Y’all, I’m no beauty expert.

SHOCKING, I know.

But one thing I do know for darned sure is that I feel my best when surrounded by people with positive vibes and happy attitudes – and sometimes putting my best face forward means taking time for myself.

A couple of years ago, I started noticing my skin changing pretty dramatically. Being a one-woman-show managing several different projects and pieces of my business at any given time was getting stressful. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but over the years I just wasn’t rebounding from the stress and the often dumb things I did to myself in periods of overload. And, let’s face it: Your early 30’s are a time of waking up to several “well, now, that’s a new one” on the daily. And despite my attempts at drinking water like a maniac, slathering SPF 30+ like it’s my job, and the occasional $4 packaged face mask from the drug store, my skin started baring the worst brunt – it felt heavy, rough, dull, and blotchy. While internally I did find a lot of gratitude and happy moments amid the chaos, my face was telling a different story.

A little over a year ago, I was gifted a facial at LUX: A Medical Spa in Bluffton. To be honest, I’ve always had a little guilt around these kinds of things, thinking “self care” was for birthdays and vacations and preparing for special occasions. So, I held off using it – that I didn’t deserve to “enjoy” a “spa treatment” until I had accomplished something or until a birthday or anniversary came around.

After a particularly rough season of projects, shooting weddings, and a hurricane evacuation, my skin was worse than ever – red and irritated from the stress, covered in acne scars and full with that ‘gunky’ feeling. I caved and called to set-up my appointment. I didn’t know much about LUX at that point, but I had heard several friends rave about it, so I was secretly excited for a little “me” time. Instantly, I felt welcomed and far away from the To Do lists and craziness… the space practically glows, feeling inviting but professional. Sometimes the overly ‘relaxing’ spa experiences with New Age flute music and cucumber-basil water and winter pine candle smells makes me ironically more uncomfortable (“Am I relaxing ‘right’?”), so I was grateful that it felt clean and polished.

Upon checking in, I was greeted by the nicest front desk staff – they were just so sweet and made me feel extremely welcomed, even though I felt super rough. I was greeted moments later by Maggie, one of their aestheticians, and she led me to a room that felt clean and calm. She did a good look over my skin and asked me tons of questions about my current routine, my lifestyle, and concerns I had. She listened intently and got to work after completing her summary. With each step she talked me through the process and what she was using on my face to combat my specific problems and dropped knowledge bombs about skin science, skin care, effects of lifestyle, effects of hormones, age related concerns, etc. She also extracted a few gnarly, clinging breakouts, and I could literally feel my skin breathe. She hand-picked several samples of products for me to try and even sent me an email with some recommendations when I left. My skin felt soft and light upon leaving, and overall it felt brighter over the next several days.

Jasmine, LUX Manager, and Maggie, my go-to-gal aesthetician!

And let me tell you what, y’all, these LUX ladies know their stuff. The walls are lined with specialty and professional grade skin care and makeup, and they had their product knowledge down to a science – literally. Nothing was generic or one-size-fits-all, which I found pretty impressive. One of the lines they carry, Lumen, was even specially formulated by the staff doctors, Carmen A. Traywick, MD and Frederick G. Weniger, MD, with a little help from their LUX aestheticians, formulated for “purity, potency and stability.” (I use their “Glow Pads” once a week and OH BOY they’ve made a huge difference and a single pack lasts about a year). And my forever supportive husband, John, noticed just how much better I felt after getting the ‘gunk’ out, encouraged me to return in another couple of months because definitely gave me the boost of confidence I needed and enhanced my current daily skin routine.

 

After my experience, I definitely started noticing LUX’s presence more and more throughout the community. They were always present at major events and festivals and sponsoring tons of local events, often donating several procedures for local organizations to auction to raise money (and they were always fought over at these things… I know because I got into several heated battles at silent auctions). They donated sunscreen to local schools and hosted several educational events at their location. I quickly learned they weren’t an average “spa.”

More-so, I got to know several of the girls through my adventures in the community (including CRAZY early morning workouts together, in which they still looked amazing at 5:30AM), and over and over they were just the nicest people, always encouraging what I’ve been up to and asking how they can support. During one community event run-in, I got on a conversation with Lindsay, their Marketing Coordinator, about how we women, especially younger women, just don’t take to really invest in ourselves like we should. That we wait until problems arise before we take any action or, as I had believed, treated these kinds of treatments as ‘vanity’ driven or only worthy of special occasions… which, of course, is ridiculous when you think about our skin as THE biggest organ of our body and that it’s often the window to other areas we need to attend to. My blotchy, heavy, dull skin wasn’t just its own problem – underneath were the issues of stress, changes, and lifestyle. In another conversation with another friend and LUX lady, Susan, she pretty much hit the nail on the head: “Prevention’s the name of the game – investing a little now means saving so much more to reverse the damage later.” And it sure doesn’t hurt to feel good NOW… because hiding behind makeup and baseball hats was getting pret-tee old.

 

Susan, another bomb-diggity aesthetician at LUX

I also got to know the LUX manager, Jasmine (also at above mentioned crazy early morning workouts), and she constantly gushed about her job, the amazing people she got to work with on the daily, and forever seemed excited about the new things they were adding or the advancements they were making. She genuinely seemed excited about her job, which was always so refreshing amid the “I’m-so-busy’s” I was used to hearing… or guilty of saying myself.

In my usual interrogative nature (I pride myself on getting your life’s story in 10 minutes or less), I had a chance to chat with Jasmine a little more about her experience working at LUX. What was her secret for loving her job?

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Why did LUX choose the Hilton Head-Bluffton area?
Like most of our locals, neither Dr. Weniger nor Dr. Traywick are from Bluffton originally. There is something about this place that just draws you in. Our patients are worldly, they have been to big cities, seen the most luxurious of spas, hotels, and restaurants. Dr. Weniger & Dr. Traywick wanted to bring that feeling to the Lowcountry.

What’s something you’re most proud of being a part of LUX?
We just celebrated our 4th anniversary. In that time we have been able to completely integrate ourselves into the wellbeing of the community. Each year we have been able to help serve over 100 local Charitable Events, including Silent Auctions, Golf Tournaments, and Fund Raisers.

Who is someone who has been a big influence on where you are now?
It’s Dr. Traywick & Dr. Weniger. I am honored to have found them. I am complete “awe” of them both professionally and as strong family and community leaders. They are each the best at what they do and I feel privileged that they trust me to execute their vision through LUX.

If you had to recommend one professional development resource or experience, what would it be?
We try to live by the philosophies taught in the book “Hug your Customers.” Customer Service is the key element to LUX and it is important to us that our patients know that we will always do whatever it takes to give them the best service and product possible. Every new employee is required to read this book during their new hire orientation.

What mantra/quote/concept has been most important to your success?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
People can go anywhere for their aesthetic treatments, new medical spas are popping up on every corner. We know you can get a similar outcome from other providers in the area, but we want to make sure that it is not only the outcome of your procedure that brings you back, but also the way the staff made you feel.

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And JUST when I thought I couldn’t love LUX anymore, I’m at breakfast one morning with Lindsay (because a bout of beautiful weather perfectly called for a creative community chat over coffee and avocado toast al fresco over at Corner Perk), and she mentions their new partnership with Bluffton Self Help to help spread awareness for their mission and be a drop-off location for needed items. Just like LUX, Bluffton Self Help is all about investing in the people it serves with a longterm plan of success and self-worth, not a quick band-aid solution. Their kick-off event was quickly approaching. I’m not sure if it was the coffee kicking in or the exciting sensation of unlikely powers combining, but I basically shouted, “Now THAT’S the stuff!” Y’all, that is precisely what I love about this Lowcountry community – it’s all about the power of meaningful connection and making this area stay true to the people in it. The power of positive attraction is hard at work here, my friends.

If anything, I think it’s still going to take me a lot of time and self-talk to be perfectly okay with investing in myself and knowing it’s only going to make me better in serving others when I feel best in my own skin. At least knowing that by choosing a place like LUX that shares similar values and goals (and a knack for excited fast-talking), then it makes it seem a little more worth it.

 

 

So go on, friends – put on a happy, helpful face. 🙂

Hugs and High Fives!
-C

 

PS. I’m sure I almost broke Google trying to spell “aesthetician.” That is NOT an easy word to spell, folks.

 

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