Lesley Blair awarded MBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours List

BABTAC/CIBTAC CEO has been recognised as an outstanding ambassador for the beauty industry


By Lauren Heath-Jones

07 June 2022

Lesley Blair, CEO of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) and the Confederation of International Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (CIBTAC) has been awarded an MBE for services to the British beauty industry in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. 

Honoured for being an outstanding ambassador for the beauty sector, Blair has been working with CIBTAC for almost 27 years, and has led both CIBTAC and BABTAC as the CEO and chair since 2018. During her nearly 30-year career she has advocated for regulation, fit-for-purpose qualifications and responsible practices in the UK beauty industry. 

Throughout the pandemic, she served as a sectoral adviser for the government, providing invaluable industry insight and innovative solutions in the face of continued challenges, and was appointed to sit on the first recognised Sector Body for Personal Care Services within government on behalf of BABTAC. 

She also worked with the Scottish government and contributed to its First Minister’s decision to allocate £19 million to close-contact businesses affected by losses due to the Omicron variant. She also helped to distribute the funds to those most impacted, including self-employed individuals without premises. 

Blair continues to represent and advocate for the beauty industry at government level and has made regular news and radio appearances to share her expertise.

Millie Kendall OBE, CEO, British Beauty Council

"As an industry colleague, Lesley has been an impressive asset to the British beauty industry. She’s the most deserving of this honour.'

Millie Kendall OBE

CEO, British Beauty Council

Blair also sits on the Cosmetics Informed and Empowered Public Sub-Group, part of the Scottish government’s Interventions Expert Group, as well as the JCCP Register & Stakeholder Group and the JCCP Stakeholder Council Steering Group. She also contributes to the the Aesthetics APPG, the Hair & Cosmetology APPG, the Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery APPG and the Advisory Panel of The Safety in Beauty Campaign. A member of the HABIC Executive Council in Ireland, she is a Trustee for the Beauty Backed Trust, following a personal nomination from founder and skincare expert Caroline Hirons. 

“Since becoming CEO of BABTAC and CIBTAC, my main objective has been to ensure that our organisations lead by example and the beauty industry as a whole continually strives to raise the standard of education and professionalism while ensuring our sector is also recognised for the value it brings to our economy,” she said. 

“I’m so honoured to have been awarded by Her Majesty in this year’s Birthday Honours List for something I’m so passionate about. I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with others, both in and outside our industry, to highlight the full worth of our sector and the urgent need for further regulation and legislation together with standardisation of fit for purpose qualifications.

“Protecting the ethical, qualified, and professional salons and therapists in our sector with the ultimate objective of ensuring consumer safety and wellbeing remains my goal.” 

Commenting on Blair’s honour, Millie Kendall OBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council said: “I worked with Lesley throughout the Covid-19 crisis and as an industry colleague and fellow member of the government task force she has been an impressive asset to the British beauty industry. She’s the most deserving of this honour.” 

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