Gamechangers: Jessica Walsh of Formula Fig
If you think about it, the “facial” industry hasn’t really seen any kind of significant update since pretty much the 80’s. That was one of the main reasons why Jessica Walsh decided to start Fig, a Vancouver-based, first-of-its-kind clean facial bar. But Fig is much more than “just a pretty facial”. Based on the idea that facials and skincare don’t need to be luxuries, nor do they need to take up hours of our time, Fig offers clean, high-tech facials done in 30 minutes, “Stingers” (aka wrinkle relaxers) and Fig Shots (e.g. B12 shots), all done in their beautiful space in Kitsilano. We recently sat down with co-founder JJ to chat about the inception of Fig, and how it’s changing the game.
What is Fig?
We’re clean injections, high tech facials done in 30 minutes and we curate a selection of clean international skincare brands. We’re also very “high designed”, our aesthetic hits all five senses as we believe in offering our customers an experience.
Why did you decide to start the business?
I felt the “facial industry” was archaic, needed a shake up and needed to be more efficient. I personally didn’t go to facial bars because I couldn’t book easily (I didn’t want to have to book three months in advance), and if I only had a half hour, where could I go? I wanted to launch a facial bar that was clean and more efficient, but that didn’t compromise on quality. I also thought there had to be a cleaner form of injections, where you could still move your face and look your age. Doctors are often incentivized to over-inject so I was interested in offering a service that wasn’t commission based.
I also wanted to offer a skincare service that wasn’t just focused on women. Everyone’s got skin, it’s not beauty, it’s wellness. So many of these places are very much geared towards women, and are very feminine, and I didn’t want that, I really wanted the guys to come in. We actually have quite a few corporate accounts, we go do vitamin shots at places like EA Games, hence why our design isn’t overtly feminine.
How would you describe each of the treatments you offer?
For the technical clean facials, because we’re doing them in 30 minutes, we thought they had to be results-driven, so we’ve cut out the bits of facials that you might be able to do at home (like micro rolling) and focus on the other things you can’t get at home, like medical grade LED lights, ionized oxygen, micro current, etc. Our clean facials are broken down into three offerings (priced differently): first is the LED + Oxygen Facial; we always start with a manual double cleanse to really get into the facial muscles by lifting and invigorating, and then we have the LED lights (each light we use depends on what your skin goals are) and ionized oxygen which is spraying down onto your face. We always finish off with a stimulating massage.
Then we have the Hydrate + Glow which is micro dermabrasion, or you can have an AHA mask if you’re pregnant or have slightly sensitive skin. The micro derm does have the diamond tips, but it’s not like the old school sand blaster on your face, it’s very gentle. And then we have the pressurized oxygen spray with our serum which is compounded by Pure Pharmacy (they also compound all our injections), then it’s finished off with LED and oxygen and a massage.
Lift + Tone is our most expensive clean facial, and it’s for lifting and sculpting. It’s like our Fig Face Lift, it’s amazing. It has micro-current, thermatone in it, and again the LED and massage.
*Fig also offers Fig Shots, which are injections compounded by Pure Pharmacy and target things like energy and stress, as well as their “Stingers” which are essentially wrinkle relaxers that use xeomin (an alternative to Botox) and are administered by naturopathic doctors.
How did you decide to offer the shots in addition to the facial treatments?
I think good skin starts from within. So the shots are internal, and the facials are external. I think everything should work in synergy. We also definitely want to bring in more internal/ingestible retail pieces as well, we just have to find the right ones.
Why do you think more people aren’t doing natural “high tech” facials?
There are obviously some beautiful clean facials out there, but I think that technology is amazing why not harness that? We use “machinery” but we are also clean; none of our technology is detrimental to the skin. We’re very aware that there’s plenty of technology that you can use, but it’s not always safe for all skin types. We wanted to offer options that were safe for everyone.
How would you say Fig Face is changing the game?
I don’t think anyone’s changed this industry much, especially with injections. We stand by our four basic pillars, which our staff follow — integrity, kindness, honesty and transparency, we feel really strongly about those. We also have our key business pillars, which are clean — no parabens, SLS, silicon, drying alcohols, etc, high tech — we really love technology, and our digital experience — to be digital and mobile first — we will never be trend led, but research based and transparent. With us, you won’t leave wondering how you racked up such a high bill, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you go to pay (tip is included). Our final pillar is simple — we will always keep the menu, the user experience and our online presence really simple, we don’t want to bombard you, we will guide you and educate you, but will never tell you what to do. Most importantly, there’s no judgement.
Find out more about natural skincare here.