“As if you were on fire from within, the moon lives in the lining of your skin.”
~Pablo Neruda ~
The Middle East has always been a traditional beauty care industry right from the time of Ancient Egyptians. Skincare and hair care by means of natural products, the use of henna design & elaborate eye make up had been widely used in North Africa, by both the royalty and the commoners. The Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra was famous for her milk & honey bath and the “Balm of Mecca” cream that rendered her skin flawless, and made her stunning looks, a historical legend.
A cultural emphasis on beauty care and products that enhance it, has thus been a part of the Middle East Woman’s search for flawless perfection and divine beautification. The modern age has only seen an augmentation and resurgence of this cultural trend with increase in youth population, better income and presence of a large variety of well known global brand availability.
According to latest market research reports by Luncintel, the global beauty care industry will hit $265 billion by 2017 while Euromonitor International estimates that the UAE market for skin care products to be worth a whopping Dhs 540.3 million by 2015.
Taking advantage of this growing demand in the beauty care markets, niche beauty salons & spas have gained much importance over the past several years in UAE. Emphasis on innovation in technology, products, hygiene & sterilization and personalized care have put leading players in the spotlight.
Sisters Beauty Lounge (SBL) is one such new age beauty salon that is a full concept beauty lounge incorporating all beauty needs under one roof. SBL opened its first outlet almost ten years ago and now it has 5 branches in UAE alone, and is one of the leading Beauty Salons in the region, offering an entire head to toe experience under one roof.
Tell us about the history of The Sisters Beauty Lounge? How did the journey begin?
After completing my bachelors in Management from Boston, I came back to work in the project management sector of Dubai Holdings to find my feet. During my two years there my mother Shirin, the ultimate Entrepreneur, saw a gap in the market and opened the first Sisters Beauty Lounge branch in Jumeirah. My mother, saw a major need nine years ago for a hygienic, modern and fashion-forward multi-concept beauty lounge. Armed with all my university information and work experience and the success of the first branch, I decided I would leave Dubai Holdings and open our flagship branch at The Dubai Mall, a much larger ultra-modern development based on my mother’s original concept.
How did your educational background in Business Management and Banking, help Sister’s Beauty Lounge in consolidating its expansion in the UAE?
Having spent my academic years in business management, I was ready and in tune to lead staff, negotiate, take risks and apply my learnings in carefully calculated decisions. For example, selecting locations is something we take very seriously and wait patiently for the best locations to open with excellent conditions for our customers such as elevators, access to parking convenience.
Sisters Beauty Lounge is known for its high standards of hygiene and sterilization protocol. Could you tell us more about this?
We are the benchmark of the beauty industry, we lead even the health departments who visit and learn with our new items. In terms of hygiene protocol, we take it very seriously and wherever possible we are disposable, for example super hygienic disposable mani/pedi gloves to avoid soaking the hands and nails in dishes openly and using too many different bottles of products, the gloves are fully packed with the nutrients our hands and nails need, as well as being hygienic and disposable. We also plan on going ‘green’ in the near future.
What are the core areas of expertise/USP at the lounge? What is the one most popular beauty treatment that your clients keep coming back for?
We developed the Eyelash Extensions services in the region by taking on the training and distribution of the number one brand from the UK called Lash Perfect. In this, individual eyelashes are very carefully placed on natural eyelashes . This I would say is one of our most popular services. It gives our client a completely natural look with thick curled long lashes. We have also trained many salons in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, India and Africa in this. We have very regular clients coming back to get their re-fills done to maintain the look.
What are the core areas of beauty care that are in demand among women in the Middle East?
Hair removal is very popular especially the revolutionary new hot wax we use, called Lycon. Eyebrow threading and hair services are also very much high in demand. Women in the Middle East take a lot of time and care to maintain themselves.
A dry arid desert climate with lots of Sun can be challenging for skincare for any woman residing in the region. What would your daily skin/hair care advise be for them?
It’s not just the dry climate but the water in UAE is also high in chlorine due to the desalination process. This leads to very dry hair and skin. We highly suggest packing the hair with the natural Keratin found in our hair with a process called Brazilian Blowout as well as using regular and daily moisturiser and SPF creams from excellent brands. We have also recently introduced a new highly-affordable water filter that can be placed on every shower to purify the water. Not to mention drinks lots of water!
The Sister’s Beauty Lounge has an exceptional decor, that is known to put its’ visitor in a state of complete calm. Tell us a bit about what inspired the theme?
We are into ‘new school’ when it comes to the design of our salons. Our secrets are well guarded and we would not divulge the many aspects of the design and layout. We try to create a very relaxed, calm environment for our clients as well as sterile, where they can relax and feel at home with a cup of coffee and magazine. As it was all women in the management of our family business (My Mother and us three sisters) it was very easy to envision a concept that we ourselves would want to visit, had it not been our own, and took it from there.
Your family business has diversified into other areas as well, like fashion and decor furniture as well. Could you tell us more about it?
One of our recent accomplishments has expanded into the children’s sector. We have newly opened a children’s concept above Sisters in the Dubai Mall called Caboodle – Pamper and Play. Caboodle is a fantastic area for children to get their haircut nicely while they are on an airplane chair; there are lots of activites in the play areas and a super cool café for parents to relax in. Mothers can also get their nails and hair done while the kids play! Everything is super organic and healthy for children. We also have a fashion boutique in The Village Mall called Candella which embodies all our tastes of East and West as we are Eastern women with modern tastes.
What is your vision for Sisters Beauty Lounge?
We have only just started! We hope to expand to male grooming very soon and take Sisters as a franchise to the rest of the world – with our first franchise opening soon in Kazakhstan, this is the start of many more to come. Once the children and male grooming concepts have been fully developed we hope to do the same with them as well.
Beauty business in the Middle East is on an all-time high. With more and more women spending thousands of dirhams on personal grooming and cosmetics, the beauty/cosmetic industry is a multi-million dollar industry in the region. As a beauty expert, what is your advice to women in general?
Not to get fooled with too many confusing treatments promising to change your life, and also to do your own research into the products and hygiene world and understand why a brand like Sisters has taken on certain treatments such as: a more expensive UK lash product, higher end hot wax from Australia, disposable gloves in mani/pedis and only use top products professionally, as well as retail. Cutting costs and choosing cheap treatments will show its effects in the long run and you will be doing a disservice to yourself. Challenge any beauty provider to show you proper paperwork and certification and make sure you are aware of what is being used on your hair and body.
Sisters Beauty Lounge, The Dubai Mall, +971 4 3398500