Maxine McCarthy is an ultra-successful businesswoman – the self-proclaimed queen of aesthetics – spearheading Cosmetic Couture, one of the biggest injectables companies in the UK. She is the industry’s trailblazer, the “infant terrible” of aesthetics – but the woman hundreds of practitioners turn to for help and advice as she’s trained thousands of awesome students and many of the biggest names in the industry. Not bad, not bad at all!
Maxine has been stalked, defrauded, vilified in the media, and suffered horrendous online abuse. She’s faced down Piers Morgan on ‘This Morning’ and Jeremy Kyle on The Kyle Files. She’s even been front page news in the national papers for hosting cadaver dissection classes.

Watching videos of Maxine training in her boxing days you can see why she was an undefeated professional fighter and now her million-pound house with indoor swimming pool, professional gym, podcast room and giant gorilla sculpture on the roof of the garage where she keeps her Lamborghini – and we go from ‘not bad’ to “absolutely amazing”.

In-fact she is the industry’s trailblazer, the “infant terrible” of aesthetics – but the woman hundreds of practitioners turn to for help and advice as she’s trained thousands of awesome students and many of the biggest names in the industry.

Her training and help and advice videos are watched by tens of thousands where her onscreen confidence comes from years of TV appearances, from Eurosport the ring when boxing to the sofa at Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan.

Maxine, mum of 2, has trained literally thousands of people to inject Botox and dermal fillers and practice a wide range of other treatments through her highly successful business. She has also made a name for herself as a staunch supporter of non-healthcare professionals, vociferously fighting for their right to pursue their passion in the face of often withering attacks from the media and medical establishment – and lately serious online abuse.

Found The Balance, Energy & Happiness
Maxine’s life has been lived in the fast lane, with some pretty fast cars. She’s got a Lamborghini Urus now after owning a string of luxury vehicles including a McLaren, a convertible Bentley, a Ferrari and a luxury Jeep. Maxine loves luxury. Her home is simply stunning in black and gold, while her house and business in Cyprus are everyone’s dream sunshine island residence.

But behind the brass and bravado, Maxine is a shy and very personable woman, devoted to her children, her partner and her family.

This is just a short introduction to Maxine’s unique adventure in her own words in advance of the publication of her blockbuster life story coming in 2022. It’s an adventure where our hero is a working-class woman from Salford whose earliest memories are few and far between.

Her Early Life
She was born one sunny Saturday morning but sadly, her mum died when Maxine was just a teenager and that tragic death has spurred Maxine on to be a success at everything she has done.
She left school when she was 16 with 6 GCSE’s grade C or above and headed to Spain with her dad where her love of singing landed her on some the biggest stages on the Costas.

When she came back to the UK, she joined a girl band and played all across the north of England supporting chart topping acts at famous clubs.

And it was while she was in the band that Maxine got her first taste of the beauty industry – always ideas of stardom and success – glamour, beauty and TV. And a love of looking great herself.

She loves cosmetic surgery along with a love of fashion and looking cool – like she did in the band. But she has always wanted to work for herself – be utterly independent and not have to rely on others to make her way in the world.

Looking good was always important and so when she left the band (musical differences!!) she got into physical training thanks to sister and her husband.

Training led to competing because Maxine is ultra-competitive, and winning body-building competitions and from there Maxine went into owning bars.

But Maxine wanted more and was soon enrolling at University to study sports science. It was while at university Maxine started training at a boxing club – and discovered like most things she does – she excelled.

Indeed, she was so good that she was encouraged to turn professional, which she did – ending up unbeaten and struggling to find anyone else who dared get in the ring with her.

“Looking back boxing was the hardest days of my life but the best days of my life and gave me the skills required to make it big in the aesthetic industry, as it has been a fight from start to finish in this crazy world of aesthetics.”

A Head for Business
Her TV boxing debut had a TV audience of two million on Eurosport. And her ring walk was as extravagant and cool as any since, coming out to the song Maxine (Murder she wrote) by Chakka Demus and Pliers – hear it here

While she was training and boxing Maxine opened a gym called Probox Fitness in an old courtyard in Winton, Manchester where she managed to source funding set up her first charity – dedicated to help people get out of trouble and into fitness through boxing.

She also opened her first beauty salon.

This was pre-Kardashian, pre-Kylie Jenner.

And it all began with an advert on Gumtree for Botox and dermal filler courses for non-medics. They said it was for beauty therapists but Maxine explained that she’d just finished her second year at university and had done anatomy and physiology so they said yes, she could go on the course.

There were just three women on that very first course and they had to take their own models – and the tutor said Maxine was a natural.

The course was just three days long and the day after it ended Maxine had a full diary of appointments. This was all before the Cosmetic Couture brand was born.

Maxine was in the salon and on the road and building her cash bank and her brilliant reputation as the best in the business for about two years before she took the next step on her route to her aesthetic throne.

The Couture Empire
Once Cosmetic Couture was born success came quickly, but it was not without its hardship and battles. One of the keys to success is that Maxine has always known how important it is to have the backing of some official organisations while absolutely ploughing your own furrow.

And she has had a clear vision from the start about how to create a “pathway” into the profession. That vision is as clear today as it was then.

“I set the way for others to follow. My business plan is now used as a template for other businesses to work from.”

Her first major breakthrough was when she began to deliver VTCT beauty qualification level two and three then have people go on to study dermal fillers and Botox.

That opened the door to the pathway so students could train with Cosmetic Couture from the beginning – as literally thousands have over the past 10 or so years.

At around the same Maxine formed The Association Cosmetic Practitioners Britain (ACPB) as a not-for-profit organisation that has gone on to become the leading charity supporting non-medics in the industry with hundreds of members.

“I needed to create support and help for non-medics who entered a non-regulated industry and needed the support.”

She also formed key alliances in the insurance industry and also saw very early the power of social media and the internet in the beauty world.

It was Facebook. It was a website. It was word of mouth. It was a referral from the insurance company – business began to flourish. And then it went BOOM.

But all the time Maxine was fighting.

Maxine says the early days were worse than the Wild West and time was constantly taken up with fighting off people who reporting her left right and centre to this or that official organisation.

“I was brought into the industry not knowing the politics, the legislations, knowing very little and I learnt as I progressed in the industry that all wasn’t as it seemed. And that in itself has been a massive learning curve.”

She had regular visits from the council and other official bodies after tip-offs about this or that – all of which were false accusations.

But she fought hard – like she did in the ring, and that fighting spirit has seen her through. And she innovated.

She released her first training video in 2013 – before the Kylie Jenner inspired beauty boom – wearing red scrubs and sticking up for non-medics in the industry.

And she’s always had safety at the heart of her business.

She famously undertook a dissection course – yes to court controversy and get that adrenaline buzz from being in the news and under attack – but also to increase her knowledge of anatomy and physiology. To understand more about the face and its anatomy.

It was front page news – the headline in the Daily Mail ran:

“This course was blown out of context. It was mixtures of teachers, degree students and us who wanted to further their knowledge on anatomy and physiology. I regularly attend courses to further my knowledge, especially on A&P. But yes, this was blown out of proportion by the media as usual. This course was taught with the utmost respect and was very informative to all who attended.”

Maxine as an Example
Maxine also changed the business for the better when she fought for and won a battle with the insurance companies on hyaluronidase.

She believed at the time that not enough practitioners were being trained how to administer hyaluronidase. So, she created a specialist course with the blessing of insurance industry to help make training safer.

“It worried me that courses were being taught in half a day with very little explanation of what could go wrong. I was taught by medics in a couple of hours and they brushed off questions on complications and side effects – what you can and cannot do, if you could or could not reverse it. I am an overthinker and have a conscience and care about what could happen. Which lead me to develop complications courses and getting students to understand what can go wrong and how to deal with that. I myself am a cautious injector and won’t do any treatment that carries massive risk.”

During her career Maxine has been renowned for her innovations and creations. New styles, new techniques – and always with an eye on making money and staying ahead of the game.

A great example is the creation of the Nytox Vampire Facial – where Maxine created her own trademarked technique after training on an existing course and modifying and improving the techniques and adding some of her unique business acumen.

Vampire treatment is simple. Take the blood with a syringe. Separate it in a centrifuge. Inject it into the skin all over, superficially or deep. Kim Kardashian made it famous.

Maxine simply decided she needed to get her own unique way of doing this and make it more accessible – so she discovered that in America they were doing micro needling. She knew non-medics could do micro needling – and he presto, she could create a course called Nytox.

“I am always thinking ahead. With the Vampire Facial course, I created and trademarked my own using a dermal roller which minimised the risk and is now done by thousands in the UK.”

For Maxine it’s all about looking at something, analysing it and finding out how she can make it hers…or make it better or safer. Maxine considers herself to be a very cautious injector.

She won’t don’t do anything that she thinks she may not be able to do safely.

And she always thinks about how would she correct something if something went wrong? Who is there to help?

That’s why she went on the cadaver course. That’s why she created the hyaluronidase courses. That’s why she was the first to create adverse effects courses. That’s why she created ACPB.

That’s why she’s so successful and still leads the industry in training non-medics.

Maxine has innovated by attending a course or watching a new technique and then going away pulling it apart and looking to recreate it in a better way.

In her own words she says: “I’m always thinking that I need to create my own thing so I can keep the students and the practitioners and the clients under one roof. That’s why I created a pathway – that’s where the pathway word comes from.

“I created a domino effect – that unique pathway that everyone copies today – putting my own stamp on the industry and either love me or hate me everyone knows who I am. They either want to copy me or take me down.

“It’s the same with lips. I didn’t just want to do lips I want to create styles.

“I created trademark styles lips because I wanted my own styles. So, I trademarked them. And now to this day, everybody uses different names like the bow and arrow or the this and that and the other name – they all do it but it all stems from me. I was the first.

“Once I’ve created all these things people always start copying and they forget I did all the work and knocked the doors down with insurance companies to try and get the insurance for it and everything.
“And then people were training with me and then going off and doing Nytox but not using the name so it’s all about competition.

“I was the first person to train a celebrity as well. I got a lot of trouble for that. Chloe Goodman – it was all over the papers because I trained a celebrity.

“Chloe really wanted to train and that’s where the celebrity endorsement came from in 2016 that led me on to that new way of advertising – Instagram, and the whole social media explosion and the world of celebrity and glamour. So, I built a specialist media team.”

The Fight will continue
Maxine has been at the forefront of the aesthetic industry now for almost 10 years. But she believes she will never be recognised for the pioneering work she has achieved.

Again, in her own words: “I’ll never get the recognition. Deep down if it wasn’t for me, I don’t think the industry would be like this.

“Let’s have it straight. I started the whole industry really – the pathways into aesthetics. The people at the top know where it comes from.

“Little ‘Jenny’ who trained at a small hairdressing business, she doesn’t know how it all started.
“She just knows she trained – paid six grand for a course and she wants to open a new training academy.
“And that’s the business module that I created – a pathway covering first aid, covering complications, covering prescribers. I started with prescribers. Having clinical oversight – doing all that, that’s all come from me.

“But no, I don’t get recognition for it.

“But I have raised standards within the industry whether ‘they’ think it or not. I’m always going to get slagged off because I make money out of it. And because I don’t fit the norm of what someone in this industry should be like.

She may not fit the norm, but Maxine has built a hugely successful business empire around aesthetics that now includes a private medical clinic – Hope Medical – and a pharmacy called Maxsthetica International Limited.

She has also secured the UK distribution rights for her own brand dermal fillers called Secret Rose.
Cosmetic Couture now has two branches in the North of England and its first international operation has opened in Cyprus. All the while the ACPB is growing every month as it helps and supports others in the industry.

Maxine has come a long way from the bars and the boxing, but she’s still the same fighter, the same ultra-determined, single-minded woman hell-bent on growing the Cosmetic Couture empire.

Maxine says she’s been quiet for the last six months or so and has taken a step back to assess what the future holds and where the industry and the Couture empire is going.

But she says she’s coming roaring back in 2022 with even bigger and better things.

Whatever comes next it will be glamourous, cutting edge, innovative and successful – and likely to be making the headlines again.

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