In Spotlyte’s series Her Regimen™, influential individuals divulge their most trusted resources for every aspect of their beauty, skincare, and wellness regimens. Consider it your pre-vetted primer to all things gorgeous.
Before I met Carly Spindel, my only experience with a matchmaker was watching Fiddler on the Roof. In our modern swipe-right world, matchmaking seemed like an old-fashioned hobby for bored grandmothers. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Spindel, who for the last 10 years has worked alongside her mother Janis as the go-to matchmakers for the top 1%. I certainly didn’t expect the sparkly-sneakered fireball that walked into Takunya℠ Nail Studio on New York City’s Upper East Side for our mani/pedi date.
Before I knew what happened, we were soaking our feet beside each other as she fired off questions at the clip of an auctioneer — all with what felt like genuine interest. We had both forgotten I was the one supposed to be conducting the interview. Her smile is warm, her laugh frequent, and her hair very, very shiny. She has a way of making you open up to her without realizing it, which it turns out is what makes her such a good matchmaker.
“My mom Janis started the company 26 years ago,” says Spindel. “When I was 10, I used to sit at a desk and make calls for her.” Still, the 30-something never thought she would join the family business (she originally wanted to be an attorney). It wasn’t until college that she realized she had a natural affinity for matchmaking. “I just started setting people up,” she says. “I knew who belonged together.” Finally, after a business trip with her mother to Paris, Spindel decided to join her officially.
She and her mother make a formidable team, scouring the world for the most eligible matches for their clients. But to be a matchmaker in today’s app-ified world means it’s not enough to just compete with the online dating sites; you have to be way, way better. “We work for the men,” she says. “The women are members, which means they are in our database. The men come to us with a list of what they’re looking for, and we find it.” For Spindel, that means constantly meeting women wherever she goes.
Beauty is usually high on the wish list for her clients; and since it’s in her best interest to form successful pairings, sometimes she and her mother offer coaching for the women. “We play good cop, bad cop and [my mom is] definitely the bad cop,” she laughs. “If someone needs a facial, she'll tell them. Janis is [also] the queen of telling women they need [hair] layers.” Through the business, they’ve formed partnerships with spas, hair studios, nail salons, and other beauty spots. Before a date, they’ll advise the women where to go. “We encourage women to take good care of themselves,” she says. “You want to look as fresh as you can, because you only get one chance to meet Mr. Right.”
If she were to offer one common piece of advice for everyone, it’s to not go full glam on a first date. “We recommend enhancing your natural beauty and looking put together, but [do] not [appear] unattainable,” she says. “He wants to see you. Men are super visual, but they don’t understand makeup.” They usually advise on no more than great lashes or mascara, a tiny bit of concealer, and a bit of blush or bronzer.
Their beauty advice doesn’t stop at women, either; they often end up coaching men much more. “We want them to be super successful, too,” she says. “We coach them on their wardrobe. If they need a haircut, we tell them, and if they have dry skin, we send them for a facial.” After all, women want a man who looks great, too.
Truthfully, Spindel is her own best advertisement for her philosophy on beauty. “I like to always be put together,” she says. “And in my book, put together means my hair is always done.” While her schedule once revolved around blowout appointments, her priorities have changed. Being a new mom will do that. “I’m all about ease since having my son, because it made me realize what a luxury it is to get out of the house,” she says. “You can’t take your baby to get a manicure or to get your hair done because of the fumes.”
Now that Jaxon, born in April 2019, is a little bit older, she can get out for about five hours a day, and fits as many beauty appointments into those hours as she can — between work, that is. Keep reading to discover her jam-packed, matchmaker beauty regimen.
Her Blowout Habit
“Before I had my son, I would get a blowout every five days. Sometimes twice a week, depending on my work schedule. If I had a meeting, I would go on Monday, it would last me till Friday. And then Friday, I'd go back. Now, I go once a week. I go to Blo Blow Dry Bar®. It’s two blocks from my house, and I’m in and out in 20 minutes. I also have a wonderful woman from the salon who comes to my house. She’ll come for events, but being a new mom, my schedule is crazy. Sometimes, I have meetings all day and I can't get my hair done, so she comes as early as I want — like 7:00 a.m.”
Her Pregnancy Hair Secret
“Extensions are a really good way to feel good about yourself. When I was pregnant, I was super swollen and feeling terrible. I went to Blo three times a week for two weeks to have extensions put in. I kept them in after I gave birth, too. It made a world of a difference in how I felt about myself. Extensions to the rescue! I always say have someone else do it for you. I have two left hands when it comes to that stuff, and Blo puts them in really tight and does a great job. When I had extensions, [my hair] was less maintenance than I am now. You get out of the shower, they dry straight, and you go.”
Her Blonde Ambition
“Haircuts are important. I planned that before I gave birth, too. I go to Marie Robinson Salon℠ and every time I'm there, I want to be blonde. They do the most beautiful color in the whole world, like every different shade of blonde. I do a little bit of color just because my hair has red undertones. Laurie Daniel does my color — I actually did go blond once. She started with highlights. It was so soft. My husband didn't even notice, but my mom loved it. Then I went back for more; but the problem is, when you are a brunette with red undertones, it gets brassy.
Her Post-Pregnancy Pick Me Up
“I knew that I wasn't going to be feeling good about my appearance after I had a baby, so I got lashes done two weeks before I gave birth to prepare for it. It was the best advice I got from my best friend. She said, ‘You're going to feel ugly and fat. Go get the most dramatic lashes you can.’ It made a huge difference. I went to Lash Decor®. They're a little pricey, but they do super dramatic. It just makes a world of a difference.”
Her Oxygen Glow
“I love getting facials because I'm all about services I can't do myself. I try to go once a month. I go to Rescue Spa℠, but it’s downtown; so I also love the Peninsula Hotel Spa℠ for the rooftop. I always like to do add-ons like microdermabrasion or oxygen.
If I could tell women one thing before going on a date: always get a blowout and have someone put oxygen on your face. I don’t know what it does, but you glow. I went to a new place called Face Haus® and it was great. If you're in a bind and you need a 30-minute facial, you can quickly do their microderm, oxygen, and two peels.”
Her Skincare Switchup
“You’d never believe it with the extensions and the lashes, but I'm all about low maintenance. I love Biologique Recherche® products, but talk about an investment! After becoming pregnant, I switched over to nontoxic products. I like to physically go to the store and learn about products. Credo® is great because they work with you.
I use Marie Veronique™ Gentle Gel Cleanser in the morning. Then I put on Osea® Hyaluronic Sea Serum followed by Maya Chia® Pure Supercritical Omega-3 Chia Seed Oil. I like the Odacité® Ba+S Eye Contour roller. It’s cute,little, and [helps with] puffiness. I follow with sunscreen. I just got Suntegrity® Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen. It smells so good.
[Editor’s note: If you take blood thinners, talk to your doctor before using a rolling tool.]
Every week, I try to do a clay mask. I really like Odacite Synergie Immediate Skin Perfecting Beauty Masque. We have a client whose skin looks really great. We asked him what he was doing, and he said he’d send it to us: it turned out to be the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay™ Mask from Amazon®.”
Her Secret Weapon
“I am all for makeup being understated, but elegant. It’s more important to find products that work for you because everyone has different skin. Someone told me about Trish McEvoy® High Volume Mascara, which is life-changing and comes off with water. It's not as dramatic, but when you come home from a long day, there's nothing like literally wetting your fingers and being done. Right now, I am really into brows, and I really like the Hourglass® Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. I always do a bit of eyeliner, mascara, and brow gel.
At work, we teach women to have a secret weapon; something you can use to enhance your confidence. For me, it’s red lipstick. [I’ll wear] not a stitch of makeup on my face except for really bright red lipstick and people [will] say, ‘Oh my God, your makeup is so pretty!’ They just fell for my red lipstick trick. I love the ones from Hourglass right now.”
Her Main Manicure
“I’m a manicure junkie. I used to get one every four days. I’m very girly like that. Now, I’m into non-toxic [polish] because of my son. I used to go to Sundays℠ Studio a lot, but now I go to a little place near my apartment.”
Whether it's a baby nurse or injectables or shoes, you get what you pay for.
Her Summer Reset
“I haven’t had a laser in a while, but they make a difference. I'm noticing sun spots right now, so I have to do a little bit of laser in the fall to get rid of them. I’ve done Laser Genesis®, IPL, and Fraxel®. I also love a peel. They’re great because they go five or six layers below to get rid of all the stuff from summer. I get them from my dermatologist Rita Linkner, MD.”
Her Splurge Tactics
“I honestly wish I had started [getting injectable wrinkle reducers] earlier. I started at 29, and I am a huge fan. I have two lines between my eyebrows.
I have no problem paying for it. It’s not something I think you should be cheap about. Sometimes, people ask what I pay, and they act surprised. She's reputable, she’s great, and that’s what she charges. Whether it's a baby nurse or injectables or shoes, you get what you pay for.
I’m a fan of fillers too, to look like yourself, but [with] a little more [volume in some areas]. I got lip filler a long time ago and my husband said he saw a difference. I wanted my lips to look plump, but not like, ‘Oh my god, she has lip injections.”
[Editor’s note: Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet; they should not be used more frequently than every three months. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you. And learn more now by chatting with a trained aesthetic specialist.]
Her Breakup Philosophy
“Six and a half years ago, I had just gone through a breakup, and I was crying a lot; so Janis said, ‘We're going to Canyon Ranch®. You have the weekend to spa and work out, and then I don't want any more crying.’ If you're ever going through something rough in life, a weekend at a spa rejuvenates you.”
Her Motivation Hack
“I am a believer in splurging on things that are great, so I do the monthly unlimited SLT℠ membership. It’s not cheap, but makes sense financially if you do it four times a week. I use SLT for toning; there is no better workout in the whole world. I like to do cardio on my own just to zone out and be alone with my thoughts. I used to not have to work out so much, but now I have to work out really hard. The best advice someone gave me about working out was to schedule it like a meeting.”
Her Alternative Practices
“In case you couldn’t tell, I’m super into self-care. I'm into anything that makes you feel good. I have tendonitis; I have elbow pain; I have stress. I was going to [acupuncturist] Jenise Parris once a week for a while, and I just love her. She is amazing just for feeling your best — after the treatment, I feel totally rejuvenated.
Let’s get real, I love any massage, but 60 minutes doesn’t cut it. If you have neck tension, they spend the whole time on your back and you’re done. It’s all about a 90-minute massage. When we travel on business, we also make a little bit of time for ourselves. Our jobs can be a little intense. We always schedule in spa time. Here in New York, I go to Great Jones Spa℠ or Shibui® at the Greenwich Hotel℠. I went there when I was pregnant, and it was amazing.
I am also a foot massage junkie. A client actually turned us on to Renew Body Wellness℠. He took a first date there and brought champagne and everything. We thought it was so weird, so he took us for lunch and to have a foot massage. We passed out, it was so good. He left us there snoring.”
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