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How the Other Half Hydrates: Skincare Experience From Kiehl's

by Kelsy Chauvin
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday May 12, 2015

"What kind of treatment do you do?" Dominick inquired calmly, without judgment.

It's not a question a makeup-free, 41-year-old woman uninterested in snaring men is often asked. Instantly I went from a self-possessed woman of healthful simplicity to feeling like a semi-awkward teenager trying to explain that I just rinse my face and apply eye cream and face lotion I bought from the Park Slope Food Co-op.

"But the lotion has vitamin E in it!" I asserted. "I think. Or maybe it's vitamin D."

Upon my first visit to Kiehl's for a complimentary mini-facial and rehydration analysis, I learned there are a few things to get sorted right away. First, the staff is not just friendly and informative, they are positively glowing with skin more healthy than a yoga instructor at a juice emporium.

Secondly, Kiehl's products smell and feel so enchantingly good it's not immediately clear whether it's best to eat them, plant them, or apply gently to my face using only my ring fingers.

Third, you may leave feeling like a before-and-after model, wondering how you'll ever pull off this fabulous regimen by yourself.

A key lesson: Relinquish control, answer honestly, and let the specialists do their thing.

Expert Advice

So there I was at a Kiehl's outpost on Manhattan's Upper West Side, sitting with my white headband as Store Manager and 10-year Kiehl's veteran Dominick Vitale, Jr. applied his expertise to my apparently under-hydrated epidermis. He surveyed my face then began to explain skincare, using terms like "cleansing routine" and "optimal hydration." His vocabulary meant far less to me as an aging woman than they did as a writer.

I'd arrived with good timing, being among the first to experience the supple joys of the new Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence. Now I could begin to associate my skin with the radiance of an actual flower. Take that, food co-op lotion!

Suddenly I was starting to follow what Dominick had already spent 30 minutes trying to get through to me. There's a sequence and a science to the Kiehl's product line, and if used properly, my facial future could be as bright as a drop of dew on a flower petal at dawn. Plus it feels good.

We pressed on, and I soon learned that my concerns about future crow's feet are allayed by something called Hydro-Plumping Retexturizing Serum Concentrate. Especially if it's used in tandem with the Iris Extract and nightly applications of Midnight Recovery Concentrate -- a product name that before now I'd have confused with hangover-prevention strategies.

He also advised that I should focus on applications lightly around the orbital bone (aka the eye socket and cheek bone), allowing the natural migration of these luscious serums to "drench into the skin." In other words, don't smear it around when you can dab it and let the cells migrate.

Is There an Eye Cream in the House?

Four products later, I began to wonder if some manner of lotion would even enter the picture. Have I been doing even that simple thing wrong? Alas, Dominick pulled out what my mother always said was her medicine-cabinet staple: eye cream. And yes, it is a vital part of the facial and yes, it's worth every penny (according to both Dominick and mom). Penny being the key word here, because the copper and calcium micronutrients make Kiehl's Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Eye Cream the cream of the eye-cream crop.

And finally, it was time for a light application of Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream SPF 30. For the record, I told Dominick, SPF is a staple for me, and for that he seemed very pleased.

Thank you, Dominick! You showed me that radiant, youthful skin is as easy as 1-2-3. And also 4-5-6. Twice daily.

Kelsy Chauvin is a writer, photographer and marketing consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. She specializes in travel, feature journalism, art, theater, architecture, construction and LGBT interests. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @kelsycc.


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