Key Learnings From This Year’s BEAUTY & SPA Insiders Event

Beauty and aesthetic industry representatives gathered at Sydney’s Hinchcliff House on Monday for the 2022 BEAUTY & SPA Insiders event, co-hosted by Professional Beauty and SPA & CLINIC.

MC Sarah Hudson of Skin by Sarah Hudson took guests through a series of talks featuring keynote speakers and panelists representing various professional beauty services across Australia.

MC Sarah Hudson

Sessions commenced with a talk by keynote speaker Dr Yumiko Kadota on issues of burnout, sexism and inequality. Yumiko discussed the importance of being treated with respect as a team of qualified professionals for the skills and services they provide. She also suggested that female professionals can be treated too casually by clients, and be mistitled as a result.

Business advice

Vita Catanzariti, Melissa Young and Michelle Reeve took guests through the steps of perfecting consultations to gain a returning client. The women said client connection is essential, and that staff should have confidence in themselves in order to boost confidence in their clients. It was recommended that consultations should also link into retail offerings – “we should be retail spaces that offer treatments, not the reverse.” – Michelle Reeve. 

It was also said to be valuable to connect incoming clients to the sensory touch points of the overall beauty space. Connecting front of house staff with therapists on roster ensures all are involved in understanding a client’s journey.

Sarah Hudson echoed this message, explaining to guests that it’s not just a matter of understanding a person’s skin type – it’s a matter of knowing the person, their lifestyle, their circumstances, and their personal limitations.

Suzie Hoitink discussed ideas around how to work smarter, not harder. When it comes to launching one’s own business, she asked guests to consider – what’s in it for you? What will you get out of owning your own business? She suggested individuals begin by clarifying their direction as a business owner, and believes the smarter you work as a business owner, the smarter your staff will work. She also suggested individuals ensure they have a strong structure and strategic plan in place in order for their teams to perform.

Suzie Hoitink

Purpose is essential to leadership, Gry Tomate stated during her talk. Gry argued that the most sustainable way to profile is usually not the fastest. She said there has to be a balance between revenue generation and staff culture, and that you can’t have one without the other. Targets shouldn’t just involve meeting KPIs, Gry said. Business owners need to offer alternative ways of looking at upsell opportunities.

Otto Mitter took guests through an engaging discussion on marketing strategies, and how video production is an essential and effective way to market a business. “Education videos create hype and client loyalty”, Otto said. Otto suggested strong marketing can lead to greater client loyalty. For Otto, businesses shouldn’t see it as investing in marketing, but investing in inspiration.

SmartPay’s Robert Caruana was invited on stage to discuss the value of investing in the right eftpos system in-salon, while Podium’s Dan Hall-Gearing shared statistics around the benefits of text as a medium through which to communicate with clients.

Knowing what to stock

Sarah Hudson, Douglas Pereira and Lee Wood took to the stage to discuss the process of skincare formulation. The trio agreed on the benefits of creating skincare best tailored to your individual clients’ needs. All facets should be considered when making your own product, from the formulations to how it should be marketed, they said. For Sarah, for example, it took six cosmetic chemists to find the right one. She also said that it can cost $250,000 – $500,000 to launch your own skincare line – a hefty investment!

On discussion of devices, Sarah Hughes, Sanja Maria, Dee Diaz, Dr Natasha Cook, and Dr Liz Golez agreed that aesthetic devices are an expensive investment, particularly for small business owners. The panel said that devices you invest in need to fit the ethos of your business and your ‘why’, and that they should also all fit together in a business. It’s not just about the final results a device can provide, the women said – it’s about the usability for the therapist. Before choosing a device, research is key. No device can do it all!

BSI devices panel

This advice was similarly shared by Gagandeep Singh, Natasha Shalfoon and Gidon Silverman during their discussion on investing in the right device technology for your salon.


Sustainability was a recurring touch point through the day, with Cathy Tolpigin sharing facts around the global natural cosmetics market. She said the industry would be valued at $54 billion by 2027. “Beauty packaging is the vessel that protects and preserves a brand’s formulation,” Cathy said, describing the process of moving to a sustainable alternative to be very complicated. Cathy believes it’s time for slow beauty, where brands opt for a circular model over a linear model when it comes to product production.

Donna Marcal of Dermatonics also caught up with Professional Beauty’s Anita Quade to discuss the significance of sustainable formulations.

Anita Quade

Ere Perez, Victoria Curtis and Hilary Holmes joined Professional Beauty’s Hannah Gay for a chat on makeup trends and the ongoing relevance of professional makeup services. The women also flagged the importance of aligning a business’ makeup offering to their skincare treatments.

Dr Martina Lavery took guests through an insightful discussion around how to master one’s oral microbiome, and was joined by Lauren Dewsbury to discuss the value in elevating one’s internal health to ultimately benefit the skin.

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