Heading to a new salon and building up a relationship with a new beautician can be a nerve-wracking experience.
How do you know if you're getting what you've paid for? Is the person you're seeing going to make you look better or just make your wallet smaller? Should you trust them with close contact work?
These are questions most of us ask before getting our crucial beauty work done.
And the risks are clear - last week, eyelash technician Mina from south London went viral on TikTok for sharing the 'worst lashes she's seen' after her client had been sold semi-permanent extensions and was 'crying out in pain'.
And with a huge lack of regulation in the beauty industry cases like this a very common - so how to do you know when a beautician is well-regarded and when they're not up to scratch?
Speaking to FEMAIL three leading experts in the beauty industry revealed how to make sure you go to the right technicians...
Speaking to FEMAIL three leading experts in the beauty industry revealed how to make sure you go to the right technicians (stock image)
LOOK FOR PICTURES OF THEIR WORK AND DETAILS ABOUT THE TREATMENT
One of the most important things to look out for is pictures of the beauticians work, as well as making sure the technician asks you information to personalise your experience.
Skin specialist and beautician at Blush and Blow London, Abbi Ingram, told FEMAIL: 'A big red flag when it comes to booking a facial is when there is hardly any information on the treatment.
'You need to make sure you know what your booking and understand if its suitable for you and your skin type.
'Before and after images, information documents and free consultations are a great way to avoid bad treatments,' she added.
'This way you can see the beauticians work, get to know them as a therapist and also see how knowledgeable they are about the services they are offering.
Edy London, a London-based celebrity eyelash extension technician, who lists the likes of Trinny Woddall and Arabella Chi as he clients added: 'When the practitioner doesn't ask you about your daily make up routine it's a huge red flag.
One of the most important things to look out for is pictures of the beauticians work, as well as making sure the technician asks you information to personalise your experience. Stock image
Edy, who specialises in natural looking extensions went on: 'If you don' wear make up daily, lash extensions must look super natural otherwise they will overpower the rest of your face'.
As well as making sure they've got good pictures of their work, it's good to check what their treatments look like too.
'When they have very bad extensions themselves, its a pretty good indication what is the work will be like;' Edy added.
LOOK FOR CERTIFICATIONS AND INSURANCE
Lesley Blair, the chair and CEO of BABTAC (the British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology) added to FEMAIL that there's a lot of rogue beauticians out there due to a lack of regulation in the industry.
'Lack of legitimate proof of training and insurance is a big red flag,' she told FEMAIL.
'Although as the industry is unregulated this can be difficult as a certificate of training doesn't necessarily indicate fit for purpose training.
'Ask yourself, does the therapist display their training credentials and membership to credible governing bodies? Are they able to provide proof of being insured?
'Also with injectables in particular - make sure there is a legal prescribing practitioner on site to manage any complications.
BE WARY OF DEEP DISCOUNTS
While cheap offers might be tempting, you usually get what you pay for, Abbi added.
'If you notice a treatment is incredibly cheaper than other place you have researched or visited, you need to think why?
'We all love a discount but when something is extremely cheap be aware that it could be using damaging, toxic, cheap or incorrect products'.
'Do not be afraid to ask to see the therapist's credentials and if you aren't sure about what they show you check with a reputable industry body or awarding organisation – they may be able to help.
'As there is currently little to no regulation across all aspects of the industry unfortunately many beauticians don't have fit for purpose qualifications even when some of them believe they do.
'Obviously some treatments are higher risk than others so the more invasive advanced aesthetics and injectables in particular should be checked if possible but even a bad wax can cause severe damage.
'Dermal fillers can be particularly dangerous as not only do you not need a regulated qualification to administer them (even though the complications from the procedure can be dire and dangerous) but the actual fillers are not a prescribed medical device so anyone can buy them without medical oversight and the product itself isn't regulated either.
'BABTAC have been advocating and campaigning for more regulation for a long time, with some success, but there is still a long way to go and the rate at which treatments are advancing and becoming more invasive makes this even more critical than ever.
'This is precisely why we started the Make Beauty Safe Campaign last year and why we currently self-regulate our own members – we have pre-requisities in place stipulating what level of training/qualification is required to do each type of treatment. There are also a number of treatments we currently won't insure for safety reasons such as the dermal fillers.
LOOK OUT FOR GOOD REVIEWS
Many will rely on word of mouth for their best beauty recommendations - and checking out public reviews can be a key indicator.
'It's great to read positive testimonials about the treatment and/or therapists you are visiting. We often do this when buying products online, so why not with treatments,' Abbi said.
'Having the option for a online or one to one consultation with a beautician is so key when having facials this will give you the best insight to what is best suited for you and most skin specialist will provide you with a bespoke package.'
GO TO A SPECIALIST IN THEIR FIELD
'When a technician offers a wide selection of other treatments it's a red flag,' Edy added.
'Waxing legs and applying lash extensions couldn't be more different, with eyelashes only use technician that is known for her extension.
BE EXTRA WEARY WITH EYE TREATMENTS
Edy went on: 'In my 15 years of professional career as a make up artist and eyelash extension specialist, I have seen a massive change over the past decade in beauty industry.
'There has been so many treatments available on the market, some good, some bad.
'I first came into contact with lash extensions for the first time in 2008 when I did my training.
'Back then the they were only classics available using one by one technique which I am still practising and I am sure I will stick to it, as it is most natural looking technique and this is what I am known for, my natural looking results.
Many will rely on word of mouth for their best beauty recommendations - and checking out public reviews can be a key indicator. Pictured: Stock image
'Sticking to this technique and being true to myself I made my way to the top in the industry having to work in central London location looking after some A-listers.
'Of course there has been massive improvement in choice and quality if products which I am very excited about!
'When the eyelashes were introduced into the beauty industry, they were a real treat. They were very expensive because there was only a few places offering it, and majority of technicians would have preform the treatment properly as they were given proper training and months of practice.
Eyelash extension red flags
Edy said the biggest red flags for getting eyelash extensions are:
'Since then, of course there has been introduction of a volume lashes which I personally feel it absolutely killed the idea of beautiful natural looking lashes.
'You can see some real big bushy lashes that are very harmful to your natural lash, and it just doesn't look natural at all!
'I feel like now, there is so many places offering eyelash extensions, having absolutely no idea about eye shapes, a spray tan or waxing specialist or even a massage therapist offer extensions.
'Understanding face and eye shapes takes years of experience, and I would only go to someone who is a either professional make-up artist that has been working with faces for a long time or aesthetician who works with faces performing Botox as those people also know bone mas muscle structure in face.
'When eyelashes are done properly they can really enhance your features, but if they are not assessed properly to your features they can make you look older, or tired.
'The treatment I feel very unsettled about is eyebrow microblading'.
'Before you decide to go ahead with your treatment, please do your research as you may not will be able to go back to your natural brows, ever.
'Of course I have seen some beautiful micro-bladed eyebrows and when they are done properly they can look great.
'A professional should advise of long term consequences and commitment before getting them done, but there is so many amateur cowboys doing microblading as well.
'I know you can find some fantastic artists in London, as I said they can look very beautiful, but there is a lot of research you need to do before you go ahead and find your artist.
Celebrity make-up artist Edy, said that microblading and eyelash treatments are often done by 'cowboys'
DO YOUR RESEARCH ON ALL TREATMENTS
'Microblading is one of a very few beauty treatments you way not be able to fix.
'But the biggest question is, do they last as long as the practitioner tells you they or will you be committed to them for ever? And if you stop topping them up, are signing up for faded pink or blue brows disaster?
'During your microblading treatment the biggest elephant in the room is.... semi-permanent eyebrows are not what they say they are!
What is microblading?
Microblading is a technique in which a small handheld tool made of several tiny needles is used to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin.
It is used to create the illusion of fuller brows, and has recently become a popular alternative to cosmetic tattooing.
Microblading lasts anywhere between one and three years, so the end result is not permanent. The patient could be left with blue-coloured eyebrows if the ink is not correctly matched to the patient's skin tone.
'The wanted result is semi permanent but the faded shape most likely will be permanent and lasts for a much longer if not for lifetime!
'Most women I know who are still unhappy with the results two years later say "I was told they were only going to last six months".
Another thing some places won't tell you is that your brows will most likely be very dark and scabby for up to two weeks after treatment.
'I had many friends in tears after they have seen themselves in the mirror after microblading.
'Then they have to put up with the "what the hell has happened to you" from your boyfriend, and there is absolutely no way back to normal for a while.
'If you are going to get them done, please make sure you won't be attending a big event couple of days later.
'Think twice before you get eyebrows microbladed and make sure this is the right treatment for you! Do your research and go to reputable practitioner,
'Working closely with faces I have seen and spoken to so many women who are absolutely devastated with their choice and lack of knowledge before they went to treatment!
'Some brows shapes are totally unsuitable to their face, some are too close apart, some higher than your actual eyebrow. I have seen it all!
'But there is even bigger problem that bad shape, the brown eyebrows fade reddish pink and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it apart from keep topping them up with brown pigment. Faded brows will make your brows very unnatural.
'I have also seen black brows fading blue which is even more unnatural and looks very harsh on the face!
'I have been researching for my friends and clients possibilities of going back to the natural results without any success.
'I am going to be a very fashioned here and I genuinely think the only way forward is the old school threading and tinting technique.
'It shouldn't let you down and it always looks amazing and natural and classy. And if you don't like it? It's never a permanent thing.'