Lexli is back with its series of expert interviews. Here, we profile leaders within the esthetics industry and ask them for their take on trends, skin care recommendations, and advice for new estheticians. Whether you’re a professional in the field or a skin care enthusiast, this series holds something valuable for everyone excited about skin care.
Meet Brandy Watson.
Based in Chicago, Brandy is the founder and owner of Bare & Lush Co., a specialty spa with a focus on treating hyperpigmentation, anti-aging, and acne. As a licensed esthetician, Brandy prides herself on the results she helps her clients achieve.
Lexli: How did you get your start in the esthetics industry?
Brandy Watson: I had severe eczema while I was in high school and, after seeing a dermatologist, I was prescribed creams and steroids. After using them regularly, my skin became extra sensitive and took on a grayish tone. That experience instilled in me a concern for skin health. I eventually became a special occasion makeup artist and was accomplished at using makeup to cover the skin and give it a flawless appearance. Ultimately, I realized that I was passionate about improving the overall condition of the skin instead of just covering it up.
L: You’ve owned your business for four years now. What lesson has been the most important?
BW: I spent the first part of my career working at two small spas where I had the opportunity to learn a lot from the owners. They taught me the importance of ensuring top-quality customer service and ensuring that clients have a memorable experience. I’ve taken a lot from what I learned working for others and put it into practice working for myself.
L: What is the biggest hurdle you have faced as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome it?
BW: As an entrepreneur within the health/wellness/beauty industry, having a strong social media presence is vital. One of the biggest hurdles for me was coming from behind the camera and showing myself more in images. Putting myself out there helped give me the confidence to be a successful entrepreneur. Additionally, I have a tendency to worry about money. I’ve overcome that habit and instead have faith in my business and abilities. After changing my attitude, my whole business changed.
L: Given your years of seeing many different types of skin, what would you suggest is the key to beautiful skin? On a related note, what is your favorite skin care tip?
BW: While I don’t believe there is just one key to beautiful skin, I do feel that having a routine you implement consistently is very important. My favorite skin care tip is to double cleanse. Wash twice and follow with a toner.
L: From your vantage point, what are the most important innovations or trends in the esthetics industry today and why?
BW: I’ve long been a fan of incorporating serums into all skin care routines and the benefits of microneedling. Also, keeping skin care routines simple works best for most individuals, in my experience. You do not need lots of different products to achieve clear skin, especially when you are implementing a new routine for the first time.
L: What are your top home care tips to keep skin healthy and looking its best between appointments?
BW: Eighty percent of the success of a professional skin care plan is home care. Use what your specialist gives you. Following your routine for at least 30 days will show you what needs to be tweaked or changed.
L: If someone were limited by budget, what is the one professional treatment you would recommend?
BW: A basic facial can be extremely beneficial. The extractions and exfoliation incorporated into facials can have a big positive impact on the skin.
L: What is your top piece of advice to new estheticians?
BW: My advice for new estheticians is pretty simple but effective: work for someone else you admire and learn from them, continuously take classes to keep your skills on the cutting edge and read books on your niche.
L: What is your personal daily skin care routine?
BW: My personal routine includes double cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Of course, I’m also religious about applying SPF daily.
L: What is something about you that others would find exciting or surprising?
BW: A post-childbirth complication almost took my life. I was in the ICU for a week, but I lived through it and I believe I’m here for a purpose.
Learn more about Brandy and her services by visiting BareAndLushCo.com and following @Bareandlushco on Twitter and Instagram.