Where are you from? The Bronx, NY
How did you get into skincare?
I’ve been in the beauty industry since 1989. I was a makeup artist and retail manager for several years for MAC and Bloomingdales. I did Fashion Week for 10 years. I worked between Kevyn Aucoin and Ross Burton. My last stint was in 2008 before I took a year off and moved toward skincare. People were always asking for skin advice. I was a mommy on a budget — I have three daughters — so I couldn’t afford many fancy products. Instead, I would create my own treatments. I taught myself from books. I really just fell in love with it. So, it was a gradual move over to skincare.
Do you still make your own products?
Oh yeah! For hair, I mix avocado and (as organic as possible) mayo. Leave it on for 25 minutes and those omegas are beautiful. It doesn’t have a funny smell! My mom taught me to mix like that. She was a tomboy. All my sisters — I am one of six — were also tomboys. I was the only one who played with Barbie dolls. I would experiment on them, cutting all their hair, so I had to get new ones all the time. I was always the baby cousin who all the cousins came to do their makeup and hair. It was clearly in my blood.
Who is your dream client?
Bethenny Frankel is my dream client. She’s my financial woman hero. She has that New York fight or die attitude that I respect.
Do you have any general advice based on what you've seen with clients?
Clients are lacking in water and a clean diet. These have huge effects on skin. People have this misconception that they can just drink water during workouts. It’s so important to drink after exercising as well. I drink a gallon of water a day! I aim for 32oz at work and 32oz at home.
Also, exfoliate from head to toe! Your whole body. Shed that skin! It’s certainly one big reason for breakouts and blackheads. My favorite exfoliant is the Polishing Facial Exfoliant feat. Pink Grapefruit & Glucomannan From Grown Alchemist. It gives you that grit, like a peel or a microdermabrasion, would.
You seem like a peel fan, is that true?
Oh yeah. Listen, I’m a gadget girl. I used to work in a medical spa. I love my tools. I know how to up the ante on my peels. I think more people should do peels, but I also believe in mixing stronger peels in session, with lighter at home peels for maintenance.
If someone comes in with melasma or hyperpigmentation, it’s going to take time to go away. It took years to get to the surface. Peels will work over a long period of time but if you want to go faster you need to do microdermabrasion and a strong peel or you need a laser. It all depends on the client. I will always put my clients best interest first. I personally do peels every other week and dermaplaning once a month. I also don’t moisturize.
I don’t moisturize how you might think… I use serums with hyaluronic acid. Everyone should use hyaluronic acid in their routine. It has so many benefits for hydration and redness!
How do you maintain your energy?
I truly love what I do. I could do this for forever. You have to have the passion for what you’re doing. I always say, “you can teach theory, but you can’t teach love.” I see everyone as beautiful but it doesn’t matter what I’m thinking, it’s about how you feel. If they don’t leave here feel special and more beautiful, then I didn’t do my job. I’m not here to judge you, I’m here to help you.
Fill in the blank: happy day