Women in Beauty Interviews: Marlene Paulson


#WomensEqualityDay is on Friday! 

In honour of Women's Equality Day, we've interviewed some amazing women in our industry who inspire us, and hopefully you, to make the most of being in the world of beauty.  
Read our first interview with Marlene Paulsen of Lash Perfect Norway and Calma Beauty AS


Marlene Paulsen is a beauty salon owner and expert beauty therapist based in Modum, Norway. She is also a Lash Perfect distributor and offers our training courses to trainees in Norway!

She is married, and has two children along with a cat and a dog. Marlene is no stranger to being incredibly busy - she is hands on in her career and in her personal life, and in this interview speaks about how she handles it all while keeping her successful businesses going and her family happy. 

Marlene Paulsen of Lash Perfect Norway and Calma BeautyMarlene Paulsen of Lash Perfect Norway and Calma Beauty

Tell us about your business!

I started up my business in 2011. At first I only offered makeup, and then I started with nails and lashes in 2013 after my first daughter was born. At this point I worked all alone.

I opened a larger beauty salon in 2016 - Calma Beauty. Then I took on several beauty therapists who now work with me. This was a huge success and we are still going strong today!

When I opened Calma Beauty, I started with brows, self tan, tooth whitening, waxing and skincare in addition to lashes and nails. 


How did you get into the beauty industry?

This is a funny story! At first I was in the Norwegian army. In the army we learned first aid and we had to set up first aid training using fake blood, etc. I had so much fun doing this and then decided to learn special effect makeup professionally. When my year in the army was finished, I started at the leading makeup artist school in Oslo. And I have been in the beauty industry ever since! I have learned so much on the way.

I took training courses in lashes and loved it! This is the treatment I have built my business around. My clients love it as well and became regular clients because I offered lashes.


What do you feel was the most challenging element of starting your own business? 

I felt alone with a lot of questions for a start especially, however, today you can find facebook and online groups to chat to women in similar situations, so I hope it's easier in a way now.

It was also difficult to know what prices to charge. I think many salons and businesses rate themselves too low in the initial phase, but trust your skills and what they deserve!

There was also a lot to find out in a short time in general, with regulations and things like that, but I like challenges so I haven't been daunted. There is lots of information online to help you along the way, and brands like Lash Perfect also have excellent guidance for you.


What are your hopes for the business in the next 5 years? 

I hope we can have the same success as today. The beauty industry is constantly developing and there is a lot happening to keep up with - that is fun, it keeps things interesting with new treatments and techniques popping up all the time.

I hope Calma Beauty can have a couple more employees come on board as part of our team, and that we can continue to have fun together at work.

We have recently launched our own app and I hope we can become even better at online sales.

I also want Lash Perfect and Hi Brow to grow bigger in Norway. These are fantastic brands and products that I want everyone to experience working with. I have used these products since I started in the industry - using them and working with Lash Perfect has definitely contributed to where I am today.

Lash Perfect Norway - Calma Beauty Treatment PicturesLash Perfect Norway - Calma Beauty Treatment Pictures

What advice would you give to women who are thinking about starting their own businesses within beauty? 

Ask about other people's experiences - whether asking them on online forums, in person or reading about them on blogs like Lash Perfect's.

You should also take thorough, accredited courses in the treatments you want to offer. It is wise to first start with 1 or 2 treatments and specialize in these before expanding the menu further. Become an expert!

Another thing I'd say is don't be afraid to ask others for advice! We women must be better at helping each other.

Last thing, learn about social media. These will be your most important channels. A short course in marketing can also be useful to understand your options and how best to market yourself and your business.


Inclusivity and diversity have also come under the spotlight within the beauty industry, but it’s still not the standard. What do you think needs to be done for the industry to be completely inclusive? 

I think that every salon has a responsibility to look at the customer in general, and adapt so that they can cater for everyone. For the salon, that could mean anything from adapting treatment procedures to suit different hair types, to offering products suitable for all, to ensuring you are welcoming to everyone.


How do you manage being a businesswoman with your home life? 

During the holidays, there is little time with the children and my husband, but otherwise I think things are going quite well! It's hectic, but that's the way I like it. If you choose to run a large salon, there is more responsibility and more work, but it is very rewarding. If you choose to operate as a smaller therapist, you may have more flexibility. What's great about being a beauty tech is that you can adapt this profession to whatever suits you.


What would you say is your proudest moment or event in your professional life? 

It must be when I opened Calma Beauty, and when we were awarded prizes in the Norwegian championships in the past years. We have won awards in skincare, eyelash extensions and brows! I like to see us grow as a team and that we all benefit from each other at work - it makes me proud. Hard work pays off!

Calma Beauty TeamCalma Beauty Team

Check out Marlene on Instagram: