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Kellie Swallow’s “Intuitive Skincare”

By: Melissa Federico, Licensed Esthetician and Beauty and Fashion writer

Kellie Swallow, LE and permanent makeup artist started her esthetics journey in 2008. She enrolled in Federico as a way to help family, but ended up falling in love with the industry. Wanting to stay connected to the industry she became an Esthetics educator for Federico in 2010. Realizing that she also wanted to keep the Esthetics community well-informed, she became a committee member for State Board in 2019. In addition, Kellie has an independent skincare business, Beauty with Kellie, inside the Simply You Salon and Spa in Penn Valley.

Her passion for education and community drove her to create a workshop focused on the building blocks of her own success with “intuitive skincare,” by finding what is authentic for the individual client. She thinks of the workshop as a bridge between school and the real world that will help students build confidence and elevate their craft. Kelly believes that “being a mentor is just as important as being a teacher. I want to be a resource for expanding on what students learn in school.” She will be hosting her workshop for “The Art and Practice of Intuitive Skincare” at Federico Beauty Institute on November 3, 2019.

I asked you to pick the meeting spot and you instantly chose La Bou on Sierra College and Douglas Blvd. Is this area of Granite Bay special to you?

This is the area where I grew up and makes me feel nostalgic every time I visit. My grandmother owned the Hair Emporium, and still works there even after she sold it–MANY years ago. Growing up, seeing the community in her salon was where I first became attracted to the beauty industry, it’s a non-formal therapy appointment. But I never could do hair!

You have a very professional and informational website with amazing testimonials and images that is a great resource for clients. At the end of the day, what is your goal for your business and clients?

I like to think I am in the business of helping people feel good and sharing knowledge. My business is ever evolving and changing. At the core of my business, I am an Independent Esthetician that offers quality beauty services, as well as, continuing education classes and mentorship for industry professionals in the Greater Sacramento area. I rely on my intuition, my ability to connect with people, and my strong work ethic to keep my people happy, and my business afloat. My goal is always to have clients leaving feeling better than when they arrived. I also don’t get too comfortable with my clients. I remember they are paying for a service, and though many clients have become good friends of mine, they are clients first.

You’ve mentioned intuition as an “internal compass” or guide that you listen to, and use to ground yourself and grow your community. Can you tell me more about what intuition means to you and intuitive skincare?

The name of the workshop is called, “The art and practice of intuitive skincare” because it involves a way of doing things that will be different for each individual (finding what is authentic for them) and it does require consistent practice.

For me personally, it’s using my intuition to know when and how to shift my approach to my service. I truly believe it comes down to being in tune with myself. I know not to focus a service around steps and products, if my client shares with me that she just found out she had breast cancer, or being present enough to notice my clients breathing and facial expressions during a massage, so I can adjust my pressure and movements accordingly.

Intuitive skincare also involves estheticians trusting their knowledge and wisdom when putting together treatments for their clients. In order to trust their decisions, they will need the education and the ability to connect with themselves and clients.

What can participants expect from your class?

It’s a workshop – come where you’re at. It’s craft refinement so you can learn a little bit more about yourself. Trusting your knowledge and wisdom when putting together treatments. They will need the education, skill refinement, and the ability to connect with themselves and the client.

What do you hope is the biggest takeaway?

In every class I teach, there is always a touch of personal development/self-care exercises. I want students to realize they need to continue to work on themselves when they are working with people and doing this kind of healing work. The more connected they are to themselves and their own wellbeing, the better they will do in this business. I want them to know why they are doing each step, and to feel comfortable enough to share with their clients and to think outside of the box. I want them to make decisions that they are confident in, and that are also safe and effective for the client.

With over a decade of experience, you have a lot of great insights! It sounds like there is a difference between having knowledge and knowing how to use it to be successful.

When I was a new esthetician, I wanted to know it all! I took an overwhelming amount of continuing education classes: both while in school and after graduating. The increased knowledge helped me “sound smart and qualified” to my clients, and helped them to trust me initially. It wasn’t until I learned the tools to help me connect with myself that I was able to get creative and take risks that give my clients the results they want, and keep them coming back to see me consistently. Clients get bored with the same treatment over and over. In order to keep skincare a priority for them, clients need to see and feel the value of the service and products they are getting. Staying grounded and connected to my intuition helps me with that piece, and helps me find new and creative ways to keep my clients feeling special.

It’s amazing that you are so dedicated to personalizing each client’s experience. Tell me about some of your favorite ingredients or treatments that you use to customize their results.

My go to treatment is custom microdermabrasion facials combined with chemical exfoliation. I LOVE using essential oils in all my services to work with the client’s mood and emotional health. I think helping clients relax is equally as important as obtaining their skin results. Essential oils also help me ground, relax, and connect with my client, which allows me to give them a better service. I have a new-found love for the Rezenerate Nano facial which utilizes cutting-edge Nanotechnology, the pressure points of Acupressure and the cool touch of Cold Therapy to deliver the Best. Facial. Ever.

With so much drive and passion – do you have any plans for staying connected to the Esthetics community in the future?

It’s a challenge for me to not be connected to this industry, I have tried! I can honestly say it feels like a calling. Educating estheticians and consumers is important to me so I am now a member of the Health and Safety Advisory Committee for the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. It is the next level of being a part of any change in the industry! The esthetics world has grown tremendously in the last several years, I see an increase in Estheticians offering and promoting services that are out of our scope of practice. Whether it is happening due to Estheticians not knowing or caring that they are working out of scope, or regulations not being enforced. It’s a little disheartening, and creates frustration among the Estheticians who are trying to comply with state regulations. I do hope to continue to build our community, and also participate in any changes that will elevate the industry as a whole. What that will look like? I’m not sure, but more will be revealed!

Expect to take away a wealth of advanced education, skill refinement – and mentorship from Kellie’s workshop. Understanding yourself and every individual client’s needs will help you become a better skin therapist. For more information about workshops, services and treatments offered by Kellie Swallow visit Instagram @beautywithkellie