“I believe that retinol is something that everyone should be using for the rest of their lives no matter what their skin type.”
– Candace Marino, The L.A. Facialist
The Beauty of Aesthetic Possibilities
Candace Marino, Founder of The L.A. Facialist and licensed Master Esthetician has been a favorite of Southern California’s complexion cognoscenti and worldwide beauty media for over 15 years. Working out of her atelier in Beverly Hills, Candace’s signature hands-on treatments speak to her medically-informed protocols and a profound knowledge of skin physiology. Her nuanced, customized approach delivers the luminosity-from-the-inside for which she is renowned.
What traits do you and OPULUS Beauty Labs have in common?
We're direct, no fluff, straight to the point, what we ask of our clientele requires minimalist effort, while what we deliver are maximalist results. Also, we’re both devoted to retinol. I was pleased that OPULUS Beauty Labs launched with Retinol Ramp-Up because I believe that retinol is something that everyone should be using for the rest of their lives no matter what their skin type. I am delighted to be associated with the company as an advisor.
What makes you particularly good at what you do?
As a medical aesthetician, I help people maintain, enhance or transform their skin. I think what sets me apart is that I am extremely hands-on rather than leaning on devices. To provide a great service, I've created specific techniques that only my hands can do. My style has been 15 years in the making and is unlike any other facial out there.
How would you like people to better understand what you do?
That it is far from a frivolous, vanity project. Helping people transform their skin is more about health and emotional well-being than anything else and goes way deeper than the superficial. For example, many people don’t know that acne and skin related issues are common precursors to depression. Helping people care for their skin is incredibly rewarding because it can, literally, impact their whole attitude towards life.
There’s a misconception that those who are into beauty are always high maintenance. Personally, although my career revolves around all thing’s beauty, I'm super low maintenance in my routine and lifestyle.
Did you know from an early age that skincare services were what you wanted to do with your life?
Absolutely. I think every one of my childhood friends got their first extractions from me. My idea of fun was mixing up a mask and playing spa. (Full confession: it still is.)
How has social media impacted your career?
A lot of amazing opportunities have come my way because of social media which have definitely given me a much larger platform and helped me to establish a voice in the skincare world. Still, there’s a lot of misinformation out there so I warn people to be cautious about what they see or read.
What is your definition of luxury?
To embrace all kinds of experiences, both high and low. The image I have in my head is wearing an evening gown (though I’m not doing a lot of that lately) and enjoying a cheeseburger.
When it comes to fragrance, do you have a single signature scent or a whole wardrobe?
Definitely a wardrobe person and mostly in the oriental note arena. I own a crazy number of fragrances and am always buying them. Plus, I’ll layer a few at a time depending on my mood. But I don’t like easily attainable ones and I most definitely don’t want to smell like anyone else. For me, it’s strictly niche brands from little shops in Europe that no one has ever heard of over here.
What is your beauty philosophy?
I’m definitely in the less-is-more school. You don’t need hundreds of products to get beautiful skin; just a select few of the truly effective one’s to suit my own physiology, temperament, aesthetic and lifestyle. I also believe that consistency is key in any routine. You’re not going to know if something works until you’ve used it for at least 4 to 6 weeks.
In general, before you’ve experienced a beauty product or service, what is the narrative/story/metric that will make you want to try it?
Since I'm in the industry I usually research things that are up and coming, I look at the science behind a treatment, product or device. I want to see before and after photos, white papers, peer review articles and clinical trials etc. I avoid TikTok and Instagram trends at all costs (those may be entertaining but they’re sure not science).
After you’ve experienced it, what qualities does a beauty product or service need to have in order for you to integrate into your own regular routine?
I need to see and feel a difference in my skin. Does it improve color, tone or texture? Am I seeing and feeling a visible change in my skin? Are these results better than those from any other products I’ve tried?
How does OPULUS Retinol Ramp-Up fit into this picture?
I think Opulus Beauty Labs is revolutionizing our nighttime routines. As someone who doesn't want to spend hours in the mirror for my PM skincare regimen, I've found the one-and-done Ramp-Up Nightly Regimen treatment is all I need to keep my skin's appearance and health in top shape. It’s all there in the Opoule Treatment.
How does your approach to summer beauty differ from winter beauty?
My routine doesn't change for the seasons because I'm constantly working to achieve balance in my skin. Because of this, my skin is stable and isn't fluctuating much with the change of the season.
What are your interests and passions outside of work?
I love boxing and Pilates. I love anything outdoors; adventure, motorcycles, boats, jumping off cliffs, you name it. Travel is definitely my biggest passion; I try to leave LA as much as possible. I'm a big foodie and love a great hand-crafted cocktail.
How do you practice self-care?
Waking up early so I can start my day slowly; this consists of meditating, stretching, playing with my new Cavalier King Charles puppy Pepper, making coffee, listening to music and choosing happiness and gratitude. My private spiritual life sustains me.
What are the wisest things a mentor has ever told you about life and career?
Ignore Instagram as a metric for judging yourself. I think by now we all know that a lot of what we consume on Instagram is manufactured and not real. Focus on where you're heading and ignore what everyone else is doing.
What are wisest things you pass along to those for whom you are a mentor?
Don't stand in your own way. Go for the things you desire in your life. Time is going to pass no matter what, so spend it working towards the things you desire.