Interview with Victoria, a holistic esthetician and founder of Nurture Ritual in Seattle
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Victoria Raisky-Anderson, and I am a holistic esthetician, and owner and founder of Nurture Ritual. My journey into the wonderful world of holistic skin care began when I was a pre-med student at NYU, and had severe skin issues, which were exacerbated by bad advice from dermatologists.
One day at NYU I was talking to a classmate about my skin concerns, and she started telling me about her "esthetician" (I didn't even know such profession existed at the time). She was ranting and raving, and telling me how amazing they make her and her skin feel. I stood there listening to her and having goosebumps running all over my body. I knew I found my calling! I made a decision to go to a skin care institute and become an "esthetician".
Having gone myself through a pretty hellish experience getting ready for my wedding...I wanted to offer something to the brides that would help them have an easier and more grounded and connected time with the process.
What services do you offer and which ones are the most popular with brides before their Big Day?
I offer a variety of services from facials, to hair removal, to healing energy work. My most popular work with brides is a package of services I call "Conscious Bride". Having gone myself through a pretty hellish experience getting ready for my wedding, and thinking about how stressful all that was, and also recognizing how much of a Rite of Passage the experience is, I wanted to offer something to the brides that would help them have an easier and more grounded and connected time with the process.
So the package includes a combination of my most rejuvenating and glow-inducing facial, a hair removal service of choice, and an energy work therapy session to help the bride regain or keep her sanity, and consciously walk through one of the major initiations of her life. The package comes in either a one of each option or a 3 of each option, depending on how far in advance they want to start getting ready.
Depending on which facial you get, you will receive more or less stimulation. However, getting any facial will definitely make you look glowing and radiant, and very relaxed.
What are the most common questions that brides ask you during the initial consultation?
The common questions would be:
- How much time does it take? A typical facial takes anywhere from and hour to an hour and a half, but you always want to block out about an hour and a half, so that nobody is rushed. A hair removal will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what is being done. And energy work is the same as facials, so about 90 minutes.
- How can I integrate it into my schedule? If we are doing a facial or an energy work session I would suggest doing it at a time when you don’t have to rush anywhere afterwards for at least 2 hours, as you are going to want to have some time to integrate, and also ideally not have to put makeup on right away.
- Would I experience any irritation from the facial treatments and the hair removal? My treatments are very gentle and non-invasive, so most of my clients don’t experience any discomfort after their treatments, be it facials or hair removal. However it is possible sometimes to break out after a facial as a detoxing effect. Or if your skin is super sensitive, you might experience some redness after hair removal, especially on your face.
- How close to the wedding can I have it done? I’d say a week before the wedding is ideal. Bikini hair removal though can be done as close as the day before, and brows and lip possibly 3 days before the wedding, again depending on your level of sensitivity.
Sugaring and waxing are 2 completely different animals...My preference is definitely sugar over waxing. In my 9 years of doing sugaring I had maybe 2 clients who chose to go back to wax. Everyone else converted to sugaring.
What are the different types of facials and what are the benefits of getting one before the wedding?
My facials range from a basic Customized Holistic Facial that uses all organic products, is deeply relaxing, and addresses some basic skin needs such as cleansing, exfoliation, possible extractions, hydration and balancing, to some more advanced work that includes enzymes, and oxygen treatments to give the skin a bit more oomph...to finally my most advanced and high-tech treatment - The Lift facial.
This facial uses micro-current, LED-light photo-therapy, and special radio-frequencies to thoroughly hydrate, oxygenate, lift and contour the face, and treat and calm any inflammation. Depending on which facial you get, you will receive more or less stimulation. However, getting any facial will definitely make you look glowing and radiant, and very relaxed. Hence, yes, I do very much recommend getting one or a few of them before the wedding.
What is the difference between sugaring and waxing?
Sugaring and waxing are 2 completely different animals, although the purpose of both is removing unwanted hair.
Wax is usually made of some combination of chemicals with a few natural soothing elements added to it. It is applied very warm, almost hot which can burn and irritate and lift sensitive skin. It is applied in the direction of hair growth, and removed with a strip in opposite direction, which often creates breakage and ingrown hairs.
Sugar, on the other hand, is made of organic sugar, water, and lemon juice, boiled together to a certain consistency. It is actually edible and quite tasty...like a sugar lemon candy. It is barely warm when it's applied. The hair is removed in the direction of hair growth, so there is very little to no breakage, and less ingrown hairs. Plus the hair takes longer to come back. Also sugar doesn't stick to live skin cells, so the skin doesn't get irritated.
My preference is definitely sugar over waxing, and I think my clients feel that way as well. In my 9 years of doing sugaring I had maybe 2 clients who chose to go back to wax. Everyone else converted to sugaring.
[I was] doing energy work on a bride minutes before she was about to go down the aisle. The woman was so nervous, she was literally leaving her body and trying to faint.
How soon before the wedding should the brides come in for a facial? What about waxing?
I would suggest doing a facial a week before the wedding, not closer. Just in case anything needs to make its' way up to the surface. You want to give it enough time to heal. Unless you know for sure that facials don't make you break out ever. In that case 3 days before the wedding is probably safe.
As for waxing or sugaring, it depends on which area of the body we are getting done. If it's a bikini, you can get it done as late as the day before the wedding. If it's brows or lip, I would also recommend giving it at least 3 days, and not doing it on the same day as the facial.
What is the most unusual request you ever handled?
Probably doing energy work on a bride minutes before she was about to go down the aisle. The woman was so nervous, she was literally leaving her body and trying to faint. I had to do some major grounding for her. It all ended well, and they had a magnificent ceremony.
I believe in "less is more" and consistency. Do not under any circumstances poke at your skin. Exfoliate regularly once or twice a week with a gentle scrub, but nothing too abrasive (using apricot scrub or something similar is like scrubbing your face with a Brillo pad... Don't do it!)
Are there things that differentiate estheticians?
There are 2 different avenues in the world of aesthetics. There are medical estheticians, and there are holistic estheticians.
The medical ones often offer the more invasive treatments like chemical peels, laser, fillers, botox, and use products that are often not organic.
Holistic estheticians prefer a non-invasive treatment, using organic products, and approaching the client's entire being, not just their skin.
When you find the right esthetician for you, you will feel very comfortable with them, they will be very attentive and knowledgeable, and really be able to listen to you and your needs. They will have phenomenal touch, and will work only with very high quality products. Rather then trying to choose between different options, try to be very clear about what your goal is, and be able to communicate it to your esthetician. A great esthetician will know exactly what to offer you if you tell them what you want to achieve. And if you don’t know, they’ll help you figure it out.
Any after-care tips and products you would recommend?
I believe in "less is more" and consistency.
- Do not under any circumstances poke at your skin.
- Exfoliate regularly once or twice a week with a gentle scrub, but nothing too abrasive (using apricot scrub or something similar is like scrubbing your face with a Brillo pad...Don't do it!).
- Don't cleanse your face with Cetaphil either, it's awful for your skin contrary to popular belief.
- Don't go to sleep with makeup on.
- Drink plenty of water, and try to get adequate sleep.
- Move your body - DANCE!
- Always use a moisturizer.
- Get facials regularly, they are not a luxury, they are maintenance.
- Take at least 5 minutes a day to just breathe and be.