The day after The 2023 Skin Games’ award ceremony another competitor asked me, “How did you prepare for The Skin Games?” So many events and people ran through my mind as I tried to find the perfect answer. I stood there in silence reflecting on my experience.
When I was 12 years old, I knew I wanted to own a business. I had never stepped foot into a spa or had a facial, but I had a vision that I would one day own a spa. I imagined fish tanks embedded along a wall and Sade playing through the speakers. I made up business names like “Dom’s Makeover Salon” and “Endorphins Spa.” I had almost forgotten those silly memories until 17 years later when I decided that it was finally time to start a business. As I researched trades, I stumbled upon esthetics, and that’s when I remembered.
Three days after graduating from a master aesthetician course, I had surgery on my left arm and wrist. I was going to be in a cast for the following three months. I was out of a hand, but I wasn’t out of hope. I went to the program’s assistant dean and asked if they were hiring. For the next four years I worked at the school, eventually becoming a licensed esthetician instructor and CIDESCO Diploma Holder. I also worked at numerous spas, treating skin in holistic, medical, and traditional spa environments.
Six months after opening Brave Skin Remedy, I was scrolling through social media. I came across The Skin Games, professional skin care’s most prestigious competition and awards show. When I was an aesthetics student, I told myself, “One day I’ll compete in The Skin Games.” The thought was daunting, but I felt ready to demonstrate my unique approach to treating skin.
IN THE GAME
Over the span of four months, I treated three models for different categories: pigmentation, antiaging, and holistic. Each model required an eight-week case study which included weekly video updates, SOAP notes, and before and after photos. When the top 10 finalists for each category was announced, I knew that my strategy of quality over quantity had worked. Finalists were invited to the official four-day Skin Games live event where the judges interviewed the finalists in person. The following night they would announce the winners.
I had never won an award before that event. I didn’t grow up playing sports or participate in any form of competition. I knew in my heart that I was leaving with an award, but I didn’t expect to leave as the Aesthetician of the Year! When my name was called, my excitement shifted to genuine surprise. The judges greeted me on the stage with smiles and hugs. “You deserve it” was whispered in my ear before I was handed a crystal trophy. Then, a generous cash prize was presented to me on a jumbo check as the crowd cheered. I gathered my bearings and stood in front the podium to give my award speech. It’s all a blur now, but the most important statement I remember making was, “As aestheticians, we are stronger together than we are apart.”
So, how did I prepare for The Skin Games? I prioritized quality over quantity. I applied my unique work background and esthetics training. I poured my heart into each treatment, refining my SOAP Notes, and gaining confidence along the way. I showcased my unique perspective and displayed confidence during my interviews. But ultimately, believing in myself is how I prepared for The Skin Games.