To know Lidia Tivichi is to love her. Actress Gwyneth Paltow has said she wants to clone this Romanian-born esthetician, and it is easy to understand why.
She is part-esthetician, part-therapist, part- spiritual healer, part-chemist and part-confidante. Tivichi is both the jack and the master of all these trades. With a celebrity following that reads like a post-Oscar night red carpet rundown, Tivichi remains humble, earnest and grateful. She never forgets a face (or another body part) or a story, which is one of the reasons that her clients keep coming back.
Now she has her own posh Park Avenue skin care boutique – Maris Dusan by Lidia Tivichi – where Tivichi and a handful of handpicked aestheticians offer trademark facials, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, body treatments, waxing, and eyebrow shaping in a serene, garden level sanctuary.
How long have you been practicing your trade?
Thirty years, the past 26 of which have been in the US. My husband defected from Romania, and I followed him here. My first New York City job was at Capelli D’oro on Lexington Avenue. I worked at Kimara Ahnert on Madison Avenue for 13 years, and opened my own place on Park Avenue in April 2010 with plastic surgeon Dr. Aron Kressel. This is my favorite street in the whole world. I love Park Avenue.
How did you learn to speak English?
Through people. I was self taught by my clients. I tried to learn two words a day. I also watched a lot of television.
What’s a typical day for you?
I see anywhere from 5 to 24 people a day, mainly for facials or waxing or both.
What are you known for among your clientele?
Facials are my specialty, and then I became a good waxer because I hate hair. I was doing a Brazilian-style, basically-bare, bikini wax before the J-sisters. I am also well known for treatments before parties, weddings and bat mitzvahs because I can have your skin glowing without any downtime. It is a package. When you walk out , you will look like a box gift-wrapped for the holidays. I love the presentation.
Tell me about some of your signature facials
The antioxidant eminence facial with paprika brings together old world herbs and fruits that leave your skin aglow. I also offer oxygen blasts with all treatments. These blasts spray serum enriched with pure blue oxygen onto the skin to brighten and tone the treated area. Our cryodermabrasion facial helps boost your skin’s natural collagen supply via microdermabrasion and a special blend of hand-picked antioxidants. Collagen is the main protein that gives our skin the supple, elastic quality we associate with youth and that youthful glow.
What is in your signature facials that keeps people coming back for more even in the faltering economy?
They are made-to-order. I make my own cocktails of antioxidants and other organic ingredients to make masks and serums.
What is the secret to your success?
I am diplomatic. No matter how bad my problems are, I never show it to people. I let my problems go and interact with my clients. I just try to ask about their family. I am not just business. If they are aggravated or mad when they arrive, I talk about their kids or their lives, and they walk out laughing or smiling and say “I feel better.” I also try to give them something extra like a neck massage. Having clients who are happy with my work gives more satisfaction than money.
What is your beauty mantra?
Maintenance is prevention.
I am planning on introducing my own product line in the near future. But when that day comes, I still won’t push products. I never push products, what I do push is honesty, maintenance at home and prevention. I want to grow and expand and hire and train even more new estheticians.