A healthcare professional's journey into the aesthetics space is unique, which holds true within our amazing community of Portrait providers. Each of these talented injectors has a different story, perspective, and expertise. Every week, we will be highlighting a new provider to bring their journey in front of our audience. We hope you enjoy learning their stories as much as we have!
Portrait: Hi, Jolene! We are SO excited to talk to you today. Let’s start by having you introduce yourself, share your title, and tell us what you are currently reading.
Jolene: My name is Jolene Retaskie, and I’m an RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I’m currently reading a book called The Power of Regret.
Portrait: Can you tell us how you got started in the medical field?
Jolene: I feel like I have been on track to becoming a nurse my entire life! My mother and grandmother are nurses, and I have a brother with special needs. I have always been surrounded by caregivers, and I think as a result, I have always felt very familiar with taking care of others. My nursing career started off in critical care, where I then spent sixteen years working in ER and trauma.
Portrait: What attracted you or introduced you to aesthetics?
Jolene: Connections are always really important, but I’ve found them especially helpful in the medical field. After sixteen years working in ER and trauma, I started to think about expanding my horizons in nursing. It was around this time that an acquaintance introduced me to a plastic surgeon. At the time, I wasn’t sure if the aesthetic space was right for me, so I started off apprenticing with the surgeon to gain more exposure. Aesthetics combines art and science, and while science made a lot of sense to me, I wasn’t fully convinced I was an artist just yet. After observing for a while, I realized how naturally the art came to me and decided to walk through the open door in front of me.
I pushed myself to pursue aesthetics and would attend as many trainings as I could. This is around the time when an injector in the community took notice of me. This person noticed that I consistently led with safety - something I highly emphasize in my practice today - and decided to bring me on to her team. She became my mentor as I continued to expand my skillset. At the time, I had no idea just how impactful this guidance would be and I am so grateful for all she gave to me.
Portrait: Do you have a specialty service?
Jolene: Right now, I’m doing a lot of full-face restorations, but I would say my specialty is cheering for clients to do their self-care - whatever that looks like for them.
Portrait: What is one treatment you would recommend to all patient types?
Jolene: Definitely microneedling! We start losing collagen around the age of nineteen. Microneedling is a treatment that any adult could benefit from, and I encourage my clients to come in for treatments monthly. Frequent sessions not only promote collagen growth, but help with skin texture, repair, pigmentation, and even melasma here in Southern California specifically.
Portrait: Let’s talk skincare! In your opinion, how important is a good skincare routine?
Jolene: A good skincare routine is very important! I find that once you make it a habit, it’s pretty easy. From personal experience, I had no idea the slow changes I would see through adding in a good skincare regime. I prefer medical-grade products and always encourage patients to stay within the same brand, so you know for sure that the ingredients will work well together.
Portrait: Which products could you not live without?
Jolene: I use ZO® Skin Health products and love the results! I love that it is straightforward and super easy to follow.
Portrait: Are there any new products that you’re excited to learn about?
Jolene: I’ve been hearing a lot about a new PRF gel! I’m also very interested in the development of threads and the advancements in results they offer.
Portrait: Shifting gears a little, can you tell us about your involvement with the American Med Spa Association (AMSPA)?
Jolene: Becoming a member of AMSPA unlocked an entire new world of resources for me as an injector. The website is really helpful for information on off-label treatments and differing state regulations, and the blog-like setting makes asking questions and finding answers super easy. I frequently refer to AMSPA as a resource for continuing education and would recommend it to fellow injectors.
Portrait: You’re involved with the International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses (ISPAN) as well, right?
Jolene: Yes, ISPAN is fantastic! I find the resources extremely valuable — all of the talks, training and breakout courses are provider-specific and relate to treatments and products that we’re using regularly. In addition to these resources, it keeps you up to date on trending topics, which is especially helpful coming out of the COVID bubble.
Portrait: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve faced as an injector?
Jolene: To become an ER nurse I had to take a ton of classes, pass tests, and complete clinical hours before being certified to work on my own. However, the aesthetic space is not regulated to that extent, and unfortunately, not all injectors see safety as the number one priority. It can be challenging to overcome the negative stereotype that sometimes surrounds aesthetic injectors.
I find that educating patients is so critical before procedures. At times I feel that I overcommunicate, but it’s so that my patients will never say “I didn’t know that.” I like to make light and joke around, but I always have serious, clinical conversations pre-treatment because at the end of the day it’s a medical procedure. It’s serious and I want my patients to feel impacted by me putting their safety first.
Portrait: Can you tell us about your experience transitioning to Portrait?
Jolene: In order to create the experience I wanted for my patients, I knew I was going to eventually have to open my own practice. I had a list of non-negotiables, including staying within all the state guidelines as a nurse and never cutting corners — even if that meant not being ready to see patients for a while. That thought was terrifying and unsettling, but ethics are unwavering for me as both a human and a medical professional. A rep told me about Portrait and suggested I give it a look, so I did.
From my first encounter with Portrait, I felt supported. I had so many questions in the beginning, but Natasha Peters, Sales Manager, was great and always went the extra mile to provide me with answers. During my first meeting with Medical Director, Dr. Patrick Blake, it took me about 30 seconds to realize he was different from any physician I had ever worked with, or even met. His extreme relatability and intelligence were felt through the screen, which made me feel comfortable and confident. Overall, I had a great experience in the early phase of deciding to join Portrait. I then got to meet with Praveen Ramineni, CEO, and continued to ask a lot of questions because in this industry it's not uncommon for an injector to get taken advantage of. The moment I knew I had found my home was when Praveen said to me "You've earned the right to ask these questions.” That statement put a silver bow on the package of patience, enthusiasm, and transparency that the Portrait team was delivering. I signed on and haven't looked back since.
Portrait: What would you want potential clients to know about you?
Jolene: I don’t book patients too close together, which allows me to really dive in and get to know them. My favorite treatments are whatever gives a patient that extra pep in their step—for some, that could be microneedling, for others TMJ relief, or a full face restoration. The core of my treatment plans are so individualized — and my reviews will attest to that. I’m so humbled when I read them and know that patients notice the details I try to put into each and every visit.