Meet the founder of Divine Makeup
You’re the Mother, Mentor and Entrepreneur, but before all of those amazing achievements, tell me about Emma Leighton?
It’s actually quite hard to separate myself from all of those roles because they make me who I am and influence the decisions I make in my life. Everything I do impacts upon those that are around me, be it my little boy, the young people that I mentor or my talented team at Divine Makeup. That said, I love to travel and recently got back from an amazing trip to Italy. I’m passionate about natural skincare and makeup, and me-time involves either yoga or Pilates- they really help to me to quiet my mind and relax.
You’ve made the beauty industry your oyster. What inspired you to take on the industry?
It was my interest in makeup and how it could transform both how you looked and how you felt. So after training as a makeup artist, I set up Divine Makeup. Over time and as I learnt more about the industry, my ethos developed and so did my skill-set. Today Divine Makeup offers much more than purely makeup and I will soon be launching two new beauty brands that tap into current industry trends.
Your amazing salon, Divine Makeup, caters to an enormous audience. What was the dream behind launching your own salon?
For me, it was about having autonomy and independence. It was also about creating a relaxing space for clients to experience the up to the minute treatments for which we are known. We will be unveiling a brand new look in the salon on Saturday 11th November and are working with a designer on creating a space in line with the principles of hygge. Hygge (or hoo-ga) is about sanctuary, community, warmth, belonging and celebrating the everyday. This is the feel we want for clients when they visit us.
How do you believe the evolution of tech will affect the beauty industry over the next 10 years?
Tech has already changed the beauty industry so much, which you can see in the treatments we offer at Divine. Customers want treatments now that deliver strong results, like celebrity favourite CACI facials which are said to be how everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Sarah Harding look so good without surgery. As a population we are living longer and without a doubt we will see more innovations like CACI that enable us to maintain that youthful appearance for longer.
Recharging every so often, especially as a parent and entrepreneur is important. How do you recharge when you’re feeling burnt out?
A good pampering session! Yoga and Pilates are great for my spirituality and helping me feel connected to what’s important but nothing beats a full on beauty ritual. I’ll lock myself away with my products, light some candles and emerge feeling like a whole new woman with everything from toes to brows groomed to perfection.
What is the number one question every entrepreneur should be asking themselves?
Do I have the passion for it? It has been a long journey to get to where I am today but what has sustained me is my passion for the beauty industry and for what I do. That will count for a lot as you work long into the night on new innovations for your business.
You’re also a business manager for Tropic Skincare – tell me a little bit more about this.
Tropic Skincare was started by Susan Ma following her appearance on The Apprentice in 2011, Lord Sugar liked the philosophy for this new natural and cruelty free skincare so much that he became a partner. One of my favourite products is the Smoothing Cleanser Complexion Purifier with bamboo cloth, it was a winner in the Beauty Shortlist Awards 2017 and is infused with eucalyptus, golden jojoba and avocado oils.
Most people buy beauty through recommendations from friends and Tropic is based on this social selling principle so people can experience the products themselves first hand. As a business manager, I provide advice and support for people wanting to run their own beauty businesses selling Tropic skincare.
As a mentor for Big Ideas Wales, you inspire and educate young people to go out there and live the dream. What would be your top 3 tips for young entrepreneurs who are focused on starting their own businesses?
The first would be to formalise your ideas, jotting down ideas initially into a document that will eventually become a formal business plan; you’ll need this to obtain financing. The second is to get feedback on your ideas, ideally from those that are already successful in the industry you would like to be in, they will often be able to point out areas or things you’ve overlooked. And the third is to have confidence in yourself and in your abilities, there’s only one person that can make it happen for you and that’s you!
What do you think sets Divine Makeup apart from other competitors?
When you visit Divine, it’s about the amazing makeup, lashes, brows, nails or whatever you’ve had done but more than that it’s about how we make you feel.
What habits do you think helped you to become successful?
I’m obsessive about the industry I’m in and am always reading up on what’s new in celebrity beauty, going to trade shows and updating my own skills. Having this level of involvement means I’m always poised to take the salon and my other businesses in the right direction. Having a plan is important, but you also have to be agile and ready to adapt to market and customer demands.
What plans do you have for Divine Makeup over the next 12 months?
I’m in the process of launching two really exciting new beauty brands, one is mink lashes and the second is a contouring system- both of which are huge trends at the moment. As for the salon, as well as the revamp we are introducing semi-permanent makeup which I think will be very popular with clients. It’s going to be a very busy 12 months!