INTERVIEW YELENA ROYZEN: SKIN CARE GURU AND HER CULT CAVIAR MASK
Yelena Royzen had been the go-to aesthetician for New Yorkers in the know for decades. She was at Bliss before Bliss was BLISS, working side by side with Marcia Kilgore at Let’s Face It. Finally, after being one of the constants in the evolution of Bliss since it opened in 1996, Yelena has taken the leap to go it alone. She shares with BeautyMatter her path to making the decision, the state of the spa industry, and the development of her new cult product.
After working at Bliss as head aesthetician and educator for 22 years, what made you decide to do treatments in your own location and launch a product line? What made now the right time?
I always knew that eventually I was going to have something special of my own. I am a creator, an innovator, a person of many desires and ideas. Bliss has been my baby for 22 years; I gave my heart and soul to that place and touched the lives of thousands, both nationally and internationally. Bliss gave me the opportunity to travel and educate estheticians around the globe on how to do treatments. I created workshops, I was involved in product development, and I was constantly reinventing the wheel with new treatments. (By the way I was first to introduce the Brazilian bikini wax!) I helped build the Bliss empire. Today, I am at the absolute peak of my career. With the knowledge and experience I have under my belt, I am now ready to change the world with all of my skin care secrets and tools!
What has been the most unexpected challenge in striking out on your own after being at Bliss for 22 years?
For me the most unexpected challenge was entering into a world of fast-paced technological advances, social media, online marketing, and public relations. I realized that I would not be able to handle it all on my own, since I never had been exposed to any of these platforms. I decided to ask my daughter for help. She was quick to learn and explain everything to me as she had her finger on the pulse of this online universe. We had to build a website, an online shop, online booking for appointments, Facebook, Instagram (I had to learn what a #hashtag means), Twitter, emails ... etc. When we hit 1,000 “Likes” on Facebook, we celebrated. It’s fun. It is an incredible journey—we celebrate every little and big milestone. I’m always on the lookout for challenges. Every day I learn something new. It’s exciting to be an entrepreneur because it gives you unlimited opportunities to create new ideas, to do your own research, and to share with the world.
You have a very loyal client base. How did they inform the development of your products and services?
My three generations of clients are so dear to me; they are my oxygen! They became my family. I invite everyone in with open arms. I am their listening ear and I am ready to help change their skin and their lives. If you did an interview with them, most would tell you that their lives had shifted after they met me. This is something that I have been told for over 20 years from people around the world. When you love what you do, you do it with passion and people feel and feed off that energy. When my clients heard I was leaving Bliss to start on my own new endeavor, I received incredible support from them. They made the transition so easy for me. The development of my products and services would not be possible without my amazing clients and all of the professional aestheticians I trained, who subsequently became my clients. They were the ones who actually tested my products and gave me feedback. That unconditional support and trust that we’ve built—it’s something you cannot buy.
With all of the ingredients and technology at your disposal, how did you arrive at the products you launched?
In life, everything happens for a reason. A few years ago, my son was in the black caviar distribution business. One day he asked me to pick up the test results of his caviar from a lab in New Jersey. When I saw the results, I was in complete shock. The multitude of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial ingredients in one fish egg was exactly what I had been searching for in skin care. I remember reading the pages in my car and knowing immediately that I was going to do something with this information. At that moment my life changed and I understood why some people say “you have to become your name.” The meaning of my name Royzen became Roezen. We catch wild fish in Louisiana and create the caviar with sea salt and a special blend of essential oils. The fish are not harmed. After removing the fish roe, we release them back into the water to produce more roe.
Your cult Roezen Beauty Mask is 100% natural; why did you formulate this product without a preservative system?
In today’s world, I believe people are trying more and more to stay away from chemicals and return to natural and organic products. I wanted to create something that can penetrate the skin without causing the skin to fight it off. That’s why I decided to use only natural ingredients with Roezen that support caviar’s collagen, hemoglobin, vitamins, and minerals. My lemongrass essential oil in the mask works as a great natural preservative.
The Roezen Beauty Mask requires refrigeration which must make the supply chain, shipping, and selling at retail difficult. How have you navigated this process?
Any time someone is first to think outside the box and introduce something entirely new, there will be challenges. There are people who dive in and take risks, and there are people who are afraid. When I first spoke to people in the beauty industry about my idea, I got really mixed responses. Some people were truly amazed, and some tried hard to talk me out of it. Now I can proudly say that I have a salon on Fifth Avenue. I’m selling my caviar, and people are completely addicted to it. So those people who didn’t believe I could do it, come to me and tip their hats! So yes, I am different. My product is unique and, it does needs to be refrigerated because it is a live product that needs care and dedication. Those who are willing to try it will reap the benefits that come from diving into the unknown.
Where can people purchase Roezen products? What are your future plans for distribution?
We sell all of our products online at roezen.com and at our Brooklyn and Manhattan locations. We ship the caviar mask overnight in ice. As for our future plans, we hope to spread the word about our products to people worldwide, who can purchase them online. Eventually as we grow we plan to open Roezen locations in major cities around the world.
You only offer two treatments—a facial and a peel, why?
Each client receives a customized treatment after a detailed skin care analysis and consultation. I promise my clients the best results because after looking closely at their skin, I know exactly what they need. To completely cleanse, rejuvenate, and transform the skin, I need to see the client every two weeks for a total of 6 treatments. After completing those treatments, I see them every 4-6 weeks for maintenance. The results of the facial and peels are remarkable. If you read our reviews online, you’ll find that people write the most amazing stories about their experiences. I truly take great pride in it.
Your signature Billionaires Roe facial, why did you include a full-body treatment into the service?
Everything you see on your face is the result of your lifestyle, body, and spirit. I created this treatment to begin with a full-body exfoliation and application of amazing body oils. You are then wrapped in a heated blanket for the duration of the facial. This helps to release toxins from your body, stimulate blood circulation, and reduce water retention. So while your body is doing the work from the inside, I’m working my magic on the outside. If you are already in my hands in the middle of New York, why not have the best experience? Besides making you feel like a billionaire from head to toe when you are covered in black caviar, my vision is to positively impact the lives of a billion people!
What changes have you noticed in the spa industry from when you started at Bliss vs today? Have consumers changed, if so, how?
The spa industry is getting better and better as advances continue to be made to machines, lasers, injections ... etc. But it will never replace a good facial and at-home skin care regimen. Today, it’s easier than ever for me to reach consumers and share tips with them on how to look younger longer. Thanks to the Internet, everyone is just one click away from booking an appointment with me and/or purchasing my products. I am happy to be living in these times, seeing the changes and being part of something amazing. The world was ready for natural skin care a long time ago. Everything is up to you...
- ps -
Check out what Yelena is up to at Roezen or let her do her magic in person at her new location at 551 5th Avenue, Suite #525, NY.