Permanent Make Up Artist Renata Brown launched her beauty career in Crystal Palace. She talks to the South Londoner about the rise of the eyelash perm, taking her grandson to see the dinosaurs at Crystal Palace Park, and rollerblading in Beckenham Place Park
“I’ve lived in South London since I came over to the UK in 1998. I left my home country of Poland in 1995 to go to New York. I came to London in 1998 with a family whom I nannied for. I lived in Battersea for a short while, then moved to Crystal Palace and, from 2016, I have lived in Beckenham, which is lovely.
After the birth of my youngest daughter in 2001, I trained to be a beauty therapist and I opened my very own Salon in Crystal Palace, on the Triangle, in 2008. I was immensely proud of the salon and the reputation it built over the years as one of the best in the South East of London. However, the pandemic affected the beauty business massively and I decided to leave in 2021 to set up on my own again. My speciality as a beauty therapist had always been lashes but I had also been looking at permanent make-up for some time and started training a few years ago. The pandemic seemed a good opportunity for me to reset and start something new, hence specialising in permanent make-up and lashes. I still offer many of the other traditional beauty services but lashes, eyebrows, eyeliners and lips are the new techniques every client wants to know about. Social media like Facebook and Instagram are an ideal way to publicise my art and I also use it to tell people about me, what I enjoy and what makes my life happy.
Lash lift is a perm for natural lashes. It curls your lashes from base to tip so they look longer. Also the lashes are tinted so you will not need mascara! The result lasts 4-6 weeks but you will need to keep them nourished and conditioned. This treatment is for clients with straight lashes; it gives a natural look. The treatment takes one hour.
Lash extensions are semi permanent synthetic lashes which are applied to your existing natural lashes with special glue. These lashes give you a more full look, adding thickness, length and curl. They involve more maintenance; you will need to come every 3-4 weeks for infill, which is a top-up but if done just for a special occasion they can last up to 6 weeks. I tailor lashes to make them look natural. They look so much better than false stick-on lashes; they always enhance the eyes. I use Lash Perfect products, where I was trained fourteen years ago. They are quality lashes and give the best look. The initial treatment will take around ninety minutes with an infill taking a varied time depending on how long ago the lashes were put on.
Brow Lamination is a professional treatment that re-aligns brow hairs into a new shape. This popular treatment straightens and smooths the hair giving the appearance of naturally fuller brows. These are suitable for any client with each treatment being tailored to individual needs especially those with fine brows or with gaps in their brow shape. The treatment involves tinting with tweeze and wax and takes around 45 minutes.
Microblading, Ombre Brows, Lip Blush and Permanent Eyeliner are all essentially semi permanent make-up. They involve various techniques but are essentially tattooing. Brows etc are designed and drawn initially on the client so they can see the shape etc. Colours are chosen to match existing or perhaps darken the brows. For Lips and Eyeliners, again these are all tailored to individual needs; if you want your lips the same as your favourite lipstick that can be done. Treatment times vary depending on what you have chosen but likely to be a few hours with a top up after six weeks. I often get asked to remove or correct poorly applied semi permanent make-up that clients have had done by other therapists. Patch testing is an important part of many of these treatments and must be done 48 hours before to ensure clients have no adverse reactions.
I have a fun and bubbly personality and according to my clients I make them laugh too! The personal relationship I have with the majority of my clients is very important to me and, I think, to them as well. Seeing my clients happy after a visit and how they feel about their treatments, and making them all feel beautiful makes my working days happy. I just love making my clients feel good about themselves. Some of the comments I get and the reviews I have had make me glow with pride.
I still love going back to Crystal Palace. The pubs are great, especially the White Hart, which has great sentimental value as I met my partner there and my youngest daughter often plays guitar on the open mic nights with some of the Palace’s regular faces in the music world. We love going back to Urban Orient and A Torres for food and obviously Andrea’s Comfort and Joy on Church Road is always a favourite. Nearer to home now in Beckenham, we love a drink with friends in the Alexandra in Penge or the Chancery in Beckenham. Food wise we really are spoilt for choice – we have Hisar which is a favourite Turkish restaurant near the war memorial, there is also Ardec the new Lebanese restaurant in the High Street and my go-to cafe is Deli Nene on the High Street. In Penge, which is a short walk for us, is Friends of Flavours.
Spending many years in Crystal Palace, I was a big fan of South of the River for clothes and gifts and the Blackbird cafe for bread, cakes and coffee. Also the Polish deli Piast is still a favourite. It’s great that there is a South of the River in Beckenham. We have Villagers Sausages here as well – being Polish this is a favourite and also Waitrose!
This part of South London is blessed with open spaces. Crystal Palace Park, as always, is a lovely place to visit. I took my children there and now my lovely grandson; he loves the dinosaurs. We also have Kelsey Park with the lakes and wildlife and nearer to home Beckenham Place Park with the mansion, its courtyard with pizzas, a cafe, the bars and the markets that are held there. I love to exercise; there is the lake for swimming and it is great to walk around, cycle or my new sport: roller blading!
What makes someone a South Londoner?
That’s a difficult one for me being Polish, however London is a cosmopolitan city and I have always felt very welcome and I am proud to call it home.
What are you most excited about for 2022?
On a personal basis I am looking forward to some sort of normality with the pandemic being behind us (hopefully) and an expanding client base for my art. On a bigger scale I hope that peace returns to Ukraine. The people there have suffered massively and my home town in Poland is very close to their border, so I keep them in my thoughts.
For more information visit: www.renatabeauty.uk
Facebook: Renata Beauty