On Pins and Needles
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Before returning to Scottsdale, the city they call home, Marissa Abdo and Morgan Renfro were team members of Dr. 90210 in Beverly Hills, one of the top 10 practices in the nation for Allergan and Galderma injectables.
Working full time, Abdo, MS, RN, CANS, and Renfro, RN CANS, saw nearly 2,000 patients per year. According to Renfro, the average plastic surgeon will see around 500 clients.
“We were able to see about 2,000 because we specialize in strictly facial aesthetic injectable treatments,” Abdo says.
“When COVID hit, we were booked out about four months. Unfortunately, the entire company was laid off. We had always joked about coming to Scottsdale and starting our own practice, and the pandemic ripped the Band-Aid off for us.”
Abdo went to nursing school at ASU and Scottsdale is Renfro’s hometown, so the duo returned to the Valley and combined their expertise to open a one-of-a-kind aesthetic practice called Lumen + Bevel Aesthetics in July 2020.
“In addition to our own practice, we’re both national trainers for Allergen and Galderma, which are the companies that make the products, and we’ve been able to train other injectors at the majority of practices in the Phoenix area.”
While the two started from scratch, they’ve seen more than 500 clients within the first year of opening. Additionally, as a testament to their work, LA clients have visited them in their space at Taglio Salon.
The women treat cheeks, lips, brows, chins, jawlines and the neck. Many of the nonsurgical, injectable procedures they offer take less than an hour, cause little to no bruising, and leave patients with natural-looking results.
“It’s very hard to get into this industry. You need a medical degree, such as a registered nurse, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or a physician. Our facial anatomy knowledge is extremely important to us. We practice injecting cadavers once every six months to perfect our craft, and we truly believe we are elevating the injectable level in Arizona.”
They say they feel there’s a good market for it in the state.
“When everyone started working from home and Zoom became the way to connect, people started focusing more on their faces,” Renfro says. “We learned during the pandemic that injectables like Botox and filler became a necessity. In fact, Phoenix happens to be No. 3 in the nation for Galderma injectables. So, it’s really nice for us to have the experience and to be able to specialize in someone’s personal, individual facial anatomy.”
Abdo was inspired to work in the field after being mentored by Dr. Robert Cohen at Scottsdale Center for Plastic Surgery at age 18.
“It was all because of him that I really became inspired to work in this field,” Abdo says. “Recently, my aesthetic journey came full circle because I was able to train one of Dr. Cohen’s nurses. It also hit me how much the industry has grown. When I started, there were only two filler products. Now we have over 13 FDA-approved injectable fillers and more that are pending.”
When training other injectors, Abdo stresses for them to not feel too comfortable, because that’s when mistakes are made.
“It’s so complex,” she says. “You really have to know what you’re doing to make sure that your patients are pleased with the results and, most importantly, stay safe.”
Renfro says these treatments are, after all, medical procedures and “negative things can happen.”
“Our specialty is knowing how to safely navigate the face and be able to do that based on their anatomy, understanding how the products work, and the right amount to use in the right areas.”
Although they subscribe to the “not feeling comfortable” theory, they are confident in their abilities.
“There are a lot of people who do Botox here and other treatments,” Renfro says. “I think finding someone who is really specialized is extremely important. We’re certified aesthetic nurse specialists and we have our aesthetic certification, which is an added layer that proves we are experts in this field.”
Each consultation is personalized, as Renfro and Abdo really want to get to know their clients. They do a full facial assessment so they can suggest the right injectables to achieve the patient’s desired look.
“They can ask us any questions right there on the spot, and we answer everything to ensure they feel extremely comfortable,” Renfro adds.
“We do complimentary consultations, because we never want people to feel pressured when it comes to their face. As the owners of Lumen + Bevel Aesthetics, we truly pride ourselves in being honest with our patients. Having them look their best is our ultimate goal, and we say no just as much as we say yes.”
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