Spa Owner Embraces and Capitalizes on Differences

“When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade,” says Marc Winer, owner of Marc Edward Skin Care in West Hollywood, California, in reference to a turning point in his career. After being turned down for a job—his first interview out of cosmetology school—Winer took the criticism that they offered and, instead of sulking, transformed it into a mantra. “At this upscale Santa Monica spa, they said they liked me, but that I was too clinical,” he recalls. At that moment, Winer decided to become one of the best advanced clinical estheticians he could become. “I wasn’t going to fight it,” he says.

A former actor and a fitness trainer in Los Angeles, Winer experienced a serious arm injury while lifting weights. During his rehabilitation, a friend, who also was the owner of a skin care salon, planted the seed in his mind to obtain an esthetic license.

Because of his dedication to helping people, Winer decided to attend esthetic school. “I had an excellent teacher—Miss Lina. She was tough and made some of the students cry. She never gave compliments, but pulled me aside one day and said that I was going to be very successful in the industry. I always remember those words,” he says.

Winer’s first esthetic job was at a small brand-new skin care spa on Melrose Avenue with no established clientele. A woman Winer refers to only by her first name—Sogul—came in one day to demonstrate microdermabrasion, and, for him, the rest is history. The two made a connection. Not only did the spa purchase a machine, but also Sogul admired Winer’s passion for his work so much that she inquired whether he wanted to work for the company, Nu-Derm. “I’ve met so many doctors through this machine, many of whom wanted to work with me. I’ve collaborated with several physicians in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, California, during the past seven years. I’ve obtained so much knowledge about medical esthetic treatments and skin care products,” he says. “I love it and knew that was where I was meant to be.”

Winer currently works part time for Nu-Derm and for a physician at the Westside Medical Spa in Westwood, California, in addition to running his own spa, Marc Edward Skin Care, which opened this past January. Using his first and middle names to christen the facility, it carries SkinCeuticals and Winer’s own line of mineral makeup. He also recently was named Best Esthetician in Los Angeles in Frontiers magazine’s Best of Gay Los Angeles issue.

In the future, he sees himself continuing to stay on top of the clinical products, equipment and treatments that are available to licensed estheticians. “When something is new, you have to investigate it thoroughly. I challenge many things that are out there to decide which really are useful. Everything in skin care is a gray area, and what works for one person may not for another,” Winer points out.

He recommends taking classes, as well as reading books and journals. “A week should never go by when you are not reading about something new,” he asserts. Winer also urges estheticians to go to medical tradeshows, along with esthetic and spa shows, to keep up with the latest trends.

All in all, Winer persists at being one of the top clinical estheticians in the industry, although he admits that it isn’t always easy. “Not every day is booked solid and not every day is trouble-free, but skin care professionals are doing a great thing to heal people. If you’re passionate about and good at what you do, the money and luck will follow.”

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