MEET OUR AMAZING AESTHETICIANS: DIXIE GONG August 09 2018
Dixie joined our team as a Production Assistant learning about the therapeutic benefits of botanical ingredients and their wider implications in the spheres of health and beauty. This led her to study aesthetics at Canadian Beauty College and continue to train extensively with Province founder Julie Clark. We asked her some questions to get to know her better and learn more about her personal approach to beauty and wellness.
Why (or how) did you become a holistic aesthetician?
My high school was very academically inclined--we didn't have shop class or home economics. Art class was an afterthought. I was taught to live in my head and followed that route into university where I studied literature, and after graduating I carved out my own space as a freelance writer. It took many years for me to admit to myself that being a writer was not my identity and that in fact I very much wanted to work with my hands. Working at Province Apothecary as a production assistant was a dream come true. And it was here that I met Sarah Bradley, an extraordinary woman who happened to work in both production with me and as an aesthetician at Province Apothecary's treatment space. Learning that I could straddle both worlds, be in the belly of the beast blending and pouring these precious botanical oils, and also be at the heart of the company giving treatments to clients, planted the seed for how I could grow and redefine myself.
What are your favorite parts of being a skin expert / what's your favorite part of the job?
"Experts" we may be called, but I still ask a lot of questions. That's absolutely one of my favourite parts of this job--having an excuse to channel my love of skincare into something that demands I continually study and inquire into its being. I am also endlessly amazed by the intimate nature of this line of work. That I get to share my energy and touch with others, most of whom are complete strangers when we meet, is profoundly humbling.
What's your #1 live-by-it-tip?
Cultivate self-awareness and be kind to yourself in the process. It takes work every single day, but it's worth it.
What is your daily skincare/beauty ritual?
A thorough nightly oil cleanse is a must. I don't wear a lot of makeup, usually mascara and under eye concealer, so I tend to spend the most time massaging my face with the Moisturizing Cleanser + Makeup Remover warming up my pores (especially any areas where blackheads like to develop), and alternating between light and deeper massage to activate/drain lymph and work the muscles. I follow that with my Custom Face Serum (which I like to regularly re-blend for myself depending on my needs) and finish with a moisturizer, or if I want something richer, the Protecting + Restoring Face Balm. My morning routine is exactly the same sans oil cleanser--a splash of cold water does the trick. Oh, and SPF! As with all things health-related, don't take your skin for granted!
What's your favorite DIY skincare recipe?
A hydrating, exfoliating, purifying mask: Mix the Regenerating + Stimulating Exfoliator with melted honey, any kind of clay or a bit of charcoal, kelp powder, avocado oil, and water. Leave it on for 5-7 minutes, then hop into the shower and slowly massage it in and off.
What's your favorite botanical and how do you like to use it?
I have a soft spot for ylang-ylang essential oil. I didn't know what it smelled like until I started at Province Apothecary, and even then I wasn't sure I liked it. It's heady, intoxicating, and more than a little overwhelming. It was put into my very first custom serum for its nervine and sedative effects: to quell anxiety, to invite calm. I now put it in nearly all my serums, not only for its aromatherapeutic benefits but for its sentimental value as well.
If you weren’t an aesthetician, what would you be doing?
Probably going on a long distance bicycle touring trip with my love.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
When you're feeling lost, try something new--and don't take it so seriously. I was many things before becoming a holistic aesthetician: a writer, stylist, barista, and florist to name a few. I was paralyzed by fear, too, for periods in between all the doing. What do you spend your free time looking at, discussing, doing, consuming? You're probably more knowledgeable about that subject(s) than you realize, so how can you transform it into something that not only pays the bills but also brings you joy.
What do you think is the biggest skincare myth?
That more is more. Less, I believe, is more. And by less, I mean a quality oil + your hands. Many people are afraid to really touch their face and instead use a surplus of products to try to achieve fresh, clear, glowing skin. I love experimenting with new products, but in the end, I always return to the basics. Your body is a natural healer--close your eyes and feel what it's like to massage your skin. Get lost in the rhythm of your own movements and breathing. The mind-body effects will go far beyond the topical.
If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go and why?
Japan. I've admired its people, food, culture, and objects since I was a young girl. I even did a student exchange and stayed in Sendai when I was 12. Their ability to take a craft, whether developed by them or learned from another country, and distill it to its most pure concept and create so much beauty from it is absurdly brilliant. I love how expressive their language is, the respect they hold for each other and nature, and I'll keep watching Hayao Miyazaki films till the end of my life.
Book your appointment with Dixie HERE!