Suzanne, Skin Therapist, Shares The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly on Skincare and New York

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she says

One thing that school never prepares you for is the power of human touch, and how powerful it is to help people in that arena.

Hi Suzanne! We were just talking about how you’re an excellent chameleon – meaning you’re super adaptable to any social situation. That leads us to wonder – where are you from, originally?

I’m from the Midwest – Kansas City. I’ve also lived in Boulder, Amsterdam, and now New York! I’d still love to live in Portland, Oregon, perhaps by way of Chicago? We’ll have to see!

Is New York the best place that you’ve lived?

I mean, every place has been a part of the journey, to where I am now. Each has been a wonderful experience. I’ve learned so much about myself through my travel. I’ve had a really fulfilling experience in New York – I’ve seen the good, the bad, and ugly, how about that? I’ve been through it all.

Did you become a Skin Therapist before you moved to New York?

Yes, I’ve been in the skincare business for about 15 years!

Do you still feel the same passion for it as when you began?

You know, I do. The funny thing is, when I first moved to New York, I was trying to get away from skincare. I was interested in potentially working with eyelash extensions and ended up going into full body waxing. During that time, I forgot about how much I enjoy helping people feel good about themselves, because when you’re waxing, your clients aren't feeling great. I forgot how nice it is for your clients to be excited to see you (laughs), because as a waxer, believe me, clients look at you like you’re their dentist! I didn’t realize how much of an impact that would have on me. So I came back to skincare, and I feel like I’m back at my roots and where I excel. One thing that school never prepares you for is the power of human touch, and how powerful it is to help people in that arena.

Absolutely! A good facial can feel like therapy, truly.

Sure! Clients come in to get facials because they want to take care of themselves and they want to protect what they have. They want to feel good about themselves. I’m really proud that I get to provide that experience.

Tell us about your skincare routine. Does it stay the same day-to-day or change consistently?

Absolutely! My routine definitely changes from season to season, because you have different needs based on the climate and other factors, and if I’m preparing for a night out, I’ll punch up my routine for a brighter glow. I also like trying an array of products to see if it does what the label says it's going to do. We all work too hard for our money to invest in a product that doesn’t do as promised, so I try to prevent that from happening to my clients.

Have you ever tried a product that you realized wasn’t a good idea?

I was trying a new line, and put the night cream on and got into bed. My cat then jumped into bed with me, and the cream smelled to bad he put his nose up to my face, winced, and jumped off the bed! If your cat won’t even sleep with you, that’s bad. That’s when you know! It had some sort of sulfuric component, that’s for sure! It wasn’t terrible on my skin, but I remember thinking “I would never use this is a treatment because I wouldn’t want my poor clients to smell!”

Do you have a favorite Heyday product?

Oh yeah. I even have it on my calendar for when I can use it! It’s the Image Ageless Total Resurfacing Mask. Oh my gosh, I have people come up to me and say “Your skin is so creamy!” Reminder to our readers, though: this is a once-a-week product! Even if you’re addicted, like me.

Why is that?

The retinol content and the microderm crystals really pack some punch, so if your skin isn't acclimated to it, it’s best to make it a once-a-week ritual. I’ve also become obsessed with the Skin Dew by One Love Organics. It’s scentless but so pleasant, it keeps the water in your skin and you don’t feel greasy – I just love it. I think it’s going to be the perfect addition to my routine this summer.

Earlier we spoke about trying to find the happiness and joy in the everyday. What location in New York City makes you the most happy?

Oh my gosh, everyone laughs at me because of this, but coming from landlocked Kansas, so anytime I see the water I just get giddy! And I see the Statue of Liberty almost everyday when I’m on the F train. When it goes above ground on 4th Avenue in Brooklyn, you can see her, and it always makes me smile. I look for her! I actively look, and especially at night, when she’s all lit up.

What is a skincare tip you would give anyone, no matter what their skin type or preferences are?

Using a toner is a really misunderstood part of skincare, but it’s super important! People often don’t realize that when we clean and cleanse our skin we throw off our pH balance, and if you don’t even out our pH balance with a toner your products won’t necessarily work the way you participated. You need to bring the skin to a balanced pH to tightens your skin and pores. You don’t need to buy a super expensive toner to achieve balanced skin. You can keep it simple, or seek out a toner that assists with oil control. Or if you have dry skin, look for one that contains rose water. Clients have told me that adding a simple toner into their routine has made a world of difference.

How should people new to toning incorporate it into their routine?

I personally love the mists, and am really digging the one by Ursa Major right now. I use it after my cleanser, and then I end with a moisturizer. You can keep it simple!

I remember when you first came to Heyday, you said “Facials are important because you wear your face every single day,” and that really resonated with us.

That's always been my philosophy with skincare, even before I was a skincare professional. I always wanted to care for my skin because I wanted to age gracefully and I wear it every day.

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