The Skin Games 2016 Live show wrapped Saturday, April 23 at the San Ramon Marriott celebrating the Top Estheticians from around the Nation.
The competition began in the Fall of 2015 with Licensed Estheticians registering online and submitting an 8 week video diary that followed their journey, via YouTube, towards achieving the best results in one of 5 categories; Best New Esthetician, Age Management, Acne, Hyperpigmentation and Open.
I registered in the Open Category to showcase esthetics education and how esthetic professionals truly make a difference in their clients lives one treatment at a time. After completing my initial video diary series life happened and due to circumstances beyond my control I was forced to scrap my, what I considered amazing, results and start from scratch. Determined to showcase my skills and encourage others to join in no matter what challenges they were facing I set out to improve my clients chief concerns and had no idea where the journey would lead me.
Each finalist was asked 4 questions by the panel of judges and after 6 grueling hours the votes were sent to be counted. This is when the magic of this whole experience truly came alive. Those same 14 distinguished judges hosted a cocktail party and throughout the Beauty Fest held before the live show, where sponsors offered complimentary services to attendees, those same judges opened themselves up to questions and extended coaching opportunities for the finalist. I personally had the honor of speaking with Rebecca Gadberry, Michael Q. Pugliese and I had a one on one while he pampered one of my guests. One very exciting introduction was to the very first President of the California Skin Care Association Eva Nestore. To experience these amazing professionals first hand in and of itself was absolutely priceless.
After a long, fabulous day of pampering everyone returned to their rooms to drape themselves in their finest Red Carpet attire and returned ready for their close-up. New relationships had formed in the last 24 hours and the stress of the competition had seemed to just melt away. The only thing left to do was celebrate everyone's hard work.
Congratulations to everyone!
Amy Wall took the Grand Prize Title of Top Esthetician in the Nation and First Place in the Age Management Category. Meet Amy Here: http://www.loveamyskin.com
Cherie Callahan was awarded Top Esthetician in the Hyperpigmentation category.
Meet Cherie Here: http://cheriecallahan.com
Nondy Llewellyn was awarded Top Esthetician in the Open category.
Meet Nondy Here: http://www.bakersfieldacnecare.com
Denise Kemp was Awarded Top Esthetician in the Acne category.
Meet Denise Here: http://www.suitesplendor.com
Angie Vayda was awarded Best New Esthetician and The People's Choice.
Meet Angie Here: http://www.bashfullash.com
Richard Merrill-Rivas was awarded The Game Changer award for Industry Leadership and and connecting professionals. Also I received Second Place in The People's Choice category.
Christine Byer was awarded Third Place, The People's Choice.
Meet Christine Here: https://indyesthetician.com
I was completely shocked and honored when my name was called as a recipient of "The Game Changer" award for my Industry Leadership in education and bringing professionals together. I genuinely believe that this career path has been such a blessing and to sit among those whom I highly respect and be honored in such a way left me humbled and recharged. The Skin Games has created such a ripple of opportunity and hope in the Esthetics industry and I am proud to have reached such an exciting milestone.
I placed 2nd in The People's Choice category because of the amazing support from each and every one of you! I want to say how much I appreciate you for your outpouring of love and support!
No matter how we placed everyone who attended this star studded event hosted by the Ex Wives of Rock, Bobbie Jean Brown and Athena Bass with a special appearances by co-stars Sharise Neil and Susan "Blue" Dixon, everyone left uplifted and feeling united in continuing to build this great industry... TOGETHER!
I have to take a moment to say a few words to a very special group of people:
Jennifer Moore-Rosenblum for continually providing encouraging words of support and for creating such a life-changing event for Estheticians.
Jennifer Marie of Facet Marketing Service for her quick responses and support throughout the entire process.
Amy Gardner from LightStim for not only sponsoring The Skin Games but for improving my results with the use of LED Therapy. Also, for providing top notch education to my students and I and most importantly for the continuous support and guidance as we worked through several challenges to accomplish my video diary entries. Amy never once lost vision of our joined success.
I'd also like to congratulate LightStim and Amy Gardner as recipient of The Game Changer award as well!
Denise Fuller, Director of Judges & NASN Founder for introducing me to this amazing opportunity and providing exceptional opportunities for professionals to continue growing.
Maxine Drake, Assistant Director and Esthetician Mentor for her support of Estheticians and their dreams.
Michael Q. Pugliese for taking the time to provide constructive feedback to help me move to the next phase of my career.
Rebecca Gadberry for telling me the facts straight and supporting me in understanding how I can represent myself better as a professional.
Lori Nestore and Eva Nestore for blazing a trail for us to stand as professionals and being truly amazing in your vision to create true opportunity!
Susanne Warfield, NCEA Founder, for all her efforts in creating one unified industry across the nation and a prestigious certification program that allows licensed Estheticians to present their best selves every day!
And to my Husband, Nerherley Rivas for encouraging me to keep going on the challenging days and standing by me for every celebration and every opportunity to grow. I love you and could not have gotten here without you!
And most importantly I want to thank YOU. This career choice is driven by my ability to help others achieve their goals. Whether it be overcoming personal skin challenges, your desire to start a career or a lovely relationship that is bonded by a passion for helping others. I could not continue if it was not for each and every one of you choosing to support my dreams and making the choice to work with me. Thank you from the bottom of my most grateful heart!
Are you ready to change your life? Register for The Skin Games 2017 now!
What category would you like to compete in? Comment Below and tell us!
Until 2017 Game On!
Richard Merrill-Rivas is a nationally recognized Celebrity Esthetician, Educator, Holistic Health and Business Coach.