Aspiring beauty therapists showcased their skills when they offered free nail treatments and airbrush tattoos to visitors at Professional Beauty London 2023.
Students from City and Islington College (CANDI) and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) provided the beauty services at the expo at ExCeL London.
Professional Beauty London is the UK’s leading beauty, spa and wellness show. Each year it attracts thousands of beauty managers, business owners and professionals and people looking to work in the industry.
Rori Dean-Dodson, 31, from Hackney, is studying for a Nail Technology Level 2 Diploma at CONEL and was among the students providing nail treatments at the event on 5-6 March.
She said: “I enjoyed today. It’s been absolutely amazing. It was a good chance to try out many of the skills I have learnt at CONEL – filing, shaping, polishing and painting. It’s been fun meeting people and hopefully getting few to come to the college.
“They were interested to hear about the courses. On the nail technician course, we have learnt about manicures and pedicures and also health and safety, and are now learning about acrylics.”
Rori has run her own mobile hairdressing business Rori’s Braids and More since 2018 having been taught how to create various Afro-Caribbean hairstyles by her mum as a child.
She said: “I want to branch out and do nails and tap into the beauty sector. The course at CONEL has been amazing, I wish I could do it for longer. The teachers have been excellent. They have a lot of industry experience and go above and beyond to ensure that we learn and understand.”
Professional Beauty London 2023 featured hundreds of stands from big name beauty and cosmetic brands from across Europe along with conferences, seminars, competitions and demonstrations.
Visitors to the expo had the chance to learn about new trends shaping the industry and compare products and treatments, as well as make connections with industry experts, suppliers and other professionals.
Vlada Strochka, 24, from Welwyn Garden City, who is looking to start a new life in the UK after fleeing the war in Ukraine, was among those looking to training in beauty.
She said: “I want to move to London soon and I’m looking for somewhere to study. I have an accreditation as a nail technician but have no experience in beauty therapy.
“I have a problem with my skin and want to help other people with similar problems. I love cosmetics, massage and nails and think the college is somewhere I might like to study.”
The hair and beauty business employs more than 250,000 people in the UK. The industry offers many different career pathways including women’s hairstyling, barbering, body and facial treatments, massage and theatrical and media make-up.
Saloua El-Khadiri, Head of School for Hair and Beauty at CCCG, said: “We were thrilled to have hundreds of people come and visit our stand at Professional Beauty London 2023.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the courses we offer and for our students to practise many of the technical skills they have been learning and perfecting at college on visitors to the show, who were very impressed with their finished nails and tattoos.
“Both CANDI and CONEL offer a huge range of hair and beauty courses for school-leavers and those looking for a new career or wanting to gain more experience, including many short courses that are great for those with children and other commitments.
“Our courses are taught by industry experts and both colleges have their own fully-equipped salons and equipment, meaning we can provide the best possible training for those looking to work in this exciting industry.”