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Eleven tips your beauty business can learn from Google Digital Garage

November 18, 2016

LAUNCHING a new website for your beauty business, or want to improve your current online presence? Then here are 11 fabulous tips we picked up following our visit to the Google Digital Garage.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-22-57-55Google told us that 88% of small businesses are not taking advantage of the growth of the web. The search engine giant recommends having a colourful website that’s easy to use, has great content, encourages visitors to engage with you and makes it easy for people to contact you.

Case study – Look Fabulous Forever Make-up
Google’s specialist highlighted an example from Look Fabulous Forever, a UK make-up brand that specialises in ‘make-up for the older face’. screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-01-12-37Founded by Tricia Cusden, Look Fabulous Forever saw a phenomenal growth in business when Tricia started following Google’s golden rules.

Tricia’s website also received 17,000 visits in the first year. Look Fabulous Forever’s website has several tools such as ‘how to’ video tutorials, beauty tips, a pop-up box when you first visit the site. The site encourages you to put your email in the pop-up box to receive a free guide to make-up for older ladies. It’s now being used by the likes of the brilliant actress Dame Judi Dench! So here are Google’s 11 top tips:

1. Create a great looking website
The UK is now the global No1 for buying online with 77% of us buying online at least once a month. Google’s advice if you’re starting a website is to:

  • Build a colourful website and make it shine across all devices
  • Tell your story through content
  • Manage your presence on Google and improve your visibility

2. Give people the functionality to buy from you
Google says small businesses with a strong web presence experience two times more growth than those with minimal or no web presence. So if you’re selling beauty products or services online then make the shopping experience simple.

Screen Shot 2016-11-16 at 01.03.40.png3. Make it easy for customers to contact you
Google says 53% of small businesses and charities have a website. However, only 22% out of this figure provide basic information. Embedding a contact form is one of the most important things you can improve your website.

4. Google’s tips on building a new website

  • First identify its purpose or goal
  • Keep content simple and easy to digest –
    • use bullet points
    • break up paragraphs
    • use images as they are sometimes better at telling your story
  • Put strong calls to action eg buy now, subscribe here, download this
  • Make sure your site loads quickly
  • Make mobile a priority – for a free test to see if your site is mobile friendly visit: co/mobilefriendly
  • Encourage visitors to sign up to your newsletter
  • Create downloadable guides as a way to capture emails

5. Google gave these tips for a mobile-friendly site

  • Include prominent calls to action
  • Keep menus short
  • Clear navigation links
  • Streamline form fills
  • Don’t make users ‘pinch and zoom’ the screen
  • Don’t put links too close to each other, space them out

6. Expand your shop
If you’re selling online you can also put your products on retailer sites like Amazon, Etsy, Ebay and Notonthehighstreet

7. Define your audience

  • Where are they?
  • What do they do?
  • Who do they follow?

8. Messages to your audiences
You need different messages on Facebook and Twitter – one size doesn’t fit all.
screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-14-24-40eg. Snapchat has a younger audience.
Don’t shamelessly sell!

9. Getting followers
If you’re looking to grow your Twitter followers then do keyword searches and look for similar accounts to follow from this list of helpful tools:
Twitter search & lists
Google search
Blog search and lists
Recommended subscribers on YouTube

10. Three tips to write content

  • Keep it relevant and talk about your business
  • Be clear and consistent
  • Show personality – Be human, engage with your audience and have fun

11. Video

  • Be a thought leader – videos that are educational offer genuine value to users. There’s no need to sell and tell your audience it’s part of a series to encourage them to watch morescreen-shot-2016-11-16-at-01-04-19
  • Create shareable content to evoke a strong emotional response
  • Identify potential collaborators. Research popular YouTube creators who share your target audience
  • For inspiration research Facebook Live videos

For more information

  • Google – YouTube’s creator academy is an ongoing series of videos.
  • Make sure you fill in Google My Business help your website be found – when people search for you they’ll see a knowledge card for your business on the top right of their Google page with your opening hours, telephone no etc.

Hope you found these tips as useful as we did – good luck!


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This blog was brought to you by Beauty Training Harrow.
Call for more information on our NVQ beauty courses or salon treatments on 020 8206 2930.
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Plastic microbeads to be banned from beauty products by end of 2017

September 6, 2016


PLASTIC MICROBEADS found in beauty and toiletry products will be banned in the UK from the end of 2017. Some products will completely disappear from shelves said the Cosmetic, Toiletry & Perfumery Association. Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.21.24.png

Microbeads are found in many facial scrubs, make-up, toothpaste and body washes – some are visible to the naked eye but others are as small as one micrometre.

The tiny pieces of plastic, which contain toxic chemicals, end up in oceans and are subsequently swallowed by marine life. Just one cleansing product can contain hundreds of thousands of microbeads.

Conservationists have warned that microbeads affect fish growth and persist in the guts of mussels and fish that mistake them for food. The beads then travel back up the food chain to humans.

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.19.38More than 357,000 people signed a petition calling for the ban as the UK government follows in the footsteps of the US, which has banned microbeads from mid-2017. Beauty manufacturers are set to look for natural alternatives that biodegrade and pose no harm to marine life. These include jojoba beads, apricot kernels, ground nutshells and salt.

The Green Party said it welcomed the ban but said it should extend to other products such as washing detergents.

This blog is brought to you by Beauty Training Harrow – a fast-track training centre for beauty therapy NVQ courses (Levels 2-4).

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How do I become a beauty therapist?

August 12, 2016

Beauty Training Harrow examines the pros and cons of the different routes available for entry into the beauty therapy industry

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.20.47If you love the idea of making people look and feel good then a career in beauty could be for you. If you’re friendly, enjoy making people feel relaxed and take pride in what you do then beauty therapy is definitely for you!

If you’re just getting started, make sure you choose the right course to help you achieve your career goals, whether it’s full-time employment or your own home-based or mobile salon.

Your beauty course must be accredited by an awarding body such as ITECVTCT or City & Guilds, and qualifications must be fully insurable. These are important requirements that will enable you to carry out treatments professionally.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.22.55There are different career paths into beauty. If you work full time you can take evening courses at a local college. Or you can take an apprenticeship with a salon where you’ll learn on the job and have time out to study for professional qualifications.

However, more therapists are now opting for fast-track NVQ courses in beauty. These are usually taught in private training centres that enable you to fit study around your schedule. Level 2 NVQ is the starting point and has all the core units you need for going into the industry – waxing, manicure, pedicure, facial and make-up. Fast-track courses usually involve one or two days of theory and practical, followed by coursework and practice to complete your portfolio. After a final assessment you’ll receive your qualification.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.26.01You can then choose to specialise, which involves taking NVQ Level 3 and 4 courses. To find your niche, my top tip is to keep up to date with emerging trends by reading industry magazines such as Professional Beauty and other online news.

Whether you’re newly trained or you’ve specialised in an area such as electrical facials, you can gain employment in a wide variety of places: high street salons, hotel spas, cruise ships, health and fitness or country clubs.

If you choose to work for yourself, you can pick the hours that suit you. Or, for a fast-paced life, you could work with celebrities as a beauty therapist or make-up artist in TV, film or fashion. There are so many opportunities in the buzzing beauty industry but it starts with gaining professional qualifications from a reputable awarding body and making sure you are fully insurable.

This blog was brought to you by Beauty Training Harrow – fast-track training centre offering Level 2-4 NVQs in a range of beauty treatments. Check out our course dates today! Call 020 8206 2930 or email

Microblading is the alternative way to fill in your eyebrows – but what is it?

June 28, 2016

IF YOU’RE funny about the thought of needles injected into your face then how about a blade that goes into each hair of your eyebrow? 

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 15.55.34

Microblading, aka ‘brow embroidery’ – pic credit: 

If the very thought horrifies you then stop reading now! But if you’re interested to know more about microblading (aka ‘brow embroidery’) and you’re fed up with brow gels, pencils and tattoos, then read on!

Microblading is being positioned as the new alternative to filling in your eyebrows, whether your brows are arched and feathered or straight and bold.

The benefits are many for clients who want to fully reconstruct their brows, or to define the arch, cover gaps or fill-in over plucked eyebrows that haven’t grown back. It takes about two-three hours, it’s relatively painless and you can even go swimming straight after.

So how does microblading work to fill the brow?

Microblading is a semi-permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattooing. Technicians use a hand tool and very fine needles to deposit high-quality pigments underneath the top layer of the skin. They do this in such a way that it mimics actual hairs. This highly artistic, labour-intensive technique can match the growth of the natural hairs of each client.

How does it compare to eyebrow tattooing? 

Microblading is manual and uses a hand tool, while permanent makeup uses a vibrating machine to implant the pigment. Microblading does not vibrate so the technician can be more exact when they draw hair strokes in the skin.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 14.56.18New York beauticians and their clients are going crazy for microblading, and here in the UK, the Tracie Giles salon in Knightsbridge is now offering the treatment – they already have many celebrity converts to microblading! To find out more about the Tracie Giles microblading method, along with prices, visit her website here.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 21.47.18

Permanent makeup artist Tracy Fensome also offers treatments in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Watch her short film here of how she does brows!

Have you had microblading done? What do you think of the results? Would love to know your thoughts! Email or drop me a message on Facebook.

This blog is brought to you by Beauty Training Harrow 020 8206 2930.


Bring back your glow with our Top 5 skin detox treatments

April 24, 2016


Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 18.07.52IF YOUR busy lifestyle is playing havoc with your beauty regime and you want to get it back on track then a skin detox could be the quick fix you need.

There are tons of ways to kickstart a skin detox and drinking more water is one of the easiest things you can start with.

However, if you’re looking for a go-to product when skin looks lacklustre and in need of a helping hand then check out these five high street buys. They will not only rehydrate your skin but bring your natural glow back in time for summer!

1. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque, £33

I’m a huge fan of Dermalogica and if you ever visit my salon you’ll see why! Not only is it one of the most effective skin ranges but it is also free of artifical fragrances and colours. Dermalogica’s Recovery Masque is an antioxidant-rich masque applied after cleansing and is a cooling, revitalising remedy. Botanicals help soothe and calm stressed skin while vitamins A, C and E help repair skin damage.

2. OXY Deep Calm Balm, £5.99

This skin-clearing product uses seaweed to keep skin soft and hydrated and clinical studies show that it keeps spot-causing bacteria and redness away. The range is alcohol, paraben and SLS-free.

3. Pravera Organic Anti-Blemish Treatment Gel, £22,

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 00.40.30This natural gel tackles skin problems fast as it dries out spots while at the same time healing and soothing irritated skin.

4. Liz Earle Clean & Polish, £13.75

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Liz Earle and having tried her Cleanse & Polish myself I certainly felt and saw a difference. This product lasts for ages and comes with a muslin cloth – just massage the polish into your face and wipe clean with the hot, moist cloth. You’ll feel fresh and look glowing!


5. Murad Eye Lift Illuminator and Murad Eye Lift Protector, £27 for the pair

Screen Shot 2016-04-16 at 00.47.06If you’re prone to dark circles under your eyes then never have them again with this pair of eye treatment pens. One has a violet tone cream to neutralise darkness while the other contains a light reflecting concealer. A handy pair together!

This blog was brought to you by Yvonne Sullivan at Beauty Training Harrow

For a list of courses and salon therapies please see our course dates

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♫ It’s all about wet shave, about wet shave ♫

December 9, 2015

AS THE demand for male grooming increases in double-digit figures in Britain, beauty therapists need to keep up with changing trends. And if recent statistics are anything to go by, the wet shave is enjoying a timely renaissance.

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 22.06.24.png

Miss Moneypenny gives James Bond a wet shave in Skyfall

There is now a 50% rise in men now asking for wet shaves across British barbers and salons. It’s now trendy for males to go to the traditional barbers for a hot towel shave.

Both Harrods and Selfridges have gone one step further and introduced a Gentlemens’ Lounges in response to the increased demand of this service, and of male grooming in general.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 20.20.35The lounge at Harrods comes complete with a rare whisky bar for men who want to indulge themselves after a luxurious facial treatment, which includes a wet shave.

For the above reasons, but especially because I am always striving to improve my professional skills, I recently took a wet shaving course. My cut-throat wet shave course was a Level 3 ITEC and I had so much fun.

The goal was to learn to wet shave to a professional standard. We had hands-on practical experience on about eight models throughout our two days at the London School of Barbering in central London. The professional course is fully insurable and qualifies as CPD (continuous professional development) in the beauty industry.

Hot off the press: we now offer wet shave at Yvonne Sullivan Beauty!

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 20.20.22I am delighted to say that if male clients wish to come for a facial at Yvonne Sullivan Beauty we can either offer you a wet shave before or after your treatment. Our new treatments are:

Yvonne’s Classic Wet Shave
A hot towel, cut-throat shave using Murdoch London products made in England. This 30-minute treatment comes with a cologne of your choice to finish.
Price: £30

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 20.24.58Yvonne’s Luxury Wet Shave
In this 1-hour five-star treatment you can completely relax before or after your Classic Wet Shave experience with an express facial treatment.
Price: £45

This blog is brought to you by Beauty Training Harrow 020 8206 2930.

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SPECIAL SALE of nearly new beauty equipment, DVDs and books – all for £200!

December 7, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 21.31.20

Here’s a fantastic offer that you won’t find anywhere else – a set of beauty equipment, training DVDs, books and other great essentials for beauty therapists. All for just £200!

One of my clients has decided to join the music industry so is selling all of her nearly new and brand equipment, products, books and training DVDs.

This is a fantastic opportunity for a new beauty therapist who wants to start out in the industry to get started. Please call Ann on her mobile:
+44 (0)7716 729 567.


  • Heavy Duty Trolley with 3 shelves and lamp holder – very good condition
  • Mini Face Steamer – hardly used
  • Pedicure – Foot Spa electric – hardly used
  • Manicure – trolley/stool with 3 sliding draws – very good condition and a selection of manicure tools
  • Waxing Machine – Master Wax – BRAND NEW
  • 3 pots of gold crème wax and 1 Lavender crème wax
  • 5 packets of wax strips

Dermalogica Training DVDs x 6

  • European and Advanced International Skin Techniques
  • Expert Skin Analysis
  • Skin Exfoliation Techniques
  • Spa Body Therapy Herbal linen wrap/ Paraffin wrap techniques
  • Spa Body Therapy Hydro Pack Seaweed/Exfoliation Technique


Skin Care Beyond the Basics
The Skin Type Solution
Your Best Face
Physiology of the Skin
A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetics
Cosmetics Unmasked
Milady’s Standard Comprehensive Training for Estheticians (hardback)
The Official Guide to Body Massage
A Practical Guide to Beauty Therapy
Complementary Health

All the above for £200.00. Please call Ann on her mobile:
+44 (0)7716 729 567.

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