Esthetician Raquel Medina-Cleghorn used to work in fashion before pivoting to the skin-care world. It makes sense given the chic ambiance in her studio, Raquel New York, and her wardrobe, which features a lot of Simone Rocha, one of her favorite designers. Aside from all of that, the facials she offers her clients are known among the fashion crowd for being some of the best. Her specialty? The snatch. She’s known to leave clients feeling lifted, like they are permanently wearing a high ponytail.
Before the San Diego–born esthetician founded her very own facial practice four years ago, Medina-Cleghorn could be found working as a stylist. But after several years, she wanted a change: “I started spending all my free time learning about ingredients, skin care, and products.” This interest led her to enroll in Christine Valmy beauty school. While there, she DM’d celebrity facialist Joanna Czech and asked to work in her office. She got the job and worked there throughout school, becoming a lead esthetician.
For Medina-Cleghorn, self-care includes weekly pilates and LED light-therapy devices at home. But she also noticed a societal change toward a greater appreciation for slowness, which she hopes continues. “After all, all of the systems in the body work in tandem,” she says. “So if we’re not taking care of our bodies and our mental health, it will definitely show up in different ways.”
Here, Medina-Cleghorn’s a.m. routine:
7:30 – Three times a week I like to do pilates. In general I’m not really a morning person, but I try to do this as much as possible. I like my time in bed, though. Sleep is really important to me. And then I like to eat a small breakfast after pilates.
9:06 – For my moisturizer, I’m loving the Verso Nourishing Cream. I love it because it has niacinamide and fatty acids that soothe the skin.
9:08 – For sunscreen, I love the Auteur Definitive Sun Drops to protect my face. It also protects skin from fine lines and elasticity loss.
Medina-Cleghorn’s p.m. routine:
9:00 – I do my regular skin-care routine and then I shower at night. I have this thing where I feel like I can’t get into bed unless I shower first. I like using the Verso Body Oil cleanser. I’ll wash my face in the shower with Sofie Pavitt’s Cleanser.
9:30 – Every night, I always make sure to drink my Dr. Stolberg Rest + Digest Tea.
On the beauty trend that makes her cringe:
Overdoing it. I try to educate my clients so they can make the best, informed decisions instead of using too many products at once.
On her beauty-industry reflections:
I’m really loving seeing more chemists and toxicologists speak more about ingredients. I think there’s been a lot of greenwashing over the years. But chemicals aren’t necessarily bad, so it’s important to have experts speak on the topic.
I’m personally very open-minded when it comes to ingredients. I try a lot of different things. I think it’s important to know how to use certain products and ingredients properly.
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