December 2009

Lisa Kind - Editor

Esthetic Endeavors | by Judith Culp


Give Your Client a Moment of Bliss

Whether it is breakout, dehydration, sensitivities, accelerated aging, or other skin conditions, stress is a common trigger.

Stress affects us in ways we are only beginning to understand. All the irritations of daily life compounded with the effects of a sour economy couple to make a very stressed client and a very stressed skin.

We don’t sleep as well, we are tired, we are grumpy, anxious, nervous, irritable, have upset stomachs or digestive systems, headaches, body aches, we gain weight and this doesn’t even count the skin issues. We look in the mirror see the skin manifestations and the cycle of stress and reaction just gets worse.

As estheticians this is an area where we can really play Santa Claus and give our clients a major gift – relaxation, aka – moments of bliss.

Relaxing our clients for the limited time that we are with them give them an ongoing gift. The de-stressing we start can last for days. Their breathing slows, heart rate calms and the entire body can slip into moments of calm.

We can tell when it happens, see it happening as the tension starts to evaporate, the client sighs and zones. The health effects are ongoing but the post treatment effect is more glowing skin and a rejuvenated client.

What we can do is so simple it is often overlooked. For the holidays, which are notorious for increasing stress levels, instead of beating the skin up with peels, exfoliation and making more irritation, consider coaxing it to that island of blissful relaxation. Massage, aromatherapy, hydration, stone therapy, gem therapy, alternative therapies like Ayurveda and Reiki, floral elixirs and top it off with fun relaxing gifts they can get to share with family and friends.

Massage is a wonderful relaxation technique and stimulating to the circulatory system. This stimulation leads to purging and cleansing of the lymphatic system and prettier skin. It also is very relaxing which lowers blood pressure, stress levels and can often put the client to sleep. With a Bliss goal – this is a major plus and a win for our team. If you want to enhance your client’s bliss level, look for ways to add more soothing massage.

How about applying a conditioning lotion to the client’s hands while an enzyme is on the face? Or offer a bonus hand-arm treatment to start the service and let the client rest with warm mitties on during the facial. How about incorporating warm stones and extending the facial massage? While estheticians cannot do body massage, unless we hold the appropriate certification or license, we can incorporate warm stones tucked under the shoulders, hands and feet to enhance comfort and deep relaxation.

Gemstones are also great additives. There are numerous websites that have information on the use of gemstones over the chakras to promote bliss and healing. It is a fun easy thing to add that can give many blissful bonuses to clients. For quick results do a search on gemstones for chakras.

Brush up on your alternative therapies. Reiki is very relaxing and can be incorporated very easily into a facial treatment. Incorporate the gemstones on chakras for even more relaxation.

Ayurvedic treatments are also very relaxing as they follow a holistic approach to wellness. Shirodarah is one of the most relaxing treatments out there. This can also be done as an add-on to a facial treatment. This is an ayurvedic treatment that involves the streaming of warm oil over the third eye. The oil flows up over the top of the forehead, over the crown, through the hair and down prepared plastic into a catch basin. It should always be the last service offered and should be followed by offering the client an herbal beverage or water.

Makeup can be another blissful moment for clients and for the people on their gift list. Look for innovative packaging, fun products and low minimums. Look for anything to add to the client’s bliss factor personally or to reduce their shopping list stress.

Top off your client’s bliss experience by offering great moderately priced stocking stuffers or gifts. Look for unique items that smell great (use that aromatherapy), and are beneficial. This way the client can share the gift of bliss with friends and family. Ideas might include hand and body lotions or butters in aromatic blends. Often it is easier to promote body products for the holidays than facial specific products as they are less personal. Look for a local company with low minimums to get shipments quickly.

The items that will work best for your clients will depend greatly on location, and client base. Work off your demographic knowledge and look to enhance client bliss for a blissful, de-stressing holiday season that will help both you and your clients.

Judith Culp, a CIDESCO Diplomat has been in the esthetics industry since 1980. A CPCP permanent makeup technician for over 18 years she served a 4-year term as a Director for the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals, two years as their president. She is president of Culp Enterprises Inc. and CEO of NW Institute of Esthetics. Judy Culp is available for consulting. For more information visit