British Beauty Week kicks off with an important message to government

·5-min read
 (Brendan Bell)
(Brendan Bell)

Get your lipsticks, tweezers, nail polish, collagen vials and waxing strips at the ready, the annual British Beauty Week kicks off this week.

Pegged as its most inclusive offering yet, from September 5-11 the British Beauty Council has curated over 120 events across the capital celebrating the best of skincare, fragance, nail art and makeup. Ranging from shopping events, panel discussions, exhibitions and insightful webinars, featuring industry heavyweights like Boots and Superdrug as well as indie disruptors like Juni Cosmetics and ARKIVE Headcare, the week will spotlight the value of beauty at a government level with a kickass lineup of events.

Think: exploring groundbreaking applications of AR and AI in beauty tech with Perfect Corp, Stewart Roberts’ timely Hear Me, See Me exhibition at Angel Central inspired by his charity Haircut4Homeless, Hackney based salon Skin and Sanctuary’s newly launched Glow Out facial (all profits will be donated to Breast Cancer Now), celebrity hairstylist Adam Reed’s importance of head care panel talk at his Spitalfields Salon, plus much more.

Sam McKnight will host a hair masterclass (Eamonn Hughes)
Sam McKnight will host a hair masterclass (Eamonn Hughes)

Since its inception in 2019, the British Beauty Council has been cheerleading the beauty industry, providing support to hundreds of thousands of workers and lobbying the government to award an extra £500 million of government-backed support during the pandemic. The coronavirus-enforced lockdowns were acutely tough for the beauty industry, with repeated stay at home orders shuttering salons and leaving the predominately women-led sector out of pocket for months at a time.

What’s more, even once social distance measures were eased, close contact treatments such as lashes, facials, brows and microblading remained off limits. During this time, many called out the government for its blatant disregard for an industry that contributes over £30 billion to the UK economy each year (more than motor vehicle manufacturing) and supports over half a million jobs.

Most notably, when British Conservative politician William Wragg asked Boris Johnson whether he would reconsider reopening the beauty sector so that the likes of Lush Beauty could safely return to business in his constituency, the then-Prime Minister responded by joking about one day visiting Lush. The comment was met with an eruption of laughter from MPs in a now-viral video from the Houses of Parliament, which rightfully sparked outrage.

Still, the industry banded together with many beauticians finding innovative ways to virtually connect with their clients. “We found during the pandemic how hairdressing and beauty salons were essential to people’s health and wellbeing within communities across the UK,” says Millie Kendall, the CEO of the British Beauty Council. In fact, even with the looming cost of living crisis, a recent Superscript survey found that 65 percent of consumers will continue to shop the same or more at independent barbers, nail salons and beauty salons.

The capital has a packed schedule of events throughout the week (Brendan Bel)
The capital has a packed schedule of events throughout the week (Brendan Bel)

“This latest survey shows a similar trend,” she continues. “It also reveals that hair and beauty salons are nothing but resilient. We have a ‘long tail’ of our industry that is made up of thousands of small independents. Most have survived and thrived because they speak to so many things that the modern consumer is looking for. Such as ways to support businesses rooted in local communities, and easy, relatively low-cost self-care.”

To salute the unyielding spirit of the beauty sector, be sure to check out the longlist schedule which is tailored to every aspect of the industry. From learning the ins and outs of selling your beauty brand on Amazon, to treating yourself to Dr Dennis Gross’ critically acclaimed Vitamin C+ Lactic Range Facial with Space NK, the week will cater to consumers, entrepreneurs, and the beauty-curious alike.

“Our industry is at the heart of every community. It brings people together, boosts confidence and well-being, and it provides an enormous contribution to the UK’s GDP. This is all something to celebrate,” says Kendall of British Beauty Week. So whether you’re celebrating by going on an olfactory journey at Diptyque’s store or sitting in on the Sustainable Beauty Coalition’s panel talk on greenwashing, make sure to get involved with the beauty event of the year.

For the full schedule of events visit britishbeautyweek.co.uk.

5 unmissable events at British Beauty Week

1. Glow Out for Breast Cancer Now

Known as the “yoga workout” for every face, Hackney salon Skin and Sanctury is offering its award-winning Glow Out facial for half the usual price. RSVP to glowout@skinandsanctuary.com to secure your spot this September 7 (all of the £45 will be donated to Breast Cancer Now).

2. House of Instagram: unlock your creativity

This virtual event, taking place September 8, 10-11am, will demystify the app’s new features to help attendees discover unlimited ways to unlock their creativity. Book your free ticket at houseofinstagram2022.splashthat.com

3. Hair Masterclass with industry legend Sam McKnight

The mastermind behind many of the world’s most iconic hair looks of the last 40 years will be sharing his top-secret tips at Space NK Edinburgh (George Street Store) between 6:30-8:00pm on September 8. Call 0131 225 6371 to book your space or visit https://space-nk-edinburgh.appointedd.com/.

4. Haircuts4Homeless Hear Me, See Me exhibition

Set up by veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts, Haircuts4Homeless is a charity that offers free haircuts to people in need. Ahead of the release of its new book Hear Me, See Me, Angel Central will be showcasing some of the thought-provoking portraits every Friday until September 18. Book your ticket at haircuts4homeless.com

5. The power of makeup

Join award-winning makeup artist and British Beauty Council advisory board member Lan Nguyen-Grealis as she hosts a makeup marathon at Studio One Makeup, Urban Retreat, Knightsbridge. Taking place 10am-6:00pm on September, RSVP to caristodemou1@gmail.com.