The Comeback Kid
Over the Summer, I went to dinner with three of my Aesthetician friends to celebrate a birthday at the restaurant Cafeteria. It felt great being in New York City, outside people watching, since just a few weeks prior the streets were desolate and apocalyptic-feeling. It’s not everyday you drive down the Westside highway with not one single car in either direction. It was at the end of July, when the city was starting to come back...a little. Collectively, between the four of us, there was 90+ years of aesthetic experience sitting around the table. It was during the “no facials allowed” period of the pandemic so it was the perfect time to share stories, new technologies, brands and talk about the future of aesthetics. My former motto was “nothing could ever take away the human touch.” For 21 years, I believed our profession was untouchable (no pun intended). For 6 months, I was proven incorrect, but we are entering a new dawn of facial care and it forced me to learn about new modalities, techniques and alternate ways of communicating with clients.
As we sat there with a bag of mixed emotions- anxiety, frustration, melancholy, but overwhelmingly, hope and excitement to get back to the treatment room. We covered topics like Netflix’s new show “Skin Decision”, restructuring enzymes, and the best technologies that combine holistic and clinical care that keeps skin looking youthful and fresh. Would facials take on a whole new meaning post Covid? Would they include mental health and wellness to go with our extractions and high frequency machines? We are not psychologists but often we end up playing the role. As we scrambled to make sense of it all, we came up with some exciting new revelations.
First, I’d love to share with you my unique situation. My friends were all active and established licensed Aestheticians in Manhattan when Covid hit. I wasn’t. I pivoted my career in 2015 to launch the Indie Beauty Expo. I gave up my spa Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa, my clients and my skincare line for the indie beauty movement. I traveled all over the world to build an ecosystem for indie beauty entrepreneurs. I felt justified in leaving my beloved craft. I had bigger tasks at hand for the greater good of thousands of beauty entrepreneurs.
When I launched the Indie Beauty Media Group, closing my spa, transferring my clients and shutting down my skincare line was the right thing to do. One morning, I was sitting at the Joule Hotel in Dallas having breakfast with the corporate beauty buyer from Neiman Marcus in 2016. She started asking me about my skincare line. I immediately changed the subject. How could I sit there and represent an entire community and use that moment for self promotion? It wasn’t right. It was unethical. I don’t regret my decision, but I was forced to close that part of my career because I had to. Luckily, during our IBE events with Neiman Marcus I was able to do some treatments that I customized with indie brands like CircCell and 8th Day. I was sort of back in the treatment room. It felt amazing.
After 5 years, I decided that I wanted to get back into the treatment room. Simply, I missed the deep connection I had to my clients. IBE was established enough that I could do that. At the end of 2019, I was prepping for my comeback in between planning for IBE London and LA. I built this website to highlight my facial and mentoring services. I contacted some of my most beloved clients to gauge their interest and sure enough, I had 10 clients booked for a weekend at the end of March 2020. Needless to say, that comeback was delayed until September 2020!
Over the course of the initial 3 months of lock down, we all had time to pause, self reflect and dive into things we might not have had time for in the past. At first, I was disappointed with the industry I devoted my entire career to. I wasn’t finding anything new or exciting. I’m not into lasers so they were out of the question. But, then it happened. I discovered three game changing techniques/modalities that will change how I perform my services post Covid. The first is sound bowl vibrational massage. I met Jana Hess, the daughter of the founder, Peter Hess at several of the Indie Beauty Expos. His practice is Sound Self Care. Jana runs the family business and personally taught me how to incorporate sound bathing into my facials. This is particularly beneficial today because we are all feeling discombobulated due to the pandemic. It naturally and peacefully helps calm the mind putting it in alpha theta state of medication. It’s like waking up from a really good nap! The second technique I discovered also comes from Europe and is called Plasma Skin Tightening. This fairly new technique to the US has me very excited. Working with your own healing mechanics, a small pin size micro trauma is administered unto the surface of the skin in a sectional pattern on the face or body to activate its healing abilities that over the course of 3 months, fresh new baby skin aka collagen 1 is created revealing smoother, healthier, plumper skin. This works on acne scarring, wrinkles, fine lines and stretch marks as well. It helps to rebuild your skin in ways I have never seen before. The third is Skin Revision/Enzyme Therapy. Utilizing the beneficial effects of transfer-messenger enzymes, this treatment series strengthens the structural integrity of the skin to create a healthy environment for cells to live and thrive. Properly formulated, they can remove dead protein, toxins, and other effluvia from the epidermis using a process called ‘reverse osmosis.’
I find myself a walking contradiction when it comes to facial care. I love all the devices and tools that activate and enhance my holistic ethos. I believe there is room for all of it. Today, people have so many choices on how they want to approach their skincare and professional services. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Aesthetics world and I’m happy that not only has it welcomed me back, but I can be of service and bring a unique perspective to those who want my knowledge and expertise, especially from an indie beauty perspective.
My revelations are as follows:
- Stagnancy will get you nowhere- You have to stay relevant by constantly learning.
- Open your mind
- Find your light
- Combining holistic skin care with advanced technologies will give you the best results
- Partnering with a skin practitioner is not only good for your skin but also good for your mind.
- Take time to discover. Rabbit holes are good. So are FB Groups and Instagram.
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