May 16th, 2015

Ten Favorite 90’s Movies Every Fashion Girl Should Watch

robin 2Harper’s Bazaar just released their list of  THE ’90S FILMS THAT EVERY FASHION GIRL SHOULD WATCH.

Now, I’ll admit that I’m not a “fashion person”  per se but as a spa and beauty professional I’ve been influenced for my entire life by the cinema . Also because American cinema is not as readily available to me in Bangkok, I tend to appreciate it more. Read the rest of this entry »

April 28th, 2015

Ten Ways to Please Your Global Clients

benettonSocial media and news outlets are bringing us closer together minute by minute. Air travel is faster and more frequent; few areas of the world can’t be accessed within 24 hours. Opportunities to conduct business with a global clientele are increasing exponentially. So what can therapists do to help build a brand which attracts and maintains the attention of  a treatment lovers from around the world? What’s guaranteed to work every time and garner rave review on social media? Check this out-

Smile. A smile is a universal welcoming signal that crosses all boundaries and immediately puts your client at ease. Engaging with the guest is mandatory and serves to benefit the therapist as well so make sure that the charm is dialed on high.

Interview your client. Use that intake form to begin your conversation. Everyone’s situation and reason for visiting the spa is different. Give men the same time and respect for discussion as women, their needs are often just as pressing.You can’t assume anything, ask questions and listen well.

Don’t categorize your clients. When it comes to skin care having knowledge of the  Fitzpatrick Classification Scale is not enough.  Multi ethnicity is everywhere and creates some very interesting characteristics that probably weren’t covered at your skin care academy. Ask questions, information gather to provide a stellar service.

Make the client comfortable. People come in all shapes and sizes. Have a plan in case a plus sized or small person walks into your spa. Be sensitive to the hairstyles of your clients. If she has a lot of hair offer her two headbands rather than one. Don’t assume that the hair is all hers. Ask if its ok before you plunge your hands into her mane to perform a  head massage.  If you are working on a bald man give his head some love too. It’s exposed to the sun and needs care.

Cleanse, remove and check.  When I worked as a makeup artist for a spa, I would frequently have to remove leftover makeup on my client’s  neck or traces of masque from their nostrils, post facial. If a man has facial hair, masque may cling to his face. Check your clients in the daylight before sending them back out in public. They’ll  appreciate your attentiveness.

Use your loupe. Don’t trust your lying eyes. Examine the skin closely under a loupe and report your findings to your client.

Be gentle. You will never go wrong if you treat the skin with respect. Also, there is a commonly held belief that the darker the skin tone, the more aggressive products can be. The opposite is true. Here’s the rule of thumb: If you are causing pain to your client, you are probably causing damage. This will get your name on TripAdvisor and not in a good way.

Avoid extractions.   A good rule of thumb is to focus on providing clients with skin that is polished, luminous and smooth to the touch. No one on vacation wants their skin to look damaged. If your client returns to you often you can then focus on in-depth cleaning and extractions.

Make Product Recommendations  Almost no one travels a distance and gets a treatment to not take a product home with them. If you have a product  that you really believe in or that worked incredibly well, share the knowledge with your client. Recommend that they buy another for gifting, especially if it’s unique to your spa.

Make Care Recommendations   One of the ways to show true interest in your client is a final written recommendation for body and skin treatments once they return home. Create a three month schedule for them to follow, include a sentiment thanking them for visiting the spa. Send it to their email address. They will  appreciate the reminder to take care of themselves and likely follow your expert advice.

March 13th, 2015

From Ethnic Skin Aficionado to Moontide Consulting

portraitTraveling, moving across hemispheres, going to different places and spaces and can be so enlightening. Sometimes what you thought was specific to a certain place or ethnicity or economic class, you find to be completely false. Read the rest of this entry »

January 4th, 2015

What’s Your Plan for 2015?

PonderingEvery year preferably before year’s end, my husband and I sit down together and write out our goals for the upcoming year and up to three years thereafter. This time, (blame it on Bangkok’s NYE celebrations) it got away from us a bit so we did it on 1/2/2015. Read the rest of this entry »

December 7th, 2014

Moving To Bangkok cont…

prawnsWhen I arrived in Bangkok it was very late at night but the Six Senses organization had sent a driver to pick me up from the airport and I was made to feel very comfortable immediately upon arrival. I was starving and decided to order something light from room service. I figured that I couldn’t go wrong ordering shrimp which in Bangkok are called prawns. A silver tray arrived and when I removed the cover 4 tiny eyes were staring at me. Alrighty then! Read the rest of this entry »

November 29th, 2014

Moving to Bangkok-The Truth and Nothing But

My last entry for Ethnic Skin Aficionado was in July. I have literally been unable to write because I have simply not had the time to do so. I cannot even begin to describe the exhaustion of learning a new job in a new place where a different language is spoken. Almost everything is a challenge. So now on November 30, 2014 the rose colored glasses have come off and I sit at my desk in my apartment on Soi (street) 8 Sukhumvet in Bangkok and I begin to write again.

Bangkok_980x571For me, if I am going to put pen to paper I will always tell you the truth. Some of my experiences are being documented in book form as everything may not be “bloggable” (is that a word?).

But no matter what the medium is, the truth must be told. As Jay-Z says “I do this for my culture”. I don’t know a lot of Americans, African or otherwise or beauty professionals  who have taken this particular road so it is important to let you know the real deal.

Moving to far flung places is glamorous for sure. But don’t get it twisted-leaving my family and husband was more than a notion. I will tell you that in the last weeks of preparation my mind was excited to make the move from Philly; but my body was telling me a different story. I began itching and breaking out with what I thought were mosquito bites. Honestly I was checking our sheets and furniture to see if a family of tiny bugs had infested out home but that was not the case. My husband was not itching. It was purely nerves. The body doesn’t lie and mine was telling me that part of me was very upset.  It became so bad that my friend Nikki (fabulous nail technician at Rescue Spa) sent me to Chinatown for acupuncture and herbs. Nikki is Asian and a huge advocate of Eastern healing as am I. The doctor refused to perform acupuncture, he told me that it was not a quick fix but he did prescribe herbs and a cream to help purify my blood and calm my skin.  They worked, long enough to get me on the plane without my people seeing me scratching like a junkie who needs a fix. But when I arrived in Bangkok, well, as they say here- “same same”. The itching began again. To be cont…..

Linda Harding Bond is a licensed esthetician and Manager of Spa Training for Six Senses Resorts. She may be contacted at Linda@lindatheskindiva.com

 

July 1st, 2014

First Impressions

2014-06-28 14.27.48Wow, talk about a dream come true. Bangkok is everything I thought it would be and more. It’s so different from Philadelphia I don’t even know where to begin. Read the rest of this entry »

June 3rd, 2014

Skin Diva Goes Global

six_senses_laamu_panorama_5692-a4-1In two weeks I will be moving to Thailand.

It still sounds strange to say out loud. Despite the massive preparation of sending and receiving a variety of paperwork, going through my closet deciding what goes and what stays, discussions with my family and husband, it’s still surreal to say the least.

I have been offered the position of Corporate Trainer by Six Senses. (Shout out to Christine Hays)They are an award winning luxury spa Management Company with sumptuous resorts in exotic locales around the world. Scheduled to open by 2016 are the places my dreams are made of; China, Seychelles, St Lucia, Tunisia, Indonesia. My first opening will be Qing Cheng Mountain, China in the Fall of this year. quing cheng 2

The wonder of it all is that the culture of Six Senses is exactly what I have been writing about for so long on my blog Ethnic Skin Aficionado.

I have always believed that to stay current you must embrace a culture of inclusion, respect for employees and guests, no matter what their race, religion or sexual orientation might be. You have to approach spa treatments from a highly personalized perspective and the key is proper training which includes ethnic skin. After all how can you recommend products if you don’t understand your client’s skin? And that does not even begin to address the cultural differences or the best way to engage with them.  

Isn’t it funny how so many five-star spa groups overseas get it; and so many properties here in the U.S. do not?

They’ll catch up sooner or later.

In the meantime, I’ll be teaching and learning and writing and sharing. I hope that you’ll keep reading. It’s beginning to get very exciting.

Linda Harding-Bond is a Corporate Trainer for Six Senses, author, and licensed esthetician.

May 27th, 2014

It Works!™

crazywrapAs a rule, I try to avoid reviewing  products on this site.  But when one of my favorite clients insisted that he loved a product from a company called It Works! . I had to try it because health & beauty are not topics which most guys are prone to discuss in detail.

My client,  an international  businessman shared that he was on a serious fitness program. He said that he had been using the body wrap from It Works! around his midsection and was beginning to see some serious definition. Read the rest of this entry »

May 13th, 2014

How Diddy, Zuri, Spas & Howard U connect

zuri & janThis past week I attended the commencement of my niece Zuri from Howard University. My family was there and as if that was not exciting enough, Sean Combs aka P Diddy was presented with his doctorate and delivered the graduation speech on Saturday. Read the rest of this entry »

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