Spa Week 2015 Lands in NYC!

Imagine getting spa treatments at 50-75% off the original menu price?! Well that’s about to happen next month during Spa Week 2015.

Yin Beauty & Arts Spa
Yin Beauty & Arts Spa

From October 12-18, 2015, thousands of spas around the country are offering hundreds of over-the-top treatments and unique therapies for only $50! Starting today, you can book your treatment(s) online, as these coveted spots fill up quickly.

Founded by industry vet Cheryl Reid, the first Spa Week took place over 10 years ago consisting of 25 spas in New York City. Reid wanted to make spa services accessible to busy New Yorkers without breaking the bank. After entering the spa industry myself, I also learned the necessity of getting facials for skin health, and not just pampering.

Still cute!
Still cute!

Now Spa Week has become a powerhouse brand itself. They created the Spa & Wellness Gift Card by Spa Week, which is accepted at over 8,000 spa locations without expiration and can be easily purchased at major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and more. My Wellness Rewards allows members to earn points and redeem for products and exclusive invitations.

SpaWeekGiftCard

Spa Week is now held twice a year in April and October, with participating spas spanning from the across the country. The Fall Edition of Spa Week 2015 is co-sponsored by the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) organization, with a portion of the proceeds going to CancerAndCareers.org. Other exclusive sponsors include Rioja Wines, St. Martin’s Press, Birchbox, Essie, Keri Glassman, International Spa Association (ISPA), June Jacobs Spa Collection, and Tone It Up Girls.

As I mentioned before, book your appointment TODAY before you miss out on these great deals!

Indie Beauty Expo Brings the Small Brands to the Masses

Last month the Indie Beauty Expo took place in Manhattan, showcasing over 80 brands in the cosmetics, skincare, fragrance, and nail categories.

Founded by celebrity esthetician Jillian Wright and management consultant Nader Naeymi-Rad, the expo gave buyers, press, and consumers alike to sample new products and learn more about these emerging brands.

According to the NPD Group, prestige beauty sales reached $11.4 billion last year. Prestige is refers to cosmetics sold in department stores, like Macy’s or Sephora. Just one percent is still over 11 million! And all of these companies were here to take a piece of that billion dollar pie.

Because I was on a time limit, I breezed through the expo. There were a few surprises, including the lack of a gift bag for press and buyers, and an overwhelming amount of fragrance & natural oil products.

There was an evening event for consumers to indulge in cocktails and purchase products, and they received a gift bag. Even though they paid for a ticket, having products for industry folks gets them long-term exposure and retail expansion.

This one is a keeper!
This one is a keeper!

At least I got this oh-so-beautiful pic of myself!

Best photo yet! Thank you @_foto_fwd!
Best photo yet! Thank you @_foto_fwd!
Here are a few brands that caught my eye:

Kesh Beauty – A moroccan oil product line from someone who’s actually from there! Founder Lisa Chetrit drew me in with the simple “Do you want to learn about moroccan oil?” I love a true saleswoman! And I got a free henna tattoo at her table!

IndieBeauty_kesh IndieBeauty_henna

Luz de la Riva – This couture intimate cosmetics line takes away the shame of picking up KY jelly at the pharmacy with their selection of massage lotions and lubricants packaged in luxury bottles that can pass as face moisturizers!

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Potty Mints – Launched only 6 months ago by 25-year-old Suzanne, she created a dissolvable air freshener tablet that acts like a “mint” once you finish your “business” in the bathroom!

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Another highlight of my day was bumping into Karen Oliver, the publicist who gave me my first project in beauty. This is just a week after I posted my entry about our project?!

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As I mentioned before, attending events is soooo important in building your brand, whether it’s your career, business, or blog. You can’t stay inside with your computer for too long; face time is what makes things happen!

 

How Dermalogica Renewed My Purpose

In August, I attended the Dermalogica Congress, a event uniting skin therapists around the world to share new business ideas, launch new products, best of all, to network, network, network (did I mention network?)!

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By the time August rolled around, I often heard this was the “slow period” for the spa industry. This is the exact reason why I needed to leap across the country and get re-inspired again! Besides, I needed a little vacation!

The Journey Begins

My trip was off to a great start because I flew non-stop via Delta on an aisle seat! Going through the airport gave me a taste of my future career as a beauty trainer.

As I was reading, I look to my side and see Phyllis, a Congress attendee, sitting right across the aisle! How serendipitous!

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Phyllis performs facials & massage in her own spa in Queens

Right there I knew the next 72 hours were going to be crazy!

Luckily I struck the jackpot (no pun intended) with a random roommate. Amanda was a former ULTA skin therapist from California who also attended at her own expense, and planning a wedding at the same time!

The opening party was da bomb! Open bar, appetizers, performers, oh my!

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Me & the Eiffel Tower = fabulous!
Me & the Eiffel Tower = fabulous!

My first OMG moment was meeting Dr. Diana Howard, the VP of Research & Development & Global Education. Her videos explaining the science behind the skin helped me speak so well in front of my clients!

LVCongress2015_drhowardAnother OMG moment was meeting Ski Kobylanski, fellow skin therapist from Arizona. Months before Congress, Dermalogica rolled out a social networking app for attendees. Ski posted hundreds photos of himself with various Dermalogica products with the hashtag #ShoweringWithSki!

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Here's a shot with another app chick Dinah Alcon & my roomie Amanda
Here’s a shot with another app chick Dinah Alcon & my roomie Amanda
We kinda took the lounge pillows from the opening party
We walked away with the lounge pillows from the opening party! Instant bonding!

Day 1: Congress Starts!

Jane Wurwand, Chief Visionary & Positive Destructor, opened Congress describing the early beginnings of the company. Losing her father taught her self-reliance & the importance of having a marketable skill to provide for yourself financially. After studying beauty therapy in the UK, she opened the International Dermal Institute, and then Dermalogica soon followed.

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For nearly 30 years, Wurwand has provided over 30,000 women the opportunity to be entrepreneurs and skin therapists, and therefore provide for their own families. The mission statement has stood the test of time:

To define and bring respect and success to professional skin therapists through excellent education, innovative products, and outstanding customer service.

The rest of the day consisted of amazing speakers to inspire our business, not to mention sneak peeks of 17.5 new product launches this year! You needed to be there! What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!

I got some more photo ops…

With Annet King, Director of Global Education
With Annet King, Director of Global Education
With my trainer, Amy Pierre, from IDI
With my trainer, Amy Pierre, from IDI

And all the Dermalogica Experts took a class photo! I fought my way to the front!

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Ulta had a party exclusively for their skin therapists afterwards. Between meeting top management and top-selling performers, it was motivation to keep going!

With Kecia Steelman, SVP of Operations @ ULTA
With Kecia Steelman, SVP of Operations @ ULTA
With Phil Horvath, VP of Salon Operations
With Phil Horvath, VP of Salon Operations

That night was free to do anything, so I got a tattoo! It was definitely something I wanted for a long time. We can discuss that in another entry!

Contract-tattoo

Day 2

I couldn’t believe Congress was almost over! I savored every moment, whether it was recording sessions, taking crazy pics, or shopping their pop-up store. I grabbed these nifty eye pillows for my treatments!

I left with a swag bag of products; I had to buy a box of Ziploc bags just to use one for my carry on! This amazing video summarizes the first class treatment we received and the loads of education covered.

Jane Wurwand closed Congress in first class fashion. She spoke about connecting the dots and how each line connects to our goal. Again, you needed to be there to feel the impact of her words! She brought up the words Legacy and Purpose, principles that have grown on me this past year.

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LVCongress2015_closing2

By the end, I was crying like a baby!

Before I knew it, I was already on the flight back to NYC. Every moment in the last 72 hours added the fuel to my fire for this industry. Meeting people from around the world, learning how to hone my craft, and best of all, connecting with my purpose made this the best conference yet.

10 Years of Beauty: Part Two!

This concludes my story on my path in beauty. It was an overwhelming task summarizing the last 5 years into less than 1000 words!

Throughout 2008 to 2009, I was building my business, while working full time! It was fun hosting product demos, making money, and growing my team.

My fave pic of a training I conducted with my Amway group = gawgeous
My fave pic of a training I conducted with my Amway group = gawgeous

On the other hand, the grind took its toll. I neglected my health, which resulted in total exhaustion! It took me almost a year to recover, mentally and physically.

During this break, I questioned everything in my life. I was surrounded by people who created a wealthy lifestyle and financial freedom, but was it worth trading in my health?

As I recovered, my job search began again. This time, I wanted to explore outside of beauty; I did have Communications degree, specializing in Advertising & Public Relations! Although my resume had no PR experience, an awesome opportunity presented itself.

Movin’ On Up…to the Hamptons!

Loida Lewis is an amazing Filipina philanthropist, and her foundation was hosting a benefit. I needed to be a part of it! I crafted a genuine email to her publicist, Carissa Villacorta, expressing how I can contribute to make the event a success.

Doesn’t it make a nice magazine spread? My boss/mentor Carissa is on the front left

Within two months, I got so much hands-on experience–from managing press lists, writing releases, to stuffing gift bags. I’ll never forget sitting in traffic with no A/C on the way to the Hamptons in my little ol’ 1995 Nissan Sentra! The benefit brought in tons of money, and staying in the Lewis’ cottage in East Hampton wasn’t too bad either!

Returning to Beauty

My friend introduced me to her old boss, publicist Karen Oliver, who hired me to create a blogger event for her client, Dr. Jeanette Graf.

Mind you, I had no media list! PR is about relationships, so it was back to basics! In 8 months, I attended countless events, meetings, and sent out tons of emails! We had over 30 attendees and got tons of mentions on social media.

Below is the video I edited. This was 5 years ago so my skills have evolved considerably!

Moving to the Queen of Beauty Brands

While at a temp job, I struck up a convo with the HR manager at Lancome. I sent my resume, and interviewed for a marketing internship. I created a portfolio containing everything from my hustle in the last 6 years! How else was I going to stand out?

From 2011 to 2012, I worked with the Cosmetics & E-Commerce teams in Lancome and assisted on new launches. It was amazing seeing how products were created from concept to the counter!

Just another day in the office and I bump into YouTube millionaire Michelle Phan!
Just another day in the office and bumping into YouTuber Michelle Phan!

God blessed me with a job at L’Oreal Paris as a Marketing Coordinator. Life was good! Salary was good! I was living in Manhattan, and who can brag that they work at the #1 beauty company?

L'Oreal Color Genius app and ad
The Color Genius App (pictured in Elle mag) was one of my fun projects

However, the higher the climb, the harder the fall. Being an employee gave me stability, but the stressful environment took a toll on me (and my skin!). Eventually, my passion declined. It was a sign that I needed to go.

My “Eat, Pray, Love” Voyage

After dealing with a painful exit, I escaped to the Philippines! My family lived there and it had been 15 years since my last visit. Flying solo was scary, but the monotony of another job search was scarier.

My beauty traveler BFF Stephanie Flor joined me in Boracay, a friggin’ paradise in the Philippines, then we headed to Thailand! Here’s little video:

The Newest Chapter

Having worn so many hats, combined with feedback from colleagues, I knew my next move; becoming an skincare & cosmetics trainer for a global beauty company!

Going to esthetics school was an easy choice to have a professional expertise and a license under my belt. In August 2013, I enrolled in Atelier Esthetique in NYC.

 

Atelier Esthetique graduation
April 2014 Graduation with our beloved teacher Ms. B (in the middle)!

Four months later, I became a Skin Therapist for Dermalogica at ULTA Beauty. Imagine being a newbie working for the #1 professional skin brand! Twelve months later, I’ve amassed over 150 clients, and became a certified Expert. Read this flashback of my excitement when I started.

My skin bar digs!
My skin bar digs!

Connecting the Dots

Summarizing the last 10 years of my life here has been nostalgic and cathartic at the same time. For every success I relived, a negative memory resurfaced. Then a quote from Steve Jobs came to mind:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

Sometimes that trust wasn’t around when my bank was overdrawn or my boss yelled at me with her door open. It took time to see the dots, and so far I like how it looks. It’s probably forming a lipstick and dollar sign!

This is my mission for this website– for you to learn from my mistakes, and be inspired by the stories of countless beautypreneurs who paved their own way in this industry. You may be the next Bobbi Brown, CEO of L’Oreal, or Pat McGrath…you won’t know unless you try.

10 Years of Beauty – Part One

Ten years ago marked the beginning of my journey in beauty. I made the decision to become a makeup artist to make extra cash while in college. What I didn’t expect was falling in love and building my career in this industry!

From hosting events to picking up coffees as an intern, and driving down the east coast to build my company, I’ve done it all! I had to juggle my freelance business while finishing college (and a part-time job), took on temp jobs during slow times, and charged way too much on my credit cards in between! I even considered leaving the industry because the hustle became too much.

I’m sharing my story on this blog in hopes of inspiring you all to take on your dreams of being in this industry, or keep on going towards your goals. The road to success has its bumps, pot holes, hills and detours!

You’re not alone in this journey; I still have more goals to achieve. But it’s also worth reflecting on how far I’ve come. Even if only one person reads this and decides to keep on going, this long-ass entry was worth it. It’s divided into two parts–I can’t fit 10 years into one entry!

The Beginning

In May 2005, I became an independent distributor for Artistry Beauty products, which is created by direct selling giant Amway. I did beauty parties, conducted skincare demos and analysis consultations using a portable blacklight scanner.

Always on the GO!
One of my many displays at many events!

My upline/mentor created a side business doing makeup for weddings, so I figured, why not jump on the bandwagon? Bonus–they were willing to teach me. This was wayyy before YouTube and Instagram! I didn’t care for makeup, I just wanted to make $$$! This is when Gorgeous on the Go was born.

One of my many promo flyers
One of my many promo flyers

The entrepreneur in me went into overdrive. I had started my first business at 17 years old, so I basically did the same thing to promote myself–tell everyone!!! I bought a crapload of makeup and supplies, printed business cards, and created my own website. I even shot an ambush makeover video on South Street Seaport with the other makeup artists on my team using the products and Skin Analyzer Machine. This was in 2007…talk about throwback! 

My first client was a girl who needed makeup for her prom, who was from my alma mater. I even hosted “Senior Beauty Days” where my team and I gave free makeovers to the students to promote our services. More and more clients came, especially for special occasions and then weddings! It was great having my team with Amway/Artistry guide me the whole way through. We worked together to build clients and sell them products to create ongoing income after the services.

With one of my team members, Keli, at an event
With one of my team members, Keli, at an event
Exhibiting at the Great Bridal Expo
Exhibiting at the Great Bridal Expo
Werk!
Werk!

The Makeup Artist Meetup Group

Meetup.com was a website where people of all interests could create groups on common interests. Of course, there was a meetup for makeup artists! I attended my first meeting in 2006 at a coffee shop in midtown. Out of the 5 people there, I met Anthony Pepe, who would end up competing on the first season of SyFy’s Face/Off makeup competition. I also met an up-and-coming makeup artist and hairstylist, Jordana David, who I’m blessed to call one of my best friends.

I eventually became the Organizer of the group. I had no clue that it would take my career to the next level! It was the vehicle to meet other artists and build relationships with huge beauty brands. One of them was the Powder Group, a community for makeup artists worldwide and creators of The Makeup Show (the BEST makeup trade show ever!). The founders Michael DeVellis and James Vincent supported our mission from day one.

Our first meetup with The Powder Group
Our first meetup with The Powder Group

The best part was meeting the people who would eventually become my closest friends. Some of them joined my team of Artistry distributors, gave each other referrals, assisted on jobs, and shared so many opportunities within this exclusive group. It is soooo important to surround yourself with like-minded people!

The Makeup Challenge, one of our largest events
The Makeup Challenge, one of our largest events

The meetup was also the place where I met my BFF, the super duper makeup artist and beauty traveler Stephanie Flor! She attended a meetup and we immediately clicked once she asked the group, “So what are your goals in your careers?”

With the bestie & partner-in-crime, circa 2009
With the bestie & partner-in-crime, circa 2009

Over the next 5 years, I served as Organizer and hosted numerous events, from happy hours to makeup competitions. The membership grew to over 900 members by the time I handed it over to Chic Studios, a makeup school. We were even featured on a subway ad!

Woo-hoo!
Woo-hoo!

This is enough for Part One! I’ll post Part Two in a few days…off to work now!

Beauty Chat with Armour Beauty

Rockstar. Makeup artist. Cosmetics creator. Mommy. These are the handful of words that describe Theo Kogan, founder of Armour Beauty.

Her line consists of highly pigmented & long-lasting lip glosses inspired from years as the lead singer of the Luna Chicks in the 90s.

I love her line because it blurs the line between lipstick and gloss. She was also very generous to donate her entire range of glosses to my Beauty Fundraiser earlier this year :-).

Loving my "Shattered" holiday gloss!
Loving my “Shattered” holiday gloss!

Launched in 2009, the Brooklyn-based company was created as a solution to keep her makeup on while on stage. The shade names are reminiscent of old Hollywood stars like “Ann-Margret,” “Brigitte” (as in Brigitte Bardot), and “Foxy” (as in Foxy Brown). She even has a dark black color called “Femme Fatale”! Each gloss is reasonably priced at $21.

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Haute!

 

Kogan shares her experience as an entrepreneur, the inspiration behind her line, and her latest launch – Armour V, consisting of vegan ingredients.

Find the nearest retailer here, or shop online at http://armourbeauty.com/.

Beauty Chat with Breakups to Makeup

I’ve known Angelique for a few years now, so it’s amazing to see her journey from working at Make Up Designory (MUD) to becoming a freelance makeup artist, and now as a budding entrepreneur!

Last year, Angelique founded Breakups to Makeup, a lifestyle brand that fuses her love of makeup into hip accessories and clothing. Her first product, Love Raised Me, Lipstick Saved Me, was stamped onto a clutch, along with these nifty phrases:

i-would-cry-but-my-mascara-is-designer
Who wants their Diorshow or Lancome $50+ mascara to run??

 

 

losing-you-hurt-but-losing-my-makeup-bag-would-be-a-tragedy
That happened to me!!! Lost my pigments and eyeshadow makeup bag on a Greyhound bus.

I was so happy to get a quick interview with my fellow beautypreneur at her 1-year anniversary for her business. Angelique shares how B2M helped her get through an emotional period in her life, and her personal advice for other budding entrepreneurs.

With the holidays in full swing, you MUST shop their newest accessories, along with new tees, iPhone cases, beanies, and classic clutches!!! Check these out:

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Get yours today at BreakupstoMakeupShop.com!

 

Beauty & Travel Worlds Collide at the Around the World Beauty Exhibition

Several years ago, celebrity makeup artist Stephanie Flor had the vision to bring multicultural beauty roots to the masses.

As my best friend, she transformed her vision to life before my very eyes. She created her own blog AroundtheWorldBeauty.com, edited tons of videos on her YouTube channel, and basically hustled her ass off to be the most sought-out expert on beauty customs from around the world. We even got to travel together in the Philippines and Thailand!

Last week, she brought her vision to life by creating the Around the World Beauty Exhibition. It was an interactive exhibit showcasing her photography, souvenirs from all her travels, along with an editorial gallery of photos inspired by various cultures.

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Guests received makeovers from Inglot Cosmetics, and henna tattoos by We Adorn You, while sipping cocktails from Birthday Cake Wines.

The gift bags were equally awesome! I’m happy to get my latest issue of On Makeup Magazine, a lovely lotion and body wash from Shea Moisture, much needed travel bag from The Powder Group, and much more. Oh yeah, that Skindinavia setting spray will come in handy for my next trip!

atwbeauty_5I wasn’t able to take a lot of photos in general since I worked the event the whole night. With over 300 RSVPs, I was not going to allow Stephanie to organize this all by herself!

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Getting the troops ready! Like my hair???
Awesome event staff!
I got a photo w/ the hostess Stephanie before the madness began!

I was so fortunate to be part of this project. Now that I’m an esthetician, I left my old life in marketing and public relations. But talent has no end date! It was so great seeing old industry friends from “beauty-land”!

Love my Tammy, hairstylist & owner of Imena Inc.
Fellow Filipina bloggers @fivetwocertified_ & @faithroxas
@ainalee & @dlewisbeauty
DianaManzanares @angelakaeser @angeliquemakeup
@MakeupByDianaM @angelakaeser & @angeliquemakeup
@KhadineMUA
@KhadineMUA
Even the booski came to support <3
Even the booski came to support <3

Despite the craziness of the event, from managing the crowd, guarding the gift bags, and making sure everything ran smoothly, I loved it! There’s nothing like the thrill of running a tight ship with the help of an amazing team. And of course, thank you to my love and BFF Stephanie Flor for inspiring me everyday!

 

Beauty Chat with Pamela Kalmus, Mani Diaries

Pamela Kalmus is one of the few beautypreneurs I’ve met who’s fused beauty and technology. Pamela needed a way to keep track of all the nail shade from her weekly manicures. What resulted was Mani Diaries, an app where users can upload photos of their manicures and nail polish bottles.

Since childhood, Pamela always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Her first foray was starting a makeup line in high school with a friend. After graduating with a marketing degree, Pamela entered into real estate. Ultimately, she found her calling in beauty.

In this video, she shares more about the app, how she got started, and the future plans for her company. To download the app, log on here: http://www.manidiaries.com/.

Winning Loyal, Loving Customers for Life!

Last week I attended a guest event with the Director of Global Education of Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute, Annet King. Her beautiful face is on almost all of the Dermalogica training videos, so I was super excited to meet her in person! Not to mention, her resume is unbelievable! Annet is both CIDESCO, ITEC & CIBTAC- certified in skincare, massage therapy, aromatherapy, and reflexology. That’s a whole lotta studying in our field!

By the way, it feels so good to be writing on the blog again!

With_Annet_King2
Like my shirt?

The evening lecture, “Winning Loyal, Loving Customers for Life!” covered exactly what the title said! No matter what business you’re in, customers are your lifeblood.

Here are a few highlights:

3 out of 5 will switch brands or businesses for better customer service. 9 out of 10 are willing to spend more $ on businesses that provide excellent customer service. Today’s beauty consumer is much more savvy, thanks to social media, blogs, and online reviews.

A few more stats:

  • 91% of customers will not return if you mess up for the first time.
  • 95% will share their views online.
  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for 1 negative experience.
  • For every customer who complains, 26 customers remain silent.

Amidst the Groupons, LivingSocials, and all those deal sites, lowering your prices won’t work. What will keep your spa alive is the deep ties to the community, knowing your customer, and accommodating them.

Build your business from the outside in. What are you missing? We are just climbing out of the recession, so you don’t have the luxury of setting hours around your schedule. Be flexible and available.

Annet_onstage Forget about Zagat, “Yelp”-ing is becoming the new “Google” as a verb. With social media, you can’t afford to be dishonest or provide lackluster service. Who doesn’t go on Yelp before entering a restaurant or spa? Negative outweighs the positive, which is shown just from the sequence of reviews!

So what will you do if you leave someone with a frown? Or a scowl? Or tears?

When things go bad, examine what went wrong. If your retention rate is less than 85%, ask yourself, what is going on??? According to Bill Gates, your most unhappy customers are your great source of learning. Listen to them, pay attention to what they’re saying, and ask, how can I correct it? This immediately diffuses the situation.

A complaint is a gift! My jaw dropped when I heard that. Be bold and solicit feedback, either face-to-face, email, or a survey. Try this one: “Your business really matters to me, so I need you to be very honest.” Evaluate your policies and procedures. Customers should not be victims to the rules and policies of your business. If the complaint is online, respond to it through the site!

Decision making is 70% emotional and 30% logical. Everyone wants to feel special. Do you really know who your clients are? Small touches make each visit more memorable, down to using their name, referring them as the “guest,” and even saying, “I was just thinking about you!.” Be genuine about it. Also, remember you’re their skin health coach–not girlfriend. Always put the focus back on their skin, hair and even nails.

At the end of the service, they will rebook you because of your professionalism and commitment to their results. And because they felt special in your care.