Meet Jen K., Skin Therapist & Former Lawyer
By Michael Pollak
Hi Jen! Let’s start with your background – you were a lawyer for over decade, correct?
Yes, that’s true! I’d say the story of how I became a Skin Therapist lives in two parts. It started at separate ends, and then we found ourselves in the middle here! First, I was introduced to skincare because my mom was an esthetician. She went to school for it when I was a teenager, so I was always around her while she was studying and would be her guinea pig. Soon enough, we were talking shop. I loved learning about skincare, but I was so stuck on this law angle and loving rules and order, so I eventually moved to New York from Illinois to go to law school.
I worked for the New York government, and while it was a very interesting job, after 11 years I was ready to move on.
I’m sure after 11 years, parts of the job became repetitive.
That’s a... nice way to put it (laughs). I worked for the New York government the entire time I was a lawyer, so I was definitely ready for a change, and it ended up being a total career change!
What prompted you to make the transition from lawyer to esthetician?
Well, I had been making soap and bath and body products since I was 19, and in 2010 I began selling in my local farmer's market as Little Owl Soaps. Customers began asking me skincare questions, and I did know a bit because of my mom and doing research, but I didn’t have enough knowledge to responsibly answer the questions. So I thought “here is my chance, I can go back to school!”
What is your favorite part about your new path as an esthetician?
Human contact! I was researching, writing, sitting behind a desk, and mainly working alone – there would be days I did not see another person. I didn’t even quite realize how a social component mattered to me until I went back to school and started working as a Skin Therapist. With every appointment and every client I really do try to find that genuine connection. I also really enjoy educating the clients and answering their questions.
Is there anything you miss about being a lawyer?
Can I say no? (laughs). But you know, occasionally, I miss writing and doing the research. Law school is funny because it changes the way your brain works. Honestly, you take the bar exam to learn the law, but law school they teach you to become a lawyer, and that's why we’re all a little annoying. I have truly been changed forever, and sometimes I feel that lawyer coming out!
What are your favorite Heyday products?
I am obsessed with the Naturopathica Plant Cell Booster. It's a beautiful natural booster, and you use a pea sized amount at night after cleaning. You use it every day for 30 nights and then you take a break for 60 days. I had read a little bit about plant stem cells and the benefits so I was eager to try, and after two or three days, I came into work and someone said to me “Wow, your makeup looks great!” I responded “Oh, thanks!” and then I realized – I wasn’t wearing any makeup! It was the serum.
That's such an interesting sensation – looking like you’re wearing makeup when you're not, because you’ve got a natural glow.
Yes! It’s a real thing!
Do you have a go-to skincare tip that you share with all of your clients?
I'm constantly talking about hydration. Everyone is dehydrated to some extent, especially right now, in the summer. I really feel that everyone can benefit from a water-based hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid in it.
Hyaluronic acid is such a wonderful thing. Your body produces a bit on its own in the dermis and it supports your collagen and elastin. It helps your skin looks supple and plump, but the older we get, the less hyaluronic acid we produce. From the research I’ve done (because I can never stop researching), it shows that applying a lightweight external layer of hyaluronic acid can have the same naturally enhancing plumping effects. And remember, this should be accompanied by hydration on the inside and outside!
Have you ever done anything to your skin that you regret?
Oh, gosh. Tanning. My mom tried to tell me, but I was a teen, and then I was in college, and you think you know everything. You think you’ll never age.
I went to college in central Illinois and it was very cold, and I really do think the real reason I wanted to tan was to be enclosed and warm. And my skin didn’t burn, but when you get older you start to see hyperpigmentation. When I have younger clients, I ask if I can please be their cautionary tale! We now have so many SPF options that smell good, are broad spectrum, and don’t feel thick and greasy. Shout out to the Image SPF 50! I like that it’s a moisturizer and sunscreen in one.
What do you like to do in your spare time outside of Heyday?
I live in a house with my husband in central Jersey, which gives me a lot of room to keep up with all of my hobbies! Sewing, knitting, weaving, and...I'm really into woodworking. I’ve made a spice rack, a plant bench, an end table for the sofa, and I made benches for the backyard – I love them! When I realize I need something, it’s fun to make it myself. And I still make my soaps and skincare products and sell them at my local farmer's market every other Saturday. Come say hi!
And last but not least... fill in the blank! _____day
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