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Beautygeeks' Janine w Murale Toronto's skin expert Tammy Trenholm

Beautygeeks' Janine w Murale Toronto's skin expert Tammy Trenholm

SPONSORED The way we feel when we see "SPONSORED" at the beginning of a post is exactly the way many of us feel on our first visit to a retailer for skincare advice. We think we're going to be sold something without a sense of authenticity or connection to who we are. But that isn't the case with this sponsored post! Nor is it the case when we meet experienced skin expert Tammy Trenholm at Murale in Toronto. In fact, for months I've been geeking out to anyone with ears about Tammy's approach to skincare and clients. Now it's your turn to take note: this is how to have a great skincare consultation!

what to look for in a skincare consultation

Skyn Iceland Fresh Start Mask set of 6

Skyn Iceland Fresh Start Mask set of 6

Skincare today is dizzying. Most of us have several concerns, many more than just one. And the options on shelves... overwhelming. Asking for help cuts through the clutter -- when you trust the source. First let's consider what we might want from a skincare consultation:

1) zero shaming about what we're doing or not doing
2) an accurate assessment of our skin
3) easy-to-understand information that helps demystify our skin issues
4) thoughtful recommendations that address our concerns -- and play nice with our lifestyles and wallets
5) information that helps us make smart skincare decisions in future

Foreo Luna Mini T-Sonic Facial Cleansing Device

Foreo Luna Mini T-Sonic Facial Cleansing Device

(Have I missed anything? Should these points be in a different order? Please let me know in the comments!) 

Really, we want to feel like we're talking to someone who listens, explains things simply, and empowers us. Right?

"I take my cues from each person," says our new friend Tammy Trenholm, head asethetician at Murale in Toronto. "Sometimes people are shy about their skin concerns and habits; sometimes they're open to talking about everything, including nutrition, stress, and sleep quality. Either way, I don't ever want anyone to feel bad about the choices they've made so far. I don't judge."

going skin deep

To get a precise understanding of each client's skin, Murale consultations include "a great dermatological tool that measures the skin's hydration levels, whether you're oily, or dry, whether you have clogged pores, and sun damage, too," says Tammy.

skincare consultation at murale_measuring hydration and sun damage in the skin.jpg

"The device shows a 30 x magnified view of the skin and sees below the surface -- we can even see if you aren't getting your makeup off properly."

skincare consultation at murale_measuring moisture in the skin.jpg

Although the actual skin analysis takes only minutes, Tammy prefers at least a half-hour window for the experience. "Clients need time to process what they're seeing, and ask all their questions. And because the analysis initially focuses on one area , they always, always ask to take readings from other zones of the face -- they're so interested."

finding a custom fit

Tata Harper Natural Skincare

Tata Harper Natural Skincare

Lifestyle is a huge consideration in customizing a regimen, which can range from the basics -- cleanser, exfoliant, moisturizer and sunscreen -- to more complex routines for those who want them. "Are you super-busy in the morning? Or when you get home? If you only have time to jump in the shower with a scrub, then that's what you do," says Tammy.

Murale carries a number of excellent green and natural brands, such as Tata Harper, Dr. Roebucks and Dr. Hauschka, so if synthetic-free care is important to you, Tammy can assist there, too.

dodging the hard sell

Lancôme Men and Clinique for Men: two in a section of good stuff for him

Lancôme Men and Clinique for Men: two in a section of good stuff for him

Even if we've come prepared to make one or two purchases in pursuit of better, happier skin, we all dread the hard sell. "We're not like that here," insists Tammy. 

Royal Apothic Tinties Lip Butter

Royal Apothic Tinties Lip Butter

In fact, she says she's told customers, "I don't want to sell you this product today. I just want to show you what it can do. Then you can go home, google it, and do your own research. If you decide you want to come back for it, we're here."

Tammy's approach to skincare is this: "We want clients to leave Murale knowing they got the best service, that we've built trust, and that they're truly happy with any purchases they've made. We want them to come back! And they do. They come back with friends."

Here's what makes Murale different from a department-store experience: the beauty advisors and experts aren't tied to any single brand, so they can focus on the client without product bias. As well, along with the aesthetics services offered at Murale comes a certain level of expertise one might not expect from a beauty retailer. And then there's all that tempting merchandise (I geeked out just a little while ago about these pretty Royal Apothic Tintie Lip Butters) -- really, Murale is win, win, win.

In fact, here's a video clip in which Michelle from, Jessica from and I all geek out about Murale:

Have you ever had a skincare consultation? A good one? Or not? Have you been to Murale? Tell us about it!

Thank you to Murale manager Dawn-Marie Sarmiento and beauty advisor Mariana Georghiou for serving as skin-analysis demonstrator and model respectively. For more information about Murale's skincare consultations and aesthetics services, visit