The importance of brows

Tonight I have been reading a lot of questions and articles on brows.

A big one was “Is it worth me training with a well known brow brand when I already know how to shape brows?” and “Why do people spend so much on getting their eyebrows done with well known brow brands?”

Well the eyebrows are a key part of how we look.  They frame the face and give our eye area more definition.  The easiest way to show the importance of the brow to a client is to show you a before and after shot of eyebrows that have been shaped.

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Photo care of Sarah22 on the Salon Geek forum

Brow before and after 3

 

As you can see the before and after look different and it would be most peoples opinion that the after shot looks more aesthetically pleasing.  Some people will have a more drastic difference in the before and after but I feel that these show good pictorial evidence of how the average persons brow can change.  Now, knowing how important our brows are to the face, it is easier to explain why people pay quite a bit to keep them looking good.

In days gone by, it used to be that people would be happy paying for a brow wax to tidy them up and that was that.  Now people will pay 3 or 4 times the amount to get a HD brow or a WOW brow etc.

“But why would I want to pay £1000ish to learn how to do HD brows or WOW brows when I already know how to do an eyebrow reshape?”  Well the answer is simple.  Not all customers understand brows the way a therapist does.  What they want is to keep their brows looking good and if that means paying more for an eyebrow brand they perceive to be the best service out there to keep their brows looking good then so be it.

When you pay for training with a well known company it is not just the training you receive, you are also buying into the brand, its image and the marketing that they carry out.  This means that you can advertise your ability to offer for example HD brows to your client.  As the client is aware of the brand and trusts the brand to be of a high quality they will be happy to pay more for the service.  It is also possible that the client will not even realise a brow reshape in a salon not linked to a known brand could achieve exactly the same results.

So should we all be going out and paying to train with a well known brow company?  Well that is up to you, do you feel your clients would buy into the brand and perceive it to be of better quality than your current advertised service?  Do you think that you could make more money by using the brands name?  If the answer to these questions is yes, then it is quite possible that taking the training could be a smart business move.

Also remember that many of these brands have add ons that you can sell to increase your profits further still.  Brow boxes and brow pencils are a popular make-up bag must at the moment and could be a great retail item for the right salons.  I know that I have faith in the Jane Iredale “Bitty Brow Kit” which I will be purchasing to retail along with my salon make-up range and I believe it will be an easy sell for my home salon once it is set up.  When you show a client how great their brows can look with these products, let’s be honest, it is hard for them to say no to buying it when they want to look their best all the time.

So there we have it, that is why people are happy to pay a little more for well known brow brands!

Like to braid your hair? Why not do it upside down!

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I found this image earlier and it was like a smack in the face with how genius it is!  I like seeing new ways to keep my hair up and back out of my face for work and this one looks super cute!

To add a slight twist to the display image, rather that wearing it with a pony, why not use a bun doughnut and put your hair in a high bun over the braid?

A helping hand with the business side of things:

Although I have a management degree and I am fairly confident with my business skills, I never say no to free help.  I believe there is never a time in life when we should stop learning.

With that spirit in mind I have spent the last few days looking for any courses or outlets which can offer me help with setting up my business

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On the suggestion of a good friend of mine I contacted The Princes Trust.  I had thought you needed to be under 24 to receive help and advice from them but she advised me I was wrong as at the age of 29 she recieved help from them last year.  The Princes Trust will actually help people up to the age of 30 who are looking to set up their own business.  Last night I put through a web request for email last night and they called me today!  Talk about a quick service.

The guy seemed a little scatty on the phone but he was super helpful.  He checked the essential questions:

  • If I would be working under 16 hours a week
  • If I was in full-time education
  • If I was already registered as self employed

 

Uh oh, this was a sticking point because I AM in full time education!

This was when he was very clever.  I would have taken the hit and felt defeated but he asked when my level 2 would be complete and that I would be able to take part in their 4 day enterprise course in June as I will have completed my level 2 course.  This was also when he advised me that it is imperative that I am not self employed at the time of the course.  So glad he told me this as you may know I was planning on signing up as self employed come the new tax year.

From what my friend has advised me, this 4 day course will be informative but it is really a tool for them to see if you will be suitable to go onto the next stage and to apply for a start-up business loan and be paired with a business mentor.  Moving onto the next stage does not guarantee you will get a business loan as each business plan will be assessed on its own merits but I am very hopeful that I should be able to get one.

This loan would mean a lot to me in business terms.  As it stands I can scrape together a bit of capital for my basic kit but this loan would mean I could get the full kit I would like and pump a bit of money into stock and marketing to get my business name out to the people I want to reach.  A perfect example is that I would love to attend a few wedding fares but these are costly as not only will I need a professional set up to use there but also the fees to attend.

I can’t say waiting until June to start my business fills me with joy as I am so eager to get started now!  But fingers crossed that by sitting on my hands for a few months and being patient I will be better of in the long run!  I am really looking forward to having somebody to help me with my business plan.  I always find it helpful to be able to talk out my ideas rather than keeping them to myself (no doubt the reason I am enjoying having this blog!).

If you too are looking for some help and advice on starting a business (beauty or otherwise) and you are under 30, working less than 16 hours a week and not registered as self employed, then contact the prices trust so they can put you in touch with your local branch – Good luck!

International Happiness Day – what made me happy :)

Today is International Happiness Day and so I figure I should blog about what made me happy today.

To start with we woke up to snow!  Yes, it may almost be Easter but we had a good thick layer of the fluffy white stuff and that makes me very happy.  I love snow!

At 10am I also had my Jane Iredale visit from the sales rep.  It was great to see the full range as there are so many items we did not see in college. Jane-Iredale-logo

 

One of my favourite items was the eye gloss, I tried it on the back of my hand in “aqua”.  This colour has some serious staying power!  After the rep had left I went to wash my hands and the shadow would not budge!  It took a good oily eye make-up remover to take it off.  That is exactly what I want in eye make-up!  I mean who wants their shadow to fade or fall during the day?

I also loved the absence oil control primer.  It goes onto the skin so easily and does not feel heavy or even noticeable on the skin at all.  And don’t get me started on the BB cream!  I mean it is one seriously heavy duty BB cream.  When I think of a BB cream I generally feel like they are little more than a tinted moisturiser but this one has full coverage that could easily be compared to Estee Lauders Double Wear foundation but without the heaviness.  While their Active Light Under Eye Corrector shares similarities with the infamous Touche Éclat.

Now the rep could have gone down the “buy the mobile kit” with me as it was what I was after in my head but she took into consideration that I wont really need the brushes as I already have my own which I love.  On that basis she suggested I work out all the individual bits that I would like to order as it would give me better value for money and more control over what I want to keep in stock.

From using the brand before I know I love the quality and I know that there are a few key items that would be “easy sells” in my eyes.  The “easy sells” for me include:

  • Active Light Under Eye Corrector
  • Full Coverage Mineral BB Cream
  • Bitty Brow Kit
  • Magic Mitt
  • Eye Shadow Kits

When I say an easy sell what I mean is that these are items I believe most people will actually already want even if they are not aware of it before we tell them.  I mean how popular is Touche Éclat? And if you already use it, wouldn’t you love a similarly high quality item that was 100% mineral and untested on animals?  While the Bitty Brow Kit is also in my eyes almost an essential today when the UK has gone brow mad.

I honestly feel that this brand is not only one that I will enjoy using in a professional manor but one that I will be able to have passion in.  The concept of the brand and it’s ethos will also sit well with my plan to use Eve Taylor as my skincare range.  So that leaves me with nothing more to say than thank you Jane Iredale for making me happy today, the papers are signed and I am currently deep in thought over what I wish to order but you will be my make-up of choice for my home salon!

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Quirky marketing methods

I have always had a love for slightly out of the box marketing methods.  My background was working in Sales and Events and I always enjoyed my jobs.

As yet I have not given too much thought to how I will market my home salon as I figure it will be easy enough for me to do closer to the time.  However I did see a thread on a professional beauty forum about check in’s on Facebook (the business using this marketing method is also a home salon).

I have always known that for the hospitality industry Facebook is a powerful marketing tool.  If you are low on bookings it is very easy to use social networking to get some more bums in the restaurant or a larger guest list for the club.  And I won’t lie, I have seen a similar offer to the one I am about to show you, but only for restaurants and it never occurred to me to use it for a beauty salon.

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The concept really is very simple.  Your client check’s in and it then goes onto their profile and thus into the feed of their friends.  A very easy way to market yourself, especially now that Facebook is clamping down and limiting the amount of advertising you get for free.

Although TIPTOPTIPS offer £5 off, you could no doubt do the same offer with £1/£2 off or a % off the bill if the majority of your treatments are lower costing ones.  In a time when the recession means money is tight for everyone, it is sure to be a winner with your clients trying to be savvy with their spending.

“But why would I want to pay my client to check in on Facebook? I don’t want to give money away!”  Well it is like this, your client will no doubt be from the local area and will have friends in the local area.  Your £1 or % discount will be directly targeting people on Facebook who could viably become your new clients.  Not only are they seeing the name of your company but it is coming from their friend, somebody who they presumably trust the opinion of.  Thinking of it like that, can you think of a cheaper way to target 50/100/500+ of your clients friends for only a £1 discount? I can’t either.

So without further ado, I thank you TIPTOPTIPS for bringing to attention this great idea that I believe we should all be embracing in our businesses.  It is most definitely on my marketing “to do list” for my home salon.

Please also note that the design work on this poster was done by VervePrint