This week, we had the privilege of sitting down with Lauren D, the brilliant mind driving our Skincare Department at Flawless Lashes & Skincare. From mentoring new team members to curating seasonal facial protocols, Lauren is the driving force behind our skincare excellence. Interviewed by Emily G. on Friday October 6.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in skincare?
I was working a dead-end job that I knew wasn’t going anywhere. I liked the job itself, but I wanted something with forward momentum. Esthi school was quick, affordable, and allowed me to quickly become self-sufficient. I also really enjoy skincare.
Q: Can you share some of your favorite skincare tips for our readers?
The importance of exfoliating! Several times per week. It’s going to help shed the dead surface layer of skin, revealing healthy skin, and also makes the products you’re using a lot more effective since they’re targeting healthy skin rather than just dead build-up. If you have mature skin and notice fine lines and wrinkles setting in, the dead skin is going to collect inside of those fine lines so exfoliating the skin frequently is going to help reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles.
Q: What's the most rewarding part of being a skincare coordinator at our salon?
Getting to share my passion with other people and getting them excited about using great skincare products, and getting to spend my days with my favorite people at work. :)
Q: How do you stay up-to-date with the latest skincare trends and techniques?
I am pretty frequently researching skincare companies and lines, researching ingredients that are in skincare products. I like to make sure we have a high quality product that’s healthy for you, easy to use, lots of nice benefits, so I’m frequently just on the internet researching a lot of different companies. I don’t go on Instagram all that often to see new techniques, but when I hear about something I research it a lot.
Q: Do you have a favorite skincare product or treatment that you recommend to clients?
There are so many products that we have, it’s hard to choose. I like a good dermaplaning. It’s immediately effective, you see results right away. You’re smooth. You can see it, you can feel it, it gives you multiple facets of immediate results.
Q: What skincare misconceptions would you like to debunk?
I guess I can go back to dermaplaning and how people state that their hair is going to grow back thicker than it used to be. I hear that one a lot. People are afraid of shaving off their hair because it might come back thicker and darker. I like to counter that by saying “the simple act of shaving isn’t changing your DNA.” [laughter] So there’s no way possible, like you’re shaving your legs and your hair isn’t coming back thicker and coarser than it used to be, it’s literally your DNA. I think that got generated in the first place is that when hair grows it’s very short, so it could potentially feel like it’s more stubble. Like if I have a shaved head it’ll feel different than touching hair because it hasn’t had a chance to grow out. So dermaplaning, waxing, things of that nature are not making your hair grow back any different than you were born with.
Q: Can you describe your typical day at the salon?
I get here nice and early so I have time to set up all of my equipment and get ready for my day, review my clients that are coming in for the day to refresh my memory as to who they are, what they’ve got going on in their lives, what recent vacation or life event they might have just had so I can check back in with them. Check their past history, see if they’ve purchased any skincare products so I can ask how it’s working for them, can I get them anything else they need while they’re in today. I take clients all day, so I greet my clients, we chit-chat, I really get to know most of them pretty well on a personal level. I provide their services, check them out…
Q: What services do you provide?
Air brush spray tans, lash extensions, lash lifts and tints, facial waxing, dermaplaning, and facials
Q: What are some common skincare issues you help clients address?
I think most of what we hear is “I don’t want to look old,” so that would refer to dullness and lackluster skin, fine lines and wrinkles starting to set in, the occasional acne concern… not too much with our clients, it’s mostly just the anti-aging that everybody is after right now. Which, actually, preventative care is your key there because it’s easier to prevent damage from occurring than it is to try to fix damage once it’s happened.
Q: How do you personalize skincare routines for different clients with varying needs?
We ask questions. We listen. We let the client tell us what they think their main issues are. Maybe they don’t know the right verbiage to use so they will describe some of their symptoms, some of what they’re experiencing, they say what they’d like to treat, and from there we target our facial and use products that are designated to treat that concern.
Q: Are there any exciting new skincare services or products our readers should know about?
Right now for the month of October we are running our Pumpkin Paws Facial. I put that one together as a fundraiser for The Rescue Inn dog rescue. I really like the facial itself, not only that it’s benefiting rescue dogs, but the facial itself is actually very nice. We use a really high quality exfoliating pumpkin mask treatment, you get a really nice and fall-appropriate hand and arm massage. We use lots of fall scented and fall themed products, and at the end your skin is very exfoliated, very soft, very glowy.
Q: What's the biggest skincare mistake people tend to make, and how can they avoid it?
Probably a couple different things. I’d say not using products, we talk to a lot of people that say, “oh I don’t really wash my face, I don’t really use anything on my skin,” so not using any products. Using the wrong products for your skin type that aren’t targeting the things you want to accomplish. And using too much product of the wrong kind of your skin type, causing further issues.
Q: How do you assess a client's skincare needs and create a customized plan for them?
We ask a lot of questions. We try to determine what exactly is bothering you about your skin or what you’d like to improve, whether that’s aging, acne, or just preventative care. We’re going to take into consideration what your goals are, any of your preexisting issues or concerns, allergies, irritations. We try to custom pick products that are going to work for your skin type specifically. And proper usage of those products. Repetitive use, consistency.
Q: Where do you think most people go wrong when they try something new?
I think people fall into the hype of popular skincare companies that they see online, or they’ll buy something on a whim hoping it works but they’re not really looking at the ingredients or the active ingredients, what it’s targeted for, if it’s good for your specific skin type. Just not doing enough research about products to know what to be using, which is why you can trust a licensed esthetician to provide you with good products because we know what we’re talking about.
Q: Can you share a success story where you made a significant difference in a client's skin health?
Just recently we did a dermaplaning for a client that had excessively dry skin. So we were able to completely exfoliate that surface layer of skin, which made a very noticeable and visible difference. We instructed her on some at home products that she could be using to avoid getting to that point of build up and keep her skin nice and hydrated and smooth without all that flaky, dead skin.
Q: Are there any DIY skincare treatments or home remedies you recommend for our readers?
I personally used a lot of natural-based skincare stuff, as well as the stuff we have in the salon. I make use of a lot of natural based oils at home. A lot of things in the commercial skincare you can break down into specific ingredients: rosehip oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, just more natural based ingredients that I throw into my own personal skincare routine.
Q: What's your favorite part of working at our salon, and how does it contribute to our clients' experience?
Emily. And she contributes greatly to the client experience.
Emily: Awww , thank you.
Q: Do you have any favorite skincare rituals or self-care practices that you follow?
Yeah, I’ve been making it a habit to do my gua sha stone every morning. I take a little bit of rosehip oil, put it on to give it a little bit of slip so it’s not dragging my skin, and I do my gua sha stone every morning. It makes me almost instantly look more awake because it gets the blood flowing in your skin, wakes you up a little bit in the morning, gives you a glow for the rest of the day. Long term use is gonna end up in skin tightening and facial sculpting.
Emily: It also really depuffs too, I don’t know if you saw that photo of Acadia, the before and after?
Emily: I’ll have to track it down, it was insane. Maybe I’ll add it to the email or something.
Lauren: But yeah, my normal routine is cleanse, treat with a serum, moisturize. Several times a week I exfoliate with an at home exfoliator. I do a lot of mask treatments. Once a week, twice a week, three times a week, who knows? Whenever I have a mask handy.
Q: Can you offer some tips for maintaining healthy skin in different seasons?
Sure! Skin type is gonna change a little bit throughout the seasons, so maybe you’re more dry in the winter time because there’s a lot of humidity in the air, or maybe you’re oily in summer because it is very hot and humid outside. So you can alter your skincare habits based on what season it is.
Q: What do you recommend for winter?
Lots of hydration and exfoliation, ‘cause you want to get off all that dry skin that you’re building up and you’ll want to rehydrate your skin. You don’t want to lose any of the TEWL, which is Trans-Epidermal Water Loss, you want to leave all that in your skin. So… hydration. Lots and lots of hydration.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in skincare?
Make sure that you’re passionate about it. I suggest with any job you’re doing you at least have a little bit of passion so that you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re good at what you’re doing, you get excited about it and that gets other people excited about it. Make sure you have proper education, and get ready to work your butt off. But it’s very fun working in skincare.
Q: What inspired you to create the Pumpkin Paws fundraiser?
Oh that was a fun one. ‘Cause I love all things pumpkin! I’m one of those girls that has pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin yogurt, like pumpkin all the way, so why wouldn’t I use something very fall appropriate for a skincare treatment? Also, it made it fun to partner up with a local charity and animal rescue to promote that facial. So overall just very fun to get to play with seasonal products and take advantage of things that are in season, skincare ingredient wise, like why not take advantage of what that season has to offer. In your pumpkin you have naturally occurring enzymes that are going to be very exfoliating, you have the beta-keratin, you’re gonna get a lot of naturally occurring skin-helping ingredients based on what the season has to offer, so why not have fun with it.
Q: What sort of things do you get up to outside the salon? Who is Lauren D outside of Flawless?
Who am I outside of work? Hm, I think there’s a lot of crossover. I love sparkles, I love glitter, I love… I love to go shopping at thrift stores for extravagant clothing such as glittery shoes or big poofy sleeves with pearls on them or furry things. I have two doggies at home, Maeve and Marigny, I love them. When I have free time and motivation I like to take antique furniture, sand it, strip it down, paint it, make it beautiful again, give it a new life. I try to keep active with volleyball and bowling, not very good at it but we won at bowling. And I’m engaged!
Q: What’s one thing you want people to know about skincare?
Not using products to prevent damage from happening. Once the damage is done, you can use products to treat it but that damage is done, it’s not going to erase it. The wrinkles are already there, the melanin and the freckles are already there. Every piece of damage that you’ve allowed to happen to your skin is permanent. The use of repetitive products at home can help with it and can help with the appearance of it, but it’s never going to actually get rid of them. It can just help the appearance of them. So the mistake that people make is not being kind to their skin. It is your largest organ, it is your most visible organ, and you really only get one. And as we age the rate that our skin rebuilds and breaks down significantly slows down after the age of just 25. So… you might have healed from scars easier as a kid, you might have bounced back right away, but your skin is losing collagen, so you really need to be taking preventive measures to make sure the damage doesn’t happen in the first place. Skincare products can be really helpful for that, you’re not only treating what’s already been done but you’re helping prevent further issues.
Q: Now, speaking of something specific like collagen, we used to have those collagen shots. Do supplements and things like that do anything to fix, or is it all going to be preventative?
I think things like that definitely help if you;re very religious with them, they have an effect. If you’re taking Omega 3 Fatty Acids they’re going to help the body’s natural collagen production. I think it has some effect. There’s not a perfect world where one thing works for everybody, but I think they definitely can be effective to a certain point. If you don’t change your entire diet, your entire lifestyle to be like Brittney [laughter], nothing’s going to work for you. If you treat yourself well and happy, it’ll show from the inside out.