Meet our Aesthetician

“I love what I do,” says Valerie Gilbert. “I’m really lucky.”

As an aesthetician for Dr. Andrew Smith, one of the top plastic surgeons in Orange County, Valerie performs a variety of services for skin rejuvenation. She specializes in cosmetic tattooing, or “micropigmentation,” skillfully camouflaging scars and imperfections, or adding definition to facial features.

Although aestheticians provide services ranging from eyelash extensions to consulting about BOTOX®, at our Orange County practice, Valerie’s passion is helping breast reconstruction patients look and feel their best. It was consulting someone who had undergone reconstructive breast surgery after battling breast cancer that kindled her interest in cosmetic tattooing.

“Through the art of tattooing, her areolas were restored to look natural,” Valerie says. “I was impressed by the fact that this art could change how someone could view him or herself – whether out of convenience, circumstance or necessity.”

Valerie is certified in a range of cosmetic procedures, including advance restoration techniques, medical microdermabrasion, chemical peels and scar camouflage.
Co-workers rave about Valerie’s work. Find out why. Request a consultation online, or call us at 949.653.7000 to schedule an appointment.

More About Valerie

Read on to find out more about our aesthetician Valerie in this personal interview:

The most rewarding aspect of being an aesthetician is…

I get to be part of the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good Feel Better” program. It’s a wonderful program that is dedicated to helping women undergoing cancer treatment look their best, using trained volunteers. I help provide patients with information about how to put on makeup and getting fitted for wigs.

When I was asked to join Dr. Smith’s office, I thought…

His cosmetic surgery practice in Orange County was a little far from where I live. Then I spoke to a friend who was going through breast cancer treatment, who was a patient of his, and she urged me to meet with him. I felt very comfortable with him. He’s a great, down–to–earth guy and his staff was happy and professional. I was going to give it 6 months, and now it’s been more than 2 years and I have no plans to leave.

My approach as an aesthetician is different because…

I tend to emphasize the medical aspect of my job a little more than the cosmetic side, even though both are important. I love learning about skin, how it works, what it does … Your skin’s your biggest living organ, and many people don’t understand how to take care of it. I try to get people to believe in skin care.

If I’m not in the office, you’ll probably find me…

In my home office/studio creating something. I like to work with mixed media, sometimes using recycled objects or other things you can discover just about anywhere. No rules, just something creative.

The best compliment I’ve ever received is…

One woman I saw for a follow-up appointment told me, “I went to my annual spa weekend with my best friends and nobody looked at me twice! I felt like I just blended in with every other woman at the spa.” Otherwise, they aren’t really words. It’s more of a look. After I finish an appointment with a woman who has had breast cancer, who has been through this really long, grueling experience, there’s a look that communicates, “I feel complete again.”

The secret to having a satisfied patient is…

Listening. Working together to achieve the look they desire. I also try to educate them about the procedure so they understand both the possibilities and the limitations of what we can accomplish.

Self-confidence comes from…

Really knowing who you are. I believe it all falls into place at some point in your life. It’s not always easy. It’s not only about how you look, but it’s important that to feel your best, you want to look your best.

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