Marie Hall Smith on a mission to change the face of beauty in Jamaica

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July 28, 2021

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Owner of The Face Place Salon in Kingston, Marie Hall Smith, is no stranger to the local beauty scene. With over 30 years’ experience as an aesthetician, she’s known for helping many put their best face forward. The entrepreneur and educator also strives to ensure Jamaican beauticians are trained at the highest standards in an effort to have them seize world-class opportunities.

It’s common knowledge that beauty therapists who want to succeed must stay on top of the best and latest trends. Hall Smith takes this a step further, saying, “Your career is only as good as the training you get.” It’s a motto that she holds dear at her salon and adjunct beauty school, The Face Place Institute of Aesthetics.

With Marie Hall Smith in charge, The Face Place has undergone its own makeover in recent years and is now better equipped to take on vibrant students, ready for the world of tourism.

Her outlook on beauty services and training is simple. When beauty services are not up to standard, it’s a reflection not only of the individual beautician, but also of the Jamaican beauty industry. It’s why she has always urged for better local standards. She believes that everyone in Jamaica – from nail and eyelash or eyebrow technicians to skincare and spa therapists – should be up to par with the best in the world. So, she’s made this her mission.

“This year, the institute became Jamaica’s first and only Comité International d’Esthétique et de Cosmétologie (CIDESCO) training school, which is a key step to becoming the region’s premier beauty therapy school,” she boasted.

CIDESCO is the exclusive international body that sets the global standards for spa and beauty therapy training.

Now Hall Smith wants to share the spoils with the rest of the local beauty community.“It’s all about moving the industry forward and living up to the glamour that clients have come to expect. And even more, there is a demand for beauty services worldwide right now. For Jamaicans to be able to capitalise on that, we’re going to have to step things up a notch,” says the beauty guru.

As for ways to get there, she adds that local players will have to invest in moving the industry forward.“Are we using the latest technology effectively? Can we provide world-class massages to rival the spas from well-known centres around the world? These are some of the things we have to think about moving forward,” she says.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR BEAUTY TOURISM

Hall Smith’s lofty new goal of getting more local beauticians through high-level training like The Face Place Institute of Aesthetics CIDESCO programmes, in her estimation, would give local beauty services a much-needed facelift. In addition to that, she wants to give beauty tourism in Jamaica a fighting chance. “The beauty industry and tourism are two lucrative fields that complement each other very well.”

And with Jamaica’s heavy tourism focus, she’s confident that there’s an opportunity to capitalise on the growing movement of people travelling the world for beauty, glamour, and a pampered lifestyle.

The Face Place Institute of Aesthetics is nationally accredited and is now a CIDESCO training school.

She explained further, “There are tourists who travel specifically in search of various beauty or wellness experiences; from face and body treatments for the anti-ageing fanatics to deep tissue massages and non-invasive medical treatments that used to only be available at a doctor’s office; people want to travel and spend on beauty.”
However, she has also formed the opinion that tourism players in Jamaica often treat those beauty services as just “add-ons”.

When compared to other places like many Asian and European countries with dedicated spa towns and wellness centres, Jamaica would only be scratching the surface of what is a multibillion-dollar tourism niche.

As an alumna of The Face Place Institute of Aesthetics herself, Marie Hall Smith takes pride in giving others the opportunity to push the limits of beauty.

As an active beautician and educator in the field, Hall Smith is positive that local players, residents and tourists would all stand to benefit from improved beauty services.

“We need to consider investing in building out beauty therapy and services as a tourism service, and at the same time, we need the trained personnel to meet such a goal. Overall, Jamaica and local beauty personnel could all benefit from improving our standards.”

lifestyle@gleanerjm.com

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