Expert Advice

If I could tell you exactly what is going to make a difference to your skin, would you like to know?

My name is Robyn Prinsep, I own and work at House of Beaute, here is my story and why my enthusiasm for Beauty Therapy and using the right skincare is so strong.

My goal/ mission statement when I started Beauty Therapy in 1987 was to help women make the right choices in a world of options. Fast forward to 2023 and it’s become a crowded market of product and treatment choices for the consumer- cosmeceuticals, organic, lifestyle brands, paramedical, ecommerce, influencers and the internet and more, all jostling for attention.
As Beauty Therapists we have a lot of knowledge and guidance to share, deciphering your skin type and helping to align product ingredients and textures to suit your skins needs, time available and skincare budget. This includes adapting your routine to match the season, age related changes and background stresses.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones who found my passion and niche early. The opportunity to combine hands on care with a love of ingredients. Genuinely help others and contribute to my clients wellbeing and knowledge about their skin and it‘s needs. I’ve turned all of the above into a 35year journey (and still counting) of enthusiasm and commitment for the Beauty Therapy industry.

I love the diversity and variety of my clients needs and treatment choices.

Most of my day is made up of skincare treatments. Fully qualified in all aspects of Beauty Therapy my original training from The National School of Aesthetics in Christchurch 1987/1988 dates from a time when the industry was all inclusive – we did it all, and at House of Beaute we still do.

My skincare treatments include: Observ skin analysis, Ultraceuticals skin treatments and peels, Facial Massage, Microdermabrasion, Celluma LED Light Therapy, Dermaplaning and Dermapen needling.
My body massage treatments include: Soothing Spa Ritual Swedish massages, Back massages and Hot Stone massage.
Beauty Essentials include: Eyelash and eyebrow tints, Eyelash Curling, Sunescape Spray Tanning, Waxing, Makeup sessions, occasionally Eyelash extensions, Electrolysis & red vein removal and nailcare.
It’s an extensive list but as I’ve grown up I’ve added to the list and evolved with it.

I was asked once by a Beauty Therapist and salon owner of 7yrs ‘how have you stayed interested for so long?’

I’ve continued learning so my knowledge of treatments and products is fresh

This has allowed me to add in what is relevant and choose what is really worth sharing – i.e what will help my clients.

My career started in Christchurch as a sole operator, I did alot of electrolysis which was fantastic as it addressed a very real problem for women affected by hormonal changes and inherited growth patterns. I still have original clients from this time ( just not for electrolysis anymore).

I was very fortunate to work in the Beauty Therapy industry in London & Hong Kong during the 1990s. In London for Estee Lauder as their head therapist. I had approached the company ( hand wrote a letter) and was offered a coveted position to open a small instore cabine in Harvey Nichols. A role that had me based in Harrods & Harvey Nichols. I chose Estee Lauder as a company because I admired their measurable product Research & Development and marketing. I chose Ultraceuticals for House of Beaute for similar R & D reasons, innovative ingredients and delivery methods plus a licensed sunscreen. During the 16years we have worked together Ultraceuticals has continued to evolve and will only release a product that answers a need, is effective, tested and measured.

Based in London with Estee Lauder company I received some excellent retail training, an insight into the benefits of a full consultation that directly related to better sales and took part in a sunscreen product planning session. I was completely confident telling the Estee Lauder product developers that their current SPF2, 4 & 6 were inadequate and not worth selling! I still ensure my clients daily SPF works for them the way that it should and I have another blog directly focused on choosing the right sunscreen.

During this time in London Aromatherapy came onto my radar, I had always liked the idea of natural products and therapies.

Michele Arcier had her clinic behind Harvey Nichols so I was influenced by both science and nature supporting each other. One of the original salon ranges I worked with at House of Beaute for 20years was Decleor, a beautiful aromatherapy and plant based French range. In 2005 House of Beaute was awarded New Zealand Decleor Salon of the Year. I stocked this alongside Ultraceuticals and would still have it today however a change of ownership saw Decleor withdraw from NZ and consolidate their distribution to France and England. This range and their superb treatment training contained some facial massage rituals that you will still experience in the salon today.

In Hong Kong ( when it was still under English governance) I was part of a new salon for the expatriate community and locals residents. Hong Kong already had 2000 salons but only one other for the international community. My international ITEC qualification was very well regarded in both cities and my people skills, good work ethic and professionalism well established.
This international experience was pivotal to my future and learning as it exposed me to many different nationalities and their skin types, peoples working environments and the climate influences of two super cities. Both were polluted at that time and Hong Kong extra hot and humid during the Summer. It further highlighted the damaging impact of our Southern hemisphere sun, I was seeing even more skins and all of them ( apart from the Australians) were much better than those I had cared for in NZ…
Hong Kong residents – local and international were beauty savvy, loved anything to do with body care, skin care and everything new. I worked Glycolic acid & mixed AHA peels, Vitamin C10, Microcurrent Facials in their early years, Ionothermie Faradic & Galvanic Body Wrap and G5, both for cellulite treatments and body toning. Many of these treatments were still evolving in NZ and form the basis of current products and procedures.

Just as exciting, Hong Kong and London exposed me to clients happy to purchase product, rebook and visit consistently. Clients who had grown up with Beauty Therapy treatments as a part of their culture, a non-negotiable part of their everyday existence.

Back in New Zealand

I came back to New Zealand convinced that everyone was ready to embrace regular skin & body care treatments, protect their skin from the sun and make the most of Beauty Therapy services and their potential.

Happily self-employed in Christchurch at House of Beaute for 28years, building my clientele and list of services! I only ever sell and recommend products that I love and that you will see and feel a difference from.

In 2004 I introduced Diamond (crystal free) Microdermabrasion and St Tropez spray tanning to my clients.

Thankfully early adopters and clients of all ages trusted me on this one! I really enjoyed sharing something so dramatically different with my clients and seeing fantastic results. Microdermabrasion super charged my facials and you can’t beat a great Spray Tan to make you look and feel fabulous. Both have continued to be client favourites.

I incorporate microdermabrasion into most of my facial treatments. Different attachments allow me to gently treat all skin types, comfortably refreshing, repairing and rejuvenating the skin. The skin is then very receptive to the products introduced via massage or sonophoresis. My clients love how smooth and alive their skin feels and they still receive a lovely hands-on experience with a facial massage to refresh the complexion, improve circulation and lymphatic flow, release muscle tension and a mask and hand massage ritual.

Spray Tanning was the perfect answer to my sun smart message, preparing clients for their holidays and special events with a natural all-over safe tan.

The 2010/2011 earthquakes created their own challenges and extreme sadness for our residents and the City lost. It’s a big story but I was able to continue with House of Beaute and provided a familiar place for clients in a world of despair and disruption. The 2020 & 2021 Pandemic a whole new shocking reason to be temporarily shut down and have ongoing business interruption.

I introduced LED Light therapy in 2013 to further enhance my clients skin results. I tested and measured this before introducing it to make sure everyone would get the promoted results. In 2021 I added a second LED Celluma. I believe this shows a pattern, when I have a little spare time I’m working on the business, looking forward and trying new things.
In 2015 I sat and passed the NZ Laser IPL and Laser Core Essentials course so that if I ever decided to introduce these modalities I would have the knowledge to make the right choice. I also upskilled and offered Dermapen needling for those clients who wanted to harness their own wound healing response and push the potential of their treatments with a skin therapist that they knew.

2015 was a busy year as I also introduced the Observ skin scanner to my clients.This proved to be a positive revelation for all of us.

Understanding your skin

Clients could finally see what I was seeing and truly understand why I kept talking about the importance of sunscreen, eyecare, exfoliating, having a microdermabrasion, LED light treatment or Dermapen needling.
The ability to capture the skin at a time and then compare back to it is very powerful.

We’re all ageing and changing but not quite so fast now, by including an Observ skin analysis my clients have been able to see with their follow up scans that they can easily achieve great results with the right homecare and supporting salon treatments.

It is important to know that your skin will respond at all ages and it really is never too late when caring for your skin.

Adapting and learning new treatments keeps me energised. One of the other background influences and evolving challenges has been keeping up with technology.

For 22years I have used Beautyware salon software and in 2022 swapped to cloud based software Timely, to help run my appointment book, online bookings, Gift Vouchers, SMS appointment reminders & marketing emails to keep in touch with clients, stock control etc. I can’t imagine ever being without these salon systems.
Similarly, the internet and all it has to offer. I have had a website for House of Beaute for 18years. This has been a fantastic way to share my style of working and showcase the variety of treatments and promotions we have available. This too has had a revamp in 2022. I usually have no shortage of things to share with clients just the time to create them.

I enjoy writing informative blogs and use Mailchimp for quick colourful client contact. The internet is the new “word of mouth”, so Google, Facebook and Instagram have made me get out there and self-promote.
Between Social Media, Salon KPIs, web analytics, Adwords results and Mailchimp all my marketing and tech interests are well ticked.

First impressions count

You know we have 30 seconds to make a first impression, well cared for skin and brows speak volumes. As a result the one treatment I encourage everyone to have regularly is an eyebrow shape and eyebrow tint if needed. An instant face lift for maturing clients and face defining for everyone.
The finishing touch a little makeup. A little bit of colour is great for everyone, brow colour defines the face, mascara enhances the eyes, lip colour adds a pop of extra focus, blush- just that, a pretty blush and foundation in all it’s forms from tinted to full coverage helps to even the complexion and protect the skin. One, two, three or more products. Our makeup lessons start with these first steps and build from there so you can feel comfortable wearing colour.

That’s my story so far. We’re all living history and it’s fun to share the journey.

I have positioned myself as an expert Beauty Therapist who can recommend a routine to suit your skin type, skin age and interest level. Using some technology to support this holistic approach to skin health with a detailed understanding of products ingredients and their actions. I am confident that with the right homecare products to support your salon visit fantastic results can be achieved.

The future of the Beauty Therapy industry is exciting.

The current focus on wellness and personal care fits well with the way Beauty Therapists have always worked, providing a quiet self-care space for you.

I can already see the results of a whole generation growing up using sunscreen and protective makeup.

I often hear ‘I don’t know what I would have looked like if I hadn’t cared for my skin’

Why wonder when you are your own lifetime experiment – embrace all that Beauty Therapy has to offer, draw on our knowledge and experience and use what will make a difference to your skin.

You’re in safe hands,

Thank you

Robyn Prinsep

Ultraceuticals Top 10 Skin Therapist 2023

Expert Beauty Therapist / Salon Owner
House of Beaute Merivale