Professional Beauty visits chic new tanning salon, Beach St in Sydney’s Paddington. Co-founded by tanning pros Lauren Capelin and Giuliana Benedet, this duo is set to give spray tanning a touch of glamour. We talk to Lauren and Giulinana about their luxe, individualised service, which brings tanning out from the dimly-lit back room, into the glistening gold glow of their designer salon.
What is the philosophy behind Beach St?
“We believe tanning should be a luxury experience,” says Giuliana Benedet, co-founder of Beach St. “For too many years tanning has been an ‘add on’ in many beauty and hair salons. Often clients are made to tan in converted bathrooms or store rooms as offering spray tans has been an afterthought within the business.”
“We are out to make tanning a 5 star treatment within a 5 star facility,” adds Lauren Capelin, co-founder of Beach ST. “Our focus is exceptional customer service, along with the best spray tan in Australia.”
What does Beach St offer clients to make it unique?
“We take the time to do a thorough consultation and discuss with each client their desired outcome,” says Capelin. “Offering over 30 different shades we focus on customising each tan – no light, medium or dark here!”
“We spent over 9 months designing our own equipment to ensure the best results possible,” says Benedet. “We are the first in Australia to do this and the results have been outstanding!”
“A big hit has also been the complimentary mimosa we offer each client on arrival!” adds Capelin. “We take pride in offering a topical haven for our clients to enjoy, we love it when they sit around chatting before or after their treatment, feeling tanned and relaxed.”
Where did the idea come from?
“Lauren previously owned a tanning salon [the popular Sunescape], and I have been in the industry for 11 years, specializing in tanning for the majority,” says Benedet. “We’ve taken all of our knowledge and combined it with our individual creativity to build Beach St.”
What are your backgrounds?
“Lauren started out as a personal trainer who was always obsessed with tanning,” says Benedet. “She began tanning friends and family as a hobby, then went on to open her first business. After 5 years she sold that to have her two daughters. After some time off she was craving being back in the industry and connecting with clients. It’s a true passion of hers.”
“Giuliana is a qualified beauty therapist who has worked in Sydney’s top boutiques,” says Capelin. “After 11 years of building other people’s dreams it was time for her to branch out and become a business owner; she is so passionate about making people look and feel incredible.”
What can a client expect?
“Walking into Beach St is like arriving at your favourite tropical holiday destination, palm trees and cocktails included!” says Capelin. “We treat clients are though they are old friends and make the experience as personal as possible. I believe our attention to detail is second to none; all the way from the tropical scented candles to the tan application itself. We expect each client to walk out the door with a smile on their face… that’s our priority.”
What spray tan brands do you offer?
“We have the full range of Techno Tan, Sunescape, St Tropez, Moroccan, Summer Tan and Mediterranean,” says Benedet. “We are always trialling new brands to keep up with the industry, however we’re very happy with the results from the current range.”
What are the biggest trends in tanning right now?
“We definitely think the majority of clients are after a natural look,” says Capelin. “Gone are Jersey Shore days – thank Heavens! Less is definitely more, especially in the middle of winter. Women are asking for a subtle glow, nothing that will make them stand out from the crowd too much this time of year. We like to find a great base colour for each client and we will build it up gradually as the weather warms up and summer rolls in.”
What is the key to a flawless tan?
“Clients can definitely help with this by arriving to their tan appointment freshly showered with no deodorant, moisturizer or makeup on, and having exfoliated and waxed or shaved the day before,” says Benedet. “Removing any old tan really helps to create an even colour.”
What should beauty therapists do to ensure their clients get glowing, golden skin?
“There are many elements to consider in achieving a flawless finish tan,” says Capelin. “First is consulting with your client regarding their skin type – including finding out about any sensitivities – and then discussing their desired outcome. From this we are able to select the best possible product.”
What is your process once you have your clients in the tanning room?
“First barrier cream is applied to the palms and dry skin areas,” says Benedet. “Next we spray on our preparation spray to balance the skins Ph. levels and allow for even tan absorption. Following this is, in my opinion, the most crucial part, the application. For us at Beach St, a 5 star tan is possible due to our airbrush system, which creates a lightweight tanning mist. Our specifically designed extraction unit also stops excess tan drifting to the legs and feet, which can cause overdevelopment. We then lock in hydration using a Vitamin E mist. Before drying off, we always use a buffing brush to blend the colour around the wrists, knees, neck, or wherever required and use powder in certain areas to create a natural finish. An eye for detail is essential to creating a flawless look.”
The chic interior of Beach Street was designed by TV personality Shaynna Blaze.
How do you ensure clients keep coming back?
“We combine quality personal service with a 5 star treatment,” says Capelin. “We call each new client the day after their tan to ensure they’re 100% happy. Communication is key for us; listening to clients feedback means we are always learning and improving. We will go the extra mile to ensure our clients feel special and valued and are always happy with their tan. Here at Beach St we don’t give the client any reason not to come back.”
What are your top tips to business success.
“First of all you need to be passionate about what you do,” says Benedet. “You can’t just be in business to make money or think success will come overnight; you have to work for it.”
“We strongly believe clients pick up on the energy within a business, so for us the team is everything,” adds Capelin. “A positive environment with a team that love their job and treats the last client of the day like it’s their first is priceless.”
“Also, be consistent with service and expectations,” says Benedet. “And like our favourite quote by Bill Quiseng says…. ‘Nobody raves about average’!”