Auckland’s beauty destination About Face skin clinics are about to turn 30. Meet founder Marianna Glucina the brains behind the brand. Trudi Brewer finds a beauty trailblazer who doesn't follow trends - she sets them.
After 30 years in the beauty industry, what do you still love the most?
Knowing you've helped someone and given them confidence, for instance clearing someone’s acne or reducing pigmentation and fine lines that they didn’t like about themselves when they looked in the mirror every day. There’s nothing like that feeling of seeing them walk out the door with their head held high and a huge smile, knowing you have made that difference.
What changes over that time have made the most impact for your clients?
Two things. The first was cosmeceutical grade skincare. In the 90s AHA’s revolutionised the skin care industry, softening the skin and removing excess build-up. Then clinical research proved that potent Vitamin A will reverse ageing. Along with high strength vitamins A and C and antioxidants skincare products can make a significant change in the skin. The right skincare delivers exceptional results in reversing the ravages of time, and it is possible to turn back the clock. In fact, 70 percent of all results will occur using the right home care every day. Second was the introduction of technology namely IPL. These machines have the ability to reduce facial redness, remove pigment and dark patches along with unwanted hair, which is life changing for so many people. Then in 2010 we saw the emergence of the laser and today we can treat acne scarring, refine pores and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This was not possible 30 years ago. Today, there are so many options for people to improve the quality of their skin.
How has being in business for that length of time changed you?
On a positive note being successful in business has resulted in me having a lot more confidence. I was probably quite shy even though I present as outgoing, it doesn’t come naturally to me to talk to strangers comfortably. I also think being in business for 30 years has given me resilience to overcome obstacles and deal with many different situations that I would never have expected. You learn to depend upon yourself and trust that you can get the job done. On the flip side, I think that it has made me more serious than I would have been and more stressed than I am by nature. When you know that a team of 70 rely upon you to make the right decisions and lead them it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
Glucina is the distributor of Pure Fiji products and stocks Ultraceuticals in all her clinics.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Not from one person, but a collection of individuals over the years. Training with Jacques Courtin-Clarins in Paris in my 20’s left a real impression on me. Leaders like Richard Branson – I love his philosophy on how he cares for the people around him within his business. My guru has always been author Stephen Covey, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Women who have pioneered any industry inspire me such as Estèe Lauder and Helena Rubenstein. And in fashion, Karen Walker and Dame Trelise Cooper who have taken their brands into many different arenas, but have not lost sight of who they are.
What are your favourite beauty trends right now?
Bold brows they frame the face, and can look defined and strong yet natural and not overdone. And the skin rejuvenation trend. Such as collagen induction and dermal needling therapies, as opposed to spot rejuvenation treatments targeting just one line or area of concern. Today women are more conscious of what they put on their skin and in their bodies, which resonates with me as I have always had a holistic approach and believed that beauty does come from within. A healthy person, who lives well, rests well and sleeps well, will always radiate natural beauty.
Some of Glucina's beauty faves: Ultraceuticals Sunactive SPF 50 Mineral Defence Face & Body Lotion, $69. Environ EssentiA Antioxidant Defence Crème, $220. Browgal Skinny Pencil, $45. Pure Fiji Hydrating Body Lotion, $49.
What sets About Face apart from other skin clinics?
Our people and attention to detail. I always ensure our teams are friendly and approachable, highly trained and that they have the best equipment available to them. About Face skin experts want to be the best in their field. We try to look at the skin in 3D. We take the best ingredients across several product ranges, and the most effective technology and bring it together for a personalised plan to deliver exceptional results. One of our values is imparting knowledge and education. And no matter what service you are coming in for you will leave with a personalised prescription covering a treatment plan, product recommendation and lifestyle advice. Even though we pride ourselves on results based treatments, it’s important to me that all our clients receive a good dollop of pampering as well. Women are time poor, and that element of touch is so important. As owner operators in a family business, we believe this attention to detail would not be possible as a franchise.
What has been your career high to date?
I am very proud of my decision and the success we have had in taking our brand into shopping malls. We were the first skin clinics in New Zealand to open in malls. It irked me that the pharmacy chains and department stores took the majority of skincare sales, yet as qualified skin therapists, we were the most equipped to prescribe home care. Pharmacy staff don’t have the training and experience my team has; I wanted to fix this and put beauty therapy on the map to all women. Another achievement has been the recognition of being voted by the public as New Zealand's Best Beauty Destination and Best Facial in 2016 Best in Beauty Awards.
What is your advice for women wanting to embark on a new business venture?
Be prepared to work hard. You will never work harder when you work for yourself. It’s very difficult to switch off. The business is always on your mind, and even if you manage to turn off the technology, it’s hard to switch off your thoughts. You need to have an abundance of people skills or surround yourself with those that do because managing people is a pivotal part of any businesses growth and success. So, if you don’t enjoy working with people, don’t do it.
Being a great technician is not enough. You also need to have resilience for when things don’t go to plan so that you can hang in there and work your way out of it - and not give up.
What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
At 20 I hadn’t found my passion, which turned out to be beauty therapy. Find your passion, because once you have, it never feels like work. That’s why those 30 years have flown by so fast for me. Secondly be kind to yourself. I think most 20-year-olds feel like they aren’t “enough” whereas with age comes acceptance.
What keeps you so grounded?
My husband and children. When you become a mum, you have other people to look after. Being grateful also helps keep me grounded. Yoga, walking and my lifelong girlfriends keep me sane. It’s no secret that I enjoy health retreats where I have the time to escape my thoughts and relax.
What's your best beauty tip?
Always wear a smile and lipstick (plus do your brows!) Beauty radiates from the inside out. Eat well, sleep well and be confident in who you are. It’s not about perfection, the odd line on your face tells the story of your life, so they shouldn’t be erased completely.
Can you share any exciting plans for the birthday year ahead?
We’re hoping to celebrate throughout November and beyond. Rewarding our loyal clients and team members. Expansion is always something I’m looking at, but only when the right opportunity presents - I always let my intuition guide me.