Michelle D’Allaird-Brenner, L.E. -- Owner of Aesthetic Science Institute

Michelle D'Allaird-Brenner is a licensed aesthetician, cosmetologist, CIDESCO diplomat, and the owner of Aesthetic Science Institute (ASI), based in Latham, N.Y. She has over 25 years of experience in the skin care and beauty industries, including teaching, curriculum and test development, speaking, and writing. D'Allaird-Brenner is also the director of education for Aesthetics International Association and a member of Professional Beauty Association and American Association of Cosmetology Schools. Her experience, expertise, and motivation has positioned her as a world-renowned skin care expert, providing education and training in over 30 countries.

logoWhat is your biggest hope for the industry going forward?
That we unite as a whole. The skin care industry is changing and growing so rapidly that many are struggling with staying up on the facts. We have to stay informed as a profession in order to protect our scope of practice and fulfill our responsibility to clients.

What has been the biggest change in the skin care industry? collage
Technology. The efficacy of ingredients is mind boggling and, when paired with modern aesthetic equipment, the results that we can now achieve could not even have been imagined 15 years ago.

Do you have a company or personal motto by which you live?
Accept full responsibility. I accept full responsibility for my business, my success, my failure, my parenting skills, and my happiness. When I am responsible, I am also in charge. I instill this simple trait into my staff, my students, and my children. A responsible world perpetuates greatness.

Do you or your company support any particular causes or charitable organizations? If so, who and why?
We support several small local organizations that help women with children that are homeless, women who are less fortunate and looking for job placements, and women seeking to gain an education.

How did you decide that skin care was the right industry for you?
I just loved everything about it. Having the ability to change the way people look and feel about themselves is priceless!

What adaptations have you made over the years to stay relevant in the industry?
Constant education. What is equally as important, however, is having the open mindedness to view and accept new changes, concepts, and ideas.

What has been the biggest change in the skin care industry?
Technology. The efficacy of ingredients is mind boggling and, when paired with modern aesthetic equipment, the results that we can now achieve could not even have been imagined 15 years ago.

What do you see as an upcoming trend in the industry?
The continued evolution in anti-aging, but in a more physiological way. Stem cell research, as well as alternative methods of impeding the aging process, will soon play an enormous role in the skin care industry. Prevention over repair.

Is there a particular moment or procedure where most skin care professionals go wrong? What could they alter for a better result?
The moment that they do something without being properly trained. I tell my staff and students that no one should ever perform a service or make a product recommendation unless they can back it up with how and why.

Why do you think people are loyal to certain brands?
While there is obviously something about the brand that drew them to it to start with, I have found, as time passes, that it is about what they are comfortable with.

Is there a particular ingredient that you feel is a "super" ingredient? If so, why?
No, because formulation plays a critical role. I could say vitamin C, because I would not go a day without it, but that does not mean every form of vitamin C. Efficacious ingredients require proper formulation.

Other than your products, what are the greatest assets and strengths your company offers?
Passion and commitment. We love what we do and we believe in what we do, no questions asked.

As you grew your company, did you have any significant moments of clarity that helped shape its future and course?
The first time was when I had a single mother of two tell me upon graduation that I had just given her her future. I cried harder than she did. The second was while my director was doing an exit interview with a student; the student told her that this was the first thing she had ever completed in her life. Mission accomplished!

How did you come up with the name of your business?
I worked for a company with a similar name and it always resonated professionalism and sophistication, which is exactly what I wanted my school to represent.

Which honor or achievement are you most proud of?
My CIDESCO certification. It represents a grueling year of study and hours of testing for something that was important to my future success.

What advice do you have for someone planning to start a career in this field?
Have a plan. You may not know exactly what you want to do or where you want to be, but have a plan. Set goals, stay focused and motivated, and do not ever quit!

You wear so many hats in this industry. What is your secret to keeping life in balance and enjoying the journey?
My family. Before anything else, I am a mother and a wife. My husband and my children (all five of them) are my saving grace. So regardless of whether I am cooking dinner; hollering at a lacrosse match, football game, or dance competition; training in Sydney, Australia; or speaking in Antalya, Turkey; I am never a thought away from my foundation.

Can you share something that most people wouldn't know about you?
I still get nervous before going on stage! Despite 20 years and tens of thousands of people, I still get nervous!

How and where do you find inspiration?
Nature! I love a blue sky, brilliant sunrise, glowing moon, soft breeze, and singing bird. A little prayer every once in a while surely does not hurt!

Who does it right in Hollywood?
I honestly could not say. I am so not Hollywood!

If you could treat one person, who would it be?
Jennifer Aniston. Her youthful beauty, apparent commitment to life, and trueness to herself is an inspiration.

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