The MAD (???) Aesthetic

What does that mean?

The way I think about it, Aesthetics is a DEEP field. It’s more than cosmetics, beauty, skincare. It’s personal; EVERYTHING pertaining to your senses.

Sight || Touch || Taste || Smell || Sound

…and it’s NOT just for women! Most importantly, it will evolve! Mine is still evolving.

I went from Mad About Makeup to Mad About Mediums, and finally to The Mad Aesthetic.

I haven’t always been “wholistic”. I went from 2007 to 2017 before I officially made the switch.

Innovations soared. Something for everything! My work turned clinical. I cut out “fluff”. “Results” became about getting as deep into the skin as possible! Massage was exchanged for machines.

Meanwhile, a struggle being comfortable with my own bare face.

Do you ever just suddenly realize something, and afterwards you can never go back?

I remember how certain things would dawn on me about my habits. (I stopped polishing my nails when products I used were eating away the lacquer.) Was there logic in wearing gloves to protect my nail polish and cuticles from whatever I was putting on people’s faces?

My habits changed. I steered my clientele toward better beauty practices and “safer skincare”, but learning the language of ingredient labels changes everything.

What is 100% safe? I’m still searching and learning about alternatives for basically everything.

In 2012 I stopped wearing coverage cosmetics altogether, my biggest insecurity! My skin probably just needed to BREATHE! [I was right.] I was bothered by all the men and women who shared dissatisfactions about their appearances. [I’m not sure if this has gotten better or worse for our society since then.]

Fast forward through some major eye-opening experiences that started my deeper understandings in toxicology and the FDA’s regulations in health and beauty products. I had enough and I almost quit my industry altogether.

In 2014 I went back to school to study alternative medicine, thinking about everything in terms of skin! This was my introduction to herbology, vibration and other energies as therapy. It was my reminder of how interconnected all our body’s systems are.

Turns out the history of “medicine” has a lot of spa culture to it. Many old-school spa therapies used in conjuction with different herbs and minerals were considered primary care before “modern medicine”.

Also turns out the “fluff” I cut from treatments is where real therapeautic action comes from. Manual manipulation means circulation, which means lymph movement & oxygen and blood flow to tissues. That means filtration, release of blockages, nourishment, and repair for all cells, tissues, organs, and systems.

Obviously I have come back to this work. Placing my frustrations with beauty and personal care industries as motivators, I opened my studio in June 2017.

I want to make something clear. I share this history to illustrate how personal my work is. The only reason I can still do this work at all is because I wholeheartedly believe in it. My practice doesn’t make me “better”; different for sure, but I learned I am NOT alone. Advertisting this work, I discovered a whole culture of practitioners who call themselves radical and botanical facialists. Everything about this style of practice resonates with my senses, my perceptions. Finally, a fit for my aesthetic.

Going back to Aesthetics in general, I said it’s personal.

Certain things appeal and others don’t.

Each person has their own preferences. Whatever it is that pertains to your senses will undoubtedly catch your attention.

You may identify with The Mad Aesthetic if :

  • You want simple and safe skincare.
  • You try everything and have unresolved skin problems.
  • Your face burns, stings, itches, peels, or is chronically red.
  • You have other skin besides the face that needs attention.
  • You want to detoxify your body.
  • You have interest in treatments performed with Cannabis or Gemstones.
  • You don’t want skincare to be a luxury.
  • You feel uncomfortable with imposed beauty standards in today’s culture.
  • You want to age gracefully, without invasive procedures.
  • You battle with skin-related side effects from chemotherapy / radiation.
  • You believe in OR want to experience the healing properties of plants, oils, vitamins, minerals, salts, clays, color, light, heat, electricity, vibration.
  • You get MAD at the FDA and think it’s crazy they haven’t made any new laws governing cosmetics in 80 years!
  • You want to learn how to read labels.

IF you answer yes to any of the above, please reach out.

Free consultations always. <3

List of Treatments here.


Drive You Crazy

I always loved to read. What I love more is to uncover mystery and rare facts. I remember at my grandma’s, hiding downstairs behind the sofa with the bookshelves, devouring page after page of books that came home from auctions and antiquing. So many would sit shelved, waiting for someone to open up to their knowledge. I always associated that area of the house with learning: My grandpa’s desk and his workroom filled with fix-its to everything, photo albums, the television, my first link to the concept of internet as Web-TV, and eventually a desktop computer. A lot of things I found out down there were before my time, but if it’s true that everything we learn makes us who we are, then the investigative Nancy Drew and all those old cook books really served me well. Among a lot of other things, anyway. Flash forward more than twenty years and I’m still reading, only now it’s several books at a time, and the ingredients (and/or labels) to every single thing I purchase. I can say with certainty that I’m still learning things before my time, and metaphorically, I am still in the basement sifting through all the information that’s kept discreetly. The ingredients, the inner workings, secret recipes, deepest thoughts, private records. Usually people don’t keep things like that for everyone to see or have access. It’s deep in the downstairs, the basement, in a filing cabinet, under or behind the label, in the small print. Out of the way. But, it is there. Some people get offended if they see you looking too closely.

I came across a photo of a chalkboard message outside a business, it quoted: “If you don’t recognize an ingredient, your body won’t either.” What a monumental advertisement! It really is as simple as that. We are living in a time that offers over-exposure to chemicals, having adverse effects on health and wellness- the environment too. Previously denied links between dietary lifestyles and skin health are being reconsidered. The connections between our mind and body are deepening and giving rise to other avenues of exploration, like our digestive system being an intelligent body all on its own.

In a new book discussing this very topic, author Guilia Enders shares a view that resonated deeply with one of mine: “I’m sometimes shocked by the way scientists huddle behind closed doors to discuss their important research results without informing the public about them at all. Academic caution is often preferable to premature publication, but fear can also destroy opportunity.” Enders’ acknowledges that this tactic of research has some flaws and states the motive for her book as wanting “to make new knowledge available to a broad audience and communicate the information that scientists bury in their academic publications.”

Similarly, I am an investigative practitioner with a penchant for shedding light on things that need to be exposed. [Coincidentally, I also have a passion for photography.] To read a medical publication with the intention of gaining insight is somewhat comparable to reading the ingredient labels of products marketed for consumption. They are both filled with terms that the lay-person will have trouble defining. I do not want to say deliberately, but that’s another (conspiracy) topic of discussion.

The more I learn, the more I modify certain behaviors. This is a process that probably will not cease until I stop learning. Most of these behaviors may recieve stereotypical reactions such as free-spirited, new age, hippie, weirdo, etc., but my favorite is “You’re so crazy!” Like my friend commented when I brought a colander of freshly clipped basil from my garden into the store while we ran a quick errand. Unnecessary? Perhaps to someone who didn’t think about coming back to wilting and denaturing basil from the temperature inside the car while sitting in an asphalt parking lot at the peak of a South Florida summer.

The reality of the matter is that shopping for goods and services is increasingly difficult with the amount of available competing options, and lifestyles today are not exactly exemplifying stellar health and wellness. Most products are all shockingly similar and vary in price by brand, packaging, and quality. Resources that are pure are scarce, limited, and therefore expensive considering supply vs. demand and the time it takes to cultivate. Cheaper, more plentiful, and longer-lasting is easier, more convenient and more cost effective. Words used in labeling these products can often be used in the wrong context. Especially when we have multiple names for one chemical, and words that can have more than one meaning. I like literal definitions. When I, or my actions are called crazy, I won’t go as far as to say I like it, but it reminds me that I’m on the right path. I am full of flaws, mad, out of the ordinary, unusual, distracted with desire and excitement, and I am passionately preoccupied. Let’s just call things what they are.

In high school, when I began this behavior of finding different, perhaps more effective ways to getting the desired result, my Spanish teacher was always telling me “Madelina, don’t swim against the current”. Well, lo siento Señor, pero… I know I’m not alone in my opinion of western civilization and most of its objectives being more than a little askew. And I know that by adopting this mentality and choosing unconventional practices that I am swimming against the current. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried it, but it is not impossible. Challenging, yes. Exhausting, at times. Dangerous? Potentially, but learning skills and experience change that. Powerful? You won’t realize until you try it.

Each day comes with new scenarios for reactions. Some chemical, some physical, mental and spiritual. Combinations of chemicals in our body, in our environment, our food, water, and air can influence these reactions. I use the word chemical but I could also say ingredient. Ingredients are chemicals. We have plenty of control over these substances. Like evolution teaches, the atmosphere, the Earth, our food, our water and our species has all evolved differently over time, circumstance, and the course of actions. Some could argue this has changed for the worse.

Bodies, like basements, accumulate things, and lose others. Memories, scars, fat, wrinkles, baggage that’s emotional, things that should be shared but kept concealed, processed and modified food toxins, poor quality supplements, contaminated water, harmful chemicals in our personal hygiene and household cleaning products, pollutants in the air, ultraviolet radiation.

The things we lose are often irreplaceable unless you really have some pretty strong connections, and that could be interpreted a few ways depending how you look at it.

Call me crazy, but we both know there’s a dire need to increase awareness and prevention of these things.