Some people find their passion and discover their calling late in life (if they ever find it at all).
Pietro Simone had his locked down before he went to kindergarten.
He fell in love with beauty, and specifically women’s beauty, watching his Italian mother and grandmother’s self-care regimes as a child. His curious fingers found their way into their products and potions, and he never looked back. By high school, he was already sought out by his friends’ mothers for the deft facials he developed based on his understanding of the fine European products he had studied by diligently collecting samples from the better profumerie in his native Bergamo and for the techniques he developed working on and with his grandmother, his favorite muse, updating a few of the tricks she learned by necessity during World War II.
In the years that followed, Pietro continued his education in the best of European skin care products and techniques, notably during a long stint at La Prairie, teaching therapists the treatments used at their spas. Today, little more than a decade later, this deep knowledge has resulted in an extensive range of Pietro Simone skincare products and tools — sold online through his website, Neiman Marcus, and at retailers around the world — and two immersive salons — Pietro Simone Beauty Concept Store in Flemings Hotel in London’s tony Mayfair neighborhood and the new House of Pietro Simone in New York’s SoHo. His work is also hotly desired by top spas, like Meadowood in Napa Valley, Four Seasons Nashville, and Mohonk Mountain House in New York’s Catskill Mountains, to name a few, which include his signature treatments on their menus.
Not bad for a baby-faced 39 years old.
But enough about his resume. Let’s talk about him. We met a year ago when he was putting the finishing touches on his SoHo salon, a small and serene sanctuary on Spring Street. I was intrigued by the tools arranged in the three treatment rooms — body paddles and face massagers — and curious to experience the various manual techniques I had read about: crystal gua sha, intra-oral massage, meso-microneedling, and organic cotton thread exfoliation.
No, he said. You aren't ready for a facial. Let's fix the sun spots dotting your décolletage and cheek first. What’s the point in treating the surface of your skin if the foundation below isn't as healthy as it can and should be?
Interesting, I replied, no facialist has ever mentioned this before.
No, he said. Because they’re happy to overcharge you for superficial work that will fade in a few days instead of helping you have skin that glows from deep within. This, he added, infuriates me.
Thus my first treatment saw me under one of his many high-tech machines, which within a few weeks made short work of the spots that I have been wanting to banish for a good 15 years.
As I would come to learn from three sessions with him in New York and London and a lot of conversations in rapid-fire English and Italian, this was classic Pietro. With a mix of efficiency and elan, he focuses on results achieved through the best and most personalized balance of touch and care with technology and products. In other words, the best of art and science. Pietro wants his clients to be as beautiful as possible by making the most of their appearance as naturally as possible. His preferred tools are research and formulas and techniques, not scalpels and fillers and chemicals.
Put another way, purity and performance, the theme behind his sustainable and clean collection of products produced in Italy without animal products, alcohols, petrolatums, GMOs, phthalates, or silicones. They are instead infused with his Italian Bella Complex (IBC) — a high-performance elixir derived from active ingredients like Tuscan grapeseed oil (anti-wrinkle), Sicilian almonds (nourishing), Vesuvian apple annurca (anti-fatigue, anti-stress, brightening), Puglian tomato seed oil (skin tone), and Alpine eidelweiss (anti-aging and collagen production).
The menu for face include his signature options: Personalized Cellular Activating Facial, Renewing Cotton Thread Revitalizing Facial, and Advanced IBC & Multi-Peptide Infusion Facial. Peeling protocols can address redness, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and blemishes/acne. Other treatments delivered by a battery of machines use intense doses of oxygen (Oxy-Detox), pressurized air (Jet Peel), or warm energy (V-St). He users lasers to brighten and rejuvenate skin and microneedles to stimulate collagen production. Body treatments use the same arsenal, as well as electromagnetic energy, dry brushes, and massaging body suits to promote lymphatic drainage. His treatment rooms are a candy store of creams, computers, and devices — mission control for the dermis — though sometimes the only thing he needs to do his best work are his sensitive fingertips.
As talented as those hands may be, Pietro only has two of them, and there are only so many hours in a day. In addition to seeing clients in New York and London, the globetrotting glowmaker regularly visits clients in Singapore and personally trains the therapists who work in his two salons (like the saucy Englishwoman I met in London), as well as those who perform his treatments around the world. He’s spending this August — the month Italians traditionally set up their OOTOs and hit the beach — running a pop-up in the Hamptons at the height of summer madness. In addition to offering facials and skin rejuvenating treatments, he will debut a one-on-one, personalized masterclass designed to teach clients how to best treat their face and body skin ecosystem, a program he will continue in New York this fall. All with a simple goal: Beauty at once personal, natural, and enduring.