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A Moment With Robin Shobin

Robin Shobin wants to share the wealth.

While working grueling hours, the onetime Wall Street executive began to notice a connection between her inner confidence and her swagger at the office. She realized that she needed to both look and feel good in order to be her best self. But where to turn for great beauty services? The most in-the-know women tended to stay hush hush about such things.

That’s when she decided to start Charlotte’s Book, a curated resource and community for the latest beauty and wellness treatments—named for that woman we all know who somehow manages to always look perfect.

Here, Shobin explains why there’s no shame in cultivating both inner and outer beauty:

Live The Process: Even before you entered the beauty world, were you passionate about aesthetics?

Robin Shobin: I was always passionate about the pursuit of best self. And, to me, embracing aesthetics is part of that, as well as healthy eating and fitness. I think you have to embrace it all. You can’t just rely on some needles and lasers; it has to start from within. But why not take advantage of everything that is available to us today?

Beauty is something I picked up along the way. Through my career, I realized how important it is to feel good about yourself and how that impacts your confidence in your day-to-day life and in the workplace. I also saw a lot of women in my profession struggling with the fact that if they openly care about how they look, they’re not taken as seriously or are seen as vain. Somehow, the stereotype still exists that if you put work into how you look by getting facials and Botox, you’re not as smart or hardworking. But there is nothing more powerful or effective than a woman who is not only smart, but feels beautiful and confident.

We focus a lot on medical beauty on my website because I don’t want women to feel shameful about it—and I want them to be educated. The culture of aesthetics is confusing on so many levels.

LTP: How and when did you go from working on Wall Street to starting Charlotte’s Book? And who is “Charlotte”?

RS: I resigned in 2013 after nearly fourteen years. Women are not only becoming more savvy and more health and beauty conscious, but also more time-strapped. So, I wanted to create a vetted online directory that was truly trustworthy. There seems to be a “medi-spa” on every corner these days. We do a lot of background checking before we allow experts on the site. And you would be surprised how many people we turn down—from doctors who are not actually dermatologists to nutritionists or “wellness experts” who actually have no real education in it.

To me, Charlotte is the impossibly chic woman with glowing skin who you always want to ask how she gets her face to look so damn good. Who is her dermatologist? What’s her diet? How does she always look so timeless? We always like to ask people on the site, “Who is your Charlotte?” I like to say Robin Wright Penn. As you get older, the reality is that you have to put more and more work into yourself. But some women make it look effortless. And some women like to keep it all a secret. I admire most the women that are open and honest.

LTP: What beauty treatments and products are your current obsessions?

RS: For treatments, I finally started getting the smallest, teeny tiny amounts of filler. It’s all about the tiniest tweaks that can make a big difference, which is why it’s so incredibly important to go to the right doctor who isn’t just trying to sell you.

I am also a big fan of microneedling and microcurrent. Microneedling has helped me with acne scars. Microcurrent is marketed as a Botox alternative and I can’t say I agree with that, but it makes a difference and I am a believer in it overall.

I am absolutely in love with Drunk Elephant sunscreen and the Pekee Bar. Right now, I’m using the Pekee Bar at night and the Restorsea foaming cleanser in the morning. The Foreo is a must. I've been a loyal Retin-A user for years, but using a great face oil helps balance out any drying impacts. So, I always keep a bottle of a marula- or argan-based oil next to my bed, so it’s the last thing I put on before I go to sleep. I also can’t live without zinc supplements. They keep my hormonal breakouts in balance.

LTP: Do you have any practices or rituals that keep you feeling your most confident, happy and balanced?

RS: I love this question because, while I am a big proponent of aesthetics, beauty is nothing without a foundation of happiness and balance from within. I go hiking regularly upstate. I used to be at my desk in a suit by 6:15am. Now, I use that time in the morning to focus on me before anything else. I use the ten-minute mediation on Headspace a few times a week. I do a combination of AKT and yoga (I finally conquered headstand!) a few times a week. Once a week, I take a magnesium bath. I keep a few essential oils next to my bedside, as I am a big believer in aromatherapy. Because I am such a type-A personality, I schedule each of these activities into my calendar each week just like they were real appointments that cannot be missed.

LTP: What does happiness look like to you? 

RS: Feeling confident, strong and productive. And having lots of dogs.

LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?

RS: To me, this means trying to be your best self each day; that is a process and a journey externally and internally. I think, as women, we are always so caught up in pleasing other people or worrying about what other people think. Each day, it’s important to remember that it’s okay to put yourself first. Self-care should always be paramount. If you’re not happy and confident, you can’t expect to help instill that in others.