Wednesday, 6 November 2019





Steven Smith looks at  how to find the very best in  beauty , aesthetic ,  cosmetic.  doctors  or  hair expert for you and  announces his own recommendations guide  for 2020

My blog is changing for 2020, and will now focus on reviewing and informing you about the very best people and places to go to for beauty, aesthetics, cosmetics, hair, and how they can make you look good.

Unlike many recommendations out there, none of the clinics or experts have paid me to highlight them and I am not offered commission to send clients to them. These are establishments and individuals that I feel have excelled, have something special to offer, and which I would happily use.

Steven Smith with over 30 years experience in the beauty /hair industry
and author .

Having worked in the beauty, hair, and fashion industry for over thirty years, the question that so often arises is, “Where is the best to go to?”. It is a quandary that so many people find themselves in when wanting to have aesthetics, hairstyling, or beauty done, or for when they just need an expert manicure or pedicure. We all want the very best, even if we are on a budget.

Steven Smith with over thirty years in the beauty business one of his many hair creations ..

They are quite right in that asking an expert where to go is their best course of action. A good hairdresser or beautician can tell you about the best restaurants, shows, doctor, cosmetic surgeon, or where to get a manicure that sparkles above the rest. This is because their clients are in the know, and since they are at the height of their game, they tend to know the very best.

Equally, you could go into the make-up and skin-care department of an upmarket store and look for an assistant who looks like what you like and ask them for recommendations. Good fashion shops also know where the best places are.

It is so true that the very best often have little social media presence and rarely advertise. This is because they are all booked through the most valuable asset; word of mouth clients who are the core that will keep your business growing and growing.

In my opinion, Groupon, constant adverts bombarding social media, and discounting screams one thing: “I am desperate”. There is a popular theory that you need to put out three posts per day. For supermarkets and large corporations this may be true. I am sure there are expectations, but the elite are certainly not following that path and I have heard people comment things like “I was thinking of going there, but the overselling put me off”. 

In any of the fields I am talking about, if an operator is not booked and self-sufficient after being in business for a year, it is maybe time they moved on or seek more training should they need a little more  help building their  client base.

Besides word of mouth, there are two other things that bring in clients in 2019. First, celebrities do they go there? Potential clients will see you working with for many are seen as  the cream of society as a huge security blanket, but remember that no one good in the business will actually talk about their clients, whether famous or not. Nonetheless, often the gossip leaks out or the famous make a deal to promote the clinic or salon. In my experience, most just want to come to not be bothered before paying and getting on their way.

Kylie Jenner 

The other way is the media, who have a way of sniffing out who goes where, as well as who is best in the field you’re looking for. Newspapers and magazines often run who’s best and who goes where. Be careful here too that it does not say “Sponsored” or “Ad”, since often services pay to have their names publicised by the media. Many top clinics offer 100 percent discount cards to the famous and beauty editors in order to get their name in the features. So be careful to read the articles if you’re looking for a recommendation, and always have a consultation or meet who will treat you first.

By this I mean you should meet the doctor or whoever is performing the treatment or service first. Never be fobbed off by the receptionist or customer service expert or advisor. If they are not fully qualified, they are simply a salesperson and the only thing they should be doing is telling you the price, or at best what the treatment involves if the actual experienced expert thinks it might be applicable. 

It is you right to privacy to ask to see qualifications and the experience to be about you .
What you do for a living or what you relationship status  is, is your business 

The next thing is how do you feel about the actual clinic or salon your looking at having your treatment in. Is it professional? Is it clean? Do you feel treasured and that your privacy is harboured? Sadly in many establishments today, three years of hard training in customer service and even in their chosen craft has been replaced by people who have taken a two-day course. I am all for on the job training, but in my experience it does not take much for those that have been on a quick course to think they know better than a highly trained individual. Ask to see their qualifications and don’t be afraid to challenge them if you are in any doubt ; it is your money and you have to live with the outcome.

So, lets kick off with my first recommendations that embodies all that I believe in when it comes to customer service, combined with expertly skilled treatments and a team who work together so you love coming to their shop. 

MINX ( Manicure , Pedicure , threading and waxing ) 

You might not have heard of Minx before, which is located off Kensington High Street towards Earl’s Court’s leafy roads. But those in the know flock to what arguably has to be the best manicure and pedicure, threading, and waxing establishment in London. Royalty and celebrities love Minx, as do the locals and many people travel to get the Minx treatment.

I first heard of Minx from a BBC journalist who travelled up once a month from Brighton to get her treatments done, “They are so special,” she told me. Being a fella that has always taken good care of his hands (in the US, most men have it done) I couldn’t resist trying them out.

One of my pet hates is when I go to a place and I feel like I am being interviewed; 
“What do you do for a living?” or “Have you got a girlfriend or boyfriend?”, when I all I want is my manicure and head out. The first thing I used to train people to do when I was a hairdresser was to “Not ask personal questions as you make the treatment about you, instead take your lead from the client.”

To be honest, I had my fill of going places and being asked questions that are just not relevant, and I was looking for someone that was low key and professional. When you enter Minx, they are only interested in your treatment. The first thing that hits you is how gentle and in harmony all the staff are. You would actually have to ask to find out who the actual owner is, rather than they're  being a domineering personality. fronting the place. Meanwhile, conversation is not forced on you. Also, for once I can honestly say that all the staff are equally skilled, so you won’t be disappointed if your usual person is not available.

Minx never advertises and has no social media presence, and they also do not offer discount packages or have gimmicks. Additionally, I have never been offered a coffee or tea, although there is a nice place opposite to grab one before if you feel the need that. They are booked out all the time through word of mouth and an expert first-class work and customer service that has everyone coming back.

Minx was opened by Iranian born Narsin Aghaty in 2003. She is a keen businesswoman with over 9 years’ experience in customer service and in the beauty field. She works with her sister, Paris, who has a degree in nutrition and is a qualified beautician who worked as a customer service trainer for several of the big high street stores.

Many of the lady’s clients followed them to Minx, and word spread around the neighbourhood, with Paris telling me that “My sister felt that our work ethic and skills would bring people through the door, and once they came it would grow from there.”

They must be doing something right, since when their longest member of staff of 15 years left to do a degree course and she was in tears.

“We take our staff on for a six-week trial, during this time we teach them our brand of customer service and techniques, so we all work to the same standard. After the six weeks, we ask the other staff how they feel about us taking that person on. It is a family and we rarely have anyone leave and we want this feeling to be conveyed to our clients when they walk in.”

Now, Minx is not cheap, but once you have entered the doors you really don’t want to go anywhere else. 

Address: 9 Stratford Road, Kensington, London, W8 6RF
Open  Closes 7PM

Phone: 020 7937 8844

Next week best aesthetics Doctor. Ioannis Liakas 

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