As part of my series about the “How Business Leaders Plan To Rebuild In The Post COVID Economy,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Candace Marino.
Candace Marino, better known by Hollywood as “The LA Facialist”, has been a medical aesthetician for over a decade, developing custom complexion protocols and unique techniques for a highly discerning celebrity clientele.
With an integrated, holistic approach to aesthetics, Candace offers a bespoke blend of advanced medical-grade care and spa skin therapy. She curates age-defying solutions and comprehensive, results-driven treatments designed to work in tandem with a vast range of cosmetic procedures boosting benefits and maintaining maximum efficacy for patients.
Her rejuvenation resume at prestige dermatology and cosmetic surgery practices includes extensive experience treating serious skin conditions such as: acne, residual acne scarring, melasma and pigmentation issues, along with the development of an exclusive deep tissue facial massage technique.
Working directly with some of the world’s leading plastic surgeons, Candace develops customized protocols to best prepare, treat and manage skin conditions before cosmetic procedures as well as healing for the skin immediately after treatment for optimal outcomes.
Her specialized techniques and highly sought-after system of anti-aging programs push back the drooping point, promote tissue remodeling, increase collagen production and ensure cumulative complexion improvements as restorative as they are transformative.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
My career started at 18, fresh out of high school. I grew up skin obsessed thanks to my mom who always took such great care of her skin and got me started on facials as a teenager. I knew I wanted to work in beauty and wellness, and upon graduating high school, I set out to get my aesthetician’s license. Over the last 15 years, I’ve worked in all areas of the beauty and wellness world- from hotel day spas, to wellness centers, dermatology offices and plastic surgery offices, so I’ve really experienced treating skin on so many different levels. Finally, last year I set out to open my own business, unique timing… in my first year I’ve met a lot of obstacles that I never could have seen coming, but it’s given me a great confidence boost as a new business owner, knowing if I can survive this, the only way to go from here is up!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
I’ve said for years, the only thing I’m good at is skin, I really had no idea what I was doing when I left my last job and decided to venture off on my own as a business owner. There are so many things you never think of when you’re dreaming of owning a business, so this year has been quite the reality check. My days have changed from enjoying my time in the treatment room with my clients to meetings, placing orders, chats with my accountant, filing tax documents… all the boring stuff I never wanted to do (haha) I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned from the last year is to get help from a professional, I have an accountant I’m working with who has really saved me from making some horrific mistakes.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to, that really helped you in your career? Can you explain?
The Ambitchous Podcast by Katie Boyd. Katie’s mission is to teach people to declutter their lives physically, mentally and spiritually to make room for the things you want in life. I began listening to her January 2019, and I really credit her for encouraging me to leave a job that was no longer serving me and make my goal of being self-employed a reality. Without a plan, I resigned but trusted that I’d get to where I wanted to go because of my mindset. I truly believe that a positive attitude is the most valuable thing that one can possess. We don’t get to choose what happens to us every day, but we can choose how we react, and how I we allow things to affect us.
Extensive research suggests that “purpose driven business” are more successful in many areas. When you started your company what was your vision, your purpose?
My vision was to connect with people all over the globe to make skincare and self-care more fun and less intimidating. For years, the beauty space has been dominated by hair and makeup professionals, while skin has always taken a back seat, but the truth is- healthy skin is the foundation of all things beauty. And, every single person on the planet is covered in skin, making every single person on the planet my potential client. I like to deliver skincare information in a fun and digestible way, to encourage people to take care of themselves and reap the benefits of looking great! I’ve curated an online store of the best products on the market that I personally use myself and have markets myself solely on Instagram, I’ve been surprised to find some of my most loyal clients are people I’ve never met, who live in places I’ve never even been. I’ve found that people are buying products primarily online, and they have so many options for where to buy them, but when someone connects with an individual, they are so much more excited to receive the products from them.
Do you have a “number one principle” that guides you through the ups and downs of running a business?
My number one principle is to be grateful and realistic. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love, and even when something negative happens I remind myself of the fact that I’d rather have a bad day working for myself and doing what I love, than work for anyone else; And I’m realistic to the fact that owning a business comes with a ton of challenges, so when a curve ball comes at me I’m pretty good at laughing it off and coming up with a solution.
Thank you for all that. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. For the benefit of empowering our readers, can you share with our readers a few of the personal and family related challenges you faced during this crisis? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
Obviously, my business is primarily a brick-and-mortar, I’m a service provider and work very closely with my clients, so when COVID hit, we were forced to shut down, and didn’t have an idea of when normal services would resume. We’re going on five months of this, I literally haven’t practiced my professional in five months, which is so foreign to me. For me, not working isn’t an option, so I quickly pivoted and focused my energy on driving my online sales. I revamped my website, offered virtual consultations, took on new inventory and did a lot of online seminars and speaking engagements to drive business to my Instagram and website. Much to my surprise, April was the best month I’ve had in my entire life as an aesthetician, in fact I made more money in April than in two years combined working as an aesthetician at spa. What I’ve learned from all of this, is that I’m resilient, and able to ebb and flow with whatever life throws at me. I think being flexible and continuing to work, instead of being mad at what’s going on has been the key to my continued success throughout the pandemic.
Can you share a few of the biggest work-related challenges you are facing during this pandemic? Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
I’d say the biggest challenge was keeping my client’s engaged and happy. I know it sounds very surface level, but my business is based in Beverly Hills and many of my clients are people who need to maintain themselves regardless of the fact that they were forced to stay at home. My clients know that keeping up with their skin during the downtime is what’s going to ensure that they’re looking great the next time they need to be on camera or at an event, so I had to shift our weekly/biweekly appointments to working with them virtually. I sent out at-home versions of my treatments and walked them through a facial step by step on facetime.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. What are a few ideas that you have used to offer support to your family and loved ones who were feeling anxious? Can you explain?
I’m quite close with my friends and family, and through all of this we’ve maintained a positive outlook. No one wants to be in this situation, but we don’t really have a choice. I think that sitting in sadness only creates more sadness and anxiety, so I’ve encouraged everyone I know to indulge in the things that they’ve always wanted to do, but Never had time for. I bought my parents a Masterclass subscription so they could learn some new skills, they really enjoyed the cooking classes. I bought myself Rosetta Stone to learn Spanish (it’s going so-so) and purchased an Avocado and a Fig tree which apparently grow in any apartment, although I haven’t had any luck yet. I’ve sent lots of flowers to friends and family, my grandma specifically who lives alone in a small town called Hornell, New York. I think that staying connected and engaged with your loved ones is the best way to deal with the uncertainty, again none of us are choosing this but we have to find a way to cope with it, and I find that keeping a tight knit community is number one.
Obviously, we can’t know for certain what the Post-Covid economy will look like. But we can of course try our best to be prepared. We can reasonably assume that the Post-Covid economy will be a trying time for many people across the globe. Yet at the same time the Post-Covid growth can be a time of opportunity. Can you share a few of the opportunities that you anticipate in the Post-Covid economy?
I truly hope that the economy will be able to bounce back, but it’s hard to tell since so many people have been without jobs for months. I really have no idea what to expect, but what I hope for is that people will be mindful of where they spend their money if they have money to spend. I truly hope that people will support small businesses, and ones that didn’t qualify for the government aid that many huge corporations benefited from. I hope that if people go to a restaurant they tip well and help out service professionals who were unable to work for so long. I’m a firm believer that when you spend money, money comes back to you, in both business and in life. we all need to our part to stimulate the economy and I hope that people do it in a thoughtful way when they’re ready to spend.
How do you think the COVID pandemic might permanently change the way we behave, act or live?
I definitely think it’s going to take a long time for people to resume life as we once knew it, because there are so many unknowns associated with a novel virus. This is the first time in my lifetime that every single person on the planet is dealing with the same thing at the same time, and I hope that that can unite us in some ways and that we’ll see people being kinder and more polite to one another. I do think some people may be more apprehensive to meet new people, to shake hands and to hug which is unfortunate, and I predict a lot of events and meetings transitioning to online platforms for a while until there’s more of an understanding of how COVID might impact patients long-term.
Considering the potential challenges and opportunities in the Post-Covid economy, what do you personally plan to do to rebuild and grow your business or organization in the Post-Covid Economy?
I’m going to remain focused on the online aspect of my business, with personal services in California still halted, it’s all I have. So, I’m putting all of my energy into engaging new and existing clients and offering new and innovative products on my website.
Similarly, what would you encourage others to do?
I really do believe that Instagram is the most powerful tool we have right now as business owners, its 100% free marketing. As I mentioned before, when people connect with someone, they really do want to support that individual’s business. I know Instagram can be intimidating, but it’s really about creating a community. When you engage and interact with the people who follow and support you, they feel so valued. Especially in my case, where I’m sharing a lot of information and answering a lot of skin related questions, people feel so supported and in turn they want to support me by purchasing their products through me. Having an Instagram and staying active is really how you create brand recognition and loyalty.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Two things define us. Our patience when we have nothing and our attitude when we have everything.”
I think it’s important to remain faithful and optimistic in the midst of trying times and even more important to stay humble as we celebrate personal wins.
How can our readers further follow your work?
You can subscribe to my newsletter at thelafacialist.com (you’ll get 10% off your first order in doing so)I’m also on Instagram @thelafacialist