Career Diaries: How Shamara Bondaroff Became the Microcurrent Queen
If you want to turn back the hands of time with regards to your skin, injectables aren’t your only option. Microcurrent facials are a non-invasive way to temporarily lift, smooth, even skin tone and rejuvenate the skin for a glowing and more youthful appearance. Just look at New York City-based esthetician Shamara Bondaroff’s clients for proof. The Kiehl’s ambassador and founder of SB Skin is known for her transformative microcurrent facials and holistic approach to beauty. Here, she tells us more about the benefits of microcurrent and breaks down her own skin-care routine.
Did your upbringing influence your approach to skin?
I was raised in a primarily vegan and holistic-minded household. My mom always modeled great skin care as long as I can remember, and both my parents were always conscious of what was in the products we all used. When I started buying my own products, it was usually at health food stores — before there were so many more chic options available. One product I discovered way back when, Heritage Store's Rosewater Spray, is now incorporated into our treatment at SB SKIN. At the time growing up, I thought it was annoying to be raised in this type of household, but now I’m so grateful for the foundation they gave me.
How did you get into natural skin care?
I always say I’ve never been a big product junkie. I’ve always used natural beauty products and paid attention to how my diet and lifestyle affected my skin and how I feel. When my skin reacted, I didn’t run to the store, I would see what I had in the pantry. I would whip up some natural potions that I could use topically or internally to get things under control. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more interested in different products types, and, luckily, this has coincided with the clean beauty boom. Through SB SKIN, I’ve learned so much about ingredient efficacy and, most importantly to me, what products best serve different skin types. One serum can work miracles on one face and break out another even if it’s the most clean product. While I’m still not a product junkie, I have to pay attention to all the new ingredients and innovations in skin care but will always love a homemade elixir.
What inspired you to become an esthetician?
I was inspired when I discovered microcurrent technology. I decided pretty soon after to become an esthetician, specifically a microcurrent specialist. As friends started getting Botox and fillers, I was hesitant because it felt contrary to how I’ve always cared for my skin.
What drew you to microcurrent facials and what steps did you take to become a leader in the field?
I immediately loved microcrocurrent because it’s an anti-aging treatment that’s non-invasive and doesn’t involve injectables or harsh chemicals. I believe clients resonate with my treatment because I created a specific protocol that maximizes the benefits of microcurrent. A lot of my clients who are photographed or on camera a lot love the immediate and long-term results from the treatment, so they started to come in regularly, especially before events or shoots, which they do all the time.
How did you start working with Kiehl's?
Kiehl’s approached me to be their consulting esthetician. I was beyond honored. I’m a native New Yorker who lived in Greenwich Village for years, so I’ve been shopping in the Third Avenue store for as long as I can remember. To be able to partner with such an iconic New York City brand with a comprehensive collection of quality products felt like the perfect fit.
What's your skin-care routine like?
Since becoming a mom, my simple skin-care routine has become even simpler. A splash of cold water and some toner, then a face oil at the crack of dawn. Then, when I finally get to shower, I apply toner, vitamin C serum, face and eye cream and SPF. At night, once my daughter Glory is asleep, I will get ready for bed. This is where my routine has changed drastically since having a baby. I used to indulge, but now I keep it simple. I exfoliate gently, apply serum, oil and face cream. The serum and cream or oil I apply before bed depends on what I feel like my face needs that day.
Do you have any advice for new estheticians who want to own their own business and work with high-profile clients?
You don’t have to start with a big, fancy spa. I started in my apartment! But I focused on giving the best microcurrent treatment using high quality clean products that produced visible results. I took the time to really connect with each person who came in. It was so much more than just a facial. Because of that, word spread. Just love what you do, people can feel that and all will fall into place