We took some time out with our friend Ashleigh Scott of Auckland's premier facial studio The Facialist.
After 3 months of closed doors, the move to the new traffic light system means Ashleigh and her team at back on the tools. We caught up with Ashleigh at our shiny new Teed St boutique to chat about the highs, the lows and what she's looking forward to most, now that we're moving out of lockdown
Oh and P.S. There's a special treat for Saben fans, keep reading to discover what it is.
Ashleigh tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and what led you to become the woman you are today.
I started in the beauty industry young (17 and straight out of high school), but I have always been so passionate about the industry I knew I would always end up in. Because I started working so young, by the time I was 21 I was ready for a change, so I moved to London where I lived for almost two years. I worked as a facialist there and became aware of a new way of working. It was a totally different industry there to what it was like in Auckland at the time. I knew when I moved home that I couldn’t go back to working how I was before, so I decided to create a job for myself that allowed me to work in my own way. It grew very fast and has evolved a lot over the past 8 years, but I have always had a very strong vision of what I wanted to create.
How did your love of beauty and skincare come about?
I feel like it is always what I wanted to do. I remember being a kid and giving my mum ‘facials’ using all her skincare products. I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with beauty and skincare. When I was at school it was the only thing I was interested in going to do, so I ended up leaving school early to train as a beauty therapist.
'The Facialist' is THE name in skin treatments here in Tamaki Makaurau. How long have you been in the game?
I started The Facialist over seven years ago! At the time there really wasn’t anyone in New Zealand approaching skin the way I did, with a more holistic philosophy.
What does a regular day look like for you? (Outside of a 3 month lockdown….)
Everyday is quite different, I love variety. Usually I spend 3 days a week in the salon, one day on my own clients, the rest of the time I am training and mentoring my team, working on admin and new projects. My Fridays are reserved for my daughter, so we usually like to get out and do a fun activity or meet up with friends. I love this balance, and while I know it won’t last forever, right now I feel like I’ve (mostly) achieved the perfect work/family balance.
Tell us about your approach to beauty and skincare. It’s not a one size fits all scenario, is it?
All of our treatments are completely bespoke. Meaning we customise the facial to suit your skin. Everybody’s skin is different and even your own skin is constantly changing. So what your skin needs from month to month is always different. I always find it overwhelming going to a new place and having to choose from 10 different facials. Not many people actually know what their skin needs. So we take the guess work out of it; you choose the length of your facial, and in that time we will create a treatment just for you.
At the Facialist, what treatments are you known for? Why do your clients keep coming back?
That’s hard for me to answer! The bespoke facial is key, for reasons mentioned above. The bespoke nature means your induvial concerns are addressed. But, potentially The Yoga Facial is more of a “signature” – it’s a workout for you face, and our natural retort to Botox. Through a series of specialised and targeted massaged techniques your face is contoured and the skin is left glowing.
Are there any highlights from your career? Moments where you feel so incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved.
So many! Opening my first salon, and then moving into a bigger space three years later. Winning several awards, including Best Salon in New Zealand in the World Spa Awards. Bringing my husband into the business and working together everyday.
What advice do you have for women who are looking to invest in a skincare routine?
Start small and build from there. It can be incredibly overwhelming, so seek professional advice to make sure what you’re using is best for your skin and targeting your specific skin concerns.
We offer a complimentary skin-script service; clients can get a full skincare regime created just for them based on their skin and concerns. For honest, non-bias skin advice and a multi-branded routine try it here: https://thefacialist.co.nz/pages/prescriptions
Got any insider tips on achieving that fresh from the salon, post-facial glow at home?
Massage is such a powerful tool for the skin, and so easy to do at home! Most people quickly slap on their products, but by taking a few minutes to really massage them into the skin, you are increasing blood circulation, bringing fresh oxygen and nutrients to the surface of the skin, detoxifying. So many benefits! You can use your hands, or we have create a facial massage tool ‘The Sculpter’ that is really easy to use at home to replicate the massage you get from our facials.
What about daily skin rituals, what should we be doing to take care of our skin?
Taking time to relax and re-set with rituals is so important for our mental health and staying sane, what skincare rituals can you offer to those who might not have the time or the funds for regular trips to the studio.
Setting up your own daily rituals is so important. For me it’s the wind down before bed. It usually starts about an hour before I go to bed! But I love to take the time to spend on my skincare, usually I’ll pop on a podcast and take my time winding down and getting ready for me.
The art of facial is a really grounding practice to reconnect mind, body and breathe. There really is something to be said about the whole “Skincare as self care” moment that lockdown induced.
The foundation of a good regime starts with the cleanse, always double cleanse at night. Ideally with an oil cleanser first to remove make-up, spf or sebum from the day and then a more targeted cleanser (to suit your skin type) for a deeper cleanse. Use a warm flannel to remove each time. And take you time working the product into the skin and emulsify the pollutants away. Now your skin is fresh, prepped and will more readily absorb the nourishing ingredients in your consequential steps.
In the morning a skin-soak is perfect, and costs nothing. Don’t cleanse here; simply apply a warm damp flannel to your face and press into the skin. Rinse and repeat 3 -4 times. Your skin will be left feeling refreshed, plumped and hydrated ready for your morning skincare.
Gua Sha is another great, and relatively cost-effective ritual for home. Simply apply your favouirte face oil to freshly cleansed face and use upward outward strokes to relieve tension, promote circulation and encourage the skin to regenerate for a glowy complexion.
The last 3 months have thrown us some curveballs, especially those in the beauty world – is there anything you’ve learned about yourself and/or the way you do business in the last 3 months?
It’s been tough! People talk about resilience, but honestly some days I really didn’t feel resilient and struggled to get out of bed. But learning to control what we could, and just slowing down and enjoying the moments with family, knowing that it wouldn’t last forever helped. It’s given me a different perspective on how we do business now, and it’s been amazing to see the growth we’ve achieved online in the last few months, which I am excited to build on over the coming year.
What are you looking forward to most after lockdown eases (aside from getting back into the studio and giving the people of Auckland those luxury facials we’ve been yearning for).
I can’t wait to sit in a restaurant and eat delicious food. I’m also desperate to be reconnected with my mum who has been stuck in Mangawhai. She is usually down at least a couple of times a week and is my go-to babysitter, so it’s been so hard not having her close over the last few months!
What are your goals and ambitions for 2022 and beyond? Both personally and professionally?
I feel like the last two years we’ve been in a bit of a holding pattern and I have big goals to kick in 2022. From a personal level, we are welcoming another baby to the family mid-year. And business wise I am working on a few major projects that will hopefully come to life in 2022. It’s going to be a big year, lots of growth (literally!) and new adventures.
Now! For a treat for our Saben readers.
As we approach Christmas / post lock down / end of the year we all need a little glow up. The Facialist is offering Saben fans 10% off their beautifully curated natural skin and beauty products. Simply use the code GLOWUP
T+C's : Applies once per order, No Minimum, One use per customer, Excludes Treatment Bookings.