Bio Sculpture Canada’s Healthy Nail Products

A Conversation with CEO Erica Nieuwenhuis

Doing nails is a tough job since technicians not only have to be patient and creative, but they also have endured exposure to different kinds of chemicals for hours. Understanding these challenges, Bio Sculpture strives to create premium and healthy nail products for consumers and technicians. Founded by Elmien Scholtz in South Africa 30 years ago, today Bio Sculpture can be found in 31 countries including Canada, Australia, Japan and the United States.

Bio Sculpture Canada’s team is led by CEO Erica Nieuwenhuis. As a life-long learner, Erica earned her PhD in Molecular Medicine from the University of Toronto, and completed a Marketing Strategy Program at Cornell University. However, the fashion and beauty industry were always where her heart was. She was a model in high school and in 1996 trained as a Bio Sculpture nail technician while also studying medicine at the University of the Free State in South Africa. In 1997, Erica and her parents, who founded Bio Sculpture Canada, moved to Canada from South Africa and settled in Burlington. With her talent and strong will to learn, she rose through the ranks and became the CEO of Bio Sculpture Canada in 2017. When asked about her choice of career she explained, “I love every aspect of my job.”

In a recent conversation with Culture Magazin, Erica discussed how Bio Sculpture Canada came to be.

Last year, Bio Sculpture celebrated its 30th anniversary. What has contributed to its longevity? What distinguishes Bio Sculpture products from other nail brands?

Erica Nieuwenhuis, Bio Sculpture Canada’s CEO
Erica Nieuwenhuis, Bio Sculpture Canada’s CEO.
Photo by: Andrea Kellaway

Bio Sculpture has remained true to its core principles. The company’s mission statement is to provide safe, premium nail care systems and services that exceed required world-class standards.  Our focus has always been healthy nail care, but it is not just lip service. Bio Sculpture invests a great deal of resources into research and development and providing scientific evidence to back up claims.

We continue to provide cosmetics manufactured using safe and non-toxic ingredients that are in compliance with EU, FDA and Health Canada cosmetic regulations. Bio Sculpture is an internationally accredited company, certified for ISO (Quality Management Standards) an CGMP (Cosmetic Good Manufacturing Practice). Moreover, our products are cruelty-free and never tested on animals. We manufacture products with social responsibility and environmental awareness, using recyclable packaging and environmentally friendly production.

How does it compare to other, cheaper brands? What are the effects of using lower quality nail products?

Unfortunately, there are many nail products in the Canadian market that are unreported, unsafe and untested. Low quality nail products are cheaper because rather than using cosmetic, pharmaceutical or medical grade ingredients, industrial grade ingredients are used. These contain a high percentage of contaminants and impurities and are associated with a higher chance of developing product allergies. Contact sensitivity/contact dermatitis has the potential to end a nail technician’s career.

How can consumers and technicians applying nail products stay healthy and safe?

Photo by: Heather Gilmour

Focus on buying nail products from reputable manufacturers that have invested in manufacturing safe products. Nail technicians spend many hours per day exposed to volatile solvents, chemicals and dust particles. Understand difficulties and challenges that the nail technicians have to deal with while doing the job, Bio Sculpture offers safe alternatives to an industry plagued with health problems. Our products are registered with Health Canada’s Cosmetic Notification program – it means that they are in full compliance with respect to safe ingredient formulations as well as transparent and accurate product labels and material safety data sheets as outlined by Health Canada.

Nails are presented on many runways and have become indispensable elements in the beauty/fashion field. How do they elevate your appearance?

Nails are like the frosting on a cake. It is absolutely necessary for a polished look. Nail treatments can be viewed as an extension of someone’s mood and personality. It can be fun, elaborate, outrageous, or understated, elegant, sophisticated. It is a relatively small commitment – if you did not absolutely LOVE that bright orange you selected at the salon, it can be easily removed and exchanged for a different look.

What are some nail trends (colours, designs, and techniques) for 2019? 

Special effects, textured finishes and 3D nail art are emerging trends for 2019 and Bio Sculpture will be launching a variety of products aimed at taking creativity to the next level.

Longer nails are back in style and we continue to develop new products that lengthen and strengthen nails using a healthy approach. Bio Sculpture is unique in acknowledging that there is no “one size fits all” approach and takes into consideration that there are many different nail types (dry, brittle, peeling, flaking, flexible, solid) just as there are many different skin and hair types. Bio Sculpture offers a level of customization that is unmatched in the industry – Bio Sculpture applications are superior because in essence every set is customized for the client’s nail type and lifestyle.

We see continued demand for high quality natural nail care products and Bio Sculpture just launched ETHOS Natural Nail Care and GEMINI Nourishing Nail Polish. ETHOS consists of eight products aimed at improving the condition of the nail using a combination of key natural ingredients. GEMINI contains hardening plant extract agents derived from Aloe Vera, Lemon and Ginseng. It is fast drying, long lasting and will add strength to the nail and will be available in dazzling number of colours. ETHOS and GEMINI can be used in the salon or at home, with cured Bio Sculpture or Evo treatments, or with regular polish manicures and pedicures.

What should young women remember if they want to be successful?

You have to do what you love, and love what you do. Identify what makes you happy, set goals, work hard, play hard, but most importantly take excellent care of yourself. Dedicate a few minutes each day to do something that makes you happy. These words by Herman Cain are so true: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt

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