Christina Makrodimitras may love her role as an Advanced Skin Specialist and Laser Technician at Vancouver’s popular SKN Clinic, but if you ask her for her absolute favourite part of her job don’t expect a straightforward answer.
“I love seeing the results but I also love building relationships with clients,” she smiles. “It’s an intimate position. As a client you have to drop your guard and sometimes let your Esthetician know what you hate about yourself, and trust that they’re going to help you get closer to what you want. That can be intense for some people. I listen to people and, if it’s needed, I’m brutally honest! Ok, not brutal. More like gently honest!”
For Christina, sharing her sense of humour and creating close relationships with clients comes naturally. Her perpetually positive demeanour and can-do attitude existed long before she knew that a fabulous career in the spa industry lay ahead of her.
“I grew up in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast, which was a super small town back then. My Mom would send us out and tell us to be home by dark. It was great, even though I was horrible in high school. I just wasn’t interested.
“I thought getting into RMT or Esthetics could be a possibility so I went to visit Blanche Macdonald. They explained that Esthetics had the potential to be so many different things. You could choose what area you wanted to specialize in—or you could do it all! At that point I didn’t know what to do, so I figured, let’s do something fun!”
As an Advanced Skin Specialist my roles include microneedling and hydrafacials; things a little bit stronger than the average facial. These aren’t treatments catering to people’s relaxation. They’re about results.
Christina anticipated that studying Esthetics would be enjoyable, but even she couldn’t have predicted the excitement of her arrival at Blanche Macdonald.
“On my first day at School the Makeup students were doing a photoshoot. Growing up in Gibsons this was a slice of life I’d never seen before. We never saw high fashion or vampires there! It all looked so cool.”
“Esthetics School was a lot of fun. Every day was interesting. There was a reason why we were learning everything, which meant I could relate to all the information they were giving us. I did well, even with the science! The teachers would give us the information but also share funny stories. And when a bunch of girls are waxing each other for the first time, there are always a lot of laughs!”
My instructors explained that Esthetics had the potential to be so many different things. You could choose what area you wanted to specialize in—or you could do it all.
Christina secured her first esthetics job at the renowned Spa Utopia in North Vancouver immediately after graduation.
“They told me, ‘You’re young but we think you’ll learn quickly so we’re going to give you a chance.’ I felt completely prepared. Blanche had taught me everything that I needed. Spa Utopia taught me the specific ways they did things, which made everything very luxurious. I would do it all—manicures, pedicures, facials, body treatments, peels and massages. I was still only 19. I guess the clientele must have thought, this young girl can tell some funny stories!”
Christina continued her career, and began refining her personal approach to treatments, at West Vancouver’s Hollyburn Country Club.
“Before I came to SKN, Hollyburn was the best place I’d ever worked! Spa Utopia gave me a lot of structure, but at Hollyburn I could do what I wanted. I could choose and use product lines I liked, and I was able to create the protocols for my treatments. Most importantly, I was able to learn about how to build relationships. I was able to meet clients’ families. I would see a teenage girl and help with her acne. They’d recommend me, and then I’d get to treat the Mom, the Dad and her siblings. If clients had issues they’d speak to me directly. I prefer to work that way. I still give out my cell number to clients. I prefer them to deal with me directly if they have questions.”
Proving beyond doubt that she has a caring soul, Christina left Hollyburn to spend a chilly winter in Carleton Place, Ontario (“The weather! Oh my God!”) helping her brother and his family. On her return to Vancouver she started looking for places where she could learn new skills and grow as a professional. A friend, Ashlie Mackie, already worked at SKN and secured an interview opportunity for Christina. She’s been a key member of the SKN team as an Advanced Skin Specialist and Laser Technician ever since.
Esthetics School was a lot of fun. Every day was interesting. There was a reason why we were learning everything.
“The training was really good. Amanda Beisel, the owner, is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. We try to make ourselves available through free consultations. We want people to talk to us and to let them know that we’re here to help. There’s a sense of community here. There’s no shame at SKN to share information with the team, to say ‘I don’t know,’ and to ask somebody else for their ideas or opinions.
“As an Advanced Skin Specialist my roles include microneedling and hydrafacials; things a little bit stronger than the average facial. These aren’t treatments catering to people’s relaxation. They’re about results.”
Comfort and results may not always go hand in hand, but the small town esthetician with a big smile is proving that looking and feeling good is more than skin deep.
“I’m very happy here. Even with COVID we’ve been fully booked for ten hours every day. Recently I had a client who has seen some major changes after microneedling. He’s super pleased. He told us that his friends have been giving him compliments. When someone like that lets me know that what we’re doing is working, that’s awesome!”