3 Skin Care Industry Professionals Share Their Secrets

From two women who not only founded their own day spas boasting lasting success but also created their own skincare lines to a supermodel who knows the secrets to aging gracefully, this trio is helping make Miami more beautiful.

Christina Tardi
President/owner, eména spa

Her story: In 2009, during a time when there were not many full-service spas outside of resorts on Miami Beach, former pharmaceutical sales associate Tardi launched eména spa, an eco-luxury spa in the evolving Design District. Her vision: offer high-quality beauty and wellness services that minimize exposure to toxicity (as a pharmaceutical rep, she saw the bad effects synthetic products can have on the body) without compromising luxury. Now, the Greek goddess is celebrating eména’s 10th year in the Design District, a second year at the Hyde Resort outpost, and the launch of her own skin-care line, eséna.

What’s your favorite can’t-live-without beauty product?
At the moment it’s my daily face moisturizer, the eséna Vitamin C Radiance cream. It smells like ginger and lime and really keeps my skin looking radiant and youthful. I don’t wear much makeup, but I do love mascara, and my favorite mascara is Lash Dance by Smith & Cult. It makes your lashes so thick and long.

Do you have any personal beauty secrets?
Regular facials and a little bit of Dysport and Restylane in small doses will definitely make you look younger, but making sure your diet is rich with vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts, lots of water, avocados and olive oil will also make a huge difference. I perform lymphatic massage on my face each morning when applying my skincare. My sisters and I do this for five to 10 minutes in circular motions. Not only does this release tension and feel so good, but it also drains any fluid and reduces puffiness and gets the blood flow moving.

What are some trends that you’re following in the beauty and wellness industry?
Essential and herbal oils including MCT oil, CBD oil, castor oil and oregano oil. They’re being added to massages and skincare and diffused at home. In medicine, ozone therapy is used to disinfect and treat conditions by improving the body’s intake and use of oxygen and activating the immune system. Our spa’s medical director, Dr. Gene Neytman, is a big advocate of Ozone Therapy. I’m also really intrigued by customized Vitamin Therapy, where you get blood work and test your nutrient levels then create a vitamin infusion specifically for your body’s needs.

What are your plans for the next 10 years?
Growing and expanding the eséna skin-care line will be a huge priority. What I’m most excited about is writing a book about my experience as a female entrepreneur and to share what it was like to build a brick-and-mortar beauty business during a recession, along with what it took to overcome hundreds of obstacles that I never saw coming. I would like to share what marketing techniques work best, what beauty treatments sell best and what types of mistakes to avoid.

Leila Genutis
Founder, Nupelle Spa

Her story: This Brazilian beauty opened her Aventura spa 19 years ago, and since then, she’s also formulated her own skincare, body and makeup line. While Genutis originally came to Miami to study English—and her mother wanted her to be a doctor—she fell into aesthetics while treating severe acne that plagued her face and body. After successfully resolving her own skin problems, friends started sending their family and friends to Genutis for help—and the rest is Nupelle Spa history.

What’s it like to be in the beauty business in Aventura for 19 years?
I have so much passion for what I do. Many of my clients have been with me for more than 15 years, and I now take care of them and the next generation of children and grandchildren. For me, it’s a relationship and my clients are like family. It feels great to be able to make world-class treatments easily accessible and I feel honored to have been part of this community for this long.

What’s your biggest focus at the spa?
Results! Today, everyone wants fast results. We try to be up to date on the latest cosmetic techniques and ingredients to better serve our clients. We’ve recently added a nutritionist/fitness mentor and healing therapist/acupuncturist, so clients can have beauty and wellness in one place. As I’m getting older, I’m learning more about rejuvenation and anti-aging. We focus on machines for the face and body, where we tone, lift and plump, as well as many types of peels and microdermabrasion. Since I’m Brazilian, I also specialize in body treatments for contouring and blasting cellulite. Most of my clients spend three to four hours with me.

Is there one procedure or machine that you believe produces the best results?
We believe in combining technologies to achieve incredible results. For the ultimate in face rejuvenation, one of our protocols combines microdermabrasion, laser and micro-current for an instant facelift. And for the body, we use technologies like laser, cryotherapy and mechanical stimulation to increase blood circulation, break down fat deposits and improve lymphatic drainage to get rid of water retention.

What inspired you to launch your own skincare line?
Most of my clients are unsure what kind of products to use, how often to use them and what ingredients to look for. I wanted to simplify their home-care regimen, keep them away from dangerous ingredients like parabens and give preference to natural ingredients. Our best seller is the glycolic cleanser, which offers a beautiful glow as soon as it goes on, and our dry lotion for acne.

What’s your personal beauty secret?
I keep a healthy diet by avoiding fried food, processed foods and too much sugar. I don’t drink sodas—only water or natural fruit juices—and I also avoid alcohol and coffee, which can lead to wrinkles and premature aging because they dehydrate the skin. For the last 17 years, I get up at 5:30 a.m. with my kids and make a smoothie made of 10 vegetables and 10 fruits. That’s my multi-vitamin every day. When I don’t drink it, my body doesn’t feel right.

Leticia Herrera Grendene
Her story: She’s a model, co-founder of chic culinary experiences Casa Tua and Casa Tua Cucina with her Italian husband, Miky Grendene, and a mom of three. While Grendene doesn’t own a spa or have her own skin-care line, she’s refined the art of aging gracefully. At age 52, her skin is envy-worthy, and she even graced the cover of Glamour Italy last year for a piece called “Ageless Beauty–50 is the New 30.”

Describe your regular beauty regimen.
For years, I’ve been making my own beauty cubes, which consists of freezing natural ingredients into ice cubes. I remember as a child reading about Joan Crawford splashing ice cold water on her face an astonishing 25 times a day and the story always stuck with me. I love the cubes because they help tighten, brighten and de-puff skin. In the morning, I use a cucumber cube and rice cube, and end the day with a pomegranate cube and a rice cube. I follow with Leaf People’s peony rose nourishing toner, Vitamin C serum, hyaluronic acid and always moisturizer. I make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day with chlorophyll water.

What do you eat that you believe helps fight aging?
I have to credit this to my father, actually. He’s 83 years old and has always eaten spicy jalapeños as if they were candy. I picked up the habit, and I believe the antioxidants in jalapeños and other spicy foods I love have not only helped ease the process of aging by fighting free radicals and inflammation, but also decrease the risk of disease. I am married to an Italian man and we happen to own several Italian restaurants together, so I do indulge in pasta and great food, of course, but I enjoy everything in moderation.

You were on the cover of Glamour Italy for “50 is the New 30.” What do you think that means in today’s world, and is there too much pressure for women to look decades younger?
I think it means something in today’s world it shouldn’t. We are all under tremendous pressure to look younger when in reality we should be working towards feeling younger. At 52, I have learned to let go of some of the pressure I had put on myself in previous decades and live a simpler, more meaningful life. I fully embrace some of the tools available to help ease the transition, but nothing beats what you radiate from within.



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