Ep 11 - Giving Grace, Gratitude, and Exercising Patience with Ella Cressman

This episode guarantees lots of laughs as we poke fun at ourselves and embrace the emotional roller coaster of living and working through a pandemic. Ella Cressman shares useful (and not so useful, but hilarious) insights on giving grace, having gratitude, and exercising patience. What does Goonies (the movie), ultrasonic spatula, Clinque V, peanut butter whiskey, Michael Moore (Moore for life), and Kourtney Kardashian have in common? The answer—this podcast. Listen to find out how.

Don’t forget to check out the show notes for resources you never thought you needed.

Author Bio: 

Nominated for a 2018 DERMASCOPE Aestheticians' Choice Award as Favorite Brand Educator, Ella Cressman became a licensed esthetician in 2007 after attending the College of International Esthetics. In 2009, she became a skin care educator and product representative and enjoyed empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint, rather than a product specific view. She achieved an Organic Skin Care Formulation Certificate in 2014 and an Organic Skin Care Formulation Diploma from Formula Botanica in 2018.

Ella has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, phytochemistry, histological access, and complimentary compounds for intentional skin benefits.

She has written articles for ASCP Skin Deep magazine, Les Nouvelle Esthétiques & Spa magazine, American Spa magazine, CBD Health and Wellness magazine, Topical Magazine, and the popular blog Lipgloss and Aftershave.

In addition to running a skin care practice, Ella has consulted for several skin care lines (including several successful CBD brands) under the umbrella of Ella Cress Skin Care and founded a comprehensive consulting group in 2019, the HHP Collective.


00:00 Speaker 1: You are listening to ASCP Esty Talk, where we share insider tips, industry resources and education for estheticians at every stage of the journey. Let's talk 'cause ASCP knows it's all about you.

00:15 Tracy Donley: Hi and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk: Back to Business. Let your setback be your comeback, and I am your host today, Tracy Donley, Executive Director of ASCP. And you guys, get ready 'cause we have an amazing guest here today. You might already know her, Ella Cressman. And she is a licensed esthetician and owner and operator of Ella Cress Skin Care and HHP Collective. So if you don't know about it, check it out. But let's just jump into it. Hi, Ella.

00:50 Ella Cressman: Hi, Tracy. Thank you so much. I'm very excited to be on today.

00:53 TD: Yay. Well, I am super excited to have you, too. I know that we've kept missing each other, but better late than never.

01:01 EC: Yes. [chuckle]

01:02 TD: Okay, well, let's jump into... First, some easy questions. So what is one of the most healthy things that you've been doing right now during your stay-at-home orders?

01:15 EC: Oh, that is a shorter list than what are the unhealthy things I've been doing.


01:21 EC: I think that like a lot of people, we didn't really know what to do when we first entered quarantine or our businesses were closed, or things like that. And so what I did was I spent a lot of time really metaphorically and literally walking around in circles like, "What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do?" It was crazy, and you know what the answer always was?

01:41 TD: What?

01:42 EC: Stop and have a snack.


01:43 TD: I think I've been doing that too.

01:46 EC: Yes, I think we all were 'cause we didn't know what else to do, and it wasn't in our control, so something...

01:53 TD: Or at least just open up the refrigerator, just open it up, take a look.

01:57 EC: Yeah, just make sure everything was still good. And in this world of things that were completely out of our control, that was in our control, and that was constant, and that was also predictable, we knew what was in our fridge 'cause we just checked five minutes ago.

02:09 TD: Yes.

02:10 EC: But something that I've been doing recently, I... To be honest with you, Tracy, I fell down. I fell down hard. And when I say I fell down, I mean I fell down and...

02:19 TD: Not like the real... Like, you tripped?

02:20 EC: I couldn't trip 'cause I didn't walk that much, unless it was from the couch.

02:24 TD: Oh. Okay.

02:25 EC: But I, my... Spiritually, I fell down. Emotionally, I fell down. And then I just had a breakdown one day, I was like, "This sucks." I was being... I was so strong with the first few weeks and just, "This is it, empower through, empower through." And the more I saw the negativity on social media or watching the news again and seeing just the negative messaging that went [02:47] ____, it just affected me and I cried. I broke down. And I'm so grateful that I did that because I allowed myself to feel, for one, and I gave myself permission to have those things. And in... You said, "Let our setback be our comeback." And so that was my setback, I was like, "Okay, you got it, and it's okay to have these emotions, and it's okay to acknowledge that this is a scary time. And it's okay to acknowledge that it is not going to be as it was. It's different."

03:16 EC: And then as soon as I had that realization, I said, "What an amazing opportunity to set my new life, the new visual. What do I want this to look like? What do I want my day to look like?" Because I was waking up in the middle of the night, sleeping in longer, going... And believe it or not, I was, some days, going to bed at 8:00 PM and waking up at 7:00 AM and I am the person...

03:41 TD: Girl, I have been there. I have been there. It's crazy. And normally, I'm the person who's up at 5:00 in the morning like, "Let's do this thing."

03:49 EC: Same. Yeah, at the gym, couldn't go to the gym. None of my normal rituals were in place. So ritualistically, I get... Except for feeding my very hungry animals, eager animals. So wake up, I feed them, and then I go to the gym, and I get coffee on my way home, and I come home, and I get ready for my day, whatever that day looks like. I have a very sporadic schedule, but those are the things I could count on. And I couldn't count on that anymore. And I'm not going to the gym, I'm not releasing endorphins, and I'm not fueling my body with nutrients that it needs and so it was just "boom." That was part of the fall and...

04:26 TD: I know. Even for me too, just jumping in here, I think I've stopped having that alone time. I didn't get the time in the car to look into a podcast and be all by myself. I yearn to be all by myself.


04:47 EC: It's your processing time. That's your...

04:50 TD: It is.

04:50 EC: It's your wind-up on your way to work, or it's your cooldown on your way home from work, or it's getting ready, maybe it's your wind-up for getting home if you have a chaotic home life.


05:01 EC: But we don't... And not having those knocked everyone off of their axis.

05:06 TD: Yeah.

05:06 EC: Totally.

05:07 TD: I know, it's so crazy. So going back to... We kinda heard what some of your really healthy things, question mark, habits were. What would be some of your indulgence, habits? Maybe that's one and the same because you were eating really good foods every time you're grabbing a snack.

05:26 EC: I wasn't. In fact, I wasn't. I was not. I was like, "I don't ever buy cream cheese and pepperoni. What am I doing?" But I made the healthy things. I think what I... Halfway through, I was like, "You know what? This is my indulgent time. I don't have the excuse to not have the self-care." So I indulged in gratitude, and every... I started to create new rituals. And so I started my day grateful instead of starting my day on Facebook to find out what was happening. I'm grateful for...

05:57 TD: Oh, I love that.

05:57 EC: And I picked one thing I'm grateful for and picked it, even if it was like, "I'm grateful that I remembered to brush my teeth," because that was a problem. [chuckle] It wasn't a problem, but it was like it was a question, "Did I brush my teeth today?" And really, the other thing that I've indulged in is on the positive side, I mean there's a lot of things I indulged in negatively like chicken soup home-style... [chuckle] Things have been... My panic buy at the grocery store...

06:23 TD: Oh my god. I mean I'm talking about a whole bottle of Prosecco, girl. That's what I'm talking about.

06:29 EC: Peanut butter whiskey, and I don't drink that much. And I was like, "Oh, my... This is peanut butter whiskey and Chambord is like a peanut and jelly." And so I was like, "Oh, I'm fine, I'm staying home, everybody's sad, I can drink." Which is probably why I couldn't fit into some yoga pants yesterday. I'm like, "I'm supposed to be able to fit into these."

06:47 TD: These are yoga pants.


06:50 EC: But then I realized they were old yoga pants and they were sized before, so it's fine, I'll get there.

06:55 TD: Okay, well that's good then.

06:56 EC: My I think I can pants and I think I can, I'm going to.

07:00 TD: I like it.

07:01 EC: But, education really, it was been really fun, so I've been able to create... Not just create education, which has been awesome, but I've also been able to take advantage of some education in subjects that I had, you'd now drawn out the process, 'cause you know I love being a constant student, so things like corneotherapy and on interpening and just some subjects that I had made halfway through, I finished them and got my certificate, so that was... That was something.

07:28 TD: Oh, that's great. Oh my gosh, that's great. I think that is great advice too. And right now, if you can't do exactly what you wanna do, and maybe that's seeing clients and you can't do it, start crossing things off your to-do list, those things that are partials, that are... And we all have those partial accomplishments, right?

07:48 EC: Yes.

07:50 TD: Make them full accomplishments. Finish it. Get it done.

07:54 EC: Even as simple as like, I made a list, I just found this today actually, it's kinda weird. In trying to control what I could, I made a list of things I was gonna do, and it was purge the bathroom makeup drawer. [chuckle] This is really a big deal, purge the linen closet and everything in that I just shoved in there, purge my other closets and purge the... There was all this purge list and I...

08:16 TD: Yeah, like clean the junk drawer?

08:18 EC: Exactly, and we're going, you know, where it's imminent that at some point we're gonna go back and so today I looked at it and I was like, "Oh, I better get on that. You never know when we can get back, I better finish that list". So all these things.

08:29 TD: I think that's actually... I just had this great idea based on what you just said, I think it'd be really beautiful to mega list right now of all the things that you want to do, all the things that you want to do with your practice, with your business, the changes that you wanna make and make this big list and make a commitment to making it happen. I bring it up because I know every year on New Year's Day, I make a list and then I put it away. I put it in this box. It's a special box I have... Everyone can find their own special box.

09:09 EC: The New Year's box?

09:09 TD: It is... And I keep... I have every one going back to 2001, and the one thing is, is that I get to look at on New Year's Eve, that list. I don't get to look at it until then, and I can look through and see what things I've accomplished on there, and I'm gonna be honest, some things transcend a couple of years, it might be things like saving for a house, you know losing a certain amount of weight, that's pretty much been on every single list, but... [chuckle] But I see that, I bring that up because I think that would be something really cool and I think I'm gonna do personally, right now during this time, and look back a year from now when hopefully, we're not looking at the new normal, we're looking at the normal, and I could look at that list, you know?

10:00 EC: I think that's amazing. It's gonna be... What a time to reflect now and then, because right now, with so many emotions and such, it'd be interesting to see the progress made 'cause sometimes progress is so small that you don't realize how much progress you're really making, but to see it on paper, not just in these times, but you've mentioned over the past 19 years, would be interesting to compare 2001 to 2021, and see...

10:29 TD: Yeah, well, and that's an interesting thing too, is that when you do go back and you read the ones from before, you really can see your maturity or just your life changes without it... And you're looking at it between the lines, right? It's not like you can see, but it's the things that you're hopeful for or that you want or that you desire or that are important to you. And that changes quite a bit, so I think it'd be interesting to see what's important to me right this minute, and then look a year or two from right now, what's really important to me.

11:07 EC: Yeah. I could think of that, and as I'm cracking up on thinking back I...

11:10 TD: I think it will but [11:11] ____.

11:11 EC: I have this... In seventh grade, I made this guy diary, and my girlfriend and I... And I just thought about that, it's so ridiculous now. We made up this guy diary, and it was like January, it was 1982, and Bush had just bombed Iraq or whatever it was, and... "Oh but I love Rodney" and then 4 days later "Me and Rodney broke up but I love Matt" and so the priorities are different. We made these lists of our guy, our man requirements, it was straight white teeth, taller than me, like all these things that were... And now, if I was to make my 2020 guy list...

11:44 TD: List?

11:45 EC: Like, it would be like takes out the trash, helps call cable company. It's a totally different list. [chuckle]

11:51 TD: Yeah, like "He's nice to his mom, he enjoys the family," you wouldn't care about any of that back then.

11:58 EC: Yeah, yeah. That's funny.

12:00 TD: Ah I love that. Okay, wow, we've kind of gone down memory lane and hopefully given some people a couple nuggets of inspiration and also made them feel okay about the indulgence that they may be doing or having or what have you.

12:15 EC: Yeah, right?

12:16 TD: Yeah. So let's jump into a couple questions, especially since you do own your own skin care practice, I am dying to know from you, what does it look like or, wait, let's hold back, when do you feel like you are going to be ready to open up? What things have to be in place for that to happen?

12:41 EC: I think that's an amazing question, and I think a lot of people are asking that. I know a lot of people are asking that. You have people on either side of that where they're chomping at the bit to get back to work, and you have those who are scared to get back to work, and I see that on comments and what I have to... First and foremost, I'm following my state guidelines.

13:01 TD: Good girl.

13:02 EC: And yeah, I'm operating... It was in letter of the law, because I'm not... Because I respect my licensure. So looking at the state guidelines and what they say and what our regulatory board, they have been in a tough position too where they're... No one has been through something like this before and so there are regular... They're guiding us, right? They're supposed to lead us, but they're like, "What the heck are we doing? We don't even really know."

13:24 TD: Yeah, uncharted territories.

13:30 EC: And that's exactly, uncharted territories. The good news is that they, I feel, may respect our industry a little bit more than previous, and when I say respect our industry, I mean understand it more. So initially, their guidelines were so vague and with enough, strong suggestion isn't the right word, but demand I guess, from the industry like, "This doesn't cover it. This doesn't... We're confused still. We're still confused." So they've gotten really specific. Luckily, they've let, some services are able to go back, but for me personally, first and foremost, I'm following my state guidelines and of course, next would be my local guidelines, my city and county. What I feel... Once those are all passed, once we've got the green light that way, when I feel... And we're revving up for this now, we're getting the right PPE, and the spacing and such, and I think that is when I am going to feel the most safe. The thing is, we offer a service where we make people feel comfortable and so I don't want them coming back to get a facial if I'm in... You remember the movie ET? When they go in the house and they're in these full HAZMAT suits and it's like vacuum tunnels.

14:42 TD: Yeah, it's so intimidating, like, "What?"


14:46 EC: Yeah, and you're breathing like Darth Vader like, "Aah-aa, here's your facial." [laughter]

14:50 TD: Oh, you're [14:52] ____ to the '80s, girl. Let's talk about Goonies now too.


14:56 EC: Yeah, hey you guys! Like, "Mama, you've been bad." But I don't want to have them just to go back. I think what I don't wanna do is just go back just because. I'm looking at the care of my clients. I care for my clients so much that first and foremost, I want them to be safe and so I will handle all of that. And then secondly, I want them to feel safe, I want them to feel comfortable. I want them to return to me, knowing that, understanding that it's their comfort and their skin health that they come to me for and so I will, of course, keep that into consideration with how we get back. And so what we've already done is we've done the cleaning, we've done the signage, we've ordered supplies and we are trained to assume everyone has some kind of a communicable disease, and that's how we clean pre and post so that will still maintain the same. It's just I don't want them to feel so much sterility that they're not comfortable still. And so that's I think the biggest challenge and that's what I'm navigating in my head now.

16:00 TD: Yeah, I think it's almost... It's like some weird fine line, 'cause it's like, you don't want them to not notice how much cleaning and sterilizing or disinfecting that you're doing. You want it to be real obvious that you're protecting them, but at the same time, to your point, you don't want them to feel like, yeah, like ET invaders are coming to take them.

16:25 EC: Yeah. [chuckle] We're gonna give you your facial now, aah-aa. [laughter]

16:28 TD: Let me put on my HAZMAT suit and get up my oxygen tank. Are you ready?

16:35 EC: Cochoo-cochoo, cochoo-cochoo. It sounds like you're walking with paper on like, cochoo-cochoo, cochoo-cochoo. Yeah, no.

16:39 TD: Oh, yeah. That'd be hard to even turn up the music loud enough to not hear your paper arms moving. Yeah, so good points, I like it. I think, to your point, it's just good to hear what your thoughts are on it. I think everybody... It's an individual decision and what that looks like for them.

16:58 EC: Yes.

17:00 TD: And it's gonna be totally up to them, but I think it's important for people just to hear lots of other people's ideas on it in a way that's not offensive and judgy.

17:10 EC: And that's the key right there. You mentioned it, not offensive and judgy. We have to... We can't live in that space of judging others. I don't know, it just seems there's so much negativity and so much judgment for other's choices. And as long as it's okay with the state and county and they're doing it right, then that should... We should give them grace and we should go right on. If you're not wanting to go back 'cause you don't feel safe, we're gonna give you grace too and be like, "Right on." And it's totally fine. It's such a passionate position right now, our passion argument, and that's unfortunate that we don't continue to lift each other up, instead of bashing each other down.

17:49 TD: Yeah, I love that. Give each other grace and space. Let's do that, everybody, just give each other grace and space, and they'll give it to you.

17:57 EC: Absolutely.

18:00 TD: That's great, I love that. Okay. Well, what is it going to look like? Have you or have you already started communicating with your clients about opening up or have they been reaching out to you? What does that look like right now for you?

18:18 EC: Both. I've got to tell you, through this whole time I have maintained contact with my clients. And a couple weeks in, it was so nice because many of them, like three people one day said, "It is so nice just to hear your voice." And it gave me chills.

18:34 TD: Aw, yeah.

18:35 EC: And it confirmed that there's a relationship there. Many of my clients I've had for 12 years. I've seen their kids grow up, and graduate, and get married. I've had these people for a long time so it confirmed that that gave them peace, that gave them peace and feeling to remember what it was like before. And it also gave me peace too to hear that because we're caretakers, estheticians and body workers and hair stylists, we're caretakers naturally. And to feel that back and another way I felt that back is my clients were checking on me. They're like, "How are you doing? Can I do this? Can I do that?" And it's like, "What? Thank you so much, I appreciate it."

19:15 EC: I chose not to sell gift certificates because I just... I didn't wanna put it out there that way so I chose just to sell product instead and maintain that way. But them checking on me, and then even when our governor had set a press conference and in that press conference was first indication that they were gonna start to slowly let personal services back out, I had three people text me like, "Woohoo, you can go back." It's like, "Oh, hold on girl, but yeah." [laughter] And so, even on that note with friends, like friends reaching out to check on me, "How are you? Sorry about your business. We wanna do this." And it's just... It's been an example of love, and as weird as that sounds in this crazy times where we can't high five each other. I'm a hugger, I hug every client of mine. I literally love my clients. And we can't have this interaction as face to face as... But the personal physical connection. But to still feel that love just in a different way was really powerful and, one thing I wrote in my morning gratitude. I'm grateful that I'm lovable and I'd see that I'm lovable.

20:28 TD: Oh, you're so lovable.

20:31 EC: But feeling it is different. I can't explain it, but feeling loved is... It was like comfort.

20:36 TD: It's different, yeah.

20:38 EC: And I was able to put the chocolates down, just resonate and put my peanut butter whiskey away, 'cause I am loved.

20:45 TD: Well I think it's really interesting too. You had mentioned that one of your clients just was happy to hear your voice and you to hear their voice, and I think that is the veil underlying in this conversation that we're having today too, is that I think we all get into the space of texting and social media and sending emails, and we're just lighting them up, stacking them up, sending them out. And there is so much more meaning to hearing someone just say, "Hey, I'm just leaving you a message to let you know I'm thinking about you, and I can't wait till we can see each other again soon." That kind of thing is so powerful, 'cause you don't know what someone's situation is. They could be alone for all you know. And so anyhow.

21:40 EC: I did have one client who was alone. She's alone, she's older, and I've only seen her one time. And in that one time, she's been a client as far as purchasing product, she found us online via the manufacturer, for about a year and a half, but she made her first facial appointment and it was a big deal for her. And she's of that certain personality type. She was in business administration and you know that personality, like regimented and, "Things have to make sense and this is what I'm gonna do." And so she came in, we did a full consultation, my consultations for first-time clients are quite extensive. Did a consultation, and I gave her a facial, but my facials are different because we're cracking up. We're laughing the whole time. So she fell in love with me and I fell in love with her, and then we had an appointment, I think for the first week of April. So, I had called her and was like, "Hey, how you doing?" And she just wanted to talk, she just wanted to talk and feel normal and wanted to support me. Wanted to get this and she was willing to do curbside pickup. She's of a certain age and I was like, I don't feel comfortable with that. So, just the sweetest and we just laughed and we talked politics, which I know is taboo but we did, and I said... And I brought something back up to her, about something that came up in the consultation, about ice cream. It's so silly, but it was ice cream, and I said, "Well, you girl, you go get... "

22:57 EC: She said that she eats a lot of ice cream and that worried her and I said, "No, you're just a list... You're just a task person, there was a task, it was all there and you just got it done." And so I brought her right back in and said, "I hope you're eating a lot of ice cream and whatever it is that makes you feel better because you're just such an amazing person." And that for her I could tell, she's... We call her about every two weeks now still, "How you doing? We don't have an update, just wanting to check on you." Because she is alone.

23:21 TD: Yeah. And I think that's what really makes a strong practice, and it's not because you're trying to make it strong, right, Ella? It's because that's just... You're a care provider and you're passionate about your clients, and I think that's beautiful, I love it. Thank you for sharing that. Okay, so there's lots of chitter-chatter out there all the time. Let's just get into some of the nitty-gritty, 'cause I think we've been... We've talked a lot about how should you open, what should you be saying to your clients, things of that nature. Let's get into some of the nitty-gritty and share anything that you're thinking on this, along these lines. Okay, so some people are talking about, for estheticians that they... Should they or should they not be using a steamer in the treatment room? This could cause the... It to be... The disease, COVID-19 to be more contagious. What are your thoughts on that?

24:21 EC: To be honest with you, Tracy, I haven't used steam for years anyway. [laughter] So I...

24:25 TD: Oh, so that's not an issue for you?

24:27 EC: It's not an issue for me because honestly, and I know that there... I know I'm not alone in not using steam, but I know that there's very much a passion position on the use of steam, partially because that's how we were taught. And we were taught that way because skincare products needed steam to access the skin. But that's not the case anymore. Skincare is a lot more sophisticated and it takes into account like natural skin function. So a good skincare company, I shouldn't say that.

24:58 TD: We'll strike that.

25:00 EC: A proper skincare formulation will take into account that access and it won't need the steam to push it in. Number one. Number two, steam, like is attracted to like, and so if you're blasting a bunch of water on the face, the water in your skin is going to draw out. First. And second, you're encouraging sweating which... Sweating is also dehydrating the skin. So yes, it might be soft for two to three minutes after you remove the steam, but that's just a really one to three minute timeframe where you're able to perform extractions, but after that, it becomes really harder than it was before the steam. So you're actually then causing damage. You might start on the chin, go to the nose, whatever your cadence is for extractions. By the time you reach your last zone, that's so dried out that it's creating this potentially inflammation and damage, and you don't wanna do that. So it's... In my opinion, in my practice, I use a skin scrubber... Sorry, that was really hard... An ultrasonic spatula to soften...

26:10 TD: Oh I love those so much. Oh I love those so much.

26:13 EC: I love those too but that's gonna change. That's gonna change now, the way that I disinfect those, but those skin scrubbers are really nice because it's gentle exfoliation, but it also has the saponification, which is softening the sebum, and that makes it really easy to extract and it's skin friendly. So for me steam's the non-issue.

26:32 TD: Yeah, and another thing that I love about you saying like, "I'm not so all about steam", is that as an association who provides insurance to our members, we have a lot of claims as a result of steamers. So spitting, scalding hot water, just all kinds of... I mean heat is one of... It's a big... It's a big issue, for sure. So...

27:00 EC: Yeah, yeah.

27:00 TD: I love that recommendation.

27:02 TD: Hey guys, stop. Let's take a quick break.

27:07 Speaker 4: Is your skin care practice totally covered? If you're an ASCP member, you know that you have great professional liability insurance that covers you. But what about your stuff? Well, ASCP offers business personal property insurance, which is coverage for your stuff. It's a professional contents coverage policy that protects your smashers, your cabinets, your steamers, your zappers, all those good things, protected by an insurance policy that starts at just $95 per year. To learn more about BPP coverage, as we like to call it, please come visit www.ascpskincare.com/bpp. And there, you can get your BPP from ASCP, ASAP.

27:54 TD: Let's get back to the conversation.

27:56 EC: And I've had those that... I've had that happen where the steam is spitting and dropping and it's... It's just... It wasn't worth it... It was bulky in my room, I'm a minimalist in my treatment room, it was bulky and it was nasty and I just... Like, I chose to not have it, first and foremost because it holds no skin benefit, in my opinion. And second it was just... At one point, the people... 'cause the argument, Tracey is, "But the clients love it," it's like, "No, they're used to it." So, for a while, for like a year I would... For people who would request steam, I would just point it in another direction so they could hear it. And now I don't even get the request because I've explained to those four people that it's not good for your skin, but I'm happy to put on the sound of steam in the background. [chuckle] Whatever you need.


28:37 TD: I prefer ocean waves over a steamer but, that's just me. I also know... I've heard some people who don't like steamers as well, like in the treatment room because the client wouldn't like it because sometimes if they have breathing issues or asthma, it can actually cause them to have a flare-up of like an asthma attack.

29:00 EC: Yeah. Shooting right up your nose if it's not positioned right... Like I don't like it. To me, it feels suffocating too. I don't really like it.

29:09 TD: And I know for myself personally, since I have really reactive skin, some may say I have rosacea. It makes it worse it seems like, I don't know.

29:16 EC: Yeah.

29:19 TD: Another... Just going back to the ultrasonic spatula, is there a brand or a manufacturer that you really like the most as a [29:29] ____?

29:29 EC: You know, I'd have to look. I've... I have had so many, I have tried the gamut of ones that I get from Amazon. What I've reached out to my local supply house, because they have those kind of connections, and ask them to find me three really good quality ones, so I could circle them through. I don't have a brand loyalty right now. I could tell you there is one that came out of... I think it was Switzerland. It was... GESS was the brand, and I loved it because it just felt really good and it was super effective, but my sanitation practice was corroding. So I haven't found the one I'm absolutely in love with yet, but like I said, I've cycled through all like the $50, $100 ones on Amazon if we're being honest, and I am definitely searching out... I am searching out my local supply houses to have them look for me, and that's what I would recommend 'cause then you have something better.

30:24 TD: Well, we'll try to put some links in the show notes too after the fact, so you guys check that out, if that's something that you're interested in checking out or switching to. Another question for you, going back to how are you feeling overall, right now? So are you feeling hopeful? Are you feeling a pessimistic? How are you doing?

30:50 EC: I'm doing good, I'm doing really well now. I feel like there's hope, but I also feel excited to build something new, and building something new means I get to help drive the narrative with my clients on skin health more than just the relaxation component, and that is going to be reflected in the way that we do our services. In my opinion, I feel like my business is gonna thrive on these shorter clinical treatments that show improvements in the skin, and so that's what I'm really focusing on, and it just happens to be that that's a passion, so that's great.

31:28 TD: That is great.

31:29 EC: I feel... Yeah, I feel... Here was an analogy I used last week, is that I went to the... The grocery store the first couple of weeks was apocalyptic. It was crazy.

31:41 TD: Yeah.

31:42 EC: It was... I walked through with this, like, my mouth open, with my eyes wide open, like, "What the heck is going on?" It was just weird. But last week I went back and people were smiling through their masks and they were... There was more buzz, like it was an energetic buzz, and the shelves were stocked, and I think that was a metaphor for now, is that they were completely stocked, but they were stocked more than they have been, and it's a matter of putting things back together and that metaphor I saw that in other things is we're putting things back together now. I'm honestly a little bit scared and I couldn't really wrap my head around it until today. I'm a little bit scared about going back now for catching a virus or anything like that, but getting back into the groove, waking up early again, setting my day up again. And it feels exhausting because there's just so many things to do.

32:36 TD: Yeah. It's weird, isn't it? That whole... I actually, myself, am going... Have plans... So we've been working from home for the last eight weeks, and I am planning to go back to the office two days a week, just because I have my own office that I can close the door and will only have to worry about wearing masks and things of that nature when I'm in public or communal areas and things. But it's interesting. It is a little daunting. I will want to get dressed and ready in a different way. Now I get dressed and ready like, "Hey. For all you guys, you might know right now, I can have my pajama bottoms on and maybe just lift it on the top." That happens a lot. [33:24] ____ I'm not gonna lie.

33:26 EC: Your video chatting... Yeah, I know. Your video chatting outfit. Your uniform.

33:30 TD: Yeah. Yeah. And so it's gonna be interesting. I guess the good thing is I probably won't have as much traffic. But yeah, it's daunting to kind of think like what that looks like. It's...

33:42 EC: It is. It's like you're climbing up a hill that you've been here before. It's like deja vu, like I've been here before, but this looks a lot different than it did before. I'm afraid to put pants on, like real pants. [chuckle] I'm afraid to put real pants on, because I don't wanna know... I know I feel it. I see it in my face. I just don't wanna know.

33:58 TD: I know.

34:00 EC: I'm afraid to go back to the gym because I'm afraid of wearing a mask and working out. I am afraid of certain things. It's not... I'm not afraid about catching it, as much as I'm just afraid of coming out from a bomb shelter that I've been in for six months, like that... Or years... Like that Blast From The Past movie with Brendan Frazer. Yeah, I feel like that, like I'm coming out...

34:22 TD: [34:22] ____.

34:24 EC: Yeah. Checking it out and this is all weird, and this is all... This is not like I had thought it was gonna be.

34:29 TD: Yeah.

34:30 EC: It's just a fearful... But I recognize that it's also a bit of an irrational fear. I'm okay with that.

34:37 TD: Yeah, it's just anxiety, and I think once you just move through it, you'll be okay. But I feel you. I hear you. I feel the same way. There's four flights of stairs that I normally would take to get to my office every day and have enough, and not be out of breath at all, not even a big deal. And I know that I'm gonna go back to the office and I'm gonna be at the top hyperventilating because I have no [35:00] ____.

35:00 EC: Just take a break in that middle.

35:02 TD: Yeah. It's gonna be weird. Okay, so another question for you. Have any of your clients reached out to you and said, "I've got some crazy skin conditions or something's funky with my skin right now." Or are you preparing for your client's skin that you felt was super under control, and it's not gonna be when you see them again? Because we have all these levels of stress. We're probably not having great care with our skin. Some may have better care, some may have worse. I don't know. What's that look like?

35:40 EC: Well, we know the skin is one... Our largest organ, but part of our organ system. And it's affected by lymphatic system, the nervous system, central and peripheral nervous system, digestive system. And all of that has been affected, whether it's been anxiety hormones that have pushed different things through, or we are indulging in sugar more, carbs more, or whatever that is. It all has an effect on the skin, and stress, too. And then if we take into consideration that, plus the exposure... Well, I guess the exposure to the UV rays via the blue light on our computers that most of us have been sitting in front of. And also probably drinking less water, if we're being honest because we don't have some of those normal triggers.

36:28 EC: And then we add to it this mask. And in this mask area, we have the carbon monoxide coming off of our breath or whatever that is... Our breath, period. Mine in the morning is pretty hot. But anyways, our breath there and is suffocating... Not having that same breathable opportunity as before, and a literal, physical irritation or dermatitis. Of course, we can't diagnose. But anyways. So yes, I am definitely keeping that in mind. One of my clients relocated temporarily. She came back into town and she was like, "I know that it's... I'm breaking out like crazy. What can I do?" So we definitely navigated in a different way. I'm choosing to do things very simply, so we can identify what is helping and what is not, rather than overhauling completely. But it is changing, and if we're... But we're okay with this. As estheticians we roll with these changes all the time anyways, and at every appointment you should be asking for lifestyle changes. It's going to be fun as a practitioner...

37:29 TD: Oh, like that attitude. [37:30] ____.

37:30 EC: Oh, my gosh. Heck, yeah.

37:33 TD: It's gonna be like an adventure. Each skin [37:34] ____.

37:36 EC: Yeah. It's an investigative discovery opportunity. It's like, "Ooh, what have you been doing?" And then you see parallels between what other people are doing and you tweak it and you adjust it, and that's... So it's gonna be really challenging and a great opportunity to tune back in to talking with the skin. It's gonna be a challenge for us because we can't touch the skin with bare hands, which is one of the ways the skin speaks to us. But it'll be alright. It'll be fun. It'll be cool.

38:04 TD: Do you...

38:04 EC: And...

38:05 TD: Oh, sorry. Go ahead.

38:07 EC: No, it's... Go ahead. I'm sorry.

38:09 TD: Do you know if there are any skin care manufacturers... Professional skin care manufacturers out there creating any protocols for mask face? It's gonna be called a thing.

38:21 EC: I do.

38:21 TD: Like mask face. I know... Especially if I'm wearing one of the N95s, that's a real bad looking mask.

38:29 EC: Yeah. Yeah, it is. I think first off you... Yes, I do know some companies that are doing it, in fact.

38:39 TD: Cool.

38:39 EC: Do you want me to mention their names?

38:40 TD: You can mention their names, yeah.

38:42 EC: Okay. Leary Clinical is doing a really cool job at developing some intentional protocols, also for the mask face, specifically. And then also for just the new treatment and what the new treatment is gonna look like. So I'm really excited to see what those are.

39:00 TD: Oh, exciting.

39:01 EC: Yeah. And they're a product that I use and I love, and I've loved them for many years. But in...

39:07 TD: But I have to agree with you, I love them too, actually, it's just they're one of our partners that we partner with on a regular basis for just all things. I was actually just on their podcast, so...

39:19 EC: Oh wow.

39:19 TD: Yeah, they're great. That's smart.

39:22 EC: Their products really work really well with the skin 'cause they understand the skin science, so that's one thing I love. But they... Something else to keep in mind is a really great barrier, and so before you put the mask on, so they have one, their recovery bomb, and then also another company called Primal Healing, who is a nurse, she's a nurse that developed that line and it's a hemp-infused line. She has this amazing salve that's going to provide a barrier, but not be occlusive or comedogenic, and that's gonna be the balance, is how do we protect from that irritation or work to repair that irritation without occluding so much that we get pimples and blackheads. I guess it's a trade-off too, but those things, you're gonna need a lot of antioxidants in that area to fortify against the re-breath, and you're also gonna need terpenes to help strengthen the skin function at a basal level, and some powerful anti-inflammatories. So anything that has that kind of combination as well as in a skin-friendly base is gonna be key.

40:25 TD: Well, and I was gonna ask, if anyone's out there making this, can you please make it tinted as well? Because the other thing is...


40:33 TD: Please. The other thing is that I don't wanna be wearing tinted sunscreen on top of that, and all these different layers. I think we're gonna be looking at a different way as a woman to do our makeup to...

40:53 EC: Yes, I already have.

40:55 TD: 'Cause we're gonna be needing to take care of our face, but not take our mask off and look like, "What's happened to you?" Like that.

41:06 EC: I do. Lipstick is gonna have to be stain instead of stick because inside of my mask, it's like, "Oh, my whole face is inside there" and I've been playing up my eyes, my eyes look like Jasmine from Aladdin. I've been trying, I have so much eye make up on right now, where you know the trend was this really clean eye look with just lash extensions, but not now. I've busted out the Clinique V, that tutorial that they gave in their late '80s, early '90s. I've got so much eyeliner on, if I cry, I'm gonna look like Alice Cooper, but right now I look like Lisa Rinna from...

41:38 TD: [41:38] ____?


41:40 EC: Yeah, or Lisa Rinna from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on a reunion. That's who I feel I look like right now.

41:46 TD: Oh my god, that's hilarious. So, you know that's gonna be opposite world from my face 'cause I'm usually like put a little liner on and some lash extensions, and then a big bold lip. Well, no one is going to care about my big bold lip anymore are they? When that... I'm gonna have to... Help me, Michael Moore, I know you've given me one tutorial on how to do eyeshadow, but I might need a few more.

42:08 EC: You know what he's got? He's got a really cool product too, it's got... It's a cream eyeshadow, Penny, and that's a gorgeous color, that would be a really easy fix.

42:18 TD: Alright, I'm gonna have to check it out. I know that he's given me a couple of lessons, but I need a little more, I'll pull out that whole Clinique tutorial.

42:30 EC: It's the V. V in the corner with the picker... Yeah, in the crease.

42:35 TD: Oh, right. Towards the top and you're putting... And now are you putting it on the inside, on the waterline too, are you really loading it up?

42:44 EC: Oh girl, yeah, I use a Tarte's Maneater, like this long wear... Oh, I love that stuff. I got mascara for the first time in a year and a half since I have one eyelash extension left and now I'm just keeping it for novelty, it's so funny.


42:57 TD: You are like trying to pull a Clockwork Orange on you. It's crazy, yeah I literally haven't... 'Cause my lashes are stick straight and white, so I have been... Putting mascara on doesn't do anything to them at all, and so I've been putting on strip lashes and I've been waiting... And Kourtney Kardashian, if you are listening to this podcast, I'm sure you are. I have been waiting for, I am waiting your magnetic strip lashes for four weeks, girl.

43:31 EC: Come on Kourt.

43:33 TD: Come on Kourtney, I'm waiting. Anyhow.

43:34 EC: I got Kim Kardashian's contour set because I'm gonna have to hide these 19 pounds COVID-19.


43:43 TD: What are you taking about? What's it called Kimono or whatever her contour, her Spanx outfit. We'll put that in the show notes, you guys, so.

43:54 EC: That too! That too.

43:55 TD: We'll make sure all this is in the show notes so you guys can definitely access all these tips that we're sharing.


44:04 TD: What else do we got for you? What else do you think that you really wanna kinda share with our members and our listeners out there? All the estheticians, what other bits of wisdom can you share with them right now?

44:17 EC: To be honest with you Tracy, I think that we have to be patient, I think we have to... We talked about giving grace earlier, and I think we really need to give ourselves grace. What I've seen, and again, it's a personal decision to go back. In my state right now, currently for the next 20 days at least, we can't perform any service without a mask on. And so there has been this... What I've seen is this trend of people trying to market forehead facials or eye facials and it's 50 bucks and...

44:47 TD: No, are you joking? Are you serious?

44:48 EC: No, I am serious and I get it. I think that this is entrepreneurial. And this is on the side of, "I'm an entrepreneur, I'm a business owner and I gotta get back to work 'cause I'm fearful that if I don't get back to work that this is gonna suck." And that's valid and I get it. On the other side, you have to think about a client coming in, laying down, breathing with a mask, getting wetness maybe on the mask, maybe not, and no one wants a quarter facial. No one wants an eye facial. Those are add-on products or add-on services, in my opinion. So you have to also think... Well, I shouldn't say that, I don't want that. So I have to think would I want this service. Would I wanna go in and wait in my car for the person to call me to come in and just have my forehead scrubbed? Maybe, but... Or do you wanna just wait a couple of weeks because we're looking really at a temporary part of this, in like say a couple of weeks, it could be four weeks, it could be 12 more weeks, whatever it is, either way, in the scheme of our careers, it's just a little bit of time. And so do we wanna rush back and go through all the drama for this?

45:52 EC: Or do we wanna just hold on, give ourselves grace, work on rebuilding our foundation, even if it's a new house that we're building, the house of our businesses or the house of our rituals, and then go back when it makes sense, when it's safe and it makes sense. That's what I've struggled with is I don't wanna do those things. I don't wanna come back just for brow waxes, but I respect and honor those that do. So just think about that. Is this a service that you would want... That you would want right now?

46:21 TD: Yeah, yeah, I agree, I agree. And I think, to... To your point, and this is just my personal opinion, that's all it is, just giving grace and space people, is that I don't think I'm ready to leave my home for a quarter facial. Right? I'm not...

46:42 EC: Same. Yeah.

46:42 TD: I'm just not ready for that. I'm sure a quarter facial feels really good, but when I put the scales out there, it's not what I want. Am I ready to leave my home to get a desperately needed Brazilian? Yeah, a Brazilian wax job? I sure am. I am ready for that.

47:00 EC: Yeah.


47:02 TD: It all just... It's, yeah, it's just trying to figure that out.

47:05 EC: Or Botox.

47:06 TD: Yeah.

47:06 EC: I am ready for Botox. I am ready for Botox.


47:11 TD: I've been playing the same game that I do, my husband is totally annoyed with me, but I will watch all the news, when I'm watching the news, I look at all the news anchors and then I'm like, "Oh God, she is dying for botox, you can tell. See that wrinkle? That wrinkle was never there before. Oh, look at her fillers' up, her fillers do... "

47:31 EC: Oh.

47:31 TD: You know like I... And I'm not just saying the women, I'm saying the men too, I...

47:37 EC: Oh, amen, yeah.

47:37 TD: I'm like... I'll be like, "That person's doing their own makeup. You can tell they didn't have time in elementary, in middle school how to do make up."


47:45 EC: The Clinique V.

47:47 TD: Yeah, they don't know about the Clinique V.

47:49 EC: You did. I remember the last time, I see the last time you did makeup, I see.


47:56 EC: You don't know what baking is.


47:58 TD: Or just being like, oh that's strip lash, that's a strip lash, that's a bad...

48:03 EC: Or they're off-centered?

48:05 TD: Yeah.

48:05 EC: Have you seen those that the left eye's just a little bit over, like the lashes.

48:10 TD: You're like, "Oh, is that a lazy eye in that eye?" And I just, I notice...

48:12 EC: Oh no, she's just sitting uneven.


48:16 EC: Yeah. Totally.

48:17 TD: Yeah, so that's one of the fun games, but it's a COVID-19 game.

48:21 EC: Yeah. Spot the fixes.

48:23 TD: Spot the fixes. Yeah, well, this has all been such good stuff, I love it so much. Can you just share... At the beginning of the... At the beginning of our conversation, you did share some resources and ideas, but maybe share two more with us and they could be books, they could be blogs, they could be a podcast.

48:46 EC: Ooh... I would definitely listen to Ingredients Decked Out, Etsy Talk... ASCP Etsy Talk: Ingredients Decked Out hosted by yours truly, where we explore the wonderful world of ingredients and how they work in the skin, 'cause that's fun. And then it...

49:00 TD: And everyone loves her crazy wild antics anyhow, you know you're gonna get some surprises in every single one of those podcasts.

49:07 EC: Oh, one of them, you guys will see I'm actually stumped, and it's so funny because I'm never stumped, but you'll see Ben Fuchs, he stumps me and I'm like, "Oh, stinker."

49:15 TD: I love how you said, "And I'm never stumped. You guys won't even believe it."


49:21 EC: I know, right? I know right? I probably am stumped more than I think, but... And he stumped me on water, so wait... Wait for that one, it's totally...

49:28 TD: [49:28] ____ for it.

49:29 EC: Yeah. Another... Don't be afraid to just escape, period. You don't have to have all this self-help and stuff, there's some other perspective books. And one of my favorite authors, I don't know if you've ever read him, but Doctor, not Doctor, Malcolm Gladwell, have you read any of his works?

49:48 TD: I don't think so, uh-huh.

49:50 EC: Oh, you would love it, it's basically one of my favorite books and it... I like it on audiobook, it's Talking to Strangers.

49:58 TD: Oh.

50:00 EC: And it's really... It's like a really long podcast, the way he does it, but it's so artful, you really get into it. And so I'll just give you a teaser, he kind of brings together... A lot of his books bring together thought process and understanding human behavior, but he does so in a really relatable way, and so I think that in reading these books lately have really given me perspective into a lot of what is going on around me right now, and what I'm listening to... Or what I'm reading right now is his book 'Blink' and it's about intuitive responses to things like what happens in the blink of an eye.

50:34 TD: Ooh, I like that.

50:35 EC: It's so good. All of his books are really, really good, I love all of them, but this is what I'm into right now. So it gives perspective on perception, people's perception, how they judge you, how you judge others, it's just based on experience and feelings, and it's really good, so that's just kind of a nice escape. That will be one really cool resource to escape to.

50:58 TD: I love it. Well, tell everybody where they can connect with you, all your different handles and I know you got a lot going on, so... And don't forget a single one, list them off. Here you go.

51:11 EC: Okay, I have Facebook Ella Cressman, and the one with the picture, 'cause somehow Instagram, also Ella Cressman, set me up a random one on Facebook too, but Ella Cressman on Instagram and Facebook, Ella Cressman on LinkedIn. You could reach me at Ella Cress Skincare at ellacress.com or hhpcollective, that's hemp high priestess collective dot com. And then maybe I'll give you my personal cell phone number.

51:39 TD: Oh, wow.


51:43 EC: We'll see if that's one of those.

51:46 TD: This could be a fun social experiment. How about Colorado Besthetician?

51:53 EC: Oh yeah, Colorado Bestheticians is a group that I founded in 2003 for a gathering place to lift each other up in understanding... Just opportunities, education opportunities, questions, work opportunities, that's Colorado Bestheticians on Facebook, and it's open to any Colorado-licensed practitioner or student. We would love to have... I would love it to be a national group, but at this time, it's just Colorado.

52:20 TD: Well, I love it. What else? You're gonna say something else.

52:27 EC: That's it.

52:28 TD: That's enough. That's a lot, girl.

52:29 EC: That's it.

52:30 TD: That's a lot. Okay.

52:33 EC: Yeah, I'm grateful and I'm excited and I'm also... I think the last thing I wanna impress on everyone is that I'm hopeful, it's not a time to lose hope, it's just a time to reorganize. That's it.

52:41 TD: What a beautiful sunny disposition, I think we can all use a little dose of Ella Cressman. How great was today, and chatting with you, and we are looking forward to more chats like this, make sure you check out her podcast, ASCP Esty Talk: Ingredient Decked Out and...

52:57 EC: Yes, Ingredient Decked Out.

53:00 TD: Ingredient Decked Out. And we'll do more of these, we'll have our own maybe in a couple of weeks and let's check her temperature then, see what's going on.


53:10 EC: That's fair.

53:10 TD: But not a real check your temperature, but you know, see what's happening. Anyhow, okay, thanks, Ella. Have a good one.

53:20 EC: Thanks. Tou too. Bye.

53:23 S1: Thanks for joining us today. If you like what you hear and you want more, subscribe. If you wanna belong to the only all-inclusive association for estheticians that includes professional liability insurance, education, industry insights and an opportunity to spotlight your sick skills, join at ascpskincare.com. Only $259 per year for all this goodness. ASCP knows. It's all about you.

Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...