives contained in the gel are imported,” she states.

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South African spas invited to enter World Spa & Wellness Awards

Andrea Bovero at the World Spa Organisation launch

New international spa organisation gains traction The recently formed World Spa Organisation (WSO), positioned as a Spa Collective aiming to connect the industry across the globe, now has ambassadors in 49 countries and is launching a massage competition. Says Sandy Fuhr, a South African beauty professional who co-founded WSO along with Italian spa professionals Andrea Bovero and Laura Grazioli: “The WSO believes in uniting the different Spa & Wellness Associations, most of which operate at a national level, in order to create a worldwide network that can contribute to elevate the standards in the spa & beauty industry.” She notes that WSO aims to contribute to the development of the spa massage industry on an international level through a massage competition, with an accredited jury composed of well-known global experts. Competition criteria will be syndicated soonest. South Africans already part of the WSO include Ian Fuhr, Charne le Roux, Wynand Goosen, Feroza Fakir, Menna Kleine, Thando Mangisa, D’Miele Steyl, Unaiza Suliman, Denise Fairhurst, Chaand Barendse, Joanne Cohen, Alida Fourie, Farnaaz Hayat, Nicole Lavery, Elanza Stander and Rozanne van der Merwe. WSO’s ambassador for South Africa is Dene Van Der Merwe. There are ambassadors in: Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, UK, UAE, USA, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The WSO offers three educational courses: Spa & Beauty Manager; Spa & Beauty Therapist; and Massage Therapist; all are approved by the Spa Academy Lifexcellence.

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Spas in South Africa and the rest of Africa are encouraged to enter the 2022 World Spa & Wellness Awards, the most prestigious in the industry. These awards are open to professionals across the world and the categories recognise the hard work operators do to deliver a first-class service in spas in all regions. New categories include Spa Group of the Year – any spa business that falls within a group structure that has one or more other companies that are owned (directly or indirectly) by a single parent company; and Independent Spa Business of the Year – any spa business that can make its own decisions without having to put them through another party. Plus, there’s the Outstanding Contribution to the Spa Industry, which merits recognition either for achievement during their spa career or a significant contribution to the spa industry as a whole. The categories are • Spa of the Year: Asia & Australasia • Spa of the Year: Eastern Europe • Spa of the Year: Middle East & Africa • Spa of the Year: North & South America • Hotel Spa of the Year: Western Europe & Scandinavia • Resort Spa of the Year: Western Europe & Scandinavia • Day Spa of the Year: Western Europe & Scandinavia • Team of the Year • Spa Leader of the Year • Sustainable Spa of the Year • Worldwide Health & Wellness Destination of the Year • Spa Group of the Year • Independent Spa Business of the Year • Outstanding Contribution to the Spa Industry. The awards will take place in London on Sunday, April 3, 2022. To enter the awards click here worldspawellnessawards2022/en/ page/home-page Entries close on 23 December 2021.



Individual modules for Isa Carstens Academy Salon and Spa Management Course now available

Anyone working in the beauty and spa industry interested in the recently launched Isa Carstens Salon and Spa Management Course has the option of purchasing the individual modules at any time during the academic year convenient to themselves. This flexibility gives you the option of choosing where you want to upskill and how much to invest. he Isa Carstens Salon and Spa Management Modules were designed to give salon owners and managers the tools to grow a profitable and sustainable business. Buyers of the modules will enjoy 4 interactive panel discussions per semester with an industry expert on various relevant topics. Each module comprises of 3 weeks online theory training with supported lecture notes, video, additional reading material and online facilitator support. You will receive a certificate of successful completion. Those who complete all 8 modules have the option of an international CIDESCO membership examination. The 8 Modules are: Business Planning; Managing Finances; Leadership; Customer Services; Marketing; Sales; Operational Management; and Human Resource Management.



You may have the inspiration to start your own Salon/Spa, or you might have already done so and seek growth opportunities that require planning. During this module, we will look at how to launch your new Salon/Spa or how to grow your existing Salon/Spa.


Financial reports offer a wealth of insight that can streamline your Salon/Spa’s fiscal activities. In this module, you will improve your understanding of the key financial terms, concepts, processes and practices relevant to South African businesses. You will learn how to control the various stages of working capital, improve your cash flow analysis, perform advanced financial ratio analysis, evaluate the financial viability of selected projects, and prepare a budget.


Globally, organisations of all sizes and across industries have said that Leadership Effectiveness is their #1 concern. Executives agree that it is critical that their new and/or recently promoted managers undergo leadership

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development to ensure the future success of their business. Almost 60% of managers say they have never received any training for their first role and some not even for their current leadership role. First-level managers represent almost 40% of the leadership population. It is therefore critical to prepare managers to effectively lead others successfully.


Customer service is not a department for your Salon/Spa to deliver a great customer experience – it must be a philosophy to be embraced by every team member in your Salon/Spa, from the CEO/owner to the most recently hired employee.


Anyone who wants their company to grow knows that they must consistently invest in marketing. This can be seen as a set of processes put in place in order to create, deliver and communicate the significance of your company to the customer, while managing customer relationships in ways that would benefit the company and allow growth. A marketing strategy helps the company determine what to say, when to say it, which platform to say it on and whom to say it to. Effective marketing provides companies with a competitive edge that will create a blueprint for success.


The goal of sales is to know your customers, to reach out and build a relationship with them, and to provide a solution that will benefit them. These efforts often lead to a sale, a satisfied customer and revenue for your Salon/Spa.


Operations management is the business function concerned with the administration of all business practices to maximise efficiency within your Salon/Spa. It involves planning, organising and overseeing the Salon/Spa’s processes to balance revenues and costs and achieve the highest possible operating profit.


Richard Branson said: “If you look after your employees, they will look after your clients”. The role of Human Resources in your business is to meet the needs of employees and the business to ensure that the investment in the human capital of the business gives a great return on investment.

Empower yourself with the latest knowledge in the industry

Two modalities that have become increasingly more in demand in salons and aesthetic clinics, are MICRONEEDLING AND DERMAPLANING. As both Microneedling and Dermaplaning are minimally invasive, there are potential associated risks and side-effects, hence the importance of advanced training by a reputable education provider to ensure that safe and hygienic services are performed on customers. These courses are for qualified somatologists and health and skincare professionals who are interested in learning additional skills and wish to stay relevant with the ever-changing industry. The Isa Carstens Academy delivers the best of both in online and practical training, to ensure that students can perform the treatments safely and effectively. Step 1 – Online theory module (foundational knowledge) Step 2 – Hands on practical training Step 3 – Theoretical assessments throughout Advantages of completing a course from a reputable institution:


To provide you with certification from a private training institution, registered with the Department of Higher Education


To protect yourself and your clients/patients by providing a safe and effective treatment


To lower the risk of injury associated with more advanced skills


You will be able treat various concerns and understand physiological processes in greater detail

As an industry leader with over 43 years of educational experience, the Isa Carstens Academy is committed to deliver excellence in education. Learn more about the modules and apply here:

Isa Carstens® Academy is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a Higher Education Institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration Certificate Number: 2000/HE07/025. Qualifications registered by SAQA ID Number: 111453 (NQF Level 5), SAQA ID Number: 83046 (NQF Level 6) & SAQA ID Number: 97898 (NQF Level 7).

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Our beauty industry experts answer questions about every aspect of running a successful salon or spa business

Image by Inkuuz from Pixabay

What different styles of lash extensions are available in the professional market? Many women dream of having thick and voluminous eyelashes to brighten up their faces and let their souls shine out to the world. Eyelash extensions are an exciting innovation and when done correctly, they can maximise our beauty and minimise our insecurities. There are several different kinds of lash styles for lash extension technicians to choose from. First off, classic eyelash extensions are a soft, natural way to achieve that glorious youthful, ‘no make-up’ make-up look. They are applied at a 1:1 ratio to your natural lash line only. So, if you have 50 natural lashes per eye, 50 extensions will be placed, one next to each lash to achieve the look of a doubly full lash line. They are a great choice for anyone with a decent amount of healthy natural lashes, younger clients who just want to fill a few gaps in their lash line, and clients looking for a medium intensity boost.


The Flat lash style is still applied on a 1:1 ratio, but the design of it is very different. While the regular classic lash mimics the natural bend of your own lashes and is conical under a microscope, the Flat lash is shaped like a long plank with a double tapered tip that looks like a snake’s tongue. The tapered split starts at the middle of each extension, giving the illusion of each lash strand being thicker, while the tapered tongue softens it


to make it look natural. Flat lashes come in both sheen and matte. Matte Flats are more natural-looking whereas the standard sheen lashes are darker, shiny and more dramatic.

Russian Volume

This is an extremely advanced technique that should only be performed by experienced and highly skilled eyelash technicians. Sadly, there are eager but under-skilled technicians offering this treatment, which leads to overloading your natural lashes. The Russian Volume lash extension technique uses multiple ultra-fine hairs that are handcrafted into fans at the time of application by the therapist using specially designed tweezers. This lash bouquet is applied onto the natural lash in a fanned effect, to create coverage and fullness. Although each fan is made of multiple strands, the connection point to the lid is still 1:1. This ensures that the extension is encased within the natural lashes, and results in great retention of the extensions. Russian Volume is perfect for the older client with sparse natural lashes, where extra coverage and a soft fluffy look is required. If you are looking for that thick, glamorous look, rather try heavyweight classic lashes (or mega/ dark volume set 5/6D) as you can achieve a similar level of fullness. The Russian Volume technique is intricate and timeconsuming and takes many hours of practise and training. These technicians are rare, so it is worth making sure you research your technician.

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BUSINESS TIPS Cluster and Flare

Flare and Cluster lashes are not the same as handmade Russian Volume extensions. Cluster lashes are machine-made, multi-strand lashes that are purchased in beauty stores. Unfortunately, some salons are trying to pass them off as Russian Volume extensions and charging high prices for a sub-standard treatment. Sometimes called ‘party lashes’ – Cluster and Flare lashes are temporary and for short term wear only. These should be applied with a weak, latex-based strip lash glue and removed after a few days. Some therapists use strong glues on multiple lashes but this inhibits the growth patterns of the natural lashes and causes damage over time.

No matter what you are seeking, lash extensions come in such a wide range of product shapes, colours and sizes there is bound to be one to suit your client. If you are a salon owner looking to recruit, choose your lash expert carefully, as their knowledge and experience makes the difference between a fairy tale or a nightmare ending. So, make sure you thoroughly vet your lash technician to avoid having your clients lose their lashes due to a bad application.

Yolandie Venter is the owner of Yolandie’s Lash Extensions Boutique in Cape Town and holds SAASHP, CIDESCO and ITEC diplomas in Somatology. In 2016 she was honoured to have won the Lash Master Legends Eyelash Competition in the Classic Volume Lashes Category. Venter provides training and workshops for both Classic Lash Extensions and Volume Lash Extensions.

Pre- and Pro-made Volume Fans

Pre- and Pro-made Volume fans are a relatively new eyelash extension treatment. These create the illusion of a Russian Volume set without a high skill level. The fans are pre-made and save the therapist loads of time during treatment. Each pre-made fan is selected to suit the natural lash, using a combination of 2/3/4/5/6/7/8D on the natural lashes to ensure that the lash artist never overloads them.

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS TO PUT TO OUR EXPERTS? Send your questions about absolutely anything to do with running a beauty business to

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Our beauty industry experts answer questions about every aspect of running a successful salon or spa business

What is the GeoLift trend and how do I achieve it? The growing trend in eyebrow grooming has seen a significant increase due to the wearing of face masks during the global pandemic. Whether Fluffy or Feather Brows, Soap or Boy Brows – perfectly styled, they give your face contour and draw attention to your eyes. This year we have seen the evolution of the Boy Brow into GeoLift brows – a new style that combines fullness with strong geometry and a noticeable lift. Think full and fluffy in the front with a defined clean arch and crisp, tapered tail. Creating this trending brow shape is easy with a professional brow lift treatment. Through brow lifting, the brow arches immediately appear denser and fuller. Eyebrows are defined and lifted by fixing the brow hairs semi-permanently into their desired shape. This treatment will last between 4 – 6 weeks and retails from R200 upwards, depending on the salon and area of the salon. For those not ready to commit to a Brow Lift treatment, making use of brow styling gels and brow pencils can achieve the same result. Styling gels are designed to fix the brow hairs into a desired shape and brow pencils will fill out the brows with colour to create a visually fuller eyebrow with the ideal sculptured and lifted shape.

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Pieter Vermeer and his wife Sue own and manage AMSco PTY LTD, the sole agents for RefectoCil in Africa. They took over the 60-year-old family business in 2014 and have grown it substantially since then in the beauty industry, retail and online space. Email info@

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS TO PUT TO OUR EXPERTS? Send your questions about absolutely anything to do with running a beauty business to



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GOOD NEWS for our industry is that FACIAL TREATMENTS are on THE RISE as end consumers need PROFESSIONAL ADVICE now more than ever.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels


future into the

Diana van Sittert looks ahead to next year to see what is likely to be hot and happening in the beauty industry.

ave you noticed the re-appearance of the 1980s on the clothing racks at stores? This should give you an idea of where we are heading in fashion and hair, but what about the beauty and/ or skincare? Luckily for our industry, we will not be stuck in the past as we will see some interesting nuances in the upcoming year that will get all the die-hard skincare therapists excited. In terms of skincare, every salon/ medical aesthetic clinic needs to be prepared to not be left behind. It’s evident that the end consumer’s buying patterns have changed tremendously since COVID-19 hit South-Africa, in the sense that the ‘one stop shop’ is now more important than ever. The less exposed people feel, the better, and we therefore are likely to see these types of businesses flourishing in 2022.


Let’s look at trends that you can follow which will ensure that you are the ‘one stop shop’ end consumers are looking for, but that will also allow you to remain true to your goal of offering superior results. • The shift from a ‘plastic’ footprint to a ‘non-plastic’ one is an exponential growth market as consumers seek a more natural approach. • Products that improve the skin’s microbiome and overall ‘hygiene’ of the skin are fast becoming the most sought-after brands and I suspect that this trend will not go away quickly. • Skincare brands that are transparent in what they contain but also what they stand for are high on the trends list. End consumers want to know what is in the product they use, how it was sourced and what the environmental footprint is. Most end consumers are aware of the environmental influence imported goods have and therefore choose to buy local. However, the local offering should not compromise on the results the end consumer is searching for, which makes this a fine balancing act. • Good news for our industry is that facial treatments are on the rise as end consumers need professional advice now more than ever. End consumers clearly got the message during lockdown that COVID-homecare routines were not the best way to go. • Minimalist foundation usage with dramatic eyes is hot for 2022, so be sure to stock up on BB and CC creams/ tinted SPFs with skin treatment properties. It will be all about a flawless skin with enhanced eyes (i.e. lashes/ brow lamination/ permanent make-up). • Skincare with enhanced blue light protection is still a need due to our pro-technology lifestyles. • Personalised treatments and multifunctional products are at the forefront for most end consumers, so invest in developing your business strategy and offering accordingly.

Diana van Sittert is the Lime Light project and brand development manager. After achieving her diploma in Somatology, Van Sittert started her career as beauty therapist before moving into sales and training. She has trained over 29, 00 therapists, business owners, doctors and dermatologists and in 27 countries. She has been employed by Placecol, Nimue, Dermalogica, pHformula, 365skinworkout and SkinPhD. Email

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Professional Beauty is BACK in 2022 Register now for the BIG buzz business Expo and Conference at Gallagher Convention Centre 27-28 March 2022

Strictly for the trade professional, salon owners, managers and industry professionals.

Skin care, nails, lashes and brows, aesthetic equipment, salon equipment and furniture, waxing products. So much to see and do, a fully packed conference programme to include business, spa, aesthetics and innovation, R150 per half day, more details to be announced soon.

Register now Put the dates in your diary Watch this space for more information


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Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash


Creative ways to diversify your

revenue streams during tough times

Beauty business expert, Liz McKeon, provides some invaluable tips on how to thrive in challenging times ith COVID-19 forcing many businesses into lockdowns and to modify operations, salon owners, managers and teams have had to get very creative with bringing in revenue. Finding new revenue streams is a must to keeping your business afloat in difficult times such as these. That’s where diversification comes in. It occurs when a business develops a new product or service or expands into a new market. Often, businesses diversify to manage risk by minimising potential harm to the salon business during economic upheavals. The basic idea is to expand into a business activity that doesn’t negatively react to the same economic downturns as your current business activity. If one of your revenue streams is taking a hit in the market, one of your other divisions will help offset the losses and keep the company viable. For example, moving to a virtual retail service

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Build YOUR SALON around SERVING THE CLIENTS YOU LOVE and you can NEVER GO WRONG. during lockdowns. Salons can also use diversification as a growth strategy. Diversification can happen without spending more money or having to hire extra staff because it can be more about using wasted resources rather than investing more money into the salon. Furthermore, diversification can either help you tap into exciting new markets to take advantage of high potential growth, or it can simply fill a niche that satisfies your existing client base. Both ends of this approach will help you grow the salon with very little added investment or expenses. Here are some tips for diversifying your company’s cash flow.


BUSINESS TIPS Put yourself in your ideal client’s frame of mind

When considering adding new revenue streams, products or services, start by focusing on your ideal client and what they need most right now. For example, ask yourself what your client’s day looks like, or what worries or keeps them up at night. Next, ask yourself how you can make their lives easier or take away those fears. Build your salon around serving the clients you love and you can never go wrong.

assistance. As the industry re-opens now is the time to explore all opportunities to safeguard your business going forward.

Think both short-term and long-term

In an ever changing economic landscape it is important to always consider both short-term and long-term challenges and solutions. Difficult times often lead to changes in the way the world operates. Develop products and services that not only solve today’s challenges, but will help you to thrive in the new, post COVID world.

Ask your clients

For the vast majority of salon businesses, don’t try selling yesterday’s problems with solutions for today – because they won’t apply. Never assume without asking your clients, rather interview them or run a client survey about their current challenges. Try calling them directly rather than mass emailing every so often. Remain open to pivoting to a new offering aligned with where you are heading post crisis.

Support your clients where they are Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

MAKE IT EASY for your CLIENTS TO ENGAGE, relate AND PURCHASE from you. Promote your unique selling point

The salon industry is a very competitive battleground, so make sure to stand out from the crowd by articulating what is it exactly that you do and why you do it. Keep on brand and always think outside the box.

Reinvent yourself and your salon

What do you sell that can be promoted in a new way or used in a different way? Think products, people, equipment, brands or space. Just try it and see how clients respond.

Make it an internal challenge

You can’t do it all on your own all the time! Set up an internal challenge and ask everyone on your team to come up with three ideas of how the salon could maximise current strengths such as database, brands, opening hours, treatment room occupancy, team skills, location, neighbouring businesses, reviews, website, social media platforms and reputation.

Revisit opportunities you’ve previously shied away from

During disruption, it’s critical for businesses to be agile and adaptive. Make it easy for your clients to engage, relate and purchase from you. Identify where your client is searching for information or support and be there.

The only mile that matters in business is the extra mile

Look at your main income producer. How can you do this better and continue to offer a unique solution to the concerns presenting themselves? Reach out to clients, provide support and go the extra mile, as your goodwill turns into more paid activity and a reputation money cannot buy.

Revisit your customer service journey

It is necessary that you send out a very clear message that your salon is here to stay and that you are great at what you do. Providing outstanding customer service is the key to positively differentiating your salon from your competitors. Crisis is the time for salon owners to shine. When things are going well in a booming economy, ‘everybody’ seems to do well. During a crisis or economic downturn is when real leaders stand out. Getting creative about diversifying your company’s cash flow will get you through the tough times and beyond.

Liz McKeon is an author, business coach, trainer and mentor, specialising in salon turnaround. Email

Optimising current revenue streams always requires focus and sometimes outside


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Talking to…

John Knowlton Joanna Sterkowicz talks to John Knowlton, founder of Cosmetic Solutions, about the evolution of the skincare products formulation development sector in South Africa and the challenges faced

You opened Cosmetic Solutions, which offers a full formulation development service for skincare products, in 1998. What have been the biggest developments in cosmetic formulations since then?

There have been many changes in the cosmetic industry over the past 20 years and nowhere are these changes reflected more than in formulation designs. Advances in raw material technologies have made it possible to develop highly efficacious products, which offer targeted end-user benefits, enabling consumers to select products that are most suited to them personally. This is the so-called ‘problem-solution’ marketing trend. Consistently busier lifestyles also means that consumers often have less time to spend on their skin and hair care regimens and this has opened a whole new opportunity for multifunctional products that simultaneously offer more than one benefit to the end user. Such products are quite demanding from a formulation perspective, particularly in achieving tangible results for each benefit offered, without the efficacy of one benefit compromising that of another.

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Lastly, one cannot ignore the environment and future of the planet when it comes to formulation design. The international pressure on global warming and environmental sustainability has generated a whole new category of cosmetic products that are focused on biodegradability, environmental conservation, waste reduction and recyclability, all of which add up to the many manifestations of various concepts that all sit under the universal umbrella of ‘clean beauty’.

What initially sparked your interest in the cosmetic sector?

Ever since I was a child, I have been keenly interested in science and chemistry. Indeed, it was this interest that led me to blowing up my parent’s kitchen when I was 11 years old, during my first attempt to make gunpowder! Having studied honours in chemistry at Kingston University in London, I initially worked as a chemist in the polymer industry, designing hydrophilic polymers for soft contact lens applications. It was purely by accident that I stumbled on a career in cosmetic science, when the contact lens company in the UK I was working for was relocated to the US, leaving me behind. Within three months, I found myself in the position of development chemist for Johnson & Johnson in the UK and the rest, as they say, is history.

ADVANCES IN raw MATERIAL TECHNOLOGIES have made it POSSIBLE TO DEVELOP HIGHLY EFFICACIOUS products, WHICH OFFER targeted END-USER BENEFITS, enabling consumers to SELECT PRODUCTS that are most SUITED TO them personally. What is it about your work that appeals to you?

I love what I do for a living and never have I found myself saying on a Sunday evening, ‘Oh no, it’s work tomorrow!’ I think that my main fascination for cosmetic science is that it requires all the discipline needed for any scientific career, combined with the freedom to be as artistic and creative as the individual mind will allow. Good formulation design requires a high degree of understanding of how many different raw materials will work together, combined with the spiritual freedom of creativity that brings everything together to result in the best possible outcome for the consumer.


Photo by R.F_studio from Pexels

Do you personally have any hero skincare ingredients that you particularly favour?

I suspect that all cosmetic scientists have their favourite raw materials, just as all artists have their favourite colour palettes, and without question mine is hyaluronic acid. I first became wedded to this enormously flexible and highly efficacious raw material when I joined Justine Skin Care in the UK in 1995 as their research director. The then owner of the business, Veronica Devine, introduced me to this wonderful material and I haven’t looked back since. Indeed, one of the first developments that took place at Justine Skin Care under my watch was a 3-step skincare treatment called ‘Age Defying Actives’, which was way ahead of its time and did incredibly well in the marketplace. Step 2 of this regimen was called ‘Justine Hydrating HA Complex’, an intense moisturiser based on hyaluronic acid, and probably one of the best products of its type that I have ever formulated, even until this day.

Are you able to mention which skincare brands you have worked on?

Over the years Cosmetic Solutions has worked on many skincare brands and each one is equally important to us. The company prides itself on service excellence and building relationships with our clients, to the point where we often become friends by the time the products are launched. Two companies that I would like to specifically mention are RégimA and Sh’Zen, both highly successful brands run by extremely accomplished ladies, both of whom I would now consider to be personal friends. The positioning of these two companies in the skincare sector couldn’t be more different. RégimA is very much a ‘high-tech’ skincare company that operates on the boundary of therapeutics, whilst Sh’Zen, by stark contrast, attracts its clients through the gentle powers of scientifically proven natural ingredients. It is the contrast between meeting the needs of both clients that makes what I do such a fascinating challenge.

I believe that you have both local and

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international clients – have you ascertained any differences between the two in terms of how they operate?

The roles that I play for my local and international clients are very different and the two really can’t be compared. For local clients, the focus is very much on the development of innovative new products that will meet, and exceed, the expectations of their clients in the market sectors in which they compete.


case scenario raw material samples can take up to two weeks, and frequently much longer, to arrive on South African shores. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to exacerbate an already frustrating problem.

Today there seem to be a plethora of South African skincare brands – would you be able to say when things really took off for local skincare brands?

In general, but with notable exceptions, most South African skincare brands are still relatively small compared to their international counterparts, but the climate is changing. There are many reasons for this but increased exposure of the South African marketplace to internationally available technologies, as well as the international consumer fascination with ‘all things African’, are two powerful drivers in the changes being observed. One of the latest trends is the local development of cosmetic products using locally sourced African botanicals which are perceived to have a certain ‘magic’ about them, especially in overseas marketplaces. In many senses this represents the perfect opportunity to marry two very significant trends – the interest in botanicals and the fascination with ‘all things African’ – which enables the creation of novel marketing propositions that are ripe for international success.

How does your company go about testing the efficacy of products? What about testing on animals?

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

By contrast, my international clients all have their own in-house research & development facilities, and they don’t require any assistance in this type of work from Cosmetic Solutions. My role in assisting international clients focuses on assisting them with legally compliant advertising of their products in the domestic marketplace and, in connection with this, I am the only expert in the cosmetic industry that has been accepted by the ARB (Advertising Regulatory Board) of South Africa in this role.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing the cosmetic formulation sector today?

Without question, the biggest challenge for any cosmetic formulator in South Africa is obtaining raw material samples to work with. Most cosmetic raw materials come from Europe and the Americas, so formulators in South Africa must invariably rely upon local distributors to obtain their samples for them. Distributor support ranges from excellent to very substandard, depending upon the company concerned, but even in the best-

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Any efficacy tests that are conducted on products that are developed by Cosmetic Solutions are conducted in one of the clinical testing facilities in South Africa, of which there are a few. In general, the test protocols provided by these test laboratories fully comply with international bestpractice and the range of services available is as good as anywhere in the world. As far as the testing of cosmetic products on animals is concerned, there is no legislation that currently prohibits this in South Africa, although I am not aware of the existence of such testing anywhere in the Republic. Animal testing on cosmetic products has been prohibited for many years in most parts of the world and there are moves currently underway in parliament which suggests that South Africa will follow suit very soon.

A growing global trend is that of ‘clean beauty’ where skincare ingredients are not meant to be harmful to users’ health, the environment or animals. Please comment on this trend.

Whilst the concept of ‘clean beauty’ is one of the most powerful global trends in skincare at the moment, it has no specific definition. Instead, it plays to the imagination of the consumer for its interpretation and this is arguably why it has become so powerful in the first place. That said, when consumers are asked to verbalise the meaning of ‘clean beauty’, the responses obtained will have much in common, with phrases such as ‘natural, ‘environmentally responsible’, ‘no harmful ingredients’, ‘minimalistic’, and ‘no nasties’ being amongst the most



popular. Whatever the future of ‘clean beauty’ may be, I believe it will stay with us for many years to come, albeit under subtly different manifestations.

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start up a skincare line?

Starting a new skincare range is something that everyone wants to do, but very few realise the complexities and financial investment required to do so. If I was to give advice to anyone wishing to start a skincare line, it would be to plan – the lack of planning and foresight is one of the main reasons why new skincare brands never make it. My suggestion to any newcomers in skincare are to firstly identify your target market and the conceptual franchise which should be designed to meet their needs. This is the ‘foundation’ of the proverbial house that you want to build and if this is not sound, the house will subsequently collapse. Cosmetic Solutions prides itself on having the knowledge and experience to assist clients with the development of their marketing propositions in addition, of course, to meeting their product development needs.

South African skincare brands

One of the LATEST TRENDS is the LOCAL DEVELOPMENT of cosmetic products using LOCALLY SOURCED AFRICAN BOTANICALS which are perceived to have a CERTAIN ‘MAGIC’ ABOUT THEM, especially in OVERSEAS MARKETPLACES. wanting to export to territories like North America and the EU, for instance, have to navigate a mass of onerous regional regulations. Is your company positioned to help them in this regard? The regulatory environment for cosmetic products globally is becoming ever more complex and for any South African company wishing to export their products within the African continent, or further afield, the challenges are enormous. As part of the services on offer, Cosmetic Solutions does provide advice on global regulatory matters, and in cases where challenges are complex, it networks with other regulatory consultants internationally to ensure the best possible outcome for the client.

products that they claim have undergone clinical trials. What sort of certification is needed to prove that a skincare brand has undergone clinical trials?

Skincare brands that claim that their products have undergone any type of clinical trials are legally required to be able to prove this statement, if requested to do so. Only accredited test laboratories and academic establishments are permitted to conduct such trials and the regulations and protocols that are associated with such studies are clearly defined and aligned with international best practices. Whilst Cosmetic Solutions does not itself possess an accredited clinical test facility, it works with several clinical testing houses and universities, both domestically and internationally, to ensure that any clinical testing that is conducted will specifically meet the requirements of the ARB (Advertising Regulatory Board) of South Africa to meet the substantiation needs of the claims being made, in accordance with their Code of Advertising Practice.

Is there some sort of minimum requirement for a clinical trial in terms of the number of participants or the duration of testing?

Yes, there are minimum requirements in any clinical trial, and these are laid down to ensure that the results obtained are scientifically robust and statistically significant, as well as meeting the ARB requirement for ‘market relevance’, which is critically important when considering the value of clinical trial results generated outside of the Republic of South Africa.

What role does CECOSA (Cosmetic Export Council of South Africa) play in the industry?

Although my contact with CECOSA is limited, I believe that they have a vital role to play in South Africa, especially in the good work that they do in assisting their members to enter and penetrate export markets. The South African economy, post-COVID-19, is going to need to rely heavily on its presence internationally, and the cosmetic industry in South Africa produces products that are highly exportable if they are guided correctly. So, in my view, CECOSA’s role will be ever more important in helping to achieve this objective in the future. Cosmetic Solutions often refers their clients to CECOSA if they express an interest in exporting their products internationally and the feedback that I have had from them has generally been very positive indeed. On the subject of industry organisations, I am currently a board member of the CTFA (Cosmetic, Toiletry & Fragrance Association) of South Africa. The CTFA’s role is to support and develop a sustainable and respected South African cosmetic industry by proactively stimulating actions and developing tools that contribute to its growth and the progress of its members’, while promoting consumer safety.

Many skincare brands have 26

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MILK SOLUTIONS PROFESSIONAL RANGE Made from the highest- quality ingredients


It’s show time!

Spa owner Debbie Merdjan reflects on experiencing the Professional Beauty London 2021 Show again after a long, Covid lockdown-induced absence alking into the recent Professional Beauty London 2021 Show, held at ExCel London, I felt an overwhelming sense of exhilaration and emotion. What a joy to be back! After the Covid lockdown, as well as business and exhibition closures, it felt so surreal. Professional Beauty London excelled in every sense, offering an incredible World Spa & Wellness Convention, and a large selection of exhibitors with all the big brands present. With over 20,000 attendees, the halls were buzzing with salon and spa operators, managers, therapists, business, learning and trading.


I wanted to ensure that I was as up to date as possible for post Covid business recovery and that I could share in the new and exciting international trends. Furthermore, I felt incredibly privileged to have an inside peek into the way the industry is moving forward and to see all the new and revolutionary products and techniques that are available.

Natural and sustainable

It was clear at the show that there is currently a big emphasis on natural and sustainable brands. Admittedly this is not new, but the products coming into the market are beautiful, with many brands to choose from. I noticed a shift from basic natural products to highly advanced sophisticated ranges, featuring new ingredients and innovative technologies.

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they were, with some businesses actually showing an increased growth of over 30%. There was a session on staffing where they recommended evaluating your staff turnover from a monetary point of view. It’s important to know what the cost is per employee leaving the company and to track the percentage of employee turnover per year. We discussed marketing tactics, and it was suggested to set up a Spa Lobby Desk in the hotel, offering scented cold towels and booking services. One could offer pre-arrival promotions for booking early, with good revenue growth opportunities for early bird booking promotions. It is important to know your customers and to be aware of high-end customers who book into hotel suites so that you can target them for spa treatments (i.e. a higher spend client opportunity). Track the hotel guests, whether a leisure or business guest, and find out how long they are staying to maximise your spa bookings. Outdoor pool cabanas are a great opportunity to increase revenue and post covid there is a demand for outdoor treatments.



Light therapy or phototherapy, classically referred to as heliotherapy, was well represented and consisted of exposure to specific wavelengths of light using polychromatic polarised light to treat a variety of skin conditions.

At the convention we discussed knowing your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and tracking your staff’s retail and treatment deliverables – specifically the 20% / 60% / 20% rule for revenue generation. As per this rule, 20% of your staff are top revenue producing therapists; 60% are under performers who offer average treatments and do few retail sales and thus you need to concentrate on upskilling and incentivising them to develop them to reach the next level. The bottom 20% of poor performers need to be performance managed or dismissed. Knowing your spa’s figures and the importance of tracking the business performance was highlighted. The Professional Beauty London Show revealed that there are a lot of new and improved things in the global market. It’s all very exciting and many of the latest skincare, beauty products, treatments and technology will make their way to South Africa. So, look out for them. Be innovative. An exciting time awaits us!

Electronic tools

Dermatological-level technology included diagnostic electronic tools for spas and salons. There was a lot of equipment to view, from high tech lasers, radiofrequency, ultrasound, micro current, cryotherapy, oxygen infusion, water dermabrasion, to HIFU rejuvenation and magnificent non-touch spa therapy beds such as the Spa Wave.


The World Spa & Wellness Convention covered top hotel spa managers providing feedback on post Covid recovery. It was fantastic to see how busy

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Debbie Merdjan is the CEO and founder of the Camelot Group with over 30 years of business experience encompassing health & skincare training centres, product distribution, spa consultancy and spa franchise operations throughout Southern Africa. She has won numerous individual and spa awards and is the sole representative in Africa for the Global Wellness Institute Consulting Initiative. This international think-tank brings together leaders and visionaries from private and public sectors to positively impact and shape the future of the wellness industry.



Defining the future of


Marisa Dimitriadis unpacks a word that that is changing businesses in all industries around the globe, namely personalisation.


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels


he word personalisation is the difference between a business that ambles along just managing to get by every month and a business that soars and is in total command of its cash flow and growth. Three key areas of your business depend on this word: client retention; new client acquisition; and double your revenue. Yes, you heard correctly – double your revenue. Have you heard about RAS – the Reticular Articulating System of the brain? Well, our brains are incredibly complex. We can sift through billions of bits of data at any given time. And somehow, we have to organise that information so that we don’t short circuit. The RAS helps with that. Reticular Articulating System is an impressive-sounding name for a fairly small piece of the brain that starts close to the top of the spinal column and extends upwards around 5cm. It has a diameter slightly larger than a pencil. All of your senses (except smell which goes to our brain’s emotional centre) are wired directly to this bundle of neurons that is about the size of your little finger.

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Often the RAS is compared to a filter or a nightclub bouncer that works for your brain. It makes sure your brain doesn’t have to deal with more information than it can handle. Thus, the reticular activating system plays a big role in the sensory information you perceive daily. The RAS is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so that the important stuff gets through.


Why do we need this little gatekeeper or bouncer? Well, your senses are constantly feeding so much information to your brain that you can’t possibly pay attention to all of it. The RAS never gets a break. Think about how much information you pick up every minute. Take 10 seconds and listen to every sound around you that you can perceive. You will be surprised at what you miss on a regular basis, but this is because

Photo by Rune Enstad on Unsplash

your RAS decides what is important and what can be safely ignored. What is the point of all this you might be asking yourself? The point is that your clients are bombarded with so much information, marketing, messages and more that if you don’t find a way to get past the ‘bouncer’ or RAS, then your messages will fall on deaf ears and you will get no results.

YOUR CLIENTS ARE BOMBARDED WITH so much INFORMATION, marketing, messages AND MORE THAT if you don’t FIND A WAY to get past the RAS, then YOUR MESSAGES will fall ON DEAF EARS and you will GET NO RESULTS. How words affect the RAS

How do you get past the RAS? That is the trick and what you need to focus on. Let’s start with your use of words to get past the RAS. Here is an example of a real conversation I heard between a therapist and her client. Therapist: Mrs Client, it’s so lovely to see you again. I hope to give you the best treatment ever today. That sounds great, right? Yes it does – sweet, polite and lovely. However, the RAS of the brain hears the following: “Mrs Client, I might or might not give you the best treatment today. I will try my best blah blah blah”. RAS filtered that out as ‘doubtful’ and ‘maybe’. To get past that RAS, say the same thing but with a different word. “Mrs Client, it’s lovely to see you again. I intend to give you the best treatment you have ever had today.” The word ‘intend’ or even better, ‘will’, is confident and precise and the RAS is heightened with an intent.

One size doesn’t fit all

So that one word mentioned at the beginning of this article – personalisation – will change our industry. It will push you past your clients’ RAS and keep you top of mind and important. It’s time to throw away the ‘copy & paste’ function in your business, as one size does not fit all. The quicker you start to introduce personalisation into every aspect of your business, the quicker you are going to see that revenue double. Stop sending out the boring massages that have actually become predictable and start creating a memorable service that your client tells everyone about. The future of our industry is about creating personal experiences. Please note that I didn’t use the word ‘treatment’ or ‘service’, I called it an ‘experience’. It is the experiences that keep our clients loyal and engaged.

Testimonial Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

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Here is an example of a personalised experience by Rick Alonso in Berkshire, UK. “I have weekly massages to help me with

muscle pains from the MTB (Mountain Bike) sports I do over the weekends, so I can literally say that I have had hundreds of massages. So much so that I’m even becoming familiar with the names the professionals give specific massage movements. I want to share an experience that changed my life and raised the bar for future massages and my next problem is finding someone closer to me who will be able to deliver the same experience. “Here goes: I arrived for my massage

IT’S TIME TO THROW away the ‘COPY & PASTE’ function IN YOUR BUSINESS, as one size DOES NOT FIT ALL. The quicker YOU START TO INTRODUCE PERSONALISATION INTO every aspect of YOUR BUSINESS, the quicker you are going sto see that REVENUE DOUBLE. and of course I knew the drill as in, put on the boxer shorts, lie face down and wait for the therapist to begin. Well, this massage didn’t quite go as I expected. First of all, I was given three little bowls with oil inside and asked to choose the oil with the most appealing fragrance. This was interesting as I didn’t know what I was smelling but I quicky chose the one I liked the most. The therapist then explained that I had chosen a blend of oil


specifically to calm down and deeply relax me, which was spot on because not only were my muscles aching from the seven-hour bike ride the day before, but I was stressed beyond words due to a pending deadline at work. “Then, the therapist took some of that same oil and did some breathing exercises with me and, as I inhaled, the smell of the oil was right there next to my nostrils. My feet were also wiped with a hot towel that instantly relaxed me too. She asked my permission to put a hot bean bag on my upper back while she massaged my legs. It was brilliant. After massaging my legs she applied a gel on my calves and hamstrings that at first went freezing cold but gave me such relief from the aches in my muscles. It was like having my muscles calmed – a very interesting and strange feeling at the same time. After moving to my back, which was now nice and hot from the bean bag, the therapist asked me if she could focus the rest of the massage on my back, as it was really tight and she needed to work it more. She used some strange suction cups that felt like they sucked my skin up into them and then moved the cups around which was an interesting feeling and so relaxing too. I think I fell asleep, I’m not even sure. What I am sure of is that I have never had a massage with so much attention to detail, so much tailor-making for my own needs and so much genuine care. Wow! And, there’s more. When she was done, the therapist asked me to turn over for a few minutes and then sprayed something into the air which smelled incredible and resulted in an instant feeling of cosiness and calmness. She ended off with more breathing exercises and a short scalp massage. What totally surprised me the most was all the unexpected little additions and personal touches during the session.” (Written by Rick Alonso) The above testimonial should start those creative juices flowing to look at each service you offer and think about how to personalise it and how to make the experience more memorable for every client. Speed of implementation is key, so book a brainstorm session with your team today to discuss this topic and get everyone on the same boat. Then watch your revenue grow.

Marisa Dimitriadis is the founder and owner of The Spa Consultants. Email

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A different type of


Blue light, defined as the high energy visible light (HEV) that is emitted from devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptop screens and LED lights, has been identified as possibly having a detrimental effect on the skin. Here we look at how to protect the skin from this alternative source of damage lue light penetrates farther into the skin than both UVA and UVB sunlight and uses a higher level of energy than IR light, according to Marisa Dimitriadis of SIX Skincare. She continues: “In terms of how it affects the skin, it causes an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in your body and contributes to photo-ageing of the skin. In addition, it weakens the epidermal barrier and delays the barrier recovery. Because it disrupts melanocyte activity, it leads to uneven, excessive pigmentation.”

High potency

Antioxidant power

“The best skincare ingredients to prevent blue light damage from your digital devices are antioxidants. To lessen the damage caused by blue light, you’ll want to look for skincare ingredients in your products that use both direct and indirect antioxidants,” says Dimitriadis. Direct and indirect antioxidants to look for, notes Dimitriadis, include pomegranate, vitamin C, vitamin E, retinol (vitamin A) and rosehip. SIX products that can help the skin combat blue light are Vitamin C Moisturising Cream, Age Reverse and Vitamin A Serum.

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Ursula Volbrecht of DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care believes that antioxidant protection is imperative to counteract the skin damage that comes with exposure to UV and Visible Light. Says Volbrecht: “DermaFix Ferulic + C + E is a high potency vitamin C blend working to boost antioxidant protection for up to 72 hours after application. Vitamin C not only provides antioxidant protection but is also vital for the formation of healthy collagen and elastin, assisting in the fight against cellular ageing and damage, as well as providing skin brightening benefits for a hyperpigmented skin. The inclusion of ferulic acid works to enhance antioxidant protection, while vitamin E offers additional barrier restoration support.” She believes that in addition to antioxidant protection, using a suitable sunscreen is an absolute

Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels

essential for protection against both UV and Visible Light damage. “Mineral sunscreen ingredients including zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are especially beneficial to help block out visible light. These can be found in the DermaFix DermaShield SPF40 / SPF 50, offering broad-spectrum UVA/UVB/HEV-light protection against the damage that comes with exposure to light and radiation,” concludes Volbrecht.

Environmental protection

Quickly absorbed without becoming sticky, the Doctor Babor Protect Cellular Protecting Balm SPF 50 prevents skin ageing caused by light and environmental factors when used regularly. State the Doctor Babor team: “This product offers effective, balanced protection against harmful UVA, UVB, IR and blue light rays, with 360° protection against premature skin ageing caused by UV and environmental factors.”



Crowning glory Tress-a-licious news from the hair front

Sorbet Drybar and Biosense in hair colour partnership The Sorbet Drybar franchise of hair salons will now offer Biosense’s range of Retail and Bar Back, as well as Technical Colour products. At a recent event held at the Twincare International offices in Johannesburg, Candice Thurston, marketing executive for the Sorbet Group and founder of Candi & Co., said: “The Biosense partnership is the result of our quest for the best in colour as Sorbet Drybar continues to find new ways to ensure that our customers step into our stores and strut out looking fabulous. “Biosense’s use of natural ingredients to ensure efficacy and shiny, healthy hair – and the fact that its range has been specifically developed for South African weather and hair types – is what sets it apart.” Thurston noted that Biosense is a professional hair care company that has established itself as a household name in the industry for over 20 years. The partnership launch event featured colour panel discussions and before & after hair colour transformations. Guests, including Mrs South Africa and Mrs World 2016, Candice Abrahams, beauty influencer Tshiamo Modisane, and TV personality Gillian Seetso, experienced the latest hair trends, while sipping on Bombay Sapphire cocktails and being pampered at nail, hair and make-up stations. In addition to hair services, Sorbet Drybar’s 13 stores around the country also offer nail and beauty treatments. “We are proud to offer a variety of services all in one place, making it convenient for today’s woman who has a busy lifestyle but still wants to look good from top to toe,” concluded Thurston.

Candice Thurston


Linda Shalabi

Hester Wernert

Authentic Beauty Concept hosts international masterclass Henkel professional hair brand, Authentic Beauty Concept, recently hosted an exclusive digital experience masterclass, where the latest brand news and innovations were revealed. This unique virtual #mindfulexperience featured demos performed by two members of the Authentic Beauty Concept international creative community and brand advocates, namely Dutch stylist Hester Wernert and Swedish stylist Linda Shalabi. Both stylists created innovative looks on their models using the brand’s products. Guest speakers were smell expert Marta Senselier and the Paris-based Chef Keili, who took attendees on a mindful journey going beyond hair. The event also served as a showcase for one of the brand’s latest products, the Hand & Hair Light Cream, which is formulated with bakuchiol to nourish and protect the skin and hair. This lightweight cream, with its elegant and clean scent, absorbs instantly to soften and smooth – whether run through hair strands or used for a relaxing hand massage. It is free from silicones, mineral oil and parabens and is PETA-certified and registered by the Vegan Society. The product is packed in a climate neutral folding box.

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Pain Free, Hair Free™ | Contact Cooling™ | In-Motion™

Treat a back in Click on me for more information



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+27 12 998 9844 King Fisher units 1-4 | Tijger valley Hazeldean Office Park | Pretoria Silver Lakes Road | 0042

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Collagen induction therapy is an aesthetic treatment that has proven to be very effective in treating ageing skin and numerous other skin conditions over the past decade, writes Karen Ellithorne

Needling’ to know he beauty of collagen induction therapy is that it relies on the skin’s own ability to produce collagen. Furthermore, there is no additional heat build-up in the epidermis during a treatment session. With needling a treatment of choice in many aesthetic clinics and a plethora of new devices currently available, let’s consider what devices are best indicated for which skin treatment.


This is a controlled procedure where tiny puncture wounds are made with a dermal roller across the entire treatment area. Microneedling is mostly done with the intention of rejuvenating the skin. The rollers used for the procedure are designed to penetrate the skin and reach different layers of the epidermis, depending on the length off needle applied. Needles are extremely thin (around 0.5 to 2.5 mm), thereby


Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash


creating extremely small wounds on the skin. It is due to these small and controlled injuries that microneedling boosts collagen formation from within the layers of the dermis. As we know, collagen is a protein that is responsible for giving our skin its structure and is situated in the dermis of the skin. The dermis also contains elastin fibres for elasticity and hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for our youthful radiance. When the dermis and epidermis are functioning optimally through the stimulation of microneedling, it becomes easier to tackle and improve other skin conditions like acne scars, enlarged pores, and fine lines and wrinkles. Microneedling can also stimulate hair growth in dormant hair follicles. There have been many studies done showing significant improvement in hair growth following microneedling treatments in patients who suffer from mild to moderate androgenic alopecia. Results can generally be seen from just one session of microneedling, however multiple sessions are generally required for optimal results. Like with all rejuvenation treatments, consistency is always recommended. One of the best advantages of microneedling is that it can be used in conjunction with other treatments for superior results.

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The most common treatment is microneedling combined with PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), a serum that is processed form the patient’s own blood to further stimulate collagen and elastin production. Microneedling assists with opening direct pathways for the PRP to enter the dermis and stimulate fresh new collagen and elastin. For pigmentation and sun damage, topical ingredients like vitamin c and niacinamide can work well with microneedling to improve these conditions.

Nano needling

Nano needling is a non-invasive transdermal serum delivery system. Thousands of microscopic pyramid like tips penetrate the epidermis through a stylus that contains nano cartridges. These cartridges are thinner than human hair and when they touch the epidermis, they create hundreds of thousands of nano channels. It is through these channels that treatment specific serums are able to penetrate the epidermis. Nano needling claims over 95% absorption of the active ingredient into the epidermis, whilst simultaneously stimulating collagen production. The boost in the collagen production coupled with the specific functions of the serum applied is how the treatment Like all concepts in our industry that have value effectively benefits the skin. and work well, the derma roller has evolved and With nano needling you can treat many of the same now microneedling pens are widely used. The indications as microneedling but what is nice with nano beauty of these new pieces of technology is that needling is that it can be used to target more sensitive they cause less drag on the skin, which prevents areas, like the upper lips and crow’s feet, for longer scarring. They can create treatment periods. more vertical channels Additional benefits of nano needling much faster than a are that it increases the skin’s hydration traditional roller, making the level, exfoliates and removes dead skin treatment quick and cells, stimulates microcirculation and effective. generally makes the skin healthier and The needle length can firmer. also be adjusted depending Nano needling is such a gentle which area you are working process that your client will not have on, therefore making the any serious side-effects post treatment. treatment more customised However, as with all aesthetic and targeted. This enables treatments, always check your client the therapist to treat a wide for contra indications, which are range of concerns in one generally the same as for Photo by cottonbro from Pexels session. microneedling.


With the ADDITION of RADIOFREQUENCY current, MICRONEEDLING is better indicated for patients wanting to stimulate the SKIN’S NATURAL REGENERATION process. Brands like Dermapen are product leaders in this segment and their pens are very evolved, including features like blue tooth, automatic calibration technology for needle precision and drag free penetration, built in advanced oscillating vertical needle technology, and ergonomic design.

Which treatment to use when

Due to the fact that microneedling (be it roller or pen) can penetrate deeply into the dermis of the skin, it should be the treatment of preference when treating issues that are caused by a degeneration of the dermis, namely deep lines and wrinkles. With the addition of radiofrequency current, microneedling is better indicated for patients wanting to stimulate the skin’s natural regeneration process. If your client is scared of needles, or possibly allergic or sensitive to numbing creams and their ingredients, namely lidocaine, then possibly nano needling is the solution for them. While nano needling is a suitable treatment for more superficial skin concerns, it creates great channels for product absorption.


Another new technology in the field of collagen induction therapy is the introduction of radiofrequency energy to microneedling. The latest technology in question is the Morpheus8. This treatment modality combines the use of a compact series of micro-needles that penetrate the skin’s surface in order to apply radiofrequency heat waves deep into the dermis, thus creating a superior firming of the dermis.

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A qualified aesthetician, Karen Ellithorne has been actively involved in the skincare industry since 1992, working as a lecturer and therapist, as well as successfully importing and distributing various products throughout South Africa. Email



When RF meets


Yolanda Knott is invited to try the Endymed Intensif RF (radiofrequency) microneedling treatment for skin rejuvenation

y treatment was performed by Farica Engelbrecht, clinical trainer at Endymed distributor, Radiant Healthcare. I was really keen to try the treatment due to my concerns over enlarged pores, crow’s feet and nasolabial lines. Once Engelbrecht made sure that I had no medical contra-indications for the treatment, she explained that she would be using the Endymed Pure device, with the Intensif RF (radiofrequency) microneedling handpiece. She said: “This is a non-ablative treatment where the microneedling cartridge, which contains 25 tiny, tapered needles, penetrates the skin and simultaneously delivers RF into the lower dermis. As the needles are non-insulated and gold plated, they coagulate the blood, meaning that only minimal bleeding may occur. “Microneedling punctures the skin and this then immediately prompts healing. By introducing RF at the same time as needling, we are shrinking the current collagen and pore size, as well as stimulating collagen remodeling.” Engelbrecht noted that Endymed has its own proprietary 3DEEP RF technology that combines three positive RF waves and three negative RF waves into a single current, which targets the dermis skin layer, delivering focused and controlled energy directly to the dermis to activate new collagen production. This happens each time the needles penetrate the skin. Energy is delivered into the skin with a maintained dermis temperature of 52°C, while the

temperature of the epidermis remains at 42°C. “You do have to be really accurate with this treatment modality,” she emphasised, “as you don’t glide the handpiece across the skin like needling pens, rather you stamp the skin and make sure there is an overlap each time. It’s very important that you don’t tear the skin.” To commence the treatment, Engelbrecht applied numbing cream to my face and let it settle for 20 minutes. Then, she massaged in the numbing cream to ensure vasoconstriction, after which she used wipes to get rid of the residue. This was followed by a gel cleanser. Engelbrecth then fixed the needle cartridge onto the Intensif handpiece and started the treatment, on one side of my forehead before moving down the face and starting on the other side of the forehead. I found the treatment bearable, with pain levels between 2 and 4 out of 10, depending on the area of the face being treated. The needle depths that Engelbrecht utilised for different parts of my face were: forehead – 0.5mm; periorbital, chin, nose and lip areas – 0.8mm; and cheeks – 1.2mm. Post treatment there was edema around the eyes and erythema all over my face, but only the odd spot of blood. After care involved avoiding acid skin ingredients and exfoliators for a week and using a healing balm. Engelbrecht recommended three further treatments, one month apart and I literally can’t wait to see the results. CONTACT Radiant Healthcare: 011 794 8251/3


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Face & Body

Rohan: +27 82 313 0582 - Melissa: +27 82 306 5138 -


A pointed response

Needling, whether it’s a traditional roller, or a pen, or combined with other technologies like radiofrequency (RF) or plasma, remains one of the most in-demand salon treatments due to its ability to stimulate the skin’s collagen and elastin Photo by Angela Roma from Pexels


The Intensif by Endymed is the first FDA cleared motorised microneedle RF technology in the market. Powered by Endymed’s unique 3DEEP(TM) fractional RF technology, the Intensif’s gliding needle insertion motion is like no other microneedle applicator today, offering a fast and comfortable continuous operation mode. 3DEEP delivers controlled energy to the depth of the dermis, reaching 52°-55°C, with minimal epidermal heat. This is achieved through gently focusing the device energy into the dermis for optimal, painless collagen remodeling. Sophisticated electronics minimise epidermal damage while allowing full volume dermal heating. The gold-plated needles, together with Endymed’s proprietary Fractionated Pulse Mode technology, generate more heat safely into the dermis for better collagen remodeling, with significantly higher heating than is achieved with insulated needles. As such, the Intensif’s gold plated needles require less passes per treatment for shorter treatment times and greater patient comfort. The system boasts quick treatment recovery times, with no bleeding or bruising, and the high precision needle depth control provides the most effective treatment strength suitable to the particular treatment area. Intensif is now available on both Endymed PRO and PURE 2.0. Popular treatments are skin tightening, deep wrinkle reduction, texture improvements, acne and acne scar reduction, traumatic scar reduction and stretch mark reduction.



In the Alma Lasers award winning Accent Range, there is a pixel/ fractional radiofrequency (RF) hand piece available that comes with a variety of tips for different depth penetration, as well as tips for the various treatment sites. Fractional RF creates plasma sparks that don’t just ablate the skin (like microneedling), but that also have a thermal effect for better collagen remodeling. The high RF energy converts the nitrogen and oxygen in the air, into plasma. Alma Lasers has advanced the fractional RF hand pieces into rollers, making the treatment groundbreakingly fast, with no consumables and providing an even ablative and thermal effect right through the whole procedure.

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PRODUCT FOCUS pHformula Protonpen

PHformula’s latest innovation in the field of skin renewal and resurfacing – the pHformula Protonpen – was specifically created to work in synergy with all the company’s skin resurfacing solutions and powerclaysTM. “Continued demand and requests for a device to advance our MesoresurfacingTM treatment protocols, which are extremely popular among our skin specialists, has led to the development of the pHformula Protonpen,” says Petru van Zyl, founder and CEO of pHformula. “The aim of the pHformula Protonpen, in conjunction with our solutions and powerclaysTM, is to encourage synergistic proton release action for restructuring and the regeneration of the skin through microneedling.” Van Zyl notes that because microneedling stimulates the skin for natural collagen induction and elastin, it triggers a healing response from the body, boosting a proton and increased nutrient release in the skin, as well as promoting neo-collagen production. “Because the system preserves epidermal integrity, the result of this innovative treatment is an instant glow of rejuvenated skin. Safe for all skin types and different skin disorders such as hyperpigmentation, acne, tired and sensitive skin, it is ideal for the delicate areas such as the contours of the eyes and lips. Skin concerns like lack of tone, uneven texture, excessive pigmentation, scarring, and loss of elasticity benefit immensely from this innovative skin resurfacing technique.”

SIX Aethetix

Often referred to as a non-surgical face-lift, fractional RF microneedling is a safe and minimally invasive energy based procedure. It combines microneedling (also known as collagen induction therapy or CIT) and RF technologies to penetrate the skin at a precise depth with tiny needles, before releasing a burst of RF energy (heat). This action stimulates the skin to begin healing and thus collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid production are also encouraged. As the weeks pass, the skin becomes tighter, smoother and more lifted as it heals. The SIX Aesthetix RF Microneedling device uses a 25-pin or 49-pin or 89-pin microneedle head to deliver fractional RF energy into varying levels of the skin, including the deeper layers where the treatment is most beneficial. Unlike other devices, which only deposit energy in the surface of the skin, SIX Aesthetix RF Microneedling delivers energy below the surface where it’s needed most to help revitalise and regenerate the tissue. This unique delivery of energy allows the operator to achieve optimal results with little to no downtime on all skin types.

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DermaFix Cosmeceutical Skin Care supplies microneedling rollers for both home and professional in-clinic use, along with selected needling cartridges for microneedling pen devices. “Preserving the health of the skin’s microbiome whilst delivering targeted results, the DermaFix ActiveCellCeutical range of serums is ideal for use alongside all microneedling modalities, assisting with various skin concerns including sun damage, hyperpigmentation, skin ageing, scarring, and stretch marks,” says the brand’s Ursula Volbrecht. “Full training across microneedling roller and pen modalities is offered to all qualified skin care professionals working with the DermaFix brand.”



A symphony for the skin

Gorgeous gifting collection

To celebrate the holiday season beautifully, Environ has launched its most comprehensive Holiday Gifting Collection to date. The collection offers all the favourite, high-performing formulas and scientific innovations, expertly curated in limitededition gift sets, bringing the joy of beautiful, healthy-looking skin. 011 262 0264

Beauté Pacifique’s Crème Symphonique Night-Time cream is uniquely composed of six different types of vitamin A, resulting in both a rapid collagen network repair plus a novel preventive maintenance effect by providing your skin’s inside with a depot of repair-ready vitamin A cocktail, thanks to the brand’s patented squalane-based nano-technology. 073 053 8830

In the market Our round-up of new products and treatments

Glowing barrier

From Saloncare, Satin Glow is a superior skin soothing barrier product for red and irritated skin. It gives the ultimate radiance and a revitalised glow to dull looking and environmentally damaged skin. This product contains argan oil and jojoba oil to intensely nourish a dry and damaged skin. 011 262 2451


Manly wax

The first and only bespoke male waxing system by Depileve comes complete with a targeted male skincare system. This includes Folliclear (moisturiser that prevents ingrown hair), Skin protect SPF15 (sun protection/ moisturiser), Follibeard (prevents ingrown hair development) and Follisan Man (roll-on ingrown hair prevention that also prevents breakouts). 011 262 2451

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The ULA Skin HOCL After-Care Rejuvenator assists in the soothing and repairing of damaged skin caused by chronic skin conditions like eczema, rosacea and psoriasis. It also helps to alleviate itchiness, pain and swelling. HOCL accelerates the healing process by preventing microbial infection and stimulating skin cell growth. It can be used following aesthetic treatments. 061 529 3126

Creamy sun protection

The SIX Broad Spectrum Moisturising Cream SPF50+ with UVA and UVB protection is an environmentally friendly SPF with a luxury, non-sticky feel. It has been formulated with a variety of highly active ingredients in the pool of submicroemulsion (i.e. the SPF maximises the yield of sun filters by decreasing their concentration in order to obtain the same SPF value). 011 312 7840

Super sponges

Eco razor

Developed by Beautique Brands, the BeauRaze is South Africa’s first choice for an eco-friendly zero waste disposable razor and is perfect for use and retail in salons and spas. It is constructed from biodegradable wheat straw and contains three encased biodegradable razors. 0861 850 851

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After months of sourcing, testing and productrefinement, the Marble Skin Co. Marshmallow Sponge Beauty Blender has been launched in South Africa. It is available in two options – the rounded marshmallow sponge for easy foundation application, or the half-cut marshmallow sponge for precision application around the eye area and for powder contouring. 076 951 9012




MILK SOLUTIONS PROFESSIONAL RANGE Made from the highest- quality ingredients


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RED CARPET NAILS What the celebs are wearing


Long Haul


How to make your services last

Vitaly Solomonoff


t’s always wonderful when NailFile has the opportunity to interact with leading figures in the international nail sector and in this issue, we are delighted to run an interview with Vitaly Solomonoff. If anyone ever had a dazzlingly impressive CV, it’s Vitaly. He is a dermatologist, cosmetic chemist, international nail judge, nail educator and the former editor of three nail magazines in Russia. He is also a co-founder of Marian Newman’s Nail Knowledge. The interview makes for a fascinating read. While longevity of the services performed on clients is obviously something that all nail techs should strive for, this does not mean exceeding the recommended wear time stipulated by each particular professional nail brand. As our very informative article in this issue points out, if the service lasts longer than recommended, there are potentially many hidden and undetected issues which could harm your client’s nails. The NailFile team would like to wish all salon owners and nail techs a very happy and healthy holiday season. May the business come flowing in and see you in the New Year! Joanna Sterkowicz Editor Photo by Akintomide Akindele from Pexels

What’s INSIDE 47

Industry News Stay in the know


In conversation with… Vitaly Solomonoff


Step by Steps

Waterflower colours with ink Christmas snowflake



Making it last


Product Hub Latest launches


Top Tech Talk

Sthembiso Promise Shongwe





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Talons galore at Emmy Awards Many stars sported extra long, mostly stiletto nails at the recent Emmy Awards held in Hollywood, which recognised excellence in primetime television programming. Perhaps the set that contrasted most sharply with her outfit was that of Emma Corrin, the actress who played Princess Diana in ‘The Crown’. Corrin’s outfit was a plain, strapless pale robe with a bizarre matching skull cap that made her look a bit like a cast member of ‘The Crucible’ or ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. Her gloves (in the same shade as the gown) practically reached her shoulders and were fingerless, from which emanated a very long set of sharply pointed, jet black, shiny claws. Also going the long, plain stiletto route was transgender singer, dancer and actress, MJ Rodriguez, but in a pure white shade that really highlighted the brilliant aqua shade of her beautiful asymmetrical gown. While also a stiletto shape, Taraji P Henson’s nails were a more realistic length and painted in a deep wine-hued red, with big sparklers on some of the nails. British actress and singer, Cynthia Erivo, was another star who opted for long talons, but with white tips on a coffin shape. Entertainment reporter, Zuri Hall, sported an alternative French manicure on her almond nails, with diagonal grey tips. For Anya Taylor-Joy, the star of ‘The Queen’s Gambit’, celebrity nail stylist Kim Truong did a suitably chess piece-inspired design on the middle and pinkie fingers, against a yellow background to match her dress. Former Bachelorette contestant, Rachel Lindsay, rocked a black & white design, with a few marbled features and highlighted by the odd bit of gold.

Emma Corrin (Instagram @emmalouisecorrin)

Anya Taylor-Joy (Instagram @kimkimnails)

Taraji P Henson (Instagram @tarajiphenson)

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MJ Rodriguez (Facebook MJ Rodriguez)

Rachel Lindsay (Facebook Rachel Lindsay Abasolo)



Doja Cat (Instagram @sacciadidthat)

Normani (Instagram @normani)

Rita Ora (Instagram @naominailsnyc)

Bia (Instagram @bia)

Top nail looks at MTV Video Music Perhaps the most striking nail design at the recent MTV Video Music Awards was seen on British singer/ songwriter, Rita Ora. Her plain black nails had a 2D gold snake on every finger, each with a different swirly design and red gems depicting the eyes. The design was by celebrity nail stylist, Naomi Yasuda. The evening’s host, American rapper Doja Cat, rocked five different nail sets, each to match a specific outfit, but perhaps the most edgy was an alternative French manicure with gold nail beds and very long, pastel blue stiletto tips. The middle fingers also featured an unusual and large rectangular marbled gem, in the same blue shade. All of Cat’s various nail looks were designed by Saccia Livingstone. Singer and one of the night’s presenters, Ciara, had plain black shiny nails to perfectly compliment a beautiful lace dress in the same hue. Eri Ishizu did the nails.


The classic French manicure of DJ and socialite, Paris Hilton, did nothing to detract from her dazzlingly sparkly silver dress. Opting for plain white nails, to match her elegant asymmetrical white dress, was Olympic gold medalist-winning gymnast, Simone Biles, while rapper Saweetie rocked white and gold nails. Fellow rapper Normani sported long, almond-shaped silver chrome nails that complemented her white, itsy-bitsy outfit. Lil Nas X, who scooped the MTV Video of the Year award for his controversial video, ‘Montero’, had several different outfits for the night. With one of those outfits – a lilac Atelier Versace pantsuit – he sported white nails that were highlighted here and there with diamantes. Rapper, songwriter and model, Bia, wore embellished red nails that perfectly complimented her intricate red gown.

Paris Hilton (Facebook Paris Hilton)

Ciara (Instagram @erierinailz)

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SMARTPRO'S FAR-UVC LIGHT SHEDDING NEW LIGHT ON BEATING AIRBORNE DISEASES! Create a COVID-19 ‘safe zone’ in your office and workplace. Does not penetrate the skin or the eyes Filtered FAR UVC ( 222nm) does not penetrate the skin or eyes making it safe to use in occupied spaces. Far-UVC light kills all dangerous pathogens, not just covid 19, but all viruses, bacteria, and mould.

Far-UVC Light is an autonomous and continuous sanitation system that is safe for humans and animals – using 222nanometer wavelength, and is also maintenance free. Together with the two primary methods for minimizing exposure to airborne diseases (including COVID-19) – wearing a mask and social distancing, Far-UVC has been proven to effectively sanitize the indoor air around us. Far-UVC can be widely applied to safeguard populated spaces such as shopping centres, restaurants, salons, hospitals, schools, offices, public transport systems and gyms. Tested by CSIR against SARS-COV-2 and proven effective in destroying the virus.

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In conversation with

Vitaly Solomonoff Joanna Sterkowicz chats to internationally renowned nail expert, judge, educator and former magazine editor, Vitaly Solomonoff, about his fascinating and diverse career in nails

How did you, as a qualified dermatologist and cosmetic chemist, come to be involved in the nail sector?

Well, it’s a long story of professional transformations. Today I would identify myself as a cosmetic chemist/ educator with a medical background rather than as a dermatologist because I have not worked in clinical practice for years. However, I still use my medical experience and knowledge in my current activity, which is closely related to clinical medicine. I am still a part of the studies, testing and evaluation of many new products, filling the gap between medicine, chemistry and the art of nail care I had studied at the State Russian Pirogov Medical University long before I realised that the medical world was too conservative for me and that I needed something that could bring more creativity to my career. I began to look for some field where my medical skills could meet my creativity. At the same time, my mother (also a medical professional) retired and became a lecturer at the one of


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UNFORTUNATELY, sometimes THE CRAVING to reach PERFECT RESULTS may lead to VERY QUESTIONABLE or even DANGEROUS PROCEDURES. The so-called ‘RUSSIAN MANICURE’ is a good illustration. the first nail schools in Russia – Verbena – which also served as OPI’s exclusive distributor. It is very important to note that many medical professionals switched to other careers due to economic issues in the countries of the former Soviet Union. My mother introduced me to nails and once invited me to attend a big beauty show, InterCharm. I never thought that one day the beauty industry would become my obsession. Being a perfectionist, I decided to learn from the scratch in this new world of nail art, nail extensions, manicure, pedicure and skincare, with my mom as my first educator. I had learned the modern acrylic and gel technologies as a regular manicurist before I quickly came to conclusion that the system had to be reformed in terms of professional education. Former Soviet manicurists were trying to learn new technologies, but the latter needed a new level of multi-faceted basics from chemistry to dermatology, geometrics, physics and even art theory. My brain literally exploded with a million ideas about how to reform this system, and I began with creating a new educational programme for nail professionals and cosmetologists. I presented it to the Verbena administration and they invited me to teach the programme at their school. That is how I became an educator. The bottom line of my course was the basics of anatomy, physiology and chemistry for nail professionals.

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What is it about the nail industry that appeals to you?

It is a rare field that has mingled several sciences with artistic creativity and aesthetics. Teachers, physicians, chemists, artists, engineers and even singers are often found within the industry, either in its salon sector or in the manufacturing, sales and R&D areas. This industry is truly irresistible for those who are seeking constant changes and progress.

I believe that you were the president of the Academy of Nail Art in Russia – please tell us about that.

After two years of teaching my course, the owners of Verbena and the OPI distributorship found themselves in the situation where they were contractually obliged to promote only OPI products and technologies. As my course required more product lines and possibilities, we went our separate ways. Together with my spouse and one of our friends, I established The Academy of Nail Art which, unbelievably, quickly grew to offer the best educational course in Russia. It was an exciting 15-year long journey to the top of the nail world. Brands like NSI, Seche and Orly, among others, became our partners in Russia. I became personally acquainted with nail legends like Rick Slack, Jan Arnold Nordstrom, Vicki Peters, Elsbeth Schuetz, George Schaeffer and many others. And I learned a lot from them. Our goal was to reach the best possible educational level in the field, as well as to set the highest possible standards for nail salons, nail competitions, products and journalism.

How did you end up becoming the editor of three nail magazines?

I understood that a professional magazine could play a vital role for this whole new industry in Russia. My journey into journalism began when Irina Voskresenskaya, the editor-in-chief of the Russian edition of ‘Les Nouvelles Esthetiques’, asked me to write an article for this magazine, because nobody wrote about nail industry as a part of the global cosmetic and salon industry. Soon after, I presented to Irina the concept of the first Russian magazine for nail professionals. Other than Irina and myself, nobody



believed this new magazine would turn into a lucrative publishing product. ‘Les Nouvelles Esthetiques’ decided to invest in the magazine as long as we did it ourselves. So, Irina, one other editor and I created the first four issues of the magazine. It was amazing experience as I had to write all articles in different styles for different columns and sections of the magazine, from news to professional topics, analytical reviews and interviews with interesting people. It was a challenging but rewarding experience. The magazine turned into a bestseller for the ‘Les Nouvelles Esthetiques’ publishing house. However, Irina and I left the publication because of creative differences. So they got the bestseller and we got the brilliant experience. After that I founded another magazine, ‘Nailure’, and after several years, ‘The NailSpa’ magazine. The latter was dedicated to the natural nail care, medical and dermatological aspects, education, manicure and pedicure rather than product placement or focusing on artificial nails. All three magazines are currently dead due to political and economic issues in Russia.

As a cosmetic chemist, were you ever involved in formulating nail products?

Tatyana Puchkova offered me my first project. The goal was to create the first Russian professional line of manicure and pedicure products for salon use. I knew the standards and I knew what salon professionals expected from those products. After a couple of years of development, my first ever line was released under the trademark, Biologika. To my surprise, the products became exceedingly popular in Russia and the Eastern European countries. The brand expanded very quickly, our products won several trophies, and I was invited to become a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists in the USA. I am still a member and belong to New York Chapter. Furthermore, I was also lucky to work with another manufacturer, Dance Legend. We had to create nail polishes and gel polishes for professional use and this company remains the biggest nail polish manufacturer in Eastern Europe. Years later I established another company – CleanestiQ Labs – the manufacturer of our own brand and a laboratory that offers a formulating service for other cosmetic companies. Nowadays, CleanestiQ Labs is an American brand. We create a wide range of formulations and products, focusing on high end products for the professional salon market. Another aspect of our work has always been education, especially for nail professionals.

Why do Russian nail technicians


DON’T BE AFRAID to participate in NAIL COMPETITIONS. While it is a CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE, it brings a lot of PROFESSIONAL BENEFITS TO A COMPETITOR, starting from GETTING A DIPLOMA to achieving TOP SKILLS. excel in nail art?

Creativity and perfectionism are the key words that could describe this phenomenon. When the Russian nail industry entered the international nail arena in the 1990s, many professionals with higher education switched professions and began new careers in the beauty world. It meant that the new blood brought higher standards in education, creativity, fresh ideas and very serious approaches. As I mentioned above, former teachers, chemists, engineers joined the nail industry and quickly became leaders in the sector. All this has made Russian nail professionals become trendsetters in many aspects. Unfortunately, sometimes the craving to reach perfect results may lead to very questionable or even dangerous procedures. The so-called ‘Russian Manicure’ is a good illustration and while this type of service has another geographic origin, many Russian speaking nail professionals have promoted it worldwide.

What stylistic characteristics are synonymous with Russian nail art?

Crisp, precise and consistent shapes, correct architecture (arches, c-curves, side lines, etc) and balanced colour combinations. The nail style goes along with the entire look – make up, the dress, shoes and even handbag. Russian nail artists also pay attention to how the skin tone of hands correlates to a nail colour, as well as to the condition of the skin (it should be well conditioned and moisturised). The ‘pink & white’ style has a pronounced and elegant smile line.

As an international nail judge, have you online @

INTERVIEW ascertained different styles, techniques or skills levels between competitors from different countries?

Despite the uniform and strict rules, we can define differences in styles. Techniques and skill levels can also reflect a particular nail school. For, instance the Hungarian school of nail arts, as well as the Ukrainian school, show bright and impressive colour combinations, nice shapes and overall expression, while Scandinavians focus on perfect and crisp shapes with accentuated elegance. They also demonstrate high technical skills.

What advice would you give to South African nail technicians wanting to enter international competitions?

Firstly, don’t be afraid to compete. It is a challenging experience, but it brings a lot of professional benefits to a competitor, starting from getting a diploma to achieving top skills. A competition is also a unique platform for educating and a great master class because it is a very special area of professional exchange among top nail specialists. It is also the best advertising for you to attract new customers and eventually become an internationally recognised star. And finally, the competition arena, either domestic or

I must say, SOUTH AFRICAN NAIL TECHNICIANS are VERY CREATIVE. Moreover, I bet you can bring your OWN STYLE to the GLOBAL NAIL ARENA. Trust me, it is waiting for YOUR IDEAS AND CREATIVITY. international, is a place where you can demonstrate your inner artist to the world, it is truly a runway of the nail industry. Here are some tips for competition. First off, read the rules very carefully and make sure you understand them. Then, learn the scoring system. A nail competition is where two groups of professionals meet up – judges and competitors. They have one professional language – the language of the professional evaluation of any nail work. Don’t shy away from asking judges why your nails were evaluated the way they were, post competition, so that you can identify your weak spots. And remember that the competition environment is totally different to doing nails in your salon. I must say, South African nail technicians are very creative. Moreover, I bet you can bring

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your own style to the global nail arena. Trust me, it is waiting for your ideas and creativity. Unique South African history, culture, arts and even traditions like your world famous wine making could be a source of inspiration that deserves to be shown to the world in the form of nail art.

How d id you meet Marian Newman, one of your co-founders of Nail Knowledge along with Doug Schoon?

It dates back to 2000. At that time both Marian Newman and Doug Schoon had already become legends on the global nail scene. When I came to the USA for the very first time to attend a beauty show in Chicago, the first thing I did was purchase Marian’s and Doug’s books. These are my most precious textbooks ever and I consider Marian and Doug to be my mentors and teachers. Years later I interviewed Doug for one of my magazines and it was great experience, because I wanted to introduce him to Russian nail professionals. His books have subsequently been translated into Russian and Ukrainian. I was also honoured to work on several educational projects with Doug, including his latest book and some articles regarding the nail unit anatomy.

What role did you play in creating the Nail Knowledge Essential Nail Professional Diploma?

Firstly, I should note that Marian Newman is the heart, soul, and brain of Nail Knowledge. My humble role has included some expert evaluation, help with videos and editing the nail anatomy, physiology and medical aspects of the course.

What would you say are the biggest challenges facing the global nail industry?

The lack of professional education is the major challenge. There is a discrepancy in that beauty technologies are getting more complicated (with swiftly evolving cosmetic chemistry), while the educational level in the nail industry remains the same as 10 to 15 years ago. This discrepancy doesn’t allow nail professionals to get ahead professionally and of course, financially. To resolve this challenge requires the involvement of state authorities and probably legislation. At the same time, I know that professional associations and societies along with the professional media can do a lot too. Your NailFile magazine greatly supports this industry, which means you are on the right track. We should overcome the above challenge in order to become a lucrative, booming and self-respecting part of the global beauty industry.




flowers with ink

This dreamy floral look was created by Ronay Delport

atercolour art done with marble ink works very well for flowers or abstract art. Although you can add detail after, it’s important not to overthink or overcomplicate it. Not all inks are the same, nor do they react in the same manner to gel swipe. And, each artist’s hand is different. Most of all, be open minded, try new things and enjoy it. Practise as much as you can!


Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Prep Watercolour art will stand out more on a white background, but any light colour will work. I prefer doing it on a matt surface as the ink blends and fades easier. I chose a pearly white background for this design.

Define Dampen a small brush with gel swipe. Start moving in circular motions on the area you put the ink to create light areas. The more you move the brush in circular motions in one place, the darker the edges will appear. Ink pushes to the side and creates more defined edges.

Base After the nail is prepared with matt topcoat, apply marble ink in the area or shape you want. I did circular shapes to mimic rose petals. Do not overthink or try to get it perfect, this is mostly abstract art.

Layer Once the first layer is dry, add another layer of ink and repeat the process with a damp brush to create layers. This process can be repeated as many times as you desire. I added different shades and colours of ink to add depth and definition.

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Background blend Draw in leaf shapes with ink and a small brush. Remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect – watercolour is more of an abstract and flowing artform. Using the same method, blend the leaves for a cohesive background with the damp brush. I like to leave my background lighter and more flowy or blurred than the main focus of art. Be careful not to dampen your brush too much or everything will become a ‘mush’ of colours.

Step 6

Step 7

Detail Add detail with a very small detail or line brush. Both ink and 2D painting gels work extremely well for this. Personally, I like to combine the two and here I have added silver centres for the flowers and for some stems.

Seal Once you are satisfied with your design, seal everything with top coat. Matt and gloss both work great for watercolour art, depending on the feeling your going for. I did a gloss top coat to enhance the pearly white background and silver detail.

Ronay Delport was a full-time photographer when she started studying make-up artistry in 2018. She completed an Advanced Nail Technology course with Zsa Zsa Nails for Professionals a year later and is now an ambassador for the brand. Delport is currently working full time as a nail technician and beauty therapist at SOHO Hair & Color Lab in Kempton Park.

Be Inspired Be Motivated Be Business Focused The BIG Buzz Business Events

Exciting news for all industry professionals Diarise these dates for 2022 - We are coming to a venue near you. Events that give you education, networking and a chance to meet suppliers face to face 27-28 March 2022 – Gallagher Convention Centre, JHB The BIG Buzz Business Conference and Expo

25 April 2022 – The Old Biscuit Mill, Cape Town The BIG Buzz Business Conference and Expo

16 May 2022 – Ilanga Estate, Bloemfontein The BIG Buzz Business Conference and Expo

13 June 2022 – Durban, Coastlands Hotel, Umhlanga The BIG Buzz Business Conference and Expo

28-29 August 2022 – Gallagher Convention Centre Professional Beauty & Salon International Expo

17 October 2022 – The Boardwalk, Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) The BIG Buzz Business Conference and Expo

More details to be announced soon



This festive nail art design was created by Tania Biddle Step 1

snowflake Step 2

Apply a base layer and cure. Follow with two layers of a soft pink colour to achieve a subtle finish. In this case I used Angela from Evo. Cure each layer and then gently cleanse.

Using a high pigmented white gel and a puffer, apply the French ombre. I used White HP Gel from Bio Sculpture. To achieve a flawless finish, do this in two to three steps, curing each layer.

Step 3

Decant a small amount of the HP Gel. Using a good quality nail art detailing brush, draw four lines. Cure.

Step 5

Step 4

Use a very fine nail art brush (such as the Fine Art Brush from Bio Sculpture) dipped into the white high pigmented gel to create the detail at the centre part of the snowflake. Cure.

Step 6

Use a dotting tool dipped into white gel and place large alternating dots. I used Whitney from Evo. Cure.

Step 7

Place smaller white alternating dots. Cure. Seal with a layer of gloss top coat. Cure and cleanse.

With the same fine nail art brush, apply small lines to the snow flake extending from the previously placed lines. Cure.

Step 8

Place a small drop of gel at the centre of the snowflake. Place a gem to the middle of the gel dot and press down. Cure.

Tania Biddle is the founder and owner of the award-winning Plush Nails & Beauty salon in Roodepoort. She is also head of education for Bio Sculpture.


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Sonette van Rensburg provides some valuable tips on how to maintain service longevity

aintaining the longevity of our client’s nail coating and enhancement services, as well as getting optimum wear from them, is something nail professionals should all strive for as it makes us look like we know what we are doing. Nonetheless, I am sure you have all seen images on social media of nail coatings and enhancements that have excessive regrowth, with a caption saying ‘4+ weeks (sometimes even 6 or more) and no chipping or lifting’. You may think, ‘Wow – that is amazing!’ but unfortunately it’s not.

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it last

So, why then could this be a potential issue? Surely making our clients services last the longest possible time is a good thing? Well, in some instances when a client’s nails last for the recommended time, yes it is, but when they last for longer, there are many hidden and undetected issues which could not be so good. Note that I said ‘recommended wear time’. There’s a reason why manufacturers will always advise you of the maximum time that a particular service with their product will last for until it needs to be removed or maintained, and this should not be misinterpreted. If a service is said to last up to 7 days, then it means that the maximum wear time is 7 days. When it says up to 3+ weeks, then that



means 3 weeks and possibly one to two additional days. Note the use of the words ‘up to’, meaning that the maximum given time it is expected to last in best-case scenarios. However, this could be less depending on certain factors such as a client’s health, nail condition, lifestyle, service choice, product application and aftercare. These are all things that could influence how well your client’s services will last. Let’s take a look at what we can do to achieve and ensure recommended service wear time. We will also tackle some bad practices and why allowing our clients to go longer than the recommended time is not at all clever.

THERE’S A REASON why manufacturers WILL ALWAYS ADVISE YOU of the MAXIMUM TIME that a particular service with their PRODUCT WILL LAST for until it needs to be removed OR MAINTAINED, and this SHOULD NOT BE misinterpreted.

Consult, communicate & educate

Consulting, communicating with and educating your client is vitally important and is often dismissed as something that just takes up extra time in a service, so why bother? However, don’t underestimate how powerful this is and why it is absolutely necessary. Gathering pertinent information about your client, assessing their nails, then discussing and advising them of the most suitable service can make all the difference. We need to remember that not everyone is the same and neither are their nails, so what may work for some, may not work for others. To be able to customise and provide your client with the best service specifically for them, you will need to determine the following information. • Firstly, you need to establish whether there are any contraindications or medical conditions, which may prevent you from performing the service, or reasons that could affect how the service will last.


• A client’s lifestyle is another major influencing factor; they could be an executive by day and are not using their hands much, but could have a very active lifestyle on the weekends, or they could be a hairdresser whose hands are constantly in water. • The health and condition of a client’s nails, their long-term goals and fashion preference is just as important. If your client wants tremendously long nails or a particular service that is not conducive and will not wear well due to any of the above factors, then this needs to be considered. • Establishing whether they have experienced problems with their services in the past will also assist in choosing the correct product and service type. • Lastly, advise them accordingly and suggest a service that will be best suited to their specific situation and needs. Always explain the reason for your suggestion and get their buy in and understanding. So often a nail pro does not advise their client accordingly and just provides whatever service the client wants regardless, for fear of losing them. I’m not saying don’t accommodate your clients, but remember that you are the nail professional and should always offer your client the best possible advice that will meet their needs and live up to their expectations. Be professional though, as this can make all the difference as to how a client perceives you. Don’t over promise and under deliver, rather under promise and over deliver. When you know what you’re talking about and what you are doing, as well as behaving like a professional, then your client will respect you and will generally always take your advice.

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Preparation is paramount

Proper preparation is everything and absolutely key prior to any nail coating or enhancement application as it prevents problems and ensures service longevity. Taking short cuts and not performing a proper prep as part of your service could result in all sorts of complications and is often the cause of service breakdown. Firstly, make sure your client’s nails and cuticles have been properly and carefully manicured. Next, remove only non-living skin tissue from and around the nail plate. Be careful of overcutting living skin, this is a bad practice and creates an opening for pathogens and allergens, possibly leading to infections or allergies. I have to say, rather despondently, that

the next step is often the most common cause for nail plate damage. Preparing for enhancement application sometimes includes filing the surface of the nail plate for proper adhesion of the product. Far too often, excessive heavy filing using a coarse grit file or e-file takes place, resulting in too many nail plate layers being removed. This leaves the nail plate thin, vulnerable and overly flexible and will affect proper adhesion. There is absolutely no need for this – a light-handed gentle filing with a soft grit file, 240 or higher, to remove only the shiny surface layer is all that’s necessary. There is also no need to file the nail plate prior to a gel polish or polish application.

FOLLOWING BRAND and APPLICATION PROTOCOLS EXACTLY AS ADVISED is imperative. These aren’t JUST MADE UP, they have BEEN SYSTEMATISED to work in conjunction with SPECIFIC PRODUCTS AND SYSTEMS to GET THE BEST out of them. In pursuit of making it last

Many nail technicians still depend on the use of primers and bonders and use them just in case, irrespective of whether it’s needed or not. Some of these can be really resilient and require buffing to remove them which, if not done carefully, could damage the natural nail. So often I see the question pop up on social media asking, ‘Which primer or bonder will make my client’s nails last longer?’ with everyone jumping at the opportunity to recommend the one they use. The correct answer honestly is – the one that goes with the system that you are using, as well as the proper application protocols and choosing the correct service type suited to each individual client. Despite the warnings, some nail techs are ill-advisedly still mixing and matching systems, using up to three different brands in a service, all in the pursuit of making their clients’ nails last longer. Nonetheless, this is not the answer. Always use all components from a particular brand and system together, even primers and bonders, as they create specific chemical bonds within that system and with the natural nail. These have been formulated precisely to work together and perform as intended; it’s the only way to achieve the best results, so why chance it? If you are using additional products just in case something might go wrong, or to achieve longer than recommended staying power, then you need to reconsider whether the products and methods you are using are actually right for you and your clients. If your system doesn’t need it, then don’t use it.

Pro protocols

Following brand and application protocols exactly as advised is imperative. These aren’t just made up, they have been systematised to work in conjunction with specific products and systems to get the best out of them.

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When using a liquid & powder system, use the correct recommended mix ratio. Believe me, this is not a myth and can make all the difference in your application and performance of a liquid & powder system. When using a light curing gel product, use the recommended lamp. This is not a myth either, as it has been calibrated to work together with the product. Remember that there is no such thing as a universal product or lamp, as discussed in previous articles.

There COULD BE A number of POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS which you may NOT BE AWARE of such as LIFTING, BACTERIAL OR FUNGAL INFECTIONS, and cracks. These are all ISSUES THAT AREN’T ALWAYS VISIBLE, particularly UNDER A colour or opaque NAIL COATING.

the natural nail grows longer, product will have grown with it and these areas will no longer be in the correct place, throwing the balance of the enhancement off. The apex will no longer be where it should be and will sit further forward. Similarly, the sidewalls and shape will also be off kilter – all causing it to become unbalanced and top heavy. This can cause lifting, which is an ideal space for potential pathogens to settle into, or serious breakages can occur, sometimes causing severe damage to the natural nail plate. When a nail enhancement has grown out and has so many issues, it either needs to be soaked off or a full diagnostic rebalance done, otherwise the client will only experience on-going issues. When the nail is out of whack, you must go back!

What lies beneath

Attempting to get your client’s nails to last for 4+ weeks or longer may seem like a huge achievement, but in actual fact it’s just a problem waiting to happen and really nothing to boast about. Who knows what could be going on under a nail coating or enhancement if they’re not removed or maintained when they’re meant to be? There could be a number of potential complications which you may not be aware of such as lifting, bacterial or fungal infections, and cracks. These are all issues that aren’t always visible, particularly under a colour or opaque nail coating. Artificial nail coating and enhancement products are all formulated to be rebalanced or removed within a certain time and it’s professional practice to do so. There are even more reasons why enhancements need to be rebalanced timeously. When applying an enhancement, it will be with all the structural points in the correct place, ensuring a proper balance. However, as


After care

Finally, advise your client of a proper home care programme and prescribe products to use regularly. Not only is this good business practice and more money in your pocket, but is essential in making sure your client’s nails and skin are maintained in a good, healthy condition. Also, advise and encourage your clients to return timeously for their services to be removed or maintained, thus preventing service breakdown and problems from occurring. If your services are not lasting the recommended time, then you need to reassess how you are implementing all of the above factors and your know-how. Don’t make things up and don’t go against what you know is correct. Always give your clients your best and most professional advice at all times.

Sonette van Rensburg has been in the beauty industry for 30 years and has worked with, and educated for, many top professional brands.

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Rich pigments

Nailz is the latest richly pigmented gel polish system on the market and boasts more than 130 colours. This gel polish system is super easy to apply and needs only minimal layers (maximum of two) for a rich colour, thus saving treatment cost. There is no colour changing over time and no chipping. It is super-affordable with exceptional quality and durability. 011 262 2451

Vibey collection

Gelish and Morgan Taylor have introduced the Feel The Vibes Collection, a bright, fun collection that is all about making the most of the summer season. Filled with six new eye-catching shades, Feel The Vibes is the perfect statement for manicures and pedicures. Colour lovers who want to stand out will be lusting over the shades. 011 447 0659

Product Hub Our round-up of the latest product launches in the exciting world of nails At the tip

The Full Cover Tips from Bio Sculpture instantly create the perfect shape and length. A perfect, durable upper arch is achieved in a one-layer application. The pre-cut tips can be shortened and shaped to create different lengths and shapes. 051 943 0377

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Versatile gel

Brush away

The Calgel brush cleaning gel 10ml is a unique brush cleaning and restoring gel. This non-curing gel keeps your gel brushes clean and is used for regular brush care maintenance to prolong the lifespan of your gel brushes. 011 624 1101

LCN’s Super Gel offers bonding, sculpting and sealing all in one product, is suitable for extensions with tip or paper form, and can be pinched and sculpted. This product is 100% vegan and solvent free. It is extremely easy to apply and is ideal for all nail types and lengths. The Super Gel’s micro fibreglass particles ensure extreme stability. 010 593 3293


Top Tech Talk

NailFile chats to salon owner and nail artist, Sthembiso Promise Shongwe, about running a beauty business in Mpumalanga and staying ahead of the competition

When did you first open your nail salon in Nelspruit?

Emantimandze Nail Bar opened way back in 2004. It is situated at the Caltex Building Nelspruit, in the CBD. Initially I was in the hair industry but as my passion lay in nail art, I decided to focus my undivided attention on nails. It has put me where I am today and I have never looked back. Beauty is art and it intrigues me. I always have this sense of pure joy when I see a smile on a satisfied customer’s face after her nails have been done.


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Do you work alone or do you employ other nail techs?

I have a freelancer who assists when I am very busy, otherwise I usually work alone. However, I’m looking forward to employing staff in the near future since the nail training side of the business is growing fast.

Are there many other salons in your area?

Yes, competition is rife and there are many salons booming in my area.

As I have to KEEP UP WITH the NEWEST NAIL TRENDS in order to BE AHEAD of MY COMPETITORS, I make sure that I REFRESH MY SKILLS regularly. What makes your salon stand out in the market?

As I have to keep up with the newest nail trends in order to be ahead of my competitors, I make sure that I refresh my skills regularly. It is very important to be advanced in the beauty industry as one cannot afford to be outdated.

You have been in the beauty industry for 20 years – please give a brief outline of your career.

As mentioned above, I started out as a hair stylist and once I had completed a nail course, I expanded my services from offering not only hair but to doing nails as well. Thereafter I added cosmetology to my training. Over the past two decades, in a male-dominated business world, I have strived to build a business single-handedly as a woman, for women in mind. I am also a freelance nail technician at Vichy Spa Nelspruit.

What inspires your love of nail art?

I cannot stress enough how much I love it. My inspiration comes from my spiritual being, my personality, my artistic and ancestral being. The types of floral, animalistic and graphic art that I leave on a client’s nail are proof that I have a gift for it. My clients might be going through a

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rough day, but because of the passion I have for nail art, my work leaves my clients’ hearts content and this bring me so much joy.

Were you good at art at school?

Art, as a three letter word, is vast. I was not good in portrait arts at school, I was more of a freehand artist. My art skills came from my imagination, from what I saw in nature and from what I envisioned. Basically, I would take risks and see what the outcome would be, and to me, personally, it was always a masterpiece. To this present day I thank my nail art tutor for perfecting my skills.


Would you say that you have a unique style of art?

Definitely. My nail art is not ‘cut & paste’ as I take my time to create a masterpiece that will not only satisfy me, but my clients as well. I have been tested before when a client would come into the salon with a sample pic of nail art from Google, and I have never disappointed. Most of my clients are amazed at how my small hands can create such an artistic story, just on a tiny nail bed.

What sort of nail art do your clients most request?

My clients’ favourites are flowers, in different varieties, colours, shapes and sizes. Flowers are never dull, flowers makes one smile, and flowers brighten one’s day.

There are NO SHORT CUTS to fulfilling YOUR DREAMS, it just takes HARD WORK AND PASSION. Please mention some nail artists who have impressed you recently.

I have a few nail artists that are absolutely my favorites and who have not only impressed me but personally been my mentors. Two of them are Ksenia Pechyorina from Shine On in Pretoria and Johnny Nguyen at Nail Dad Studios (international). Ksenia Pechyorina’s floral nail art is absolutely outstanding. She is consistent and transparent in what she does, as well as her business ethics. Her nail art looks likes she takes days to prepare it and yet she does it in the blink of an eye. Johnny Nguyen’s nail art is more precise, meticulous and defined. His type of nail art is well conceived and detailed.

What is the piece of nail art that you are most proud of?

I am proud of my watercolour effect nail art. It is so elegant and I like the background look that makes it appear like it is floating on water.

I believe that you have just received your Educator’s Licence from Zsa Zsa Nails for Professionals. What made you want to become an educator?

Yes and I’m very proud of my licence. I felt that there was a need for properly educated nail technicians in my area, affording learners a local training centre instead of them having to travel to Gauteng or Pretoria for nail courses.

In what area of study do South African nail techs need to be educated the most?

Many nail technicians are good in acrylic. Personally, I think they lack gel skills, which can last between three to four weeks without chipping. I have noticed that most technicians have never heard of ‘builder gel’ or ‘poly gel’. Nevertheless, I recommend that nail technicians need to be advanced, educated and skilled in the above, and then nail art can follow.

What advice would you give someone who wants to become a nail tech? My advice would be to firstly have a passion and love for what you do. Secondly, remove all fears and obstacles of the unknown as life is all about taking risks. Make sure you attend a nail technician course and become qualified. There are no short cuts to fulfilling your dreams, it just takes hard work and passion. And remember to always refresh your skills now and then and to keep your nail art up to date with the latest trends, because competitors are vultures.

What are your career plans for the future?

I see my future as having a huge nail bar, with at least five qualified nail technicians, as well as an open training area that accommodates at least 10 students at a time. I want to build an empire in this industry by becoming a well-known nail technician and educator.


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