SINGAPORE - Whenever Ms Lily Kew treats pimples, she is extra careful. Not only to avoid scarring of her client's face, but also to make sure her own does not get hit by flying pus.
Sounds gross? The 44-year-old deadpans: "It's happened before. Once, some of the gunk hit my eyelid and I wiped it away with a cotton bud. It was disgusting, but part of the job."
She adds with a laugh: "Over the years, I have learnt how to siam (stay away)."
Ms Kew also has to contend with clients who break wind when she performs a brazilian wax - down there - on them.
"We secretly pray before the treatment starts that the client won't fart during the process."
Ms Kew, who has been in the beauty industry since she was 28, owns Beaute by Kew, an organic beauty salon in the Everton Park neighbourhood near Tanjong Pagar.
Like many such salons, hers encourages clients to sign up for facial packages.
The industry has earned a poor reputation for hard-selling, she concedes.
"The concept of packages has been abused by therapists who use high-pressure tactics to convince clients to take them up because they get commission for the sign-ups."
The New Paper on Sunday understands that beauticians take a 2 per cent to 10 per cent cut in commission off package prices. A junior therapist has a basic salary of $1,300 to $1,500.
Ms Kew reckons that hard-selling is unnecessary as long as the service provided and results produced are top-notch. Still, she believes that packages are a good idea because clients get discounts when they sign up.
Making a commitment to continue with treatment sessions for a set period of time also yields better results in the end, she adds.
"Once in a while, we get clients who come to us for miracle cures after using a product that caused a bad reaction, such as their face becoming red, puffy, and inflamed.
"They want an instant fix, but these things typically take time," she explains.
The key to achieving great skin is in using proper cleansing products, Ms Kew maintains.