What it takes to succeed in Israeli lucrative beauty industry

4 out of 10 girls I met at the ulpan for olim hadashim in Haifa made their way to Israeli beauty business within the first year after moving here. All these women, mainly from CIS countries, had a different professional history before coming to live in Israel. Among them, there were accountants, lawyers, psychologists, and teachers.

I kept thinking what is so special about being a nail master or a hairdresser or a face therapist? Is this because there are state-funded courses for manicurists, hairdressers, and nail specialists, which were highly advertised among ulpan students? Or is it an easy way to make money?

Most of my ulpan friends, who went to work for local salons or took the course, thought it was easy to enter the beauty industry with small Hebrew and without serious training compared to medical services, accounting, and teaching, that need the language and local schooling. Plus, many chose this field as an alternative to low-paid jobs like cashiers, factory workers or nannies, that many immigrants end up doing because of limited Hebrew.

Yes, from outside it seems that beauty related jobs could be an easy way to get and make money, however, if you talk to successful professionals, who have earned a name and a reputation locally, things are not always easy. Like in any job, where you want to succeed, it takes time, experience and dedication.

First of all, it is not so easy to build clients base in a new country. You need to be excellent in your profession, so clients return to you, says my ulpan friend Olesya Tkachenko, owner of LeGrand Beauty Salon. Olesya Tkachenko, a graduate of medical college back in Russia, had been in the face care for more than 15 years, including running her beauty center in St. Petersburgh.

“So far in Israel, you can start beauty care services without a recognized license unless you have a medical background and professional beauty care experience from your home country. There is no official regulating institution. Of course, if you use injections you need to have a medical license. For massage, face cleaning and nail therapy, there is no need for certification. However, it is preferable you do some locally recognized courses for beauty specialist which take time and investment. For example, my clients need professional skin renewing pealing made by a local Israeli company. So the company who sells the product will not sell it to me without training since pealing can damage skin if not used without due knowledge about side effects, its ingredients, skin reaction, etc.”, says Olesya.

Tanya Koval, the professional clothes designer in the past, came to the beauty industry because she wanted a career change and to be flexible enough to have time for her family. For her, a nail salon is a place, where she comes to express her artistic talents. And you can see it by the “artwork” she creates on her clients’ nails. I never thought a nail could be such a complicated matter with paintings, stones, and the touch of a genius.

“I love painting from childhood. I used to paint on paper, fabric, wood and now I paint on women nails. It is enjoyable for my clients and me. I like my new profession because it is a place, where you can always learn something new. Today, the beauty industry is so advanced, so you get new products almost every year. Before we offered acryl to our clients, now most are using different types of gel that last longer and less damaging on the nails. It is not only about components and materials you use for gel nails, for example, but also fashion trends. In a sense, we work on the edge of fashion and medical care. Did you know that there are different styles for nail design – Chinese painting or Geometry?” asks Tanya.

Tanya has been studying all these techniques and tricks for half a year to get her first job at Manicure.co.il, a  beauty center in the Nesher. “My other experienced colleague is in the nail salon has been in the industry more than nine years, and she still keeps growing. She attends international exhibitions, design courses to be up to date in the profession. She also teaches other new people like me, who are just starting”, says Tanya.

Another young woman, who is building a strong clientele for her skills and friendly vibes is Natali Kopaeva, owner of the home-based studio for brow-design “Gabot Mushlamot”.

Natali Kopaeva and her client.

“As a young lady, I always loved doing makeup, taking care of skin. I started learning all about the beauty industry in addition to my business studies at the university in Moscow. When I was studying and working in the office with a lot of stress due to deadlines, I kept thinking – I can start something new once I move to Israel. Moving to the Holy Land gave me power and hope that I can bring changes in the beauty industry. I started my business with the concept to teach women how to find perfect shape and color of brows to reach desired natural beauty look. I believe that hard-working – pays you back. That’s why I never stop improving and finding what is new in this industry.”

Natali Kopaeva

Natali is also working on creating a special product that will help her clients, who want to grow natural brows. “In order to help women who are suffering due to that “little” problem –  lack of hair on brow area, I created new “Oil essence”. It is working as growth activator for the hair follicle. I call it aroma-brushing because all you need to do is gently brush your eyebrows with “Oil essence”, says Natali.

There are strong going beauty masters, who already created successful beauty business locally and now looking at the international market. Among them – Julia Shabbatt, founder, and owner of the beauty house  “Maiko”.

Julia Shabbat

Maiko masters pamper clients with different aromatic feet creams, oils for nails, gentle scrubs and rich butter for hands, all developed by the company itself. I came to spoil myself with the pedicure and end up buying exotic shampoo made of camel milk, that makes my hair silky and healthy looking like no other product I tried from famous Israeli and non-Israeli brands.

Beauty Party at Maiko Salon

“Maiko as a company started in 2015. From the start, I decided that my beauty stations for nails, massage, and skin care will use unique and high-quality products developed by me in cooperation with professionals in the cosmetic industry. This is what makes my business stand out from others.”

Maiko self developed products

All of the products used by Maiko centers and sold to their clients are all made in the North of Israel. The company plans to start selling its products all over the country and abroad. Maiko’s main target is to sell not only beauty services but quality Israeli-made skin, nail and hair care products of natural ingredients. Julia recently returned from the international Cosmoprof beauty expo in Hong-Kong, where she presented Maiko’s beauty products to an international audience for the first time. The company got positive reviews and interested from potential wholesale buyers after the presentation in China.

Julia Shabatt at Cosmoprof expo in Hong Kong, November 2018.

Dorit Malka came to beauty business 20 years ago. Six years ago she started her own luxury beauty salon Do Cosmetics in Mercaz Carmel in Haifa. Dorit is working with renowned Israeli cosmetic brand developed by Hava Zingboim.

Dorit Malka at work.

“In the past, I was an accountant and decided to make a career change. In addition to being cosmetician, I am also a certified coach. I think beauty can also be a state of mind. I help my clients to be beautiful inside and outside. The most important in my job is to keep learning and introduce innovative treatments and solutions for skin care”, says Dorit.

Dorit Malka and Hava Zingboim

The beauty industry is complicated and challenging like any profession. Yes, there are those who start the profession fast and end the same way – quickly. After all, anything that has to do with the human body, its skin, hair, and appearance, does require time to learn, due expertise, training, and talent. If you want to entrust your hair, nails, and skin to good professionals, look at the following criteria:

1. Trustworthy, organic recommendations from clients, who tried the beauty services personally.

2. The professionalism and friendliness of the stuff. How do they treat clients from the first connection on the phone or at the reception? It is all about positive vibes and energy, after all.

3. Interior and general aesthetics of the place. Is it beautiful and clean inside and out?

4. The quality of the cosmetic products used for beauty procedures.

These are the recommended beauty businesses in Haifa, whose professionals were interviewed for this post. All of them have multilingual personnel, who speak English, Russian and Hebrew.

  • Maiko Beauty House 

Website: maiko.co.il

Telephone: 077-7876007

Services: face care, reflexology, manicure, waxing, pedicure, cosmetic shop.

What clients say:

“Amazing treatment! It was great and a crazy experience! The place was full of balloons and gave us a cake. Great service! Beautiful girls, funny and professional! We enjoyed ourselves very much and will return with certainly. Noya Hayek”. 

“Even though we had some miscommunication with the appointment time/location and payment issues, they still made sure to fit our pedicures in and didn’t rush them or make us feel bad at all despite all the problems. We even got jasmine tea and a cookie, they went above and beyond even though I was a difficult customer today!”

Addresses:  Ben Gurion Ave, 6 City Center Mall, Haifa. 134 Hanassi St., the Auditorium, Haifa.

  • Do Cosmetics 

Facebook: facebook.com/Docosmetics/

Telephone: 050-691-0032

Address: Raul Wallenberg, 9 Haifa.

Services: skincare, hair removal with laser, cosmetic shop.

What clients say:

“Dorit is a true professional. She always gives you a feeling that you are wanted and special client.”

“Hava Zingboim Cosmetics is the most upscale and progressive cosmetics”

  • Manicureco.il 

Website: manicure.co.il

Telephone: 048242488

Services and products: manicure, pedicure, brow and lashes coloring, training the beauty personnel.

What clients say:

“A pleasant place, high standard, clean and aesthetic. Professional girls. I always come out with perfect nails and fashionable color”

“Love, recommend them all to a professional place, a pleasant atmosphere and a variety of treatments in one place”

Address: Via Bar Yehuda 48, Nesher.

  • Natali’s Brow and Lashes 

Facebook page: facebook.com/Gabotmushlamot/
Telephone: 0542560464

Services and products: brow and lashes coloring, tattooing.

What clients say:

I highly highly recommend Natali! She has been doing my eyebrows for the past year and she does an incredible job. She’s so skilled and professional and just wonderful to chat with during your session!”

“Professional, with patience and adaptable even to a hard to please customer like me. Natali did a wonderful job, I spent years to choose the proper place for my eyebrow and the only thing that I have not met Natali before.”

 

 

 

 

About the Author
Nadia Katzir is a young woman from Russia - Siberia, who came to live in Israel and loves it. As someone, who chose to be in Israel not as a returning jew, she cannot count on the extended family network, the institutional help of absorption or Jewish agencies. Nadia makes her way based on the social connections found mainly through her networking and social media. She writes about people, who create art, communities, opportunities and her life in Israel at Haifisha.com, a website for social events updates and community life for English speakers in Haifa. In the past, Nadia worked in different international cooperation, education and NGO promoting projects in Russia, including the only news agency for social subjects in Russia - Agency for Social Information.
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