Reinvent Your Skincare to Feel Your Best Over 50

Reading: Reinventing Your Skincare Routine to Feel Your Best Over 50

Covey Podcast

Reinventing Your Skincare Routine to Feel Your Best Over 50

Skincare pioneer Nick Gavrelis believes beauty radiates from within. Here are his tips for making your light - and your skin - shine

with Nick Gavrelis

“Authentic ​beauty ​and ​confidence ​come ​from ​within ​and ​radiate ​out,” says Nick Gavrelis, founder of ieró Beauty, a holistic skincare line devoted to unleashing the sacred spark within. After decades as a corporate powerhouse behind some of your favorite prestige beauty brands, including MAC and Estée Lauder, Gavrelis shifted into entrepreneurship and created his line of plant-based and crystal-infused products that reimagine skincare as a sacred practice. In this thoughtful exploration of the ieró Beauty line, Nick shares wisdom on embracing authenticity in beauty and urges listeners to rediscover their inner radiance, particularly the best skincare practices for women over 50. Learn how reevaluating your skincare routine and focusing on what truly makes you feel radiant and confident can help you tap into your own innate power.

Product development authority, make-up artist and visionary Nick Gavrelis has been a keen observer and dreamer since childhood. A beauty expert, with over 25 years in the industry, his passionate, sensitive approach earned him the title of “guru of skin and foundations” at the Estée Lauder Companies, where he helmed product development for the M·A·C Pro and Face Categories before becoming Senior Vice President of Global Product Development. His latest pride is iero Beauty™, a dazzling, clean, high-vibrational beauty and lifestyle brand that provides a multi-sensorial experience designed to nourish your whole self—not just your skin. iero Beauty™ holistic, multi-sensorial products and formulas utilize aromatherapy, chromatherapy, mindfulness cues combined with ritual to optimize and make each consumer’s experience more robust and meaningful.


LJS: So, Nick, it’s so wonderful to have you on the podcast. I feel like I’m back in my old stomping ground of fashion and beauty. It’s so much fun.

NG: Lesley, it’s so great to meet you. Thank you very much for having me on. It’s an absolute privilege. So thank you.

LJS: So one of the things we’re going to talk about is… how to change your approach and reinvent your approach to skincare as you age. But before that, I really want to talk about your personal reinvention story, because there’s always one behind everything that’s great and that people do. Let’s just do a very quick talk about your previous corporate history and how you’re reinventing now into the entrepreneurial world.

NG: Sure thing. Wow, as I look back over the decades, my entire 25-year professional career has been dedicated to beauty and creativity. Obviously, the beauty industry is just incredible. I started my journey as a photographer, got pulled into commercial and retail makeup artistry, which then led me to become the Director of Artist Training and Development for MAC Cosmetics. I had a brand called Pretty… in the late ‘90s that launched in prestige. I was the first National Beauty Director at Nordstrom, and then obviously coming back to MAC after my first entrepreneurial experience, I was privileged to work with some of the best in corporate at Estée Lauder companies. But specifically at MAC Cosmetics my role was global product development and the love affair with working with the scientists and interpreting as a makeup artist and with makeup artists, designing products that were performance products, was such an amazing exhilaration. My team and I were responsible for some of the most loved products in the industry to this day, which is really exciting. Prior to Covid, I actually started to really pay attention to my gut and I made some changes. I started to pay attention to truly, like, checking in, “How do I feel? What do I want?” Paying attention to dreams, jotting things down, journaling, which is – I think my greatest advice is pay attention and try to journal, even if it’s one or two words, because that helps on the journey. And it certainly did for me. I knew at that point I wanted to do something more aligned with my personal philosophies and beliefs. I was going through this tremendous transformation, I guess you’d call it a waking up process, trying to figure out my place in this world and universe. And from that, the people around and sharing my desires and my ideas, the people around that I love and that love me, including my partner of eight years, encouraged me to start on this incredible journey of, “All right, why don’t you start ideation? Let’s figure out how we’re going to do it later or how you’re going to do it later, but get it all down.” So I started to build a concept of a brand, as I said, that was aligned with my personal philosophies and beliefs. I knew it was important for me, to take a bow towards Mother Earth and be inspired by all the incredible marvels, whether it be botanical or mineral, crystal. And I knew I wanted to incorporate all of that into this journey. And again, it started with just having conversations with people that I love that have been important in my life, that I could trust, that I knew I could brainstorm a bit with to just provoke and see what kind of feedback they would give me in terms of, “Hey, are you liking this? Do you think this sounds good? Do you think there’s a need?” And bit by bit, we began to build this concept of ieró Beauty. And, that really was, fast forward, the start to this brand that is very different in terms of our approach. Yes, we’re an innovative, plant-based, crystal-infused, clean, mindful self-care and beauty brand, but we employ this 360 degree, holistic, multisensorial experience to nourish your whole self, not just your skin. And that was very important to me, and it’s very much aligned with my personal philosophies and beliefs. Why? After all of these years, from makeup artist, prior to that, photographer, and then all the way, fast forward, to leading global product development for MAC Cosmetics. What I’ve seen and what I’ve learned from touching thousands of faces: authentic beauty and confidence come from within and radiate out. And if you can capture or free someone to the point where they understand the power that they have, their vibrational energy, and how when it emits out, when it radiates out, it can have incredible effects on others in such positive and loving ways, that beauty is truly perceived through that energy, that luminosity that you radiate out into the world. Hence the name ieró. It means sacred in ancient Greek. I’m of Greek background. That was important to me. And sacred to us represents you, that divine spark, that authentic, beautiful luminosity that you radiate out into the world each and every day.

LJS: So talk a little bit about how it’s different because you have the little crystals at the bottom of some of the products. What is specifically different, not just the formulation, but how it works to do what you want it to do?

NG: Well, most importantly, reformulate for efficacy. I work with some of the most renowned Europeans, specifically Italian and French manufacturers that I’ve been privileged to have relationships with for decades, developing formulas and concepts. And they opened up their labs to me to be able to work closely with the scientists to develop not only something that has high naturality, starting from high naturality, beautiful high naturality bases, efficacious, botanical extracts that tell this story of the ancient Mediterranean and Aegean world, but ingredients that have formidable efficacy and then, for me, it was about employing a multi-sensorial approach. So, beautiful formulas, great ingredients, high naturality, highest levels of clean. And then, for me, aligning with my philosophies and beliefs, employing chromotherapy, which is obviously the use of color to warrant a change in one’s energy or emotions. So, again, we work on everything in Moonkist, for instance, which is our franchise that’s out right now, our debut franchise. And it’s inspired by the moonlight, and everything in it is about calming and soothing and restoring. So, for me, I knew that I needed to stick to colors that would evoke a calm and serene feel, and inspire that relaxation that one needs. Whether you’re doing a turn and burn and going back out, whether it’s morning and you’re stressed and you want to feel calm, or whether it’s nighttime and you’re getting ready to prepare for bed, you’re doing your evening rituals. So this multi-sensorial approach starts with chromotherapy. The packaging, the formulas we work with beautiful things like, we work in Ayurvedic, botanical blend that actually creates the indigo color, the transparent indigo color of the serum oil. We use malachite extract in the mist to give it its indigo color. And then we employ other mindfulness cues, like we wrap the flower of life around every package. So, again, it just very subtly, without words, kind of cues you into this understanding and knowledge that we’re all interconnected. And obviously, the beautiful, calming and relaxation cues of loading actual amethyst chips into your serum water. The amethyst chips, to your point you mentioned, come with the Serene Essence replenishing mist. And, we help you or guide you through how to bless with your heartfelt intent to load them into the bottle. And then every time that you use, you swirl to activate three times to get the bulk moving in a clockwise motion. This activates and energizes the formula, but it also makes a really beautiful sound. It’s like a cocktail shaker, almost. So we’re pulling you out of your day, your fight or flight mode, bringing you back into the present moment, where then in the usage, we link all of the products to application rituals to make the experience much more meaningful. And that’s where you come into contact with the aromatherapy, working with natural essential oils. Aromatherapy, to me, is this beautiful art and science of the olfactory sense and smelling and smells that attach to memories deep in or smells that can evoke a change in how you feel and bring you into the present moment and help to ground you. So this multi-sensorial approach, and then linking it all through application ritual, is all about grounding in the present moment. Calming, soothing, helping to basically slow down the cortisol and adrenaline that are pumping through the system and putting you back in touch with how you feel from the inside out. And in a nutshell, that’s our approach, from packaging to the color of the packaging and the color of the formulas, all the way down to the application ritual linked to breathing in this gorgeous living energy that can help to change the way you feel. And for me, this is our unique, holistic approach. It resonates with everything that I believe in.

LJS: Awesome. Let’s talk a little bit about when you’re 40 plus, because that’s who the CoveyClub woman is. What are the thoughts you have to have when you’re bringing yourself to rethinking your skincare routine? I mean, a lot of women are not sure of what to do. There’s so many products on the market, Nick, they don’t understand where to start. They’ve got multiple individual night creams and an individual this and an individual that. Overall, talking sort of generically from your experience, because you’ve worked with so many women and so many different skin types, what’s your experience? What are the sort of secret how-to’s and tips you would give women when they’re looking for what they should do at this age and how they should change?

NG: I think first and foremost, taking inventory of what one has been using. Look back, snapshot over the last five years. I know personally, and I’m 59, my bathroom is filled with almost every skincare and priming product known to mankind. And I have a hard time letting go of things, even if I find that they didn’t feel the best on my skin.

LJS: Yes, that’s a problem.

NG: This is about cleaning house. And I’m saying this also to myself, you really need to edit down. The way to do that is again, grounding in the present moment, locking eyes with yourself in the mirror, acknowledging, all right, how do I look right now? After I’ve finished my cleansing or I’ve removed my makeup, I’ve cleansed, I’ve now done my treatment regimen step by step, locking eyes. How do I look? How does it make me feel from the inside out? Does my skin feel supple, does it feel hydrated? Do I have the radiance that I might want? If you don’t necessarily know what it is that you want: Do I look fresh? Am I glowing? Enough? Do I wish that I had more? At that point, ask. Ask your inner circle, what do you think? Do you think that I could benefit from more radiance? Do you think that my skin looks youthful? What tips would you have? Again, collecting information from others, but digesting. And again, coming back into yourself, connecting with yourself in the mirror, and connecting with yourself from the inside out. How does what I’m using now make me feel, One: Skin from the inside out. How does it feel? Two: How do I feel when I look at myself in the mirror? So this is before makeup. and then what guidelines or what wishes would I have to improve that? Do I want to feel more hydrated? Do I wish I had more glow from my existing products? Do I wish I had more calming and soothing? So, really getting in touch with how you feel from the inside out and how you feel when you look at yourself. That, to me, is the first step. The second pointer I have is remember – and trust me, I said this before — beauty, authentic beauty and confidence, come from within and radiate out. If you’ve ever wondered why some people are so – not so much because they’re endowed with extreme beauty or the most incredible features, it’s how they come to life. This beautiful, sacred energy that animates each person. That is what makes beauty. And so how can I accentuate me? How can I be authentic, and believing in that, that my energy as it comes out and as I connect with people from the heart, that is what beauty is. And that is what changes the perception of other people as they look at you and interact with you. So remembering that is probably the second step to gaining the confidence to [know, then, that as you start to look for a new regimen based on, obviously your recommendations from friends and let’s say, professionals that you’re working with in the industry, you may have a favorite makeup artist or esthetician. So getting their point of view about your key concerns. Do you need more moisture? Do we need to unblock? Unclog? Is what I’m using contributing to a dulling or ashing of my skin? Is my skin clog free? All of these kinds of things then start to lead you on your journey as far as researching product, and then ultimately with the product. Don’t be afraid to read reviews on that brand’s website, or whether you’re shopping through Nordstrom or Sephora or Ulta, et cetera, et cetera. Read reviews of the things that tempt you to understand the big picture. Is this product right for me? Then going into the store and trying, working with someone in store to get it on skin, to feel how it feels on, to understand how best to use it, and then ultimately, if you’re able to try before you buy with a sample, a deluxe sample, et cetera, I definitely encourage that. That’s a wonderful luxury to have. And then again, stepping back as you’re using it, how does this make me feel? How does my skin feel from the inside out? How does it look? So that’s my general guide.

LJS: That’s good. But, as a makeup artist and skincare person, is your first approach looking for glow, as you say, and radiance, is that kind of the thing we’re looking for overall?

NG: I think, again, putting together your punch list or hit list of what’s important, I would say the most important thing is ultimate skin comfort. So, for me, I want to make sure that my clients are feeling good with the products, that there is no sensitization, that they feel that they’re getting the right level of hydration or moisturization, and that would start with changing the order. Or, my personal favorite thing, I use that water mist. I tell people, use your spray mists right after cleansing and then in between each step of skincare to lock in more radiant moisture. It will make your products go on in a much more beautiful, filmogenic way. So you have thin, beautiful, even layers that work for you and create this beautiful strengthening to your barrier, and then ultimately, aside from, “How does it look when I look in the mirror, do I see too much?” You’re going to know. Like,  “Oh, I feel too shiny. Oh, I look really dull.” So how to punctuate that radiance. For instance, all of our products [are] really about hydration, comfort, calming and soothing with antiinflammatory and antioxidant ingredients that restore skin barrier, anti-aging in terms of smoothing and creating that beautiful even tone and skin tone radiance, so you can control how much a product gives you. But it’s about knowing, again, through the person you work with – expert, that skincare expert or the beauty advisor or your esthetician — … how to manipulate a product and layer products together to create these beautiful thin layers that work for you and enhance that incredible, beautiful bone structure and features that you have.

LJS: Any other tips like the layering? I have to say, I have not heard that before. That’s fantastic. And you could use that mist with any product that you already have and layer the same way.

NG: Absolutely. For me, I look at our Serene Essence mist as your botanical and crystal cocktail to drench the skin in gorgeous, radiant, replenishing and calming moisture. And so for me, it’s my toner after I cleanse, and then I go right into oil while my skin is still damp. It gives me this beautiful glide-on of the oil. Avoid eye contour area, because that’s going to redden your eyes and make you feel irritated with almost all products. But avoid eye contour area, pressing in after it’s been massaged on to set. And then, another round of mist before I either do serum or moisturize. And then afterwards, one last mist, and even after you do, whether it’s just powder, whether it’s a full on foundation, concealer, powder, whether it’s a full face of makeup, including the contour, cheek, et cetera, and full eye, a light mist after will just soften and give you a fresher look that is more skin like, has greater skin affinity and greater comfort without a dry look. So the water, to me, is sacred inside your body because you’re mostly made up of water and on the outside too. It definitely contributes to a beautiful, comfortable, natural looking radiance that words just can’t describe. You have to see it to believe it.

LJS: What do you think today? And again, we’re talking women over 40. I have a 27- year-old daughter, and of course she’s all over TikTok and she’s handing me all these things that the kids use, and some of them are great. Like, I would never know about them necessarily. I don’t spend a lot of time on TikTok. But what about all these contouring things? And they’re tubes that contour and they show them – I’m sure you’ve seen 100 of them on social media. Is there a way to use them if you’re over 40, or is it something to skip? I mean, it kind of feels a little bit like what we used in the 60s when I was like a teenager.

NG: Again, we, as a brand at ieró, we applaud and encourage authentic self expression. And so if you’re into a dramatic contoured face, we applaud you. If you’re a naturalist and it just does not feel right, we applaud you. For me, it starts with skin, and that also includes your overall complexion, whether [or not] you’re doing a full face of foundation. And many people are doing their contouring by using one or two shade deeper foundation to create the recession or the contour, and then a shade lighter. And, I mean, it gets very complicated – or they’re buying beautiful contouring gels, creams and sticks.

LJS: The sticks. That’s what I’m talking about.

NG: Yeah, these sticks are beautiful. Cream textures are really beautiful, especially, on a skin that is more mature or slightly dry, based on the climate. Of course, if you’re in a humid, hot climate, the creams sometimes have a tendency to drift and move around if you’re in high humidity. So, again, understanding less is more. Thinner layers. And then ultimately, a light setting powder or finishing powder or complexion powder over will help to set and stabilize and keep a cream from moving. Also your moisturizer, your makeup base or your primer, I love, again, a hybrid approach. Our moisturizer, for instance, our emulsion, our Moonkist radiant moisture emulsion, restorative emulsion, is, for me, a beautiful, luminous base for makeup, if you’re wanting a makeup base. So it creates a cushion for your foundation, or if you go right into makeup, a beautiful cushion for that bronzing powder or your contouring powders or your contouring sticks and highlighting sticks and highlighters. So lightly setting those areas that feel like they are not stable with a little bit, a light sweep of powder or a light puff of powder, and then blending out to make sure everything is seamless. And then I return to water like I return to my breath, return to that spray of water again to just soften and make the look more natural, more truly skin like, and you’ve got something that’s really beautiful. Do I think that everyone should be contouring? No. But if you want to, if you feel like it enhances the things that you want the world to see about you, I applaud you. And I think as many makeup companies and many beauty companies agree, it’s our duty to work with you to hold your hand and help you to achieve the result that you’re looking for, perhaps, and steer you in a way where it’s enhanced to your best interest rather than trying to copy what someone’s doing on TikTok that might be 30 years younger than you, in a different climate and a different skin type, et cetera, et cetera. And again, you won’t know until you try. but I am more of a minimalist. I believe it starts with the complexion and bringing out the features by highlighting or playing with light. We believe in that at ieró Beauty, it’s about punctuating your authentic light. So choosing where you want the radiance and how to make it more dramatic. But contouring is a beautiful, classic makeup technique that can really transform you or punctuate the look or the attitude that you want for whatever it is that you need.

LJS: Yeah, and I definitely ascribe to the idea of less is more as you get older. It doesn’t look good when you’re trying to pile it all on. Just, it doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. So let’s talk, Nick. Where can people find your products? And where can people find you?

NG: Oh, well, you can find ieró Beauty. Obviously, we are direct to consumer first. So is where you can come and be educated and learn about our products and our philosophies and our approach, all the way down to the application rituals that help to ground you in the present moment. We’re also sold on Flip and Super Great. And this year, in the next, I’d say, three to six months, we’ll be announcing our brick and mortar distribution expansion. So stay tuned for that. Insta and TikTok at ieró Beauty is where you can find us. I just love our Insta, Facebook, and TikTok communities. They are the best cheerleaders ever and they have encouraged us and they’re starting to become vocal, too, about what they want, and what they wish for. So as a founder, as a product creator, a product developer, that’s like, one of the greatest gifts you can give me is to let me know what it is that you want. So our social communities are very vibrant and alive, and starting to really grow. So we’re excited about that.

LJS: Yeah, that is the best when you’re an entrepreneur, it’s all about the consumer. That’s what I really enjoy. It’s the communication back and forth, one on one, direct.

NG: Couldn’t agree more. Couldn’t agree more.

LJS: Wonderful, Nick. Thank you. Are you anywhere yourself, or should people just follow the company instead? Are you out there by yourself?

NG: Am I out there by myself? That’s a good question. I can be reached through, obviously, our social handles. Our team is lean and small as a start-up.

LJS: Okay. I know what that’s like.

NG: So my ear is close to the street. So oftentimes people will message me through our Instagram handle or TikTok. And if I personally don’t see it first, our team makes sure that it gets directly to me. And it’s always a pleasure to read and bond and connect with the audience and understand what the community is thinking and feeling. So, that would be the best way, yeah, that’s the best way that I could recommend to be in touch.

LJS: Wonderful. Nick, thanks so much for your time. I so appreciate it, and good luck. And I love talking to somebody who’s doing the entrepreneurial thing after corporate. See, everybody, it can work. There you go.

NG: Lesley, such a pleasure to meet you and be with you today and to meet your audience. Thank you very much.


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