I am so glad to have become acquainted with Denise Spanek. A delightful, accomplished woman with experience as a Hollywood makeup artist and her own skincare studio have not only given her great skin, but also her skincare line: Air Repair. The line is full of affordable products that actually deliver on their promises, and we’re happy to tell you all about them. Our readers receive a 15% discount on the Air Repair website — use the code GROOVY15.
You created Air Repair as a way of fighting “inflam-aging”. Can you tell us what that is exactly?
Every day the skin is bombarded with harsh environmental stressors that trigger inflammatory mediators – the same molecules that act locally at the site of infection but can overreact in this situation causing inflammation or what I refer to as ‘inflam-aging.’ As these factors can pre-maturely age skin over time, Air Repair’s unique combination of clean chemistry, healing botanicals and natural extracts that are vegan and cruelty-free were designed to protect, soothe and heal the skin from these factors.
What was it like starting your own skincare business?
This journey has been like being thrown into the deep end of a pool – exhilarating and terrifying all at the same time! You will either sink or swim. Thankfully, I’m still swimming.
To be candid, I never envisioned developing/owning a skincare company. I was quite happy and successful running my skincare and make-up studio. The idea for Air Repair grew organically as I felt the market was in need of a product line targeting climate stressors and I couldn’t stop myself from following through with the idea. With the encouragement and help of my husband (behind every successful woman is a great man,) I began.
How did you develop the products? How many versions did you go through?
It took me about a year to study up on brand development and finding the right chemist. I spent another 8 months or so working with our lab and head chemist to develop the brand. Having already been in the beauty industry for many years, I was able to bring to the table my level of expertise on how I wanted the products to perform, which ingredients to include and the ones that I absolutely did not (parabens, petroleum and mineral oil be gone!) It was my good fortune that this specific lab took us on as they develop some pretty major brands and we were just an idea with no branding experience at the time. To this day, I stay very close to brand development and know I can always go to their head chemist to tap him for information and ‘brainstorming’ sessions.
What are some of your skincare favorites, besides Air Repair of course?
There’s a beautifully crafted skincare line out of Paris called Anne Semonin which I actually sold at my skincare studio. To this day, I adore their botanical toner Anne Semonin Botanical Toner and face masks. It’s my ‘go to’ beauty stop for facials when I am in Paris.
What’s your typical skin routine look like?
On a daily basis (both day and night), I cleanse with our Cleansing Milk, use Anne Semonin Toner and apply our Serum, Eye Cream and if I’m feeling dry, I will layer our Moisturizer over it. In the dead of winter when my skin gets ridiculously dry, I mix a tiny dot of our Rescue Balm with our Moisturizer and slather on at night. This combination makes for a great night/weather-proofing cream and is a skin saver during those months! I always keep our Facial Mist on hand to spritz over make up during the day for a quick refresh/’attitude adjustment’. Once a week I try and do an exfoliating/masking combination which is when I get to experiment with different brands – it’s my beauty play time.
How would you describe your style? How has it changed as you’ve gotten older? What are some brands you’re really into right now?
A little bit The Row and a little bit rock and roll! I would say the one change has been that I’ve simplified my style. While I’ve always liked a bit of a uniform (influences of going to catholic school, I guess), I’m drawn to that now more than ever, which is why I love The Row as their designs and color choices are simple, streamlined and effortless. That said, I’ll never give up a great fitting pair of leatherette cigarette jeans (AG Jeans makes a great fake leather pant), a white shirt (be it blouse or tee) and a rocking pair of black boots. Totally digging Hogans right now. You can walk in their boots for hours.
Some of the other brands I’m into now are Tibi, Acne Studios, Ulla Johnson and Isabelle Marant.
Culturally, aging is viewed as this sad thing. In reality, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel bad or sad. I feel better than ever. What’s the key to changing the conversation about aging?
I think it’s imperative to change the conversation in your head and that, to me all starts with self-acceptance. While I feel very vital and alive at 58, I would be lying to say that it wasn’t a bit of a process to accept the changes that happen at this age. I think once you do, then you can walk through the world not only with confidence but as a great ‘age ambassador’.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
I would be honored to have Rachel Weisz play me in the movie of my life. She’s a brilliant actress with just enough edge and sass which someone would have to have to play me!
What’s the last thing you bought online?
Tibi Blue Satin Maxi Dress to wear to my mother-in-law’s 90th birthday party. She’s super elegant so I had to step it up!
What would you put on your menopause registry?
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Being female is a pretty cool super power so I’m down with that.
If you had a warning label what would it say?
WARNING – HIGH VOLTAGE!
Don’t forget Denise is offering all of us a 15% discount on all her products on the Air Repair website — use the code GROOVY15.