How did you come to find a love for wellness, healing and skin health?
Being the youngest of four meant a lot of time spent sharing a single bathroom. I grew up watching my mother and two older sisters caring for their skin. I was fascinated by their daily ritual as they cleansed, toned and moisturized. I would take in all the their tips and try to see what color cosmetics looked best on each of their skin tones.
When I had the opportunity to spend time with my grandmother, I would study her as she would perform her own routine. Although I never spoke of it directly to my mother or my sisters, this ritual created a strong bond among us that spanned generations. Beyond the skin health rituals that took place at home, I also came to find a love for wellness and healing when I received a stress relieving treatment at a spa in Okemos, MI. It was merely a massage concentrated on my neck, shoulders, face and scalp but that was all it took. I felt so nurtured, relaxed, and well-taken-care-of that I thought I could do the same for others. I was in college, switching majors and struggling with what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. It was a defining moment when I got off the treatment table. The spa happened to be an Aveda Concept spa and that led me to Aveda in New York. I loved the holistic approach and the environmental consciousness the line stood for. I was drawn to the symbiotic relationship between skin health and inner wellness.
What inspires you most about your practice?
People’s lives are hectic in every conceivable way, but when they enter the treatment room and I begin to work on them, I can feel tension dissipate and healing begin. I am inspired by the power of touch and the ability to put someone at ease for a portion of their day. It is a gift to be able to ground someone, to be truly present for that treatment and know that you are making a difference in their lives. There is joy in seeing the transformation of a face that is stressed to a face that is refreshed, healthy and balanced.
What are you up to when you’re not in the treatment room?
Before my son came along, I could lose days at any given retrospective playing at Film Forum. Now, when I am not in the treatment room I am taking care of my fifteen month old son, Dean.You can find us at the Jersey City Public Library or our local bookstore, Word, for any available story hour. Twice a week we attend music classes. Dean no longer eats every instrument and is becoming quite the percussionist! When the weather allows, we swing, climb and slide at our neighborhood parks. My husband Eric and I love old soul. In between Don Covay, William Bell and Syl Johnson records, we are tuned into WFMU. Music is the constant in our home and provides the backdrop for many great meals that we prepare in our kitchen.
If you could offer one piece of advice to those looking to better care for their skin or wellbeing what would it be? Please share one pro tip you’ve discovered along your path.
Always wash your makeup and the day away before you go to bed, no matter how impossible it may seem. Your skin and wellbeing will thank you.
What rituals do you practice?
My week isn’t complete without Pilates and acupuncture. They both nourish my mind and body. It is important to carve out some time to care for myself so I can best care for others.It also seems ritualistic when my husband and I settle down each evening with an episode of Jeopardy or when I make waffles every Saturday morning with my son after we have returned from the farmers market. Sometimes these rituals provide my favorite forms of selfcare.
Can you describe your morning or evening routine?
In the morning, I usually mask in the shower with a soothing or hydrating mask. I have extremely dry skin with reactive cheeks so I find myself trying to hydrate internally by drinking lots of water and externally with masks, serums and oils. I tone after the shower and start layering my serums. First a vitamin C serum, next a hydrating serum and finish with an oil or balm and SPF. At night, I make sure to cleanse my skin as soon as I arrive home. I remove my makeup with an oil cleanser, massaging it in for a few minutes. Next, I use an essence, tone and put on whatever corrective serum I am using that night followed by oil and a night cream. I always finish with my eyes and lip balm. Once a week I exfoliate with gentle enzymes.
What does “Beauty is Wellness” mean to you?
There is no direct pre-ordained path towards wellness. To me, wellness is the strive towards balance in my life. While it is impossible to achieve perfect balance on all fronts, the daily pursuit allows me to notice the beauty in myself and my surroundings.
What have you discovered lately that’s fed your beauty?
I just started using Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique’s Barrier Lipid Complex. It consists of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterol that is crucial to maintaining proper barrier function. It has really made a difference with my skin.
What brands, products or ingredients are most excited to you right now.
I am looking forward to using all the lines at CAP Beauty especially Julisis, In Fiore, Marie Veronique and Pai. I love Calme Face Oil Concentrate. It’s the perfect blend of rose, ylang ylang and chamomile. The Rose Pearl Hydra Mask from Julisis is amazing. I also am currently obsessed with the Skin Recovery Blend from de Mamiel. It has potent anti-inflammatory properties from the five blue essential oils - Cypress, Cape Chamomile, German Chamomile, Blue Tansy and Yarrow.
What are your top 5 CAP Beauty products?
I love the CAPtivator Energy Mist for my linens (best sleep ever)! I use The Coconut Butter in my tea and smoothies. My cleansing ritual isn’t complete without using Pure+EO Free Oil Cleanser and the Balancing Hypotonic from Marie Veronique. I am currently masking with Sweet Serenity Mask & Wash from Max and Me.