The Next Generation of Status Facialists: New York City Edition

For the skin-care obsessed, regular visits to the dermatologist are important, but often it's the longterm relationship with our facialist that we hold most dear. And as openly sharing beauty and skin-care routines (particularly on social media) has become more commonplace, so, too has bragging about how much you love the unparalleled glow-giving skill of your go-to esthetician.

In New York City, a new generation of facialists are making names for themselves and attracting clientele from all over the globe. With models, celebrities and all manner of fashion people seeking out their effective treatments, these practitioners are emerging as hard-to-book status symbols of a trip to the city well spent. (Instead of trying to secure a table at Carbone for that coveted spicy rigatoni, having your cheekbones sculpted by the same hands as Bella Hadid's is the ultimate in bragging rights.)

Ahead, get to know six buzzy New York City facialists who've tended to the skin of all your faves, from Christy Turlington to Emily Ratajkowski to Zendaya.

Elizabeth Grace Hand, Ställe Studios

Elizabeth Grace Hand.<p>Photo: Siena Craigie/Courtesy of Elizabeth Grace Hand</p>
Elizabeth Grace Hand.

Photo: Siena Craigie/Courtesy of Elizabeth Grace Hand

What she's known for: "Dewy, glassy skin. I joke with my clients that I want them to leave with a trail of slime behind them like a snail because their skin is so hydrated and plump."

Background: "I graduated from FIT and worked in wholesale fashion for a few years before making the move to the beauty industry, with a role in wholesale for corrective cosmetics brand Dermablend at L'Oréal. I worked with dermatologists, estheticians and plastic surgeons throughout the country, where I gained first-hand exposure to various skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and melasma. At that point, it clicked that I should become an esthetician. I enrolled in esthetician school, but kept my job at L'Oréal, and did everything I could to learn from and meet people in the industry.

"During my first month of school, I attended an industry event where I met the Sales Director for Dr. Barbara Sturm. I emailed her for three months until she finally replied. Eventually, I was hired to do field sales and facial events for the brand.

"Once the Sturm Boutique & Spa opened, I transitioned to doing in-spa treatments, where I found my true calling, which years later led to me launching my own facial studio in the fall of 2021 in a shared space in Soho. Just last month, I opened my own space at 54 Howard St."

Signature treatment: "My signature facial is completely customized once I've done a full assessment of my client's skin. I work with a variety of brands that I love and have tested, which means I'm able to make every component of the treatment bespoke, from the cleanser to the masks."

Pricing: A treatment with Hand starts at $500. For a treatment with one of Ställe Studios' other expertly-trained estheticians, pricing starts at $300.

Favorite brands and products: "I'm obsessed with the Bioeffect serums (the 30 Day Treatment is incredible), the Auteur Definitive Lip Treatment, Dr. Loretta Intense Replenishing Serum, Retrouvé Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer and the French Farmacie Serum Radiant. For masks, the Activist Manuka Mask is the top all-arounder that I use."

Favorite modalities: "My hands are my best tool, so I do lots and lots of massage during the entire treatment — during the cleanse, during exfoliation, before and after extractions. For maximum hydration, I love adding microinfusion; it's a device I sourced from South Korea that infuses the skin with vitamins and peptides that instantly makes the skin glow-y."

Noteworthy clients: Alix Earle, Katie Holmes, Vanessa Bryant, Nell Diamond.

Skin-care philosophy: "Consistency versus intensity. I think the best skin comes from doing less, more often."

Crystal Greene, Crystal Greene Studio

Crystal Greene.<p>Photo: Katie Borrazzo/Courtesy of Crystal Greene</p>
Crystal Greene.

Photo: Katie Borrazzo/Courtesy of Crystal Greene

What she's known for: "My sculpting facial massage."

Background: "I've been a licensed esthetician for almost a decade. I attended school in NYC. I specialize in sculpting facial massage. I opened my private practice in 2020."

Signature treatment: "La Sculpture is my most popular treatment. It was the only treatment I offered when I opened, as I strongly believe in facial massage."

Pricing: The one-hour La Sculpture treatment begins at $495.

Favorite brands and products: "In my treatments, I custom-blend serums for all of my clients. I love this tailored approach, because everyone's skin is unique and has individual needs. I have 40 extracts of vitamins like C, A, B, E, minerals, fatty acids and antioxidants that I customize for each client."

Favorite modalities: "In the La Sculpture facial, my hands are my greatest tool, but it also incorporates the Lyma Laser, which is a non-invasive laser. The Vitality treatment is La Sculpture, but elevated; it includes the La Sculpting sculpting massage, but incorporates amazing modalities like ultrasound, microcurrent, LED and oxygen, based on your skin needs."

Noteworthy clients: Christy Turlington, Laura Harrier.

Skin-care philosophy: "I believe healthy skin starts with a healthy skin barrier. I use a unique skin-care line that allows for a tailored customization that strengthens the skin barrier and minimizes inflammation. I also believe in massage to stimulate circulation and soften tension, combined with science-based modalities like microcurrent and LED to stimulate ATP production and increase cellular health. Healthy skin is healthy cells."

Raquel Medina-Cleghorn, Raquel New York

Raquel Medina-Cleghorn.<p>Photo: Courtesy of Raquel Medina-Cleghorn</p>
Raquel Medina-Cleghorn.

Photo: Courtesy of Raquel Medina-Cleghorn

What she's known for: "One thing clients frequently comment on is my knowledge. I have always had a need to understand the how and the why."

Background: "After four years as lead esthetician at a spa in New York City, I decided it was time to open my own studio. Raquel New York opened in March 2023, so we're just over a year old. My training has been varied, from deep dives into ingredients and technologies, to seeking out trainings in holistic modalities like buccal massage and manual lymphatic drainage."

Signature treatment: "The Facial. It's 75 minutes long, which I've found is really the sweet spot between not too long and just long enough. I also offer extended facials in increments of 30 additional minutes. Every single treatment at Raquel New York is tailored to the client's skin when they come in."

Pricing: The Facial treatment begins at $500.

Favorite brands: "I love Environ. Its professional products and treatments are unmatched. I adore its gentle yet effective, no-downtime peels and intelligently formulated professional serums.

"I also love the German brand Auteur. Its formulas are super high-tech, all incorporating impressive peptides and other advanced ingredients like perfluorocarbons (aka liquid oxygen).

"For natural skin-care, I'm obsessed with Cosmetics 27 from France. The line revolves around the healing and regenerative powers of Centella Asiatica, which they source from Madagascar."

Favorite modalities: "I have an incredible piece of tech that I call the Time Machine. It is next-generation microcurrent with face and body capabilities, and a suite of electrodes to choose from."

Noteworthy clients: Willy ChavarriaSimone Rocha, Emily Ratajkowski, Paloma Elsesser, Lulu Tenney, Whitney Peak, Sara Moonves.

Skin-care philosophy: "My philosophy is centered around skin health. Healthy cells that are functioning optimally make for beautiful, glowing skin. I don't see youthfulness in the absence of wrinkles or in unnaturally tight skin. Aging is an inescapable biological fact, so I don't like to fight too hard against time. Rather, nourishing the skin, treating it gently and protecting it from unnecessary damage are how I address the quest to slow or reverse aging. Our bodies know how to heal, we just have to give them the nutrition and energy to do so."

Sofie Pavitt, Sofie Pavitt Skincare Studio

Sofie Pavitt.<p>Photo: Courtesy of Sofie Pavitt</p>
Sofie Pavitt.

Photo: Courtesy of Sofie Pavitt

What she's known for: "I'm the go-to facialist for problematic skin... We have an acne program to help clients [get] clear in 12-16 weeks, which is immensely popular. I've always wanted to cater to the clients who can't just go to get a relaxing, sensorial facial — I'm more invested in clearing their skin and seeing their transformation over a number of treatments."

Background: "I worked in fashion for 15 years before training to be an esthetician. I learned so much in school, but wanted to learn more, so, when I quit my full-time design job, I also accepted a job at a dermatology center. I still work there one or two times a month, practicing advanced esthetics under the direction of the dermatologist. We've had the downtown studio in New York City open since 2017 and my private Williamsburg location since August last year."

Signature treatment: "All of mine (and my team members') treatments are custom. I like to assess my client's situation and concerns and then advise on a number of different protocols we can do to get to where they want to be."

Pricing: A treatment with Pavitt begins at $349; treatments with other team members begin at $170.

Favorite brands and products: "I launched the namesake Sofie Pavitt Face line in 2023, and we're slowly building out the product assortment... Our hero product is our Mandelic Clearing Serum, which is a large molecule size AHA [I recommend using] daily for smoother, brighter, clearer looking skin."

Favorite modalities: "We have a lot of different modalities: neurotris microcurrent, LightStim/Celluma LED, Oxygenceuticals oxygen therapy and infared, microdermabrasion. And we have a Candela laser hair removal device; we love laser hair removal for acne-prone clients to manage and maintain clear skin also."

Noteworthy clients: Zendaya, Lorde, Willy Chavarria, Jeremy O. Harris, Anna Barashnikov, Ella Emhoff, Benito Skinner.

Skin-care philosophy: "I always describe my work as happening 'off season': I like to really work with clients for around four to six months to see a transformation in their skin."

Joseph Carrillo, Sculpted by Joseph

Joseph Carrillo.<p>Photo: Courtesy of Joseph Carrillo</p>
Joseph Carrillo.

Photo: Courtesy of Joseph Carrillo

What he's known for: Intensely sculpting facial massage.

Background: "I began my journey as a makeup artist back in 2001, and later pursued esthetician school to secure a license for opening a makeup salon, which I thought I wanted at the time.

"Despite initially not aspiring to be a facialist, my path led me to specialize in facial manipulations for my beauty prep starting in 2012. About four years ago, I transitioned to invite-only sessions at my studio following the onset of Covid."

Signature treatment: "The S.E.L.F. (Sculptural Energetic Lifting Facial) Method, which combines various manipulative techniques and extends the life of in-office treatments. This method focuses on massaging the underlying facial muscles to rejuvenate and enhance their appearance. It incorporates techniques like facial cupping, buccal massage, spoon usage and hands-on manipulations."

Pricing: A S.E.L.F. Method treatment begins at $275.

Favorite brands and products: "I prefer using a facial oil with good slip like, Costa Brazil's. Or even thick, rich creams with extra hydration, like Augustinus Bader and La Mer Crème."

Favorite modalities: "My go-to tool for the S.E.L.F. treatment is a simple spoon, which I find incredibly effective in de-puffing and smoothing the facial contours. Its versatility and results rival even the popular gua sha tools. I'm serious!"

Noteworthy clients: Amy Astley, Stellene Volandes, Jessica Cruel, Chase Stokes, Mariska Hargitay, Huma Abedin, Dasha Polanco, Bethenny Frankel, Precious Lee.

Skin-care philosophy: "My skin-care philosophy is straightforward yet effective: Clean, tone and hydrate your skin. Additionally, keeping your facial muscles toned and plump is crucial for a healthy and youthful appearance."

Kristyn Smith, Practise NYC

Kristyn Smith.<p>Photo: Courtesy of Kristyn Smith</p>
Kristyn Smith.

Photo: Courtesy of Kristyn Smith

What she's known for: "Our goal is to make skin care part of your daily 'practice,' which means forming long-term relationships with products and professionals and crafting treatment plans and routines that best fit your lifestyle."

Background: "I've been practicing esthetics for more than 20 years, with a vast background that ranges from working alongside plastic surgeons and dermatologists in California, to working with top spas and brands as lead esthetician all over the world. I opened Practise in November 2021."

Signature treatment: "Our customized 90 Minute Practise Facial, which includes medical grade LED, targeted exfoliation, toning massage and an alginate cooling mask."

Pricing: The Practise Facial starts at $285.

Favorite brands: "[We] particularly love to work with Environ. Its formulas showcases skin-friendly vitamin A that restores skin to its healthiest state. We also work with Faith from Japan; I adore its products for the deep, soothing hydration and encapsulated collagen technology delivering collagen deep into the epidermis.

Favorite modalities: "Our LED light panels are an in-house favorite for instant luminosity and calmer skin, while also stimulating collagen and elastin for long-term results."

Noteworthy clients: Jacquelyn Jablonski, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kate Berlant, Bambi, Samantha Barry, Margaret Zhang.

Skin-care philosophy: "Keep it pretty simple: Use actives in moderation and be consistent. Work with a pro to figure out what your skin needs and check in over time, because your skin's needs change and we need to adapt our practices for those changes."

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