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Wax on, Wax Off: The Q&A with Beauty Expert Lora Condon

Ever see the original Karate Kid movie? Well, think of Lora Condon as a Mister Miyagi who can make you feel and look good.

Condon is a make-up artist extraordinaire, an eyelash master, and a reflexology expert, who practices the Japanese technique of energy healing called “Reiki.”

As a reigning black belt of beauty, Condon is also working on her own skin care line while dispelling myths about the cosmetics industry through her book “Spa Wars.”

Protector. Healer. Image improver. That’s quite a balance.

And like Mr. Miyagi once told his karate student Daniel: “Balance is key.”

Without further ado . . . The NewsWhistle Q&A with Make-Up Artist Lora Condon.

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Name: Lora Condon
Date of Interview: 11/22/14
Age (if you want to give it up): 42
Birthplace: New Jersey
Current town: Springfield, NJ
Occupation: Esthetician and Author

1. What’s the funniest or saddest thing that’s happened to you this week?

We surprised my step-father for his 65th birthday by telling him we had to meet a reporter doing a story on successful New Jersey women and wanted to take pictures of my family for the story. I think he was a little disappointed his picture wasn’t going to be in the paper!

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David Gerber, Lora’s Step-Father 

2. What’s your favorite movie? And why?

Rocky III. I love every Rocky film, but the 3rd is the my favorite because it really shows someone who feels like he’s lost everything, including himself and his identity, dig deep down and come back to life and find his destiny. I also love the scene on the beach when he hits rock bottom while training.  The traditionally meek Adrian gets in Rocky’s face about quitting and makes him realize that he is a champion only when he gives 100%. Anything less is not acceptable. I can go on and on, with all the lessons in this film.

3. What’s the biggest risk you took in life?

I love taking risks and I believe every risk is built upon what resulted from the last risk I took. I have 3 major turning points that come to mind.  In 1989, when I was 18, I got on a plane and went to Nashville for the first time, then hopped in a cab and went to Belmont University to major in Music Business.  Then in 1998, I decided to change careers and become an esthetician and in 2006 I opened my business, my spa Magic Hands Skin and Body.

4. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be?

I really believe that everything happens the way it’s supposed to, but if I had to choose, it would be regarding my weight. I wish I had never gained weight in my 30’s. It’s been hard to lose ever since.

5. Tell us your favorite joke:

Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7,8,9

6. What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

My ultimate dream is to work for the New York Yankees as their healer. Is there even such a position?

7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?

Never move right in with a man, unless you can afford to move right out.

8. Who’s your favorite celebrity? And why?

Ronald Reagan. I consider him the perfect man. Good looking, family man, high morals, quiet strength, worshipped and honored his wife, loyal, appreciated nature and animals, especially horses.  He gave a nation “real hope” and made the rest of the world dream and the ability to live the American Dream.

9. What’s your strangest phobia or superstition?

None

10. Last, but not least, is there anything you want to pitch, promote or discuss?

After 15 years in the beauty industry, I’m starting an all-natural skin care line for men and women. I’ve been testing it for years and it’s finally ready.  I wanted products that with all-natural ingredients that are effective, pure and healing.  They should launch in January 2014 and I can’t wait.

11. Oh, and a couple of bonus questions… 

a.  What are three (or five) simple beauty tips that everyone should incorporate into their beauty regiment?

1.     Your cleanser or scrub should never make your skin feel tight, dry or itchy. If it does, change to something more gentle.
2.   Using Spf all day, every day is imperative for age-defying skin. Reapply every hour when you’re outside.
3.   64oz of water a day plumps up fine lines and makes skin look softer.

 

b.  What is a new trend in the beauty industry that most people don’t know about, but should?

 

Although these have been around for a while, many people are still unaware of them or have misinformation.  The most dynamic trends are eyelash extensions and ultrasound facials.  Many women don’t even know what eyelash extensions are or look like because when they’re done correctly, you can’t tell someone has them.  All you can see is that they have fabulous eyelashes!  There are many imitations to eyelash extensions that look very fake and damage the lashes.  True lash extensions are done one lash at a time, not in clusters, which leaves big gaps in-between the lashes when they fall out. A full set will usually cost around $250, so if you seem them very cheap, they are probably using damaging clusters.

 

Ultrasound is the estheticians secret weapon to high-powered facials.  Ultrasound uses sound waves to flush the pores clean and penetrate products deeper into the skin than just rubbing them in. The best part about ultrasound, is that almost everyone can get it done, unlike microdermabrasion or peels.  There is no down-time, no redness and nothing penetrates products deeper than ultrasound.

 

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Lora’s Book “Spa Wars”

 

c.   Are there any beauty products on the market that shoppers should avoid? And why?

 

There are a few products that drive me nuts because they’re so unethical and damaging to the skin.

 

Apricot or harsh scrubs – These wreck havoc with the skins texture and lipid barrier.  For some reason, in America, people are obsessed with having squeaky-clean skin.  Many try to do this with a harsh scrub and all the while, they’re actually damaging their skin and leaving it open to more bacteria by stripping it of all it’s natural moisture and protective layers.  If your skin ever feels tight, dry or itchy after washing, whatever you’re using is damaging your skin.  The actual texture of nut or harsh scrub can create such an uneven texture that your skin will never be soft!

 

Microdermabrasion creams are nothing more than scrubs.  The service of microdermabrasion includes high-powered suction and a diamond tip applicator. If you don’t have those two aspects, it is not microdermabrasion.  All these products that claim to have anything to do with microdermabrasion is totally false advertising and should be illegal. It’s a scrub and that’s it. Laughable.

 

Rubbing alcohol, Seabreeze, and witch hazel should never be used on the skin or at least never the face.  These will all deplete the skin of its natural protective layers and moisture.  If you want to age yourself 5 years, start using alcohol based products.  By stripping the skin, you’re actually telling the skin to create more oil, which creates a cycle of severe dryness and dehydration coupled with over production of oil.