Guest post: Skin by Ori

Happy Friday! As you can come to expect I take pride in featuring some rad moms who are doing rad things. Here today with a guest post by my friend Oriana. Just last weekend I finally took Ori up on her offer and swung by Luminary Salon in SE and had my first try at sugaring. I think I am hooked. I was amazed with the practice and of course the results.

I was introduced to Ori a few years back by our mutual friend Emma and over the past few years our paths have crossed around town. Most often at delicious local eateries. In fact it was at the lovely pizza shop Dove Vivi this past summer when Ori told me she had taken up a new practice and was jumping into the world of beauty treatments. After our session last weekend I asked Ori if she could pull together a post to introduce you all to her work and what she loves about her job. So here it is. For those of you in Portland I highly encourage you to visit Luminary and book a session with Ori, she is offering some great beginner discounts like 20% off your first service. Go ahead, you deserve it.

5 Reasons I Love my Job by Oriana Lewton-Leopold

1) THE RITUAL Since I was a girl I have always loved rituals, especially with other women. Forcing my little sister to let me put liquid eyeliner on her (sorry, sis!! I know my horrible childhood makeover skills are the reason you don’t wear makeup as an adult!) The ritual preparation for an outing, dressing up with girlfriends (always way more fun than the actual event.) Painting your toenails with your friends or kids, you name it. Whether it’s sugaring or doing a facial, I adore the fact that my job is to lead these rituals. To make the playlist, set the tone, pick the products, and then be sensitive to the client’s needs and energy so that I can help them have the experience they came to me for.

2) FACIALS I can’t tell you how many clients tell me that before they had a facial they thought it would be painful, uncomfortable, clinical, basically not enjoyable in any way. That is the exact opposite of what a facial should be. How can you go wrong with massage, steam, beautiful, organic products being gently applied to your skin by flickering fingertips? When I’m getting a facial, I am somewhere else. Floating off the table in the scents, steam, magic of the esthetician’s hands moving across my face. I am thankful for the hour away from my toddler, my responsibilities, my worries. That’s the experience I try to bring to my own clients. When I am in the treatment room with someone, I really take the time to read the person and figure out what kind of treatment they are looking for. (Ok, that, and I have a silly little worksheet cheat-sheet they fill out first!) Sometimes people want to talk the whole time, and I can tell they are getting things off their chest, working out their thoughts, unwinding through language. Other times people clearly don’t want to talk at all, and during those facials I can really connect with their energy, using Reiki (a Japanese relaxation technique) and pressure points to deepen their experience. It is not about poking, prodding, extracting (although I will definitely get in there and clear you out if that’s what you’re looking for!) It’s about connecting with yourself, in whatever form that takes that particular day.

3) SUGARING For those who are unfamiliar with sugaring, it is a natural form of hair removal dating back to ancient Egypt. Using a warm paste made of sugar, lemon and water, you mold it to the skin and flick it off in the direction the hair grows in. Because it is barely above room temperature, it can’t burn you. Because you flick it off with the hair growth, you are very likely to extract the hair at the follicle, which is what leads to finer regrowth. I’ve noticed my client’s hair growing back finer very quickly after starting sugaring. (In fact, I have one friend that has stopped scheduling leg sugars after less than a year of sugaring, because there’s just not much there anymore!) Sugaring is all natural, and there is hardly any waste; for most services you use the same ball of sugar the whole time.

When I was learning to sugar, I used to say “the sugar is playing hard to get!” It was really difficult to learn, but the more it eluded me, the more obsessed with it I became. Depending on the room temperature, the part of the body you are sugaring and the client’s body temperature, you need to use a different consistency and temperature sugar. There were many times during my learning process that I said to myself (and whatever poor soul I was practicing on) “no way, I CAN’T do this, I give up! Get in the shower and wash this stuff off!” (Thank you to my family and friends for being my generous guinea pigs!) But the thing about sugaring is that when you get it, you GET IT, and you LOVE IT. There is something so weird and magical about the way it all works.

4) PRODUCTS When I was first starting to work as an esthetician, the part of the job I was most nervous about was selling products. I hate to push things on people, I hate to be phony. But when I stepped back from this fear, I realized that all selling products means is getting excited about them, and being excited to learn more about what they are made up of. I use organic products without a bunch of preservatives in them––and I love learning about their ingredients––plants and the amazing powers they have to cleanse, heal, protect, nourish, exfoliate, balance our skin. They never fail to amaze me, and it is so much fun to share that knowledge with clients. (I’ll share one quick tip: evening primrose oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory that can help immensely with hormonal breakouts. It completely took away my cystic acne around my chin and jawline. Try it in a moisturizer or for maximum results, as a daily supplement!)

5) INDEPENDENCE I am so lucky to have a job that gives me the flexibility I need to be able to spend time with my family, work on art projects, go grocery shopping, have a life outside work. I make my own schedule, pick my own products, design my own practice…it’s pretty much the best. A big shout-out to the owner of Luminary Salon, Marisa Martin, for letting me be my wild self! And thank you to Lydia for letting me talk your ear off! I think it’s time for my favorite ritual of all…wine and Netflix.


Thanks so much Ori, I will be back to see you on November. You can follow Ori and her work both as an artist and esthetician on Instagram here. She frequently posts about new treatments and specials.

Xx Ly