What It’s Like To Date A Professional Skincare

0

Elizabeth Grace Hand, the aesthetician and founder of New York facial studio Ställe Studios—a favorite of clients like influencer Alix Earle and gallerist Hannah Traore for its bespoke, treatment-focused approach—met her partner, Jon Folkesson, in 2019. It was Valentine’s Day and Hand had all but given up on dating. “I was 29, I had been dating in the city since I moved here for college at 19, and it was douchebag after douchebag after douchebag,” she says. “I was exhausted, but I liked my job and I liked my friends, so I thought, ‘I like cats. I’ll be a cat lady.’ I was really happy with that.” Then her roommate introduced her to Jon, and five years later, the couple lives together with their cat, Muesli Pettifleur. But this Valentine’s Day, we’re focusing on more than just their love story (though, of course, we made sure to ask about that, too.) In the half decade that he’s known Elizabeth, Jon’s skincare routine has gone from one face cream he haphazardly picked up at Aēsop, to two very serious morning and night routines, and a few injectables thrown into the mix. It all started at The Bowery Hotel, with a glass of sparkling water and a $1,200 charge from Dr. Barbara Sturm. Elizabeth and Jon explain below.

Jon Folkesson:
When I met Elizabeth, I was six months into living in New York—I had moved from Stockholm, where I lived my entire life. I had met her roommate, Frans, through other Swedes in the city. It was my first Valentine’s Day in the US, and I went over to their apartment. Elizabeth came in and sat on the couch. She was drinking a can of Recess.

Elizabeth Grace Hand:
I was working for Dr. Barbara Sturm as a sales rep at the time. I had just come back from a long day at work. I was having some friends over for hors d’oeuvres before they went to dinner across the street at Rosie’s in the East Village.

JF:
She was—is—a beautiful girl, so I started chatting her up.

EGH:
I could tell that he was into me, but I was so anti-dating at that point that I didn’t really see him. I mean, we talked and he was really sweet, but I was like, ‘Oh. It’s just another one of Frans’s weird friends.’

JF:
The next day, Frans sent me a selfie from her Instagram.

EGH:
Frans inviting Jon over wasn’t a setup, but we later learned that he realized we’d be a good match when we were at the apartment.

JF:
I asked Frans to give me her number and if she had said anything about me. He said, ‘Yeah. She said that you’re very Swedish.’

EGH:
So Jon texted me, ‘Hey, Elizabeth. This is Jon, Frans’s very Swedish friend.’

JF:
That’s one of the best texts I’ve ever sent. I asked her to get drinks at Altro Paradiso. Her response wasn’t super friendly, but she said yes.

EGH:
I remember telling a girl at work, ‘Ugh. What a douchebag. He wants to go to a restaurant on the west side. He knows I live on the east side.’ That’s how fucked up I was in the head. I was in a major ‘I hate men’ phase.

JF:
The obvious reason was that I lived in the West Village and I had been to the East Village maybe once since I moved to New York. I didn’t know shit over there.

EGH:
I suggested The Bowery Hotel instead.

JF:
She had a glass of water on our date.

EGH:
It was sparkling. It was the first time I was dating in my era of deciding I was a cat lady. I was going to be fully me. I had no agenda. I didn’t go into it thinking he would be my partner.

JF:
But I enjoyed her company a lot. I left happy.

EGH:
Of course, we talked about what we did for work. He told me his office was on Lexington and 52nd, so after a couple of days passed and he hadn’t texted me, I was like, ‘Fuck it. I’ll be the one to text him.’ I said, ‘I’m going to be nearby at Barneys doing a Sturm training. You should come. I can help you with your skincare routine.’ He didn’t have a routine, and also, I thought to myself, ‘Well, if I can at least get a sale out of him…’

JF:
At that point, I knew nothing about skincare. The only product I owned was a face cream from Aēsop. I didn’t even know cleansers existed. But I was really happy that she texted me because it was a sign that she wanted to see me. I showed up at Barneys, where I’d never been before, and I wanted to support her because she was working. I asked her what she thought I needed, and she started picking one thing after another.

I walked out with two different cleansers, two different serums, and I think, two different creams. I didn’t ask how much the products cost because I didn’t want to be that guy. I just handed her my credit card and didn’t look at the receipt until I left, but I got a fucking shock when I did. It was $1,200. I was like, ‘Maybe this is what people do here.’

EGH:
After that, I was like, ‘So what are you doing this weekend?’ [Laughs]

Stalle-5

JF:
My routine looks very different now. First of all, I probably am the most spoiled partner in terms of skincare. I’ve been a guinea pig for her, and I do what she tells me to do.

EGH:
Maintenance and prevention is really the goal with him. It’s winter in New York and he’s doing infrared saunas and cold plunges. He does a lot of sweaty workouts, too. He can get a little dry, red, and clogged in the T-zone.

JF:
In the mornings, I need my routine to be quick. I hydrate with lemon water, do ten minutes of yoga, take a shower, and put on my products. I start off with the Retrouvé Conditioning Tonic, which is by far the best essence I’ve ever used.

EGH:
It’s also really good if he shaves too because it has chamomile. It’s so calming.

JF:
I recently started using Chanel’s La Solution 10 De Chanel. It doesn’t have a scent, and it lasts on your skin. Then I put on my sunscreen, Auteur’s Definitive Sun Drops SPF 50, which is not something that I would use unless I were with an aesthetician. Before I met Elizabeth, the only time I’d wear sunscreen was on vacation.

EGH:
At night, he starts off with the Retrouvé Luminous Cleansing Elixir.

JF:
It’s really good. I hate when it takes too long to get a cleanser off your face. I want to put water on my face twice at most. Having to splash water on your face ten times is so annoying. After my cleanser, I apply the BioEffect 30 Day Treatment.

EGH:
It’s a growth factor serum made from barley. It helps promote collagen production in the skin. The 30 Day Treatment comes with three dropper bottles that last most people between six to eight weeks. When one runs out, you go to the next one. They’re separated into three vials to keep the formula really stable.

JFG:
Then I use the Retrouvé Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer. I love this one. I don’t want to oversell anything, but Retrouvé is a game-changer. I only use one pump, and it still works for my dry skin. I carry it down to my neck and chest. Then it’s time for my Retrouvé Eye Concentrate. It feels very thick and nourishing.

EGH:
Apply it with your ring finger for the perfect amount of pressure.

IMG 1532

JF:
Face oils seemed too greasy to me, but the Retrouvé Balancing Face Oil is not at all sticky. It feels great. When I wake up in the morning, my skin is really soft and dewy.

EGH:
During the week, we sprinkle in different steps.

JF:
Like exfoliation, which kind of takes a higher level of education. [Laughs]

EGH:
I’ll have him use the Sachi Ursolic Acid & Retinal Overnight Reform one or two times a week at night. Otherwise, I have him use something with an enzyme, like the Auteur Definitive Enzyme Cleanser, or some sort of acid, like the Sachi Complexion Clarifying Accelerator. The Sachi Accelerator has mandelic acid, which is really good for people that are more fair. It also has Manuka honey, which is really nice. The Retrouvé Skin Brilliance Priming Pads are nice for the winter especially because they use lactic acid. They’re also very juicy so you have enough product to run them through your hands, too.

JF:
And I have two favorite masks, the Augustinus Bader Face Cream Mask and the Biologique Recherche Creme Masque Vernix—not the Masque Vivant; that one smells disgusting. I call the Vernix the banana mask because it smells like a ripe banana. It makes your skin so soft. If I’m in a hurry and I want to go to bed, I could just do a mask instead of my night routine. I have phases with them. Sometimes I use one every three days, but right now, I’m using one once a week.

Stalle-4

When it comes to treatments, I’ve done Botox once at Plump with Amy Lee. Elizabeth was getting filler, and I sat in the room with her. During the treatment, Amy said, ‘You should get Botox.’ I feel like Elizabeth and Amy probably talked about it before I went in. [Laughs] Elizabeth had tried to convince me before and I said no because I didn’t want to have something that I needed to spend $1,000 on every couple of months, but I got a little bit of Botox around my angry elevens and around my eyes. After a week, I went back for a touch-up and got more. After it settled, my wrinkles were completely gone. It’s actually really cool, what Botox does to you. I would get it again. Why not?

Overall, I’m happy that I have a routine that makes me feel fresh and clean. I’ve always been into health, even though I had my phases where I partied. Now, I don’t drink, I exercise, I try to eat very clean. I see skincare as a part of the lifestyle of trying to care for myself. But for any men reading this: Your routine doesn’t have to be complicated—I just have the luxury of having Elizabeth and a lot of products at home. Everyone wants to feel like they are their best self. Skincare helps.

—As told to Daise Bedolla

Photographed by Siena Craigie; Courtesy of Elizabeth Grace Hand

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Source

Leave a comment