After logging more than a decade as a facialist for such iconic international skin-care brands as La Prairie, Sisley and La Mer, beauty expert Pietro Simone broke out on his own — and loves waving the flag for his native country.
“‘Made in Italy’ always symbolized luxury,” he tells Alexa. “That’s true for fashion, for furniture, for wine. But do you know even one very famous Italian beauty brand? We have so many great ingredients. I thought I could show people — yes, you can eat all this, but you can apply it to the skin and get amazing results, too.”
It’s been three years since Simone, 35, opened his thriving London skin-care clinic, and one year since he raised the curtain on his eponymous product line. Now, given his global fan base and success across the pond, combined with a reconnaissance road trip he took across the US in 2018, he’s convinced the time is right to make his stateside debut.
“I love America,” he says. “And honestly? I love ‘the American dream,’ too.”
Earlier this fall, Simone’s version of the American dream kicked off at Shibui Spa in Manhattan’s Greenwich Hotel, where he introduced his skin-care line and added three facials to the menu. The 90-minute “Prestige Signature” ($410) and the 60-minute “Integral Restorer” and “Multi Refine & Sculpt” ($265 each) incorporate Simone’s trademark moves, including his deep-tissue dry massage and a thread-exfoliation technique inspired by his granny.
“In Italy, after the second World War, there was no money, so they had to use a sock with cream to exfoliate the skin,” Simone, who was born in Ponte San Pietro, near Bergamo, explains. “So I created this mechanical exfoliation with organic cotton thread. It leaves the skin feeling like velvet.”
His eight-item skin-care line is themed around Simone’s philosophy that skin is the “theater of life,” with products named as “acts.” They range in price from $75 (for “Act 1: The Revitalising Cleanser”) to $200 (for “Act 3: The Serum”). “For me, skin is the theater of life because it shows everything. All these people coming to me for the last 17 years, they were coming with emotions, with stress, with many different kinds of problems. And year by year, I could tell what was going on with them, thanks to their skin.”
Blending nature and science, each of Simone’s products contains his “Italian Bella Complex” cocktail of ingredients from his home country. Think: cold-pressed tomato-seed oil from Puglia for neutralizing wrinkle-causing free radicals, annurca apples from Vesuvio for erasing signs of fatigue, edelweiss from the Italian Alps for boosting collagen production and vitamin-spiked grapeseed oil from Tuscany.
With plans to jet from London to New York for at least one week per month, Simone will literally have his hands full tending to his global facial-client flock. “This is the love of my life,” he says. “I’m happy to travel all around.”
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