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Career Path

Aesthetic allure

by Isabella Lee

Ron Ng (right), general manager
Maggie Lee, educator
Esthetics International (HK) Limited
Esthetics International Group
Photo: Nolly Leung

With mounting air pollution levels and changes in UV indices, more and more people are becoming concerned about how the environment affects health. Industrially, companies offering products and services that counterbalance the effects of environmental damage and help clients maintain healthy skin will see demand for their services surge as air quality deteriorates.

One solution to continuous threats to dermal equilibrium is the development of skin care products, in particular, protective makeup which incorporates healing properties into its formula, according to Ron Ng, general manager of Esthetics International (HK) Limited, a member of Esthetics International Group (EIG).

"With high levels of potentially harmful substances abundant in the atmosphere, people want to protect their skin from carcinogenic damage while simultaneously retaining a healthy glow. An increasing number of products now incorporate sunscreen and nourishing ingredients to keep delicate facial tissues supple and radiant. Such luminescence is the ultimate goal skincare and beauty experts strive to achieve," Mr Ng explains.

International exposure

Headquartered and listed in Malaysia, EIG distributes several major branded skin, hair, cosmetic and health products, as well as treatment equipment for aestheticians and spas in regions including Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Indonesia. In addition, the corporation manages and operates a chain of professional skincare and spa centres.


"Continuous professional development a priority"

EIG also extends its professional skincare education through Esthetics Wellness International (EWI Academy), a training centre offering skin and body care cosmetology and professional makeup courses to reputable international standards. Affiliated with The International Dermal Institute of Los Angeles, the largest post-graduate aesthetic school in the US, Europe and Asia, EWI Academy is well positioned to incorporate the latest treatment techniques from around the world into the classroom.

"Staff who demonstrate a willingness to learn will go a long way because ongoing learning is encouraged and rewarded. We recognise the added value education brings to the overall success of the business. Whether staff share information in an informal everyday setting or embark upon structured courses to reach management and supervisory levels, we make continuous professional development a priority for everyone," Mr Ng states.

As such, numerous opportunities for career advancement are made easily accessible in various forms at EIG. "Training sessions and seminars, locally and overseas, feature regularly for staff who then receive monetary rewards which are linked to results and progress," Mr Ng adds. "We value a high level of teamwork and respect our staff's opinions and suggestions. What really sets us apart is an open culture where staff can have a say."

With such a range of operations, commitment to people development and respect for staff, EIG is a magnet for many beauty professionals who look towards to building a career in the industry.

Maggie Lee, who sought an alternative career challenge far removed from her academic background in engineering, is one such professional who enjoys the personal touch on a daily basis. She particularly notes that her success is very much the fruit of EIG's keen focus in nurturing professional talents within the company. "The figures and paperwork in my engineering career were not stimulating. When I realised this, I began a part-time beauty diploma programme to prepare for a new career as a beautician which I found fascinating. Upon completing the professional training, I took a bold step and became a therapist," Ms Lee recalls.

Using tools and skills to make people look attractive outside, Ms Lee subsequently learned how to make clients feel beautiful on the inside, an attribute which she finds the most rewarding.

Refining requirements

With recognised qualifications and solid experience, Ms Lee gained confidence, subsequently enjoying greater responsibilities as she was promoted to senior therapist. She is currently an educator at Esthetics International (HK) Limited, responsible for training therapists, both experienced or beginners, in the company salons where she shares theories and industry best practices.

Meanwhile, Ms Lee is enhancing the current services by analysing her fellow therapists' professional requirements, which range from a thorough knowledge of the latest beauty product trends and equipment, language competence and sales and presentation techniques to personal development such as stress management.

Last year, Ms Lee was selected to attend a five-day worldwide orientation programme in Australia, a trip she found extremely valuable in boosting her know-how and presentation skills. Aside from the global network she created, the trip also provided essential industry insights which she utilises daily back in Hong Kong. Later on, she participated in a subsequent programme in customer service, further boosting her professional acumen.

"It takes patience and diversified communication skills to show my fellow therapists how to improve professional standards. However, it is my role to ensure learning is ongoing in the workplace. As such, company training is more than worthwhile, it adds value to individuals and in turn the services we provide," Ms Lee notes.


 

Taken from Career Times 01 February 2008, p. B14

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