Melanie Speed of Flawless Aesthetics: Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry
An Interview With Jilea Hemmings
Be unique. Originality is the best way to establish your brand. The reason I created Flawless in the first place was because I saw how Las Vegas was lacking luxury aesthetic practices compared to other markets such as Beverly Hills and Miami. Realizing this, I was able to create my own niche. I see a lot of practices especially new ones, copying other offices’ social media or marketing. I think this is a huge mistake. Focus on what makes you different and what your practice can offer that others don’t.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Melanie Speed, RN BSN CANS, owner of Flawless Aesthetics Medical Spa in Las Vegas and Beverly Hills.
Highly sought-after celebrity injector, Melanie Speed RN BSN CANS (Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist) opened Flawless Aesthetics Medical Spa in 2014, a premier beauty destination in both Las Vegas and Beverly Hills offering a variety of renowned non-surgical cosmetic and wellness treatments including injectables, Plasma IQ, thread lifts, hair restoration, vampire facials/facelifts, vitamin shots and more. With over 25 years of nursing experience, which include nine years as a nurse injector, Speed earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Capitol University in Columbus, Ohio and worked in labor and delivery for several hospitals throughout Columbus and Las Vegas before combining her passion for nursing, beauty and skincare and entering aesthetics, later earning her CANS certification in 2017.
Speed’s commitment to ongoing education and training, has led her to become an instructor for Allergan Medical Institute where she trains physicians and other medical professionals on administering Botox, Juvéderm, and Kybella. The world-renowned beauty expert has consistently been named a “Top 100 Best Aesthetic Injector in America” from the Best Aesthetic Injectors from 2018–2021 and has been a recipient of Real Self’s “Most Loved Injector” award which is given to top industry professionals based off demand and review ratings.
The popular med spa, one of the busiest aesthetic practices in the entire country, has over 35,000 followers on Instagram and prides itself on offering the most innovative and advanced industry techniques. Galderma, the pharmaceutical company who supplies specialty aesthetic treatments including Sculptra and Restalyne, named Flawless Aesthetics a recipient of their “Presidential Elite” club, the highest level of honors accounting for the top 2% of providers in the nation using their portfolio of products. The beauty expert has become the “go-to” aesthetics injector, specifically for her two most popular signature services, her dramatic lip and butt transformations.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I have had a love for art my whole life. When I was young, I had aspirations of being a Disney animator. I even went to art school for a little bit before I decided to go to nursing school. I worked in hospitals and loved helping people, but over the years I constantly felt like something was missing. I needed to find an outlet to express my creativity. I decided to try my hand at cosmetic injectables and immediately fell in love. I found my passion in life where I could use my artistic eye to help create more symmetry and beauty for clients and it was a way to combine my passion with my medical training.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
The most interesting story of my career is when I was asked to be on “90 Day Fiancée.” I was in my office and received a call from an unknown number. The person on the phone said they were a producer from the show and asked if I would agree to treat a cast member and have it televised. I completely thought I was being pranked until they sent me all the paperwork. Mind you, my family and I had been binge watching the series, so I was extremely excited to be a part of it. I was so nervous, so a lot went into preparations. I had the office deep cleaned and practiced what I would say in the mirror. The morning of I went through at least 10 outfits before I decided what to wear. The filming was probably the most interesting. There was a whole crew, and I was microphoned up. It was all very new to me. I will note that it was a little strange meeting Colt and Larissa because I already knew such personal details about them from watching the show, but we were strangers to each other. They were both so nice and made the whole thing a little easier. Finally, after a few long months of waiting, the episode aired, and we all gathered around the TV and waited for my part. I could not believe I was watching myself on screen and it was surreal to know that thousands of other people were also watching me in their homes. That was an experience I will probably never forget.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I can think of several milestones in my career, but the one that stands out most to me is when I opened my own office. When I started out, I was renting space in other practices; and while that time allowed me to grow my clientele, it was not until Flawless had its own home that my business really took off. The biggest take away from this is that to grow a successful business one has to be comfortable taking risks. It would have been much easier and safer for me to continue with what I was doing, but if I had not trusted myself and the brand that I had built I would not be where I am now. A year ago, I opened my own beautiful office in the “Golden Triangle” in Beverly Hills and I recently purchased a 6,500 sq. ft. building to become the new home for Flawless Aesthetics Medical Spa in Las Vegas which we are getting ready to officially open, in August, 2021. I am really excited about this next stage in my career.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband has been my greatest ally throughout this journey. His professional stability and encouragement has aided me in achieving my success. I remember the day I came home and told him I was going to quit my job and pursue a career in aesthetic nursing. I expected that he would be upset or try to talk me out of it. He just looked at me and said “Okay, I want you to be happy. I know you will do great!”
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
I think my greatest addition to the beauty industry is the way I incorporate my artistic ability into my injection technique. Any medical professional can pick up a needle and inject, but it requires special skill and artistry to be a master injector. Not every client is the same and the results they want are not the same. Different individuals require different product volumes or placements. I imagine the faces that I treat three dimensionally and that allows me to create beautiful, natural aesthetics for my patients. I have spent years perfecting specific angles and product placement to yield the best results. I now share my expertise teaching other injectors as a faculty member of Allergan’s Medical Institute.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
1. The growing accessibility within the aesthetic industry is very exciting! My clientele has greatly diversified in the past few years. Cosmetic enhancement is no longer seen as taboo or just something for older rich women. I have seen a substantial increase in the number of men and young people in my chair.
2. The quick expansion of treatments also makes me look forward to the future. The longer I am in this business, the more groundbreaking research I’ve seen usher in new products. On top of that, existing products are being used in innovative ways that we never could have envisioned five or ten years ago. With so many new products on the horizon there will be more options to allow clients to reach their aesthetic goals.
3. The growth of non-surgical options in injectables also excites me. Things that used to require expensive, high-risk surgeries and long periods of downtime can be done for much less and in a simple office visit. Treatments like non-surgical nose jobs, sculptra butt lifts, and jaw or chin sculpting with filler are all new alternatives to going under the knife.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
I would urge those without the proper licensing to stop doing medical aesthetic treatments and those seeking treatment to vet their practitioners. I have noticed an increase in patients coming to me to fix poor work done with unregulated products by unlicensed people. Unfortunately, I have noticed this trend specifically with the Hyaluron Pens and knock off Plasma Pens or micro-needling devices that should only be done by licensed medical professionals with FDA approved devices. The products being use are unregulated because in order to purchase FDA approved products one must have medical certifications. The Hyaluron Pen yields very uneven, short term results and can cause keloids. Non-FDA approved plasma pens can cause permanent scarring and even blindness. Non-medical grade micro needling can cause scarring, spread bacteria and cause infection. I cannot stress it enough: Medical aesthetic treatments should only be performed by licensed medical professionals with proper training using only FDA approved products and devices.
Another way I would improve the industry is by encouraging more injectors to provide realistic expectations for their clients. I believe it is important to let people know when they are not good candidates for certain treatments or when their aesthetic goals are unattainable. With social media and filtering of images, it has created unrealistic and unobtainable expectations. Clients arrive with goal photos of celebrities or social media influencers. Most of the time, people’s favorite celebrities are not truthful with the treatments they receive, and the majority of their social media posts or magazine publications are filtered and corrected. This has created a culture where everyone, but specifically women, try to achieve unattainable standards of beauty.
Lastly, it is important to understand that the cheapest option is not always the best option when it comes to a person’s face. I have seen practices offering Groupons or selling products at unbelievably cheap prices. This may sound good on the surface, but very often clients get what they pay for. As the consumer you should ask yourself, “why is this so much less that the rest of the market.” Could it be because the injector isn’t experienced and they are just trying to get people in their chair for practice or are they using non FDA products? If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. In the end it usually costs more to correct mistakes from cheaper treatments than it would have to pay more initially.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
I specialize in delivering results to my patients and enhancing one’s natural beauty. I believe there is nothing wrong with preventing visible signs of again or enhancing features that we are self-conscious about; but to really feel beautiful, it starts from within. No filler that I can offer can replace true self confidence. It especially important to speak kindly to yourself and practice self-love. Taking good care of yourself, mentally and physically, using good products for your skin, eating right, drinking lots of water and staying active all help with this.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”.
- Never stop learning. I have been in the nursing field for decades and have been injecting for 8 years, but I regularly attend training: some for new techniques, some for new products. I always strive to perfect my craft and be the best injector I can be. During the pandemic shut down, I used that extra time to attend many virtual workshops with other expert injectors. I learned something new from every single one, and I brought the lessons learned back to my practice. Aesthetics is an evolving profession, so I believe I need to stay up on current trends.
- Be unique. Originality is the best way to establish your brand. The reason I created Flawless in the first place was because I saw how Las Vegas was lacking luxury aesthetic practices compared to other markets such as Beverly Hills and Miami. Realizing this, I was able to create my own niche. I see a lot of practices especially new ones, copying other offices’ social media or marketing. I think this is a huge mistake. Focus on what makes you different and what your practice can offer that others don’t.
- You must have a thick skin. This beauty industry is very cutthroat. In my experience I have seen there are generally two kinds of people in this industry. Those who welcome newcomers, share, educate and promote each other, and the other type who spend time hating on competitors, disparaging them to mutual clients, or even as going as far as to post fake reviews. Those that I have seen become truly successful in this industry have no time to waste on what competitors are doing. The beauty industry is so huge there is room for everyone there are enough clients for all of us. You also must accept that not everyone will like you and that you will never make every client happy. Do the best you can every day and spread kindness.
- Keep a good team around you. It is important to have a staff full of positive and hardworking individuals. It is also important as a business owner to treat your staff well. When employees feel valued, morale is improved, and it is reflected in the office output. I searched for a long time to find a good team. I regularly get feedback from clients about how kind and helpful my staff is, and I take pride in that. The experience starts on the phone and at the front desk when clients check in. If they do not feel special and valued at these stages of the process, it doesn’t matter how skilled of an injector I am, the client will not have a good experience.
- Take care of yourself. It is very easy to lose sight of your own needs when you have so many other responsibilities. In recent years I have placed extra emphasis on making time to treat myself. I get more massages and plan more vacations and have learned when I am taking on too much.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
This is a great question! First, I do not think that any of history’s greatest influencers and heroes ever got out of bed and said, “…today, I will inspire a movement! Yay!” More likely, the women whom I read about and admired from history lived during a time or in a place where they saw a need and committed themselves to service. Not for personal glory or to make a lot of money, but to help people who may not have had the talents or enjoyed the blessings that the inspirational ones possessed. Imagining a future where I’m remembered as an instrumental player in inspiring a movement, my part will have been for helping battered and abused women escape their circumstances by setting up a nonprofit, community network of wraparound services to assist mothers and partners who survived physical and emotional damage from domestic abuse. More directly, I see Flawless working with physicians, surgeons, advanced practice registered nurses and other aesthetic medical professionals to offer facial reconstructions, scar removal, counseling and other services aimed at helping survivors turn the page in their lives and move forward feeling empowered and beautiful, both inside and out.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
You are the artist in your own life, do not give anyone else the paint brush. This is relevant to my life because during much of my early adulthood I let others influence my decisions far too much. When I decided I was in control of my own life, my whole perspective changed, and that mindset has allowed me to achieve some of the things I’m most proud of.
How can our readers follow you online?
Please follow me on Instagram @flawlessmedicalspa, on Facebook or visit my website at www.flawlessvegas.com.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.