NovaLashOklahoma native Raylene Cravens was named 2019 Lash Artist of the Year at NovaLash’s eighth annual LASHoff Gala. Attended by top industry professionals and media, the glamorous award ceremony at The Bell Tower in Houston, Texas feted the top four competition finalists, brand ambassadors and professionals from across the globe who have served the company for over 10 years, with a Quinceañera theme to celebrate the global eyelash extension brand’s 15th anniversary.
NovaLash Founder and CEO Sophy Merszei said, “As always, selecting a winner from among so many dazzling submissions by leading, global lash stylists was extremely difficult for our judging panel. In the end, Raylene Cravens stood out, not only as a brilliant lash artist with impeccable skills and technique, but as someone who always goes above and beyond to help other lash artists. She has proven herself to be a true NovaLash supporter and we are delighted to have her representing our company this year.” 
As Lash Artist of the Year, Cravens will receive over $25,000 in cash and prizes, along with travel and business-building opportunities. She will also be featured in a national trade magazine spread with a professional photo shoot. Like all the LASHoff finalists and category winners,
she has been named a NovaLash Brand Ambassador for 2019 and will make appearances on behalf of NovaLash throughout the year in locations like London and New York.
“This is amazing and beyond describable,” said Cravens, owner of Lash by Lash in Nichols Hills, Oklahoma. “The past eight years with NovaLash have changed my life. I went from working in a small salon to owning my own luxury lash studio and, now, am the Lash Artist of the Year and a brand ambassador. I know this is my calling – inspiring others as others have inspired me. It is really a dream come true.”

The four finalists were selected from many applicants after submitting a collection of videos and photographs that showcased their NovaLash technique, artistic skill, and fashion talent. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges, including, Sophy Merszei, NovaLash Vice President of Global Education Sophia Navarro, the 2018 brand ambassador team, and members of the beauty press.
In addition to the top honor taken home by Cravens, the other three finalists,
all named 2019 Lash Squad NovaLash brand ambassadors, received much-deserved recognition. The Fans’ Choice of the Year was Jessica Gadzalinski of Green Bay, Wisconsin, the Classic Winner was Nikki Melillo of West Palm Beach, Florida, and the Volume Winner was Marte Fjeldberg of Trondheim, Norway.
For the past 15 years, NovaLash has been dedicated to creating the safest techniques and highest quality products, for both professionals and clients. With detailed multi-leveled education for certified eyelash stylists and extensive testing of products for safety and use, NovaLash is the most awarded global eyelash extension brand. For more information, visit

January 2019, DERMASCOPE Magazine announced a new editorial advisory board to include 15 of the aesthetic industry’s top leading professionals from around the world. DERMASCOPE is thrilled to welcome many new members to the editorial advisory board and to welcome back several returning members from last year’s board. The 2019 editorial advisory board includes:

While he was no authority on skin care, a statement attributed to scientist Albert Einstein is prescient for the skin care community. “The problems we have today cannot be solved at the same level we were at when we created them.”
While the United States has had access to the CIDESCO diploma incorporating massage, skin care, and nails for many years, there was no single standards specifically focused on an aesthetician’s skin care knowledge and proficiency with various protocols and modalities. Yet, at the same time, new technologies, advanced protocols, and an improved understanding of the chemistry and science underlying skin care has amplified spa employers’ need for a higher level of skin care knowledge among aestheticians. As employers strive to find aestheticians with the skills and knowledge to provide advanced services, Einstein’s quote makes it clear – a new solution for demonstrating skin care proficiency is needed. That standard is CIDESO and Bellus Academy is honored to be the first United States school to offer the CIDESCO certificate in skin care.
Bellus Academy 2In spring 2018, spas throughout the United States applauded an announcement at America’s Beauty Show that the CIDESO skin care certificate and diplomas would be available in the United States. In an increasingly global world, CIDESO is recognized by leading spas and salons around the globe as the elite standard for skin care education. However, no standard focused exclusively on aesthetics existed. Undaunted, Lydia Sarfati, founder and CEO of Repechage, advocated for 12 years to bring the CIDESO skin care certificate to schools and spas in the United States.
Sarfati traveled from New York City to visit Bellus Academy’s Poway, California campus in January as the school launched the new curriculum. In addition to meeting with educators, Sarfati also met with Bellus Academy staff, students, alumni, and top spas in San Diego, to explain the CIDESCO skin care certificate and what it means to spas, aestheticians, and consumers around the globe. “U.S. salons and spas are pioneering exciting and inspiring new treatments,” said Sarfati. “The CIDESCO certificate in skin care complements advances in treatments with the most important ingredient to support long-term client growth and retention: knowledgeable skin care professionals.”
Summarizing the curriculum for the CIDESCO certificate in skin care, the curriculum includes advanced education on facials, facial electrical treatments, and full-day, night, and bridal makeup, with a minimum 730 hours required for completion. Bellus Academy is bundling the CIDESCO certificate into the advanced education program because it is viewed as a powerful differentiator for graduates entering the workforce and a portable, globally-recognized standard of excellence that allows students to pursue opportunities at the world’s most prestigious spas. Bellus educators are being trained as proctors to administer the exam.
As aspiring and licensed aestheticians, as well as spa employers, consider professional education, Einstein’s quote comes to mind again. New solutions are necessary to equip today’s spa employers to meet growing market demand. Employers’ demand for aesthetics professionals is projected to reach 200,000 in the next 10 years and the lines between beauty and wellness continue to blur. Bellus Academy is adapting technology to address these trends. For example, we have integrated eyelash extensions into the advanced aesthetic education program. And, from a wellness vantage point, in 2015 Bellus became the first school in America to offer wellness for cancer training. This program equips aesthetic students to provide facials to clients living with or recovering from cancer. Most recently, we have aligned with one of Bellus Academy’s top plastic facial surgeons to serve as a medical director.
Beyond innovations in technology and new modalities, this is an increasingly global world. The CIDESCO brand is represented across five continents providing certificate holders with portability and, ultimately, a recognized standard that speaks to their knowledge and skin care proficiency.

As 2019 heads underway, CIDESCO is excited to introduce new solutions that will address United States and international spa employers’ needs for a certificate focused on skin care excellence, as well as consumers’ demand for knowledgeable skin care professionals. The CIDESCO certificate in skin care is an important solution to solve this challenge.

SENTÉ, an innovative specialty aesthetics company, broadens reach with strategic collaborations to further expand their professional-grade skin care product portfolio. Both collaborations will offer consumers the opportunity to experience SENTÉ’s patented Sulfated Glycosaminoglycan (SuGAG) analog technology. 
“As a first for SENTÉ, these relationships will contribute to our overall strategy to further education on the brand’s advanced sulfated glycosaminoglycan analog technology. By partnering with leading skin care companies like Galderma and HydraFacial, we are able to bring our unparalleled product formulations to a wider range of skin care users across the country,” states Laurent Combredet, president and chief executive officer of SENTÉ.

The Adolphus, in Dallas, Texas, proudly welcomes a new spa director, Amy Bell, to oversee operations for its destination spa. Bell brings more than a decade of industry experience, working with luxury brands, such as The Ritz-Carlton, and high-end skin care lines, such as Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare.
“I am thrilled to partner with the team at this iconic property to propel our wellness offerings to the next level for luxury clientele,” said Bell. “With a focus on high-quality skin care, expert-level massages, and five-star service, I look forward to establishing a tranquil oasis for repeat guests in the neighborhood and new visitors alike in downtown Dallas.”
The 5,000-square-foot spa, open as of October 2016, boasts plant-based products and organic fragrances, as well as a curated retail selection designed to promote beauty inside and out.
In her role, Bell will introduce fresh signature treatments, new bridal packages, and new seasonal services to keep spa guests excited to visit again and again. New signature treatments include “The 1912,” a special body treatment that will coincide with the 1912 signature cocktail, and the gua sha facial, which is a method of facial massage to relive tension in muscles and boost circulation.
“Wellness is a key pillar for our business and leisure guests, and Amy’s leadership and expertise in her field will launch an exciting new chapter for our destination spa,” said Brett Orlando, senior vice president of operations at Makeready, the company who has led the repositioning for The Adolphus and Spa Adolphus. “We’re happy to have her on the team to contribute to the stellar experience our guests recognize The Adolphus for.”

For 25 years, Hutchinson Consulting has been the hospitality industry’s most trusted executive search and recruiting firm, matching the best candidates with the finest four- and five-star resorts. December 1, 2018, following a year of unprecedented growth, the company announced the launch of a new division, Spa Pro Connect, created to further support client needs by sourcing top massage therapists for placement in the finest destination resort and hotel spas in the country.
“The importance of highly trained, experienced massage therapists has never been higher,” said Michael G. Tompkins, a partner at Hutchinson Consulting. “World class spas and their clients expect a level of professionalism unique to the resort environment where talented, licensed therapists are valued for their specialized skillset. The time has come for a professional search firm and hospitality clients to regard massage therapists as a brand differentiator in spa.”
Spa Pro Connect will be led by wellness industry veteran Diane Trieste. With a diverse background that includes all aspects of spa operations, Trieste excels in working with business owners and management to capitalize on the integration of education, culture, professionalism, and people in order to deliver an experience that exceeds expectations for both clients and therapists. A licensed massage therapist herself, Trieste has held leadership roles at Shankara Spa, Canyon Ranch, and Bellus Academy. Trieste was part of the executive team that started Cortiva Education and is a noted speaker and author.
“Joining the team at Hutchinson Consulting means I can expand my service to the spa industry in an innovative new way,” said Trieste. “Spa Pro Connect addresses the shortage of highly-talented practitioners and creates a way for top spas to have confidence that they can meet guest demand.”
Through a proprietary interview, education and vetting process, Spa Pro Connect will assure hospitality clients that massage therapists presented for employment have the skills required for four- and five-star spas. Licensed therapists will discover professional environments where their skills are honored, and their employment needs are met by the finest hospitality establishments in the industry.
“Hutchinson Consulting has a long-standing executive placement relationship with the world’s best spas,” adds Tompkins. “Expanding services to include licensed massage therapists is a natural progression.”

In October 2018, Nancy Rodriguez-Falero was named spa director of the award-winning SiSpa at Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa in Florida. She brings a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to her role at the world-class seaside sanctuary.
Rodriguez-Falero, a Florida native, has enjoyed a successful career in spa and wellness, having previously worked at renowned hotels and resorts, including Tideline Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, and the Hard Rock Casino & Hotel in Hollywood, Florida. She is also a licensed aesthetician and advanced skin care specialist with extensive certifications ranging from reflexology to body wrapping and contouring.
Rodriguez-Falero previously served as spa manager for the Tideline Resort & Spa in Palm Beach. There, she developed training protocol and programming for all spa services, developed spa marketing strategy, including service packages and procedures, and implemented a product retail program.

A new study indicates that the earth’s healing energy may relieve common pain issues and energy drain that often lead to premature burnout among massage therapists.
The study was conducted with 16 massage therapists at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad, California and revealed a sharp difference in how the therapists felt and functioned when they were grounded for four weeks compared to not being grounded the first and last week of the study. When grounded, they reported significantly less pain, more energy, and improved physical function and mood. 
Grounding, also known as earthing, refers to the discovery that connecting with the earth’s natural and subtle electric charge stabilizes the physiology at the deepest level, draining the body of inflammation, chronic pain, and stress. A person can ground themselves by spending time barefoot outdoors on natural conductive surfaces, like grass, soil, gravel, stone, or sand. It is as simple as that. Grounding indoors, in contact with grounding mats, body bands, or patches, while sitting or sleeping, is also productive. Such devices are either plugged into the grounding system of a house or building or connected to a ground rod planted into the soil outside.
During the study, the Chopra Center therapists utilized grounded mats at work (placed on the floor and under the massage table sheet) and grounded body bands or mats at home when sleeping.
Overall feedback suggests key benefits for massage therapists that may contribute not only to improved quality of life but also to keeping them in their professions longer. Because of the physical demands of their work, chronic pain problems and energy deficits are common among massage therapists. They are prone to tendonitis, painful fingers, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, and a host of other occupational injuries. These problems produce inflammation-related pain and energy drain and, without relief, prompt many massage therapists to prematurely abandon their profession.

Spa Mirbeau, a day resort conveniently located at Crossgates Mall by The Mirbeau Companies, celebrated a year of bringing balance to its clients in the Capital Region of Albany, New York. On November 15, 2018, Spa Mirbeau hosted an anniversary celebration where it officially launched Mirbeau Exclusives body care and gift collections while giving thanks to those who have supported the spa since its opening. “We’re very pleased to launch Mirbeau Exclusives as we celebrate our one year anniversary with the Capital Region. What better way to show our appreciation to those who have supported us this past year,” said Michael Dal Pos, CEO of Mirbeau hospitality services. “Our guests now have the opportunity to take a little piece of the Mirbeau experience home with them, as the Mirbeau Exclusives line uses only the highest quality ingredients and are the actual products used in our award-winning Mirbeau signature spa treatments.”