Michelle Obama’s facialist Jennifer Brodeur talks wellness
"There's a correlation between what you put in your body and what you see on your skin."
How did Montreal’s Jennifer Brodeur become the go-to facialist for celebs like Michelle Obama, Oprah and Ashley Graham? It could be her signature LED treatment. It could also be her luxurious plant-based Peoni Skincare line. But it also has plenty to do with her unique lifestyle-first approach to skincare. “There’s a correlation between what you put in your body and what you see on your skin,” she says. “Everything is connected.”
HOW SHE INCORPORATES WELLNESS INTO HER TREATMENTS “A lot of people have this idea that what we do is superficial—‘Oh, you just do skin.’ But it goes so much deeper. I sit with women and look at everything. First of all, what does the day look like for you? What do you do for work? Because that is a big indicator of the type of stress [someone might be experiencing]. Are you eating late at night? Are you skipping meals? When we’re able to change little lifestyle habits or how we’re cleansing or taking care of our skin, it becomes a ritual—and that’s when the wellness step comes in. It’s more than just cleansing your face; it’s this whole routine of ‘How am I respecting the skin that I have?’”
WHAT WELLNESS MEANS TO HER “For me, wellness is not about balance. The idea that ‘If I can be balanced, then I will be well’—it’s this incessant competition of trying to attain it. ‘Wellness’ means that I’m present in the moment I’m in right now. So, for example, if I’m working, I’m 100 percent working. If I’m home, I’m 100 percent home.”
HER SELF-CARE STRATEGY “I know that if I don’t take half an hour to just be by myself in the morning, [my day doesn’t go well]. I wake up; I meditate; I make sure I’m out with nature, hiking. It’s all about taking care of myself first—if I do that, I’m a much better mom, I’m a better wife, I’m a better friend and I’m a better boss too.”
WHAT SHE LEARNED FROM OPRAH “That with everything I choose to do, I have to understand what the intent behind doing it is. As women, we’re often people pleasers, but Oprah said to me, ‘Every time you say yes to something just because you think you have to, you’re not doing it for the right reasons.’ So now if I feel like the intent is against my personal values or what I want to do, I say no. It’s empowering!”
This article originally appeared in the November 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.