Carrie Lindsey wants you to hang on.
The conscious esthetician was born into beauty, having been raised by women who valued a good regimen. During her tenure in LA, she began to explore the connection between health and skincare, incorporating self-care, organic products and medicated treatments into her facials for optimum results. She moved to New York, where her clients reinforced the notion that treating skin is about more than just making people look good on the surface—it’s about making them feel good too. Ultimately, she opened her sweet, intimate studio, Carrie Lindsey Beauty, in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, offering face and body treatments to a dedicated clientele which includes insiders from beauty editors to notables.
Here, the esthetician explains why happiness is about trusting your own instincts:
Live The Process: What sparked your passion for beauty and skincare?
Carrie Lindsey: My passion for beauty emerged from a young age, mostly because I grew up with a mother who was a “beautician” (that’s what they called the job in those days). She has her own salon, and I grew up in the beauty shop. But, more importantly and noteworthy, I can distinctly remember watching my grandmother and mother do their nightly skin routines with Mary Kay beauty products. I loved the whole process and wanted my own nighttime regimen. Cut to my 10th birthday: I decided to have a Mary Kay party. A consultant came and gave me and six friends pink trays with small curves reserved for product. She then analyzed our skin, gave us appropriate cleansers, exfoliants, masks and moisturizers for our skin types. She taught us not only how to care for our unique skin, but explained the importance of clean skin. I’m now nearly 45; it’s still my favorite birthday to date.
LTP: How were you awakened to the notion of wellness and consciousness about what goes in and on your body?
CL: I read a book years ago by Dr. Ben Johnson about healing your skin naturally. That may have in fact been the title. It blew my mind and made total sense. We all knew the expression, “You are what you eat,” but he explained that concept not only from a dietary point of view, but also took it a step further by talking about absorption—specifically topical absorption and product penetration. Before that, I was peeling skin, using highly toxic products such as phenol acid and hydroquinone. He changed my entire philosophy as an esthetician.
LTP: How would you describe the approach at your eponymous studio in Fort Greene?
CL: I finally opened my own business after 20 years of being in the industry. I think my twelve years in California hugely formed my career as an esthetician. California has very strict state requirements and demands a lot from practitioners in terms of continued education, as well as staying current. California taught me to be fairly aggressive with treatments, but—after moving East—I discovered that New Yorkers were far less aggressive with their skin. The goal in California was to defy age and look young. The goal of New Yorkers seemed to be much more about real self-care. Clients needed to be touched.
New York is so intense and, in my opinion, really hard living compared to California, so the power of touch and to truly feel cared for went really far. I guess I now try to balance effective skincare that vastly improves the skin with giving my clients the best TLC I can. I’ve always loved the Maya Angelou quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I think that sums it up.
LTP: What are some of your current beauty and/or wellness products and practices that keep you feeling balanced and healthy?
CL: I just got back from Morocco, and I am obsessed with hammams. In California, I routinely hit the K-spas, but now I can’t stop thinking I want to build a hammam in Brooklyn. I have a couple new obsession-worthy products: iS Clinical’s Youth Serum complex, for one. Its tagline is “from raisin to grape,” and I can’t deny its goodness. I always love Kahina’s Fez Body Serum. I put it on damp skin right after I shower; the smell and texture make me feel like all is right in the world, even if just for that moment.
Finally, I’ve struggled with feeling balanced and healthy in New York. For me, I feel the most joy when I can be quiet and in my home alone. It’s the most peaceful safe space for me right now. I simply love being at home.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
CL: Right now, happiness looks like summer to me! But, honestly, happiness is a struggle. When I realize my self-worth and don’t compromise my own happiness for the sake of others, I know I’m happy.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
CL: I like this idea of “living the process.” It means living it all: The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s all the process, and it’s all exactly as it should be. We could all do more of it each day by accepting what is for today and, whether it’s good or bad, knowing that it will change. So, relish and enjoy or hang on because tomorrow is a new day.