Wandering to Montreal June 06 2014
Montreal is known as a city that honors and preserves the best of the its past and embraces the all that the present and future have to offer.
I was so excited to visit Montreal for the first time! Throughout my career I had heard that Montreal was full of beautiful food, architecture and people. Although I have traveled extensively throughout my life I had never thought to make a visit to our neighbors in the North. Just across the border I found a blend of old world charm aligned gracefully with cutting edge beauty treatments. It was exactly what this wandering aesthetic was hoping for.
The beauty industry in Montreal is praised for it’s conservative natural aesthetic, using state of the art techniques.
My favorite “Skin Saver” in Montreal is Jennifer Brodeur! Jennifer owns Bella Clinique, a recently revamped chic skin clinic which caters to VIP celebrities and politicians. Some fly thousands of miles to be treated by her capable hands.
Jennifer and her husband Charles have created the most effective and advanced light therapy machine, MAX LED. Jennifer travels the world educating her colleagues and clients about the benefits of light therapy and aesthetic oncology.
Jennifer is a well rounded skin care professional who has mastered all aspects of this industry. She has created skin saving technology, opened her own clinic, worked tirelessly to cultivate long lasting relationships with her clientele and recently found the ‘extra time’ to develop the JB skin care line, which recently launched to rave reviews!
While researching the benefits of adding light therapy to my own practice, it became very clear to me MAX was the only choice. Minutes into my first conversation with Jennifer, I knew we were going to become skin sisters! I was immediately inspired by Jennifer’s depth of knowledge regarding all areas of ‘skin saving’, partially stemming from her chemistry background. She radiates passion for changing the lives and experiences of her clients through her work. Jennifer’s focus on proactive skin health and maintenance in order to reveal her client’s beauty potential was so refreshing!
On my way to Bella Clinique, I embraced all the beauty that Montreal had to offer. My experience in Montreal was not that it was a harsh contrast to Los Angeles (my headquarters) but a gentle reminder that tradition does not mean outdated, that natural does not mean plain and that a taste of Europe does not require one to cross an ocean. Montreal courted me with a sweet understated romance and within minutes I knew this was a town I would long to return to. Around each corner I found quaint coffee shops, bike riding, friendly people, impeccable streets and the ability to integrate nature and agriculture into the urban environment.
Bella Clinique is on the second floor of a discreet urban walk up located in the heart of hip Griffintown. As I opened the door I entered another world! Bella Clinique is a sleek and chic hideaway where skin saving and life changing happens. Jazz, Jen’s client coordinator welcomed me warmly. She’s a beautiful, unique, and intelligent woman that keeps the clinic (and Jennifer) running smoothly. I immediately ask her which piece from the new line is her favorite. Without missing a beat she smiles and replies “It’s the Serum Hyaluronique. My skin drinks it in!”
Jennifer invites me into her room to meet her client. She’s an International businesswoman who will be in Los Angeles next month and wants to ensure that I can give her a MAX treatment at my clinic in Beverly Hills. This client has experienced the benefits of consistent MAX usage here at Bella Clinique and the results have turned her into (in her enthusiastic words), a “MAX addict”!
After completing her session with the client, Jennifer takes me out to Le Local. in Montreal. Le Local is an urban concept in the heart of traditional Montreal, and only deepens my new found infatuation with Montreal. After some light catching up, we discuss business.
Wandering Aesthetic: What was your inspiration to launch your own skin care line
Jennifer Brodeur: It has been a long time coming. In 2003 we launched Max, I have always been an ingredients girl. I refer to myself as a skin nerd.
The deal was after max the products would come. It just took a lot longer.
My inspiration came from profound desire to have clean and simple products at reasonable prices with RESULTS!
WA: What is the most common mistake people make when creating their home skin care routine?
JB: Trying everything as once! Throwing everything at your skin, event he kitchen sink isn’t the way to go. Also most clients are influenced by glossy magazines, TV shows you name it.
It important for me to make them comprehend all products are GOOD, however not good for everyone.
WA: You travel extensively for your work. What are some exciting trends you see happening in skin health?
JB: I am starting to see the less is more phenomenon. Which I am very happy about.
WA: How did your aesthetic oncology course come about?
JB: It was started by someone I am privileged to call a friend, Morag Currin. Strongly felt I had to dome share!
We have recently taken over the french side of things. Proud and honored to say we launched the first french class in April with 18 graduates.
WA: Your daughter is thinking of getting into the business. What advice do you have for her or any other skin practitioner just starting out?
JB: I have 3 brilliant daughters, my eldest and youngest both want to enter this incredible field. I just want them to be happy.
I feel my eldest will end up working in some way shape of from in the business but more from a marketing or sales perspective. I am urging her to continue her studies for a higher education in business.
My youngest Erika Rae has had aesthetics in her blood since birth. I see her in the future working at Bella and taking over at some point. The best advice I can give them or anyone else:
BE PASSIONATE about skin. Being a skinsaver is a full time job, if you are not passionate its hard. Passion enables us to strive without feeling as if we are working.
Continued education is KEY. This industry evolves and changes rapidly, important to stay up to date and miles ahead of the trends.
We call it a night and get our beauty sleep before we spend the next day saving skin ;)
Montreal is such a special place where I plan on Wandering to on a regular basis.
- The Wandering Aesthetic