BeautyView: Maria Smith, Master Aesthetician

My history with Maria goes back to more years than I care to remember. We have worked together as aesthetician / skin care vendor; as spa director  skin care vendor; and she is key to the hands-on training I am able to provide to many spa partners who carry Alchimie. We also work together on the Washington Spa Alliance. And on those few occasions when I have a pimple that must be popped, she is the one I turn to. Throughout this multi-year, multi-responsibility history, we became friendly, then friends (and, making my day, my week, she lists me as a mentor!). Among other things, we share our love for changing people’s skin for the better, for champagne and wine, and for all things Creole.

AP: What city were you born in? MS: Washington, DC.

AP: What city to do you live in? MS: Bowie, MD.

AP: What is your middle name? MS: Teresse (pronounced like Therese).

AP: What is your astrological sign? MS: Taurus.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? MS: I studied Electrical Engineering in college – I’m a math and science geek; and I love to sketch/draw.

AP: What is your most prized possession? MS: My integrity.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? MS: My paternal grandmother Anna Lee Lanoix. I would love to discover more insight into my family’s French Creole heritage.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. MS: Simple and relaxed.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? MS: I do not.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? MS: BOTH!

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? MS: Exfoliate, sunscreen always, and sleep.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? MS: Coco Chanel and Coco Mademoiselle.

AP: Botox or not? MS: Not as of yet. I’m happy it’s available and I’m looking forward to having botox spa parties in the future.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? MS: Not. I started getting highlights two years ago and love it!

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? MS: Everything in moderation (except for water and champagne!); and always eat something green!

AP: What do you do for exercise? MS: When I do work out….I love doing weights – it burns fat and helps to sculpt muscle tone the quickest.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? MS: Cheese, fruit, and wine – which sometimes ends up being the perfect meal.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? MS: Champagne or wine.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? MS: I‘m actually a workaholic; but I think if you’re passionate, the hard work is rewarding.  However, I do believe you should “play” as hard as you work.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? MS: I’ve traveled to many places around the world, but I’ve probably put more miles into amazing road trips than I have in the air – including having driven across country twice. I have 199K miles on my car and they are all mine!

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? MS: For air travel: check-in online, hydrate (inside & out), pack smart (avoid checking luggage for short trips). For road trips: stop for fill-ups at half a tank, have your playlist faves and sing out loud, make random stops at local shops.    

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. MS: I don’t have an iPod; but my three favorite Pandora stations (and favorite songs) are: Jason Mraz – Lucky; Pink Martini – Sympathique; Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness.

AP: What book are you reading right now? MS: The Collected Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

AP: Quote to live by. MS: I keep this quote on my cell homepage: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Ghandi.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? MS: People who don’t clean up behind themselves or put things back the way they found them.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? MS: I don’t usually wake before 8am; and I need at least 8-9 hours of sleep to function. I love to sleep!

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? MS: The hugs and smiles that are a result of a restored self confidence in the people/clients I meet/interact with.

AP: Least favorite thing. MS: I have two: False marketing and lack of quality in high priced products.

AP: Who is your mentor? MS: So many influences along my life’s journey and I don’t have a “mentor” true to form; but two people that I dearly admire, who’s advice and wisdom I take true to heart, and who have played key roles as my career has grown over the last several years are my significant other David and the one and only Ada Polla.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. MS: Have love and passion for what you do and it won’t be “work.” Stay true to yourself and what’s best for your own growth because at the end of the day you’re the only one who will walk the walk in your shoes.

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