Esthetician Talk: Lexli interviews Lisa Clinkscale Porter

We’re back continuing our series of skin care expert interviews. Here, we profile leaders within the field of esthetics and chat with them about industry trends, top skin care recommendations, and advice for new estheticians. Whether you’re a professional in the field or a skin care enthusiast, we’re confident that these conversations hold valuable insights for everyone excited about skin care.

Lexli: First, congratulations on celebrating 25 years in business with Unique Face Options Corrective Skin Care Boutique.
Lisa Clinkscale Porter: Thank you! Unique Face Options is a family owned and operated business and we couldn’t be prouder of all we’ve been able to accomplish. My daughter Morgan is not only learning and studying to be an esthetician, but she is also my administrative support and the creator of the handmade body products we sell exclusively. My very artistically gifted son Jordan does all things public relations and advertising. It is an honor and a pleasure to do what I love with the people I love most – clients and family.


L: Tell us how you got your start in esthetics and what made you decide to open your own business?
LCP: I had really bad acne as a teenager, so I quickly learned how to apply makeup the way I saw the girls in magazines. Eventually, I was the person who did everyone’s makeup for all occasions and I just knew that one day I would earn a living doing makeup professionally. However, once I attended skin care school, I realized that I would rather correct skin issues than just cover them up. I became obsessed with corrective skin care and I wanted to learn everything I possibly could about it. Once I graduated from skin care school and passed the state exam, I was so excited about interviewing with what were considered to be the top spas and skin care facilities in Atlanta. And although I received offers from every place I interviewed, my excitement turned into disappointment with the reality of what was to be expected of me. To sum it up, working at any one of these places meant I would have to do a particular facial in a short amount of time regardless of what the client actually needed. I would also have to make sure each client made a purchase on every visit no matter what just to meet the sales quotas. Fortunately, that is what led me to the idea of opening my own business and doing things my way – what I felt was the right way: results-driven.

L: What challenges have you faced as an entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
LCP:
In 1996, when we first opened our doors in Decatur, our biggest challenge was introducing the concept of a facial to the community. There were not any other skin care businesses in the area, and it was definitely a challenge getting people to understand what a facial even was, much less ready to schedule. So, you know the saying – you know you really love what you do when you would be willing to do it for FREE. Well, that’s exactly what I did. I gave facial invitations to a few hairstylists in the area to give to their best clients and the rest is history. Word of mouth referrals are what continue to build our clientele to this day.

We have also survived other noteworthy challenges: two recessions and a pandemic. Fortunately, we have an amazing client base that appreciates and counts on our services, so we can always count on them to keep showing up – and referring others!

L: You have been featured in multiple publications, as well as national radio and television media over the years. We hear you also work with celebrities. That must be fantastic!
LCP:
Wow, yes! Every celebrity encounter is memorable because we’re always grateful they choose us to care for their skin, usually while in town working on a TV or film project. We have quite a few that are now regular customers and that is not only a huge compliment but also a testament to the remarkable results we are able to achieve.

L: What would you consider the most advanced non-invasive skincare treatments on the market?LCP: I love laser skin rejuvenation for tightening the skin and microdermabrasion for resurfacing the skin. These are two oldies, but goodies that always get the job done.

L: What is your anti-aging philosophy?
LCP:
I always tell my clients that it is easier to maintain healthy skin than it is to get it back and this is especially true for the eye and neck area. These two areas do not have oil glands, so they are always the first to show signs of aging. Applying eye and neck creams early and consistently is the best way to maintain a youthful appearance.

L: Is there a treatment or type of product that you feel works for every skin type?
LCP:
Product: Vitamin C (L-Ascorbic Acid) because it helps even out and softens the skin, along with anti-aging benefits, which is good for every skin type.

Treatment: Laser skin rejuvenation stimulates natural collagen production, which improves the skin’s elasticity. Everyone can benefit from firmer skin that is also soft and smooth.

L: What are the biggest misconceptions people have about getting facials?
LCP:
The biggest misconception is that you only need a facial if you have an issue with your skin. Another misconception is that facials are a luxury, not a necessity – so people think that they should be done only when you have extra money to spend and want to relax. A third misconception is that facials are only for celebrities and wealthy people. These are all misconceptions because facials can be very beneficial and affordable for anyone!

L: If someone were limited by budget, what is the one professional treatment you would recommend and why?
LCP:
I would recommend a deep pore cleansing facial. This is usually the most basic and least expensive facial in any skin care facility, spa, etc. and it does the one thing we all need: the removal of dirt, debris, and dead skin cells from the skin. This is the one treatment that regardless of skin type, everyone can benefit from on a monthly basis.

L: What is one piece of advice you would give new estheticians that they haven’t already heard?LCP: This is the one industry where the client is not always right! You will have clients who want to tell you what facial they think they need, and some may even bring products from home that they want you to use on them…absolutely NOT to both! Remember, they come to you because you’re the expert. We maintain our professionalism by listening to the clients’ concerns, analyzing their skin, and making the recommendation we think is best. As the skin care expert, we should have the very best professional products with the most effective ingredients available. Therefore, we do what we are paid to do; the most effective treatment using the most effective professional products.

Keep up with Lisa by following her on Twitter (@UniqFaceOptions), Instagram (@ufoskincare), Youtube (@uniquefaceoptionsinc) and Facebook (@uniquefaceoptionsinc). Also, check out her professional website at uniquefaceoptions.com.