The first thing I notice about celebrity esthetician Gina Mari is how undeniably cool she is. We’re both at a brand event — one for which she’s been hired to share her expert advice — at New York City’s Gramercy Park Hotel. Although we’re surrounded by flashy editors, influencers and the brand’s publicists, I can’t seem to stop searching the crowd and stealing glances her way. Looking like the ultimate Beverly Hills trendsetter, Mari is wearing a silk, cream-colored blazer over a lace-trimmed camisole and white jeans. Yet, her polished, chic style certainly does not come with the typical aloof, cool-girl attitude one might expect. She greets me with the level of warmth you’d receive from a close friend, instantly making me feel like we had known each other for years.
Considering Mari gets up close and personal with people’s faces, it makes sense that she has a personality that immediately puts people at ease. It’s also a reason that she’s one of the most sought-after estheticians in the country — that, and her transformative powers when it comes to skincare.
Mari is known for preaching dedication to her clients regarding their complexion routines, which she swears is the key to developing glowing skin. (After all, maintaining healthy skin is a process, not a one-and-done facial experience.) This outlook has led to some legendary results for her clientele at her recently-opened, Beverly Hills-based skincare clinic. And whispers of these results have spread far and wide. So far, in fact, that even celebrities have joined her lengthy client list. Case in point: Heidi Klum, Lori Loughlin, and Gina Rodriguez are just a few celebrities enamored by her gifted hands. But, Mari wasn’t always destined for a career in skincare, and she actually got started after experiencing a treatment that she claims changed her life. Keep reading to learn more about her own skincare routine, the one tip she tells all her celebrity clients, and more.
Spotlyte: Tell us how you got started in the world of skincare.
Gina Mari: In my mid-twenties, I developed comedonal acne. While working in the entertainment industry and suffering from this type of skin condition, my self-esteem really took a hit. I searched for a solution and was introduced to an esthetician who promised to [clear] my acne in six weeks if I stuck to her program. She delivered on her promise and as a result, I gained my confidence back. Having such a life-changing experience led me to want to do the same for others. It was truly inspiring.
Spotlyte: At what point in your life did you start taking your own skincare seriously?
GM: I was always interested in skincare! My mother and I received monthly facials as part of our mother-daughter “bonding” time. I remember her giving me my very own Clinique® Three-Step Skin Care System ($47) of products for Christmas when I was 12. I remember this because I opened them and then wrapped them back up before the actual holiday!
Spotlyte: As a celebrity esthetician, what concerns do most of your celebrity clients typically come to you for?
GM: Everyone is so different, and skin concerns can vary quite a bit. It also depends on what a celebrity’s work schedule is at the time. If they’re working on set every day, we may have to deal with keeping their skin clear after several hours of makeup. We also may have to address any pigmentation issues if they’re working on outdoor locations. Overall, I believe that everyone is essentially looking for a beautiful, even skin tone with a gorgeous and healthy glow.
Spotlyte: What's one skincare tip you tell all of your celebrity clients?
GM: If you have a blemish, don’t pick it! We tell all of our clients to just pop in the office anytime they have a pesky breakout and are tempted to go at it themselves. Also, please, please, please throw those magnifying mirrors away!
Spotlyte: What is your personal skincare routine like?
GM: It really changes quite a bit depending on how I’m feeling and with the change in seasons. I let my skin tell me what it wants. I stick to using most of my active ingredients in the evening so that my skin has a chance to renew at night. When applying my moisturizer, I always take it down my neck and chest. Right now, I’m alternating between the Murad® Retinol Youth RenewalTM; Regimen ($230) and their hydration line. One permanent staple is the Murad Clarifying Body Spray ($43). It’s great for preventing any possible body breakouts that can occur in the warmer months or breakouts associated with certain activities, like hot yoga or spin classes.
[Editor's note: Retinol shouldn't be used by those who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.]
Spotlyte: Do you have a specific morning routine?
GM: In the morning, I prefer to use “lighter” products, and I am currently using the Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel ($60). I don’t necessarily wear much makeup, [but] the AMOREPACIFIC® Moisture Bound® Tinted Treatment Moisturizer SPF 15 ($70) is a definite go-to for a more even skin tone and sun protection.
Spotlyte: What about at night?
GM: I’m a big fan of the iS Clinical® Super Serum Advance+TM; ($148), and I usually pair it with their Reparative Moisture Emulsion ($90). I have been pretty devoted to the AMOREPACIFIC Time Response® Eye Renewal Creme ($50) and the Goldfaden® MD Hands to Heart Hand Cream ($38). I always keep both of these products on my nightstand to remind me to use them if it’s been a long day!
Spotlyte: Do you do any in-office treatments?
GM: We offer a variety of treatments, from microdermabrasion to LED light therapy to radio frequency. I love to layer technologies and we work with about 15 different ones. We also offer a variety of medical cosmetic procedures including Aquagold®, microneedling, PRP, and other treatments.
I do my best to get treatments myself — though I have to say, I could do better! My staff and I treat each other whenever we have the time. Any of my technologies that I can perform on myself — like microdermabrasion or oxygen therapy — I try to do regularly. We have this fantastic LED Light Capsule made by Lightwave® that treats both the face and the body. We literally force each other to get into the bed at least once a week.
Spotlyte: What's the most rewarding part of your job?
GM: Seeing my clients happy, glowing, and confident is a gift that constantly inspires and motivates me.
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