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A New York beauty guru’s plant-powered skin-care line is born of 10,000 facials

“There’s no way I’d come out with a skin-care line that improved the health of someone’s skin and put it in a container that would make the environment sick,” says Wright who uses glass jars and 100% post consumer recycled material boxes infused with wildflower seeds. “You plant them and watch them grow!” (Photo: Katrina Eugenia)


After “10,000 or so facials” over 15 years, you could say Jillian Wright knows her clients’ pores pretty well. The popular New York clinical aesthestician and founder of her eponymous spa, just a stone’s throw from Barneys, has honed her skin-reading skills to the point of telepathy. She can tell if clients use sunscreen, if they’re smoking (but denying it), or if their skin is breaking out because of their diet, wearing makeup during spin class, or not exfoliating enough.

And as a fixture on the city’s facial scene, Wright was finding it harder to customize a plant-powered skin-care regimen for the cool women who comprise her bustling practice. So last year she created one, with Jillian Wright Skincare.

When you’re a facialist, it’s a little like being a beauty editor. “You try and use a lot of great product lines,” says Wright, a Brooklyn mom and Core Fusion regular, who’s been courted hard by beauty brands to rep their lines and do facials with their products at Sundance. “But then you start to see that if you created products for what you’re seeing right in front of you—and that better fit your philosophy and standards—well, you would!”

Wright uses transformative plant extracts in her effective new skin-care line. (Photo: Katrina Eugenia)

To that end, Wright launched her line quietly last year—with an ambitious 13 products. (She’s already rolling out more.) The collection addresses the two big issues that cause skin-care conniptions: signs of aging and adult acne. Her weapon? Powerhouse plant ingredients.

Products are loaded with plant stem cells (extracted from lilac, apple, and echinacea), exfoliating fruit enzymes, and antioxidants from superfoods that could be in your smoothie. And Wright’s got a penchant for skin-saving peptides (“they boost collagen, the plumping protein of healthy skin”) and developed an anti-aging complex called MitoProtect (it’s in her MitoEnergy Peptide Serum, $115) that “targets mitochondrial nourishment and protection of skin cells.” See what we mean? Beauty genre of one.

The products are smart, multitasking, and simple—take Complexion Perfection ($75), a skin-brightening finishing powder made with potent vitamin C and cranberry powder. It comes with a kabuki brush, so you can apply it over makeup. Or in a bottle that looks like a salt shaker, so you can sprinkle it into your serum or moisturizer.

The Mattefying Moisture Lotion ($75) was a formulation Wright sweated over—and it’s become a best-seller. It absorbs shine and beats back adult acne with clays, niacinamide, and a proprietary lilac stem cell extract. “It’s not medicinal, it’s just as sexy as the rest of the line, but it’s for adults with challenging skin.” Wright loves getting a call or email from when the redness and breakouts are gone.

“When I was in [product] development, I would think about my clients and say to myself, ‘Elizabeth needs this or Lexi likes her cleanser to feel this way, or Alexandra would love an anti-aging serum to apply under her oil-free moisturizer. Can’t feel too heavy….’ My clients built my spa business and they continue to inspire me every day,” she says. And you can thank them personally for the radiant skin Wright’s now bestowing on the rest of us. —Melisse Gelula

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