Beauty, great skin especially, isn’t just pampering, it’s finely a calibrated commitment. Hard-core beauty aficionados know the best way to keep up with your goals is to stick to a routine, keep it consistent and in your schedule, like private training sessions and cyber-stalking an ex. Speaking of aficionados, let’s talk about estheticians, one of the most unsung professions in the beauty biz. Deep in the trenches of our pores, fine lines, and under-eye bags, they are the ultimate skincare experts. They know what works and why. When a 3rd generation esthetician and entrepreneur like Rachel Liverman, CEO and founder of the high-tech, subscription-based skincare studio Glowbar speaks, I listen.Photo by Kelsey Ann Rose (www.kelseyannrose.com)
Before I chatted with Rachel about all things beauty, I first dropped into the 8th Glowbar location that just opened in the hip and thriving Murray Hill neighborhood. For just $55 a month you can keep your pores in check with a monthly clinical-grade facial.Photo by Kelsey Ann Rose (www.kelseyannrose.com)
After checking in at this lean, efficient operation in a sleek, modern spa setting, I was ushered to a wash station stocked with back-bar-sized bottles of iS CLINICAL Cleanser to cleanse and prep my skin. Even fresh, pristine muslin cloths were aplenty to ensure a deep cleanse so my aesthetician could start the nitty-gritty of doing what estheticians do best – a thorough diagnostic of my skincare needs, goals, and the best suggestions to make them happen. The menu of services offers a 3-step treatment customized from a menu of Dermaplaning, Extractions, High-frequency, Chemical Peels, Microcurrent, LED, and Hydrating Masks.
To treat my textured and humidity-congested skin, I opted for the strongest iS CLINICAL Chemical Peel – glycolic and pumpkin – to exfoliate, detox and rejuvenate my pores. Throughout the session, my awesome aesthetician Julie asked how I was feeling on the tingly, spicy scale to ascertain that the peel wasn’t too strong. She followed with thorough extractions and a few zaps of the bacterial-zapping high-frequency wand. In the final step, 5 minutes with the LED device, I opted for red for anti-aging. (They also offer the blue option for serious acne and breakouts.) In exactly 30 min, I left detoxed, smoothed, with that Glowbar glow, and excited that with a $55 subscription and their convenient hours, I can schedule this treatment again like clockwork in a month to keep the glow going. For non-members, it’s just $75 a la carte.
I peeled lightly for a few days afterward and then my skin revealed itself as glass-like by the time I chatted with the Glowbar CEO and founder Rachel Liverman. She is a fountain of skincare insight and inspiration as a female entrepreneur in the burgeoning wellness sector.
1. What special insight into skincare and the skincare business have you learned as a third-generation esthetician?
As a third-generation esthetician, one of the most significant lessons I’ve learned is the importance of maintaining a consistent skincare routine. Our skin is not only the body’s largest organ but also a reflection of our overall health and well-being. A skincare routine goes beyond just looking good; it’s about prioritizing the health and vitality of our skin, which serves as our body’s first line of defense against external pollutants, UV radiation, and environmental stressors.
Through my family’s experience in the skincare business, I’ve seen firsthand the transformative power of a well-designed skincare routine and had a front-row seat to the ever-evolving nature of the industry. A personalized approach to skincare is crucial and tailoring skincare regimens to meet individual needs and concerns is something my grandmother instilled in me and lives on through Glowbar’s mission.
2. What advice do you have for the next generation of female (beauty) entrepreneurs?
The first piece of advice I have for entering the beauty industry is finding your “white space.” This means identifying gaps or niches in the market where your unique talents, ideas, or products can make a big impact. Look for unmet needs or underserved customer segments and tailor your offerings to fill those gaps.
The second piece is to pursue your passion relentlessly. Building a business in this industry can be challenging, but your enthusiasm and genuine love for what you do will fuel your drive to overcome those obstacles. Passion is contagious and can inspire others to join your journey.
3. The beauty industry is sometimes criticized for fostering women’s insecurities about their appearance and exploiting that insecurity for profit, while others see the beauty industry as empowering. Where do you fall in this debate?
We firmly believe in the empowering nature of the beauty industry. Glowbar’s singular mission is to boost people’s self confidence by helping them feel their best in their skin. We see ourselves as partners in skincare, working hand-in-hand with our clients to support them in achieving their unique skincare goals through customized treatments.Glowbar Upper East Side by KCC design build
Licensee – KCC design + build | Glowbar
4. To what do you attribute this current boom in skincare, self-care, and the wellness industries?
In my experience, the growing emphasis on health and well-being has fueled a demand for products and services that promote physical and mental health. I like to think of this new burgeoning area as “wellcare,” which provides the efficiency and expertise that we expect from our health services, with the accessibility that fits into any lifestyle. Our lives have become so busy and stress-filled that people are more motivated than ever to enhance their quality of life. Something like self-care practices, such as skincare routines, can provide that relaxation and stress relief.
5. There are a lot of bizarre, sometimes dangerous, skincare hacks promoted on social media. What advice do you give your clients for great skin? What sort of advice should we ignore?
The foundation of great skin is a consistent and personalized skincare routine. The skincare industry is always evolving, and with the near constant TikTok trends emerging I highly recommend avoiding the temptation to blindly follow these without considering your skin’s specific needs and sensitivities. While some of these trends can be beneficial, many others may not be suitable for every skin type, and they are definitely not all backed by scientific evidence. I also strongly discourage anyone from attempting procedures like microneedling, chemical peels, or extractions without the guidance of a trained professional.
6. Can a 30-minute facial deliver the same results as a more traditional 60-90-minute spa facial?
Both have positive results, but consistency is key which is what makes facial members, specifically at Glowbar, the more practical, effective method for self-care. Getting consistent, professional monthly treatments is crucial to maintaining glowing, healthy skin – and it will change your life!
Traditional spa treatments are something you treat yourself with; it’s a long, relaxing process you want to soak in. A facial studio like Glowbar is something that should be part of your weekly or monthly routine; a quick and efficient facial you can fit in before or after work that doesn’t break the bank. Both have positive results, but consistency is key which is what makes facial members, specifically at Glowbar, the more practical, effective method for self-care. Getting a facial every 30 days will change your life.
7. How did you decide upon the skincare lines you use in your treatments and sell at Glowbar?
When it comes to selecting the skincare lines for both our treatments and retail offerings at Glowbar, I always maintain an “esthetician-first” approach. Our guiding principle is to provide our Glowbar estheticians with the finest tools available for their work in the treatment room and for retail sales. To achieve this, we’ve partnered with three exclusive brands that are renowned for their clinical-grade and effective products. These carefully chosen partners align perfectly with our commitment to offering top-notch skincare experiences to our clients.
8. Can you explain a bit more about the algorithm being used to optimize your services?
At Glowbar, we recognize the importance of both customization and standardization in delivering top-notch services. To achieve this balance, we leverage cutting-edge technology. Our algorithm is designed to seamlessly blend your unique skincare goals with the expert assessment of our estheticians. Rather than employing a one-size-fits-all approach, we craft a personalized treatment plan that caters specifically to your needs.
9. Many don’t realize how vital the beauty sector is in providing jobs, especially for young women. Why was it important for you to partner with an accredited esthetics school in your recruiting efforts?
We value our people at Glowbar above all else and strive to have the best team. Partnering with accredited esthetics schools is crucial because it allows us to recruit top graduates who are skilled and talented in the field. This ensures we can maintain our commitment to excellence and deliver high-quality services to our clients while supporting young women in the beauty industry.
10. What are the next steps and new services planned at Glowbar?
We’re looking at expanding to new markets along the eastern seaboard in early 2024. More news to come soon!