I first met Leah Nickie when my aesthetician (of another studio) turned me over to her. I was confused as to why, after 10 years of being someone’s client, that would happen. In my opinion, it’s the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
My first experience with Leah was WAAAAAAAY different than it had been with the previous aesthetician. Leah was professional and respectful of my space, emotions and time. Her hands were cool, and she was looking for solutions to help me overcome a years-long battle with adult acne. When she left her spa to start her own business, I followed. We had become close friends, and I knew that her value system was above and beyond just the sales of skin care. She found a line called GM Collins, implemented some peels and microderm. Lo and behold, my skin began to clear up… and I mean, to the point where people stop me on the street and marvel at my skin! Not a lot of skin care lines work. GM Collins does. Period.
She has two of the most stellar docs, Dr. Cynthia Ruggerio and Dr. Julie Seaman, that I’ve ever encountered. I know women who go to them for injections (because they’ve told me), but you would never be able to tell. There are no duck faces walking out of that office. Both Drs have had successful ER careers and are hyper-educated in aesthetics. I sat in on one in-office seminar where Dr. Seaman talked about using Botox to get rid of “Chicken Neck”, rather than going under the knife. I thought that was pretty awesome.
Then, there’s Shelly. Shelly gets to use all the cool tools in the office. I’ve been to her for laser treatments (love not having to buy razors anymore). She’s the one person who can ping you with super-hot heat and it doesn’t hurt. AND she’s got control of the Dermapen. People, if you have never heard of a Dermapen, go to the Leah Nickie Advanced Aesthetics website, or call to get into Shelly for a consultation. I’m not kidding you; it’s insanely cool. The process is kind of ‘Frankensteinian’ (yes, I made up that word), and the results are amazing. The bottom line is that it feels like you’re getting a tattoo….ON YOUR FACE. Whatever, don’t be afraid. The process encourages collagen production, thus, getting rid of scars and wrinkles. It’s as natural as you can go, and I’m going to continue getting it done until my face looks like a baby’s… well, you get the point.
As you can see, I am a huge fan of the work being done by Leah and her very talented team. I was thrilled about having the opportunity to pick her brain for more information about their methods and available treatment options, so that I could share it with you here on my blog. Here’s what Leah had to say:
When a new client arrives, they walk into our beautiful, simple and chic skincare studio. They are welcomed by our receptionist and offered a beverage, then asked to fill out some health history/lifestyle paper work. Shelley Slater (aesthetician) and I love to check in with our clients via email or text within a few days of their appointment. For the Medical Aesthetic services, a follow-up is often scheduled for two weeks after treatment.
Your website states that every treatment begins with a thorough skin analysis. What are some of the characteristics that you are looking for when determining the best treatment options for your clients?
A skin analysis is the MOST important part of what an aesthetician does. Everything that follows is based on the analysis. What products do we recommend? What treatments can we offer that will have the most positive outcome/results for our client? We need to use not just our eyes when examining our client’s skin, but also our hands and ears. I know that sounds odd, but let me explain. What does their skin feel like? Is it rough, thick, bumpy, slack or tightly drawn?
We also need to listen to what our clients are saying about their skin. Often a client will be able to provide clues as to why their skin is behaving a certain way; sometimes they focus on one small detail that bothers them. We always try to address their concerns, but also look at skin health from a more global perspective. What can help the client’s overall skin vitality? Oftentimes, correcting the overall picture will also alleviate the one small concern they came in for.
I honestly have to say that I don’t have a favorite treatment. What I love to do is make a positive and obvious change in someone’s skin. When I spend 90 minutes with someone and they leave my office looking younger, more rested, and feeling really good about how they look, I am a happy woman.
You ask if there is really an alternative to a facelift, and the answer is “yes and no”, depending on several factors. If a client has very saggy, loose skin, the answer is “no.” There is nothing that Shelley or I as aestheticians can do to lift that skin up to a higher position. That being said, both the Doctors perform what is called a “liquid facelift.” This consists of using filler to gently lift slightly sagging skin, to add volume where it has been lost, and with Botox, for example, provide a slight lift to the brows.
Our goal at Advanced Aesthetics is to give our clients realistic expectations for various treatment outcomes. When a client’s expectations are not in line with what we will be able to deliver, we suggest they seek care from someone else. Honesty and integrity are the foundation of my business, and we want to have happy clients who feel good about coming to Advanced Aesthetics.
It looks like your practice offers a variety of options for clients who are interested in dermal fillers. How do each of these differ?
Both Dr. Cynthia Ruggero and Dr. Julie Seaman use only one category of Dermal Filler, though there are several brands within this category. They have chosen to use only hyaluronic acid (HA) filler for a few reasons. First, they have no complications. These fillers are biosynthesized hyaluronic acid gel, which is easily assimilated by the body because our dermis is about 40% HA. Levels of HA deplete as we age, so replenishing what we have lost is highly beneficial. Secondly, any HA filler can actually be dissolved easily with an enzyme, so essentially the treatment is reversible. It rarely happens that someone wants to have filler removed, but the fact that it can be is comforting. On several occasions, our Doctors have corrected poorly placed filler done at another facility. Because HA fillers are reversible, the patient can essentially start over again.
Within this category of fillers, there are small molecule fillers for really fine lines, medium molecule fillers that are for filling the nasolabial fold on either side of the mouth, or enhancing a lip that is thinning, and finally, very robust fillers that can plump up sunken cheeks or enhance a jawline. When dermal fillers are skillfully injected they are undetectable. Our patients often say that no one can figure out why they look so great! Both Julie and Cynthia pride themselves in providing a beautiful and natural result. We actually have patients who fly to Boulder to have filler done because of the artistry these two women are capable of.
Tell us more about GM Collin, the skin care line, and how can people who don’t live in Boulder get access to it? Why did you choose this line?
GM Collin was founded in Paris in 1957 by a dermatologist and a renowned aesthetician, so from its naissance, it has been a skincare company that straddles the line between medical results and a spa-like feel. It is for this reason that I chose GM Collin as my primary product line. I use it for the majority of my treatments and approximately 85% of my clients’ home care. I believe that a product can be corrective and still feel nurturing. If something appeals to the senses and makes visible changes in one’s skin, then we have the perfect product.
Shelley and I attend International Aesthetics Conferences as well as keep up on advances in skincare science and technology by attending classes and reading industry journals. I have continually found that GM Collin is ahead of the pack. When I learn about some new peptide or delivery method, they already have been working on their own formulations. This is what I expect from a skincare line.
This past year, we opened an online store to enable people who can’t just stop by our studio, to enjoy the benefits of GM Collin products. There are other retailers like myself who have online stores that sell GM Collin, but I took the time to make our store different. I personally describe each product and how it can be used in ways you might not expect based on my experience with a lot of faces over the last five years. Our website also has information about all types of services, whether you receive them at our studio or not. The Resources tab on our site, for example, clearly outlines what a skincare routine should consist of, from the most basic to the most complex, depending on someone’s lifestyle.
If people are interested in consulting with our Doctors or want to know about what medical aesthetics or skincare services we offer, our office can be contacted by phone at 303.527.0101 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit our website and Facebook page to learn more!