Real Bride – Lucy and Keith 28th March 2015

I get to work with some of the most wonderful people, and it’s lovely when I am able to keep in touch with clients, whether they are regulars for beauty, or whether they are past brides of mine where we … Continue reading

The Business Side of Beauty

Now what I am about to say here is something that I whole heartedly disagree with, but what I am sorry to say is a stereotype out there.

Being a trained beauty therapist/makeup artist/hair stylist = you are stupid and not academic.

This is something that I have come up against a few times in the last few years since having my career change and entering the beauty industry.  People instantly assume that you aren’t intelligent.  

It doesn’t annoy me, but it did open my eyes to how people are put into categories based on their occupation. 

And I know it is not uncommon for many of my peers to have the same or similar background to me.  There are lots of us in the industry on our second career paths, there are also lots of us that enjoy learning, as the beauty trade isn’t just about filing someone’s nails or putting on some lip gloss, we constantly have to learn, be up to date with standards.  And what is most important to point out is that some of us..

Are Self Employed and run our own businesses.

And with that comes endless amounts of paperwork, compliance, health and safety, employment law, accounting, marketing…the list is endless.  

So here is an insight in to the business side of beauty, it’s a fantastic industry to be a part of and I hope this will help existing and up and coming therapists when looking to start their own business, and also people to understand that it’s not just a 9-5 job, but that work never really stops!


Therapists need to under go initial training to become qualified in the treatments they offer.  But it doesn’t end there, regular training in the form of CPD (continuing professional development) needs to be undertaken each year to ensure that you meet the industry standards, and to make sure that you stay ahead of the game, and are able to offer new trends, treatments and services to your customers.

Stock Taking 

The same as any retail or service business, therapists need to make sure that they have good stock management, so that they aren’t caught short when a last minute customer books in for a treatment that you may not carry out often.  With this stock management comes the fact that records need to be kept of shelf life of products, when they are opened, when they need to be thrown away etc etc.  When you offer quite a wide range of treatments, this is not easy to keep ahead of.

Health and Safety

This covers day to day health and safety when treating clients, such as disinfection, sanitisation of tools used, using disposables where required, personal hygiene.  This also covered risk assessments, fire, first aid, COSHH (storage of hazardous substances), disposal of certain products (human waste, sharps), carrying heavy goods. Procedures and guidelines need to be in place for everyone who is actively involved in the business to make sure that insurance remains valid, and so that the risk of infection is minimalised.  In the boot of my car I carry a full first aid kit, plus a fire extinguisher and fire blanket! I also make sure that any electrical equipment that I use is PAT tested each year to ensure its safety.

Record Keeping

This subject is vast, as it relates to keeping and storing client consultation records relevant and up to date, as well as diary management. Small businesses also have to be registered with the Information Commission if they hold customer data to ensure that they are adhering to the terms of the Data Proctection Act.

Book Keeping

I am lucky enough to have my Dad on board to help me with my book keeping, as this is a full time job in itself.  Keeping track of sales, purchases, wages, subscriptions, tax, national insurance and VAT if you are a big enough business is a minefield.  Both my Dad and I having come from financial services backgrounds are fortunate that we can do this ourselves without the help of an accountant.  If I didn’t have a finance background, then an accountant would be the first thing on my list as this has to be done right.

Social Media

Updating Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, Pinterest, Vimeo, you tube, periscope, tumblr…… Who knew that the world could change so rapidly and that social media is now the go to place for any services. Not only is social media a great way to reach out to new clients, it’s also a fantastic tool to showcase your work.

Getting your name out there, looking for local newsletters, papers, business directories to list your business.  Another big part of this is search engine optimisation, making sure that you rank highly among search engines such as Google when people search for keywords relating to your services.  Again, I do all of this myself but many hire someone of a technical mind to help with this side of the business as again, this can become a full time job.


The design and print of logos, brochures, business cards, leaflets, etc etc which need to be continually ordered and updated to show existing and potential clients what your business has to offer.

Website Management

Making sure this is kept up to date, adding images to your portfolio, changing it from time to time to keep it fresh looking for your clients.  



A strange one, and one I didn’t realise when I started how much I would be doing! I have to do at least 2 loads of washing a day, laundering towels etc so that they add fresh as a daisy for my customers.


Returning telephone calls, voicemails, text messages, whatsapp messages, Facebook messages and sifting through the 153427 e mails that we receive every single week to ditch the spam and reply to any enquiries.  This takes up a lot of time, and something that frustrates my partner Steve immensely, as every night I am sitting in front of the tele glued to my iPad getting back to everyone.  I never switch off, and have even been known to get back to customers at midnight.  But this is the age that we are in, with technology we have access to everyone at our finger tips!


Making sure that you are insured to carry out the services that you offer, and that it remains valid.  Also insurance for yourself, what would happen if you had an accident and were unable to work?
And there is probably more that I have forgotten!

To sum it up, the beauty industry is one of the many occupations out there that on the face of it may seem like a girl carrying around nail varnish and a hairdryer, but as you can see it is much more than meets the eye.

Not just a one trick pony 

So as you may be aware bridal makeup and hair is my area of expertise and accounts for 99% of my makeup bookings year on year.  I am however a trained makeup artist, not just a bridal stylist and can … Continue reading

10 Beauty goodies that I can’t live without…

So, being in the beauty industry I am surrounded by products, and am often told that I should have shares in Boots due to the obscene amount of goodies that I have.  Having said that, these are the things that … Continue reading

Flame Beauty Blog RELAUNCH

Because I have recognised that I have seriously neglected all of my loyal Flame Beauty followers, by being the worst blogger ever on this planet, I have taken the decision to blog on a more regular basis bringing you topical information about the beauty industry, my life, my brides, hair and makeup tips, or whatever else I feel like writing about!

So please, don’t unfollow, stay tuned and watch this space! 

Popular Bridal Hairstyles 2015

I always have blogging on my to do list and I always forget to do it! So I am going to keep it short and sweet….

Here are a selection of the most popular bridal hairstyles I am being asked to create for brides this year.  All work contained in these images is by me ūüôā




There is a real mix between soft styling and structured up do’s with soft styling in the lead…

The half up / half down hair style remains the champion this year, coupled with a simple down do, glamorous and yet very understated.

Curls pinned up are leaning towards soft, wispy and romantic with the messy look being favoured above sleek barrel curls.  Braiding and twists are still very popular incorporated mainly in to these messy styles giving a boho slant.

Hair is pretty and still leaning towards a vintage vibe, shown in the example of the hair rose above.

The French pleat never dates and is personally my all time favourite.  Add to it some beautiful hair combs and slides and you are on to a winner in my eyes!

I’m back!

Yes, I know I must be potentially the worst blogger ever…..but it’s been busy over here at Flame Beauty so I thought I would give you a brief roundup of what we have had our teeth in to so far in 2014


And lots of them! So far this year we have 64 booked and deposits paid, that’s more than one a week! And I have loved every minute of it, here’s a quick selection of some of our gorgeous brides






We have been running various workshops this year alongside Follies who run a face and body art academy in Kent and London. The three day makeup course covers day to evening, bridal and avant garde makeup looks, so there really is something for everyone. Or why not come along for a taster evening with a group of girlfriends?


Following our success at being shortlisted for the Kent Wedding Award in Wedding Beauty in 2013, this year came the pleasure of being shortlisted to the FINAL 5 in the UK (that includes Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland in case you didn’t know….) as Makeup Artist of the Year in the BABTAC Awards 2014. This meant a drive to Gloucester to trade test back in May. Although we didn’t win first place, I am still honoured and proud to have made it to the final 5! Here’s my before and after image entry



We have once again been collaborating with local photographers and suppliers to create some magic, here are some of the images that we have made this year. The first shoot shows professional images, the remainder behind the scenes taken by me as the professional images are awaiting release. Hair and makeup by moi (Flame Beauty)





And if that’s not enough, there’s our day to day beauty therapy clients that we service in the comfort of their own home with a wide range of treatments, all of which can be found here with associated prices ūüôā

AND we have made our team larger by bringing Hannah Taylor, freelance makeup artist on board to work weddings and special occasions, welcome Hannah!

So I think you will agree that we have an excuse for not blogging, but as we celebrate our second birthday and look back over the journey so far, it’s down to you lovely people that we are where we are today. So I aim to keep you up to speed more often, and I hope that you forgive me!

Until next time…

Hayley xx

Here Comes the Bride Part 2

So I continue my roundup of some of the lovely weddings that I had the pleasure of styling in the second half of 2013.¬† Here is a round up of July-October.¬† You can catch my earlier blog post with the first half of the year here Here comes the bride…..


Debbie and Simon got ready at The Bromley Court Hotel for their July 2013 wedding.¬† I had the pleasure of doing both Debbie and her mum Jackie’s makeup using Airbase.¬† Hair was styled by Cheryl at I Do Bridal Hair and Makeup.





Kay chose for me to do makeup for herself, her mum and two of her bridesmaids at her wedding in Wallington, Surrey on August Bank Holiday weekend.  It was a beautiful day, so lovely in fact that I was able to do the ladies makeup outside on the balcony catching some rays!  All makeup was applied using traditional foundations.


In September it was off to the Isle of Sheppey to The Ferry House Inn for Gemma’s wedding where I did the hair and makeup for both Gemma and her mum Sandra.¬† I love this venue, totally cut off from anyone in the middle of nowhere!


October bought about three very different weddings.  Firstly Lianne had her celebration at Islington Town Hall in London and we did hair and makeup for the bride and 4 bridesmaids plus 2 flower girls!  all makeup using Airbase.





Nicola opted for a more laid back and individual look for her wedding day, asking me to style her hair as if she had just got out of bed!  She teemed this with a beautiful beaded dress and Jenny Packham accessories.  Makeup and Hair by me.


Finally, I had the opportunity to work with the following suppliers on a styled bridal shoot ‘Ballet Bride’ at the stunning St Clere Estate in Kemsing, Kent.

St Clere Estate
AphroditeNet Photography (Bexley, Kent)
The Vintage Floral Design Co.
Vintage Rose Cupcakes

Here is just one of the images from that day.


And what a highlight in November!  I was very lucky to have been shortlisted as one of four finalists for the 2013 Kent Wedding Awards in the Wedding Beauty category.  I attended a black tie evening on 14th November at the Mecure Great Danes Hotel in Maidstone.  Although I did not win this time, I am just so chuffed that my work was recognised for this fantastic award, and I can now use this logo with pride!ImageWhat an amazing year!  So far I have 38 weddings booked for 2014 so I look forward to reporting on these beautiful brides once the season gets in to full swing in the next couple of weeks!

What’s in my daily makeup bag….

I have decided to share with you my daily makeup routine and show you what is in my makeup bag.  These essentials go everywhere with me and are those that I use to create a natural daytime look.


2013-10-05 07.03.26 I start with Illamasqua Hydra Veil Primer.  This makes a fantastic base for makeup, it is a hydrating gel which soaks in to the skin and makes makeup last all day long.


I have just returned from a holiday in Spain so I have a nice natural tan.  I am avoiding the use of foundation at the moment because of this so am using a tinted moisturiser, my favourite being You Rebel by Benefit.  I apply this all over my skin and ensure it will well blended.


I use three concealors as part of my daily routine.  The first being Light Yellow by Lush, which is a light weight cream product which can be applied with fingertips or a brush and layered to create the desired effect.  I use this on pimples and areas of discoloration.  The second product that I use is Erase Paste by Benefit, which is a thick creamy product which can be blended under eyes to hide dark circles.  I also use this around my nose to hide shadows.  The third and final concealor is Lemon Aid by Benefit, which I apply lightly to my eyelids as an eyeshadow base, and also to lighten my naturally dark eyelids.


Next I apply a cream blush product, and my favourite at the moment is Bourjois in shade 02.  This blends beautifully and is long lasting.


I next apply Bobbi Brown Loose Powder to set my base, and then use NARS powder blush in Orgasm over the apples of my cheeks and under my cheek bones.  I then apply MAC Pigment in Vanilla to my cheekbones as a highlighter, and anywhere else I wish to highlight.  Lastly, I apply Bobbi Brown bronzer in Aruba to sculpt my features.


I use a variety of different eyeshadow palettes¬†for my daily look but one of my favourites¬†is the NARS¬†trio in Delphines.¬† This contains a shimmer¬†light pink, matte dove¬†grey and matte khaki green shade which are all wearable¬†individually or blended together.¬† I don’t usually wear eyeliner day to day¬†so I just apply mascara.¬† My new favourite is the brand new Avon mascara which is like a small capsule, you remove the wand which is sideways in terms of position, and this coats every lash in one sweep.¬† I love this product, and I wear this in black.


Lastly for my lips I line them in a lip liner, usually a retractable one as I find these easier to manage.  The one about is Nude by Avon and I find this to be long lasting.  I then apply Chanel lip gloss in shade 166 which is a shimmer peach/coral shade.


These products do sometimes take me through to evening with a sweep of black eye liner, some false lashes and a brighter lipstick!



Here comes the bride….

Well how the hell did we get to August? The speed at which this year is passing is faster than the recent lightening we have had here in sunny Kent, but with August brings lots of weddings, and in turn lots of gorgeous brides and bridesmaids!

I just wanted to share with you some images from some of 2013 brides so far, and some before and after trial images.

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This is lovely bridesmaid Lisa from wedding 5th January 2013. Lisa is used to wearing her hair up but I managed to persuade her to have a change and wear it down. Hair by Flame Beauty.

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Gorgeous March bride Laura chose Flame Beauty for her makeup using Airbase, and was daring and went for a smoky eye which suited her perfectly. Brow threading and lash extensions also by Flame Beauty.

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Mirka decided on an intimate family wedding in March this year and asked Flame Beauty to do her hair and makeup for her using Airbase.

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When Amy booked her spring wedding for the last weekend in March, I bet the last thing on her mind was us having the heaviest March snow on record! Made for a great picture though ūüôā Makeup using Airbase by Flame Beauty.

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Jill is a bride with a twist. In fact, she married in 2012 but wanted to do a Rock the Frock shoot and Flame Beauty were lucky enough to be selected to do the hair and makeup for it. Shot on location in a Maidstone woodland, I think you will agree that Jill definitely rocks this look.

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Sarah and her bridesmaids asked Flame Beauty to style their hair for her big day in May at Bickley Manor.

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Eyewear blogger Sui-Yin married at one of my favourite venues, Sundridge Manor on May Bank Holiday this year and opted for Airbase makeup for her bridal party. Makeup by Flame Beauty.

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Carolyn chose the beautiful Beacon House, Tankerton Beach for her wedding in June which allowed her to have a fitting Vintage theme, just look at that veil! Hair and Makeup by Flame Beauty.

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Rachel invited Flame Beauty to Chelmsford for her wedding in June and we applied Airbase to her, her mum and bridesmaids. This is Rachel’s before and after image. Makeup by Flame Beauty.

2013-07-05 11.38.36Beth flew in to the UK from Australia to attend her son’s wedding at Rowhill Grange and asked Flame Beauty to do her mother of the groom styling. Hair and Makeup by Flame Beauty.

Aren’t they a bunch of beauties? I love my job and love working with a wide range of people from all over the world. Weddings are one of my favourite things to do, as you are part of their incredibly special day and it really is an honour and a privilege to be asked to do the styling.

I will blog about my remaining 2013 in the winter!

Keep enjoying the sunshine xxx