In the latest edition of the Practitioner Spotlight series, nurse practitioner Julie Eastwood, owner of Nurse J Aesthetics, explains why she loves working in aesthetics, her style as an aesthetic practitioner and her goals for the future.
Hi Julie! Tell us about what first made you consider going into aesthetics
I’d been thinking for years of potential careers outside the NHS, where I’d have more control over my life. I’d always liked to maintain myself and to feel and look good, and I was blessed with wrinkle-free skin up until the age of 38. Around that time, my friend was training in Botox and fillers and invited me to be a model. I said yes, and it was through having seen the results of Botox, first hand, that made me realise how amazing aesthetic treatments were.
To know that it was still me, and that the changes were very subtle and natural, but made me feel fresher and more confident - that sparked my interest. I thought, wow! If I can make people feel this good about themselves, I want to do that. I could see that it was something that could really make people happy.
I’d already done my nurse prescriber qualification, so I decided to do the SkinViva foundation course in 2019, and, from there, I just wanted to learn more and more. I loved it!
That's a great reason. And what do you love most about working in the industry?
I love knowing that I can help so many people feel good about themselves and empower them to look after themselves - and I do it with flair and with my medical knowledge, skills and safety. I absolutely love what I do. I feel so fulfilled by doing aesthetics and can’t imagine not doing it - I’ve got so much to offer.
I consider myself a feminist, and I also consider myself as someone who really wants to champion self love, self confidence and telling yourself you’re enough - and that is not in conflict with aesthetic treatments. I feel like I have a voice to be heard for my age group and beyond.
I’m fortunate that everyone who comes to me for a treatment comes back. Reading patient reviews makes me feel quite humbled and it spurs me on to know that what I’m doing is really valuable. Making them smile is amazing.
What’s your style as an aesthetic practitioner?
There’s lots of looks you can get on the market, and I could create those looks with the techniques I’ve learned and tools I have, but I want my patients to have a really realistic expectation of what we can achieve together. I want someone to be fully informed about all the options and that they’re not just coming to me like they would a vending machine, where they might pick 1ml filler or 3 areas of Botox. For me, it’s important to know what a patient really wants, what their concerns are, and to make sure they don’t have body dysmorphia. I feel like I have something to give women and men - but mostly women - that confidence to know they don’t have to be ashamed about wanting aesthetic treatments, and to be empowered. I want to educate them about the side effects and make sure they fully understand the treatment. But mostly, it’s important to listen to what it is they’re trying to achieve.
A lot of the time, a patient will come to me and will want to book in for a treatment that same day, but, for me, it’s important for the patient to have a bit of downtime and to think about the plan we’ve put together before they go ahead with it.
I consider everyone I treat as my patient - because that’s what sets me apart from others in the aesthetics industry that do not have that duty of care. That’s not to say they won’t provide work that’s good and safe. It’s just that I know that’s my unique selling point. I’m giving them everything that I’ve got, so they can be rest assured when they come and see me.
I think I have a natural empathetic nature. I’ve always been able to communicate well with people and make them feel at ease, which is something I love so much about being a nurse. You’re in a privileged position as a healthcare professional to really listen to and advocate for your patients. I absolutely love aesthetics, and I’m so proud I do it. Initially, I was shy about it, because people can be quite judgemental - even my own family had their own doubts and judgements about it. But the more you become confident in yourself and the more I understand what value I bring, it makes everything so worth it.
I love the line on your profile that says, “Be the best version of you - as quietly or as loudly as you want to be”. In your experience, do patients generally keep their treatments quiet, or are they quite happy to talk openly about them?
A lot of people want to keep them quiet, and I respect that. And a lot of women don’t want their partners to know because they carry judgement about aesthetic treatments. For example, when it comes to payments, they’ll break them up into smaller amounts rather than have one larger payment go out at once because their husband might notice it. So there is a lot of work to do around the stigma, but I feel that, at the moment, my job is to support women through that and give them the confidence to talk about treatments. It is becoming more and more commonplace for fillers and Botox to be talked about more openly, so I think we’re going in the right direction. The benefits of their treatments far outweigh the judgement.
I was part of a national campaign called This Girl Can in 2015 to motivate women in sport, and it was one of the best things. I’m turning 40 this year and, over the last 10 years, I’ve just grown so much in terms of confidence and with exercising. I still have that This Girl Can mentality, and I suppose that translates into my aesthetic work as well - having that confidence, regardless of age - it all goes hand in hand.
Aesthetics gives me confidence as a single woman. My desire is to not change myself. I want to keep myself looking fresh and youthful like I always have been. It makes me feel confident that I now work in an industry that supports that and openly champions my choices. Unconsciously or not, people do have a bias. But aesthetic treatments can have a huge positive impact on people’s lives.
What’s your favourite treatment to perform?
Lips are a popular treatment of mine, but the one I love doing most is cheek fillers because I feel that it’s something that can give such structure to the right person’s face, and nearly all the women I’ve treated so far have had real benefits from it. It’s given them so much more structure to the lower face.
Alongside cheeks, I love Profhilo and the things it can achieve. One of my patients sent me a Christmas card thanking me and went into the detail of her journey so far with acne and how far she’s come. She now has Profhilo every six months to help her with that and she’s come such a long way. It’s really improved her skin - she’s glowing! Profhilo really tackles skin elasticity, boosts collagen and also gives a bit of a lift. It doesn’t add volume like filler does, but it’s an amazing treatment and makes your skin feel supple and smooth.
For me, it’s important to provide a really thorough consultation and not just give patients a list of treatments. It’s about getting an understanding of what they really want and achieving a look based on that. Otherwise you’d just be taking money for a treatment and not actually achieving what that patient wants, and, sometimes, that can actually make the problem worse.
What are your goals for the future?
My goal is to have a CQC registered clinic, eventually, and once I finish my qualification in advanced practice, which I’m currently studying, it’s going to really open up my ability to invest and get that established. I want it to have a real wellness appeal, so not only will it offer aesthetic treatments, but it will also offer a range of wellness treatments like acupuncture and sports medicine. I feel like the only way is up for me. I’m so excited about what I can bring!
For right now, it’s about supporting my current and future patients through this pandemic, and there will be lots of people wanting to have treatments when they’re able to because that will support many of them with their confidence and with managing other aspects of their lives.
It's so great to learn more about you and your aesthetics style. Thanks a lot, Julie!