In my first five minutes with Gabrielle Starr, I realize the word “passion” is used too freely. Perhaps this is because Gabrielle’s many passions are not just hobbies or interests she enjoys, but becomes dedicated to learning, understanding, and sharing with the world. We begin our conversation by debriefing the Red Sox opening day at Fenway Park, a home team we both share, and a park I lived next to in college. I’m delighted by her re-telling of the day, which she proudly attended, and can almost feel her radiating through the phone. “I rarely ever miss a game,” she says, “In fact, I have it on right now, it’s silent in the background.” When Gabrielle commits to something, she really commits, and it’s her dedication that has made her one of Heyday’s most proud and vocal visitors, all the way from Boston.
“I was born in New York, and I visit frequently,” she tells me when I ask how she connected to us. “I originally read about Heyday on Into The Gloss, and it seemed like the right fit. Now every time I’m in town, I have to see my Skin Therapist, Cheryl, in Tribeca. She always tells me that I need to become an esthetician myself, because I know too much!”
Gabrielle knows too much because she takes the time to learn about every product that comes in contact with her face. Growing up, she battled self-esteem issues because of acne. “I became very good at applying makeup because I wanted to hide my acne, but it became really tiring. I remember applying a full face of makeup before going to the beach, and thinking ‘This is tiring, I don’t want to do this anymore,’ and became focused on healthier skin.
Gabrielle's patience and persistence not only led her to a skin routine that properly combatted her acne, but she found a passion for skincare products and becoming a resource and comfort to women and girls with similar stories. She created the travel and lifestyle blog, Love & Water, to share her skincare and beauty knowledge with her readers. “If I could help one girl save time and money, or help them avoid buying the most expensive products, then the blog is 100 percent worth it,” she tells me. “I’m honored that people reach out and ask me about skincare or that I’m considered an authority of some sort. I know it can be frustrating to see celebrities saying things like “I get acne just like you! Try this product!”, when they’re affluent and have more resources that most people can’t afford. I want to offer the affordable solutions.”
One of these solutions, she tells me, is a monthly trip to visit Cheryl at Heyday. “What I love about Heyday is there are no secrets,” she tells me. “There are no smoke and mirrors, no man behind the curtain. Some spas will be vague with you and you can’t duplicate it at home or incorporate it in your own routine. I love that Cheryl explains every product to me.”
Given her love for skincare, I couldn’t wait to ask Gabrielle what her favorite Heyday products were. “I love the Alchimie Forever Brightening Moisture Mask – I use it three times a week! It smells amazing, it’s gentle, and doesn't dry you out. I even leave it on when I sleep! I also love the Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex from Image – I swear, I have 4 tubes stashed away so I never run out. It’s perfect for hydrating your lips and giving them a full, plump look. And to be honest, I love every single one of your Naturopathica products!”
When I ask for her ultimate skin tip, she doesn’t skip a beat. “Read the labels, review the ingredients, and follow the instructions. I know it sounds simple but when you take a few extra minutes to familiarize yourself with the product it can make a huge difference.”
Before I know it, it’s been a half an hour, and I thank Gabrielle for her time and tell her to enjoy the Red Sox game. We console each other over David Ortiz (or as New Englanders like us call him, Big Papi) retiring the year before. “I actually wrote a piece about how I felt when he retired, and how much he meant to me,” she tells me, “If you’d like to read it, I’ll send it to you.”
I get back to my desk, and the essay is already in my inbox. I won’t paraphrase, but I will say this: there was passion down to the last period.If you want to learn more about Gabrielle and her passions, follow her blog Love & Water and her Instagram.
Interview conducted by Kelsey Duchesne.