Howard Murad are definitely on
that list too.
SI: What is one of your most
ML: Passing my CIDESCO Exam
was one of my most memorable
moments. I was 27 years old and
in graduate school. I went to my
major professor to ask for a term
off to prepare for the exam, and
he turned my preparation into a
directed study. I was so excited
when I passed the test. It was a
great feeling of accomplishment
for me—maybe even more than my
SI: What has been one of your
biggest lessons so far?
ML: I think learning to take
a breath before conquering
problems. I used to jump right
on any issue that came up in
business. Now, I take my time
making decisions, considering
everything carefully before
reaching a decision.
SI: What piece of advice would
you give to a new esthetician?
ML: Be patient! It takes time to
build clientele. I had a second job
the first three years of my practice.
People get out of school and expect
[to make] $50,000 the first year. That
is not going to happen. You have to
really throw yourself into your work
and be present and meet people.
I can’t think of one successful
esthetician friend that does not
love their work. Loving your work,
whatever it is, is so important.
Also, unless you want to work
in a purely resort spa, you need to
be prepared to help people with
real skin issues. The majority
of people who seek professional
skin care services have some sort
of appearance issue that they
want corrected: congested pores,
acne-prone skin, redness issues
or signs of aging. You need to be
well trained in how to provide
real-world help for these people.
SI: What direction would you
give to a new spa owner?
ML: Don’t try to offer
everything. Focus on one or
two specialties. Secondly, really
research your choice of products.
The bottom line is if the product
works and if clients will buy it
again. It is all about quality and
performance. Home care is so
important for the client’s and your
business success. It takes at least
an hour to do a $100 facial, how
long does it take to refill $100 of a
client’s favorite products?
SI: If you could go back in time and
tell yourself something, what would
ML: I really don’t have a lot of
regrets. I guess I would tell myself to
be more aggressive about marketing
myself and my company.
SI: Where do you see the future of
the esthetic industry heading?
ML: I think the next trend will be
specialization in certain services.
Less “spas” and more skin care
specialty clinics/studios that are
results-oriented. The consumer wants
to see a difference in their skin!
SI: What do you like to do in your
ML: I enjoy cooking and working
out, especially power walking—great
thinking time. I’m a good tourist.
I also like a New York theater
Lees with colleagues at Face & Body spa conference and expo in San Jose, Calif., 2017.
Check out DE1 of the January digital edition for an
exclusive Skin Inc. 30th Anniversary Then and Now
written by Lees on treating oily skin.