Five questions for Michelle Gillen

By Katie MacDonell // Photography by Meagan Gilbert

Every day, Michelle Gillen comes to work and does what she loves. For the past 15 years, she has served as Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery’s director of aesthetics. At the Greenwood practice, she’s helped countless women glow thanks to her specializations in skin-care procedures, aesthetic treatments and makeup artistry. When it comes to beauty, Gillen knows what she’s doing.
Outside the clinic, she does makeup for fashion show models, weddings, and even bikini competitors. Through application and bio, she won Miss Indianapolis, a title she continues to hold. In May, Gillen competed for Miss Indiana. Pageants, she says, “just kind of fell into” her path.
“I have time and I have the want to do what it takes to compete and to strive for Miss Indiana, and that’s sort of why I decided to compete in the pageant,” Gillen says. “Although, I did not take home the crown, what an amazing and rewarding experience!”
Here, she shares with South her love of her field. 

1. How would you describe your job?
I oversee the aesthetic practice here at Dr. Hamilton’s office, meaning I supervise the other aestheticians, help them with learning the equipment when something new comes in and guide them along through treatment parameters. I also provide aesthetic treatments and services.
We provide a whole variety of different skin-care treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peels and laser treatments for brown and red discolorations of the skin. We do CoolSculpting for fat reduction, which is a freezing process. I also do microblading for the eyebrows, the semi-permanent eyebrow tattooing. We offer makeup artistry, and we just started doing Botox here in our aesthetic department.

2. Do you have a favorite technique to perform?
I really love doing microblading for the eyebrows. I feel like it makes such a difference, especially when watching women leave here when they see that they no longer have to try to pencil on their eyebrows. It’s for those women that have always struggled with either lack of eyebrow hair or over-plucking, or some people have gone through chemotherapy and they’ve lost their eyebrows. Eyebrows just seem to really make a person’s face and frame a woman’s eyes.

3. How did you become interested in being an aesthetician?
I’ve been an aesthetician for approximately 18 years. When aesthetics sort of first emerged or began gaining popularity, a lot of young ladies were going to aesthetic school and learning how to provide skin-care services in the medical field or in a day spa type of an environment.
One of my best friends — that I’ve known since I was in elementary school — actually got into aesthetics, and she worked for a cosmetic surgeon in the area. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do with myself at the time. I saw what she was doing and decided to go job shadow her, and that’s what inspired me. I’ve always loved makeup and beauty, and I always knew that I was good at helping others feel good about themselves from working with friends and family members.

4. Why have you chosen to stay with Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery since 2004?
I think a lot of it is commitment. When I first started with the practice, there really was not an aesthetic department. I feel responsible for a lot of the growth and building the aesthetic department. It’s like my baby. It’s my life — you know — my other life outside of my family life. I’m just very dedicated. Dr. Hamilton is an amazing person to work with. He’s always very polite, very professional. I hope to retire from here, honestly.

5. You said Dr. Hamilton’s practice is your life outside of family life. What’s your family life look like?
I am engaged to my fiancé, Dustin Murphy, with a wedding date set for Aug. 28, 2020. We have a blended family of children ranging from ages 25 to 10. The three oldest adult children are grown and working, while the two youngest are at home and in school. We do not plan to have children of our own and look forward to our future together once all of the kiddos are grown. We plan to travel and just enjoy life to its fullest.