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Esthetician: My Gig

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Leisa Askew is a senior lead esthetician at BellaPelle Skin Studio. Leisa, who lives with her partner, fourteen-year-old son, and several pets, is excited that she turned forty this year and that life is good. A typical day is controlled chaos, as she juggles tonics, facial massages, and masks. Here’s a look at her career and life.

AC: What’s your typical day?

Askew: 7:00 a.m. Awake to my son coming upstairs.

9:00 a.m. Out of bed, for real. I dress for the gym, walk my dogs, make a pot of tea, and a simple breakfast. Then I check emails, make phone calls, pack a lunch and work clothes, and I’m out the door.

11:15 a.m. I catch the train downtown for a noon exercise class. I justify the expense because it’s so clean and close to work.

1:45 p.m. Finally arrive at work and eat lunch. I check my schedule, arrange my space accordingly, review client histories, and prepare for the day.

2:30–8:00 p.m. Meet with clients.

9:00 p.m. Home again, on a good day. Hug and kiss my son, check in on homework. I’m usually starving, so I make a giant salad and eat while sitting down to relax.

10:30 p.m. Things are winding down.

12:00 a.m. In bed.

AC: How’d you get where you are?

Askew: I’ve been a clinical esthetician for almost fifteen years with a background in product formulation. Honestly, I took an indirect route in getting to where I am today. I started out in art school, dreaming of all things larger than life. Upon graduating, I quickly realized I might not end up being as famous as I thought. Art, it seemed to me, was best left as a more private personal expression. Odd jobs followed, crazy business ventures, marriage began and ended, I had my son, etc. Alas, back to school I went, this time all grown up and with more focus. I got my LCCE, did a yearlong apprenticeship and oodles of advanced training. Basically, for years, I worked my ass off. Et voila! Since then, I’ve been recognized in national magazines and have had my share of “celebrity” clients. Today I’m really proud of where I’ve been but more importantly where I’m going. I have a very strong and loyal regular clientele base and am meeting people daily. The secret is that I really enjoy my work. 

AC: What’s the best thing about your job?

Askew:  Instant gratification. I am able to help people make positive changes and really see a difference in themselves, whether it’s the perfect eyebrow, glowing complexion, or a fast and painless Brazilian wax. When I meet with new clients and am able to make a connection with them and create a new and lasting relationship. When someone tells me that they’ve never had such a positive result or experience, that’s what drives me. Creating products that, I am told repeatedly, really work.

AC: What don’t you like?

Askew:  Paperwork, logistics, and fluff.

AC: How much money do you make?

Askew:  I make a percentage of the business I bring in. It can vary greatly from season to season and the economy plays a part as well, but this last year I grossed approx. $85k.

My Gig is a series of stories about different careers. Trying to figure out what to do when you grow up? My Gig, which provides a quick glimpse into a person’s work life, may inspire you!

Photo courtesy of Leisa Askew


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