Episode 127 – Coffee N5 – Unleashing the Power of Inner Beauty with Michelle Emmick

It’s time to dive into the glamorous (yet controversial) world of plastic surgery! In this jaw-dropping episode, I get the inside scoop with none other than Michelle Emmick, best-selling author of Blue-Collar Beauty and Confessions of a Plastic Surgery Coach and co-founder of Ask Us Beauty Magazine
With 20 years of experience in the medical aesthetics field, Michelle spills the beans on how her purpose-driven platform is revolutionizing the industry with a mission to educate, empower, and also inspire to make informed decisions that unleash the true beauty within.

We’ll talk about:

  • How a marketing budget can mislead the plastic surgery consumer
  • Discover plastic surgery red flags to look out for from a 20-year expert
  • Why plastic surgery costs vary between doctors
  • The importance of scheduling several consultations before plastic surgery

For more information, visit Ask Us Beauty’s website.
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Twitter: @LaraSchmoisman

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About Michelle Emmick

Michelle Emmick spent 20 years of her career working in the field of medical aesthetics as a sales and operations leader. Seeing a critical need in the market for transparency when it came to elective procedures, in 2018 Michelle co-founded MyCoachMD, a virtual consultation platform that provided consumers education and support prior to having a cosmetic procedure. She shared her experiences inside her Best-selling book, Blue-Collar Beauty, Confessions of a Plastic Surgery Coach.  
Off the success of her book, Michelle also wanted to expand her message and challenge the mainstream by promoting truth, transparency, and a positive message that showcases beauty in all its forms. In 2021, Michelle co-founded Ask Us Beauty, a quarterly digital and print magazine with content designed to educate, empower, and inspire individuals on all things beauty and wellness. Whether it’s through products, services, procedures, or personal brands, Ask Us Beauty brings together people of all backgrounds to share their stories, experiences, and beauty on their own terms.

Lara Schmoisman 0:05
This is Coffee Number Five. I’m your host Lara Schmoisman. Hi, you guys, welcome back to Coffee Number Five. My coffee’s ready. It’s getting a little cold today because it’s really chilly in LA. But anyway, I was thinking when I started working in marketing with my own agency, and I decided that I want to work with wellness and beauty because this is something that it was super attractive to me and not only understand how, because let’s face it, looking good, makes you feel good. And we all want to be the best we can be, we want to look at the mirror and feel confident that we are ready to face the world. So today I invited Michelle Emmick to join me. Okay, Michelle, welcome and explain us a little about yourself. Sorry, because there’s so much out there.

Michelle Emmick 0:57
Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on. Yes, I did. I did have a coaching business. I don’t I don’t do it now. It’s more on just, if someone calls me and asks me questions, I’ll answer them. But I, I had a coaching business, which was the genesis of that was a 20 year career in the field of esthetics, primarily working with plastic surgeons, I worked with a lot of national chains. And I also worked with private practice physicians, and it was a, it was a tremendous experience. And through those years, I learned really the good, bad and ugly, of plastic surgery, and I wanted to take my expertise, which was non medical, but be able to transfer that and provide consumers the information, then they would need to know to have a good patient experience. And that was really what miCoach MD was all about, is those one on one consultations to set the patient up for success. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. And it is difficult for even a private practice when you’re competing against the big national chains. It is a business. So I was able to provide that insight. And I also did that through my book that I wrote, which is Blue Collar Beauty Confessions of a Plastic Surgery Coach. And it was that, you know, that book meant a lot to a lot of people because I think again, there was just so much confusing and conflicting information out there. So that was really the message that I was sending, in addition to the 1000s of women that I coached over the years and having so much emphasis on the outside, which yes, the outside matters. But at the end of the day, you can have all the procedures you want and the services, but you have to do the work on the inside. And that is what I learned. And that was the message of Blue Collar Beauty. And I, you know, I after having successful the book, I thought, how can I expand this message? How can I have the expertise in plastic surgery, there’s so many people out there that can be a source of information on all things, beauty and wellness. So let’s find those people, let’s get the questions answered that the everyday consumer wants to know and needs to know. And we’ll do that. And we’ll be able to do it in a thoughtful way. And so it’s really kind of that’s, that’s really the foundation of how Ask Us Beauty Magazine started.

Lara Schmoisman 3:24
That’s beautiful. I mean, I’ve been looking at their magazine and looking a bit of it, the book and your story. But my question is this because I do the marketing part. I know I have to learn the treatments, I have to understand the surgeries in order to put the marketing out there on I what I learned is that not every surgery fits everyone. That’s correct in that consultation with a doctor is so important that this is something I always tell my clients, my doctor clients, like most of the surgeons are gonna, all of them are going to perform similar surgeries. But the individual is who is different and as a doctor, but also as a patient. So you need to feel like that connection with the doctor that you choose.

Michelle Emmick 4:13
Yes. And I and I spent a lot of time over those years coaching physicians, I used to say, you know, they, they may have their Harvard degree, Stanford degree but they, they they didn’t get those soft selling skills and they really didn’t know how to, you know, connect one on one and how that’s so important to the Experience is everything to the patient, they want to walk out feeling good about the decision, they’re spending a lot of money, you know, their, their life is in the hands of this, this surgeon so I would spend a lot of time coaching them but in terms of, you know, marketing, it’s interesting because, again, I as I mentioned, I work for national chains, and then the small practice and, you know, sometimes the you know, the one with the money tends to be the one that you know, gets the business so we had, we had to get creative and there’s so many great surgeons out there, that they don’t have that business background, so they don’t even fully understand how important marketing is to their business.

Lara Schmoisman 5:10
Oh my god, it’s so important at not only how you explain the treatments and how you sell the treatments, also how you portray the doctor.

Michelle Emmick 5:22
Yeah, absolutely. And you know, and when it comes to treatments, I mean, there’s some great ones out there. But you know, it depends, it’s, it’s who has that marketing push that’s out there promoting it. And that’s why it’s so important for the consumer to do the research. Because, you know, that piece of equipment, somebody has to pay for that. So a lot of times, if you go into certain places, they’re pushing something that may not be the best fit for you as as a patient. And so that’s one of the reasons why I would do what I did, because I’m like, This is not a one size fits all. And just because you know, your girlfriend had that doesn’t mean, that’s the best option for you. So we’re big on, you know, having consistent, you know, having people go in for several consultations, not just one, and really be thoughtful on your decision.

Lara Schmoisman 6:16
I am so glad that you say that, because I, I see that a lot of the practices, they are investing money in devices that are very expensive. And of course, they need to pay those devices, so many times they push those devices. And I’m gonna give you example, because it’s something that I like to test places that I go to, and maybe after this episode, I cannot do it anymore, but I lost a lot of weight. So this is little fluffy here under my chin, I have that little thing. And I know that there is no device that it will be able to deal with that that needs surgery. And but they always trying to sell me something. They’re always trying to sell me some Oh, magical procedure that I never try and it will work.

Michelle Emmick 7:03
Yeah, well, I mean, the way the way I would explain it to, you know, the consumer, if I was someone that I was coaching, I really look at everything as a scale. So a scale of one to 10 one meaning very minimal result 10, meaning you’re gonna get a fantastic result. If you’re looking to have a non surgical procedure and you have a loose skin. Will it do something? Sure, it may do a little bit, but you’re looking at that, you know, 1, 2, 3 range? Is that worth it? Because at the end of the day, if you have loose skin that if you want it tight end, you need to have it removed and any great plastic surgeon, plastic surgeons know that. So, you know, I don’t want to discredit there’s there’s plenty of you know, pieces of equipment out there that claim things but you can never replace can’t replace it with surgery surgery is going to give you that the you know, eight, nine, ten.

Lara Schmoisman 7:49
So why the range? Why the range in plastic surgeon that the same surgery will be $5,000 or $20,000?

Michelle Emmick 7:57
Meaning why do they? Yeah, why the same procedure charge different things. While a lot of that couldn’t be the doctors can charge whatever they want. A lot of it comes down to their experience. You know, there’s some doctors that, you know, if they’ve done, you know, 500 facelifts as opposed to the doctor that’s done five, and they have great outcomes. They they can charge more.

Lara Schmoisman 8:19
But it’s the same procedure.

Michelle Emmick 8:21
Well, everyone’s technique is a little different. But yes, ultimately, yes. But you want to look at everything, not just I mean, obviously result is so important. But it really is every step, the pre and post surgical, should be looked at the team, you know that that aftercare is huge. And then I always tell people make sure look at before and after photos as well.

Lara Schmoisman 8:45
I always also tell people look at the office, talk to the office managers talk to the front desk, because in aftercare you might have questions. So you want someone who’s going to pick up the phone, you want to find someone who’s going to be there for you that they have, maybe the doctor is not available, but that you have a nurse that will answer the phone for you and answer questions.

Michelle Emmick 9:07
Okay, absolutely. All of the above.

Lara Schmoisman 9:11
So what are the things that people should be considering as a warning or a red flag that when they’re looking for a surgeon?

Michelle Emmick 9:19
Well, obviously one would be mean, you want to make sure that you meet the doctor, that that’s crucial. And there are places that have that where they don’t up until the day of surgery which that should ever happen. That you don’t feel rushed. That’s a big one. You really want to be able to, you know, feel comfortable in that environment. And you can also research the surgeons background, make sure there’s no no nothing on the record that you might need to know about. Again, marketing can do a lot of things I know plenty of doctors. Even when we talk about magazines, which is again, one of the reasons I can I can go into many about why we have Ask Us Beauty but I can’t tell you how many doctors I’ve seen featured in magazines. And we all know and everybody out there who’s watching that knows the industry. We all know, there’s doctors that are featured, because they paid 20, 30 $40,000 to get a spot in a magazine. And I mean, we all know we’re like, I’d never let that doctor touch me. So

Lara Schmoisman 10:18
That’s not even PR that’s called Paper play. Which to me is seriously a red flag, someone who needs to I never did that for my clients, very unique situations. But I, but I find it that like, it’s borderline not ethical to get interview for something that you then do or highlight something that isn’t empty there. You want…

Michelle Emmick 10:46
It happens all the time. And, you know, and I think that’s one of the things is just, it’s disheartening, because you think, why wasn’t this person vetted? Or it’s just about money? You know, that’s sad.

Lara Schmoisman 10:59
So, let’s move to Ask Us Beauty. Tell us about Ask Us Beauty, how it came about I read also a little bit about that. But how? Because I see so many. I’m looking right now on you guys see me looking at the screen. And I’m looking like you’re featuring Kendra Scott. So what is Ask Beauty about what do you feature

Michelle Emmick 11:26
Absolutely, Ask Us Beauty is a platform, I always say it’s a platform of positivity. But it it is all things beauty and wellness. And our goal is to showcase beauty in all its forms I, again, after spending so many years in the industry, there is so first and foremost the unrealistic images that were put out there. I had coached 1000s of women, they do not look like the picture that’s on the front of the plastic surgeons website. With, and it’s all the same. It’s the woman with very thin six pack abs, no cellulite, long hair, big lips. Those weren’t the women I was meeting with, I was being with everyday women that wanted to look and feel their best. So one, I wanted something that would show images of everyday beauty women and all you know, all sizes, shapes, forms. I think a place for as I mentioned about small business, if you don’t have a big marketing machine pushing you out there small businesses, whether it’s plastic surgeons or any business, it’s hard for them to compete. So we wanted a platform for that. And then also the misinformation, which again was the catalyst of, you know, my book and to the magazine, I have the background in plastic surgery that I can educate people. But we’ve become, you know, a world where everything is a highlight reel, and everything is influenced based, right. So this person, we don’t know what’s true. You know, and so for really, the magazine is primarily midlife women, I’m about to turn 50, but for the most demographic is women and people that want authenticity. And they want stories that are going to educate, empower, and inspire them, which are our pillars. And so we really look for individuals that can do one, one or not all three of those things. And those are the people that we choose to feature. We want it to be uplifting, and we want to walk away feeling good. And as I said, feeling educated and feeling empowered, and that that’s how we go. That’s why we choose everyone that goes into the magazine.

Lara Schmoisman 13:23
But I also say like you have the space to find that advisor how that advisory works.

Michelle Emmick 13:26
So if you’re interested in being an advisor, this is again, it was spot for someone who’s maybe a small, maybe they’re a coach, and they’re just getting started. And they want to have some type of, you know, they want to have some visibility, because visibility is very difficult. And I’ve, I’ve been learning as I go because I know that media attracts media. And so you have to you have to get yourself out there and not everybody can afford, you know, PR that would be nice, but and some people do have PR so we want to be able to have we have a directory online. We have opportunities for people that want to write in blog and our site. So we try to we try to give you know space to everyone that that can showcase their skills.

Lara Schmoisman 14:12
That’s amazing. And so this is we’ll cover that coaching aspect coaching MD is a little bit of that?

Michelle Emmick 14:23
I mean, it’s a little bit of everything, right? So we have aesthetic, you know, advisors, we have wellness coaches, we have life coaches, we have psychologists, you know, it’s really anyone in that anyone in that space that falls into beauty and wellness. Because again we believe beauty comes in all forms it’s in our professional lives or personal passions, or health or wellness or friends family, people just automatically assume they think beauty and unique makeup and hair. And and while most things are great. Beauty comes from the inside out. Every single person that we have interviewed when we asked that question, it always is the same. It’s like this beauty radiates from within and all those things. So we really want to push that message.

Lara Schmoisman 15:11
And that’s great. But also, I’m not going to be naive and say that, it doesn’t matter how you look, it does not matter. It does matter when you feel dressed and you feel the, the all those things empower you. I always say that. And my team will laugh about this, that that we probably want a meeting? Lipstick!

Michelle Emmick 15:30
Yes! And there’s nothing wrong with that. And that’s, that’s the thing. Like, it’s, we always say, you know, it’s do you- Define beauty on your own terms, if you want to have plastic surgery, have plastic surgery, if you want to go fresh faced in your own natural, it’s, you know, let’s remove the judgment. And let’s educate people. And let’s put out the positive and showcase, again, people and beauty in all its forms we don’t, you know, that’s one of the things we are we pride ourselves on is showing people from different backgrounds and different stories. And that’s what really resonated with our community.

Lara Schmoisman 16:02
And also, I mean, all this beauty treatments and including surgery is mean to an act is to correct or make you feel better in certain angle, or certain aspects of your physique. But for some people, it’s a never ending story.

Michelle Emmick 16:18
Oh this is messy, Lara, it’s, you know, being in this 20 years in that space, it is highly addictive, because you just start obsessing with what’s next, what’s next more and more and more. And, you know, at some point, you have to stop and really say, again, ask yourself the questions. Because if you don’t do the work on the inside, it’s you’re never going to feel good on the outside.

Lara Schmoisman 16:41
And the truth is, you’re going to age that. Yeah. So and it happens. So the only thing you can do is to age and to learn how to age graciously. What I learned in the beauty industry, for example is like I was going to. Before I was in the beauty industry, I was going to a mall and say, Okay, I need a cream, what can I get? And I will buy whatever they will recommend me. And I didn’t know about the ingredients I didn’t know, I wasn’t reading and I didn’t know what I need it for my type of skin for my age. And since I’m starting learning that, and I started using what I needed, and not when someone was telling me my skin changed completely

Michelle Emmick 17:26
100% and that’s exactly right. It’s about because you took the time to educate yourself and find out because, again, I mean, we talked about clean beauty and people hear those words. And we know that you know, there’s there’s a whole that’s a whole conversation. But we want to know what we’re putting on our face, putting in our body, whether it’s what we eat, what we wear, you know, all those things. It’s really about educating, we just didn’t know, you know, it’s like, when you know better you do better. Well, we want to know, and I don’t want to get caught up on somebody who’s doing a Tik Tok video that is being paid to push a product that I you know, do you know, and that’s what that’s what it’s come to people don’t know, they’re like, oh, this person said it was great. And then it was not great.

Lara Schmoisman 18:13
For them maybe.

Michelle Emmick 18:14
Great for them. I mean, right.

Lara Schmoisman 18:17
Exactly. But also there are so many devices out they are that found a few that they’re great. And that’s the first great step before you commit to a surgery.

Michelle Emmick 18:28
Absolutely. And there’s there’s a whole demographic of people that aren’t ready to take the leap into surgery. So there are alternatives. People just need to know. And the market that I dealt with a lot of them I mean, some had, yes, some has discretionary income, where they can be like, Hey, I don’t care what I spend, but there’s a lot of people they spend every dollar that they have. They need to know what they’re getting. They don’t need to walk out getting, you know, liposuction, if they really need a tummy tuck. That’s, oh, that’s a huge one. Yeah. And you’re telling me that you need a procedure that’s going to freeze the fat, I won’t name names, but like it because somebody said, oh, yeah, this is going to work for you. And I just spent, you know, five $6,000 of my hard earned money. And they’re they’re unhappy because the didn’t get it was a it was a, you know, unrealistic expectation.

Lara Schmoisman 19:19
That I mean, I’m talking about those devices, a lot of those devices, first of all that devices are their preventive, some other devices, when you have something to correct. It’s a different story. And so there’s some things that it’s inevitable that if you need surgery, you need surgery, the device is like you’re saying it’s doing an liposuction won’t help you with the saggy skin.

Michelle Emmick 19:42
Right? But if you go to somewhere that doesn’t have maybe a doctor on staff or you’re not meeting this, you’re not meeting a doctor or say it’s a med spa. Who are you meeting with? Yeah, you’re meeting with a consultant, that you’re not meeting with a doctor and that consultant is getting paid a commission

Lara Schmoisman 19:59
See the same with a Post Op, post treatment upsells? Yes. Like, hello? Yes. The other day, I was in the middle of a treatment of micro needling. And they were trying to push me to buy more products and they’re expensive products. And I was like, why are you doing this? First of all in the middle of a procedure? That’s not how it’s done.

Michelle Emmick 20:25
No. I mean, they’re they have metrics that they’re trying to hit. And they’re looking at, and again, this was, this was the business behind it. Right? You know, how many people call how many people booked an appointment? How many show how many convert? How many are up sold? I mean, this is, this is the way it works. Just because it’s, it’s, you know, a medical industry. It’s still, it’s still driven by the dollar.

Lara Schmoisman 20:51
Yeah, absolutely. Okay. Michelle, thank you so much for your insights. I think a lot of people are gonna love this episode. And probably they’re gonna hit you up with some more questions. But thank you, everyone. Gonna put all your chapter notes here about Ask Us Beauty, and how people can get into the magazine. Remind me they are hardcover that they can get but also there are articles that they can get on the website.

Michelle Emmick 21:18
Yeah, it’s digital and print and we have a lot of our articles that are right on the website that you can read. But yeah, we would love your support subscribe to us and we are we celebrate two years in June. We are women owned, independently owned, very proud of that and we’re disrupting the industry.

Lara Schmoisman 21:35
That’s amazing. Congratulations and you know, Ask Us Beauty and you’ll get more in the chapter note, thank you so much for being here. And I will see you again for more Coffee Number Five next week. Find everything you need at Laraschmoisman.com Or in the Episode Notes right below. Don’t forget to subscribe. It was so good to have you here today. See you next time. Catch you on the flip side. Ciao, ciao.

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