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Beauts Beauty – 101 with the creator of a new beauty mentality

Friday 14 March 2014

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Beauts is a beauty service run and owned independently by Steph – working from her home Beauty Base in Epsom, mobile in the comfort of her clients own homes and on Mani Tuesdays in Sam Ross hair salon.

Beauts was born out of Steph’s love of people, desire to make people happy and passion for all things beauty. But it took a little while for her to get to Beauts. Originally taking the fashion route, Steph studied at LCF and then in Brighton before heading back to London to intern before landing a role in the buying team at Topman. After 18 months of buying, Steph decided that she’d sat through one fit session too many, and after becoming qualified in all the treatments she now offers as Beauts she said goodbye to Topshop discount and hello to beauty and being her own boss!

We chat to her about her transition into the beauty industry, her inspirations and aspirations and of course what you can expect from the Beaut’s Beauty service.

You mentioned you studied at LCF before landing a role in the buying team at Topman. What was your experience like? What did you most enjoy about it?

Yep, straight after completing my A Levels I studied for a Diploma in Image Styling for Performance at LCF. The course concentrated on hair and makeup techniques for film, TV and theatre and included art classes and critical theory also. I absolutely loved my year at LCF and got myself some great work experiences. My fave was working alongside MAC makeup artists at the Project Talent UK talent contest at the o2 where I got to do the make up for JLS pre-X Factor when they were called UFO (I love having an excuse to tell that story)! I really enjoyed my year at LCF and despite achieving a distinction my tutors advised me that they thought my skills would be better suited to editorial and commercial fashion rather than the performance industries. I knew that they were right but being so young it threw me a bit and so not knowing what path I wanted to continue down (a bit randomly) I took myself off to Brighton Uni to study Fashion and Dress History.

How did you transition from fashion to beauty? What made you take the jump? How did your background in fashion help this transition? Was there an epiphany moment?

Beauty has always been a keen interest of mine and deep down I’ve always known that it’s where I wanted to end up but without all of my experiences prior to Beauts I’m not sure that I’d have ever gained the confidence to start up on my own. I’d always wanted to train in beauty so whilst I was still at Topman, knowing that it wasn’t for me but with the security of a monthly payslip, it seemed like the perfect time to get myself trained during days off and weekends. It took about 6 months of training and practising to get qualified and confident in all that I wanted to be able to offer but whilst I then knew that beauty is what I wanted to pursue it was a matter of when and how to make the jump. I was so close to being ready to hand in my notice but whilst I wasn’t happy it was secure and routine and the thought of the unknown whilst being so exciting was also so scary! But the push I needed came in the form of a department move opportunity. I was told that I would be moving to a bigger and better department and so should have been over the moon right!? Wrong! Instead I burst into tears and made up my mind that I was off!

Fashion and beauty go together hand in glove and my fashion background has definitely helped to shape my business as without all my previous experiences I wouldn’t have such a strong commercial awareness or wouldn’t have been able to make Beauts as considered or creative as I’m proud to say it is.

beauts beauty base

Beauts Beauty is a fairly fresh company – what are your goals for the future of Beauts?

My goals for the future of Beauts is to keep growing and hopefully one day be able to open my own salon with staff trained to my standards and who share my mentality, with boutique décor, a fridge full of champers and a happy and loyal client base.

What are your top 5 desert island makeup or nail products?!

Just 5!? Ok, I’d take Paul Mitchel Freeze and Shine Hairspray, YSL’s Touché Éclat, OPI’s Big Apple Red polish (with a nail file and buffer, is that allowed!?), MAC’s Zoom Fast Black Lash mascara and the biggest tub of aqueous cream money can buy!

What can we expect upon booking in at Beauts Beauty?

My aim is for all my clients to leave looking and feeling like absolute beauts so you can expect that whatever treatment you choose you’ll be royally looked after, offered advice and given the very best beauty experience delivered with creativity, passion and good chat.

Who are your beauty icons – what inspires your style and the Beauts Beauty ethos?

My beauty icon in terms of business is Sharmadean Reid founder of Wah Nails. I think her mentality behind Wah is so inspirational and I’ve tried to channel this when considering my own values for Beauts.

My beauty icons in the more literal sense are the ultimate beauts… Beyoncé and the Queen!

My personal style is quite classic, I love oversized everything, chunky boots, monochrome and mixing patterns. If you’ve got the confidence to go with the clash then it just looks incredible!

In terms of beauty my style is distinguished by two products – mascara and lipstick.  In my mind the more mascara the better and the same goes for the more dense and brighter the lip.

A big influence over how I perceive the beauty industry is how we consume beauty ideals and how what we see advertised actually transpires into a reality for real women. My BA dissertation was on the commercialisation and interpretation of femininity in 1930’s Britain when adverts were so direct in their prescribing of the feminine ideal and the ridiculous techniques women were encouraged to follow to achieve it. This really fascinates me and has a massive influence over how I treat my clients at Beauts. My business is not about copying an ideal, of course I follow trends and offer advice and tips but Beauts is about making the best of you not copying the best of someone else.

This year saw a rise and rise in the popular nail art fasciation – what were some of your favourite nail art trends?

I.LOVE.NAIL.ART! In the UK Wah is definitely the leader, all of their designs are just great. I follow the likes of Trophy Wife and Effy Nails amongst a million others and take inspiration for my own designs from all over the place. I love the classics like checks, flowers, polka dots and leopard print but at the moment I’m really into drawing faces of people, monsters, animals, etc. There’s so much scope and as our nails are some of the most exposed parts of our bodies I think the fancier the better!

What kind of nail treatments can we expect to find at Beauts Beauty?

The nail treatments I offer at Beauts are mini, express and lux mani’s and pedi’s using OPI as my polish of choice, and gel polish mani and pedi treatments using Gelish which has an ever growing gorgeous vibrant collection of colours to choose from. No matter if choosing a mini normal polish mani or a lux gel pedi I take care and time to make sure that my clients get the very best treatment that their time and budget with allow. And of course nail art is an encouraged option whatever the treatment!

What are some of your salon favourites & most used products?

One of the most popular treatments I offer are Lash Extensions and the brand I use is Lash FX.  I absolutely love this brand both for myself to work with and for my clients for the long lasting natural look and feel they give. Urban Tan is another fave of mine as my spray tan of choice. I love this brand because it’s paraben and fragrance free and can be blended so I can be sure that whatever shade my clients want I can accommodate. And let’s not forget about one of the best kept beauty secrets around… grapeseed oil! So easily available and cheap but such a useful and important purchase!

Can we book Beauts Beauty for private events such as hen parties or get togethers?

Yes! I offer Pamper Parties as one of my services and I absolutely love them! Whether it’s a girls night in, hen do or a birthday as long as there are a minimum of 4 beauts attending I work with the host to work out how many bottles of Prosecco to get in and create a pamper party plan to suit their requirements.

Facebook: BeautyBeauts   Twitter: @beautsbeauty   Instagram: BeautsBeauty

Words: Tabby Casto