By Guest Writer Shannon Gallogly

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Before you become a spa therapist there are a few very important factors to think about. First, you must have an interest in the beauty and skin care field. Second, you should be comfortable touching unfamiliar people and confident in the ability to maintain your own professional appearance. However, one of the most important things you need to become a spa therapist is passion.

Shannon Gallogly

As the national education and training manager for DECLÉOR, I’ve worked extensively with new spa therapists and industry professionals. The vision that we teach all of our estheticians is first to trust your self and then trust your client. Once you have that balance, the rest will fall into place.

During training at the DECLÉOR Institute in Darien, Connecticut, new estheticians experience a three day course where they become completely immersed in the brand and learn the eight rituals that set DECLÉOR apart. The new spa therapists learn how to create the spa experience, which is the most important thing an esthetician can offer their clients. What is the “spa experience?” It is feeling good about yourself, feeling beautiful and succumbing to the voluptuousness of sensations. Beauty as self-discovery is one of the most important values a spa therapist should feel and communicate.

For a spa therapist, their hands are truly at the center of the experience. At DECLÉOR, all treatments are performed by expert hands that maintain constant contact. Specific methods require attentive, stringent and continuous training: they give our experts unique and beneficial know-how. However, becoming a spa therapist isn’t just about using your hands. It is about actively listening to someone else’s needs. For DECLÉOR, this is known as “The art of accompanying women”. A shared moment, the pleasure of giving and receiving, is what we offer our clients. Having this extreme accompaniment at the heart of our treatments creates the experience of a moment, a sensation, and unique emotion that benefit all. At DECLÉOR this connection represents a spirit of generosity and strong human values.

To fulfill the complete “spa experience” DECLÉOR teaches the “la mise en scene” or the staging of the spa ritual, which sets the standards of the overall experience. For example, when the body starts to relax, body temperature drops, so this means offering a hot water bottle with gentle warmth to accompany the client throughout the treatment. We also offer a cool or warm scented oshiboris (which means towel in Japanese) depending on the treatment to envelope the client in comfort. The spa products used are also an extremely important part of the spa experience. DECLÉOR ‘s Aromessence™ serums such as Neroil, Iris, Ylang Ylang help- to let the client’s mind wander and recover their serenity. Additionally, we provide eye cushions while the mask is on to create a complete cocoon of relaxation and shut out the light so the client can completely let go. Finally, candles help to create an olfactory ambiance inspired by Aromatherapy and music helps the mind to slip away.

There are a required number of hours that need to be clocked in order to become a spa therapist (minimum 300 hours and the average is 600). The amount of training varies with each U.S. State and with the level you want to attain. My training has been ongoing for the last 12 years and my first training was 1000 hours. But, becoming a spa therapist is not just about the training and the use of your hands. It is about having the passion for beauty, creating a connection with the client and setting the mood to make everything come together. Creating a clear beginning and a clear end is what we give to each client who experiences the Decléor rituals.

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With more than 12 years of experience in beauty and wellness, Shannon Gallogly has become one of the most in demand estheticians and educational training managers in the industry.

Currently Shannon is the National Education and Training Manger for DECLÉOR and CARITA – premier Parisian skin and body care brands, where she travels the country and the world educating retailers, estheticians, and spas about products and treatment protocols for both brands.

Shannon’s first job working with a leading Rhode Island Dermatologist led her to further her knowledge and skills in skincare and study with top French trainers, become certified in reflexology, Reiki, the art of waxing and to become licensed as a body and facial therapist.

Shannon’s extensive experience and education has landed her positions with some of the biggest names in the beauty industry including Yonka, Elémis, La thérapie, Sothys, Murad, and SkinCeuticals and Estee Lauder, where she served as the Store Manager and helped develop their in-store facial program. Shannon also worked for Origins as the training manager as well as for the Mohegan Sun Resort where she served as a trainer and lead facialist and worked with several high profile clients in the sports, music, and entertainment forums including Taye Diggs, Johnny Damon, and Michael Buble. Working as a licensed body and facial therapist and educational trainer has provided Shannon with a well-rounded skill set.

Originally published September 2009



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