The beauty industry in London is lively and booming, but often not given the credit and praise it deserves. However, beauty has so many different subcategories and for this reason, we are featuring a three-part interview series with beauty professionals in London.
This week, I got my collagen face mask on and explored the businesses involved with self-care and grooming. I spoke with three business owners with specializations in sugar waxing, nail care, and brow/lash treatments.
Hair Removal – Sugarbush Spa
Sara Pauli runs the very successful body sugaring spot in London – Sugarbush Spa. Catering to a whopping 600-700 clients a month, Sara has quite the community here. They are currently located on York Street but plan to move in October to West5, Ontario’s first sustainable community.
The environmentally-friendly aspect is also one of many pros of sugaring and why Sugarbush promotes it.
“Sugaring is a biodegradable substance – it is simply sugar, lemon juice, and water,” explained Sara. “It can be rinsed down the sink and not hurt the environment. It also poses no threat of lifting, tearing, or burning that wax does. Two of our most common services are brow and Brazilian waxing. The face and pubic areas are highly sensitive and you don’t want to be using something that runs the risk of harming you on these areas.”
Sara has been in the sugar business for over a decade but only recently created her own line of products after recognizing flaws in other sugar pastes. She found that they did not hold up under high levels of humidity and perspiration.
“The paste just wasn’t effective in other climates where this is the norm,” said Pauli. “I wanted to come up with innovations so I took the paste to all parts of North America, Europe, and Africa to ensure that every environment was suitable. We also received help from Western University after hiring a chemistry student doing her PhD to help us create a climate resistant line which took around three and a half years to perfect.”
I was shocked to hear that she actually lives in Toronto and travels back and forth. She believes the clientele and loyalty of this city is unmatched and she is dedicated to them.
“I started this business in my basement in 2012 and seven months later, we had an office on Dundas Street,” she said. “We do not advertise – we rely on word-of-mouth and the customers in London are fantastic. You do not find the same loyalty in other parts of the country.”
You can learn more about Sara’s services on her website or stop by her office for now at 9 York Street.
Nail Salon – Posh Pedicure Lounge
The Posh Pedicure Lounge, located on Richmond Road is the ultimate hub of London femininity and pampering. The owner, Penny Rumming, has her space decked out with hot pink walls, a gigantic bejeweled watch, and a chandelier to truly encapsulate her brand. Femininity is often bashed and ridiculed but for Rumming it is fully embraced.
“The Lounge is about bringing women together in different ways,” Rumming said. “We provide events for women between toddler age to mature. We try our best to brand so that we can appeal inter-generationally. That is also why we fall within a mid-range price point. We want to encourage older women who feel guilty spending too much on themselves.”
Of course the Posh Pedicure Lounge is still one for all – men shouldn’t feel discomfort in embracing these experiences because they are ultimately about grooming.
“It might seem overwhelming at first because our walls are pink,” she laughed. “But we are welcoming so men tend to enjoy the ambience. We are not an intimidating group. We have many dads and daughters come in. I find that a lot more men are open to the general idea of self-care and grooming. It’s just taking care of your body.”
What first attracted me to the Lounge is their package for nail biters – “Biter Babe” which includes six mini manicures with a clean up and polish.
“One of the main reasons why it works is the accountability factor,” Rumming explained. “People want me to be proud when I hear that they haven’t bitten this week – and it works! At the end of the six weeks, every client has had long nails!”
Penny acknowledges how much the community gives her and her business so she makes an effort to give back.
“Sometimes we visit the hospital and do manicures on children in medical care,” she said. “And we recently volunteered with The Pamper Project which offers support for the homeless in London past the basic necessities.”
You can find Penny’s services and prices on her website or stop by her office downtown at 740 Richmond Street.
Eyebrow and Eyelash Services – Brow And Lash Bar By Sarah
Sarah Couto is the founder of Brow And Lash Bar By Sarah, a specialized beauty salon which offers numerous options for brows and lashes including microblading, lash lifting, tinting, and basic waxing. Located off Commissioners Road East, Sarah’s business is growing so that is partially why she keeps majority of her services above the nose, so to speak.
“I keep my services geared to the face,” says Sarah. “But I hope to one day expand into other areas!”
With microblading rising in popularity, I asked her about how she encourages her clients to take the risk considering the esthetic procedure is not cheap and is fairly painful.
“I use some amazing numbing cream before and during the procedure to ensure maximum comfort,” Couto said. “The cost can be steep in the beginning but your brows help to frame your face The investment is worth it, especially considering it is a time saver for many people.”
Upon reading about the Brow And Lash Bar, I discovered that they have formulated their own balm for microblading after-care.
“I worked with Charissa from the company, Crushed With Love, to create an all natural vegan healing balm,” she states. “She started out as a client of mine and had her own business making soaps, creams, etc. One day I asked if she would be interested in formulating a brow balm for me. She came through and is now crushing it!”
Couto is also not naive to the increase in businesses offering brow and lash services but she embraces the upcoming salons and has built a community out of it.
“I like to think of it as coexistence rather than competition,” she reflects. “I continue to work hard in building my empire and taking pride in my work while supporting other artists. We are all in this together and as such should be each other’s biggest supporters.”
Brow And Lash Bar By Sarah is located on 2452 Seven Oaks Ridge and you can find out more about Couto and her services on her website.