Meet Alexandra Pettinaro, Esthéticienne (French for esthetician), at The Shinrin Sanctuary in The Kindred Shop. Alexandra is an incredibly skilled facialist with a healing touch. She has created a beautiful, welcoming environment and we are so happy she’s part of the Kindred Team!
Share a little bit about your background, beauty/skincare experience, etc.
I was always fascinated by color at a young age. I began to experiment with makeup and educated myself about skincare and health habits. In my high school years, there was a huge push for eco-friendly and organic products, which encouraged me to dig deeper and learn about which products and ingredients can safely be used on our skin – in both makeup and in skincare. It’s terrifying to me how little people understand labels and ingredients and then how often they use those products on their skin. I played around with makeup and skincare on myself and eventually started doing makeup for friends and family. Seeing their excitement, satisfaction, and confidence in their appearance was truly gratifying. While I was studying at the University of Delaware, I worked at Houppette as a makeup artist and was introduced to several different makeup and skincare lines. I attended multiple training sessions for the makeup and skincare companies they carried. It was an incredible opportunity to learn more product knowledge, ingredients, and their effect, as well as tips and tricks for application. One of the training sessions was with Kindred! I love using natural oils on my skin, so learning and using Kindred products was right up my alley. After graduating from the University of Delaware, I moved to Philadelphia and attended the Jean Madeline Aveda Institute where I studied cosmetology. I also discovered my love of esthetics – the study of beauty, skin, and skin treatments. After I completed my cosmetology license, which included esthetics, I completed eyelash extension and microblading training. I continued freelancing with new and improved services. Since starting at Kindred I’ve also completed Gua Sha and Tsuboki (Japanese face massage) training.
What made you want to work with Kindred?
Kindred was one of my favorite companies when I was working at Houppette. Having two entrepreneurs as parents, I value small businesses and Frances really has something special with Kindred. I’m a huge advocate for understanding ingredients and what you’re putting on your skin, so working with Kindred is a great fit because all of the ingredients are right there on the label, not to mention they’re entirely organic. It’s a very zen place to work, with plants and good smells everywhere, it’s hard not to smile!
With your industry experience, you’ve worked with and tried many different skincare brands and products. What do you like about using Kindred products on yourself and when giving facials to clients?
Something so unique about Kindred is that it’s truly a clean, green, sustainable skincare line. You know exactly what you’re putting on your skin and Frances takes the time to explain why she chose each ingredient and what it does for your skin. She even offers a refillable program on certain products so you don’t have to purchase a new bottle every time, you can reuse your original! We love a sustainable moment. I enjoy using the Complete Cleanse, Serum Magique, and Intense Moisture on myself. My hands get so dry in the winter (and from all the handwashing!) and the Intense Moisture doubles as a savior salve for my cracked hands. When giving facials to clients, I particularly like using the Polish Cleanse – exfoliating is often a step that’s overlooked but can make such a difference.
The Shinrin Sanctuary is offering many new treatments and add-ons. Share some of the ones you’re most excited about.
I’m most excited about the Signature Facial – it’s 75 minutes of pure bliss! It’s an incredible treatment complete with a cleanse, polish, mask, massage, and detox poultice. You actually start face down while I work your upper back, shoulders, and neck with the warm poultice for the first 15 minutes. The poultice is yours to take home at the end of our session to use in the tub or the shower, it smells so good. The Lip Express Treatment is another one that I’m excited about. Frances developed this incredible lip scrub and mask with chocolate, orange peel, and tamanu oil, which is great for promoting collagen production and reducing inflammation. Guests also have the option to order lunch from Talula’s Table, which is waiting for them after their treatment in our Relaxation Room.
Are there any beauty mantras that you personally believe in?
A couple that I like are “Beautiful skin requires commitment. Not a miracle.” by Erno Laszlo and “I like my products like I like my people – nontoxic.”
What can customers expect when visiting The Shinrin Sanctuary?
Guests can expect to be enveloped in the heated facial bed surrounded by plants filling the windows and soft music carrying them off to a state of peace. We have a UV air purifier in The Sanctuary and I wear a mask + shield during every treatment to keep guests as safe as possible. There isn’t anything else like it, I invite you to experience it for yourself!