Final Interview

November 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today we are getting personal with Modern Lady of the Month: Miss November, Lisa CEO of Sugar Me LA. We’re talking about business, personal struggles and even social media. What’s an interview now-a-days without a little Facebook talk? 

TIB: Did you always know you wanted to be an aesthetician?

LISA: No. I actually started out my office career in investment banking in mergers and acquisitions.

TIB: Wow, that’s very different.

LISA: I’ve always been very artistic. I came from an artistic family. In high school I always did everyone’s make-up and hair. Someone asked me if I wanted to become a hair dresser. I couldn’t stand the thought of working on hair. As I’ve since learned, I like killing hair not making it look better. So I started a long search.

TIB: Investment Banking?

LISA: Yeah, I got out of Investment Banking. I was really unhappy with the way my life was going. This was about 7 or 8 years ago. Bounced around, worked for a software company. At one point I was talking to a friend of mine who was an aesthetician and a cosmetologist, explaining to her a skin care line I had been researching. She stopped me and asked me why I working at the software company. I had zero training I was self taught, yet I knew more about the stuff than some aesthetician she knew. I was being told the same thing by a friend who owned a cosmetic line. Within six weeks I was in school. It usually takes six month to a year to get into those schools. My friends said that was impossible. But I got in, I was doing it.

TIB: What school was it?

LISA: It was in Concord, California. It wasn’t the best place to train, but I ended up training with nurses and I tried to learn whatever I could from them. It was a lot more fun than I thought it was going to be because it’s an incredible mix of science and artistry. Mixing chemicals and playing with chemicals then turning around and using the artistry to figure out exactly what is causing something. Acne alone, it is very difficult to figure out what’s causing it, food allergies, or what clogs the pores. It’s a wonderful maze my mind gets to work on.

TIB: You’re like a skin detective.

LISA: And I’m still learning. I’m constantly going to seminars and training still to this day. In fact, I’ve been invited to the lab that creates the skin care line that I use. I’m actually going to work with the chemists and learn about the line and the learn more about the chemicals and how it fixes your skin.

TIB: Cool. That’s awesome.

LISA: I know! I’m going to running through this lab like a mad scientist. I can’t wait. It’s quasi medical. It’s a lot of fun.

TIB: When did you make the decision to start your own business? What were the events leading up to the moment you said, “I have to do this on my own.”

LISA: That’s a good question. I was working for a company that pulls aestheticians right from the school. There were a lot of people practicing that didn’t have any real experience. I remember at one point they had brought in all these peels and people were chemically burning. They couldn’t figure out what it was. One of the managers came over to me saying that people were being burned. I told her, most of the people who were coming in use over the counter Oil of Olay, and you have to condition skin before you put this type of peel on them. It’s like running a marathon without any training at all. My manager still didn’t hear anything I said.

TIB: That’s frustrating.

LISA: It is. The next place I worked was at an Equniox spa. The manager there very readily said he had no knowledge at all about skin care. These managers are the people that were making the decisions to what was being done in the skin care department. Basically they were creating a public hazard with the things they would unqualified employees do and the products they would sell. And it was hurting people. I was trying to give my clients the best possible service and not be ripping anybody off. It’s like fixing a car, there’s a lot of science going on it’s not just pushing lotions around on your face. If you don’t know what your doing, you’re going to destroy it. I just got so fed up with having to listen to people who had not idea what they were talking about and asking me to do things that I was legally licensed to do. I also wasn’t going to tell someone to buy a product that’s crap just because my company has to sell a certain percentage of a product. I’m an aesthetician not a sales person. I had a hard time lying to my clients to make money for a corporation. I knew I had to go out on my own.

TIB: What struggles did you face when deciding to go out on your own?

LISA: There was a lot of work involved in it. It’s always 50% harder than you think it’s going to be. That was the problem I ran into.

TIB: But 50% more rewarding.

LISA: Right! I ran into a problem with funding. Starting a business takes a considerable amount of money. Financially it was difficult to start out because you want to have all these great things that you know about  but you have to pick and choose what you are able to bring in and do it on a shoestring.

TIB: Did you have supporters or friends that helped you out? What kind of support did you get from them?

LISA: My biggest supporters were my actual clients. They did word of mouth and it grew pretty well just by that. YELP! helped me considerably because my clients went out and posted positive reviews on there. From that I became the only person out there doing what I do with a Five Star review. It was because of those reviews that I go pulled into deals with Lifebooker, Popsugar, and Groupon. That’s my advertising right now. I don’t actually pay for it. I’ve done trades for my clients. My trainer posed for this picture for free. I’ve actually gotten clients because they liked the guy in the picture. So I’ve had support from the people around me.

TIB: Besides YELP! which was pioneered from your own clients, how have the other social media platforms helped your business?

LISA: Twitter has helped although not excessively as say Facebook. With Facebook I can connect directly with my clients. I would like to get a little bit more personal with an email or texting system to let them know about any specials coming up or last minute appointment openings. Part of the issue I’m running into is I’m doing most of this by myself. So it’s finding time. I have clients all day. For me clients are my priority. I’ll work a 15 hours day before I get time to sit in front of the computer and update my Facebook site.

TIB: What advice would you give to someone starting a business like this.

LISA: Expect your business to build over three years, don’t expect it to happen over night. Nobody’s going to be beating down your door. It takes patience and a long time to build. A lot of people will pay more attention to the artistic side and not much to the financial side. After you’re done with your clients you are still working on that, prepping your business for the future. You don’t just get to go home and call it a day when hours are over. Be prepared to work a lot harder than you would for anyone else. It doesn’t feel like work, but the hours are long. But it’s fun and it’s exciting and you get to call the shots and choose who you work with. Water finds its own level. I love my clients. It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it.

TIB: It’s all about the clients.

LISA: I want to give them the best, fix them. I need to. So I guess it’s really more about me than it is about them.

For more from Lisa at Sugar ME LA

Like Lisa and Sugar Me LA on Facebook: Show your support for Modern Lady – November

Follow Lisa on Twitter: For appointment availability and promotions

Sugar Me LA’s Website: Read about additional services and pricing

More reviews on Yelp: Rave, rave reviews. Seriously. See what other people are saying, too good to pass up.


Miss November Talks Shop

November 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

I sat down with Lisa, CEO of Sugar Me LA to get the inside scoop on the largest organ in the body: skin.  She shares her expert opinion on skin care and products. What use and what to be buyer-beware about. 

TIB: What are some top tips for someone struggling with acne?

LISA: First thing to do is to try to figure out if it’s a food allergy or not. If you can, keep a very detailed food diary. When you realize you have a new breakout coming out, go back 36 hours and figure out what you ate 36 hours previously. See if there is a correlation between what your eating and the breakouts.

TIB: And what if it’s not food?

LISA: I’ve noticed people think because they have acne their skin is oily. Most of the people I find, especially in LA, think their skin is oily when it’s actually dry. Because they are using a product to dry the acne out more, they are creating more of a problem. They are better off going to a Glycolic product, something that has 10% Glycolic and a pretty decent PH. What that is going to do is open up the follicles and let the junk purge out. You have to have that mixture of oil and sweat on your skin, you can’t dry it out. It’s a natural antibacterial protection that spreads all over your body. You need to work with your body to clear up your problems not fight the natural protectors.

TIB: What about make-up and acne?

LISA: Another thing I see with clients who swear they have oily skin is they wear make-up. I ask them when they are getting oily. If the answer is around 3pm it’s because they put on make-up in the morning. Their skin is trying to slide that make-up off the face with the natural protector of oil and sweat. You may have the dryest skin in the world but you’ll turn oily if you put make-up on. You need to get rid of that misconception that you’re oily and find out what your real skin type is like. Most of the people I see are treating themselves for the wrong skin type.

TIB: Let’s talk about anti-aging.

LISA: Wear sunscreen.  That’s going to be the biggest anti-aging thing for you to do. La Roche and L’Oreal have amazing sunscreens. An independent study that has been done found Neutrogena, Coppertone, and Banana Boat were the absolute worst you could use. L’Oreal did really well in this study and I’ve used it myself. If it’s a chemical sunscreen, people think it’s bad for you. It’s not. There haven’t been any studies saying that. You could have an allergy reaction to it. I use a chemical sunscreen with a zinc oxide sunscreen, I just don’t put it around my eyes.

TIB: Is anti aging just about sunscreen?

LISA: Another big thing is don’t use soap. Don’t use soap on your face or your body either. Use something that’s PH balanced. Or use shampoo. Use shampoo on your body, or baby shampoo.

TIB: What are your feelings on over the counter, drug store brands?

LISA: Because of the studies I’ve seen and their sunscreen rated so poorly, I’d stay away from Neutrogena. Stay away from  scrubs like St. Ives. They are only going to rip open your skin. You should end up using a Glycolic clenser, because the Glycolic is going to fix your skin anyway. If used correctly it will exfoliate your skin without having any issues. Let that be your exfoliator.

TIB: How could you avoid buying products that claim to do something they won’t?

LISA: Look at ingredient lists to see where the preservatives are. There was a product out on the market that claimed to have all these great peptides for tightening up your skin. The peptides are in there really do work, they are amazing peptides. But peptides have to be in a certain percentage range to actually work. This product listed the peptides next to or even after the preservatives. Well, preservatives are never more than 2% in a product. So basically your are paying for $250 water you’re going to put on your face. The best thing you can do is find an aesthetician who isn’t pushing their products down your throat and see what they think about the product in question.

TIB: What’s the most important tip for your skin?

LISA: Wear sunscreen! I don’t care where you get it just wear it. Also, put it on your lips. It keeps your lips from aging.

Great Monday Mind Morsel from Lisa. Read the rest of Lisa’s interview on Wednesday when we wrap up Miss November and learn about woman behind the business. Inspiration is rewarding.

For more from Lisa at Sugar ME LA

Like Lisa and Sugar Me LA on Facebook: Show your support for Modern Lady – November

Follow Lisa on Twitter: For appointment availability and promotions

Sugar Me LA’s Website: Read about additional services and pricing

More reviews on Yelp: Rave, rave reviews. Seriously. See what other people are saying, too good to pass up.


November 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Your Thanksgiving Day Host

November 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’ll be honest. I’m really freaked out to be cooking an entire turkey. A whole freeking turkey! I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life. I’ve never even dreamt about cooking turkey. I don’t even use “turkey” as an insult in casual conversation. Yet here I am stressing over the poultry’s posture in the pan. I’m not even that great of a cook. I’m much better coming up with a name, Trampstamp Tonya, and I plan on branding her before she bakes, just so she lives up to her name.

I take Thanksgiving pretty seriously. I cried over it about three times last month. I admit it, tears over turkey. My cynical anti-consumerism took hold when I was an angsty teenager dressed in black with eyeliner even batman would be jealous of. That and the fact I literally have a panic attack every time I open a present are the emotions that lobbied for Thanksgiving. I’d announce with my nose in the air, “Thanksgiving is the purest of all holidays. The day of thanks has yet to be commercialized.” It was only recently I discovered the reason I haven’t been home for the holiday since 2004 was because airlines hike up ticket prices. Now I’m noticing all the laminated cornucopias.

The more the merrier is the motto for this holiday, really earning back pure points even though the price of canned cran is through the roof. I always volunteer (or demand, depending who you ask) to make my Grandma Lily’s pumpkin pie. I make 3 so I’m guaranteed leftovers. I refuse to eat any other pie. This type of immaturity might explain the tears earlier this month.

The anxiety really set in last Friday when I started making the menu list, the shopping list, the cleaning list, the other to-do list when you are expecting a house full of people. And these expected people haven’t even confirmed yet. Really… are you concerned about the quality of my turkey or are you just waiting for a better offer? You can’t tell me you haven’t found time to get back to me, I know you’re on facebook. Insulted that I was the only one who had RSVPed, I went out to beat the shopping rush anyway. Not waiting until the last minute is one of those adult tendencies I’ve picked up. Probably why I’m now qualified to serve Thanksgiving dinner.

This is my first time hosting the holiday, and although I know that not everybody takes it as fatefully as I do, I still want to be the coolest Thanksgiving my guests have ever experienced period, all four of them. After all our Turkey is a former biker hussy. In fact I even (or finally depending who you talk to) bought a dinning table. No one’s eating off their laps at my house. Picked it up this morning, now I just have to build it. Okay so maybe I waited until the last minute on that one.

I’m still a bit anxious because the ladies before me who helped me put the bird of the day on such a high pedestal made it look easy. Grandma Lily, my mother, and my good friend’s husband have all shown gourmet grace under fire with a touch of Martha Stewart. Pulling a centerpiece out of my ass is the least of my problems compared to the 14lb flightless bird I’ve set out to roast, but at least I’ll have a table to set them both on. I’m thankful for that.

Seven Sweet Tips

November 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sugar Me LA’s and our Miss November, Lisa has some tips for  scheduling your sugaring appointment. Most of these go for waxing too, so if you are going to dare to go bare make sure you read through so you have the best experience. 1. Don’t schedule an appointment one week before your period. In theory, it’s because of water retention (edema). It could also be because of hormones. It’s wise not to schedule anything that might be painful, trips to dentist, doctor, etc the week before your period. If you’re pregnant the blood volume increases and the edema is rather intense, making you extremely sensitive.

2. Wait a bit if you’re on antibiotics. You CAN Sugar when on antibiotics, but it tends to make you more sensitive. However, DO NOT wax while using antibiotics. Wait 10 days after finishing them. Antibiotics make you photosensitive and will cause skin to lift or tear when using wax, which has a resin. ***I’d also like to take this moment to remind you that birth control is compromised when taking antibiotics too. Make sure you use double the contraceptive if you are on antibiotics.

3. Don’t drink coffee. And if you drink a lot you should curb it a couple days before. Drinking coffee tends to dehydrate, which also dries out the follicle causing the cuticle of the hair to stick on the dead, dehydrated skin cells on the inside of the follicle. Hurts more too.

4. Don’t shave, hair must be 1/8 inch long. For waxing, hair must be 1/4 inch long.

5. Shower and exfoliate, but don’t scrub the day of the service. Also moisturize, but not on the day of the service as it will keep the sugar from working properly and tend to drive the esthetician daft until she suddenly thinks to ask about the use of moisturizer.

6. Don’t have a sun burn, duh. The dead burned skin needs to stay until the skin underneath has healed. However, waxing and sugaring will be rip it off, scarring the new skin. Yuk. You should be wearing sunscreen anyway!!!

7.  Accutane. Don’t use any kind of sugaring or wax for at least six months after  you stop taking Accutane. It’s scary stuff. Completely dries out the outer layers of the skin, so when the sugar removes the hair, it also removes the layers of skin that should be somewhat moist, that protect the live layers of skin on the dermal layer – think ripping off a hangnail, only all over the area in which the sugar has been applied. Super painful.

For more from Lisa at Sugar ME LA

Like Lisa and Sugar Me LA on Facebook: Show your support for Modern Lady – November

Follow Lisa on Twitter: For appointment availability and promotions

Sugar Me LA’s Website: Read about additional services and pricing

More reviews on Yelp: Rave, rave reviews. Seriously. See what other people are saying, too good to pass up.


November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

1 Photo + 2 Videos = Friday Farting Folly

A Lady Doesn’t Fart

November 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

“A lady doesn’t fart, she fluffs.” My ass. Any guy who actually believes this doesn’t have a sense of smell and may be hard of hearing. Take it from a serial monogamist, there is a barrier to cross. A fart barrier, after that things may never smell the same.

Let’s get some things straight, I wouldn’t let a loud one rip with just anybody around, but if someone inquires, I’ll own up to it. Think Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar. I was raised Catholic but I’m not anymore. That guilt alone makes me honest. Plus everybody poops, so everybody toots. Take one for the team now and again. According to my research anonymous crop dustings are only 50% questioned. I always question it to see if people are being honest. For those of you who I hang out with, if I don’t question the stench, it was me. Secrets out. I don’t know why more people don’t ask, “did you fart?” But that’s a sociology survey for another time.

Relationship farts are an entirely different story. It’s a game, who’s going to let it go first, you or him? Ladies, you have been staying away from soy, peanuts, milk (if that’s your thing) to further the relationship. You hold it in or let it out really slowly while sitting on a cushy surface, creating the allusion that your body produces nothing foul. You are a sacred vessel, after all, giver of life. This can’t last forever. Heaven forbid the first time you break wind is during sex.

With my experience, it’s more the noise that’s unflattering than the scent. The scent will waft away after a few seconds, but the noise plays over and over and over again in your head after it passes. The tone, pitch and amplification resonate in your eardrums. On top of it, you can pin point exactly whose ass the noise is coming from. You can’t play it off like it wasn’t you.

No matter who cuts the cheese first, the door is now open and the other person is up to bat. Pressure is on, if you’re second, which is usually the case because I think guys are just gassier. He is just waiting for you to slip up. When you do, it’s almost a celebration. When you both have popped the cherry, you’ve officially got over the fart barrier. Everything is fair game.

I’ve crossed this threshold with quite a few men in my life, like I said serial monogamist. Also I work with a lot of dudes. All boys treat this bodily function a little differently. Some of them grunt after as a sign of ownership, occasionally you’ll get a cougher. Sometimes he’ll just stand in the corner and make a face, that’s a courtesy. Then there are the dudes who have never grown up and giggle a little too long over it. Every single time, like a 3rd grader on a school bus who just learned how to make noise with his armpit. Personally, I enjoy a guy who’ll let it rip really loud and then just make eye contact with you, like he’s just as surprised as you are. Or the guy that looks nervous or worried. He says, “It’s cool, I’m alright. Are you alright? I’m alright.”

So you’ve gotten over the boundary, you’re obviously spending a lot of time together. That’s healthy. It’s healthy to be healthy together, no matter what it smells like. It’s funny, crossing the fart barrier is almost more intimate that seeing each other naked. That’s the society we live in. Farting is a big dark secret you keep and only reveal to the other person when the moment is right. Some people are more upfront than others.

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